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First Person Shooters (Games)

The Duke Is Finally Back, For Real 309

After the first announcement on 1997-04-27 and over eleven years of fresh start after fresh start, Duke Nukem Forever finally comes to your system. At least if your system is an Xbox 360. Jon Siegler, the webmaster of 3D Realms, confirms this on their site: "As has been reported around the net today, we can confirm that the game has indeed passed final certification with Microsoft on Friday the 15th of August (on our first try, no less). That means the game is done — it is now in the hands of Microsoft." Update: 08/19 10:47 GMT by T : Several readers have written with a correction: this announcement is actually about Duke Nukem 3D, rather than Duke Nukem Forever.

BattleBots & ESPN Strike TV Deal 120

NMajik writes "Although BattleBots has been largely removed from the public eye since episodes stopped airing years ago, a new deal has recently been struck with ESPN to return combat robots to the living room. Episodes will be broadcast as a series on ESPNU and ESPN2 after filmed at the competition in June 2008. This is the first notable progress towards televised combat robotics in years."
Social Networks

Aboriginal Archive Uses New DRM 182

ianare writes "An application that gives fresh new meaning to 'digital rights management' has been pioneered by Aboriginal Australians. It relies on a user's profile to control access to a multimedia archive. The need to create profiles based on a user's name, age, sex and standing within their community comes from traditions over what can and cannot be viewed. For example, men cannot view women's rituals, and people from one community cannot view material from another without first seeking permission. Images of the deceased cannot be viewed by their families. These requirements threw up issues surrounding how the material could be archived, as it was not only about preserving the information into a database in a traditional sense, but also about how people would access it depending on their gender, their relationship to other people, and where they were situated."
Education

Submission + - University of Arkansas buys Second Life "Islan (uark.edu)

adavidw writes: "University of Arkansas bought an "island" in the virtual world game Second Life to use for "research and educational purposes". An Second Life "island" is a very large plot of in-game land dedicated for the exclusive use of it's owner, and hosted on a dedicated server at the game's creator, Linden Labs. U of A will be using their island as a combined effort of their Computer Science, Computer Engineering, and Art departments to research various projects. Some projects proposed for the island include "using SL to recreate Ostia Antica, the ancient port city of Rome and mirroring a real healthcare facility in SL and instrumenting it with RFID and smart devices that communicate with each other"."
United States

Airlines Have to Ask Permission to Fly 72 Hours Early 596

twitter wrote to mention that the TSA (Transport Security Administration) has released a new set of proposed rules that is raising quite a stir among groups ranging from the ACLU to the American Society of Travel Agents. Under the new rules airlines would be required to submit a passenger manifest (including full name, sex, date of birth, and redress number) for all flights departing, arriving, or flying over the United States at least 72 hours prior to departure. Boarding passes will only be issued to those passengers that have been cleared. "Hasbrouck submitted that requiring clearance in order to travel violates the US First Amendment right of assembly, the central claim in John Gilmore's case against the US government over the requirement to show photo ID for domestic travel. [...] ACLU's Barry Steinhardt quoted press reports of 500,000 to 750,000 people on the watch list (of which the no-fly list is a subset). 'If there are that many terrorists in the US, we'd all be dead.' TSA representative Kip Hawley noted that the list has been carefully investigated and halved over the last year. 'Half of grossly bloated is still bloated,' Steinhardt replied."
Security

Submission + - Homeland Security Dept E-mail Doozy (wordpress.com)

sbrown3820 writes: "The Department of Homeland Security publishes a report Mon-Fri listing news reports affecting areas of critical U.S. infrastructure such as chemical, nuclear, transportation and others. Today, one of the subscribers innocently replied to the distribution email address that he was changing jobs and wanted DHS to update his email address. He didn't realize his message would set off a chain reaction."
Intel

Intel Salivates Over Virtual World Processing Demands 52

CNet has up an article looking at the lucrative virtual world market for processor companies. An Intel developer forum held in San Francisco this week highlighted the opportunities for selling hardware to both consumers and vendors in the VW marketplace. "[Chief Technology Officer Justin Rattner] showed statistics that indicated a PC's processor bumps up to 20 percent utilization while browsing the Web, while its graphics processor doesn't even break above 1 percent. But running Second Life--even with today's coarse graphics--pushes those to 70 percent for the main processor and 35 to 70 percent for the graphics processor, he said. The Google Maps Web site and Google Earth software pose intermediate demands. Running a virtual worlds server is vastly more computationally challenging, though, when compared with 2D Web sites and even massively multiplayer online games such as Eve Online. An Eve Online server can handle 34,420 users at a time, but Second Life maxes a server out with just 160 users."
User Journal

Journal Journal: Papers Please - Part 2

Michael Righi's preliminary hearing was scheduled for September 20th, but was canceled at the last moment. There is no comment from Mr. Righi on his blog, yet but a Cleveland area newspaper has the story.

Feed Techdirt: Google Can't Figure Out That Its Own Blog Isn't Spam (techdirt.com)

Splogs have been a problem for a while now. Spammers set up sites full of content -- generally stolen from legitimate sites -- in order to grab search traffic and make money from ads or through other means. Blog platform providers don't want to waste resources supporting these sites, so many of them have some form of anti-splog system, including Google's Blogspot platform. But clearly they need more work, since Blogspot's marked an official Google blog as spam (via Infoworld), leading to its disappearance and the takeover of its URL by another blogger. Apparently the system's warning emails to the Google bloggers went unheeded, so after a period of time, the site was automatically taken down, and another blogger swooped in and grabbed the URL. The company realized what happened, and restored the site, but the episode highlights just how poorly anti-spam blog systems tend to work.
Music

Submission + - Has allofmp3.com finally gone down for good?

adavidw writes: "Allofmp3.com is down this weekend in both its English and Russian versions. Is this the end? The Moscow Times is reporting that it is. The site has been down for "maintenance" a few times before, each time leaving people to speculate that it was an actual shutdown. However, with legal options rapidly disappearing and virtually no payment options remaining perhaps this time really is the end for the beleaguered music site."
Censorship

Scientologists In Row With BBC 763

CmdrGravy writes "The Church Of Scientology is currently engaged in a row with the BBC, a result of an investigation by reporter John Sweeney. Sweeney is investigating the Church Of Scientology, trying to judge changes in the organization over the last few years; He's trying to discover if they've moved away from the questionable practices and secrecy they have employed in the past. The conflict centers around a YouTube video posted by the scientologists. It shows Mr. Sweeney losing his temper with a scientology spokesman. Mr. Sweeney's outburst came at the end of a tour of a scientology exhibition which attempts to portray psychiatrists as evil nazi type torturers entitled 'Psychiatry: Industry of Death' which is both gruesome and utterly unconvincing. The BBC appears willing to stand behind its reporter, in spite of the pressure brought to bear by the scientologist organization."

Western Union Blocking Money Transfers to Arabs 904

lowrydr310 writes "Western Union is blocking money transfers to people with Arab names. They have delayed or blocked thousands of cash deliveries on suspicion of terrorist connections simply because senders or recipients have names like Mohammed or Ahmed. 'In one example, an Indian driver here said Western Union prevented him from sending $120 to a friend at home last month because the recipient's name was Mohammed.' Western union claims they are merely following U.S. Treasury Department guidelines that scrutinize cash flows for terrorist links. I agree that Western Union shouldn't allow anyone supporting terrorism to use their service, however I'm fairly certain there are millions of people named Mohammed or Ahmed who aren't terrorists. I wonder if any other financial companies such as banks are doing the same thing."

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