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Science

Songbird Fossil Virus May Help Predict Pandemics 42

Posted by samzenpus
from the oldest-medicine dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Researchers announced they found a fossil virus hiding in the most unexpected place: the chromosomes of several songbird species. This ancient virus resembles human hepatitis B virus. Finding this ancient virus will catalyze new lines of inquiry that may help scientists predict and prevent future human viral pandemics that originate in birds."

Comment: Too easy - Solved! (Score -1, Redundant) 380

by shockwaverider (#32839022) Attached to: Crack the Code In US Cyber Command's Logo

# echo -n "USCYBERCOM plans, coordinates, integrates, synchronizes and conducts activities to: direct the operations and defense of specified Department of Defense information networks and; prepare to, and when directed, conduct full spectrum military cyberspace operations in order to enable actions in all domains, ensure US/Allied freedom of action in cyberspace and deny the same to our adversaries." | md5sum
9ec4c12949a4f31474f299058ce2b22a -

E3

Valve Delays Portal 2, Squashes Duke Nukem Rumors 135

Posted by Soulskill
from the duke-is-not-still-alive-still-alive dept.
SKYMTL writes "In a tongue-in-cheek commentary, Valve has announced the delay of Portal 2 and thrown water on the rumor fires regarding its E3 'surprise.' This surprise was rumored to be either Half-Life 3 or the revival of Duke Nukem, and it looks like neither will happen anytime soon."
Image

Dad Delivers Baby Using Wiki 249

Posted by samzenpus
from the 9cm-edited dept.
sonamchauhan writes "A Londoner helped his wife deliver their baby by Googling 'how to deliver a baby' on his mobile phone. From the article: 'Today proud Mr Smith said: "The midwife had checked Emma earlier in the day but contractions started up again at about 8pm so we called the midwife to come back. But then everything happened so quickly I realized Emma was going to give birth. I wasn't sure what I was going to do so I just looked up the instructions on the internet using my BlackBerry."'"
Games

New WoW Patch Brings Cross-Server Instances 342

Posted by Soulskill
from the new-and-shiny dept.
ajs writes "World of Warcraft's Wrath of the Lich King expansion was staggered into 4 phases. The fourth and final phase, patch 3.3, was released on Tuesday. This patch is significant in that it will be the first introduction of one of the most anticipated new features in the game since PvP arenas: the cross-realm random dungeon, as well as the release of new end-game dungeons for 5, 10 and 25-player groups. The patch notes have been posted, and so has a trailer. The ultimate fight against the expansion's antagonist, the Lich King a.k.a. Arthas, will be gated as each of the four wings of the final dungeon are opened in turn — a process that may take several months. The next major patch after 3.3 (presumably 4.0) will be the release of Cataclysm, the next expansion."
Bug

Saboteur Launch Plagued By Problems With ATI Cards 230

Posted by Soulskill
from the more-or-less-finished dept.
An anonymous reader writes "So far, there are over 35 pages of people posting about why EA released Pandemic Studios' final game, Saboteur, to first the EU on December 4th and then, after knowing full well it did not work properly, to the Americas on December 8th. They have been promising to work on a patch that is apparently now in the QA stage of testing. It is not a small bug; rather, if you have an ATI video card and either Windows 7 or Windows Vista, the majority (90%) of users have the game crash after the title screen. Since the marketshare for ATI is nearly equal to that of Nvidia, and the ATI logo is adorning the front page of the Saboteur website, it seems like quite a large mistake to release the game in its current state."
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

The Psychology of Achievement In Playing Games 80

Posted by Soulskill
from the no-you-don't-get-points-for-reading-this dept.
A post on Pixel Poppers looks at the psychological underpinnings of the types of challenges offered by different game genres, and the effect those challenges have on determining which players find the games entertaining. Quoting: "To progress in an action game, the player has to improve, which is by no means guaranteed — but to progress in an RPG, the characters have to improve, which is inevitable. ... It turns out there are two different ways people respond to challenges. Some people see them as opportunities to perform — to demonstrate their talent or intellect. Others see them as opportunities to master — to improve their skill or knowledge. Say you take a person with a performance orientation ('Paul') and a person with a mastery orientation ('Matt'). Give them each an easy puzzle, and they will both do well. Paul will complete it quickly and smile proudly at how well he performed. Matt will complete it quickly and be satisfied that he has mastered the skill involved. Now give them each a difficult puzzle. Paul will jump in gamely, but it will soon become clear he cannot overcome it as impressively as he did the last one. The opportunity to show off has disappeared, and Paul will lose interest and give up. Matt, on the other hand, when stymied, will push harder. His early failure means there's still something to be learned here, and he will persevere until he does so and solves the puzzle."
Puzzle Games (Games)

+ - Tetris turns 25->

Submitted by teh.f4ll3n
teh.f4ll3n (1351611) writes "This week can be marked as The Tetris Week. 25 years ago a russian (soviet) researcher thought of one of the world's most popular games. It is now that we celebrate it's 25th anniversary.

Twenty-five years ago, inside the bowels of the Soviet Academy of Sciences in Moscow, a young artificial intelligence researcher received his first desktop computer — the Soviet-built Elektronika 60, a copy of an American minicomputer called a PDP-11 — and began writing programs for it.

"

Link to Original Source
Spam

+ - The most impossible captcha there is->

Submitted by
gingerjoos
gingerjoos writes "Came across a rather interesting Captcha at the official website of a celebrity. What's so interesting is that the captcha isn't an image at all. It's in plaintext and is helpfully wrapped in a span with the class 'captchas'. One wonders if the creators of the site have too much time on their hands are bored to the point of wanting to read spam."
Link to Original Source
Microsoft

+ - Retailer PC World drops Linux netbooks for Windows-> 2

Submitted by nk497
nk497 (1345219) writes "UK retailer PC World will take all Linux-based netbooks off its shelves, in favour of machines running Microsoft Windows. While Linux netbooks will still be available online, PC World said that people just didn't seem to want them as much. "Despite initial hype that netbooks would move more users onto the Linux platform, Microsoft has emerged as the preferred operating system because Windows makes it easier to share content, and provides customers with a simpler, more familiar computing experience on the move," a spokesman claimed, saying most customers want an OS that they're already familiar with."
Link to Original Source

If I'd known computer science was going to be like this, I'd never have given up being a rock 'n' roll star. -- G. Hirst

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