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+ - What happens when gaming auteurs try to go it alone?->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "As news that Cliff Bleszkinski, Epic Games' legendary former creative, sets off to found his own studio, a new article takes a look at how six other gaming auteurs have fared after leaving a major developer or publisher to go it alone. The results, surprisingly, are mixed: while some, such as Double Fine's Tim Schafer, have gone on to far greater success, it doesn't always work out that way: just look at John Romero's Daikatana. The article also makes a good point that Peter Molyneux is striking out with a start-up for the third in his career now, but it may not be third time the charm: Godus has been far less well received than Black & White or Fable. Can Cliffy B avoid making the same mistakes?"
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+ - The ultimate goal of the NSA is total population control

Submitted by stephendavion
stephendavion (2872091) writes "William Binney is one of the highest-level whistleblowers to ever emerge from the NSA. He was a leading code-breaker against the Soviet Union during the Cold War but resigned soon after September 11, disgusted by Washington’s move towards mass surveillance.

On 5 July he spoke at a conference in London organised by the Centre for Investigative Journalism and revealed the extent of the surveillance programs unleashed by the Bush and Obama administrations.

“At least 80% of fibre-optic cables globally go via the US”, Binney said. “This is no accident and allows the US to view all communication coming in. At least 80% of all audio calls, not just metadata, are recorded and stored in the US. The NSA lies about what it stores.”"

+ - Gameover ZeuS Re-Emerges as Fast-Fluxing Botnet

Submitted by tylke
tylke (621801) writes "Brian Krebs is reporting that the Gameover ZeuS botnet recently taken down by the U.S. Justice Department in June has re-emerged. The new variant of the Trojan "is stripped of the P2P code, and relies instead on an approach known as fast-flux hosting", a kind of round-robin technique that lets botnets hide phishing and malware delivery sites behind a network of compromised systems. Full Disclosure: I work for Malcovery Security, the company credited with identifying the new variant."

+ - Arecibo radio telescope has confirmed the existence of fast radio pulses->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "The Arecibo radio telescope has confirmed the existence of fast radio pulses.

Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are bright flashes of radio waves that last only a few thousandths of a second. Scientists using the Parkes Observatory in Australia have recorded such events for the first time, but the lack of any similar findings by other facilities led to speculation that the Australian instrument might have been picking up signals originating from sources on or near Earth. The discovery at Arecibo is the first detection of a fast radio burst using an instrument other than the Parkes radio telescope. The position of the radio burst is in the direction of the constellation Auriga in the Northern sky.

“Our result is important because it eliminates any doubt that these radio bursts are truly of cosmic origin,” continues Victoria Kaspi, an astrophysics professor at McGill University in Montreal and Principal Investigator for the pulsar-survey project that detected this fast radio burst. “The radio waves show every sign of having come from far outside our galaxy – a really exciting prospect.”

Exactly what may be causing such radio bursts represents a major new enigma for astrophysicists. Possibilities include a range of exotic astrophysical objects, such as evaporating black holes, mergers of neutron stars, or flares from magnetars — a type of neutron star with extremely powerful magnetic fields.

Be warned: All of the above theories could also be wrong. These fast radio flashes could just as easily turn out to be something entirely unpredicted."
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+ - Insurance Claims Reveal Hidden Electronic Damage From Geomagnetic Storms

Submitted by KentuckyFC
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "On 13 March 1989, a powerful geomagnetic storm severely disrupted the Hydro-Québec high-voltage grid triggering numerous circuit breakers and blacking out much of eastern Canada and the north eastern US. Since then, Earth has been hit by numerous solar maelstroms although without such large-scale disruption. But the smaller-scale effect of these storms on low voltage transmissions line, and the equipment connected to them, has been unknown. Until now. Researchers from the Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory have analysed insurance claims for damage to industrial electrical equipment between 2000 and 2010 and found a clear correlation with geomagnetic activity. They say that the number of claims increases by up to 20 per cent on the days of highest geomagnetic activity. On this basis, they calculate that the economic impact of geomagnetic damage must amount to several billion dollars per year. That raises the question of the impact these storms are having on household electronic equipment, such as computers, smartphones and tablets, and whether domestic insurance claims might throw some light on the issue. So if your iPhone has ever been fried in mysterious circumstances, the culprit may have been the Sun."

+ - Chinese-Made Inventory Scanners Arrive With Preloaded Malware->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "We already have the Internet of Things, so why not the Security Breaches of Things? A security research firm released a case study of a company that ordered inventory scanners that ended up coming already infected with malware. Once the scanners were connected to the company's wireless network, the malware searched out Linux-based ERP servers with "finance" in their names and then went after known security holes."
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+ - Aereo Embraces Ruling, Tries to Re-Classify Itself as Cable Company 2

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Rather than completely shuttering its TV-over-the-internet business, Aereo has decided to embrace the Supreme Court's recent decision against it. In a letter to the lower court overseeing the litigation between the company and network broadcasters, Aereo asks to be considered a cable company and to be allowed to pay royalties as such. Cable companies pay royalties to obtain a copyright statutory license under the Copyright Act to retransmit over-the-air programming, and the royalties are set by the government, not the broadcasters. The broadcasters are not happy with this move, of course, claiming that Aereo should not be allowed to flip-flop on how it defines itself."

