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Submission + - Valve Announces DotA 2 (

RulerOf 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.


Submission + - Phys Ed: Can Exercise Make Kids Smarter? (

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.

PC Games (Games)

Valve's Battle Against Cheaters 336

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.'"

Submission + - Google's Islam Censor ( 5

codewarren 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.

"You can't get very far in this world without your dossier being there first." -- Arthur Miller