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Censorship

Australian Web Filter To Censor Downloaded Games 200

Xiroth writes "The Australian Federal Communications Ministry has confirmed that they intend to use the planned filter to block the download of games that have been refused by Australia's classification authority, the OFLC. As an Electronic Frontiers Australia spokesman noted, 'This is confirmation that the scope of the mandatory censorship scheme will keep on creeping.'"
Technology

LED Lighting As Cheap As CFLs Invented 553

mcgrew writes "New Scientist reports that a British team has overcome the obstacles to cheap LED lighting, and that LED lamps as cheap as CFLs will be on the market in five years. Quoting: 'Gallium nitride cannot be grown on silicon like other solid-state electronic components because it shrinks at twice the rate of silicon as it cools. Crystals of GaN must be grown at 1000C, so by the time a new LED made on silicon has cooled, it has already cracked, rendering the devices unusable. One solution is to grow the LEDs on sapphire, which shrinks and cools at much the same rate as GaN. But the expense is too great to be commercially competitive. Now Colin Humphreys's team at the University of Cambridge has discovered a simple solution to the shrinkage problem. They included layers of aluminium gallium nitride in their LED design... These LEDs can be grown on silicon as so many other electronics components are. ... A 15-centimetre silicon wafer costs just $15 and can accommodate 150,000 LEDs making the cost per unit tiny.'"
Power

Distributed "Nuclear Batteries" the New Infrastructure Answer? 611

thepacketmaster writes "The Star reports about a new power generation model using smaller distributed power generators located closer to the consumer. This saves money on power generation lines and creates an infrastructure that can be more easily expanded with smaller incremental steps, compared to bigger centralized power generation projects. The generators in line for this are green sources, but Hyperion Power Generation, NuScale, Adams Atomic Engines (and some other companies) are offering small nuclear reactors to plug into this type of infrastructure. The generator from Hyperion is about the size of a garden shed, and uses older technology that is not capable of creating nuclear warheads, and supposedly self-regulating so it won't go critical. They envision burying reactors near the consumers for 5-10 years, digging them back up and recycling them. Since they are so low maintenance and self-contained, they are calling them nuclear batteries."
PlayStation (Games)

PS2 the Most Played Console In 2008 172

An anonymous reader writes "In terms of console usage, the aging PS2 still leads the competition, according to data from US research firm Nielsen. Data the company compiled between January and October 2008 shows that the PS2 commanded 31.7 percent of the total number of minutes spent playing consoles. Only 37.9 percent of play time took place on current-gen systems, with the Xbox 360 (17.2 percent) leading the Wii (13.4 percent) and the PS3 (7.3 percent). Users even spent more time playing on the original Xbox (9.7 percent) than the PS3, while Nintendo's GameCube (4.6 percent) wasn't far behind Sony's new console either." World of Warcraft once again topped the most-played PC game list by a large margin. Tetris was the top mobile game, followed by Bejeweled and Guitar Hero III.
First Person Shooters (Games)

Black Mesa Nearing Completion, Trailer Released 103

Today, the Black Mesa Team released an impressive trailer for their remake of Half-Life . The remake is a total-conversion mod for Half-Life 2, bringing the updated graphics and AI of the Source engine to the original game. The team has been dropping hints lately that the project, which began in 2004, is almost done, and the trailer confirms that it will be out in 2009. They also recently announced that they've "dropped Counter-Strike: Source as a requirement for Black Mesa, and from now on, the only thing you'll need to play the mod is a Steam account with any Source engine game installed! Black Mesa is now running completely off of our own content and base Source shared content, and we felt the vastly increased user base more then [sic] justified creating all the extra assets needed to make this switch."
Music

Street Fighter HD Remix Launches With Fan-Made Soundtrack 44

djpretzel writes "OC ReMix just released a free download of our official soundtrack to Capcom's Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix game for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles. While video game companies have worked with fans in the past, HD Remix is the first major video game with a completely fan-made soundtrack. More than twenty gamers from around the world contributed remixes of the original Street Fighter games' music for inclusion in the updated game, in styles including jazz, hip-hop, reggaeton, spaghetti western, garage rock, big beat and electronica. MP3s and a torrent (also including FLAC) are available at OCReMix."
Science

Fictional Town "Eureka" To Become Real? 337

Zarath writes "The fictional town of Eureka (from the TV series by the same name) is going to potentially become a real life town as the University of Queensland, in Australia, plans to build a multibillion-dollar 'brain city' dedicated to science and research. The city, hoping to hold at least 10,000 people, is looking to attract 4,500 of the brightest scientists from around the world to live and work there. The city is planned to be built west of the city of Brisbane, in Queensland. While not funded by the Department of Defense (like the [city of the] TV series), the potential for such a community is very interesting and exciting."
Space

Plasma Rocket Successful Full Power Test 169

Matt_dk writes "VASIMR is a new high-power plasma-based space propulsion technology, initially studied by NASA and now being developed privately by Ad Astra. A VASIMR engine could maneuver payloads in space far more efficiently and with much less propellant than today's chemical rockets. Ultimately, VASIMR engines could also greatly shorten robotic and human transit times for missions to Mars and beyond."

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