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Scientist Seeks Investment For "Alcohol Substitute" 328

First time accepted submitter MalachiK writes "A senior academic and former UK government drugs adviser reckons that pretty soon it'll be possible to enjoy the fun of being drunk without having to suffer the negative effects of alcohol. In a proposal reminiscent of Star Trek's synthehol, Professor David Nut has identified a number of molecules that he claims offer experiences that are subjectively indistinguishable from alcohol intoxication. Apparently a major advantage of using these more selectively psychoactive drugs is that the effects can be quickly reversed. It's not all good news though as Professor Nut seems to think that the drinks industry is using its financial and political clout to stop this sort of research being undertaken."
Input Devices

Valve Announces Steam Controller 317

Today Valve unveiled their third and final announcement about living room gaming: a Steam controller. The company made the determination that existing gamepads simply weren't good enough for bringing PC games to the living room, so they made their own. Instead of having directional pads or thumb sticks, the Steam controller has two circular trackpads. The trackpads are also clickable, and Valve claims they provide much higher fidelity than any previous controller trackpad. Valve also eschewed the traditional 'rumble' feedback mechanism: "The Steam Controller is built around a new generation of super-precise haptic feedback, employing dual linear resonant actuators. These small, strong, weighted electro-magnets are attached to each of the dual trackpads. They are capable of delivering a wide range of force and vibration, allowing precise control over frequency, amplitude, and direction of movement." The center of the controller holds a clickable touchscreen. "When programmed by game developers using our API, the touch screen can work as a scrolling menu, a radial dial, provide secondary info like a map or use other custom input modes we haven't thought of yet." The design also breaks up the common diamond-shaped button layout, instead putting the A B X Y buttons at the corners of the touchscreen. The controller is designed to be hackable, and Valve will "make tools available that will enable users to participate in all aspects of the experience, from industrial design to electrical engineering." The controller is being beta tested concurrently with the Steam Machines they announced on Wednesday, so you can expect them to be on sale in 2014.

Doctor Who To Become Hollywood Feature Film 357

Hugh Pickens writes writes "Variety reports that David Yates, who directed the last four Harry Potter films, is teaming up with the BBC to turn its iconic sci-fi TV series Doctor Who into a Hollywood franchise. 'We're looking at writers now. We're going to spend two to three years to get it right,' says Yates. 'It needs quite a radical transformation to take it into the bigger arena.' But not everyone is enamored with the idea of Doctor Who on the big screen. 'I fear that high production values and the inevitable sexualisation of the lead characters that a Hollywood treatment brings will destroy the show,' writes Andrew M. Brown in the Telegraph. 'The ecosystem of a great television programme is a delicate thing. Please, Hollywood, don't spoil Doctor Who."

Submission + - US Contemplating taxing "Vehicle Miles Traveled" ( 4

dawgs72 writes: This week the Congressional Budget Office released a report that taxing people based on how many miles they drive is a possible option for raising new revenues and that these taxes could be used to offset the costs of highway maintenance. The proposed tax would be enforced through the use of electronic metering devices installed on all vehicles. The mileage tax is being considered instead of an increase in the gas tax in order to tax hybrids, EVs, and conventional automobiles equally.
The Matrix

The Matrix Re-Reloaded 640

derGoldstein writes "According to Keanu Reeves: ' Matrix 4 and 5 are coming.' At an event that took place at the London International School of Performing Arts, 'Reeves revealed that he met with the Wachowskis around Christmas. They told him that they completed script treatments for two more Matrix installments. They are planning to make the films in 3D and have already met with James Cameron to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the technology. Reeves added that he's excited to return as Neo and promised that the treatments will truly revolutionize the action genre like the first Matrix film did.'"
Role Playing (Games)

Final Fantasy XIII-2 Announced 152

An anonymous reader writes "Square-Enix has announced Final Fantasy XIII-2 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. According to Gamespot, 'The newly christened Final Fantasy XIII-2 continues the adventures of Lightning and her team of RPG vagabonds in a brand new adventure, utilizing the long-in-development engine (and, probably, some of the art assets) that powered the original game. And because Square doesn't have to spend all of that extra time developing the engine, players won’t have to wait nearly as long to get their hands on this newest iteration of the game. According to Square Enix, Final Fantasy XIII-2 (which, in case you haven't guessed, is a game title that is just as terrible to type out as it is to say with your mouth) is on track for release in Japan this year. [The game] should be available in English-speaking territories by "next winter."'"

