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Classic Games (Games)

Pac-Man's Ghost Behavior Algorithms 194

An anonymous reader writes "This article has a very interesting description of the algorithms behind the ghosts in Pac-Man. I had no idea about most of this information, but that's probably because it's difficult to study the ghosts when I die every 30 seconds. Quoting: 'The ghosts are always in one of three possible modes: Chase, Scatter, or Frightened. The "normal" mode with the ghosts pursuing Pac-Man is Chase, and this is the one that they spend most of their time in. While in Chase mode, all of the ghosts use Pac-Man's position as a factor in selecting their target tile, though it is more significant to some ghosts than others. In Scatter mode, each ghost has a fixed target tile, each of which is located just outside a different corner of the maze. This causes the four ghosts to disperse to the corners whenever they are in this mode. Frightened mode is unique because the ghosts do not have a specific target tile while in this mode. Instead, they pseudorandomly decide which turns to make at every intersection.'"
Games

8-Year Fan-Made Game Project Shut Down By Activision 265

An anonymous reader writes "Activision, after acquiring Vivendi, became the new copyright holder of the classic King's Quest series of adventure game. They have now issued a cease and desist order to a team which has worked for eight years on a fan-made project initially dubbed a sequel to the last official installment, King's Quest 8. This stands against the fact that Vivendi granted a non-commercial license to the team, subject to Vivendi's approval of the game after submission. After the acquisition, key team members had indicated on the game's forums (now stripped of their original content by order of Activision) that Activision had given the indication that it intended to keep its current fan-game licenses, but was not interested in issuing new ones."

Comment Whitespace (Score 0) 394

I believe proper use of whitespace in programming makes enormous improvements in recognition. Spaces in proportional fonts are often thinner and less contrasting. That alone may reduce proportional effectiveness, more readable or not. One would have to form a habit of using two space characters and more tabs.
PC Games (Games)

EA Shutting Down Video Game Servers Prematurely 341

Spacezilla writes "EA is dropping the bomb on a number of their video game servers, shutting down the online fun for many of their Xbox 360, PC and PlayStation 3 games. Not only is the inclusion of PS3 and Xbox 360 titles odd, the date the games were released is even more surprising. Yes, Madden 07 and 08 are included in the shutdown... but Madden 09 on all consoles as well?"
Idle

Hand Written Clock 86

a3buster writes "This clock does not actually have a man inside, but a flatscreen that plays a 24-hour loop of this video by the artist watching his own clock somewhere and painstakingly erasing and re-writing each minute. This video was taken at Design Miami during Art Basel Miami Beach 2009."
The Almighty Buck

EA Flip-Flops On Battlefield: Heroes Pricing, Fans Angry 221

An anonymous reader writes "Ben Kuchera from Ars Technica is reporting that EA/DICE has substantially changed the game model of Battlefield: Heroes, increasing the cost of weapons in Valor Points (the in-game currency that you earn by playing) to levels that even hardcore players cannot afford, and making them available in BattleFunds (the in-game currency that you buy with real money). Other consumables in the game, such as bandages to heal the players, suffered the same fate, turning the game into a subscription or pay-to-play model if players want to remain competitive. This goes against the creators' earlier stated objectives of not providing combat advantage to paying customers. Ben Cousins, from EA/DICE, argued, 'We also frankly wanted to make buying Battlefunds more appealing. We have wages to pay here in the Heroes team and in order to keep a team large enough to make new free content like maps and other game features we need to increase the amount of BF that people buy. Battlefield Heroes is a business at the end of the day and for a company like EA who recently laid off 16% of their workforce, we need to keep an eye on the accounts and make sure we are doing our bit for the company.' The official forums discussion thread is full of angry responses from upset users, who feel this change is a betrayal of the original stated objectives of the game."

Comment Re:Is this the guy (Score 2, Informative) 385

This very act is what prompted the "negative option billing" law in the first place. The dates (yours or the "10 year" estimate) are either wrong, or your friends were caught by something less generic - i.e. they had signed up for it somewhere without realizing it. But, again, Rogers also could have just pushed their luck...
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 Re:I'll take a crack at it (Score 1) 411

Just on the off chance you read this again, AC...

Regarding social heredity, you strangely state you disagree then promptly state the same as I did: daughters tend to follow their mother's social footprints. With what are you in disagreement? There's exceptions, there's the opposite tack, but the trend is there.

Regarding physical beauty, you are in an age where you must see past the makeover. Women have become quite excellent at painting their faces, pumping their bra bladders, and otherwise fitting the current norms of beauty (your "ideas"). I'll leave it to you to discover the beauty that wakes up beautiful. Then look at *their* mothers / fathers. The foundation is often palpable.

And that rare level of beauty used to sleep next to us in a cave.

Regardless, my original post stands. Sweeping generalization, yes, but it stands.

Comment I'll take a crack at it (Score 1, Interesting) 411

The problem with most biologists and geneticists (I'm one) is a lack of objectivity. They should talk to more engineers when solving problems (I'm one of those too).

Process A
Most planned pregnancies happen in later life.
Most unplanned pregnancies happen while drunk.
Most drunk intercourse is with the first willing partner.
Most willing partners are more homely than gorgeous.
Most homely women are shorter and fatter.

Process B
Most unplanned pregnancies are followed by unplanned marriages.
Most marriages starting with an unplanned child are followed by subsequent progeny (it started with sex, so sex is what you do together for the first while)
Most social traits carry on through generations - daughters of young mothers often have early pregnancies (these may involve factors expressed in Process A)

Thus, homely Mom, homely daughters, Mom got drunk and had sex early so why can't I, followed by more homely daughters...

Where's the mystery?
Upgrades

Some Users Say Win7 Wants To Remove iTunes, Google Toolbar 570

Foofoobar writes "Due to a strike with the UK's postal system, people in Great Britain are getting copies of Windows 7 early and have already posted their experiences about the install process. Some have an easy time but others post installs taking 3 hours including Windows asking them to remove iTunes and Google toolbar prior to installation." The article indicates that many of these early users, though, are having better luck.

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