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Games

Submission + - Energize Explores Alternative Energy and Pollution (examiner.com)

AndrewGOO9 writes: City management games are nothing new since the introduction of Sim City a little over 20 years ago, but never have the effects of climate change and alternative energy been explored in such a way as in 'Energize', a game developed by students from from the Orlando Science Center and the University of Central Florida’s Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy, which recently took home the first place award at the 2010 Serious Games Showcase & Challenge competition in the student game category. Tasked with managing the power concern of a fictional city, players select between solar, wind, nuclear and fossil fuels to generate power in this city, developing a clear distinction between the pros and cons amidst the utilization of their selected power supply.
Games

Submission + - Imported Copies of Black Ops Slated for Ban (examiner.com)

AndrewGOO9 writes: Ever the country to regulatory censorship on games, Germany has opted to investigate banning copies of Activision's Call of Duty: Black Ops that are currently being imported from nearby Austria to prevent German gamers from seeing such things as rag-doll effect, blood splatters and even any semblance of torture, which have been omitted from the version tailored specifically for the country by Activision and Treyarch. While the investigation is being pursued by the Federal Department of Media Harmful to Young Persons (BPjM), both versions of the game are still being concurrently sold on Amazon.de. As importation of the game could obviously suffer at such a ban, this comes at a time when sales of the title have already dropped off by 85% following release as well as Xbox Live authorities banning players for utilizing a swastika as their personally tailored multiplayer emblem.
Earth

MIT Unveils Portable, Solar-Powered Water Desalination System 117

An anonymous reader writes "A team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Field and Space Robotic Laboratory has designed a new solar-powered water desalination system to provide drinking water to disaster zones and disadvantaged parts of the planet. Desalination systems often require a lot of energy and a large infrastructure to support them, but MIT's compact system is able to cope due to its ingenious design. The system's photovoltaic panel is able to generate power for the pump, which in turn pushes undrinkable seawater through a permeable membrane. MIT's prototype can reportedly produce 80 gallons of drinking water per day, depending on weather conditions."
Games

Submission + - Boy spends 15-hours a day playing Xbox 360 (examiner.com)

AndrewGOO9 writes: Teenager Zach Richardson, a 17-year-old UK native has a slight addiction to video games that rings to the tune of fifteen hours per day. Unemployed, he sits in front of his television for a little over half a day, everyday, playing Call of Duty or FIFA to his hearts content. While he acknowledges he has a problem, he doesn't seem all that compelled to resolve it. Either way, I'm a bit jealous of anyone who has that kind of time to throw away sitting in front of a television, but at the same time gracefully thankful to have a life that requires me to go outside on a daily basis.
Games

Submission + - Mod puts Doom's Space Marine out of the job (examiner.com)

AndrewGOO9 writes: A mod to the popular classic FPS Doom has given it a slight overhaul effectively replacing the iconic Doom Space Marine with the Army Ranger players assume the role of in Modern Warfare 2, which actually seems like a lot of fun at first glance.
Handhelds

Submission + - Modder Builds HandyDuo, SNES and NES Handheld (examiner.com)

AndrewGOO9 writes: Today's coolest handheld comes from loveablechevy, a modder who spent two years working on a HandyDuo in an effort to make it capable of playing Super Nintendo and Original NES games on the go. Completely capable of running cartridges from either system, it's an exceptionally awesome handheld considering it's been built from scratch. Now, the only problem will be figuring out how to bring all those 8 and 16-bit cartridges with you.
Image

Man Wants to Donate His Heart Before He Dies Screenshot-sm 456

Gary Phebus wants to donate his heart, lungs, and liver. The problem is he wants to donate them before he dies. Gary was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as Lou Gehrig's disease, in 2008. Phebus says he'd like to be able to donate his organs before they deteriorate, and doesn't consider his request suicide because he's "dead anyway."
First Person Shooters (Games)

