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Posts from October, 2008

Dead Space Wants To Scare You

Oct 17

Kotaku recently ran a story questioning whether the survival-horror genre still exists, and how Dead Space may or may not fit into it. With reviews for the game starting to come in, Ars Technica reports that the game is, indeed, both scary and good. Gamespy wrote up a Dead Space survival guide, and Gamasutra has a lengthy interview with the game’s senior producer. In the production of the game, the developers studied things like car wrecks and war scenes to increase the level of realism. They also want the game’s sounds to terrify players, including appropriately timed silence. The launch trailer is also available, though it does contain spoilers.

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CERN Releases Analysis of LHC Incident

Oct 17

sash writes “From the fresh press release: ‘Investigations at CERN following a large helium leak into sector 3-4 of the Large Hadron Collider tunnel have confirmed that cause of the incident was a faulty electrical connection between two of the accelerator’s magnets. This resulted in mechanical damage and release of helium from the magnet cold mass into the tunnel. Proper safety procedures were in force, the safety systems performed as expected, and no one was put at risk. Sufficient spare components are in hand to ensure that the LHC is able to restart in 2009, and measures to prevent a similar incident in the future are being put in place.'”

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Web Singletons?

Oct 17

tcmb writes “There are an uncounted number of web mail and picture sharing services, there are more than enough web sites for online bookmark management and friend-finding, but as far as I know there is only one Internet Archive. Which are the true web singletons, services that exist only once in this form?” And does anything approach the singular time-wasting abilities of IMDB or Wikipedia?

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Tool To Allow ISPs To Scan Every File You Transmit

Oct 17

timdogg writes “Brilliant Digital Entertainment, an Australian software company, has grabbed the attention of the NY attorney general’s office with a tool they have designed that can scan every file that passes between an ISP and its customers. The tool can ‘check every file passing through an Internet provider’s network — every image, every movie, every document attached to an e-mail or found in a Web search — to see if it matches a list of illegal images.’ As with the removal of the alt.binary newgroups, this is being promoted under the guise of preventing child porn. The privacy implications of this tool are staggering.”

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E17, Slimmed Down For Cell Phones

Oct 17

twitter writes “Want to run Enlightenment on your cell phone? The Rasterman’s recent efforts bring E17 to Open Moko FreeRunner and Treo 650: ‘According to the Rasterman, when used with his updated illume stack and new Elementary widget set, E17 can now run in just 32MB of RAM, on an ARM9 processor clocked at 317MHz. To prove it, he is distributing a Linux kernel and E17/Illume/Elementary stack for Palm’s Treo650. The stack can be launched from PalmOS without touching the device’s flash storage, he says.’ While Microsoft fumbles with limited ‘instant on,’ GNU/Linux rules the embedded world and that’s the only thing going in the IT market right now.”

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Schneier Calls Quantum Cryptography Impressive But Pointless

Oct 17

KindMind writes “Bruce Schneier writes in Wired that quantum cryptography, while an awesome technology, is actually pointless (that is, of no commercial value). His point is that the science of cryptography is not the weak point, but the other links in the chain (like people, etc.) are where it breaks down.”

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Extended Gmail Outage Frustrates Admins

Oct 17

CWmike writes “A prolonged, ongoing Gmail outage has some Google Apps administrators pulling their hair out as their end users, including high-ranking executives, complain loudly while they wait for service to be restored. At about 5 p.m. US Eastern on Wednesday, Google announced that the company was aware of the problem preventing Gmail users from logging into their accounts and that it expected to fix it by 9 p.m. on Thursday. Google offered no explanation of the problem or why it would take it so long to solve the problem, a ‘502’ error when trying to access Gmail. Google said the bug is affecting ‘a small number of users,’ but that is little comfort for Google Apps administrators. Admin Bill W. posted a desperate message on the forum Thursday morning, saying his company’s CEO is steaming about being locked out of his e-mail account since around 4 p.m. on Wednesday. It’s not the first Gmail outage. So, will this one prompt calls for a service-level agreement for paying customers? And a more immediate question: Why no Gears for offline Gmail access at very least, Google?”

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Mars Lander Instrument Waving In the Martian Wind

Oct 17

Matt_dk writes “This series of images show Phoenix’s telltale instrument waving in the Martian wind. Documenting the telltale’s movement helps mission scientists and engineers determine what the wind is like on Mars. On the day these images were taken, one of the images seemed to be ‘out-of-phase’ with other images, possibly indicating a dust devil occurrence.”

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Publishing a Commercial iPhone Game, Start To Finish

Oct 17

Niklas Wahrman writes with this “motivational story on how a student and part-time developer was able to take an idea and turn it into an Android project and then port to iPhone for commercial release in less than a year. In the article, he focuses on how to get a game done — a problem many independent developers face. During the development of the game, Asterope, he took a lot of screenshots from many of the development stages that show how the game gradually came to life.”

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Microsoft Considers "Instant On" Windows

Oct 17

Barence writes “In what might be a glimpse of things to come in Windows 7, Microsoft is asking customers whether they would be interested in a new ‘Instant-on’ version of Windows. ‘We would like your feedback on a new concept,’ the Microsoft survey states. ‘The Instant On experience is different from “Full Windows” because it limits what activities you can do and what applications you can have access to.’ Sounds interesting but hardly new: Asus and Dell have produced laptops that provide swift access to apps and data using Linux subsystems.”

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