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PC Games (Games)

Submission + - The Statistical Trends of a Poker Game

eldavojohn writes: "There's a paper out for review on the statistics of poker. While one may wonder why we would turn such a fun game into a crusty old statistics problem, PhysOrg is running a summary on the paper. There's no breakthrough research coming out of this, but the models that Sire & Majumdar fit to poker games have resulted in some very interesting revelations about the game — and perhaps even the stock market or computational biology: "the growth rate of the blind bets entirely controls the pace of a tournament, which in practice allows the organizers of a tournament to control its duration. The model shows that the total duration of a tournament grows only logarithmically (i.e. very slowly) with the initial number of players, which explains why the wide range of real tournament sizes (100-10,000 players) remains manageable. "The model can also help poker players to evaluate their current ranking in a poker tournament," Sire said. "For instance, if a player owns twice the average stack, he is currently in the top 90%. If his holding is only half of the average stack, he only precedes 25% of the other players. "Consider a temporal random signal [such as the graph of a company's stock]. Its persistence is the probability that it never goes below (or above) a given threshold," Sire explains. "With my colleague Satya Majumdar, we have devised several ways to compute this quantity in various contexts, which decays exponentially fast, or as a power-law. Persistence has been measured in many physical systems, and has obvious applications outside physics: for example, what is the probability that Google's stock remains above $450 for the next year (certainly high, I admit)?" Other connections involve biological evolution. Due to the competitive nature of the game, Sire found similarities with evolutionary models dealing with competing agents. Also, when analyzing the statistical properties of the chip leader (player with the most chips at a given time), Sire found the same phenomenon that occurs in the 'leader problem' in evolutionary models. Namely, the average number of chip leaders grows logarithmically (i.e. very slowly) with the number of competing agents, or total number of players.""

Comment Other Powerpoint Opponents (Score 3, Informative) 439

Edward Tufte, a professor emeritus of Yale has previously written about the problems of Powerpoint g?msg_id=0001yB&topic_id=1 , and gives the example of how the 1986 Challenger explosion could have been prevented if NASA didn't rely so heavily upon it for presentations. In summary it's about how Powerpoint is a poor tool for communication, As opposed to just text, or speech.

Submission + - Should felons be allowed to be IT managers?

coondoggie writes: "Nebraska's Lincoln County Board was in a quandary this week over whether or not to keep its newly hired county manager of information technology — who happened to be a convicted felon. According to a story in the North Platte Bulletin the issue surrounds Steen Nichols who was convicted of felony shoplifting in 2004 when he was the information systems instructor and manager of information systems at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture. He was convicted of using university credit cards to purchase between $10,000 and $15,000 worth of computer equipment. He got two years probation, a $1,000 fine and was ordered to pay restitution. Nichols was released from probation in October 2005. His conviction was set aside in December 2005. But in Nebraska the state does not erase convictions from the official record. The defendant's civil rights are restored however, according to the newspaper. 5"

Submission + - Microsoft Is the World's Most Reputed Company

schnablebg writes: The Wall Street Journal has compiled rankings of the companies with the best reputation in 2006. Microsoft topped the list, up from number 7 in 2005. Slashdot favorite Sony checked in at number 8.
United States

Journal Journal: Hurting whales more important than national security

In the newest slap to the face of the environmentalists, the US Navy has decided to not release where sonar has been used through out the world over the past four years. Why is this an issue? Because the National Resources Defense Council has come to the idea of suing the US Navy to "ensure sailors use sonar in a way that does not harm whales and other marine mammals." The claim is that s
United States

Submission + - Raytheon Develops World's First Polymorphic Comput

tdelama writes: "Raytheon Company has developed the first polymorphic computer named the Morphable Networked Micro-Architecture (MONARCH) for the US Department of Defense.

"'Typically, a chip is optimally designed either for front-end signal processing or back-end control and data processing,' explained Nick Uros, vice president for the Advanced Concepts and Technology group of Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems. 'The MONARCH micro-architecture is unique in its ability to reconfigure itself to optimize processing on the fly. MONARCH provides exceptional compute capacity and highly flexible data bandwidth capability with beyond state-of-the-art power efficiency, and it's fully programmable.'"

MONRACH is also extremely power efficient. "'In laboratory testing MONARCH outperformed the Intel quad-core Xeon chip by a factor of 10,' said Michael Vahey, the principal investigator for the company's MONARCH technology."'"

