An anonymous reader writes "Politicians in the Australian state of Victoria are currently locked in a debate about whether an injured man should be able to claim the cost of a Nintendo Wii for rehabilitation purposes under worker's compensation. The man's doctor apparently recommended he use the Wii Fit exercise device, but both insurance companies and the government itself have blocked the payment and have now ridiculed the idea as paying for video games. But with the Wii Fit increasingly being used for rehabilitation purposes internationally, does the man have a fair case?"
from the subsidies-cause-fatter-corn-farmers dept.
krou writes "In an experiment conducted by a Princeton University team, 'Rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same.' Long-term consumption also 'led to abnormal increases in body fat, especially in the abdomen, and a rise in circulating blood fats called triglycerides.' Psychology professor Bart Hoebel commented that 'When rats are drinking high-fructose corn syrup at levels well below those in soda pop, they're becoming obese — every single one, across the board. Even when rats are fed a high-fat diet, you don't see this; they don't all gain extra weight.'"
I find it humorous that Microsoft releases Windows Defender for spyware and Windows LIVE for antivirus when it would benefit them much more to integrate the, albeit limited, protection provided by these clients directly into Windows.
In other words, fix the problems with Windows directly instead of pretending to be the valiant solution provider in offering add-on products to fix the problems they originally created.
I'm skeptical of any politician. However, I'm willing to keep an open mind for a while longer on Obama.
Consider that he may only now be privy to information/intelligence that scares him as much as it did Bush/Cheney. Not that I agree with the policies of the previous administration; I'd like to think that change might be delayed because of some information Obama hadn't been previously party to, and he's still trying to determine the most appropriate long term solution for.
You're assuming that the lawn mower was tasked with the cat's safety in addition to cutting the grass.
1.) Make the wheels smaller so the cat can't enter the business end of the machine.
2.) Get a dog. Most are too big for the lawnmower to injure, and will keep the cat off the grass.
3.) Reconsider feline sympathy.
from the note-to-robots-i-am-not-food dept.
coondoggie writes "Ok, maybe this is getting a little too close to bringing Terminator-like robots to life. For starters, eco-friendly engine builder Cyclone Power this week inked a contract from Robotic Technologies, Inc. (RTI) to develop what it calls a beta biomass engine system that will be the heart of RTI's Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot (EATR). The purpose of EATR is to develop and demonstrate an autonomous robotic platform able to perform long-range, long-endurance missions without the need for manual or conventional re-fueling — in other words it needs to 'eat.' According to researchers, the EATR system gets its energy by foraging, or what the firms describe as 'engaging in biologically-inspired, organism-like, energy-harvesting behavior which is the equivalent of eating. It can find, ingest, and extract energy from biomass in the environment as well as use conventional and alternative fuels (such as gasoline, heavy fuel, kerosene, diesel, propane, coal, cooking oil, and solar) when suitable.'"
We can only hope they don't team up with the Multi-Robot Pursuit System project to "search for and detect a non-cooperative human."
from the don't-encourage-them dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In what has been billed as a world first, four music companies and Irish ISP Eircom have agreed to work together to end illegal music downloading. The Irish branches of the record companies (EMI Records Ltd, Sony BMG Music Entertainment Ltd, Universal Music Ltd and Warner Music Ltd.) brought a High Court action against Eircom last March which has resulted in this settlement after eight days of trial. Eircom will be implementing a three-step process — informing a subscriber that their IP address has been detected infringing copyright; warning the subscriber that if they do not stop they will be disconnected; and finally disconnecting the user if they fail to heed the warning. Which technology they will be using to spy on their customers is currently unknown. EMI and the other record companies have recommended US-based Audible Magic, which (among other things) claims to block copyright violating web content from sites like Youtube and MySpace. However, digital surveillance is nothing new in Ireland and Eircom may have already tested and implemented the necessary technologies."
from the you-will-comply-citizen dept.
CWmike writes "Technical advisers to the antitrust regulators who monitor Microsoft's compliance with the 2002 antitrust settlement will test Windows 7 'more thoroughly' than earlier versions of the operating system were tested, according to a new status report filed with the federal judge watching over the company. Microsoft is also facing renewed scrutiny from the EU, which two weeks ago filed preliminary charges against the company over bundling IE with Windows, and said more recently that Microsoft 'shields' IE from competition."
from the dreams-of-electric-sheep dept.
Gamasutra is running an opinion piece about the way video games handle simulated emotions. Most often, an non-player character's emotional state is used to either tell a story or to drive gameplay. The author suggests that as both concepts become more complex in modern games, the simulation of emotions must also become more dynamic to remain interesting. Quoting:
"Most of our emotional simulations use a simple sensation/calculation/behavior loop. Someone says or does something to a character; this influences his emotional state; he acts upon his feelings. His emotional state then reverts to a more neutral state over time (I was angry half an hour ago, but I've calmed down now), or changes again in response to another sensation. If these systems are really simple they produce absurd results: a character is furious one moment and cheerful a second later, like a Warner Brothers cartoon character. This is the kind of thing you get with finite state machines. This approach doesn't take into account the fact that behavior itself changes emotions. Behavior is not merely an output to be exhibited; it also affects how we feel. It feeds back into our emotional state."
palegray.net writes "Teachers are sorely in need of an education in what open source software is, what it isn't, and how it can benefit their students. A recent news story at the Reg discussed the case of a Texas teacher who accused those distributing Linux to students of committing criminal acts. A HeliOS blog entry exposes a 'higher education' culture of apathy, lies, and fear of open source software. Things have got to improve, and that improvement needs to start with misguided teachers getting their facts straight."