+ - Skynet System Adopted as Supercomputer Takes Control of US Nuclear Stockpile

Submitted by rofkool
rofkool (3603105) writes "The US has moved one step closer to a Skynet doomsday scenario as significant control of its nuclear weapons stockpile is to be handed to a supercomputer.

The Cray XC will operate within the Trinity system, a programme run by the US National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico.

The move mimics the Terminator series of films, in which a computer system called Skynet is given command of the US military's nuclear weapons arsenal, eventually leading to total war between man and machine."

+ - Asterioid mining bill introduced in Congress to protect private property rights->

Submitted by MarkWhittington
MarkWhittington (1084047) writes "Rep. Bill Posey, R-Florida announced on Thursday that he was introducing a bill along with Rep, Derek Kilmer, D-WA called the American Space Technology for Exploring Resource Opportunities in Deep Space (ASTEROIDS) Act of 2014. The act is designed to protect the private property rights for entities mining asteroids and to otherwise encourage asteroid mining. The bill is in apparent reaction to efforts by companies like Planetary Resources and Deep Space Industries to locate and mine Earth approaching asteroids for their resources.

The crucial part of the short piece of legislation states that the resources mined from an asteroid would be the property of the entity undertaking the operation. This language gets around the provision of the Outer Space Treaty that states that states are forbidden to establish national sovereignty over celestial bodies, which would be a perquisite to the United States allowing a private entity to own an asteroid. It rather grants mineral rights to the asteroid, something that the treaty does not mention. This is no enforcement mechanism in the event of a dispute with another country, however."

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+ - Hair-raising technique detects drugs, explosives on human body->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "That metal ball that makes your hair stand on end at science museums may have a powerful new use. Scientists have found a way to combine these Van de Graaff generators with a common laboratory instrument to detect drugs, explosives, and other illicit materials on the human body. In the laboratory, scientists had a volunteer touch a Van de Graaff generator for 2 seconds to charge his body to 400,000 volts. This ionized compounds on the surface of his body. The person then pointed their charged finger toward the inlet of a mass spectrometer, and ions from their body entered the machine. In various tests, the machine correctly identified explosives, flammable solvents, cocaine, and acetaminophen on the skin."
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+ - Google, Dropbox, And Others Forge Patent 'Arms Control Pact'->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "Patent trolling is a serious irritatnt and financial drain on many big tech companies — but those same companies can't guarantee that their own future management won't sell the patents they own to a 'non-practicing entity', especially in the case of sale or bankruptcy. That's why a number of tech giants, including Google and Dropbox, have formed the 'License or Tranfer Network,' in which a patent will automatically be licensed to everyone else in the network in the event that it's sold to a third party."
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+ - Peer Review Ring Broken - 60 Articles Retracted

Submitted by blackbeak
blackbeak (1227080) writes "The Washington Post reports that the Journal of Vibration and Control's review system was hijacked by a ring of reviewers. 60 articles have been retracted as a result. If a relatively nonpolitical field like JVC covers is subject to this kind of nonsense, what might be lurking behind peer reviews in the pharmaceutical or petroleum fields? Maybe non peers should be partnered with peers to do the reviewing."

+ - SpaceX Wins FAA Permission to Build a Spaceport in Texas

Submitted by Jason Koebler
Jason Koebler (3528235) writes "SpaceX just got approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to build a 56.5-acre spaceport along the Gulf of Mexico on the Texas-Mexico border—a huge step toward actually making the spaceport a reality.
Wednesday, the FAA, which handles all commercial space launch permitting in the United States, issued what's known as a "Record of Decision" that suggests the agency would allow the company to launch 10 Falcon 9 rockets and two Falcon Heavy rockets per year out of the spaceport, through at least 2025."

+ - Hints of Life's Start Found in a Giant Virus->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "In the world of microbes, viruses are small — notoriously small. Pithovirus is not. The largest virus ever discovered, pithovirus is more massive than even some bacteria. Most viruses copy themselves by hijacking their host’s molecular machinery. But pithovirus is much more independent, possessing some replication machinery of its own. Pithovirus’s relatively large number of genes also differentiated it from other viruses, which are often genetically simple — the smallest have a mere four genes. Pithovirus has around 500 genes, and some are used for complex tasks such as making proteins and repairing and replicating DNA. “It was so different from what we were taught about viruses,” Abergel said.

The stunning find, first revealed in March, isn’t just expanding scientists’ notions of what a virus can be. It is reframing the debate over the origins of life."

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