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Comment Re:Shades of... (Score 1) 93

I was fooled once with titanfall. Glad I didn't buy into this one. In fact the free beta was so lacking in fun that I deleted it the same day. Much like I'm now deleting all the spam emails I receive from them, apparently having clicked OK on some marketing consent thing somewhere along the way.

Submission + - Amazon to Buy Twitch for $970 Million

Dave Knott writes: Amazon has agreed to acquire the live game-streaming service Twitch for approximately $970 million in cash, a move that could help Amazon bolster its position in the fast-growing business of online gaming and give it technology to compete with video-streaming rivals Netflix and YouTube. The acquisition, which has been approved by Twitch's shareholders, is expected to be completed by the end of the year. Google had for some time been reported to have interest in acquiring Twitch, but those talks cooled in recent weeks. Google was unable to close the deal, said sources familiar with the talks, because it was concerned about potential antitrust issues that could have come with the acquisition.

Submission + - Looking Back at Kickstarter's Greatest Hits of 2012 (

Zothecula writes: Kickstarter, the popular crowd-funding site, has assembled a list of 2012's greatest hits which Gizmag has narrowed down to five of the more technology-related projects. Conspicuously absent from the company's official selection is the massively popular Form 1 3D printer by Formlabs, which features game-changing technology that quickly sparked a patent suit by 3D Systems.

Submission + - Command & Conquer recreated in HTML5, with multiplayer!! (

An anonymous reader writes: Back in the deep dark days of 1995, computer gaming was very different from what we know today. It was slower, blockier, and everything was a pain to install. Still, many gamers of the era have fond memories of the original Command and Conquer, later renamed Tiberian Dawn. This real-time strategy game pitted the Brotherhood of Nod against the GDI in all-out war. Now you can play this classic PC title entirely in your browser . What an age we live in.

An enterprising coder, Aditya Ravi Shankar, actually recreated the strategy game using nothing but HTML5, where it runs on 69k of Javascript. Why did he set out on such an adventure? For starters, Shankar’s attempt was a self-mandated undertaking in order to improve his coding skills, where he gave himself a one month window to rebuild the game in the browser, and had to comb through the original game’s files in order to obtain all the right sprites, sounds and specs.

According to Shankar, “In hindsight, I might have wanted to take smaller steps and make a tower defense game instead of jumping directly into an RTS. Trying to do the whole thing in under a month all by myself wasn’t the smartest idea.”

This implementation of Command and Conquer has been developed entirely in HTML5, so any modern web browser should be compatible. In its current incarnation you can’t play the entire game. You can run through the first few levels of both campaigns, but there is online multiplayer support through node.js.

All the assets and audio are lifted directly from the original game, circa 1995. The developer stresses that the port was not created for financial gains, but only as a proof of concept. The game itself is available as a free download from EA , and has been for a few years. Considering this, you might be able to get away with calling the HTML5 port fair use.

The game itself plays well in most places. Unit movement seems a little clumsy, but this might be a fair representation of the original game. The multiplayer skirmishes are good for a few rounds of fun, but many of the structures and units from the full game are missing at this point. Assuming the developer does not get a cease and desist, more content could be added later.

Comment Testing didn't always go so well.... (Score 1) 123

In "When the Bullet Hits Your Funny bone" One of the "funny" stories talks about this device and a SEAL being whisked away from a card game. Unfortunately, something went wrong and he released just before reaching the plane. He flashed the bird to the plane as he fell to his death. That was the one tale from that book in which I didn't quite see the humor. Just goes to show how routine this stuff is for those who live it.

Submission + - Chinese build fastest supercomputer ever (

kaapstorm writes: The computer, known as Tianhe-1A, is 1.4 times faster that the current #1.

According to the New York Times:

Over the last decade, the Chinese have steadily inched up in the rankings of supercomputers. Tianhe-1A stands as the culmination of billions of dollars in investment and scientific development, as China has gone from a computing afterthought to a world technology superpower.

“What is scary about this is that the U.S. dominance in high-performance computing is at risk,” said Wu-chun Feng, a supercomputing expert and professor at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. “One could argue that this hits the foundation of our economic future.”

The "How":

The Chinese system follows that model by linking thousands upon thousands of chips made by the American companies Intel and Nvidia. But the secret sauce behind the system — and the technological achievement — is the interconnect, or networking technology, developed by Chinese researchers that shuttles data back and forth across the smaller computers at breakneck rates, Mr. Dongarra said.

