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Govt To Bomb Guam With Frozen Mice To Kill Snakes 229 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the rodent-rain dept.
rhettb writes "In a spectacularly creative effort to rid Guam of the brown tree snake, an invasive species which has ravaged local wildlife and angered local residents, the US Department of Agriculture is planning to 'bomb' the island's rainforests with dead frozen mice laced with acetaminophen. While it might not seem difficult to purge an island of snakes, the snake's habit of dwelling high in the rainforest canopy has so far thwarted efforts to rid the island of the pest. Eradicating the snake is a priority because it triggers more than 100 power outages a year at a cost of $1-4 million and has driven at least 6 local bird species to extinction."
Medicine

High Fructose Corn Syrup To Get a Makeover 646

Posted by samzenpus
from the same-great-taste dept.
An anonymous reader writes "With its sweetener linked to obesity, some cancers and diabetes, the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) doesn't want you to think 'fructose' when you see high fructose corn syrup in your soda, ketchup or pickles. Instead, the AP reports, the CRA submitted an application to the FDA, hoping to change the name of their top-selling product to 'corn sugar.'"
Image

New Jersey County Fights Landfill Odors Using Fragrant Spray Trucks 104 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the hearts-and-noses dept.
Not to be outdone by the Chinese and their deodorant guns, Middlesex County, New Jersey has unveiled their secret weapon against landfill stink, a perfume spraying truck. The flatbed truck equipped with special nozzles now drives around the 200-plus acre landfill spraying hundreds of gallons of a soapy, slightly citrus-scented liquid. From the article: "'It has a pleasant, showery smell,' said Richard Fitamant, executive director of the Middlesex County Utilities Authority, which runs the landfill. 'It's not offensive and it's not overpowering. It's a light scent.' Faced with a competing mandate to handle the loads of trash while curbing the stench, officials have turned to the roving, over-sized air freshener to control the smells wafting from the 200-plus acre landfill."
Medicine

Autism Diagnosed With a Fifteen Minute Brain Scan 190

Posted by samzenpus
from the 15-minutes-definitely-15-minutes dept.
kkleiner writes "A new technique developed at King's College London uses a fifteen minute MRI scan to diagnose autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The scan is used to analyze the structure of grey matter in the brain, and tests have shown that it can identify individuals already diagnosed with autism with 90% accuracy. The research could change the way that autism is diagnosed – including screening children for the disorder at a young age."
Games

Portal 2 Gets Release Date 110

Posted by Soulskill
from the it's-been-a-long-time dept.
AndrewGOO9 writes "After what has seemed like an eternity since Valve initially announced a sequel to their lauded puzzle title Portal, a release date has finally been attached to the game. Originally slated to be released before the end of the year in time for the holidays, Valve instead opted to delay the game, citing reasons such as, 'making games is hard' as well as continuing their tradition of releasing games when they're finished as opposed to rushing them out the door. Either way, mark your calendars for February 9th, 2011, and in the meantime, brush up on thinking with portals." There's some new gameplay footage available, and Valve announced that Stephen Merchant will be lending his voice to the game.
Security

Facebook Bug Could Give Spammers Names, Photos 145

Posted by timothy
from the who-am-I-again? dept.
angry tapir writes with this excerpt from an IDG report: "Facebook is scrambling to fix a bug in its website that could be misused by spammers to harvest user names and photographs. It turns out that if someone enters the e-mail address of a Facebook user along with the wrong password, Facebook returns a special 'Please re-enter your password' page, which includes the Facebook photo and full name of the person associated with the address. A spammer with an e-mail list could write a script that enters the e-mail addresses into Facebook and then logs the real names. This could help make a phishing attack more realistic."
First Person Shooters (Games)

Gamer Plays Doom For the First Time 362

Posted by Soulskill
from the new-is-relative dept.
sfraggle writes "Kotaku has an interesting review of Doom (the original!) by Stephen Totilo, a gamer and FPS player who, until a few days ago, had gone through the game's 17-year history without playing it. He describes some of his first impressions, the surprises that he encountered, and how the game compares to modern FPSes. Quoting: 'Virtual shotgun armed, I was finally going to play Doom for real. A second later, I understood the allure the video game weapon has had. In Doom the shotgun feels mighty, at least partially I believe because they make first-timers like me wait for it. The creators make us sweat until we have it in hand. But once we have the shotgun, its big shots and its slow, fetishized reload are the floored-accelerator-pedal stuff of macho fantasy. The shotgun is, in all senses, instant puberty, which is to say, delicately, that to obtain it is to have the assumed added potency that a boy believes a man possesses vis a vis a world on which he'd like to have some impact. The shotgun is the punch in the face the once-scrawny boy on the beach gives the bully when he returns a muscled linebacker.'"
Education

NAMCO Takes Down Student Pac-man Project 218

Posted by Soulskill
from the chasing-ghosts dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The core of how people first learn to do stuff — programming, music, writing, etc. — is to imitate others. It's one of the best ways to learn. Apparently a bunch of students using MIT's educational Scratch programming language understand this. But not everyone else does. NAMCO Bandai sent a takedown notice to MIT because some kids had recreated Pac-man with Scratch. The NAMCO letter is pretty condescending as well, noting that it understands the educational purpose of Scratch, but 'part of their education should include concern for the intellectual property of others.'"

