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Censorship

+ - Missouri governor changes Student-Teacher Facebook->

Submitted by bs0d3
bs0d3 (2439278) writes "This year Missouri passed an unpopular law that made headlines across the internet. Banning teachers from being friends with their students on facebook and twitter. We've been following this story since the beginning and today the law is finally officially gone (sort of). After an emergency injunction from the courts stopping this law because it violated free speech, the battle continued. The governor was still at odds with the Senate because they've authored a new bill that's still attempting to mandate that schools adopt their own policies about online chats and text messages. But the governor did finally sign the new bill, hesitantly."
Link to Original Source

+ - The Kindleis getting support for HTML5-> 4

Submitted by Nate the greatest
Nate the greatest (2261802) writes "It looks like Amazon won't be adopting Epub after all. Today Amazon released some some technical details on the new Kindle ebook format, which they are calling Kindle 8. There are a lot of interesting changes to the file, including new formatting and SVG images. The new tags are going to open up a whole lot of new possibilities for making Kindle ebooks."
Link to Original Source

Comment: degradation of paper books... (Score 2) 181

by laxsu19 (#35323250) Attached to: HarperCollins Wants Library EBooks to Self-Destruct After 26 Loans
not to support those who support DRM, but I can kind of see where HaperCollins is coming from. I mean paper books degrade over time, ebooks do not. I can't claim to know if '26' is the avg borrowers of a paperbook before it gets replaced (or more likely retired), but if HC is just trying to make sure the libraries aren't getting more for their dollar (actually, that HC is getting less $s for their work), then I have no beef with them.
Star Wars Prequels

Big Changes Planned For The Force Unleashed 2 100

Posted by Soulskill
from the franchise-strikes-back dept.
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed debuted in 2008 to less than stellar reviews, but sales of the game were strong. A sequel for the game is due out in October, and the developers spoke at length with the Guardian's Games blog about the improvements they've been working on. One of their priorities was adding depth to the combat system to make it less of a button-mash. "The team has completely redesigned all the familiar Force powers from the first title including Force Push and Force Grip, and has added a few newcomers including the potentially amusing Force Mind Trick that'll allow you to trick Storm Troopers into leaping from high ledges." Enemy AI is another area that's getting some love, and they're trying to make level design more open and less linear. The team's confidence in the changes they're making stems in part from much greater familiarity with their game-building tools. "Like its predecessor, Force Unleashed 2 will combine three third-party physics engines, Havok, Euphoria and Digital Molecular Matter, to provide cutting edge human animation, materials effects and authentic physical forces. ... 'Whenever you're building the first iteration [of a game series] and a brand new game engine at the same time, everything comes in hot and fast – we were literally figuring out how to get the most out of those three technologies all the way up to shipping. The DLC then helped us to learn more, and that knowledge has given us the biggest leap forward.'" A trailer for the game was released at E3.
Government

Survey Says To UK — Repeal Laws of Thermodynamics 208

Posted by kdawson
from the einstein-is-next-up-against-the-wall dept.
mostxlnt writes "As we noted, the new Tory UK government has launched a website asking its subjects which laws they'd most like repealed. There are proposals up for repeal of the Laws of Thermodynamics: Second, Third, and all (discussion thread on this one closed by a moderator). One comment on the Third [now apparently deleted] elucidated: 'Without the Third Law of Thermodynamics, it would be possible to build machines that would last forever and provide an endless source of cheap energy. thus solving both potential crises in energy supply as well as solving the greenhouse gas problem in one step... simples... eh?'"
The Internet

Blizzard Previews Revamped Battle.net 188

Posted by Soulskill
from the find-out-precisely-how-bad-you-are dept.
Blizzard updated the official StarCraft II site today with a preview of how the revamped Battle.net will function. They emphasize the social features, competitive matchmaking system, and the ease of sharing mods and maps. Quoting: "When the legacy Battle.net service introduced support for user-created mods such as DotA, Tower Defense, and many others, these user-created game types became immensely popular. But while Battle.net supported mods at a basic level, integration with tools and the mod community wasn't where it needed to be for a game releasing in 2010. The new Battle.net service will see some major improvements in this area. StarCraft II will include a full-featured content-creation toolkit — the same tools used by the StarCraft II design team to create the single-player campaign. To fully harness the community's mapmaking prowess, Battle.net will introduce a feature called Map Publishing. Map Publishing will let users upload their maps to the service and share them with the rest of the community immediately on the service. This also ties in with the goal of making Battle.net an always-connected experience — you can publish, browse, and download maps directly via the Battle.net client. Finding games based on specific mods will also be much easier with our all-new custom game system, placing the full breadth of the modding community's efforts at your fingertips."

