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The Military

United States Begins Flying Stealth Bombers Over South Korea 567

skade88 writes "The New York Times is reporting that the United States has started flying B-2 stealth bomber runs over South Korea as a show of force to North Korea. The bombers flew 6,500 miles to bomb a South Korean island with mock explosives. Earlier this month the U.S. Military ran mock B-52 bombing runs over the same South Korean island. The U.S. military says it shows that it can execute precision bombing runs at will with little notice needed. The U.S. also reaffirmed their commitment to protecting its allies in the region. The North Koreans have been making threats to turn South Korea into a sea of fire. North Korea has also made threats claiming they will nuke the United States' mainland."
Games

Decrying the Excessive Emulation of Reality In Games 187

An editorial at GameSetWatch makes the case that game developers' relentless drive to make games more real has led to missed opportunities for creating unique fictional universes that are perhaps more interesting than our own. Quoting: "Remember when the norm for a video game was a blue hedgehog that ran fast and collected rings and emeralds? Or a plumber that took mushrooms to become large, and grabbed a flower to throw fireballs? In reality they do none of those things, but in the name of a game, they make sense, inspire wonder, and create a new universe. ... We’ve seen time and time again that the closer you try to emulate reality, the more the 'game' aspects begin to stick out. Invisible walls in Final Fantasy, or grenades spawning at your feet when you go the wrong way in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 are examples of kicking the player out of that illusion of reality, and letting them know that yes, this is a game, and yes, the rules are designed to keep you in the space of this world, not the real world. In reality, as a soldier I could disobey my orders and go exploring around the other side. I could be cowardly and turn back to base. Games shouldn’t have to plan for every eventuality, of course, but it’s not so hard to create universes that are compelling but where the unusual, or even simple backtracking, is not so unfeasible."
PC Games (Games)

EA Editor Criticizes Command & Conquer 4 DRM 266

Command & Conquer 4's DRM hasn't garnered Electronic Arts as much bad press and fan outrage as Ubisoft's scheme, despite being very similar. Nevertheless, it's been causing problems and frustrations for some users, including EA.com's own editor-in-chief, Jeff Green. An anonymous reader points this out: "Green wrote on his Twitter account late last week: 'Booted twice — and progress lost — on my single-player C&C4 game because my DSL connection blinked. DRM fail. We need new solutions.' He continued later, 'Well. I've tried to be open-minded. But my 'net connection is finicky — and the constant disruption of my C&C4 SP game makes this unplayable. The story is fun, the gameplay is interesting and different at least — but if you suffer from shaky/unreliable DSL — you've been warned.'"
Businesses

World of Goo Creators Try Pick-Your-Price Experiment 216

2D Boy, the independent game studio behind World of Goo, recently celebrated the game's one-year anniversary by offering it at whatever price buyers cared to pay. They've now released some sales statistics about how people responded to the opportunity. The average price during the sale was $2.03; the game normally retails for $20. According to a survey of why people paid what they did, 22.4% said it was all they could afford at the time, and 12.4% said they already owned World of Goo and were buying it for a different platform. (Yes, there is a Linux version.) Over 57,000 people took advantage of the offer, which was enough for 2D Boy to term it "a huge success." Interestingly, they also saw a significant increase in sales through Steam, and a smaller increase through Wiiware. They've decided to extend the experiment until October 25th.
Education

Study Catches Birds Splitting Into Separate Species 153

webdoodle writes "A new study finds that a change in a single gene has sent two closely related bird populations on their way to becoming two distinct species. The study, published in the August issue of the American Naturalist, is one of only a few to investigate the specific genetic changes that drive two populations toward speciation."
Software

Submission + - Cutting-Edge AI projects?

Xeth writes: "I'm a consultant with DARPA, and I'm working on an initiative to push the boundaries of neuromorphic computing (i.e. artifical intelligence). The project is designed to advance ideas all fronts, including measuring and understanding biological brains, creating AI systems, and investigating the fundamental nature of intelligence. I'm conducting a wide search of these fields, but I wanted to know if any slashdotters knew of any neat projects along those lines that I might overlook (I liken it to asking around the local CS department lounge). Maybe you're working on a project like that and want to talk it up? No promises (seriously), but interesting work will be brought to the attention of the project manager I'm working with. If you want to start up a dialog, send me an email, and we'll see where it goes. I'll also be reading the comments for the story."

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