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Minecraft Is Finished 272

SharkLaser writes "Minecraft, the most widely known and best selling indie game in the history, is now finished. Minecraft creator Notch tweeted yesterday that Minecraft has gone gold and will be released at the end of the week at the first Minecon, a gathering of Minecraft fans. So far over 4 million people have bought the game, generating over 50 million dollars in revenue. Minecraft has also had a rapid modding community around the game, developing gems like the Millenaire mod, Builders and Tornadoes. Minecraft also brought back the interest in voxel based engines, introducing games like Ace of Spades (build, make tunnels, capture the flag FPS) and Voxatron [note: you might want to turn down your volume for this video]. It also opened up many ways for new indie developers, as Minecraft showed development can be funded solely by making something new and giving out early access to the game for those who are interested in the project. The upcoming Steam-like IndieCity-platform will also employ similar feature where, in addition to normal indie game store, players can look at unfinished projects and choose to support their development."

Comment Re:Wide-spread discussion. (Score 1) 322

I agree. I just replaced my 1st generation iPhone with a Tilt (the ability to run more than one program at once is amazing btw) and since the iPhone needs a special SIM card, I just used a blank one to activate my Tilt. Whenever I ported my service off, I never turned off my iPhone. This was 2 weeks ago. Yesterday, I looked at my iPhone and was surprised to see it still on and running. It said that it had No Service, but, amazingly, the battery level was still above 50%.

That just shows you how much the antenna sucks out of the battery.


Submission + - Install Solar Panels, get foreclosed->

gambit3 writes: "According to the Dallas Fox affiliate, the exclusive Valley Ranch subdivision outside of Dallas is threatening to foreclose on a homeowner. His crime? Installing solar panels. They claim it is an eyesore, even though the panels can be seen only from the lawn of one neighbor, and he has no problems with the panels."
Link to Original Source

Lake Disappears into Andes 307

steveb3210 writes "It seems that what was once a 5-acre glacial lake in the Andes has mysteriously disappeared. 'In March we patrolled the area and everything was normal,' Juan Jose Romero from Chile's National Forestry Corporation, Conaf, said. 'We went again in May and to our surprise we found that the lake had completely disappeared. All that was left were chunks of ice and an enormous fissure.'" The current theory is that an earthquake opened the ground and allowed the lake to drain. Looks like global warming is off the hook this time around.

Submission + - Subpoenas Issued over NSA Warrantless Wiretapping->

Spamicles writes: "The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to subpoena documents from the Bush Administration related to the government's admitted eavesdropping on Americans' overseas emails and phone calls without getting court approval. In a 13-3 vote, the Committee decided to authorize chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) to issue subpoenas for documents related to the NSA warrantless surveillance program. Nearly any request is going to be met with tough resistance from the White House, and the confrontation over the documents "could set the stage for a constitutional showdown over the separation of powers.""
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Air-powered Hybrid Cars To Market In India In 2008-> 1

djasbestos writes: Motor Development International of France and Tata Motors of India are teaming up to bring a new kind of (nearly) pollution-free hybrid car.

From the article: "Instead of those tiny, tiny explosions of gasoline and oxygen pushing the pistons up and down, like in a normal internal combustion engine, the all-aluminum four-cylinder air engine used compressed air for the job.

"A hybrid version, using a small gasoline engine to power an onboard compressor for a constant supply of compressed air, is claimed to be able to travel from Los Angeles to New York on just one tank of gas."

A similar vehicle developed by Energine Corporation (South Korea) is mentioned, whose design supplants an electric battery for the small gas motor in powering the air compressor. The battery is also used to power the vehicle once it has reached cruising speed.

Link to Original Source

Backyard Chefs Fired Up Over Infrared Grills 229

Vicissidude writes "With the expiration of a key patent, major gas-grill manufacturers have scrambled to bring infrared cooking to the masses. The grills are still powered by propane and have traditional gas burners that heat mostly by convection — or hot air. But they also can cook foods with radiant heat generated by one or more infrared burners. Char-Broil says its advanced burners operate at 450 to 900 degrees, hotter than the 450 to 750 degrees of standard gas burners. And unlike charcoal, which can require 20 to 30 minutes to reach its 700-degree cooking temperature, heat from the infrared burners can be adjusted quickly. Bill Best, founder of Thermal Electric of Columbia, S.C., developed the technology in the 1960s, primarily to give automakers a faster way to dry the paint on cars."

Submission + - Pitt, Bell Lab Researchers Create New Matter Type

An anonymous reader writes: Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and Bell Labs created a new type of matter which has the properties of lasers and high-grade electrical conductors. This new matter type, called a polariton superfluid, allows the creators to move energy much more efficiently in a super-conductor type setting. However, this has the possibility of being used at room temperature, while previous superconductor designs have needed to be cooled to -280 to -400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Submission + - Digging Moon Dirt for $250,000--anyone want a job?

nlhouser writes: "How would it feel to be paid a huge pile of money to move a huge pile of simulated moon soil by using an autonomously operating system? Teams from Rancho Palos Verdes, California; Livermore, California; Berkeley, California; Fulks Run, Virginia; Rolla, MO; Berkley, Michigan, Milwaukee; Vancouver and British Columbia, have all registered to find out. The Regolith Excavation Challenge on May 12, 2007, will pay a team to excavate and deliver as much dirt as possible in 30 minutes — administered by the California Space Education and Workforce Institute, part of the California Space Authority in Santa Maria, California. This is one of seven challenges by NASA, and must use less than 30 W of power, while weighing less than 40k and excavate more than 150 kg of the required simulated moon dirt. This challenge is extremely important, as it is the first necessary step toward uncovering what is considered important in the moon's resources in the most economical and quickest way possible. Entitled the NASA's "2007 Regolith Excavation Centennial Challenge Overview", the challenge will be in a specific "head to head" competition format: Each team's excavation system must be fully autonomous Systems will perform in a square sandbox with compressed lunar regolith simulant Mass of the system cannot exceed 40 kilograms 30 Watts of DC power will be provided to the system Each system will have 30 minutes to excavate as much regolith as possible and deliver it to the fixed collector adjacent to the sandbox The total purse of $250,000 will go to the winning teams excavating the most regolith above 150 kilograms Where proposals were the original solution to ongoing NASA programs, recently it was found that "making awards based on actual achievements" resulted in novel and lower-cost solutions. The end challenge to this particular competition is the actual moon atmosphere. Resistance to penetration and blocking properties are due to the planet's exposure to the space environment — not because of the traditional influences of water, wind, or volcanic processes, as on Earth. According to NASA and the Centennial Challenge program, additional challenges are the lunar regolith's properties of weight, power, and time limitations from interplanetary travel. At this time, the lunar excavation requirements are unmet by any of the challenging teams for excavation technologies that are developed for any terrestrial use as they are still heavy, using lots of power, and still require a human operator. What is still needed is something lighter, more power efficient, while still being able to operate autonomously — all will be needed when excavating the real moon dirt in the near future."

The reason computer chips are so small is computers don't eat much.