Alien Swarm Can Be Played As a Terrifying FPS 157

AndrewGOO9 writes "With a few simple commands from the developer console, Alien Swarm can go from being played as an isometric top-down shooter to a first-person perspective. Surprisingly easy, it does make the game, which was released for free via Steam earlier this week, a lot more terrifying. But, anyone who is at home playing games like Modern Warfare or Halo should have no problem slaughtering their way through wave after wave of creatures. In fact, it poses the potential to make the game easier for people who would've otherwise struggled with the overhead view."
Hardware

Submission + - Graphics Cards Reduce Cancer Treatment Radiation (examiner.com)

AndrewGOO9 writes: According to a recent study from the University of California, the same graphics cards that have made the games we all love as beautiful as possible may be responsible for reducing the radiation patients are exposed do during cancer treatment. Where normal image reconstruction from a CT scan, it can create poor images that leave a significant amount of error even after hours of reconstructing and processing the projections. However, "with an NVIDIA Tesla C1060 graphics card, the reconstruction time fell between 77 to 130 seconds, depending on the images — about 100 times faster than previous approaches. This has since led to a new method which results in somewhere between 36 to 72 times less exposure of radiation to the patients."

Submission + - Blizzard Backtracks on Real Names (examiner.com)

AndrewGOO9 writes: A post on Blizzard's World of Warcraft forum has appeared conveying a message from Mike Morhaime, CEO and Cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment, stating that the forced use of real names in forums and across Battle.net has since been repealed. Quoting from the post, "I'd like to take some time to speak with all of you regarding our desire to make the Blizzard forums a better place for players to discuss our games. We've been constantly monitoring the feedback you've given us, as well as internally discussing your concerns about the use of real names on our forums. As a result of those discussions, we've decided at this time that real names will not be required for posting on official Blizzard forums." The post also entails forum plans having to do with StarCraft II as well as the next World of Warcraft expansion, Cataclysm.

Submission + - Study provides support for Video Game Reviews (examiner.com)

AndrewGOO9 writes: We all have our opinion about whether or not a game is fun to play. but, a new study coming out of Electronic Entertainment Design and Research in conjunction with SMU Guildhall actually supports that reviews have a sufficient effect on word of mouth buzz for a title more so than once previous thought. According the the EEDAR, the study ""suggests that high critic reviews have a strong positive impact on the likelihood of positive word-of-mouth recommendations. Professional critic reviews act as a multiplier for the likelihood of a consumer positively recommending the game to a friend."
Privacy

Submission + - Blizzard's Real ID Compromises Privacy of Players? (examiner.com)

AndrewGOO9 writes: Come the end of the month, Blizzard plans on implementing Real ID, a system that would force players to give their real first and last names, across the entirety of their games via Battle.net, which includes games such as StarCraft 2, World of Warcraft and inevitably Diablo III along with much of their legacy software. This has given rise to several concerns by players over their privacy and the utilization of an alias as opposed to a real name. While Blizzard argues this will discourage flamers, spammers and trolls, the argument still has to be made about a sore loser who may have no qualms about looking someone up for the sake of introducing them to a crowbar when all else fails in-game.
Idle

Submission + - Halo Elite Cosplay Puts Others to Shame (examiner.com)

AndrewGOO9 writes: Pete Mander, a special effects artist from Ontario, Canada seems like he might have either had way too much time on his hands or just really enjoys Halo. Either way, this is one of those costumes that makes all of the cosplayers at a con feel like their best efforts just weren't quite up to par.
Advertising

BP Buys "Oil Spill" Search Term 439

technology_dude found an unsurprising but amusing little story that BP is buying keywords on Google and Yahoo for things like "Oil Spill" to help spin some damage control. I guess if you can't plug your spill, the least you can do is try to clog the flow of information.
Power

Traffic-Flow Algorithm Can Reduce Fuel Consumption 328

thecarchik writes "New projects from German automakers Audi and BMW promise to ease congestion simply by looking at traffic signals and driving style, in an effort to smooth the flow of traffic. Through a test course in Munich, vehicles were able to post phenomenal fuel efficiency gains simply by adjusting the timing of traffic lights depending on traffic volume — to whatever speed provides a so-called 'green wave' of four or more synchronized signals."

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