Submission + - Microsoft Update Memory Leak

mksolid writes: "I'm a computer technician for a small IT company and I have been driven absolutely crazy since Friday with a problem that occurred when I would boot up any Windows XP desktop machines. When I opened Task Manager to monitor the resource usage, I noticed that the 'svchost.exe' process (run by the SYSTEM account) would take up 99% CPU time and cause a massive memory leak for the first 5-10 minutes after logging into a user account. I did virus scans, anti-spyware scans and anything that I could to ensure that the problem wasn't related to malicious software, and I even setup a clean test system and still had the same problems. I finally decided to use TDIMonitor and check the network for the culprit resource hog, and I discovered that the system was repeatedly sending out requests for various Microsoft files. I simply disabled Microsoft Update from the Windows Update page and the problem has gone away. Our machines now startup and operate very smoothly within seconds. I suppose the discovery is that there is a bug in Microsoft Update that causes a massive memory leak and it needs further investigation by Microsoft."

Submission + - Apple TV Starts Shipping Today

techitout writes: According to Jim Dalrymple of Macworld, the Apple TV began shipping today:
Apple told customers that the Apple TV is now shipping, say several readers and a staffer of Macworld who had pre-ordered the device. While delivery times vary, most units are expected to be delivered by the end of this week.
Analysts are musing that this will be an even bigger opportunity than the iPhone (maybe not generate the same amount of fan-fare, but likely stronger long-term profitability).

Submission + - How Apple orchestrated web attack on researchers

An anonymous reader writes: Apple continued to claim that there were no vulnerabilities in Mac OS X but came a month later and patched their Wireless Drivers (presumably for vulnerabilities that didn't actually exist). Apple patched these "non-existent vulnerabilities" but then refused to give any credit to David Maynor and Jon Ellch. Since Apple was going to take research, not give proper attribution, and smear security researchers, the security research community responded to Apple's behavior with the MoAB (Month of Apple Bugs) and released a flood of zero-day exploits without giving Apple any notification. The end result is that Apple was forced to patch 62 vulnerabilities in just the first three months of 2007 including last week's megapatch of 45 vulnerabilities.

Submission + - Turning wood into a thermal battery

hakaii writes: A nano-engineering breakthrough in the most commonly used material — wood — in the most-polluting segment of the economy — housing — has the potential to slow or reverse global warming. A new nanobiotechnology application to alter wood at the molecular level makes wood a solar energy storing device, and when a wooden house is properly configured and sited it can heat and cool itself. More:
The Internet

Submission + - Internet2 and National LambdaRail to Merge

An anonymous reader writes: [From Arstechnica] The two main US providers of high-speed networks to academic and research institutions, Internet2 and National LambdaRail, have finally agreed to merge — and they're doing so just as quickly as the connections they provide. After tussling over the details of such an agreement for more than a year, the two groups have suddenly decided to put final merger documents before their respective boards by April 20, with merger completion to take place by June 29. -speed-academic-networks-kiss-make-up-then-merge.h tml
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Steve Balmer is just like a chimpanzee.

raydulany writes: The Washington Post has an article discussing the role that evolution may have played in the development of human behavior. The first paragraph is my favorite. From the article, "When Emory University primatologist Frans de Waal read a news story that said Microsoft's chief executive, Steve Ballmer, had hurled a chair across the room on hearing an employee was going to work for rival Google, the scientist immediately made a connection with his own research: 'When I see such behavior, I think of a chimpanzee.'" The article goes on to discuss two particular instances of birds showing seemingly human behavior, the "wingman" phenomenon and extortion.

Submission + - Mercedes new car slippery like a fish

davidwr writes: Inspired by the tropical boxfish, Mercedes's new concept car the Bionic gets great fuel economy using a normal turbodiesel engine. "With a Cd [drag coefficient] of just 0.19, the four-seat Bionic is significantly more slippery than today's most aerodynamic production vehicle, Honda's two-seat Insight (Cd 0.25)." The 1.9L turbodiesel delivers up to 84mpg at 56mph and 70mpg overall. Don't look for this on the new-car lots, but other fish-shaped cars may be headed your way in the next few years.

Submission + - New Wii Dev Tools in the Making

Ambrose writes: "Looks like Nintendo are finally supporting Third-Party developers. From an article at The Wii Gamers, a new development application called NintendoWare is being developed for Wii Developers. NintendoWare emulates Wii hardware on a PC so that developers can sample parts of their games without having to load it to a Wii dev machine. The motion recognition could also see an upgrade, with a new predictive input tool that uses prior movement to predict your next motion, and a text-to-speech tool is also in the works."

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