from the our-robot-overlords-will-arise-from-FPS-bots dept.
Gamasutra sat down with software engineers from Monolith Productions to discuss the technology behind F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin, due out in February. They provide insight into the development of the game's engine, and they discuss the goals and procedures behind creating entertaining AI. Quoting:
"For instance, let's say that the AI wanted to kill the enemy. That would mean that there are a whole bunch of actions that satisfy the requirement for there being a dead enemy; let's say, 'Attack with ranged weapon,' right? ... Where the power comes from is the fact that those actions themselves can have conditions that they need to have met. So, 'attack with ranged weapon' may have conditions that say, 'I have to have a weapon, and I have to have it loaded. Go find me more actions that satisfy those requirements.' ... at that point, he may find another action, which is 'go to this weapon,' and then he may find another action which is 'reload your weapon.' So, that whole chain that I just described to you, of him doing three things in a row — which is going to pick up a weapon, loading a weapon, and then going to attack the player — that was not a directed thing that the level designer, nor that the AI engineer had to program; it was just the fact that we have these aggregate actions that the planner can pick from at will.
Peace Corps Online writes "Vascular surgeon David Nott performed a life-saving amputation on a boy in DR Congo following instructions sent by text message from a colleague in London. The boy's left arm had been ripped off and was badly infected and gangrenous; there were just 6in (15cm) of the boy's arm remaining, much of the surrounding muscle had died and there was little skin to fold over the wound. 'He had about two or three days to live when I saw him,' Nott said. Nott, volunteering with the medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres, knew he needed to perform a forequarter amputation requiring removal of the collar bone and shoulder blade and contacted Professor Meirion Thomas at London's Royal Marsden Hospital, who had performed the operation before. 'I texted him and he texted back step by step instructions on how to do it,' Nott said."
sparky1240 writes "While Americans are currently fighting the net-neutrality wars, spare a thought for the poor Australians — The Australian government wants to implement a nation-wide 'filtering' scheme to keep everyone safe from the nasties on the internet, with no way of opting out: 'Under the government's $125.8 million Plan for Cyber-Safety, users can switch between two blacklists which block content inappropriate for children, and a separate list which blocks illegal material. ... According to preliminary trials, the best Internet content filters would incorrectly block about 10,000 Web pages from one million."
In an effort to save perfectly round, firm, heaving boobs from any undue harm, German police women will soon be issued bullet-proof bras. The bras were created to act as a second barrier of defense when it was found that normal bras would cause injuries to breasts by pushing plastic and metal parts into the majestic globes after being shot. The new bras are emblazoned with the word "police" and made from cotton, polyester, elastic and some other synthetic materials, thickly padded and with no metal or plastic studs or fasteners to cause irritation to the delicate flesh. It is theorized that the bras could actually protect the women attached to the breasts as well.
xPsi writes: "Using data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, researchers have recently discovered that the galactic halo has two distinct components which rotate in opposite directions. From the article 'The main galactic disk, home to our sun, rotates at an average speed of 500,000 mph. Surrounding the disk is what's now called the inner halo. It orbits in the same direction at about 50,000 mph. The outer halo, a sparsely populated region, spins in the opposite direction at roughly 100,000 mph.' This discovery provides some insight into how galaxies, ours in particular, are formed."
StonyandCher writes "Scott Maxwell must have one of the best IT jobs in the solar system, driving NASA's Mars Rovers. Behind every robot is a driver. He's one of 14 Rover Drivers that work in NASA's California-based Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Maxwell discusses what makes up an average work day, the highlights of the project, how he got the job, and the tools he uses in his work. A great look at the team of dedicated IT workers behind the robots, plotting the every move of NASA's twin robot geologists, Spirit and Opportunity, since they first landed on Mars at the start of 2004."
daevux writes: CNN reports that French engineer Pascal Cotte has discovered interesting details of the history of Da Vinci's "Mona Lisa" from a 240 megapixel scan of the artwork. Among the findings are the disappearance of eyebrows and eyelashes probably due to poor cleaning, and differences in skin tones.
Khyber writes: "In a vote of 56 yeas to 43 nays, with one abstaining, the Cloture Motion to restore Habeas Corpus has been halted, with a 3/5 majority vote unable to be attained. Article 6 states their oath to uphold the constitution, Article 4 states that habeas corpus shall not be suspended unless in cases of rebellion and invasion when the public safety may require it. It's becoming a very dark age, indeed."
An anonymous reader writes: Using the Royal Mail price finder on behalf of an ebay customer today, I noticed the layout of the HTML was poor (probably because it's formatted to work on IE only — yes, I've asked them to fix it). Unable to let any problem lie I took a look at the source and was appalled to see how much redundant whitespace was being served with the page. After 10 minutes tidying it up I discovered that where it might reasonably serve 12k of HTML data it was actually serving up 20k. Around 8,000 pointless bytes are being transmitted every time someone wants to price something up with Royal Mail. When we all used dial-up the issue was page latency; with broadband it's one of download limits. Luckily my ISP doesn't impose one and 8k is not exactly a hill of beans in these gigabyte times, but can anyone beat 40% wastage?
kunk28 writes: I work for a large Internet co-location and hosting company. One of our customers installed a bunch of servers the other night at one of our Salt Lake City data centers. Instead of taking and disposing of all the empty server boxes themselves they decided to try to fit them all in our dumpster. In the morning when we came into work we were welcomed by the following sight. Obviously they think they are funny or something.
An anonymous reader writes: OSWeekly.com's Matt Hartley has discovered a real, working version of Windows XP Thumb Edition. He comments: "While a proof-of-concept has been perpetuated without Microsoft's content, the instructions are fuzzy, and trying to install this would certainly be a clear violation of existing US law, but my sources have indicated this to be the real deal — you can install Windows XP onto a USB drive as described above.
Why hasn't Microsoft bothered to create such a thing themselves? It could be the belief that they do not see the cost/benefit value for offering a bootable USB OS despite the immense success of such a thing with Linux.
Our recent piece on battling tech support operative Rufus, who called one customer a "pain in the butt", provoked a heated debate as to whether he should be put up against the wall and shot or appointed head of the United Nations.
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