Comment: Re:I fail to see what is newsworthy (Score 1) 456

by Tainek (#33074350) Attached to: Man Wants to Donate His Heart Before He Dies

Children are not legally considered to be mature or educated enough to have a will of their own, This is why they cannot (with the exception of prosecutors who pervade the law) be tried as adults for crimes, cannot consent to sexual relations and such.

Taking that away from anyone else, especially a child, is abhorrent.

I would consider taking a child away from someone else who may have had a fighting chance of a life, far more abhorrent than anything you have mentioned above. All this said, I am a strong supporter of rights for children to be legally allowed to make more choices, especially pertaining to education and religion.

Comment: Re:Geometry Wars 2 did it best (Score 2, Interesting) 157

by Tainek (#32962196) Attached to: Anatomy of an Achievement

How can achievement **detract** from a game? you aren't penalized for not getting it, and plenty of people derive enjoyment from these distractions. Your comment is littered with statements revolving around "I" and your opinions (Which is completely OK) , but you haven't actually quantified how these "meta" achievements are bad for the game.

Personally I find them a nice distraction once you start to get bored of a game, sometimes playing it contrary to the usual design is enough to re-ignite the passion for a game.

PC Games (Games)

Activision Wants Consoles To Be Replaced By PCs 344

Posted by Soulskill
from the oppose-on-principle dept.
thsoundman writes with this excerpt from thegamersblog: "We live in a world where we have multiple platforms for gaming: PC, PS3, 360, Wii, etc. Each platform has varying amounts of power when it comes to playing games. Activision, one of the leading cross-platform publishers, wishes to move away from the 'walled gardens' set by Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo. ... [Activision CEO Bobby] Kotick’s solution is to turn to the PC, where it can set its own model for pricing — not unlike what Blizzard has done with World of Warcraft and Battle.net. Kotick stated that Activision would 'very aggressively' support the likes of HP and Dell in any attempt at making an easy 'plug-and-play' PC that would hook up directly to the TV."
Games

Do Gamers Want Simpler Games? 462

Posted by Soulskill
from the i'd-say-no-but-i-used-to-love-frogger dept.
A recent GamePro article sums up a lesson that developers and publishers have been slowly learning over the last few years: gamers don't want as much from games as they say they do. Quoting: "Conventional gaming wisdom thus far has been 'bigger, better, MORE!' It's something affirmed by the vocal minority on forums, and by the vast majority of critics that praise games for ambition and scale. The problem is, in reality its almost completely wrong. ... How do we know this? Because an increasing number of games incorporate telemetry systems that track our every action. They measure the time we play, they watch where we get stuck, and they broadcast our behavior back to the people that make the games so they can tune the experience accordingly. Every studio I've spoken to that does this, to a fault, says that many of the games they've released are far too big and far too hard for most players' behavior. As a general rule, less than five percent of a game's audience plays a title through to completion. I've had several studios tell me that their general observation is that 'more than 90 percent' of a game's audience will play it for 'just four or five hours.'"

Comment: Re:Eh... (Score 1) 187

by Tainek (#26427129) Attached to: TrueMotion Game Controller a Step Up From Wii Remote

17 Year old and a 14 Year old actually, they both have part time jobs that pay the way (and before working age? If you arnt prepared to mow lawns or clean cars? you dont deserve the game). Both allowed unrestricted access. As far as I'm concerned, if the child is mature enough to be playing an online game in the first place, they are mature enough to have been taught to cope with anything the internet can throw at them. Think of it as the defensive programming approach to raising children.

And at the big family gathering on Boxing day, Laptops, Even low end Laptops seem to be coming with reasonable 3D acceleration nowadays, I've been playing Fallout 3 (Speaking of which, my heart goes out to the console users without all these great mods available, I'd be royally pissed off if I couldn't fix many of the glaring problems. Now its just a mild irritation) on my new laptop with surprising ease.

LAN networking can be achieved with a £5 piece of networking hardware, and I cannot recall once having a group gaming session without having a net connection.

And yes, there are some console games that are played on one screen. That's why I keep the consoles about, and those are the games (plus exclusives) that I buy for them. It is still my opinion that for cross platform, PC=>Console 90% of the time.

And Worms *Is* an awesome game, not was ;)

"Probably the best operating system in the world is the [operating system] made for the PDP-11 by Bell Laboratories." - Ted Nelson, October 1977

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