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First Person Shooters (Games)

Submission + - Duke Nukem Developer Shuts Down (

PLSQL Guy writes: "Duke Nukem Forever developer 3D Realms is shutting down, according to Shacknews, who cites 'a reliable source close to the company' who said the developer, along with the recently resurrected Apogee name, is finished and employees from both have already been let go. It looks like all of the Duke Nukem Forever jokes are turning into reality- it looks like DNF might turn out to be the ultimate vaporware after all."

Comment Hidden Content (Score 2, Interesting) 188 (mentioned in the pdf) seems to have some hidden content. The page displays a link to: If you look at the source, you can notice a link at the bottom which isn't displayed: MPAA_University_Toolkit_Administrators_Guide.pdf (it's a relative link in the source).

This version is slightly longer, with what looks like a section detailing development goals. Can anyone see anything incriminating there?
PlayStation (Games)

Submission + - 40GB PS3 will NOT be backwards compatible! ( 2

gevmage writes: "An article on says that the 40GB version of the PlayStation 3 console, which will supplant the 60GB version (at least in Europe) will not be backwards compatible. From the article: 'In a new eye-opener from Sony the company's revealed that it's to drop backwards-compatibility support in PlayStation products.'

Personally, I think that Sony's generally good attitudes about backwards compatibility has been one reason that I own a PlayStation 2. If they dump that completely, then I may go Wii shopping."

GNU is Not Unix

Submission + - Has copyright gone too far? RMS' views

holdenkarau writes: "Richard M. Stallman (RMS) recently gave a talk entitled Copyright vs Community in the Age of Computer Networks to the University of Waterloo Computer Science Club. The talk looks at the origin of copyright, and how it has evolved overtime from something that originally served the benefit of the people to a tool used against them and answers the question of how copyright has gone to far, and how to fix it. In keeping with RMS' desire to use open formats, the talk and qa session are only available in ogg theora."

Submission + - How do we solve the copyright/piracy problem?

Archaelicos writes: I'm a second year law student working on my law review note (it's a "short" article, basically) and my subject is probably going to be copyright law regarding entertainment media in a digital environment where old solutions have failed. The industry grudgingly gave up the fight over VCRs and cassettes after they were able to require royalty payments on blank tapes to compensate them for future piracy, and a combination of energy barriers and limited social access prevented most people from mass-producing thousands of copies and trading them. That's all changed. You can't reasonably charge royalties on the sale of all storage media, our social access is now the entire planet, and the energy barrier is literally the push of a button. Piracy is a real legitimate problem for the industry, but their answer has been, shall we say, unenlightened, and the pirates are committed to the fight. Ignorance runs wild on all sides. The industry drops millions on copy protection schemes that are cracked within days. Internet users complain that the DMCA criminalizes fair use (it is evil legislation, but this belief isn't accurate; see, e.g., Lexmark v. SCC, 387 F.3d 522, 561 (6th Cir. 2004) ("[T]he DMCA explicitly leaves the defenses to copyright infringement, including the fair use doctrine, unaltered.")). iTunes is obviously a smashing hit, yet piracy continues unabated. Are there any solutions? REAL solutions, not "fsck the RIAA" solutions? Do the laws cast too wide a net? I'm hoping to see some insightful, thoughtful comments (on Slashdot, even, yes!) that I could quote in my note. I haven't decided what "side" of this I'm on, I'm going to let my research decide. I am especially interested in any legitimate studies done of the industry, its profit model, piracy, its impact on the bottom line, and so forth, so if anybody knows of that data, or even news articles that are critical, post them! You might have the dubious distinction of being immortalized in a legal journal. If this little experiment is success I'll try to post another story when the note is published letting you know where to find it.

Submission + - Richard Stallman talks on Copyright V. The People 5

holden writes: "Richard M. Stallman recently gave a talk entitled Copyright vs Community in the Age of Computer Networks to the University of Waterloo Computer Science Club. The talk looks at the origin of copyright, and how it has evolved overtime from something that originally served the benefit of the people to a tool used against them. In keeping with his wishes to use open formats, the talk and qa are available in ogg theora only."
Classic Games (Games)

Submission + - Checkers solved, unbeatable database created (

tgeller writes: "My story in Nature announced that a team of computer scientists at the University of Alberta has solved checkers. From the game's 500 billion billion positions (5 * 10^20), "Chinook" has determined which 100,000 billion (10^14) are needed for their proof, and run through all relevant decision trees. They've set up a site where you can see the proof, traverse the logic, and play their unbeatable automaton. Congratulations to Dr. Schaeffer and his crew!"

