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Java

Sun's Project Darkstar Game Server Platform No More 82

sproketboy writes "Project Darkstar, an open source software platform from Sun labs that simplifies the development of horizontally scalable servers for online games, is being discontinued as of the Oracle acquisition. This project, mentioned a couple of years back on Slashdot, was a unique concept for building an application server specific to on-line gaming. Sadly they were so close at version 0.9.11 (which is still very stable). Hopefully the open source community can get involved and help continue work on this project."
The Internet

Domain Tasting "Officially Dead" Thanks To Cancellation Policy 102

Ars Technica is reporting that domain tasting has been all but eradicated now that the full penalty for excessive cancellations has taken effect. "In 2008, ICANN decided to act. It allowed domain registrars to withdraw as many as 10 percent of their total registrations; they would face penalties for anything above that. Initially, ICANN adopted a budget that included a charge of $0.20 for each withdrawal above the limit, which was in effect from June 2008 to July of this year. Later, it adopted an official policy that raised the penalty to $6.75, the cost of a .org registration; that took effect in July 2009. The results have been dramatic. Even under the low-cost budget provisions, domain withdrawals during the grace period dropped to 16 percent of what they had been prior to its adoption. Once the heavy penalties took hold, the withdrawal rate dropped to under half a percent."
Games

Classifying Players For Unique Game Experiences 167

togelius writes "Whenever you play a game of Tomb Raider: Underworld, heaps of data about your playing style is collected at Eidos' servers. Researchers at the Center for Computer Games Research have now mined this data to identify the different types of player behavior (PDF). Using self-organizing neural networks, they classified players as either Veterans, Solvers, Pacifists or Runners. It turns out people play the game for very different reasons and focus on different parts of the game, but almost everyone falls into one of these categories. These neural networks can now quickly determine which of these groups you belong to based on just seeing you play. In the near future, such networks will be used to adapt games like Tomb Raider while they are played (e.g. by removing or adding puzzles and enemies), so you get the game you want."
Medicine

Major New Function Discovered For the Spleen 257

circletimessquare writes "The spleen doesn't get much respect — as one researcher put it, 'the spleen lacks the gravitas of neighboring organs.' Those undergoing a splenectomy seem to be able to carry on without any consequences. However, some studies have suggested an enhanced risk of early death for those who have undergone splenectomies. Now researchers have discovered why: the spleen apparently serves as a vast reservoir for monocytes, the largest of the white blood cells, the wrecking crew of the immune system. After major trauma, such as a heart attack, the monocytes are disgorged into the blood stream and immediately get to work repairing the damage. '"The parallel in military terms is a standing army," said Matthias Nahrendorf, an author of the report. "You don't want to have to recruit an entire fighting force from the ground up every time you need it."'"
Medicine

Cure For Radiation Sickness Found? 385

Summit writes "A scientist has claimed to have discovered a radioprotectant that all but eliminates acute radiation sickness even in cases of lethal doses of radiation in tests on rats and monkeys, when injected up to 72 hours after exposure. They also claim the drug, a protein, has no observed negative effects in humans. They have not irradiated any people just yet, but if this turns out to be true, it could mean everything from curing cancer to making manned interplanetary space expeditions feasible... not to mention treatment for radiation exposures in nuclear/radiological accidents/attacks. If this drug works, it would mean a true breakthrough as past experiments with radioprotectants were not particularly promising in any respect." The only source for the story at this time is an exclusive in YNet News, a site with the subtitle "Israel At Your Fingertips." Such a radioprotectant would be huge news for Israel. Make of it what you will.

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