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Games

+ - Valve Announces DotA 2->

Submitted by RulerOf
RulerOf (975607) writes "Just over a year after hiring IceFrog, the lead developer of the wildly popular DotA Allstars mod for Warcraft III, and the speculation surrounding Valve's recent trademark filing for the "DotA" name, Valve has officially announced DotA 2.

Gameplay of DotA 2 is being ported exactly from the current DotA Allstars and includes every hero, but vast improvements are being made to the game including VoIP, a coaching system, in-game rewards, and AI that takes over for disconnected players. Lastly, it all runs on top of the Source engine.

GameInformer's website appears to be struggling right now though, as they had an exclusive on this story."

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Science

+ - Phys Ed: Can Exercise Make Kids Smarter?->

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "In an experiment published last month, researchers recruited schoolchildren, ages 9 and 10, and asked them to run on a treadmill. They sorted the children based on their treadmill runs, into highest-, lowest- and median-fit categories. Only the most- and least-fit groups continued in the study (to provide the greatest contrast). Both groups completed a series of cognitive challenges involving watching directional arrows on a computer screen and pushing certain keys in order to test how well the children filter out unnecessary information and attend to relevant cues. Finally, the children’s brains were scanned, using magnetic resonance imaging technology to measure the volume of specific areas.

Previous studies found that fitter kids generally scored better on such tests. And in this case, too, those children performed better on the tests. But the M.R.I.’s provided a clearer picture of how it might work. They showed that fit children had significantly larger basal ganglia, a key part of the brain that aids in maintaining attention and “executive control,” or the ability to coordinate actions and thoughts crisply. Since both groups of children had similar socioeconomic backgrounds, body mass index and other variables, the researchers concluded that being fit had enlarged that portion of their brains.

Meanwhile, in a separate, newly completed study by many of the same researchers at the University of Illinois, a second group of 9- and 10-year-old children were also categorized by fitness levels and had their brains scanned, but they completed different tests, this time focusing on complex memory. Such thinking is associated with activity in the hippocampus, a structure in the brain’s medial temporal lobes. Sure enough, the M.R.I. scans revealed that the fittest children had heftier hippocampi."

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PC Games (Games)

Valve's Battle Against Cheaters 336

Posted by Soulskill
from the busting-punks dept.
wjousts writes "IEEE Spectrum takes a look behind the scenes at Valve's on-going efforts to battle cheaters in online games: 'Cheating is a superserious threat,' says [Steam's lead engineer, John] Cook. 'Cheating is more of a serious threat than piracy.' The company combats this with its own Valve Anti-Cheat System, which a user consents to install in the Steam subscriber agreement. Cook says the software gets around anti-virus programs by handling all the operations that require administrator access to the user's machine. So, how important is preventing cheating? How much privacy are you willing to sacrifice in the interests of a level playing field? 'Valve also looks for changes within the player's computer processor's memory, which might indicate that cheat code is running.'"
Bug

2010 Bug Plagues Germany 233

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the well-that-was-ten-years-late dept.
krou writes "According the Guardian, some 30 million chip and pin cards in Germany have been affected by a programming failure, which saw the microchips in cards unable to recognize the year change. The bug has left millions of credit and debit card users unable to withdraw money or make purchases, and has stranded many on holiday. French card manufacturer Gemalto accepted responsibility for the fault, 'which it is estimated will cost €300m (£270m) to rectify.' They claim cards in other countries made by Gemalto are unaffected."

Comment: Re:Friends (Score 0) 504

by amazingxkcd (#30660380) Attached to: Best Buy $39.95 "Optimization" At Best a Waste of Money
Oh course, this is a scam. Think about, smart people build their own pc, such as in my case, and manage all their tweaking themselves. These major retail centers, esp Best Buy are tailored for the dummies who do not have a clue about anything, and yet go there because Best Buy seems smart. The one exception is mircocenter, for which i had great deals with (i7-920 for $200) because they specialise with those who know and that they can cather for the dummies.
Censorship

+ - Google's Islam Censor-> 5

Submitted by codewarren
codewarren (927270) writes "Google (US and UK at least) appear to be censoring suggestions for searches starting with "Islam Is". Go to Google, try typing "Christianity is" and seeing the suggestions of a lie, bullshit, false, etc... Try Hinduism, Judaism, etc... similar. Then try "Islam is" and there are absolutely no suggestions."
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Games

Revisiting the "Holy Trinity" of MMORPG Classes 362

Posted by Soulskill
from the or-druid-as-the-case-may-be dept.
A feature at Gamasutra examines one of the foundations of many MMORPGs — the idea that class roles within such a game fall into three basic categories: tank, healer, and damage dealer. The article evaluates the pros and cons of such an arrangement and takes a look at some alternatives. "Eliminating specialized roles means that we do away with boxing a class into a single role. Without Tanks, each class would have features that would help them participate in and survive many different encounters like heavy armor, strong avoidance, or some class or magical abilities that allow them to disengage from direct combat. Without specialized DPS, all classes should be able to do damage in order to defeat enemies. Some classes might specialize in damage type, like area of effect (AoE) damage; others might be able to exploit enemy weaknesses, and some might just be good at swinging a sharpened bit of metal in the right direction at a rapid rate. This design isn't just about having each class able to fill any trinity role. MMO combat would feel more dynamic in this system. Every player would have to react to combat events and defend against attacks."

Some people claim that the UNIX learning curve is steep, but at least you only have to climb it once.

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