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The Almighty Buck

Failed MMO APB To Be Resurrected As Free-To-Play Game 90

Posted by Soulskill
from the pennies-on-the-dollar dept.
Two months ago, we discussed news that Realtime Worlds' action MMO APB closed its doors only a few months after launch, when it became clear that player interest and subscriber numbers couldn't begin to recoup the massive development cost. A few days ago, a company called Reloaded Productions, owned by free-to-play publisher GamersFirst, acquired all the rights and assets to APB. The company plans to relaunch the game as APB: Reloaded in the first half of 2011, abandoning its unusual business model in favor of free-to-play accounts supplemented by microtransactions and premium services.
NASA

Dying Man Shares Unseen Challenger Video 266

Posted by Soulskill
from the new-perspective-on-an-old-tragedy dept.
longacre writes "An amateur video of the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger explosion has been made public for the first time. The Florida man who filmed it from his front yard on his new Betamax camcorder turned the tape over to an educational organization a week before he died this past December. The Space Exploration Archive has since published the video into the public domain in time for the 24th anniversary of the catastrophe. Despite being shot from about 70 miles from Cape Canaveral, the shuttle and the explosion can be seen quite clearly. It is unclear why he never shared the footage with NASA or the media. NASA officials say they were not aware of the video, but are interested in examining it now that it has been made available."
Operating Systems

Ubuntu 10.04 Alpha 2 vs. Early Fedora 13 Benchmarks 157

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the flavor-of-the-moment dept.
Given that early benchmarks of the Lucid Lynx were less than encouraging, Phoronix decided to take the latest alpha out for a spin and has set it side-by-side with an early look at Fedora 13. "Overall, there are both positive and negative performance changes for Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Alpha 2 in relation to Ubuntu 9.10. Most of the negative regressions are attributed to the EXT4 file-system losing some of its performance charm. With using a pre-alpha snapshot of Fedora 13 and the benchmark results just being provided for reference purposes, we will hold off on looking into greater detail at this next Red Hat Linux update until it matures."
PlayStation (Games)

PlayStation Network Expanding To Involve Other Devices 63

Posted by Soulskill
from the making-toasters-smarter dept.
At CES, Sony's Kaz Hirai confirmed that the company will build out its PlayStation Network for use with other devices, such as televisions, Blu-ray players, and PCs. Quoting: "... the expansion starts next month with the availability of the PSN video store on these other devices, and Hirai explained they are constructing a mechanism to create a single user ID across the entire network (if you have a PSN account, it's good to go on any other applicable Sony device, and if you create one on another device, it'll work on PSN). And finally, Hirai also announced the formation of a new Sony division — called Sony Network Entertainment, Inc. — to drive this expansion of the PSN service into a Sony-wide network."
Games

Games Workshop Goes After Fan Site 174

Posted by Soulskill
from the don't-anger-your-base dept.
mark.leaman writes "BoingBoing has a recent post regarding Games Workshop's aggressive posturing against fan sites featuring derivative work of their game products. 'Game publisher and miniature manufacturer Games Workshop just sent a cease and desist letter to boardgamegeek.com, telling them to remove all fan-made players' aids. This includes scenarios, rules summaries, inventory manifests, scans to help replace worn pieces — many of these created for long out of print, well-loved games...' As a lifelong hobby gamer of table, board, card and miniature games, I view this as pure heresy. It made me reject the idea of buying any Games Workshop (read Warhammer) products for my son this Christmas. Their fate was sealed, in terms of my wallet, after I Googled their shenanigans. In 2007 they forbid Warhammer fan films, this year they shut down Vassal Modules, and a while back they went after retailers as well. What ever happened to fair use?"
PlayStation (Games)

US Air Force Buying Another 2,200 PS3s 144

Posted by Soulskill
from the quick-who-knows-a-good-ps3-flight-sim dept.
bleedingpegasus sends word that the US Air Force will be grabbing up 2,200 new PlayStation 3 consoles for research into supercomputing. They already have a cluster made from 336 of the old-style (non-Slim) consoles, which they've used for a variety of purposes, including "processing multiple radar images into higher resolution composite images (known as synthetic aperture radar image formation), high-def video processing, and 'neuromorphic computing.'" According to the Justification Review Document (DOC), "Once the hardware configuration is implemented, software code will be developed in-house for cluster implementation utilizing a Linux-based operating software."
Science

+ - Scientists write memories directly into fly brains->

Submitted by TheClockworkSoul
TheClockworkSoul (1635769) writes "The BBC reports that researchers at the University of Oxford have devised a way to write memories onto the brains of flies, revealing which brain cells are involved in making bad memories.

The researchers said that in flies just 12 brain cells were responsible for what is known as "associative learning". They modified these neurons by adding receptors for ATP, so that the cells activate in the presence of the chemical, but since ATP isn't usually found floating around a fly's brain, the flies generally behave just like any other fly. Most interestingly, however, is that the scientists then, injected ATP into the flies' brains, in a form that was locked inside a light-sensitive chemical cage. When they shined a laser on the fly brains, the ATP was released, and the "associative learning" cells were activated. The laser flash was paired with an odor, effectively giving the fly a memory of a bad experience with that odor that it never actually had, such that it then avoided that odor in later experiments.

This research, says Professor Gero Miesenböck, the lead investigator of the study, has begun to unravel how animals and humans learn from mistakes and how "error signals" drive animals to adapt their behavior.

They describe their findings in the journal Cell."

Link to Original Source

+ - California considering ban on big screen TVs-> 1

Submitted by lrombes
lrombes (1599393) writes "California is considering banning energy guzzling big screen TVs as early as November 4th. It's estimated that TVs and other related electronic devices contribute 10% to a households electricity usage. Several manufactures including Vizio feel they will have little trouble meeting new standards without adding any additional cost to the consumer. " Tightening efficiency ratings by using new technology and materials should result in "zero increase in cost to consumers," said Harinder Singh, an Energy Commission staffer on the TV regulation project.""
Link to Original Source

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (9) Dammit, little-endian systems *are* more consistent!

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