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Privacy

Canadian Judge Orders Disclosure of Anonymous Posters 250

debrain writes "The Globe and Mail is reporting that Google and a newspaper called The Coast must disclose all information they have about the identity of individuals who posted anonymous comments online about top firefighters in Halifax. The story in question is titled 'Black firefighters file human rights complaint,' and there are some heated opinions in the comments."
Games

Speaking With the Designer of an Indie MMO Project 104

PsxMeUP writes "Love is a persistent online first-person shooter that will let players build structures, permanently manipulate the environment and share resources — all in real-time. Action will be similar to a real-time strategy game as seen through the eyes of a grunt. The game is being completely designed by a man named Eskil Steenberg, and GameObserver had a chance to interview him. Steenberg talks about how all MMOs offer an egocentric experience where character growth is the most important aspect, and how he intends to change that. He also explains how mainstream MMOs have too many players, which basically trivializes accomplishments that have an impact on the entire server. 'If you imagine Civilization where you invent your stuff or build new stuff, imagine playing one of those characters on the ground doing that. And being able to do something minute in your world and see that impact in the major world,' Eskil explains, when asked what his game will be like. 'I want to scare people in a direction that is different from this sort of "me-centric" style of games. It feels that pretty much all games are going into that Diablo direction of collecting and building up my characters, and it's all very egocentric about creating your own powerful character,' he clarifies when asked how his game will be different from other MMOs. Love is well into development, and Steenberg has already posted some incredible gameplay demos. Levels, for instance, are all procedurally generated. The game also offers open-source tools, like UV editing — not a small feat considering the whole thing was designed by one man."
Idle

Submission + - Pakistan Uses Google Earth For Military Targeting 1

NeoBeans writes: According to this article in the New York Times about the recent "improvements" in military strikes by the Pakistani military included dropping Google Earth as part of their target planning.

...the air force has shifted from using Google Earth to more sophisticated images from spy planes and other surveillance aircraft, and has increased its use of laser-guided bombs.

And no, you can't really find Osama Bin Laden using Google Maps either.

Links

Submission + - Jellyfish Swimming is mixing the oceans (wired.com)

eviltangerine writes: A new article out of Nature suggests that marine creatures, such as the jellyfish, may contribute as much to ocean mixing as wind and tides. Wired is also covering it and includes a video of the jellyfish in action.

These "could have a profound influence on climate models, which do not now account for this so-called biogenic mixing. If swimming generates tide-scale forces, then 'it has an impact on global climate. This is a rather novel twist to the whole climate story,' said William Dewar, a Florida State University oceanographer. 'How one would extend existing models to include a biosphere mixing input is not clear, largely because no-one has spent much time thinking about it.'" Link to the Nature article here (pricey registration required)

No word yet on when the jellyfish blender is to debut.

First Person Shooters (Games)

ArenaLive, an Open Source MMOFPS 95

ZeXx86 writes "ArenaLive is a new open source game based on the well-known OpenArena. Its aim is to become an open-source alternative to id Software's QuakeLive. The main idea is to make a game available in your web browser. So far, the game is playable and provides player stats, straight-forward settings for your account in a web browser and, of course, loads of fun with your friends. At the moment, it is available only for 32/64bit Mozilla Firefox on GNU/Linux, however, support for other platforms and browsers is coming soon. The game is licensed under GNU/GPL2. It's still in an early development stage, so players and developers both are welcome to join."
Social Networks

Submission + - OkCupid plots personal questions geographically (okcupid.com) 2

Mark writes: "The dating site OkCupid posted some interesting graphs which draw from their 300,000 response data set of personal, user-contributed questions. This is the first post in their new blog, and has graphs showing: Croatia and Nevada lead in acceptance of rape fantasy, as opposed to New and old England; frequency of bathing in the US has a strong north-south bias (northerners report showering less frequently); and, plotted by lattitude/longitude instead of state or country, we find that "only people in cities believe flag burning should be legal". (OkCupid also points out that their data set compares quite favorably with the 2008 Gallup election poll, at 100x that survey's 3,050 response.)"
Robotics

