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Comment Re:Reeedeeeculous (Score 1) 168

To be fair, its a poorly written summary that can easily cause anyone who doesn't have a background in this area of engineering to assume it's only talking about internal combustion engines because of the first two to three sentence:

"The vast majority of motors that power our planes, trains, and automobiles are heat engines. They rely on the rapid expansion of gas as it heats up to generate movement. But attempts to shrink them by any significant amount have mostly ended in failure."

This could be interpreted by many as "Heat engines, like those we use to power vehicles, rely on the rapid expansion of gas as it heats to generate movement, and engineers have been unable to shrink them by any significant amount". The summary could have been much clearer by defining a heat engine has any device that converts heat to mechanical work, and stated that internal combustion engines are one type of heat engine, but there are other types as well.
    Even when I first read it, I was thinking "How'd they even get an internal combustion engine down to 10^7 cubic micrometers?". It would have been helpful if it described that heat engine as well, since it's obviously not internal combustion.


Using EMP To Punch Holes In Steel 165

angrytuna writes "The Economist is running a story about a group of researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology in Chemnitz, Germany, who've found a way to use an EMP device to shape and punch holes through steel. The process enjoys advantages over both lasers, which take more time to bore the hole (0.2 vs. 1.4 seconds), and by metal presses, which can leave burrs that must be removed by hand."

Comment It's apparently not what you think it is (Score 4, Informative) 230

There already is a vaccine for at least some strains of anthrax, first developed by Pasteur in 1881, which is why it's rare in domestic animals in modern times. Soldiers being deployed to areas where bioweapons attacks are possible are also vaccinated against it.

It sounds like in this particular case they were trying to develop a vaccine that would be especially for use in humans (hence primary research subjects), and they were probably targeting some of the particularly virulent strains that were developed in bioweapons programs from World War II through Vietnam.

Comment Re:Decisions, decisions. (Score 4, Informative) 103

The point is that you CAN'T change your privacy settings back to how they were.
For example, you can no longer have your Profile Pic show up for friends only, and you can't hide your friends list from non-friends anymore either, along with a few other items on the profile page.

Adding new privacy settings is good - eliminating existing privacy features is not.

The Almighty Buck

EA Flip-Flops On Battlefield: Heroes Pricing, Fans Angry 221

An anonymous reader writes "Ben Kuchera from Ars Technica is reporting that EA/DICE has substantially changed the game model of Battlefield: Heroes, increasing the cost of weapons in Valor Points (the in-game currency that you earn by playing) to levels that even hardcore players cannot afford, and making them available in BattleFunds (the in-game currency that you buy with real money). Other consumables in the game, such as bandages to heal the players, suffered the same fate, turning the game into a subscription or pay-to-play model if players want to remain competitive. This goes against the creators' earlier stated objectives of not providing combat advantage to paying customers. Ben Cousins, from EA/DICE, argued, 'We also frankly wanted to make buying Battlefunds more appealing. We have wages to pay here in the Heroes team and in order to keep a team large enough to make new free content like maps and other game features we need to increase the amount of BF that people buy. Battlefield Heroes is a business at the end of the day and for a company like EA who recently laid off 16% of their workforce, we need to keep an eye on the accounts and make sure we are doing our bit for the company.' The official forums discussion thread is full of angry responses from upset users, who feel this change is a betrayal of the original stated objectives of the game."

AbleGamers Reviews Games From a Disability Standpoint 125

eldavojohn writes "Early last month a visually impaired gamer sued Sony under the Americans with Disabilities Act (and if you think that people with disabilities don't play games, think again). The AbleGamers Foundation has decided to step forward and provide a rating system for games that blends together a number of factors to determine a score with regard to accessibility. Visual, hearing, motion, closed captioning, speed settings, difficulty settings and even colorblindness options are all taken into account when compiling these scores and reviewing these games."

