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Classic Games (Games)

20 Years of Commander Keen 152

angry tapir writes "This week marks the 20th anniversary of the release of the first Commander Keen game. For those too young to remember, Commander Keen was a series of shareware 2D platform games for the PC released by Apogee Software (aka 3D Realms) developed by no less than id Software — the developers of Wolfenstein 3D, Doom and Quake."
The Almighty Buck

EVE Player Loses $1,200 Worth of Game Time In-Game 620

An anonymous reader writes "Massively.com has reported that an EVE Online player recently lost over $1,200 worth of in-game items during a pirate attack. The player in question was carrying 74 PLEX in their ship's cargo hold — in-game 'Pilot's License Extensions' that award 30 days of EVE Online time when used on your account. When the ship was blown up by another player, all 74 PLEX were destroyed in the resulting blast, costing $1,200 worth of damage, or over 6 years of EVE subscription time, however you prefer to count it. Ow."
United States

State Senator Caught Looking At Porn On Senate Floor 574

Everyone knows how boring a debate on a controversial abortion bill can get on the Senate floor. So it's no wonder that Florida State Sen. Mike Bennett took the time to look at a little porn and a video of a dog running out of the water and shaking itself off. From the article: "Ironically, as Bennett is viewing the material, you can hear a Senator Dan Gelber's voice in the background debating a controversial abortion bill. 'I'm against this bill,' said Gelber, 'because it disrespects too many women in the state of Florida.' Bennett defended his actions, telling Sunshine State News it was an email sent to him by a woman 'who happens to be a former court administrator.'"
The Military

Indian Military Hopes to Weaponize the Searing "Ghost Pepper" 267

coondoggie writes "The military in India is looking to weaponize the world's hottest chili, the bhut jolokia or 'ghost pepper,' according to a number of news outlets. The Bhut Jolokia chili pepper from Assam, India is no ordinary pepper. In tests first conducted by the New Mexico State University in 2008 and subsequently confirmed by Guinness World records and others, the Bhut Jolokia reached over one million Scoville heat units, while the next hottest, the Red Savina Habenero, clocks in at a mere 577,000. Scoville units are a universally accepted measure of chili hotness."

Comment Re:If only... (Score 1) 402

In the 'Nuclear War' board game the Space Shuttle can be used in 2 ways: 1) To re-load the Space Platform with missiles 2) To operate as a bomber with a 50 Mt total payload. Do you think the chaps from Flying Buffalo made this stuff up?
Education

Improving Education Through Social Gaming 44

A piece up at Mashable explores how some schools and universities are finding success at integrating social gaming into their education curriculum. Various game-related programs are getting assistance these days from sources like the government and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "For the less well-to-do educator, the Federation of American Scientists has developed a first-person shooter-inspired cellular biology curriculum. Gamers explore the fully-interactive 3D world of an ill patient and assist the immune system in fighting back a bacterial infection. Dr. Melanie Ann Stegman has been evaluating the educational impacts of the game and is optimistic about her preliminary findings. 'The amount of detail about proteins, chemical signals and gene regulation that these 15-year-olds were devouring was amazing. Their questions were insightful. I felt like I was having a discussion with scientist colleagues,' said Stegman. Perhaps more importantly, the video game excites students about science. Motivating more youngsters to adopt a science-related career track has became a major education initiative of the Obama administration. So desperate to find a solution that motivates students to become scientists, the government has even enlisted Darpa, the Department of Defense’s 'mad scientist' research organization, to figure out a solution."
Star Wars Prequels

BioWare Targeting Spring 2011 For Star Wars: The Old Republic Launch 82

MTV's Multiplayer blog reports on comments from BioWare employee Sean Dahlberg, which indicate that they are aiming to release the game in spring 2011. He said, "While we have not announced a specific date, we can confirm that we are targeting a spring 2011 release for Star Wars: The Old Republic. We've got a lot of exciting updates and reveals planned throughout 2010, including the first-ever hands-on testing for the game. ... We can't wait to share more about the game with you as we progress through the year, so make sure you stay tuned to the official website for details." Recent posts to the game's developer blog provide details on the Imperial Agent and the Jedi Knight. They also released a video which gives insight into their design process for the Dark Side.
Mars

Mars Images Reveal Evidence of Ancient Lakes 128

Matt_dk writes "Spectacular satellite images suggest that Mars was warm enough to sustain lakes three billion years ago, a period that was previously thought to be too cold and arid to sustain water on the surface, according to research published today in the journal Geology. Earlier research had suggested that Mars had a warm and wet early history but that between 4 billion and 3.8 billion years ago, before the Hesperian Epoch, the planet lost most of its atmosphere and became cold and dry. In the new study, the researchers analysed detailed images from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which is currently circling the red planet, and concluded that there were later episodes where Mars experienced warm and wet periods."
Games

Pirates as a Marketplace 214

John Riccitiello, the CEO of Electronic Arts, made some revealing comments in an interview with Kotaku about how the company's attitudes are shifting with regard to software piracy. Quoting: "Some of the people buying this DLC are not people who bought the game in a new shrink-wrapped box. That could be seen as a dark cloud, a mass of gamers who play a game without contributing a penny to EA. But around that cloud Riccitiello identified a silver lining: 'There's a sizable pirate market and a sizable second sale market and we want to try to generate revenue in that marketplace,' he said, pointing to DLC as a way to do it. The EA boss would prefer people bought their games, of course. 'I don't think anybody should pirate anything,' he said. 'I believe in the artistry of the people who build [the games industry.] I profoundly believe that. And when you steal from us, you steal from them. Having said that, there's a lot of people who do.' So encourage those pirates to pay for something, he figures. Riccitiello explained that EA's download services aren't perfect at distinguishing between used copies of games and pirated copies. As a result, he suggested, EA sells DLC to both communities of gamers. And that's how a pirate can turn into a paying customer."

Comment Re:Human-level AI (Score 1) 903

Our current understanding of temporal physics requires that the Time Machine can only go back as far as to the time when it was created. Also you will not be able to interfere in anything meaningful way with the situation there thereby avoiding the 'Grandfather Paradox'. Change Einsteinian physics in a radical way and these problems may go away. Until then...

Comment Just like Hollywood... (Score 3, Insightful) 108

From TFA: How many games are not sequels, fight games, drivers, or FPSes? Few. Just like Hollywood (to which the games industry is endlessly compared) the suits control the expenditure and they lack not only the vision but also the cajones to do anything but look backwards and extrapolate from there. If and when there is a correction the next breed/ style of games will come through.

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