Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Idle

Canadian Blood Services Promotes Pseudoscience 219

trianglecat writes "The not-for-profit agency Canadian Blood Services has a section of their website based on the Japanese cultural belief of ketsueki-gata, which claims that a person's blood group determines or predicts their personality type. Disappointing for a self-proclaimed 'science-based' organization. The Ottawa Skeptics, based in the nation's capital, appear to be taking some action."
Emulation (Games)

Nintendo Upset Over Nokia Game Emulation Video 189

An anonymous reader writes "Nintendo is investigating potential copyright infringement by Nokia during some video demos of their N900 phone, which can be seen emulating Nintendo games. Nintendo spokesman Robert Saunders says: 'We take rigorous steps to protect our IP and our legal team will examine this to determine if any infringement has taken place.' In the video, Nokia says, 'Most publishers allow individual title usage, provided that the user is in possession of the original title.'"
Image

Jetman Attempts Intercontinental Flight 140

Last year we ran the story of Yves Rossy and his DIY jetwings. Yves spent $190,000 and countless hours building a set of jet-powered wings which he used to cross the English Channel. Rossy's next goal is to cross the Strait of Gibraltar, from Tangier in Morocco and Tarifa on the southwestern tip of Spain. From the article: "Using a four-cylinder jet pack and carbon fibre wings spanning over 8ft, he will jump out of a plane at 6,500 ft and cruise at 130 mph until he reaches the Spanish coast, when he will parachute to earth." Update 18:57 GMT: mytrip writes: "Yves Rossy took off from Tangiers but five minutes into an expected 15-minute flight he was obliged to ditch into the wind-swept waters."

Comment In other news (Score 1) 263

Chrome beats other browsers by 4% in sound card usage.
Seriously, I don't think the "raw" laptop battery life means something else that what it means...

What would be somehow an interesting test is to measure the number of cycles/instructions a browser needs to:
* load a page.
* render a page.
* animate a page during 1 minutes.
Of course, with parallelism, it surely isn't as simple as that, but at least it would give an hint about the efficiency of your browser. Maybe someone can come with a more interesting test?

Image

School Uniform To Block Cell Phone Emissions 153

Foehg writes "ForeignPolicy.com reports, 'A Belarusian textile company has developed a special school uniform that protects kids from electromagnetic radiation emanating from their cellphones. The uniform features a dedicated pocket that can store the phone and make it safe for those who wear it.'" Now someone has to create an oven mitt that can protect you from the harmful radiation given off by your microwave oven.
Space

Jumpgate Evolution Dev Talks Class Balance 86

Hermann Peterscheck recently made a post on the Jumpgate Evolution developer blog about NetDevil's strategy for balancing the various classes of ships in the game. They seem to be taking a different approach from most MMOs in letting the PvP side of the gameplay set the baseline, rather than allowing PvE concerns to override that. From the section titled Combating Combat: "Early on our lead systems designer, Jay Ambrosini, came to the correct conclusion that all of the preliminary balancing was best done in a PvP context. The reasoning is that in PvE, the player needs to feel powerful, but in PvP the fight needs to feel balanced. Once ship classes are balanced in PvP, its not as hard to make the player feel powerful in PvE, but the opposite is not true. We spent many weeks playing just the first class of ship, the light fighter, in teams of 5 or 6 in order to evaluate what it was that made those ships fun to fly and fight. After daily battles, you begin to see what makes those ships work. We also started with the mid level ships as opposed to the low or high level ships. This is primarily because you can find the center point and then work upwards and downwards from there. ... It's very tempting to just throw a bunch of classes of ships together in order to say things like "our game has 15 classes of ships!" but this, we believe, is the wrong direction. People want meaningful and strong choices and not lots of meaningless, empty choices. Currently we plan to have 4-6 classes, but they will each have nearly endless possible configurations within those groups."
Space

Pics of the Longest Solar Eclipse of the Century 97

Vinod writes "Yesterday thousands of people around Asia witnessed the longest solar eclipse of the century. Although it was not clearly visible in some parts due to overcast weather, thousands of people gathered to view this spectacular event. Yesterday's solar eclipse lasted for 6 to 7 minutes, making it the longest solar eclipse of the century. Here is a collection of 33 beautiful images of the solar eclipse from around the world."
Games

