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Submission + - Harnessing EVE Online For Science (mmorpg.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Scientists and the developers of space MMORPG EVE Online are working on a project to harness the power of the game's huge playerbase to do useful scientific work. The Human Protein Atlas has 13 million images to map, and there's no way a small team of scientists can manage that task alone. CCP Games, the makers of EVE, will try to get players to contribute by creating a mini-game within EVE to train players and get them to do some cataloging. To start, "Project Discovery will feed about a 250,000 images of microscopic cells and tissue that players will then study to identify basic shapes and structures, categorizing the images in a way that will help scientists deduce a given protein's purpose." The developers are confident that the EVE community, which has already come together to support various charity endeavors, will rally behind this noble cause as well. To encourage participation, they'll reward players with loyalty points that have some sort of positive effect within EVE.

Comment Re:Survivalist (Score 1) 358

There's been talk of building an alternative "hinternet" using ham radio technology, but it's not really viable for both economic and technical reasons. Short of that, being able to communicate via voice with anybody in the world using something other than the internet / large telcos as an intermediary is pretty good. Sure, you can't watch Netflix via your 10-meter radio, but basic communication and information sharing is totally doable, and it's going to be very hard for governments to shut such behavior down.

Comment Re:Survivalist (Score 4, Insightful) 358

I first got my ham license precisely as a hedge against the apocalypse. If things really go bad, what use is a programmer? Anything requiring a $6 billion fab to get going will be out the window, so I've got to have some other useful talent. Ham radios can be built from scratch fairly easily, so I figured I'd learn to build and use radios so I'd be useful post-apocalypse.

What ended up happening is that I got into my first real hobby, and I've been enjoying making contacts with my little handheld radio. Soon I'm going to be putting together a rig for talking to people around the world! Sure, you can use the internet, but it's not about the messages: it's about the medium. Being able to build your very own personal communications device that can reach around the world feels awesome.

Space

X-37B Robotic Space Plane Returns To Earth 55

Kozar_The_Malignant writes "The secretive X-37B robotic space plane has returned to Earth after a seven-month mission. This was the vehicle's first flight. Looking like a cross between a Predator Drone and the Space Shuttle, it landed at Vandenberg AFB in California, which was to have been the military's shuttle launch facility. Speculation is that the X-37B is an orbital spy platform."

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