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Earth

Dinosaur Feather Color Discovered 219

Posted by timothy
from the horsefeathers-still-a-mystery dept.
anzha writes "Do you remember being a kid and told we'd never know what colors the dinosaurs were? For at least some, that's no longer true. Scientists working in the UK and China have closely examined the fossils of multiple theropods and actually found the colors and patterns that were present in the fossilized proto-feathers. So far, the answer is orange, black and white in banded and other patterns. The work also thoroughly thrashes the idea that fossils might not be feathers, but collagen fibers instead. If this holds up, Birds Are Dinosaurs. Period. And colorful!"
First Person Shooters (Games)

Modern Warfare 2 Surpasses $1 Billion Mark; Dedicated Servers What? 258

Posted by Soulskill
from the our-bark-is-worse-than-our-boycott dept.
The Opposable Thumbs blog is running an interesting article contrasting everything Activision did "wrong" in creating and marketing Modern Warfare 2 with the game's unqualified success. Despite price hikes, somewhat shady review practices, exploit frustrations, and the dedicated server fiasco, the game has raked in over a billion dollars in sales. "There was only one way to review Modern Warfare 2: on the Xbox 360, in Santa Barbara, under the watchful eye of Activision. Accepting the paid trip, along with room and board, was the only way you were going to get a review before launch. Joystiq noted that this broke their ethics policy, but they went anyway. Who can say no to a review destined to bring in traffic? Shacknews refused to call their coverage a 'review' because of the ethical issues inherent in the situation, but that stance was unique. The vast majority of news outlets didn't disclose how the review was conducted, or added a disclaimer after the nature of the review was made public. This proved to Activision that if you're big enough, you can dictate the exact terms of any review, and no ethics policy will make news outlets turn you down."
Censorship

Modern Warfare 2 Not Recalled In Russia After All 94

Posted by Soulskill
from the it's-the-thought-that-counts dept.
thief21 writes "After claims that console versions Modern Warfare 2 had been recalled in Russia due to complaints from politicians and the gaming public over the infamous airport slaughter scene, it turns out the stories were completely untrue. Activision never released a console version of the game in Russia." Instead, they simply edited the notorious scene out of the PC version. They did this of their own volition, since Russia doesn't have a formal ratings committee.
The Internet

+ - Pirate Bay Archive Goes Online->

Submitted by
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "With the main Pirate Bay website experiencing DNS issues, downtime and uncertainty about both the lawsuits and potential sale to GGF, a Pirate Bay clone has already gone online. True to their principles, someone at TPB put up a torrent with a 21.3 GB copy of the site as it exists today. And now that archive is alive, at BTArena.net. Linus' old adage about backing up everything by putting it on FTP and letting the world mirror it may need to be updated. Torrents are much more efficient."
Link to Original Source
Sun Microsystems

Sun Kills Rock CPU, Says NYT Report 190

Posted by timothy
from the what-we-meant-was dept.
BBCWatcher writes "Despite Oracle CEO Larry Ellison's recent statement that his company will continue Sun's hardware business, it won't be with Sun processors (and associated engineering jobs). The New York Times reports that Sun has canceled its long-delayed Rock processor, the next generation SPARC CPU. Instead, the Times says Sun/Oracle will have to rely on Fujitsu for SPARCs (and Intel otherwise). Unfortunately Fujitsu is decreasing its R&D budget and is unprofitable at present. Sun's cancellation of Rock comes just after Intel announced yet another delay for Tukwila, the next generation Itanium, now pushed to 2010. HP is the sole major Itanium vendor. Primary beneficiaries of this CPU turmoil: IBM and Intel's Nehalem X86 CPU business."
Idle

+ - English Language adopts its 1 millionth word 1

Submitted by
ddelmonte
ddelmonte writes "The Language Monitor — a "Newspaper of the English Language" reports that as of June 10th, 2009 at 10:22 am (Stratford-on Avon Time), the millionth word was added to the English Language. It is likely to raise the spirits of every Slashnerd — not. The word was "Web 2.0". The details of the story are here: http://www.languagemonitor.com/. From CNN: English contains more words than any other language on the planet and will add its millionth word early Wednesday, according to the Global Language Monitor, a Web site that uses a math formula to estimate how often words are created. The "Million Word March," however, has made the man who runs this word-counting project somewhat of a pariah in the linguistic community. Some linguists say it's impossible to count the number of words in a language because languages are always changing, and because defining what counts as a word is a fruitless endeavor. Paul J.J. Payack, president and chief word analyst for the Global Language Monitor, says, however, that the million-word estimation isn't as important as the idea behind his project, which is to show that English has become a complex, global language. "It's a people's language," he said. Other languages, like French, Payack said, put big walls around their vocabularies. English brings others in. "English has the tradition of swallowing new words whole," he said. "Other languages translate.""

Comment: Wii Hardware (Score 5, Interesting) 50

With MP3, the Wii felt laggy and sluggish. Although it was still playable, it didn't have the precision that I developed with the GameCube controller. I don't see any way around this - the Wii doesn't have the hardware for high-precision. I'd much rather use the GameCube controller than the Wii controller.
Wii

Metroid Prime Trilogy Being Updated For the Wii, Due In August 50

Posted by Soulskill
from the three-for-one dept.
On Friday, Nintendo revealed that the three Metroid Prime games will be re-released on a single disc this August for the Wii. The first two, originally developed for the Gamecube, will be updated so players can "use their Wii Remote to aim with precision." 1Up had this to say of their hands-on preview: "... The heads-up display and on-screen interface elements have been completely overhauled to work more effectively with the standard Wii control setup of remote and nunchuck; swapping visors is a quick point-and-click command, and toggling weapons is similarly easy. Although the control interface isn't perfect — pressing down on the D-pad to fire missiles still grates — it makes the GameCube titles feel much faster and more fluid overall."
Games

Left 4 Dead SDK Beta Released 75

Posted by Soulskill
from the building-for-braaaains dept.
Valve has released a beta version of their authoring tools for Left 4 Dead. The tools will allow you to "create your own campaign maps, character skins, 3D models, sound effects, and music and load them into the game." The kit includes a level editor and command-line compiling utilities, as well as example maps, props, infected, and explosives. It also brings plugins for a 3D modeling program called SketchUp. Valve has updated their development wiki to go along with the release.

"Only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core." -- Hannah Arendt.

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