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+ - China to demolish 1/2 of all residential buildings->

Submitted by tcd004
tcd004 (134130) writes "The landscapes of Inception are a reality in many parts of China, where giant apartment buildings lean 30 degrees off center—the results of years of hasty, shoddy construction coupled with aging infrastructure. One set of apartments planned to be six stories tall eventually grew to 22 stories. A year-old highway bridge that developed catastrophic cracks was initially repaired with glue. But the process of rebuilding is also rife with corrupt land grabs and forced evictions."
Link to Original Source

+ - Minority Report Style Iris Scanners in Mexico-> 1

Submitted by TheRealPacmanJones
TheRealPacmanJones (1600187) writes "Biometrics R&D firm Global Rainmakers Inc. (GRI) announced today that it is rolling out its iris scanning technology to create what it calls "the most secure city in the world." In a partnership with Leon — one of the largest cities in Mexico, with a population of more than a million — GRI will fill the city with eye-scanners. That will help law enforcement revolutionize the way we live — not to mention marketers."
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The Courts

Does Net Neutrality Violate the Fifth Amendment? 341

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the constitution-guarantees-short-sleeve-shirts dept.
SonicSpike writes "A forthcoming paper from Boston College Law Professor Daniel Lyons offers an even stronger basis for challenge: The Fifth Amendment. Under Prof. Lyons's theory, net neutrality would run afoul of eminent domain. It would constitute a regulatory taking, requiring just compensation. Under US Supreme Court precedent, any governmental regulation that results in 'permanent, physical occupation' of private property constitutes a per se taking. This is true even where the government itself is not doing the occupying. If the government grants access to other parties to freely traipse across private property, it's still a taking. In effect, the government has forced one party to give a permanent easement to another party, destroying the first's 'right to exclude.'"
Medicine

Telemedicine Comes Into Its Own 50

Posted by samzenpus
from the dial-a-doctor dept.
goG writes "Telemedicine — providing care using advanced communications technology may be coming into its own with a little help from Uncle Sam. The Obama administration recently awarded $795 million in grants and loans for 66 new broadband projects. Most of these projects will involve using videoconferencing equipment to allow doctors to consult on medical procedures or examinations remotely."
Toys

Man Repairs Crumbling Walls With Legos 106

Posted by samzenpus
from the one-block-at-a-time dept.
Lanxon writes "German-born artist Jan Vormann, 27, has spent the past three years traveling the world repairing crumbling walls and monuments with Lego, reports Wired. His "Dispatchwork" began in 2007 in the small village of Bocchignano, Italy, as part of the contemporary art festival 20 Eventi. Developing the work in situ, he became intrigued by the makeshift repairs that had been made to the crumbling walls. The approach favored function over appearance, reminding Vormann of the haphazard Lego designs created by children."
Movies

Netflix Streaming Arrives For the Wii 171

Posted by Soulskill
from the hopping-on-the-bandwagon dept.
Grant,thompson writes "As announced in January and mentioned here on Slashdot, Netflix is sending out discs today to enable streaming on the Nintendo Wii. 'Netflix has sent out emails to customers who pre-ordered the Wii's instant streaming disc, indicating that the disc will arrive in mailboxes tomorrow, and that the service will likely start within the next day.'"
Games

The Problems With Video Game Voice Acting 251

Posted by Soulskill
from the who-called-in-de-fleet dept.
The Guardian's Games blog explores the tendency of modern video games to suffer from poor voice acting, a flaw made all the more glaring by increasingly precise and impressive graphics. Quoting: "Due to the interactive nature of games, actors can't be given a standard film script from which they're able to gauge the throughline of their character and a feel for the dramatic development of the narrative. Instead, lines of dialogue need to be isolated into chunks so they can be accessed and triggered within the game in line with the actions of each individual player. Consequently, the performer will usually be presented with a spreadsheet jammed with hundreds of single lines of dialogue, with little sense of context or interaction. ... But according to David Sobolov, one of the most experienced videogame voice actors in the world (just check out his website), the significant time pressures mean that close, in-depth direction is not always possible. 'Often, there's a need to record a great number of lines, so to keep the session moving, once we've established the tone of the character we're performing, the director will silently direct us using the spreadsheet on the screen by simply moving the cursor down the page to indicate if he/she liked what we did. Or they'll make up a code, like typing an 'x' to ask us to give them another take.' It sounds, in effect, like a sort of acting battery farm, a grinding, dehumanizing production line of disembodied phrases, delivered for hours on end. Hardly conducive to Oscar-winning performances."
Image