Verizon Finally Unveils Apple iPhone 480

Velcroman1 writes "The most asked question in all of technology finally has an answer. When will Verizon get the iPhone? The answer: early next month. Verizon COO Lowell McAdam unveiled a new iPhone Tuesday during a presentation in New York that was short on surprises as most of the tech press already knew what was coming. 'If the press writes about something long enough and hard enough, eventually it comes true,' McAdam joked. Nevertheless, the move clears a major hurdle for Apple as they face increasing competition in smartphones, particularly from devices based on Google Inc.'s Android software which has exploded in popularity. Verizon's Lowell McAdam described the unveiling as a 'great day for wireless customers across the US.'"

Airbus Planning Transparent Planes 488

goG writes "European aircraft manufacturer Airbus has come up with the idea to build a passenger flight with a completely transparent fuselage. The central body of the aircraft will allow passengers to the see the stars above and city lights below. 'The planes of the future will offer an unparalleled, unobstructed view of the wonders of the five continents — where you will be able see the pyramids or the Eiffel Tower through the transparent floor of the aircraft,' Airbus said while unveiling the concept 'The Future By Airbus' earlier this year."

Leaked MS Presentation Shows App Store Plans For Windows 8 339

FrankNFurter sends word of an internal Microsoft presentation leaked online today that contains details about Windows 8. The slides mention support for 3-D displays, connectivity upgrades, rapid startup times, and an integrated application store. Quoting Neowin: "Consumers will be able to search on the web or locally on a Windows 8 machine to access applications from the store. Microsoft also details plans for application developers to help reach millions of users. One of the goals is to ensure licensing and monetization for developers is flexible with a transparent on-boarding process. It's clear that the 'Windows Store' will be a software service Microsoft provides and hosts fully in the cloud. The company will likely build the distribution model on Windows Azure to lure application developers."

Submission + - Microsoft planning app store for Windows 8 (

FrankNFurter writes: "Microsoft is planning a Windows Store for Windows 8 according to documents leaked to the Internet on Monday.

The application store will allow users to discover and download trustworthy applications and have applications and their settings follow them on Windows 8. "Consumers get applications they want, that they can feel confident in, that they can use on any Windows 8 device" reads one of many slides detailing the new Windows Store.

Consumers will be able to search on the web or locally on a Windows 8 machine to access applications from the store. Microsoft also details plans for application developers to help reach millions of users. One of the goals is to ensure licensing and monetization for developers is flexible with a transparent on-boarding process.

It's clear that the 'Windows Store' will be a software service Microsoft provides and hosts fully in the cloud. The company will likely build the distribution model on Windows Azure to lure application developers."


Sony To Launch First 3D PS3 Games On Friday 151

Stoobalou writes "Sony plans to show off the first 3D PlayStation 3 games in the UK on 10 June, with a retail launch on 11 June. If you were wondering why Sony is shutting down half the PSN today for maintenance, then wonder no more. We reckon the company's simply gearing up for the launch of the PlayStation 3's first stereoscopic 3D games. Unfortunately, many game developers are seemingly indifferent to the 3D revolution at the moment. In fact, EA CEO John Riccitiello reckons that it's going to be a good three years before 3D becomes a standard gaming feature. Riccitiello explained that there's a big difference between converting a game to run in 3D mode and properly developing it to take full advantage of the extra dimension."

Apple Announces iPhone 4 1184

In a keynote presentation today at WWDC, Steve Jobs officially unveiled the iPhone 4. It's powered by an A4 chip, has a glass front and back, and has stainless steel around the edges, which turns out to be part of the antenna system. The new iPhone uses what Jobs called a "Retina display," running at 960x640, or 326 ppi. The battery is also bigger, with a corresponding increase in battery life. The iPhone 4 supports 802.11n, has two mics for noise cancellation, and a three-axis gyroscope, which allows rotation and precision that accelerometers can't match. The iPhone 4's camera is using a 5-megapixel backside illuminated sensor, which Jobs said does better at low-light photography. It also records 720p video at 30 frames per second, with tap-to-focus. In addition to this, they've created an iMovie app, which allows users to easily edit videos on their phone. Several live blogs of the event, with pictures, are available. The device ships in the US on June 24. Apple's product page has been updated with specs and a video. Read on for more details.
Update: 06/07 18:34 GMT by S : Steve's "One More Thing" this time around: FaceTime, live video chat from one iPhone 4 to another. It is Wi-Fi only at the moment, but they're working with carriers to expand that in the future.

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