400 Battle Bots Fight, Toss Enemies At RoboGames Competition 58

Andre writes "The 6th annual RoboGames were held in San Francisco last weekend. They welcomed a horde of 400 non-sentient, metallic warriors to do violent battle — against each other, of course. This army of remote-controlled and autonomous combat robots, along with walking humanoids, soccer 'bots, sumo 'bots and even androids that do kung-fu, was put to the test. Among the big winners was Canadian-made 'Ziggy' — one of the combatants in the 340-pound, super-heavyweight division (the biggest division) — who took home a gold medal for the fourth year in a row. The bionic brute proved its might against its final opponent, the 'Juggernaut,' by tossing it around like an empty pop can (and promptly making a mockery of its name) using a pneumatic flipper. Ziggy's newly-improved weapon results in unwanted (but totally cool) free-flying lessons for its opponents. At full power, the flipper can launch an opponent to the arena ceiling."
The Internet

Submission + - .org now signed for DNSSEC (pir.org)

lothos writes: "As of today, 06/02/2009, the Public Interest Registry (www.pir.org) has signed the tld .org for DNSSEC. .ORG, The Public Interest Registry is dedicated to the security and stability of the internet. In our effort to bolster Internet security, we are implementing Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) within the .ORG Top Level Domain. DNSSEC is designed to protect Internet servers from domain name system attacks, such as DNS cache poisoning by malicious users. It is a set of DNS extensions which provide 3 basic functions:

        * Data Origin Authentication — assures that data is received from the authorized DNS server; can protect from impersonation attacks
        * Data Integrity — assures that data received matches data on the origin DNS server, and is not modified during transit; protects from man-in-the-middle type pollution attacks.
        * Authenticated Denial of Existence — assures that a "Non-existent" response is valid."

Microsoft

Submission + - Governments warned about Office 2007 ODF support (odfalliance.org)

omz writes: The ODF Alliance has prepared a Fact Sheet for governments and others interested in how Microsoft's SP2 for Office 2007 handles ODF. The report revealed "serious shortcomings that, left unaddressed, would break the open standards based interoperability that the marketplace, especially governments, is demanding".
Image

Students Are Always Half Right In Pittsburgh Screenshot-sm 881

Pittsburgh Public Schools officials have enacted a policy that sets 50 percent as the minimum score a student can receive for assignments, tests and other work. District spokeswoman Ebony Pugh said, the 50 percent minimum gives children a chance to catch up and a reason to keep trying. If a student gets a 20 percent in a class for the first marking period, he or she would need a 100 percent during the second marking period just to squeak through the semester. The district and teachers union issued a joint memo to ensure staff members' compliance with the policy, which was already on the books but enforced only at some schools. At this rate, it won't be long before schools institute double extra credit Mondays and Fridays to ensure students don't take three day weekends.
Education

Submission + - Banning internet programming in schools 2

An anonymous reader writes: Clark County School District in southern Nevada is proud to be the fifth largest school district in the U.S. In the past 5 years they have spent dozens of millions of dollars to build out a state of the art fiber network to deliver cutting edge media delivery to most schools in the district. They are trying to move every school onto their district-wide VoIP telephone system. They are aggressively pursuing grants and other sources of funding to keep their extensive computer labs stocked with modern hardware. In the district's Technology Plan, the introductory Vision Statement states, " Through the effective integration of technology, our schools will provide learning experiences which are active, personalized, involve teamwork, and focus on solving real-world problems." In enumerating the district's goals, the Technology Plan further states, "Goal 1: All students and teachers will have access to information technology in their classrooms, schools, and communities."

Over the last two years the principal at the local high school banned all computer programming classes. The school's technical computer efforts have been decimated. Now that the principal has been promoted to another school, some in the community are trying to rebuild. However, word comes that the school district has banned all "web programming" education. Any programming classes related to the internet are forbidden. This doesn't seem to line up with Goal 3: "All students will have technology and information literacy skills as aligned with national/state standards and district goals."

The Clark County High School Curriculum Guide certainly neglects technology and information literacy completely. What national standards are there for "technology and information literacy skills"? What standards should there be?

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