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Role Playing (Games)

Can a Video Game Solve Hunger, Disease and Poverty? 72 72

destinyland writes "Dr. Jane McGonigal of the RAND Corporation's Institute for the Future has created a game described as 'a crash course in changing the world.' Developed for the World Bank's 'capacity development' branch, EVOKE has already gathered more than 10,000 potential solutions from participants, including executives from Procter & Gamble and Kraft. '[Dr. McGonigal] takes threats to human existence — global food shortage, fuel wars, pandemic, refugee crisis, and upended democracy — and asks the gaming public to collaborate on how to avoid these all too possible futures.' And by completing its 10 missions, you too can become a World Bank Institute certified EVOKE social innovator. (The game designer's web site lays out her ambitious philosophy. 'Reality is broken,' but 'game designers can fix it.')"

Comment How to Search Android Market from a PC (Score 5, Interesting) 226 226

You *can* search the Android Market from your PC, without having an Android phone.
1. download the Android SDK
2. start an Android Emulator, this gets you a virtual phone that uses your PC's internet connection
3. load the Android Market application on to the Emulator
4. Open the Android Market application
5. Search the Android Market

This is not an easy process. But, I have done it, and it works.

Science

World's Smallest Superconductor Discovered 72 72

arcticstoat writes "One of the barriers to the development of nanoscale electronics has potentially been eliminated, as scientists have discovered the world's smallest superconductor. Made up of four pairs of molecules, and measuring just 0.87nm, the superconductor could potentially be used as a nanoscale interconnect in electronic devices, but without the heat and power dissipation problems associated with standard metal conductors."
Patents

Submission + - First Domino Falls in DNA Patents, Is Code Next ?->

anonsdo writes: The NY Times reported here ( http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/31/nyregion/31about.html ) on invalidation of a group of DNA patents ( decision here: http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/national/20100329_patent_opinion.pdf ). The basis of the rejection was that "products of nature do not constitute patentable subject matter" (at page 107). This writer wonders what algorithms may be products of nature. Are there encryption algorithms that are products of nature, and therefore not patentable? How about memory storage devices? ...bus architectures? If we find parallels in nature to what we do in code, is it the ultimate "prior art"?
Link to Original Source

Submission + - MIT says 'A unified theory of AI' found 1 1

aftab14 writes: From the news source:

“What’s brilliant about this (approach) is that it allows you to build a cognitive model in a fantastically much more straightforward and transparent way than you could do before,” says Nick Chater, a professor of cognitive and decision sciences at University College London. “You can imagine all the things that a human knows, and trying to list those would just be an endless task, and it might even be an infinite task. But the magic trick is saying, ‘No, no, just tell me a few things,’ and then the brain — or in this case the Church system, hopefully somewhat analogous to the way the mind does it — can churn out, using its probabilistic calculation, all the consequences and inferences. And also, when you give the system new information, it can figure out the consequences of that.”

News url: http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2010/ai-unification.html
Censorship

Submission + - First blog faces censure by PCC

mernilio writes: Former Radio 4 Today editor Rod Liddle has become the first journalist to have an online blog censured by the press watchdog. A complaint was upheld by the Press Complaints Commission after the writer and columnist claimed on the Spectator website that the "overwhelming majority" of violent crime in London was carried out by young Afro-Caribbean men.
Censorship

Submission + - Scores of undead Aussies rally for game rating->

mask.of.sanity writes: Up to 500 gamers hit Sydney dressed as zombies to raise awareness about the lack of an R18+ rating for video games in Australia

The protest began at Hyde Park Fountain last Saturday and lumbered through Sydney, informing the public of the need for a higher classification rating, and causing hysteria in others.

The push for an R18+ classification is long with lobby groups failing for a decade to convince the Federal Government to introduce the measure. But the recent exit of South Australian Attorney General Michael Atkinson — a staunch opponent to an R18+ video game classification — was celebrated in gaming circles as the removal of a signficant roadblock to reform. His replacement is said to support the reforms.

Video games are banned from sale in Australia if they exceed the maximum MA15+ classification. Gamers and industry advocates say a higher rating will prevent the sale of violent games to minors and put Australia's law on par with other countries including the US, the UK and New Zealand. Opponents argue exposure to violent media causes aggression within participants.

You can see Computerworld's slideshow of the pre-zombie bash and the first zombie march here.

Link to Original Source
Bug

Submission + - Ubuntu Releases Patch for SSD-Destroying Bug->

Rozine writes: Today Ubuntu released a patch for Karmic that stops the destruction of some SSDs caused by a software bug. This is great news, especially since just yesterday we sent my wife's Eee PC for warranty service due to this same issue. The kicker? The bug was first reported in October 2009! Is it time to look to other distros for the crown of easy-to-use Linux? To me, allowing a *hardware destroying* bug to sit for months, whatever the cause, is completely unacceptable. Hopefully I've applied the patch on my other computers fast enough to prevent permanent damage on them as well.
Link to Original Source

I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when you looked at it in the right way, did not become still more complicated. -- Poul Anderson

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