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Why Do Games Still Have Levels? 512

a.d.venturer writes "Elite, the Metroid series, Dungeon Siege, God of War I and II, Half-Life (but not Half-Life 2), Shadow of the Colossus, the Grand Theft Auto series; some of the best games ever (and Dungeon Siege) have done away with the level mechanic and created uninterrupted game spaces devoid of loading screens and artificial breaks between periods of play. Much like cut scenes, level loads are anathema to enjoyment of game play, and a throwback to the era of the Vic-20 and Commodore 64 - when games were stored on cassette tapes, and memory was measured in kilobytes. So in this era of multi-megabyte and gigabyte memory and fast access storage devices why do we continue to have games that are dominated by the level structure, be they commercial (Portal), independent (Darwinia) and amateur (Angband)? Why do games still have levels?"

Submission + - Philips latest suspect in CRT cartel investigation (

Gustoman writes: Philips Electronics has became the latest company drawn into a global investigation into possible price-fixing in the market for cathode-ray tubes used in TVs and computer monitors. Phillips implication in the cartel comes just a day after the European Commission said it had fined Sony, Fuji and Maxell a total of US$109 million for price fixing in the professional videotape market. Apparently Sony's fine was augmented further for obstructing the investigation — one of its employees refused to answer investigators questions and another was caught shredding evidence. Earlier this month the EC raided offices of several CRT (cathode-ray tubes) makers for suspected cartel involvement, although it didn't name them. It was part of a wider clampdown on suspected collusion between CRT manufacturers. Korea's Fair Trade Commission is also examining possible cartel behavior at CRT makers affiliated with Matsushita and Samsung Electronics, according to the report. The Commission say there is no strict deadline for its inquiry, and the report indicates that authorities in the U.S. have also been involved in the worldwide investigation.

Submission + - Japan Immigration directed to forcibly take prints (

CB-in-Tokyo writes: In reaction to the protests caused by Japan's new fingerprinting system, the Ministry of Justice has issued a directive (English Translation) that all foreigners that do not agree to give their fingerprints be incarcerated and "pursuaded" to give their prints, immediately to be followed by deportation. Immigration officials state that during the period of incarceration, "We will sufficiently persuade the refuser to cooperate, and endeavor not to do this by force."

The new fingerprinting and photographing system is under a lot of fire by the foreign community in Japan as it targets not only tourists, but also permanent residents. The system is being presented outwardly as a way to counter terrorism, but is being touted internally by celebrity spokespeople as a way to cut down on foreign crime in Japan. It is illegal under Japanese law to fingerprint citizens, unless they have been accused of a crime, however foreign residents have no such protection, and now under the new directive foreigners who refuse will no longer not just be refused entry, but also coerced into providing personal biometric data.


Submission + - Programming with molecules

Roland Piquepaille writes: "It has been tried before, but researchers are now fully realizing the potential of DNA and want to create a programmable way of combining computers with chemistry. As said one the leading researchers at CalTech, 'Programming chemical systems needs to be thought about. The meeting of computer science and chemistry hasn't happened yet, but is right around the corner. There's nothing logically, chemically or physically impossible about computing with molecular systems.' Another researcher from the University of Washington added that 'if we understand the language, we could develop a biological response through reprogramming, no different than a remedy pushed out by Norton AntiVirus on a computer.' The same researcher said something that might one day become history. 'The 20th century was the age of information. The 21st century is going to be the age of life.' But read more for additional references and quotes from scientists mixing humor and science."

Comment Re:Description of the new gate system (Score 1) 520

Using and Providing the Registered Information We will manage information including fingerprints and facial portraits provided at the registration as personal information set forth in laws on protection of personal information held by administrative agencies, and the information will not be used or provided beyond the range allowed for in these laws.

This may be an important tool in our fight against this system. Under the new strict privacy laws (April 04) if any information is kept about you, the keepers of the data have to provide what information is being kept upon request.

We foreigners may be able to launch a campaign repeatedly asking them to provide what information is being kept and therefore make this system a huge pain in the ass for the Japanese Government that jammed it down our throats.

I think we should look into this option and make it as easy as possible for foreigners to make these requests.

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