Unusual Physics Engine Game Ported To Linux 117

christian.einfeldt writes "Halloween has come early for Linux-loving gamers in the form of the scary Penumbra game trilogy, which has just recently been ported natively to GNU-Linux by the manufacturer, Frictional Games. The Penumbra games, named Overture, Black Plague and Requiem, are first-person survival horror and physics puzzle games which challenge the player to survive in a mine in Greenland which has been taken over by a monstrous infection/demon/cthulhu-esque thing. The graphics, sounds, and plot are all admirable in a scary sort of way. The protagonist is an ordinary human with no particular powers at all, who fumbles around in the dark mine fighting zombified dogs or fleeing from infected humans. But the game is remarkable for its physics engine — rather than just bump and acquire, the player must use the mouse to physically turn knobs and open doors; and the player can grab and throw pretty much anything in the environment. The physics engine drives objects to fly and fall exactly as one would expect. The porting of a game with such a deft physics engine natively to Linux might be one of the most noteworthy events for GNU-Linux gamers since the World of Goo Linux port."
Programming

The Best Game Engines 113

SlappingOysters writes "IGN has taken a look at the most impressive middleware solutions for the next generation of gaming, giving a detailed analysis of which engines are performing the best and which have the most exciting futures. It runs through the technical strengths of each engine, as well as how that translates into actual gameplay. It also runs through which software has and will be using each engine."
Input Devices

In Defense of the Classic Controller 251

Kotaku has an opinion piece by Leigh Alexander singing the praises of classic, button-rich controllers for the level of precision and complexity they offer. While the Wii Remote and upcoming motion-control offerings from Microsoft and Sony are generating a lot of interest, there will always be games for which more traditional input devices are better suited. Quoting: "With all this talk about new audiences — and the tech designed to serve them — it's easy to get excited. It's also easy to feel a little lost in the shuffle. For gamers who've been there since before anyone cared about making games 'for everyone,' having that object in our hands was more than a way to access the game world — it was half the appeal. Anyone who's ever pulled off a chain of combos in a console fighter can tell you about the joy of expertise and control. ... Gamers may suffer some kind of identity crisis as the familiar markers of their beloved niche evolve — or disappear entirely. The solution to that one's easy: Get over it. Like it or not, it's clear that gaming's not a 'niche' anymore, and its shape will change. The more pressing issue is whether or not controller-less gaming will truly make the medium richer. Making something 'more accessible' doesn't necessarily make it better."
Image

Need a Favor? Talk To My Right Ear 288

Hugh Pickens writes "The Telegraph reports that scientists have found that if you want to get someone to do something, ask them in their right ear. Known as the 'right ear advantage,' scientists believe it is because information received through the right ear is processed by the left hand side of the brain which is more logical and better at deciphering verbal information than the right side of the brain. 'Talk into the right ear you send your words into a slightly more amenable part of the brain,' say researchers. The team, led by Dr. Luca Tommasi and Daniele Marzoli from the University of Chieti in central Italy, observed the behavior of hundreds of people in three nightclubs across the city where they intentionally addressed 176 people in either their right or their left ear when asking for a cigarette. They obtained significantly more cigarettes when they made their request in a person's right ear compared with their left. 'These results seem to be consistent with the hypothesized specialization of right and left hemispheres,' say researchers. 'We can also see this tendency when people use the phone, most will naturally hold it to their right ear.'"
Games

Left 4 Dead Update Will Bring Completed SDK, Content Sharing Tools 30

Valve has announced details of an update to Left 4 Dead that is due out next week. To start, the SDK open beta is over, and the final version is being released. They're also adding a framework for easily sharing player-created content, accessible through the menu system in-game. In addition to that, they're revamping the matchmaking system to accommodate custom campaigns (like this Resident Evil 3 mod). Quoting: "Content authors will be able to package up their new maps, along with new posters, models, and textures, into a single .VPK file. To install and activate this content in-game, players need simply download the .VPK and double click on it. ... When creating or searching for a lobby, a new option named 'Add-on campaign' will let you select from among the add-on campaigns that you have installed. You can then find games or lobbies as well as create a lobby for that campaign. You can invite your friends, too. If they do not have the campaign installed, they will automatically be offered and an option to download it."
Nintendo

New Super Mario Bros. Wii To Include Official "Cheat" 275

phlack writes "Yahoo Games has an article describing a new mode in Nintendo's upcoming New Super Mario Bros. Wii that will allow the player to activate a 'demo' mode to get out of a hard situation. Nintendo plans on incorporating this into future games. Is this a good idea (to help relieve frustrations) or just sanctioned cheating?" They actually patented this system as well.

Slashdot Top Deals

Genius is ten percent inspiration and fifty percent capital gains.

Working...