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Games Seized Following Murder 354

GamePolitics reports that M-rated games have been taken as evidence a case involving the death of a 55-year old man in Louisiana. The connection? Jack Thompson says: "Nobody shoots anybody in the face unless you're a hitman or a videogamer." GP goes on to point out the lunacy of this claim. From the site: "Funny, that. A quick Google search on 'shot in the face' turns up 921,000 entries."

Comment Popular among perverts and other undesireables (Score 1) 189

Ooooh, the possibilities of thousands of new subway-skulking, escalator-camping, shopping-aisle-creeping upskirt websites featuring up-to-the-minute access to tiny low-light, pixelated, camera-phone quality picts and movies...

And how about a new, inexpensive streamlined method for someone (big brother/nefarious ned) to find out where you are, what direction you're heading, and who you're talking to all in real time by typing in a web-server address?

Possibilities, indeed.

S. Korea's Stress-Driven Online Gaming Addiction 231

techsoldaten writes "The Washington Post is running an article about the ever-increasing problem of videogame addiction in South Korea. From the article: 'The situation has grown so acute that 10 South Koreans -- mostly teenagers and people in their twenties -- died in 2005 from game addiction-related causes, up from only two known deaths from 2001 to 2004, according to government officials.'"

Microsoft Claims OpenDocument is Too Slow 553

SirClicksalot writes "Microsoft claims that the OpenDocument Format (ODF) is too slow for easy use. They cite a study carried out by that compared 2.0 with the XML formats in Microsoft Office 2003. This comes after the international standards body ISO approved ODF earlier this month." From the ZDNet article: "'The use of OpenDocument documents is slower to the point of not really being satisfactory,' Alan Yates, the general manager of Microsoft's information worker strategy, told ZDNet UK on Wednesday. 'The Open XML format is designed for performance. XML is fundamentally slower than binary formats so we have made sure that customers won't notice a big difference in performance.'"

Display System That Knows Who You Are 79

lee1 writes "New Scientist reports on an 'interactive computer display that keeps track of multiple users by differentiating between their touch'. The system consists of a touch-sensitive screen that can be operated by several users simultaneously. When a user touches the screen an electrical signal is sent through their body and picked up by a receiver located in their chair, telling a computer precisely where the screen was touched and by whom. Applications could include system access control, safer vehicle controls, and smarter videogames. The bottom line, in the words of one of the inventors: 'If the controls know who is operating them, they can behave appropriately.' The movie even has funkier than average background music."

Don't Blame The Games, Blame The Parent 136

jayintune writes "2old2play has an interesting article up on the recent push for more laws on videogame sales to children. It goes over the history of violent crime amongst teens and how it relates to the new surge in videogame-related legislation. Do laws really help our children or is it ultimately the parents role to decided?" From the article: "I'd say by the time a kid is three or four, he or she should know it's not okay to hit someone else. The child should be aware violence is not an acceptable response. Parents, grandparents, older siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, teachers... anyone older than a child should reinforce certain societal values and traits. Kids should and mostly do know better. I talked with a psychologist who told me children can separate reality from fiction at about nine or ten years of age. Well, "pre-teen" is what he said. At that age, they know what's on TV isn't real, what's in a video game isn't real. Video games are easier; they're basically just moving cartoons."

Ethernet The Occasional Outsider 169

coondoggie writes to mention an article at NetworkWorld about the outsider status of Ethernet in some high-speed data centers. From the article: "The latency of store-and-forward Ethernet technology is imperceptible for most LAN users -- in the low 100-millisec range. But in data centers, where CPUs may be sharing data in memory across different connected machines, the smallest hiccups can fail a process or botch data results. 'When you get into application-layer clustering, milliseconds of latency can have an impact on performance,' Garrison says. This forced many data center network designers to look beyond Ethernet for connectivity options."

Vanguard Beta In Trouble? 176

Heartless Gamer writes to mention a blog post exploring potential problems with the Vanguard Beta. The hardcore MMOG in development by Sigil has had some rocky times of late, and it sounds like the beta testers are right up at the top of the list of problems. From the article: "To the detriment of Vanguard, they (Vanguard's community) will protest any implementation that even remotely resembles a mechanic within World of Warcraft. Good or bad, it doesn't matter. If it's something within WoW, they want it O-U-T. Likewise, if you are from WoW, they want YOU out, too. They've already succeeded in driving out many of those testers. They're long gone and I can't say I blame them." Read on for other sites' commentary on this issue.

