3-year-old Mandy Simon started crying when her teddy bear had to go through the X-ray machine at airport security in Chattanooga, Tenn. She was so upset that she refused to go calmly through the metal detector, setting it off twice. Agents then informed her parents that she "must be hand-searched." The subsequent TSA employee pat down of the screaming child was captured by her father, who happens to be a reporter, on his cell phone. The video have left some questioning why better procedures for children aren't in place. I, for one, feel much safer knowing the TSA is protecting us from impressionable minds warped by too much Dora the Explorer.
sammyF70 writes "Adafruit's bounty on open source drivers for Microsoft's Kinect may have been already won. Someone called 'KinectMan2' has posted videos of Kinect's output as seen on Windows 7 to YouTube. That was fast. Hopefully Linux drivers are coming soon." A few more details are available on a forum post the man made. Adafruit said the bounty could be his if he posts the source code, and they also upped the reward to $3,000 in response to another silly statement from Microsoft.
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.)"
tetrahedrassface writes "When the Sociolinguistics Symposium met earlier this month swearing scholar Timothy Jay revealed that an increase in child swearing is directly related to an increase in adult swearing. It seems that vulgarity is increasing as pop culture continues to popularize vulgarities. The blame lies with media, public figures, politicians, but mostly ourselves. From the article: 'Children as young as two are now dropping f-bombs, with researchers reporting that more kids are using profanity — and at earlier ages — than has been recorded in at least three decades.'"
It's one of the fastest-growing health issues that doctors now face: "Google-itis." Everyone from concerned mothers to businessmen on their lunch break are typing in symptoms and coming up with rare diseases or just plain wrong information. Many doctors are bringing computers into examination rooms now so they can search along with patients to alleviate their fears. "I'm not looking for a relationship where the patient accepts my word as the gospel truth," says Dr. James Valek. "I just feel the Internet brings so much misinformation to the (exam) room that we have to fight through all that before we can get to the problem at hand."
Kwang-il Kwon and Hye Gwang Jeong of Chungnam National University have discovered that drinking alcohol with oxygen bubbles added leads to fewer hangovers and a shorter sobering up time. People drinking the bubbly booze sobered up 20-30 minutes faster and had less severe and fewer hangovers than people who drank the non-fizzy stuff. Kwon said: "The oxygen-enriched alcohol beverage reduces plasma alcohol concentrations faster than a normal dissolved-oxygen alcohol beverage does. This could provide both clinical and real-life significance. The oxygen-enriched alcohol beverage would allow individuals to become sober faster, and reduce the side effects of acetaldehyde without a significant difference in alcohol's effects. Furthermore, the reduced time to a lower BAC may reduce alcohol-related accidents."
Citing massive growth in their user base ("25 million users, 1000+ games, 12 billion player minutes per month, and 75 billion Steam client minutes per month"), Valve unveiled a revamped UI for Steam on Tuesday, opening the beta test to anyone who wants to try it out. There are many changes, and an increased focus on social features: "Right from within your own game Library, you can now track which of your friends plays each game or invite them to play one with you. Before you've even bought a game, knowing whether your friends play it is one of the most useful pieces of information to have. So on the store homepage, there's a new listing of what your friends have bought or played lately." Tracking games and achievements have both gotten simpler, and Valve has dropped the Internet Explorer rendering engine in favor of WebKit. An enterprising user also found files that may indicate the existence of an OS X Steam client.
andylim writes "recombu.com is running an interesting piece about how Apple has created a 'Jumanji (board game) platform.' The 9.7-inch multi-touch screen is perfect for playing board games at home, and you could use Wi-Fi or 3G to play against other people when you're on your own. What would be really interesting is if you could pair the iPad with iPhones, 'Imagine a Scrabble iPad game that used iPhones as letter holders. You could hold up your iPhone so that no one else could see your letters and when you were ready to make a word on the Scrabble iPad board, you could slide them on to the board by flicking the word tiles off your iPhone.' Now that would be cool."
Ubisoft has announced that the next stand-alone Assassin's Creed title will come out next year, and it will be the first in the series to come with an online multiplayer mode. The company also said it will be "shoring up its focus on competitive AAA core titles on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3" in the coming year, making mention of upcoming releases for the Tom Clancy game series and a new Prince of Persia title.
Research has shown that having an oddball team member not only gives you someone to make fun of, but also leads to better decision making. Researcher Katie Liljenquist, says having "socially distinct newcomers" on a team can help it perform at a higher level. Team tension is crucial, and shaking up the same old crowd is the way to create it. "You can imagine if you work in an office and you've got this outsider like Dwight Schrute who walks in and a lot of his ideas resonate with you. Your fellow in-group members are hearing this and thinking, 'Wait, you agree with Dwight?' That can be really uncomfortable and socially threatening," she says.
tsamsoniw writes "Singapore-based Atlantis Resources Corporation, which brings to the table tidal-turbine technology, is partnering with Scotland-based datacenter developer Internet Villages International) to construct a tidal-powered 150MW 'Blue Datacenter,' InfoWorld reports. If all goes to plan, the facility will eventually be powered entirely by clean energy produced by tidal-current turbines in the Pentland Firth, the stretch of water between the far north Scottish mainland and Orkney. The firth's currents could generate 700 megawatts of electricity by 2020." And reader Mike writes "Here's something to raise a glass to: recently the Rothes consortium of whiskey and scotch distillers announced that they have partnered with Helius Energy to install a power plant fueled entirely by whiskey by-products. The completed plant will use biomass cogeneration to convert draff and pot ale from the distillery into 7.2 MW of electricity — enough to power 9,000 homes."
IGN reports that Prince of Persia will be getting downloadable content on February 26th for the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game. It will be an epilogue to the original game, and it will add about three hours of gameplay. "Expect everything to be at a higher pace and to keep you on the edge of your seat. Figuring out how to succeed passing this long acrobatic sequence mined with traps or how to defeat this boss before he regenerates his energy will definitely be more intense. What hardcore Prince of Persia gamers want is a challenge and some of them found the game too easy. We understand this. Seeing such feedback, our vision and intentions with the DLC coincided with their comments quite well. We wanted to build a challenge and experience even greater with all the tools at our disposal, and let me say that there are a lot: Elika's power, traps, combat system, etc."
SlappingOysters writes "Gameplayer has gone live with their best PC hardware configurations for Q1 2009. They've broken it into three tiers depending on the investor's budget. And while the prices are regional, it is comparative across the globe. The site has also detailed the 10 Hottest PC Games of 2009 to unveil the software on the horizon which may seduce gamers into an upgrade."
An anonymous reader writes "Rahul Sood, HP's CTO of gaming, argues that the days of a market that wants PCs running three $500 GPUs is history; he argues that it's really a tough or impossible sell. '... let's face it, high-end hardware has delivered diminishing returns in terms of value. This is why you don't see ridiculous offerings like Quad SLI and 2-kilowatt power supplies coming from our company.' But don't the ideas of customization and market pricing for components tend to undercut that? Is the gaming PC dead?"
djpretzel writes "OC ReMix just released a free download of our official soundtrack to Capcom's Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix game for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles. While video game companies have worked with fans in the past, HD Remix is the first major video game with a completely fan-made soundtrack. More than twenty gamers from around the world contributed remixes of the original Street Fighter games' music for inclusion in the updated game, in styles including jazz, hip-hop, reggaeton, spaghetti western, garage rock, big beat and electronica. MP3s and a torrent (also including FLAC) are available at OCReMix."