The "How many":

For the record, it performs 2.5 times 10 to the 15th power mathematical operations per second.


Submission + - Cyclists’ Alpine Times Hint at Past Doping

Hugh Pickens writes: "The NY Times reports that in most sports, progress is measured by advancement as runners go faster on the track and athletes strive to break records but in cycling, a sport plagued by doping problems, some measure its progress in a different way: by how much cycling has regressed in terms of times on steep climbs, particularly since the 1990s and early 2000s, when doping was thought to be rampant. The Alpe d’Huez climb, a route with 21 switchbacks and one of the legendary climbs in cycling, has changed slightly over the years, but Italian rider Marco Pantani still holds the record at 37 minutes 35 seconds, set in 1997, as well as three of the unofficial top five times. Pantani made those climbs before a test for the blood booster EPO was available and at that time, top cyclists often used EPO to increase endurance. “The speeds are lower in the climbs because there is no doping now, or less doping, in my opinion,” says Aldo Sassi, an Italian exercise physiologist and longtime cycling coach. “If you look at Pantani’s times, the power he produced was very close to 6.8 watts per kilo, and that is something no one can explain if you have physiological normal conditions for any athlete.” Over his decades in the sport, Sassi has concluded that no rider can produce more than an average of 6.0 to 6.2 watts per kilogram of his weight over a ride of 30 to 40 minutes. But some say the reasons behind amazing performances cannot necessarily be proved. “When people are put into extreme situations, like when you see when people’s kids are trapped beneath cars and they are able to lift up that car, they can go to unknown depths of human performance,” said Matt Parker, the head of marginal gains for Team Sky. “Performances like that come out in sports once in a while, too. So when someone does something incredible, why not believe it?”"

Submission + - U.S. Army Funding New Spy Airship. (

gilgsn writes: A new hybrid airship weapons system, just larger than the length of a football field, will take to the skies in just 18 months to provide an unblinking, persistent eye for more than three weeks at a time to aid U.S. Army troops in Afghanistan, according to Northrop Grumman Corporation Officials.

Submission + - Caltech Lab "Grows" Cheap, Efficient Solar Panels (

thomst writes: Wired publishes a photo tour of the Atwater Research Group's lab-scale factory for "growing" a new kind of solar panel. Based on silicon "wires" embedded in a rubber matrix, the new technology uses only 1% as much silicon as traditional solar panels, is more efficient, requires fewer hazardous materials, and is a lot less wasteful of expensive silicon. Pretty cool stuff.

RPG Heroes Are Jerks 119

I have to give him credit for smashing the vases to get the medicine, and finding the legendary wedding dress among the rags. However, he forgot to kill the peasants for xp and you should always check the fireplace for any remaining food.
XBox (Games)

Devs Finally Finding Success With Xbox Indie Games 65

McBacon writes with this excerpt from "Often dismissed as a failed venture, the Xbox Indie Games programme has earned successful man-and-his-dog developers tens of thousands of pounds from sales of their homebrew games. Wired explores the success stories of this hidden marketplace. ... now, more than a year since its launch, the Xbox Indie Games are seeing something of a revival. Microsoft has made huge strides to improve the service, games are beginning to be taken more seriously and success stories are becoming more and more common. Especially for [James] Silva, a New York-based developer, who became an impromptu Indie celebrity after his game The Dishwasher won Microsoft's Dream-Build-Play competition. He says he's 'absolutely thrilled' to have seen I Maed a Gam3 w1th Zomb1es!!!1 — his latest game — become a cult hit, for gamers to flock to it in record numbers and to have sold over 200,000 copies."

Submission + - Satellite Shootdown Simulation (

dprovine writes: A professor at Old Dominion University using the commercial satellite tracking program Orbitron worked out a simulated trajectory for shooting down a satellite with a medium-range ballistic missile. It's wouldn't be easy or cheap for a terrorist cell to actually do it, but this suggests it wouldn't actually be very hard for a government to do it.

Comment cool but (Score 1) 125

He starts the article with "As an IT professional, I rarely get out of the office." Then a wee bit further down says "...Ive gotten above 10,000 feet in the Sierra almost weekly for the past seven years." Still, I enjoyed the read. That's some good company leading the way.

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