Comment: Qualification is what matters! (Score 1) 505

by laxsu19 (#31074502) Attached to: Call For Scientific Research Code To Be Released
So what if there are bugs, isn't what matters that the answer is correct? This is done, at least in my organization, as follows: 1) with a test problem. you can run a calculation that is easily solved analyitically and then compare results. You can also challenge yourself a little more by running a problem with ready experimental results for, and then again, comparing results. Only after this first step is done (many, many, many times)does confidence in the code build up and it can begin to be used in new areas. This is called qualification, verification, or validation. 2) When attacking problems not previously solved (which, after all, is the reason for writing the code), the scientist/engineer/end-user must have an expectation of what the results will be like. They may not know values, but they should expect what has changed since the last model they ran (i.e., "if I increase temperature by 10 degrees in my model, then this should happen..."). 3) While this may not be possible in all fields, either an experiment, or manufactured product should be tested to ensure that you got out what you predicted with your code. Engineering organizations can do this. Climatologists probably can't, I'd imagine. While I don't care about the debate of opening up the source code, I take issue with the fact that a comp sci guy looked at some scientist/engineer's code and said 'omg bugs!' Sure, it may not be how the comp sci expert would program, but it doesn't matter in the end (provided qualification is done adequately). Personally, I don't want to open up my code beyond who is necessary to see it - the code is not the end, its just a means. Its like a Doctor allowing everyone to see his personal diary on patients - its only work to support the diagnosis, and not the diagnosis itself.
Novell

Novell Bringing .Net Developers To Apple iPad 315

Posted by timothy
from the odd-confluence dept.
GMGruman writes "Paul Krill reports that Apple's new iPad could be easier to write apps for, thanks to Novell's MonoTouch development platform, which helps .Net developers create code for the iPad and fully comply with Apple's licensing requirements — without having to use Apple's preferred Objective-C. This news falls on the footsteps of news that Citrix will release an iPad app that lets users run Windows sessions on the iPad. These two developments bolster an argument that the iPad could eventually displace the netbook."
Science

Colliding Particles Can Make Black Holes After All 269

Posted by Soulskill
from the act-now-while-supplies-last dept.
cremeglace writes with this excerpt from ScienceNOW: "You've heard the controversy. Particle physicists predict the world's new highest-energy atom smasher, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) near Geneva, Switzerland, might create tiny black holes, which they say would be a fantastic discovery. Some doomsayers fear those black holes might gobble up the Earth — physicists say that's impossible — and have petitioned the United Nations to stop the $5.5 billion LHC. Curiously, though, nobody had ever shown that the prevailing theory of gravity, Einstein's theory of general relativity, actually predicts that a black hole can be made this way. Now a computer model shows conclusively for the first time that a particle collision really can make a black hole." That said, they estimate the required energy for creating a black hole this way to be roughly "a quintillion times higher than the LHC's maximum"; though if one of the theories requiring compact extra dimensions is true, the energy could be lower.
Emulation (Games)

Emulating New Super Mario Bros. Wii At 1080p 76

Posted by Soulskill
from the super-high-def-mario dept.
KingofGnG writes "An impressive confirmation of the Dolphin Wii emulator's capabilities comes from a YouTube video, which shows off recently-added video clips of New Super Mario Bros. Wii in full HD. It demonstrates the growing compatibility of Dolphin with the latest games published for the Nintendo console."
Graphics

DX11 Tested Against DX9 With Dirt 2 Demo 201

Posted by Soulskill
from the shadows-with-shadows dept.
MojoKid writes "The PC demo for Codemasters' upcoming DirectX 11 racing title, Dirt 2, has just hit the web and is available for download. Dirt 2 is a highly-anticipated racing sim that also happens to feature leading-edge graphic effects. In addition to a DirectX 9 code path, Dirt 2 also utilizes a number of DirectX 11 features, like hardware-tessellated dynamic water, an animated crowd and dynamic cloth effects, in addition to DirectCompute 11-accelerated high-definition ambient occlusion (HADO), full floating-point high dynamic range (HDR) lighting, and full-screen resolution post processing. Performance-wise, DX11 didn't take its toll as much as you'd expect this early on in its adoption cycle." Bit-tech also took a look at the graphical differences, arriving at this conclusion: "You'd need a seriously keen eye and brown paper envelope full of cash from one of the creators of Dirt 2 to notice any real difference between textures in the two versions of DirectX."
Games

Avataritis — On the Abundance of Customizable Game Characters 78

Posted by Soulskill
from the forty-nine-precisely-placed-freckles dept.
Martyn Zachary writes "The Slowdown has posted a new critique, 'Avataritis,' that attempts to portray the utilization of character customization as a pandemic, emotional response on behalf of publishers and developers to finding the easiest, most efficient solution to the very unique dilemma presented by the enlarging, widening player base of video games. 'No mechanisms are in place stopping developers from writing and designing heterogeneous yet fully structured, narrative-based computer games with carefully constructed and immutable, unchangeable characters.' The article discusses the emergence and role of gender criticism and research in relation to the recent proliferation of the customizable avatar. The story also dissects the very act of character creation, subsequently aiming to clarify several semantic distortions related to the terminology utilized in character creation, and in turn breaking apart the concepts of relatability and understandability, wholly differentiating the two. The overarching analysis is finally related to examples from the gaming marketplace, where many continue to corroborate apparent falsehoods and misunderstandings in relation to the utilization of the avatar. Ultimately, the writer hopes to dissuade readers, developers and players from believing that written narratives are going away as customization and emergent content are entering video games with full force."

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