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Games

Simulating Emotions Within Games 47

Gamasutra is running an opinion piece about the way video games handle simulated emotions. Most often, an non-player character's emotional state is used to either tell a story or to drive gameplay. The author suggests that as both concepts become more complex in modern games, the simulation of emotions must also become more dynamic to remain interesting. Quoting: "Most of our emotional simulations use a simple sensation/calculation/behavior loop. Someone says or does something to a character; this influences his emotional state; he acts upon his feelings. His emotional state then reverts to a more neutral state over time (I was angry half an hour ago, but I've calmed down now), or changes again in response to another sensation. If these systems are really simple they produce absurd results: a character is furious one moment and cheerful a second later, like a Warner Brothers cartoon character. This is the kind of thing you get with finite state machines. This approach doesn't take into account the fact that behavior itself changes emotions. Behavior is not merely an output to be exhibited; it also affects how we feel. It feeds back into our emotional state."
Google

Google Deprecates SOAP API 240

Michi writes "Brady Forrest at O'Reilly Radar reports that Google has deprecated their SOAP API; they aren't giving out any new SOAP Search API keys. Nelson Minar (the original author of the Google SOAP API) argues that this move is motivated by business reasons rather than technical ones. Does this mark the beginning of the end for SOAP or for ubiquitous middleware in general?" Forrest's post quotes developer Paul Bausch: "This is such a bad move because the Google API was the canonical example of how web services work. Not only is Google Hacks based on this API, but hundreds of other books and online examples use the Google API to show how to incorporate content from another site into a 3rd party application."
Sci-Fi

Submission + - Doctor Who to be legally downloadable

Porsupah writes: It appears Azureus Inc. and BBC Worldwide have reached agreement on making Doctor Who, as well as a few other series including Red Dwarf, Fawlty Towers, and The League of Gentlemen, available as legal downloads on their recently announced Azureus 3.0-based Zudeo platform. There's no word yet on what episodes, pricing, or DRM.
Power

Submission + - The Auto Efficiency Wedge

Prof. Goose writes: "In this piece, I wanted to take up a more precise consideration of how much auto efficiency improvements might contribute to solving what I called the terrible trio of energy dependence on unstable regimes, global warming, and the peaking or plateauing of liquid fuel supply. My examples are all US, but I think the lessons mostly carry over (if a little less urgently) to other developed countries.

I'll be reasoning mainly by looking at what we did in the 1970s, which was the last time we faced severe energy constraints that bled through into requiring a demand side response.

To begin with, let's refresh our memories about the history of oil prices, which tells the story of the oil shocks quite well.

http://www.theoildrum.com/story/2006/12/17/1377/01 32"

Marriage is the sole cause of divorce.

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