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Education

Alex the African Grey Parrot Dies 242

grrlscientist writes "Yesterday, I received the devastating news that Alex the African Grey parrot, who was both a study subject and colleague to Irene Pepperberg, died unexpectedly at 31 years of age. 'Even though Alex was a research animal, he was much more than that. This species of parrot generally lives to be 50-60 years old, so Alex was only middle-aged when he died. According to some reports I have read, it is possible that Alex might have succumbed to Aspergillosis, a fungal infection of the lungs that he has battled in the past. However, the cause of death will not be known until after a necropsy has been completed... Alex's veterinarian is returning from vacation to personally conduct this necrospy.'"
Graphics

Submission + - New Milestone Demoscene Releases. (pouet.net) 4

An anonymous reader writes: With over 3000 visitors one of the biggest computer festivals, the Assembly 2007, just closed doors. The event saw the release of some of the best demoscene productions of this year. Among them the first good demos for the XBOX 360, but also for platforms as obscure as the Atari VCS2600 from 1976. The main demo competition was won by Lifeforce, one of the most acclaimed demoscene demos ever. Other releases can be found here.
Privacy

Submission + - Scientist make quantum encryption breakthrough

Madas writes: "Scientists working in Cambridge, England have managed to make quantum encryption completely secure by putting decoy pulses in the key transmission stream. According to the story this paves the way for safe, encrypted high-speed data links. Could this allow completely private transmission of data away from snooping eyes and ears? Or will it mean film studios can stop movies from being copied when travelling on the internet?"
Software

Submission + - Lightroom vs. Aperture

Nonu writes: Adobe has officially released its Aperture killer, Lightroom, and the reviews are starting to pop up. Ars looks at Lightroom and concludes that it's a better choice for those without bleeding-edge hardware. 'Aperture's main drawback is still performance as it was designed for bleeding edge machines. On a quad Core 2 Duo Xeon, it is very usable but Lightroom just feels faster for everything regardless of hardware. Since Aperture relies on Core Image and a fast video card to do its adjustments (RAW decoding is done by the CPU), it's limited to what the single 3-D card can do. Lightroom does everything with the CPU and so it is likely to gain more speed as multicore systems get faster.'
Software

Do Next-Gen Games Have to be 3D? 211

sudnshok asks: "Last week, an article was posted where an EA executive discussed the high cost involved with next-gen game development. While I agree that sports games do benefit from a high-resolution 3D environment, do all games have to be developed that way? Why can't game companies develop 2D games for these systems? I would assume the development cost would be much lower. As a gamer who grew up on the NES, I'd love to see a new 2D side-scrolling installment of Castlevania or Zelda. I'm curious if other gamers would buy 2D games for next-gen systems."

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