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PC Games (Games)

Activision Wants Consoles To Be Replaced By PCs 344

thsoundman writes with this excerpt from thegamersblog: "We live in a world where we have multiple platforms for gaming: PC, PS3, 360, Wii, etc. Each platform has varying amounts of power when it comes to playing games. Activision, one of the leading cross-platform publishers, wishes to move away from the 'walled gardens' set by Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo. ... [Activision CEO Bobby] Kotick’s solution is to turn to the PC, where it can set its own model for pricing — not unlike what Blizzard has done with World of Warcraft and Kotick stated that Activision would 'very aggressively' support the likes of HP and Dell in any attempt at making an easy 'plug-and-play' PC that would hook up directly to the TV."

Nokia Trades Symbian For MeeGo In N-Series Smartphones 184

An anonymous reader writes "Nokia announced that moving forward, MeeGo would be the default operating system in the N series of smartphones (original Reuters report). Symbian will still be used in low-end devices from Nokia, Samsung, and Sony Ericsson. The move to MeeGo is a demonstration of support for the open source mobile OS, but considering the handset user experience hasn't been rolled out and likely won't be rolled out in time for its vague June deadline outlined at, could the decision be premature?"

Chemical Cocktail Can Keep a Heart Viable 10 Days, Outside the Body 97

nj_peeps writes "Harvard professor Hemant Thatte has developed a cocktail of 21 chemical compounds that he calls Somah, derived from the Sanskrit for 'ambrosia of rejuvenation.' Using Somah, Thatte and his team have accomplished some amazing feats with pig hearts. They can keep the organ viable for transplant up to 10 days after harvest — far longer than the four-hour limit seen in hospitals today. Not only that, but using low temperatures and Somah, they were able to take a pig heart that was removed post mortem and get it to beat 24 hours later in the lab."

FDA Approves Vaccine For Prostate Cancer 194

reverseengineer writes "The US Food and Drug Administration has given its first first approval for a therapeutic cancer vaccine. In a clinical trial 'involving 512 men, those who got Provenge (sipuleucel-T) had a median survival of 25.8 months after treatment, while those who got a placebo lived a median of 21.7 months. After three years, 32 percent of those who got Provenge were alive, compared with 23 percent of those who got the placebo. ... "The big story here is that this is the first proof of principle and proof that immunotherapy works in general in cancer, which I think is a huge observation," said Dr. Philip Kantoff, chief of solid tumor oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and the lead investigator in Dendreon's largest clinical trial for the drug. "I think this is a very big thing and will lead to a lot more enthusiasm for the approach."'"

Comment Re:Thank you Slashdot (Score 1) 377

I'm another ex-IBMer (left of my own accord and glad to be out), a friend of mine at the lab was asked to lower an employees PBC rating as the yearly cull needed another target in their team, he refused as the employee was an ok performer... they insisted he change the rating to a 3 as they had already told the employee that he was to be put on 'a plan' (IBM code for go f%ck yourself). He gained my respect and admiration that day when he said that he wouldn't do it and that the employee would likely have good grounds to start legal proceedings as this rating was out of the blue and unjustified and he was ready to quit over it. Suddenly the employee was welcomed back and all was forgiven. All three of us have left the company now (of our own accord) and are doing fine but my abiding memory of IBM is of a place with such low morals as to be almost non existent, HR are just Sam's hitmen and the execs have created a culture of fear and resentment... then they wonder why they struggle to innovate as a company.

US Grants Home Schooling German Family Political Asylum 1324

A US judge has granted political asylum to a family who said they fled Germany to avoid persecution for home schooling their children. Uwe Romeike and his wife, Hannelore, moved to Tennessee after German authorities fined them for keeping their children out of school and sent police to escort them to classes. Mike Connelly, attorney for the Home School Legal Defence Association, argued the case. He says, "Home schoolers in Germany are a particular social group, which is one of the protected grounds under the asylum law. This judge looked at the evidence, he heard their testimony, and he felt that the way Germany is treating home schoolers is wrong. The rights being violated here are basic human rights."
The Almighty Buck

EA Flip-Flops On Battlefield: Heroes Pricing, Fans Angry 221

An anonymous reader writes "Ben Kuchera from Ars Technica is reporting that EA/DICE has substantially changed the game model of Battlefield: Heroes, increasing the cost of weapons in Valor Points (the in-game currency that you earn by playing) to levels that even hardcore players cannot afford, and making them available in BattleFunds (the in-game currency that you buy with real money). Other consumables in the game, such as bandages to heal the players, suffered the same fate, turning the game into a subscription or pay-to-play model if players want to remain competitive. This goes against the creators' earlier stated objectives of not providing combat advantage to paying customers. Ben Cousins, from EA/DICE, argued, 'We also frankly wanted to make buying Battlefunds more appealing. We have wages to pay here in the Heroes team and in order to keep a team large enough to make new free content like maps and other game features we need to increase the amount of BF that people buy. Battlefield Heroes is a business at the end of the day and for a company like EA who recently laid off 16% of their workforce, we need to keep an eye on the accounts and make sure we are doing our bit for the company.' The official forums discussion thread is full of angry responses from upset users, who feel this change is a betrayal of the original stated objectives of the game."

Comment Re:Eyecandy in cost of usability (Score 1) 1124

I work as a usability engineer and I can't say that I agree with your points. The ribbon was created to address the MS defined problem that users were only using about 10% of office functionality and they wanted that percentage to go up, that is not a usability goal. Its more than possible that users were only using 10% of the function because that is all they need to use. The ribbon is there to be a pimp for neglected MS features, it could work well for very simple tasks that only have one path... but if your task calls for you to use features from many tabs then it is just a hindrance.

Comment Re:"Committed Suicide?" (Score 1) 538

I'm guessing you haven't sat in a room and watched somebody painfully scream and cry their way to their end. My church going, Irish catholic grandmother begged my mother to kill her in her last days as the cancer ate her alive, I sat in a hospital room for a week with my Father in law and his family after he decided to stop treatment to avoid a more painful drawn out end. Modern medicine can keep you going much longer than nature ever intended, where do you draw the line?, how long do you fight a losing battle? Personally, I don't see an end full of agony, that smells of bleach and includes being hooked up to machines to replace failed pieces of my body as what God intended, I chose not to judge anyone who makes these terrible calls.

Comment Re:Bloody difficult. (Score 1) 1091

Nah, I've been there too and maybe you saw the tourist attraction tribe but Africans living off the land do more exercise in a day than most Westerners see all month. Leanness and being fit are a response to a lifestyle we evolved for, diabetes and obesity is the Western response... we just like to label athletes as freakish to avoid the fact we have become lazy.

Comment Re:Bloody difficult. (Score 1) 1091

Genes are most definitely at play, they dictate the amount of fast twitch (explosive speed) and slow switch (endurance) muscle fibers an individual is gifted with. What I object to is the characterization that these people are "freaks", good genes will take you only so far. Many people are given similar abilities but, like any walk of life, success is achieved by those who work at it. These people devote their lives to training their bodies - using the word freaks dismisses their huge perseverance and mental strength.

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