Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Space Marine cinematic trailer

Release date September 6!

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Computer Reads Manual, Plays Civ

Computer Reads Manual, Plays Civ: "

We can no longer hide our secrets from the machines by writing them in books.
MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab report that they have boosted the effectiveness of a game-playing AI by enabling it to read the manual: “When the researchers augmented a machine-learning system so that it could use a player’s manual to guide the development of a game-playing strategy, its rate of victory jumped from 46 percent to 79 percent.”

What’s most amazing about this is that despite the trial and error nature of this kind of machine learning, the ability to correlate text instructions with events in the game do seem to have a significant impact on the system’s capacity to learn how to play, as the article explains: “The researchers also tested a more-sophisticated machine-learning algorithm that eschewed textual input but used additional techniques to improve its performance. Even that algorithm won only 62 percent of its games.” So, you know, RTFM is sound advice, even if you are a machine.


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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Gratuitous Tank Battles Announced

Gratuitous Tank Battles Announced: "Independent developer Positech Games announces Gratuitous Tank Battles, an upcoming alternate-reality RTS/Tower Defense hybrid to follow Gratuitous Space Battles. The concept behind this is that the..."

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'Only' 999 more days left for XP security updates

'Only' 999 more days left for XP security updates: "Yesterday marked an interesting milestone for Windows XP. In 1,000 days (or 999 as of today), Microsoft will stop providing security updates for the OS. XP's extended support period ends on April 8, 2014, and Redmond is using the countdown milestone as an excuse to trumpet the..."

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Cryptex flash drive uses combination lock sleeve, brings a whole new meaning to hardware encryption

Cryptex flash drive uses combination lock sleeve, brings a whole new meaning to hardware encryption: "

256-bit AES not doing it for ya? Now you can replace that dedicated-processor encryption with actual mechanical hardware, thanks to the Cryptex flash drive and its five-wheel combination lock sleeve. Modeled in AutoCAD and constructed using various glistening metals, the Cryptex's five-digit combination will keep prying eyes far from you sensitive files -- and, well, it just looks insanely awesome. Like many shiny objects that seem too good to be true, it's barely more than a concept at this point, so you'll have to settle for the digital version for now.

Cryptex flash drive uses combination lock sleeve, brings a whole new meaning to hardware encryption originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 12 Jul 2011 01:17:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink Technabob | sourceSteampunker (Russian) | Email this | Comments"

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The fanless spinning heatsink: more efficient and immune to dust

The fanless spinning heatsink: more efficient and immune to dust: "

There’s a fundamental flaw with fan-and-heatsink cooling systems: no matter how hard the fan blows, a boundary layer of motionless, highly-insulating air remains on the heatsink. You can increase the size of the heatsink and you can blow more air, but ultimately the boundary layer prevents the system from being efficient; it’s simply a physical limitation of fan-and-heatsink cooling systems in specific, and every kind of air-cooled heat exchanger in general, including air conditioning and refrigeration units.

But what if you did away with the fan? What if the heatsink itself rotated? Well, believe it or not, rotating the heat exchanger obliterates the boundary layer, removes the need for a fan, and it’s so efficient that it can operate at low and very quiet speeds. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Air Bearing Heat Exchanger [PDF]. Developed by Jeff Koplow, a researcher at the US government’s Sandia National Laboratories, the new heatsink (which has also been dubbed the “Sandia Cooler”) basically resembles a big, metal fan. The cooler consists of a static metal baseplate, which is connected to the CPU, GPU, or other hot object, and a finned, rotating heat exchanger that are cushioned by a thin (0.001-inch) layer of air. As the metal blades spin, centrifugal force kicks up the air and throws it up and outwards, much like an impeller, creating a cooling effect.

rotating heat exchangerThis new technique is so efficient that if these heat exchangers can find windespread adoption in computers and air conditioning units, Koplow estimates that the total US electricity consumption could drop by 7%. Furthermore, if you’re a computer geek, there’s another big advantage of the Air Bearing Heat Exchanger: it’s intrinsically immune to the build up of dust and detritus. The Sandia Cooler may also be the technology that smashes down the “Thermal Brick Wall” that is preventing computer chips from moving beyond 3GHz.

So when can you get your hands on one? Koplow is now working on a design that can be mass-produced — and hopefully he’ll soon be able to bring this awesome piece of technology to market.

Read more at New Scientist or read the research paper


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Sunday, July 10, 2011

APB Reloaded: What a load

So I took the time to download and try "APB Reloaded," free to play and allegedly in "open beta." Found out there's a reason for it. If they took money for this game, it'd probably be illegal.

This game's performance is ass on a platter. Oh, don't get me wrong, it looks nice, the ideas are good, and it'd have some real potential if taking more than 3 steps in any direction didn't reduce your framerate to 2 FPS or lower. It's plain to see why the first game company that tried to actually launch this game went belly up - this is unplayable. And my system is no slouch - I've got an 8800 GTX, quad core processor and 3 gigs of ram (windows XP, not 7).

Everyone involved with this endeavor should be ashamed of themselves. I cannot remember a gaming experience as frustrating as this. Ever. I've previously reviewed games that were terminally broken or downright awful, but they've got nothing on this. Forget APB. Play Saint's Row multiplayer. Yes, even with the framerate issues and the awful controls, it's millions of light years better than APB. I'm not even sure I want to go back and check on this one in 6 months because I'm downright insulted they'd even entertain the notion that this horrendous pile of fecal matter is in any way ready for public consumption.

To add insult to injury, the game installs its stupid third party "live" software on your computer in order to play, and pathetically, it requires you to install punkbuster as well. What does it say about your dev house when you have to rely on a decade-plus old third party memory scanner to police your client? Get. That. Shit. Off. My. PC. And burn in hell.

F. F. F. F Minus. Minus minus. Suspension. Expulsion. Permanent record. Juvenile hall. Summary execution. F.

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Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Minecraft 1.7 pistons = Punchcard Memory

Since redstone current can be transmitted one meter through solid blocks and no meters through transparent, all of a sudden, punchcard memory in minecraft is possible. Add this to the APU and display modules shown by previous minecraft pioneers... and having a computer in minecraft is all that much closer.

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Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Report: Serious gamers spend more time on PC than consoles

From the "Duh" department...

Report: Serious gamers spend more time on PC than consoles: "During March and May, research firm Newzoo surveyed over 20,000 gamers from a range of countries. The results have been tabulated in an official report available only to paying customers, but some detail have been released in a series of infographs. The data is sorted..."

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Friday, July 01, 2011

Really Bad Day at Black Rock

Really Bad Day at Black Rock: "Eurogamer has a report that Disney has closed the doors on Pure and Split/Second developer Black Rock Studios. This was originally a rumor, but they have since confirmed the news. In May it was..."

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Age of Conan Now Free-to-Play

Age of Conan Now Free-to-Play: "Funcom announces that Age of Conan has made the promised transition to a free-to-play business model. A new Age of Conan: Unchained launch trailer celebrates the news, and here's word: Players now..."

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