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Comment Impressive, but flawed (Score 2) 170

There's one glaring problem with this. The bot is good enough to beat a human. Most humans don't play Doom very well. If it beat a well known good player like Ocelot, Sedlo or Johsen, then it would be impressive. It's similar to writing a chess AI that can beat a human. This was done 30 years ago, but can that AI beat a grand master? Judging by the articles, the headline is somewhat misleading.

Doom may seem simple compared to Quake, at least superficially, but Doom features the BFG 9000 which a good player can do some fairly impressive things with, that would be VERY hard to deduce from simply observing. How the BFG worked wasn't really worked out in full detail until the source code was released. The BFG9000 is probably one of the most complex FPS weapons in any mainstream game. Then there are techniques like wall running, bumping, silent BFG shots etc. Knowing about these and when they are of use, can give a player a huge edge. Can the bot discover, use and master this? Such techniques are vital on the most common deathmatch maps, map01 and 07 in Doom 2.

Doom deathmatch can also be played in altdeath mode, typically map11 or maybe map16 are used for this type of play. This introduces many new skills, and downplays other. It is a rather different experience. Does the bot handle this? Navigating the 3d space of map11 is a lot more complicated than map07, which is basically flat. Figuring out the map, teleporters, secret doors, trigger lines that activate elevators, etc is pretty complicated stuff.

Given phrases like "Their agent, he said, “was ducking most of the time and thus was hard to hit.” I suspect a good human player would outskill the bots here. From the ViZDOOM paper (https://arxiv.org/abs/1605.02097) "we test the environment by trying to learn bots for two scenarios: a basic move-and-shoot task and a more complex maze-navigation problem."

When it comes to singleplayer, I would love to see bots play better than Henning in his 30nm run in 29:39, https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

Comment Re:Laptop on bus (Score 1) 406

I know loads of people that enjoy using their laptops on the ferry. You could also use a laptop on a plane trip. Public transport is so much more than bus and train.
Open Source

Linux 2.6.37 Released 135

diegocg writes "Version 2.6.37 of the Linux kernel has been released. This version includes SMP scalability improvements for Ext4 and XFS, the removal of the Big Kernel Lock, support for per-cgroup IO throttling, a networking block device based on top of the Ceph clustered filesystem, several Btrfs improvements, more efficient static probes, perf support to probe modules, LZO compression in the hibernation image, PPP over IPv4 support, several networking microoptimizations and many other small changes, improvements and new drivers for devices like the Brocade BNA 10GB ethernet, Topcliff PCH gigabit, Atheros CARL9170, Atheros AR6003 and RealTek RTL8712U. The fanotify API has also been enabled. See the full changelog for more details."
Image

Stats Show iPhone Owners Get More Sex 397

An anonymous reader writes "According to OK Cupid's survey of 552,000 user pictures iPhone users have more sexual partners than BlackBerry or Android owners. By age 30, the average male iPhone user has had about 10 partners while female iPhone users have had 12. By contrast, BlackBerry users hover around 8 partners and Android users have a mere 6. As the blog's author's wryly observe: 'Finally, statistical proof that iPhone users aren't just getting f*@ked by Apple.'"
First Person Shooters (Games)

Crytek Dev On Fun vs. Realism In Game Guns 324

An anonymous reader tips a post from Pascal Eggert, a gun enthusiast and Crytek developer, who sheds some light on how weaponry in modern shooters is designed. Quoting: "Guns in games are like guns in movies: it is all about looks, sounds and clichés. Just like in the movies, games have established a certain perception of weapons in the mind of the public and just like in movies games get almost everything wrong. ... The fact is that we are not trying to simulate reality but are creating products to provide entertainment. ... if you want to replicate the looks of something you need to at least see it, but using it is even better. You should hold a gun in your hands, fire it and reload it to understand what does what — and at that point you will realize, there is nothing on it that does not have a function — because guns are tools for professionals. Lot of weapon designers in the game industry get that wrong. They think of guns like products for consumers or magic devices that kill people at a distance when really it's just a simple and elegant mechanism that propels little pieces of metal. Unfortunately 3D artists often only get access to the photos that Google Image Search comes up with if you enter 'future assault rifle' or, even worse, pictures from other games and movies that also got it wrong. This may explain a lot of common visual mistakes in games, especially since guns are mostly photographed from the side and egoshooters show weapons from the first person view." This article is drawn from his personal experience in the game industry. The images shown are Pascal's personal work and are not related to his work at Crytek.
Earth

German Airports Use Bees To Monitor Air Quality 44

The Düsseldorf International Airport and seven other airports in Germany have come up with a unique way of monitoring air quality; they use bees. The airports test the bees' honey twice a year for toxins, and batches that turn up clean are bottled and given away. From the article: "Assessing environmental health using bees as 'terrestrial bioindicators' is a fairly new undertaking, said Jamie Ellis, assistant professor of entomology at the Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory, University of Florida in Gainesville. 'We all believe it can be done, but translating the results into real-world solutions or answers may be a little premature.' Still, similar work with insects to gauge water quality has long been successful."
Government

South Korea Announces Daily MMO Blackouts For Youths 148

eldavojohn writes "GamePolitics reports that South Korea's Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism has announced two new policies that will force underage gamers to pick a six-hour block of time (midnight-6 AM,1-7 AM, or 2-8 AM) where they will not be able to play 19 online role-playing games. While it targets most popular MMORPGs, some popular games like Lineage were left off the list."
Image

Dad Delivers Baby Using Wiki 249

sonamchauhan writes "A Londoner helped his wife deliver their baby by Googling 'how to deliver a baby' on his mobile phone. From the article: 'Today proud Mr Smith said: "The midwife had checked Emma earlier in the day but contractions started up again at about 8pm so we called the midwife to come back. But then everything happened so quickly I realized Emma was going to give birth. I wasn't sure what I was going to do so I just looked up the instructions on the internet using my BlackBerry."'"
Earth

Yellowstone Supervolcano Larger Than First Thought 451

drewtheman writes "New studies of the plumbing that feeds the Yellowstone supervolcano in Wyoming's Yellowstone National Park shows the plume and the magma chamber under the volcano are larger than first thought and contradicts claims that only shallow hot rock exists. University of Utah research professor of geophysics Robert Smith led four separate studies that verify a plume of hot and molten rock at least 410 miles deep that rises at an angle from the northwest."

Teleportation — Fact and Fiction 348

jcatcw writes "Earlier this week actor Hayden Christensen, of Star Wars fame, and director Doug Liman discussed teleportation with MIT professors to compare the reality to the special effects version in the upcoming movie, Jumper. Edward Farhi, director of the Center for Theoretical Physics at MIT, said, 'It's a little less exotic than what you see in the movie. Teleportation has been done, moving a single proton over two miles. [But] teleporting a person? That is pretty far down the line. The quantum state of a living creature is pretty formidable. That is just not in the foreseeable future.'"

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