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Star Wars Prequels

Big Changes Planned For The Force Unleashed 2 100

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed debuted in 2008 to less than stellar reviews, but sales of the game were strong. A sequel for the game is due out in October, and the developers spoke at length with the Guardian's Games blog about the improvements they've been working on. One of their priorities was adding depth to the combat system to make it less of a button-mash. "The team has completely redesigned all the familiar Force powers from the first title including Force Push and Force Grip, and has added a few newcomers including the potentially amusing Force Mind Trick that'll allow you to trick Storm Troopers into leaping from high ledges." Enemy AI is another area that's getting some love, and they're trying to make level design more open and less linear. The team's confidence in the changes they're making stems in part from much greater familiarity with their game-building tools. "Like its predecessor, Force Unleashed 2 will combine three third-party physics engines, Havok, Euphoria and Digital Molecular Matter, to provide cutting edge human animation, materials effects and authentic physical forces. ... 'Whenever you're building the first iteration [of a game series] and a brand new game engine at the same time, everything comes in hot and fast – we were literally figuring out how to get the most out of those three technologies all the way up to shipping. The DLC then helped us to learn more, and that knowledge has given us the biggest leap forward.'" A trailer for the game was released at E3.
Canada

Submission + - Canada’s Proposed DMCA Style Law a Slippery (isealclub.com)

mat72 writes: Right now our government is attempting to reform our Copyright Laws under pressure from American Entertainment Lobbyists. How does this help the average Canadian citizen? I dunno, but the law will undoubtedly hurt independent artists and other small content creators alike. Gone will be the days where you can freely send your digital creation (whether it be music, a video, or videogame) to the masses with ease.

It could be argued that we’d always have the choice of other more open products, but it just won’t be the same. The entrainment industry will distribute content exclusively on devices locked down tighter than a duck’s arse. As a result, very few will invest in open alternatives, thus driving up the costs of these other options. Indie artists and developers will be required to jump hoops, and pay various fees in order to have the “honor” of distributing their own creations.

Apple is the prime example. I recently developed a game for Apple’s iPhone, which was rejected, as they thought it was “objectionable.” The problem is they don’t have strict guidelines as to what is, and what is not appropriate. It seems to depend on personal opinions, or how much money I have (ie less then Rockstar Games). Without Apple’s approval, my creation is locked out from anyone ever getting a hold of it. Well unless I release it for jailbroken iPhones. Under these proposed copyright laws, it would become illegal for anyone to unlock full functionality of their digital device. Apple has been known to censor content from creators in the past, including Mark Fiore – a Pulitzer Prize winner. Personally, I don’t need any corporation trying to act like my mother and making ambiguous moral choices for me. Though, I’m glad to say my mother was never an unfair, pretentious, uptight bitch either.

These laws will only protect the pockets of corporations and people who make money off the backs of talented artists and content producers. It’ll mean that the individuals with the real talent will have to pay in one way or the other, to the agents, distributors, lawyers, fluffers, etc,.. How far will it go? Would a person playing at an open mike night have to pay royalties because his/her music has a sound similar to some big shot singer? Will musicians require constant consults with their lawyers for every little decision they make?

Entertainment is not a necessity of life, and it’s a gazillion dollar industry. They can take care of it themselves. We, the citizens of Canada, do not want you, our elected government, to waste our tax dollars on throwing kids (or juvenile adults) in jail for the “Entertainment” industry nor do we want you invading our online privacy for the “Entertainment” industry. Shit, we barely want our privacy invaded in the name of Terrorism. Go enact some laws to protect the ones who need it. Maybe something that punishes executives who receive bonus after destroying the lives of their employees whose pensions they squandered.

Check out Michael Geist’s blog at http://www.michaelgeist.ca/ for more information including what you can do to help prevent this law from seeing the light of day.

Politics

Submission + - The left begins to attack Obama’s Supreme Co (americaswatchtower.com) 1

Mr Pink Eyes writes: Could this be Barack Obama’s Harriet Miers moment? When President Bush nominated Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court the backlash was immediate and swift. But the reaction came from the right, as conservatives warned that her conservative credentials were in question. There was no paper trail for Harriet Miers, and President Bush was accused of cronyism as he asked Americans to trust him on Miers’ conservative views. Eventually Harriet Miers was forced to decline the nomination and Samual Alito was soon confirmed as President Bush’s second Supreme Court appointee.

    The parallels here are intriguing to say the least.

