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Games

Revisiting the "Holy Trinity" of MMORPG Classes 362

A feature at Gamasutra examines one of the foundations of many MMORPGs — the idea that class roles within such a game fall into three basic categories: tank, healer, and damage dealer. The article evaluates the pros and cons of such an arrangement and takes a look at some alternatives. "Eliminating specialized roles means that we do away with boxing a class into a single role. Without Tanks, each class would have features that would help them participate in and survive many different encounters like heavy armor, strong avoidance, or some class or magical abilities that allow them to disengage from direct combat. Without specialized DPS, all classes should be able to do damage in order to defeat enemies. Some classes might specialize in damage type, like area of effect (AoE) damage; others might be able to exploit enemy weaknesses, and some might just be good at swinging a sharpened bit of metal in the right direction at a rapid rate. This design isn't just about having each class able to fill any trinity role. MMO combat would feel more dynamic in this system. Every player would have to react to combat events and defend against attacks."
Censorship

Australian AvP Ban Reversed 71

Earlier this month, we discussed news that Sega's new Aliens vs. Predator video game had been refused classification in Australia, effectively banning it. After a scathing response from the developer saying they wouldn't censor the game, and later news that the classification scheme may be updated to include an R18+ rating, it now seems that the Classification Board has seen fit to give the game a green light after all. Sega's Darren Macbeth told Kotaku, "We are particularly proud that the game will be released in its original entirety, with no content altered or removed whatsoever. This is a big win for Australian gamers. We applaud the Classification Review Board on making a decision that clearly considers the context of the game, and is in line with the modern expectations of reasonable Australians."

Comment What about Java (Score 3, Interesting) 162

The only thing I'm concerned about regarding this deal is how this will change Java. The way I see it, one of two things will happen: One, current Oracle staff will manage the Java platform development and bad things will happen (all sorts of bad things could happen). Two, Oracle will deem Java an unprofitable product and will spin off a free software foundation, the likes of Mozilla or Apache.

Comment I can't believe its ever cost effective (Score 1) 837

to make your own cables, since factory cables can be obtained pretty cheaply. I used to try making my own, and it's not worth it even at home anymore. You just need to shop and not by cables from Monster.

I will pull my own through walls and punch down jack panels, but crimping RJ45s is a loser.

-dB

Microsoft

Microsoft In Mobile Search Deal With Verizon 104

An anonymous reader writes "Verizon Wireless will forge a deal with Microsoft to include the software giant's Live Search on its mobile phones, giving Microsoft a victory over rival Google and ending a months-long dance toward the partnership. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will announce the deal in his keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas." InfoWorld notes that Microsoft is rumored to be changing the name of its Live Search service to Kumo, which is Japanese for "cloud."
Earth

Green Is In At CES, But Is It Real? 165

OTL writes "You've heard the talk of 'Green' throughout the whole of 2008, but the way a product affects the environment will be a huge consideration in consumer buying habits, at least when it comes to gadgets. But, the CEA report also said that consumers are very skeptical about the green claims made by high-tech firms for their products. More than 38 percent of those interviewed by the CEA said they were confused by green product claims and 58 percent wanted to know the specific attributes that prompted hi-tech firms to label their products green."

Comment Re:Screen (Score 1) 2362

I usually just setup a persistant vnc server on the host in question, and attach to it. I suppose it depends on the capacity of the target system, and the available bandwidth to it. Neither of these is usually an issue for me. I can imagine those with embedded targets and slow modems being concerned, but I still remain amazed that anyone uses this feature of the knife very often. Next thing I'll hear about is someone using "cu" or "tip".

-dB

The Internet

Nationwide Domain Name/Yard Sign Conspiracy 324

robertjmoore writes "Everywhere I go lately, I see these lawn signs that say "Single?" and then give a URL with my town's name in it. Being a huge business intelligence geek with too much time on my hands, I decided to track down who was behind them and wound up uncovering ten thousand domain names, a massively coordinated and well-funded guerilla marketing machine, and the $45 Million revenue business hiding behind it all. Hot off the presses, these are my findings."

Comment Re:Screen (Score 1) 2362

I stopped using screen when I turned in my vt220 for something that had multiple windows and the ability to start more than one xterm.

Why would anyone want to use screen?

puzzled,

-dB

Feed Science Daily: 'Man-made' Water Has Different Chemistry (sciencedaily.com)

As population growth, food production and the regional effects of climate change place greater stress on the Earth's natural water supply, "man-made" water -- created by removing salt from seawater and brackish groundwater through reverse osmosis desalination -- will become an increasingly important resource for millions of humans, especially those in arid regions such as the Middle East, the western United States, northern Africa and central Asia.
Power

Submission + - SPAM: Refrigerator technology to cool computers

coondoggie writes: "Researchers today said they are working on a way to use tiny refrigerator components to cool computers, a move they say would increase system performance and shrink the size of the devices. Researchers at Purdue University said they have developed miniature refrigerator technology such as compressors and evaporators to cool computer innards. Researchers said they have developed a model for designing tiny compressors that pump refrigerants using penny-size diaphragms made of ultra-thin sheets of a plastic called polyimide and coated with an electrically conducting metallic layer to help remove heat. [spam URL stripped]"
Link to Original Source
Privacy

Submission + - Acquire Online (acquireonline.org)

kardnull writes: "This site shows how small and tiny security cameras are getting. These security cameras are being used by the government and and for personal home use. The technology and costs have become more afordable. The site is in Spanish and has good information."
Earth

Submission + - Looking for methods to reclaim energy from brush

peas_n_carrots writes: Every year, the prolific trees and weeds in my yard produce mountains of cellulosic material. I put as much out for the weekly brush pickup as I can, but even 3 large trash cans a week isn't enough to keep up. When an older tree dies and is cut down, it leaves a whole lot of wood waste. It's not high-quality hardwood, but it burns well. I usually have a couple bonfires a year and cook marshmallows & yams.

I've always hoped there would be some way to reclaim the vast amount of heat energy released from burning the brush. It's essentially a carbon-neutral solar-powered energy source (plants absorb sunlight, breathe in CO2 and build fibrous structures). A Stirling engine seems like an ideal candidate, but there's no good source of consumer-grade models (500-2000W). All the ones I've found are either trinkets powered by body heat or coffee, or industrial grade ones made by the likes of WhisperGen (in New Zealand). I don't have the equipment to build a reliable, useful Stirling engine. My vision for a heat reclamation system looks something like a Stirling engine on top of a chiminea, which is very good at funneling heat up and out its stack. The engine would turn a generator and charge batteries and such.

Burning for home heating is only feasible during the winter. Much of the brush is not good for burning indoors either. I've thought of using it for heating water, but tying that into the water system would be complicated/costly. What other ideas does the resourceful Slashdot crowd have?

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