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Mass Effect 3, Battlefield 3 Launch Dates Announced 37

Electronic Arts used their E3 press conference to show off a number of upcoming games and provide release dates for a few of them. BioWare's Mass Effect 3 is due out March 6th, 2012, at which time Commander Shepherd will return to defend earth from the Reapers. Battlefield 3 is closer to launch, currently planned for October 26th, with a beta in September. Some new video clips of the game are available. Star Wars: The Old Republic got impressive new trailers, but not many hard details (though they did talk about raiding not long ago). Gamespot's liveblog of the event has more information about the various presentations, including snippets on Need for Speed: The Run, FIFA 12, The Sims Social for Facebook, and Curt Shilling's Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, which is planned for next year.

Comment Re:Big deal (Score 1) 312

They criticise what deserves criticism and give credit where it's due. Almost all religions teach compassion, which is a good thing. Some of them have dubious metaphysical tenets or practices, which deserve criticism.

One reason for the distinction you raise is that many people regard the Buddhist metaphysic and its emphasis on individual empirical investigation as far more plausible than the Christian metaphysic and the Christian emphasis on faith.

But that's a separate issue from calling on the government to suppress something because it's a "cult", or "mind-wank". People should be free to mind-wank as much as they like, as long as they're not harming others. That's freedom of religion.

Comment Re:Big deal (Score 1) 312

Well, I guess the fascists were going to crawl out of the woodwork eventually.

From Wikipedia (

Falun Gong aspires to enable the practitioner to ascend spiritually through moral rectitude and the practice of a set of exercises and meditation. The three central tenets of the belief are 'Truthfulness' (, Zhn), 'Compassion' (, Shàn), and 'Forbearance' (, Rn).[28] Together these principles are regarded as the fundamental nature of the cosmos, and are held to be the highest manifestation of the Tao, or Buddhist Dharma.

Truthfulness, compassion and forbearance? Holy mother of god, how horrible! We should suppress these people asap. Quick, call Cisco.

Comment Re:It's a really nice idea... but, (Score 1) 312

That's interesting... but the argument in your last sentence -- which I acknowledge doesn't represent the whole gist of your comment -- is a version of the infamous Pol Pot Defence (in which Pol Pot says "What, criticise me? What about Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and Satan? I'm not as bad as them. Go criticise them.")

If Cisco knowingly supplied equipment to suppress Falun Gong, make them pay now, not in 50 years' time. They're as good a place to start as any. Set a precedent, then carry it through to all the other bastards.

The Internet

Fruit Flies Hold the Key To Faster Computing 45

hapworth writes "Dr. Ziv Bar-Joseph, a researcher at Carnegie Mellon, may have found the key to faster computing in the form of fruit flies. While computer scientists have long struggled with determining optimal communications paths in digital environments, Bar-Joseph believes the answer can be found by studying the biological make-up of fruit flies: 'Determining how to select a [Maximal Independent Set] is difficult and has been under scrutiny for many years. It turns out that fruit flies solve a similar problem. During brain development, a process called Sensory Organ Precursor [SOP] selection occurs,' he says. 'As in computer networks, some cells (SOP) in the brain will become local leaders (MIS) and convey information from the environment to neighboring cells.'"

Ruby Dropped In Netbeans 7 140

An anonymous reader writes "Ruby/RoR in NetBeans made headlines three years ago, but after Sun was acquired by Oracle there where fears that support for dynamic languages would suffer, as this IDE would be downsized. This has become a reality, since as of version 7, NetBeans will no longer support Ruby."
The Military

Mystery of the Dying Bees Solved 347

jamie points out news of a study attempting to explain the decline of honeybee populations across the US. As it turns out, the fungus N. ceranae that was thought to be killing off bee colonies had a partner in crime — a DNA-based virus that worked in tandem with N. ceranae to compromise nutrition uptake. From the NY Times: "Dr. Bromenshenk's team at the University of Montana and Montana State University in Bozeman, working with the Army's Edgewood Chemical Biological Center northeast of Baltimore, said in their jointly written paper that the virus-fungus one-two punch was found in every killed colony the group studied. Neither agent alone seems able to devastate; together, the research suggests, they are 100 percent fatal. 'It's chicken and egg in a sense — we don't know which came first,' Dr. Bromenshenk said of the virus-fungus combo — nor is it clear, he added, whether one malady weakens the bees enough to be finished off by the second, or whether they somehow compound the other's destructive power. 'They're co-factors, that's all we can say at the moment,' he said. 'They're both present in all these collapsed colonies.'"
PC Games (Games)

Blizzard Boss Says Restrictive DRM Is a Waste of Time 563

Stoobalou writes "Blizzard co-founder Frank Pearce reckons that fighting piracy with DRM is a losing battle. His company — which is responsible for one of the biggest video games of all time, the addictive online fantasy role player World of Warcraft — is to release StarCraft 2 on July 27, and Pearce has told Videogamer that the title won't be hobbled with the kind of crazy copy protection schemes that have made Ubisoft very unpopular in gaming circles of late. StarCraft 2 will require a single online activation using the company's servers, after which players will be allowed to play the single-player game to their hearts' content, without being forced to have a persistent Internet connection."

Man-Made Atomic Clocks the Best In the Universe 267

An anonymous reader writes "The widespread belief by astrophysicists that pulsars and white dwarfs are the best clocks in the universe is wrong, say two Australian physicists. John Hartnett and Andre Luiten from the University of Western Australia have recently shown that man-made terrestrial atomic clocks take the crown, contrary to numerous claims in astrophysical literature that the natural timing provided by pulsars and white dwarfs is the most precise. The preprint of their paper, available on the arXiv, shows that terrestrial clocks exceed the accuracy and stability of the astrophysical 'clocks' by all sensible measures, in some cases by several orders of magnitude."

Comment Re:Philosophy is fundamental (Score 1) 515

A "History of Western Philosophy" necessarily tells only half the story: the western side. If you're into philosophy, you own it to yourself to explore Eastern philosophy, which is (also) the hotness. Try Nagarjuna particularly, if you're into epistemology, or even just into having your head blown open, laughing stupidly and asking "What is the matrix?"

China To Tap Combustible Ice As New Energy Source 185

lilbridge writes "Huge reserves of "combustible ice" — frozen methane and water — have been discovered in the tundra of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in China. Estimates show that there is enough combustible ice to provide 90 years worth of energy for China. Burning the combustible ice may be a far better alternative than letting it just melt, releasing tons of methane into the air."

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