Iphone

Submission + - 10 ways Apple is looking more like Microsoft (itnews.com.au)

schliz writes: iPhone app developer Darren Winterford considers himself an admirer of Apple, but if they genuinely care about their brand, they may need to address a few concerns that have began to disillusion even some of their most faithful, he says. With a growing propensity for secrecy, paranoia, trademark battles and regulatory exemptions, is Apple beginning to act like the very brand it set out to crush?
Science

Submission + - Working Terahertz Lens Enables X-Ray Vision (sciencemag.org)

cremeglace writes: X-ray-like imaging without the harmful radiation and cell phones with more bandwidth are closer to reality now that researchers have developed a novel type of lens that works with terahertz frequencies. The new lens is a metamaterial, an artificial material with a structure made from many tiny parts, and it could drastically expand what lenses can do. ScienceNOW has the full article.
Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft to end support for Windows 2000, XP SP2 (infoworld.com)

GMGruman writes: As of July 13, Microsoft will end its "extended" support for Windows 2000 and Windows XP SP2, meaning no more security updates or other direct support beyond keeping it knowledge base available. However, as J. Peter Bruzzese reports, there is a way to extend the support period for XP: upgrade (for free) to the SP3 version, whose "extended support" (security updates but no "regular" fixes) period runs through April 2014.
PC Games (Games)

EA Editor Criticizes Command & Conquer 4 DRM 266

Command & Conquer 4's DRM hasn't garnered Electronic Arts as much bad press and fan outrage as Ubisoft's scheme, despite being very similar. Nevertheless, it's been causing problems and frustrations for some users, including EA.com's own editor-in-chief, Jeff Green. An anonymous reader points this out: "Green wrote on his Twitter account late last week: 'Booted twice — and progress lost — on my single-player C&C4 game because my DSL connection blinked. DRM fail. We need new solutions.' He continued later, 'Well. I've tried to be open-minded. But my 'net connection is finicky — and the constant disruption of my C&C4 SP game makes this unplayable. The story is fun, the gameplay is interesting and different at least — but if you suffer from shaky/unreliable DSL — you've been warned.'"
Microsoft

Submission + - Internet Explorer 9 Will Not Support Windows XP (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: "As it turns out, news is this week that the same features that made IE9's hardware-acceleration possible, probably aren't compatible with Windows XP. Microsoft initially dodged giving a straight answer to the question of XP support but has since admitted that the new browser won't be XP-compatible when it launches. This has created a small tempest of protest from those users still using XP, but this is less of an arbitrary decision than some appear to think. It's literally impossible to port Windows Vista/Win 7-style hardware acceleration backwards to XP. Microsoft would have to either develop a workaround from scratch or create a CPU-driven "software mode." Using such a mode could easily max out a CPU or at the very least, negatively impact system speed and battery life."

Submission + - Happy Birthday HAL! (wired.com)

catmandue writes: Who could forget that today in Urbana, IL on January 12, 1997 (1992 in the film) that HAL became operational. Leave it to the French to instead call him CARL Cerveau Analytique de Recherche et de Liaison ("Analytic Research and Communication Brain"). The camera plates, however, still read "HAL 9000".
Debian

FreeNAS Switching From FreeBSD To Debian Linux 206

dnaumov writes "FreeNAS, a popular, free NAS solution, is moving away from using FreeBSD as its underlying core OS and switching to Debian Linux. Version 0.8 of FreeNAS as well as all further releases are going to be based on Linux, while the FreeBSD-based 0.7 branch of FreeNAS is going into maintenance-only mode, according to main developer Volker Theile. A discussion about the switch, including comments from the developers, can be found on the FreeNAS SourceForge discussion forum. Some users applaud the change, which promises improved hardware compatibility, while others voice concerns regarding the future of their existing setups and lack of ZFS support in Linux."
Image

Teenager Invents Cheap Solar Panel From Human Hair Screenshot-sm 366

Renoise writes "Milan Karki, 18, who comes from a village in rural Nepal, believes he has found the solution to the developing world's energy needs. A solar panel made from human hair. The hair replaces silicon, a pricey component typically used in solar panels, and means the panels can be produced at a low cost for those with no access to power. The solar panel, which produces 9 volts (18 watts) of energy, costs around $38 US (£23) to make from raw materials. Gentlemen, start your beards. The future of hair farming is here!"

Comment Re:More amazing than it seems... (Score 1, Insightful) 86

My wife has the same disorder as the patient in the story. She learned to read by using Braille when she was 5. We have discussed this scenario many times and she likes herself just like she is (except for not getting to drive her half of our car). She is "normal" and thinks that "fixing" people is a slippery slope. Diversity comes in many forms;what happens when one day we are all the same?

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