12.8 Petabytes, You Say? 205

MadUndergrad writes "Dr. Jonathan Spanier from Drexel University has come up with a novel way to greatly increase data storage density: water. Specifically, they propose using hydroxyl ions to stabilize minute ferroelectric wires. These wires could be many times smaller than what is possible today, enabling data densities in the neighborhood of 12-13 PB per cubic centimeter. While there are still many problems to be resolved before drives using these can be manufactured this technology does seem promising. For one thing, it would be non-volatile, but could apparently be made to act as RAM. The fact that this is coming out of a university gives me hope that this technology won't turn out to be just so much vapor."

Self-Heating Coffee Cans Recalled 208

Old Man Kensey writes "Apparently those nifty Wolfgang Puck self-heating latte cans, introduced with such fanfare last year, have proven to be buggy -- cans have been reported failing to heat adequately or, more disturbingly, exploding and melting through the packaging. A recall has been announced -- here's hoping the flaws can be 'patched' soon."

Americans Are Seriously Sick 1519

jd writes "A study by US and British researchers on frequency of illnesses shows that even when you compare like groups in the US and the UK, people in the US are considerably sicker than their counterparts in the UK. This is after factors such as age, race, income, education and gender were taken into consideration. The most startling conclusion was that although the richest Americans were better off than the poorest Americans, they did no better (health-wise) than the poorest of the English. Previous studies of the entire population had shown similar results, with America placing around 25th amongst industrialized countries on chronic disease prevention, but it had been assumed that minorities and economics were skewing the results. This study suggests that maybe that isn't the case."

Microsoft May Delay Windows Vista Again 482

UltimaGuy writes to mention a Reuters report, stating that Vista may be delayed again, this time by up to three months. From the article: " The research note, released to clients [by the Gartner Group] on Monday, said the new Windows Vista operating system is too complex to be able to meet Microsoft's targeted November release for volume license customers and January launch for retail consumers. A Microsoft spokeswoman said the company disagreed with the Gartner report and it was still on track to meet its launch dates."

Test Drive Your Dream Job 129

ches_grin writes "'Vocation Vacations' has a simple concept--allow folks to try out a new career before leaving their current job. Participants get paired with mentors in their chosen field and then spend 2-3 days fully immersed in life as a brewer, dog-trainer, sword-maker, or whatever their fantasy gig is. People are willing to pay to do someone else's job." From the article: "The idea is relatively simple. Participants pay anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand (transportation, lodging, etc., aren't included) to experience life as, say, a chocolatier, a fashion designer, or a race-car driver. The time spent immersed in their fantasy job allows them to get a 360-degree perspective without the risk of quitting their own jobs or investing heavily in a new career. "

Wal-mart's Wikipedia War 778

An anonymous reader writes "Whitedust is running an article which claims that lobbyists for Wal-mart have successfully waged a war against a fair viewpoint on Wikipedia's Wal-mart page. From the article: "Although Wikipedia maintains a 'Neutral Point of View' (NPOV) policy, the Wal-mart page is highly biased. Additionally, all criticism has, contrary to policy, practice, and the general opinion of those concerned, been moved to a Debates Over Wal-mart section. Even that page has noticeable resistance to negative points of view about Wal-mart."

Microsoft To Invest Heavily In China 112

abb_road writes "As part of Chinese President Hu Jintao's recent visit to Redmond, Microsoft is announcing plans to invest $900 million dollars directly in software and hardware companies in China. The announced goal of this investment is to reduce software piracy and establish Windows-dominance in the region; what's not clear is if they expect the reduction to come from local business pressure or more direct government intervention." From the article: "To now, Microsoft's investment efforts have made little headway in reducing piracy. The company should be booking about $1 billion on annual sales of some 20 million PCs in China, says Paul DeGroot, an analyst at consultancy Directions on Microsoft. Instead, sales there are about $100 million, he says."

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