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Education

200 Students Admit Cheating After Professor's Online Rant 693

Posted by samzenpus
from the people-get-what-they-deserve dept.
Over 200 University of Central Florida students admitted to cheating on a midterm exam after their professor figured out at least a third of his class had cheated. In a lecture posted on YouTube, Professor Richard Quinn told the students that he had done a statistical analysis of the grades and was using other methods to identify the cheats, but instead of turning the list over to the university authorities he offered the following deal: "I don't want to have to explain to your parents why you didn't graduate, so I went to the Dean and I made a deal. The deal is you can either wait it out and hope that we don't identify you, or you can identify yourself to your lab instructor and you can complete the rest of the course and the grade you get in the course is the grade you earned in the course."
Music

Ozzy Osbourne's Genome Reveals Some Neanderthal Lineage 151

Posted by samzenpus
from the born-to-rock dept.
ByOhTek writes "CNN reports that in July, rocker Ozzy Osbourne became one of few to submit his blood to have his full genome sequenced and analyzed. The results are in, and it turns out his genome reveals some Neanderthal lineage. What does Ozzie have to say about it? 'I was curious, given the swimming pools of booze I've guzzled over the years - not to mention all of the cocaine, morphine, sleeping pills, cough syrup, LSD, Rohypnol... there's really no plausible medical reason why I should still be alive. Maybe my DNA could say why,' he wrote."
Piracy

Sony Gets Nasty With PSBreak Buyers 246

Posted by Soulskill
from the give-it-a-rest dept.
YokimaSun writes "The war between hackers and Sony over the PlayStation 3 has now taken an even more sinister turn, with Sony going after not just shops but actual buyers of the PSBreak dongle, threatening them with fines of many thousands of Euros and forcing them to sign cease-and-desist letters. It seems Sony will use any means necessary to thwart both homebrew and piracy on the PS3."
PC Games (Games)

Activision Wants Consoles To Be Replaced By PCs 344

Posted by Soulskill
from the oppose-on-principle dept.
thsoundman writes with this excerpt from thegamersblog: "We live in a world where we have multiple platforms for gaming: PC, PS3, 360, Wii, etc. Each platform has varying amounts of power when it comes to playing games. Activision, one of the leading cross-platform publishers, wishes to move away from the 'walled gardens' set by Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo. ... [Activision CEO Bobby] Kotick’s solution is to turn to the PC, where it can set its own model for pricing — not unlike what Blizzard has done with World of Warcraft and Battle.net. Kotick stated that Activision would 'very aggressively' support the likes of HP and Dell in any attempt at making an easy 'plug-and-play' PC that would hook up directly to the TV."
Science

Half-Male, Half-Female Fowl Explain Birds' Sex Determination 117

Posted by timothy
from the fish-nor-fowl-except-fowl dept.
Kanan excerpts from a BBC report out of Scotland: "A study of sexually scrambled chickens suggests that sex in birds is determined in a radically different way from that in mammals. Researchers studied three chickens that appeared to be literally half-male and half-female, and found that nearly every cell in their bodies — from wattle to toe — has an inherent sex identity. This cell-by-cell sex orientation contrasts sharply with the situation in mammals, in which organism-wide sex identity is established through hormones." Kanan also supplies this link to some pictures of the mixed-cell birds.
Mars

Mars Images Reveal Evidence of Ancient Lakes 128

Posted by timothy
from the older-I-get-the-wetter-mars-was dept.
Matt_dk writes "Spectacular satellite images suggest that Mars was warm enough to sustain lakes three billion years ago, a period that was previously thought to be too cold and arid to sustain water on the surface, according to research published today in the journal Geology. Earlier research had suggested that Mars had a warm and wet early history but that between 4 billion and 3.8 billion years ago, before the Hesperian Epoch, the planet lost most of its atmosphere and became cold and dry. In the new study, the researchers analysed detailed images from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which is currently circling the red planet, and concluded that there were later episodes where Mars experienced warm and wet periods."
The Media

Obama Photog Says "You're Both Wrong" To AP & Fairey 222

Posted by timothy
from the faire-use-is-no-excuse dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "In Fairey v. Associated Press, the Associated Press said artist Shepard Fairey's painting had infringed its copyrights in a photo of then-President Elect Barack Obama. Fairey said no, it was a 'fair use'. Now, the freelance photographer who actually took the AP photo — Manuel Garcia — has sought permission to intervene in the case, saying that both the AP and Fairey are wrong. Garcia's motion (PDF) protests that he, not AP, is the owner of the copyright in the photograph, and that he never relinquished it to AP. And he argues that Fairey is not entitled to a fair use defense. According to an article in TechDirt, this intervention motion by Mr. Garcia represents a changed attitude on his part, and that his initial reaction to Mr. Fairey's painting was admiration, and a desire for an autographed litho. Maybe Mr. Fairey should have given him that autographed litho."
Input Devices

Why Natal Is a Big Deal 303

Posted by Soulskill
from the things-to-combine-with-a-vr-headset dept.
Kikizo has an editorial piece evaluating the Xbox 360's upcoming motion-control scheme, Project Natal, and discussing why it's a bigger step forward for interactive gaming than many people think. Quoting: "[Natal] accurately perceives players in 3D space, simultaneously tracking over 48 joints on your body, enabling it to accurately redraw your skeleton in real time as you move about. On a separate 'debug screen' in the closed-doors session, we could witness for ourselves the 'mind's eye' of Natal, visually showing how it completely understands where we are, how we're moving, where we are in 3D space, how far in front of my face my hand is, whatever. It can supposedly even track individual hand and finger movement when it switches into this more finely-tuned mode. ... There is a surprising feeling of tactility and iPhone-like fluidity and precision to the way Natal works." Another interesting bit of news about Natal is that Wii-hacker Johnny Chung Lee is part of the development team. We've discussed some of his creations in the past.
Role Playing (Games)

Managing Player-Created Content In City of Heroes 43

Posted by Soulskill
from the what's-your-favorite-naughty-word dept.
Superhero MMO City of Heroes recently went live with its 14th expansion (release notes), one of the main features of which is the Mission Architect, a system to allow players to create their own quest content and then submit it to be implemented into the game. Now, Joe Morrissey of the City of Heroes team has written an article about how they plan to manage the content that players create. "You have to decide how draconian you want to be. The more hardcore you are, the fewer people who will see inappropriate content, but you expose yourself to potential grief voting. Grief voting is when a player flags perfectly acceptable content as inappropriate just because it's fun. If it only takes a single vote to eliminate content from the game, clicking that button is going to be the game for a lot of players. You don't want perfectly good content getting pulled because someone's a jerk."

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