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+ - Xbox Live and PlayStation Network both down due to an apparent attack

Submitted by mrspoonsi
mrspoonsi (2955715) writes "Both Xbox Live and PlayStation Network are down this morning, apparently due to a denial-of-service attack. The notorious hacking group Lizard Squad — which already carried out earlier attacks on Microsoft and Sony — has claimed responsibility on Twitter for these latest outages. While the group's role in all of this remains unconfirmed, it's worth noting that the group threatened last week to take down Xbox Live and PSN, according to Business Insider. And again, Lizard Squad has already proven it can successfully pull off such attacks, not to mention other malicious pranks.

Whatever the cause, the timing is obviously terrible: Plenty of people surely received one of the two consoles as Christmas presents today, while many more gamers would have happily spent the afternoon in front of the TV. In the meantime, both Sony and Microsoft have acknowledged the problem, with Sony issuing a tweet and Microsoft posting a message on its support website: "We're working to address this as quickly as we possibly can," reads its status website. "Thanks for your patience, Xbox members." In an email, a Microsoft spokesperson declined to comment further or say when the company expects to restore service. We've also asked Sony to comment and will update this post if and when it does."

+ - US Navy Sells 'Top Gun' Aircraft Carrier for One Penny 2

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Kitsap Sun reports at Military.com that the USS Ranger, a 1,050-foot-long, 56,000-ton Forrestal-class aircraft carrier, is being towed from the inactive ship maintenance facility at Puget Sound for a 3,400-mile, around-Cape Horn voyage to a Texas dismantler who acquired the Vietnam-era warship for a penny for scrap metal. “Under the contract, the company will be paid $0.01. The price reflects the net price proposed by International Shipbreaking, which considered the estimated proceeds from the sale of the scrap metal to be generated from dismantling,” said officials for NAVSEA. “[One cent] is the lowest price the Navy could possibly have paid the contractor for towing and dismantling the ship.”

The Ranger was commissioned Aug. 10, 1957, at Norfolk Naval Shipyard and decommissioned July 10, 1993, after more than 35 years of service. It was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on March 8, 2004, and redesignated for donation. After eight years on donation hold, the USS Ranger Foundation was unable to raise the funds to convert the ship into a museum or to overcome the physical obstacles of transporting the ship up the Columbia River to Fairview, Oregon. As a result, the Ranger was removed from the list of ships available for donation and designated for dismantling. The Navy, which can't retain inactive ships indefinitely, can't donate a vessel unless the application fully meets the Navy's minimum requirements. The Ranger had been in pristine condition, but for a week in August volunteers from other naval museums were allowed to remove items to improve their ships. The Ranger was in a slew of movies and television shows, including "The Six Million Dollar Man," "Flight of the Intruder" and "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" where it stood in for the USS Enterprise carrier. But the Ranger’s most famous role was in the 1980’s Tom Cruise hit, "Top Gun." “We would have liked to have seen it become a museum, but it just wasn’t in the cards,” Navy spokesman Chris Johnson told Fox. “But unfortunately, it is a difficult proposition to raise funds. The group that was going to collect donations had a $35 million budget plan but was only able to raise $100,000.”"

+ - 300 Million Year Old Fossil Fish Likely Had Color Vision ->

Submitted by westlake
westlake (615356) writes "Nature is reporting the discovery of mineralized rods and cones in a 300 million year old fossil fish found in Kansas. The soft tissues of the eye and brain decay rapidly after death, within 64 days and 11 days, respectively, and are almost never preserved in the fossil record — making this is the first discovery of fossil rods and cones in general and the first evidence for color vision in a fossilized vertebrate eye."
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Comment: Sitting team handball perhaps? (Score 1) 232

by tepples (#48669569) Attached to: Should Video Games Be In the Olympics?

Basketball, team handball, soccer, rugby and gridiron football are members of a family of sports based on advancing the ball into the goal based on restrictions against arbitrarily carrying it. A Paralympic sport in the same family is wheelchair basketball. I wonder what sort of other sports in the same family could be invented for people with no legs like Jennifer Bricker in the same way that volleyball was adapted into sitting volleyball.

Comment: StepMania, but not yet (Score 1) 232

by tepples (#48669485) Attached to: Should Video Games Be In the Olympics?

How do you define dancing games as well? These are clearly very physically demanding games.

Once Konami's patents on Dance Dance Revolution expire in a few more years, I would be willing to add StepMania alongside floor exercise. StepMania is physical but doesn't need nearly as many human judges as the existing gymnastic events.

Comment: Games leave the market (Score 1) 232

by tepples (#48669465) Attached to: Should Video Games Be In the Olympics?

Any argument against e-sports works equally well against shooting and archery

You can still buy new equipment for shooting or archery. You can't buy new equipment for pre-infinite-spin Tetris because Tetris Holding won't let anybody sell it.

competitive archery is one of the oldest sports, at least 2800 years old

I'm in favor of including any sport that's at least 95 years old.

Trying to be happy is like trying to build a machine for which the only specification is that it should run noiselessly.

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