Man Swallows USB Flash Drive Evidence 199 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the chew-it-up dept.
SlideRuleGuy writes "In a bold and bizarre attempt to destroy evidence seized during a federal raid, a New York City man grabbed a flash drive and swallowed the data storage device while in the custody of Secret Service agents. Records show Florin Necula ingested the Kingston flash drive shortly after his January 21 arrest outside a bank in Queens. A Kingston executive said it was unclear if stomach acid could damage one of their drives. 'As you might imagine, we have no actual experience with someone swallowing a USB.' I imagine that would be rather painful. But did he follow his mother's advice and chew thoroughly, first? Apparently not, as the drive was surgically recovered."
Security

+ - Four Signs of an Easy Victim on Social Networks->

Submitted by webstuff
webstuff (49056) writes "Are you considered a soft target in a social network scam? CSO magazine has identified Four Signs of an Easy Victim http://www.csoonline.com/article/542913/Four_Signs_of_an_Easy_Victim_on_Social_Networks taken from the "Social Security" survey that is part of the Sophos 2010 Security Threat Report. I am sure most, if not all Slashdot readers are saavy enough to make sure they are not doing these things but the part about the criminals using your friends to get to you is something to think about."
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Games

Game Difficulty As a Virtue 204

Posted by Soulskill
from the all-hail-battletoads dept.
The Wii and various mobile gaming platforms have done wonders for the trend toward casual or "easy" games. But the success of a few recent titles, despite their difficulty, has caused some to wonder whether the pendulum has swung too far; whether a little frustration can be seen as a good thing. Quoting: "The evidence is subtle but compelling. For one example, look to major consumer website GameSpot's Game of the Year for 2009: Atlus' PS3 RPG Demon's Souls, which received widespread critical acclaim – none of which failed to include a mention of the game's steep challenge. GameSpot called it 'ruthlessly, unforgivingly difficult.' Demon's Souls was a sleeper hit, an anomaly in the era of accessibility. One would think the deck was stacked against a game that demanded such vicious persistence, such precise attention – and yet a surge of praise from critics and developers alike praised the game for reintroducing the experience of meaningful challenge, of a game that demanded something from its players rather than looked for ways to hand them things. It wasn't just Demon's Souls that recently flipped the proverbial bird to the 'gaming for everyone' trend. In many ways, the independent development scene can be viewed on the macro level as a harbinger of trends to come, and over the past year and into 2010, many indies have decided to be brutal to their players."
The Courts

Prison Bans D&D For Mimicking Gang Structure 496

Posted by kdawson
from the step-away-from-the-polyhedral-dice dept.
Trepidity writes "In a case that has been winding its way through the courts for a while now, a Wisconsin prison banned inmates from playing Dungeons & Dragons, using the justification that 'one player is denoted the Dungeon Master... [who] is tasked with giving directions to other players... [which] mimics the organization of a gang.' The prison also cited some sparse evidence that a handful of non-inmate D&D players once committed some crimes that allegedly were related to their D&D playing. On Monday the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the regulation (PDF) against challenges from inmates. The court appeared skeptical of the ban, sarcastically referring to it as the 'war on D&D,' but upheld it nonetheless as having a 'rational basis.' Law professor Ilya Somin suggests that the court may have had no choice, given how deferential rational-basis review usually is."
Earth

Researchers Pooh-Pooh Algae-Based Biofuel 238

Posted by timothy
from the feed-it-pooh-pooh-undies dept.
Julie188 writes "Researchers from the University of Virginia have found that current algae biofuel production methods consume more energy, have higher greenhouse gas emissions and use more water than other biofuel sources, such as switchgrass, canola and corn. The researchers suggest these problems can be overcome by situating algae production ponds behind wastewater treatment facilities to capture phosphorous and nitrogen — essential algae nutrients that otherwise need to come from petroleum."
Businesses

Should Gaming Worlds Join the Workplace? 68

Posted by Soulskill
from the gotta-farm-those-tps-reports dept.
destinyland writes "A Stanford professor argues that gaming worlds can keep workers engaged, and advocates elements of World of Warcraft or Second Life to hone workplace skills like teamwork, leadership, and data analysis. An IBM report also argues games like World of Warcraft teach leadership and that 'there is no reason to think the same cannot be done in corporate settings of various sizes.' The professor even suggests putting online gaming experiences into your resume. ('There's just so much that gets done [in a virtual world] that's just right on target with what happens in real business.') And Google's CEO also claims that multiplayer gaming also provides good career training, especially for technology careers. 'Everything in the future online is going to look like a multiplayer game. If I were 15 years old, that's what I would be doing right now... It teaches players to build a network, to use interactive skills and thinking.'"

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