Submission + - FBI used CIPAV for secret online search (

juct writes: "The FBI has used PC spyware for the first time to reveal the identity of an offender who sent bomb threats to a high school in Washington state. According to heise Security a declaration from the FBI official who applied for the search warrant describes the mode of operation of the spyware which the FBI is using under the abbreviation CIPAV (Computer and Internet Protocol Address Verifier)."
The Media

Submission + - Study: Scientists not very Religious

Davin writes: Study finds that top scientists are not very religious, but that is not because they studied science.
"The first systematic analysis in decades to examine the religious beliefs and practices of elite academics in the sciences supports the notion that science professors at top universities are less religious than the general population, but attributes this to a number of variables that have little to do with their study of science."

Submission + - All Humans Evolved from a Single Origin in Africa (

Invisible Pink Unicorn writes: "Researchers at the University of Cambridge have combined studies of global human genetic variations with skull measurements worldwide to conclusively show the validity of the single origin hypothesis. The alternative hypothesis contended that different populations independently evolved from Homo erectus to Home sapiens in different areas. The lead researcher explains, 'The origin of anatomically modern humans has been the focus of much heated debate. Our genetic research shows the further modern humans have migrated from Africa, the more genetic diversity has been lost within a population. However, some have used skull data to argue that modern humans originated in multiple spots around the world. We have combined our genetic data with new measurements of a large sample of skulls to show definitively that modern humans originated from a single area in Sub-saharan Africa.' The article abstract is available from Nature."

Submission + - Instrumented GIMP to Identify Usability Flaws

Mike writes: New users of the GIMP often become frustrated at the application's unwieldy user interface. For this reason Prof. Michael Terry and a group of researchers at the University of Waterloo have created ingimp, an modified version of the GIMP that collects real-time usability data. Terry recently gave a lecture about ingimp and the data it collects. During each session, ingimp records events such as document creation, window manipulation, and tool use. A log of these events is sent to the ingimp server for analysis. The project hopes to answer questions such as "What is the typical monitor resolution of a GIMP user?" and "Is GIMP used primarily for photo editing or drawing?" Answers to these questions will help the GIMP developers find and fix GIMP's usability problems. For more information about ingimp, visit the project's web site.

Text Compressor 1% Away From AI Threshold 442

Baldrson writes "Alexander Ratushnyak compressed the first 100,000,000 bytes of Wikipedia to a record-small 16,481,655 bytes (including decompression program), thereby not only winning the second payout of The Hutter Prize for Compression of Human Knowledge, but also bringing text compression within 1% of the threshold for artificial intelligence. Achieving 1.319 bits per character, this makes the next winner of the Hutter Prize likely to reach the threshold of human performance (between 0.6 and 1.3 bits per character) estimated by the founder of information theory, Claude Shannon and confirmed by Cover and King in 1978 using text prediction gambling. When the Hutter Prize started, less than a year ago, the best performance was 1.466 bits per character. Alexander Ratushnyak's open-sourced GPL program is called paq8hp12 [rar file]."

Submission + - Uri Geller Accused of Bending Copyright Law (

JagsLive writes: "FoxNews reports,,2933,288665,00.html " Geller's tireless attempts to silence his detractors have extended to the popular video-sharing site YouTube , landing him squarely in the center of a raging digital-age debate over controlling copyrights amid the massive volume of video and music clips flowing freely online. "All it takes is a single e-mail to completely censor someone on the Internet," said Jason Schultz, a lawyer for the online civil rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is suing Geller over an unflattering clip posted on YouTube for which he claimed a copyright ownership. ""

Submission + - Making the GIMP Suck Less ( 1

GIMPFan writes: Most people who have ever tried the GIMP know that its UI leaves much to be desired. Thankfully, at least one person is doing something about it. Usability expert Michael Terry has created an instrumented version of the GIMP called ingimp. The key feature of ingimp is that it collects usability data in order to determine how people are using (or struggling to use) the GIMP. This data is made available on the ingimp site so that researchers can study usability in the GIMP, which can hopefully lead to improved usability of the GIMP.

Terry also recently gave a talk on his project. In his talk, he emphasizes that the user's privacy is a key consideration of the project. He notes that contrary to most usage-collecting applications, ingimp is open-source and that the collected data is available to anyone. He also notes that Inkscape is also very interested in creating an instrumented version.

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