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Comment Re:Banning doesn't do what they think it does (Score 1) 143

The empirical evidence from the current regime is that where a game is refused classification, the publisher will almost always make the necessary alterations (toning down certain amounts of gore etc) in order to achieve an MA15+ rating. The current system has thus been reasonably effective -- ensuring that games are made suitable for a 15+ audience, and given that anyone in the 15-18 category is unlikely to be prevented from accessing a title simply by its having a higher rating that is a defensible approach (by which I mean "there is an argument for it" not "it is the correct approach").

True, in most cases the publisher has altered their game to get the MA15+ rating - but not in all cases.

Additionally, games that have been rated higher in other countries have been rated MA15+ in Australia because we have no higher rating. This I don't personally mind, but it suggests our rating system is flawed.

But I find the biggest hypocricy is in its present state, our ratings system for games doesn't even pass the first guiding principle of the Australian Classification Code;

"adults should be able to read, hear and see what they want"

Gamers for Croyden are a new political party just set up and hopefully they'll get a few votes in Michael Atkinson's seat. They may not change his mind, but hopefully they can spread the word


Submission + - Avatar could have been so much more (sffmedia.com)

bowman9991 writes: Avatar’s story is predictable and clichéd, its characters 2 dimensional, yet it still manages to be a visual masterpiece. Futuristic visual display panels, beautifully constructed spacecraft, and high tech military air and land machines are all believable and captivating on multiple levels. Floating mountains, tangled forests and evocative landscapes are beautifully rendered. However, Avatar’s main characters are cardboard cut-outs, it's story predictable and clichéd. The dialogue never rises above the level of a computer game or TV show. "My goal is to rekindle those amazing mystical moments my generation felt when we first saw '2001: A Space Odyssey,' or the next generation's 'Star Wars.', Cameron originally revealed when promoting the film. Unfortunately though, he has failed. Compared to a film like 2001, Avatar is seriously lacking. Stanley Kubrick’s film had ground breaking special effects sequences (for its time), but unlike Avatar it also had a plot layered with new ideas, mystery and intrigue. What exactly is the monolith first found on the moon? Why did Hal, the shipboard artificial intelligence, lose its mind and start killing crewmembers? Some of 2001’s dialogue was decidedly average like Avatar, but at times it was fantastic (“Dave, my mind is going. I can feel it. I can feel it. My mind is going. There is no question about it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I'm a... fraid.”) and there were so many wonderful moments and intrigue 2001 has been a subject of discussion for decades. Perhaps Cameron should have kept the directors chair but left the writing to someone else.

Submission + - Surgery Museum Makes You Grateful for Any Modern H (wired.com)

Xerfas writes: Granddads would have you believe things were better in the good ol' days, but a short stroll through the International Museum of Surgical Science in Chicago makes liars of them all.

From graphic paintings of childbirth to a vast collection of often-ghastly tools of the trade, the Surgical Museum is a morbidly fascinating journey into the blood-spattered beginnings of modern medicine. After a look at these hair-raising exhibits, you might remark that while the United States may be in serious need of health care reform, at least we have anesthetics and the germ theory of disease.

Read on for a photo tour of the museum that will make you grateful you weren't sick back when surgeons wielded tools that would make Sweeney Todd blush.

Comment Re:Purity (Score 2, Informative) 135

While we're talking about real Australian beer, try some Coopers, the last remaining brewer of the traditional Australian Sparkling Ale style. Some of the new micros have started to get interested in this style too - Bridge Road brewers brew an Australian Ale I believe - but Coopers have consistently brewed this ale for over 100 years.
Another traditional Australian beer worth a shot is Tooheys Old.

The Military

Submission + - Electro Magnetic aircraft launch system

LifesRoadie writes: The new aircraft carriers currently being developed and built by both the US and UK governments are to include an Electro magnetic aircraft launch systems -'EMALS' replacing the steam / compression launchers, a technology used virtually unchanged for 40 — 50 years.

There is also a history of ship based aircraft launch systems.

Obesa Cantavit

Submission + - Rosetta Disk Designed for 2,000 Years Archive

Hugh Pickens writes: "Kevin Kelly has an interesting post about an archive designed with an estimated lifespan of 2,000 -10,000 years to serve future generations as a modern Rosetta Stone. The Rosetta disk contains analog "human-readable" scans of scripts, text, and diagrams using nickel deposited on an etched silicon disk and includes 15,000 microetched pages of language documentation in 1,500 different language versions of Genesis 1-3, a universal list of the words common for each language, and pronunciation guides. Produced by the Long Now Foundation, the plan is to replicate the disk promiscuously and distribute them around the world in nondescript locations so at least one will survive their 2,000-year lifespan. "This is one of the most fascinating objects on earth," says Oliver Wilke. "If we found one of these things 2,000 years ago, with all the languages of the time, it would be among our most priceless artifacts. I feel a high responsibility for preserving it for future generations.""

Submission + - Vista memory protections rendered useless (techtarget.com)

Trailrunner7 writes: Two security researchers have developed a new technique that essentially bypasses all of the memory protection safeguards in the Windows Vista operating system, an advance that many in the security community say will have far-reaching implications not only for Microsoft, but also on how the entire technology industry thinks about attacks. In a presentation at the Black Hat briefings, Mark Dowd of IBM Internet Security Systems (ISS) and Alexander Sotirov, of VMware Inc. will discuss the new methods they've found to get around Vista protections such as Address Space Layout Randomization(ASLR), Data Execution Prevention (DEP) and others by using Java, ActiveX controls and .NET objects to load arbitrary content into Web browsers.

Submission + - Who thinks Firehose software is working right? 6

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "I find the Firehose software to be infuriating. It seems to have no 'stickiness' but constantly reverts to other views and searches than what I was looking at. I'm about ready to give up on it unless they tell me they recognize it's dumb and are doing something to make it work right. Am I the only one who feels this way?"

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