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Classic Games (Games)

Pac-Man's Ghost Behavior Algorithms 194

An anonymous reader writes "This article has a very interesting description of the algorithms behind the ghosts in Pac-Man. I had no idea about most of this information, but that's probably because it's difficult to study the ghosts when I die every 30 seconds. Quoting: 'The ghosts are always in one of three possible modes: Chase, Scatter, or Frightened. The "normal" mode with the ghosts pursuing Pac-Man is Chase, and this is the one that they spend most of their time in. While in Chase mode, all of the ghosts use Pac-Man's position as a factor in selecting their target tile, though it is more significant to some ghosts than others. In Scatter mode, each ghost has a fixed target tile, each of which is located just outside a different corner of the maze. This causes the four ghosts to disperse to the corners whenever they are in this mode. Frightened mode is unique because the ghosts do not have a specific target tile while in this mode. Instead, they pseudorandomly decide which turns to make at every intersection.'"
Security

TSA Pats Down 3-Year-Old 1135

3-year-old Mandy Simon started crying when her teddy bear had to go through the X-ray machine at airport security in Chattanooga, Tenn. She was so upset that she refused to go calmly through the metal detector, setting it off twice. Agents then informed her parents that she "must be hand-searched." The subsequent TSA employee pat down of the screaming child was captured by her father, who happens to be a reporter, on his cell phone. The video have left some questioning why better procedures for children aren't in place. I, for one, feel much safer knowing the TSA is protecting us from impressionable minds warped by too much Dora the Explorer.

Comment Other end of the spectrum (Score 1, Insightful) 298

I seem to remember the Atari 2600 games that were mostly junk because of the complete lack of control over the quality of content. If you've ever played the ET and fell into a hole about a thousand times, you know what I mean. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E.T._the_Extra-Terrestrial_(video_game) Extremely strict oversight might not be great, but neither is total anarchy.
Games

Pirates as a Marketplace 214

John Riccitiello, the CEO of Electronic Arts, made some revealing comments in an interview with Kotaku about how the company's attitudes are shifting with regard to software piracy. Quoting: "Some of the people buying this DLC are not people who bought the game in a new shrink-wrapped box. That could be seen as a dark cloud, a mass of gamers who play a game without contributing a penny to EA. But around that cloud Riccitiello identified a silver lining: 'There's a sizable pirate market and a sizable second sale market and we want to try to generate revenue in that marketplace,' he said, pointing to DLC as a way to do it. The EA boss would prefer people bought their games, of course. 'I don't think anybody should pirate anything,' he said. 'I believe in the artistry of the people who build [the games industry.] I profoundly believe that. And when you steal from us, you steal from them. Having said that, there's a lot of people who do.' So encourage those pirates to pay for something, he figures. Riccitiello explained that EA's download services aren't perfect at distinguishing between used copies of games and pirated copies. As a result, he suggested, EA sells DLC to both communities of gamers. And that's how a pirate can turn into a paying customer."

Comment Re:Not a universal libertarian belief (Score 1) 944

My apologize for using the term "Intellectual Property" without verbose explanation.

I am personally more centrist on most issues. For example, I don't believe that immediate and drastic removal of all drug laws would make sense. Yes, the drug laws we have are crazy and should be reformed. Similarly... copyright, patent, and trademark law are also totally nuts. However I don't believe that throwing it all out the window is a rational option either. I like the idea that if I create something intangible that is also unique, that I will get some reasonable amount of protection around that work.

As long as Libertarians are caricatured as pot smokers and anarchists, the party will be doomed to fringe status.
The Military

Submission + - SPAM: 15-ton bomb would become the Father Of All Bombs

coondoggie writes: "Now this is one big bomb. Published reports today say the Pentagon is rattling swords in the direction of North Korea and Iran by speeding the development a 20-foot, 30,000lb bomb known as Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) meant to annihilate underground bunkers and other hardened (re: long range missile or underground nuke development) sites. The Defense Threat Reduction Agency which has overseen the development of this monster since 2007, says it is designed to be carried aboard B-2 and B-52 bombers and deployed at high altitudes where it would strike the ground at speeds well beyond 2X the speed of sound to penetrate the below ground target. [spam URL stripped]"
Link to Original Source
Security

Submission + - Korean 'Journalists' Booted From Defcon (computerworld.com)

CWmike writes: "Four South Korean journalists were booted from Defcon this week after show organizers decided their story didn't quite add up. They believe that one member of the group was a legitimate journalist, but that the other three were on some sort of intelligence-gathering expedition. Hackers who the group interviewed at the show said that their questions seemed inappropriate, organizers said. The journalists attended one day of Defcon's Black Hat sister conference before being ejected on Friday. How do you spot them? One of the show's senior organizers, who goes by the name "Priest," said "There's a certain body type you find with people who are in that type of work [such as military]," he said. "Broad shoulders, narrow waist, not very tall. I'm looking at these guys, going, 'You're in far, far too good shape to be press.'" And he said government employees posing as press often move very quickly to technical questions, rarely showing any interest in the motivation behind the research. They get "very technical very quickly," Priest said. "They're much more interested in what the latest is and what the greatest is and how they can use it.""

Comment Re:Weather Alerts (Score 1) 54

I actually don't see many radios there, and it seems like almost everyone has a cell phone. Since most can double as a music player, people gravitate to that instead. Also, the preferred transportation is motorbike, which doesn't have one at all.

Along with weather bulletins, I saw during the elections last year that political parties would also send broadcast messages to cell phones. Now THAT would be annoying, but it also is quite telling on how that device is viewed as a primary method of getting information to the masses.

Comment Weather Alerts (Score 4, Interesting) 54

I was in Cambodia last week, when I saw a weather alert sent to locals via a free SMS. It was warning people that a storm was spotted with dangerous lightning, so people should go indoors.

In a place without the weather channel, I thought this was a rather inspired way to easily inform people of approaching danger.

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