Comment Re:Old OS (Score 1) 339

Just to play the Devil's advocate here, two counter points:

1) Anyone who has purchased or installed any software, including freeware, in the last 15 or so years would know that almost every piece of software sold today has an EULA, so you can't really cry foul anymore when you get an EULA at install or initialization. Most EULAs are available online prior to purchase so there's no excuse for not reading it in advance if you're concerned the terms of the EULA would cause you to stop installation after purchase.

2) 99.5% of people wouldn't bother to ask about or read the EULA in store, just like most consumers don't bother to read them now. They just scroll through, if required, maybe spend 5 second skimming through the legalese, and click Accept. I'd guess that even most slashdotters don't throughly read every EULA, they probably skim for one or two particular points and accept.
      In general, the only time an EULA is actually read thoroughly is when it goes through a corporate legal department for approval.

Comment Re:Buy them a Mac - with a caveat (Score 1) 932

One caveat I would add to this, although it might not be an issue as you're still in the same house. If you're not a Mac user yourself, it can be difficult to help users find settings to make changes when you aren't there.

  My wife has a Mac notebook, and while we eventually got it working, I had problems helping her setup her wireless to a non-broadcasting router with encryption because Mac network settings are labelled differently and configured differently from Windows network settings. I know I could have figured it out myself in person much more quickly, but it was much harder remotely than helping with Windows configuration would have been.

Comment Re:No coop or multiplayer? (Score 2, Insightful) 452

In hack-and-slash dungeon crawlers like the Diablo series or Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance multiplayer can work because those games area really action games with an RPG shell put around them, and the story related elements are minimal. In Neverwinter Nights it worked because people could create custom servers with persistent worlds and it wasn't a party based game. Multiplayer was designed into the game from the beginning because they designed it around the creation of custom mods.

      For story driven RPGs like this, multiplayer just doesn't really work, especially if its something with over 100+ hours of gameplay and hours of spoken dialogue. Does each player have to talk to every NPC separately, or do both have to wait for all of the others to say its ok to skip the dialogue? What about areas that require the party be kept together to exit? What if one of your party member players is unavailable for a while - then you can't do anything.

  Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale had multi-player, if you can call it that, and it was pretty lame. Basically it let you create more than one custom character (in the case of BG), and then each player in the session could be assigned exclusive control of certain PCs and NPCs - I don't recall if it still let you pause or not in combat. The only real advantage of it in BG, is that you could use "multi-player" to make a completely custom party for a single player game instead of using the NPCs.

Comment Re:cursor x 10 (Score 2, Informative) 106

Cursor x 10 is a little different in that you don't get to choose when it resets, and cursors can't directly interact, but the basic concept has been used by plenty of games. Movies did it first anyway, such as Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, when he reminds himself to hide the keys or setup the bucket later and then the result occurs (although they did create a few paradoxes in that film).

Comment Time limit (Score 1) 324

The summary and CNN article don't mention it in detail, but other articles on this study have said that the first application of BBG has to come within 15 minutes of injury for it to have any benefit. If it does get approved at some point, you'd almost want carried by first responders instead of having to wait until you reach the emergency room.

Comment Re:Mail Order Monsters (Score 1) 1120

I second this one. I never got to play in full on tournament mode (I was 8 and my brother didn't trust me with blank disks), but I loved this game. Sure it had some balance issues, but with modern graphics and 3d environments, it would be a blast, especially with events larger than 1vs1.

As I recall, EA was the original publisher on this so they would presumably still hold the rights, and certainly have the resources. I guess the one concern would be that it's roughly similar to concepts like Pokemon, just presented in a potentially more violent form.

Comment Re:Okay. The spaces make sense... (Score 1) 544

If he also purchased gasoline, or purchased an entire carton of cigarette's that price could be accurate.

The article states that the gas station was his normal stop for cigarette's but doesn't state that the transaction in question only included cigarettes, so really, he could have bought anything.

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