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October 17, 2007

The hidden gnome achievement in Halflife2

I Played Through Episode Two Holding A Goddamn Gnome (Spoilers)

Achievements are the greatest innovation of the Xbox360. Not the graphics, the wireless controllers, the updated Live service. No. It's achievements. People are mad for them. I'm mad for them. There are games that get bought just because they have easy achievments and can inflate scores.

For those who don't know, an "Achievement" is a little badge you are awarded in Xbox 360 games for completing a certain task. On the boring side, you can get achievements for completing a game on different difficulty levels or for collecting 100 Whatsits or killing a million Stormtroopers or whatever.

On the more interetsing side, you can get achievements in some games for staring at someone's crotch, for ironically taking a picture of a serial killer who photographed his victims, or in the case of Halflife2: Episode 2 for carrying a garden gnome throughout the entire game and then launching it into space.

More details at the link.

Astrophysicist build supercomputer out of playstations

Astrophysicist replaces supercomputer with eight PlayStation 3s — Futurismic

Dr. Gaurav Khanna is trying to measure gravity waves - ripples in space-time that travel at the speed of light - that Einstein’s Theory of Relativity predicted would emerge when such an event takes place. To do this he used to use grants from the National Science Foundation to rent time on various supercomputing sites spread across the United States - usually employing two-to-five hundred nodes at a time. But each time he did this is cost about $5,000. Dr. Khanna figured out that for less than the price of one session on a Super Computer, he could build his own massively parallel computer that he could run indefinitley using Sony PlayStation 3 game consoles. Dr. Khanna wrote some custom Linux code to optimize the Cell processor found inside the PlayStation. He then approached Sony, which donated eight of the machines.

WoW Insider on my guild breakup

Guildwatch: Revenge on the old GM - WOW Insider

Compared to that, this breakup is so tame it almost hurts: The Forgotten Legion is cordially breaking up over on Twisting Nether. The GL and some friends are jumping servers, and everyone else is breaking up into their own guilds. Sad for some members, but hey guys, things change.

Well said, Insider.

October 16, 2007

Scientists develop portable commercial DNA analyzer

NEC develops portable DNA analyzer - Engadget

NEC has developed what it calls the first portable DNA analyzer -- with "portable" being classified as a briefcase half a meter wide -- that integrates all five stages in the DNA analysis process. Designed to speed up criminal investigations and aid crime prevention, the technology can fully analyze DNA within 25 minutes. Heading for full production in 2008, it should be ready in preparation for any GATTACA-style societies that have appeared by next year.

Apple Leopard due out Friday

Leopard: final features and further upgrade details - Engadget

A ton of features, including better graphics support. Pretty exciting.

October 15, 2007

Heathrow implementing unmanned cars

Heathrow Airport to Get Unmanned Cars on The Underwire

Next year, Heathrow Terminal 5 will have total recall as it implements a 50 year old idea to use driverless cars to move travelers from car parks (similar to bus stops) to its main terminal. The personal rapid transports (PRT) will seat four and will run on a 2.2 mile guideway over a dedicated network that's lighter than a light rail and runs on a fraction of its energy. Unlike a bus or airtram, the maximum wait time for a PRT will be 12 seconds! Once inside you won't make any other stops other than your final destination, plus the PRT doesn't have any traffic lights to slow it down. The vehicles drive at 25 mph.

If this project is successful, Heathrow will implement these carpods in other terminals.

October 11, 2007

Play SimCity free online!

Classic Live - SimCity.com

I love that games that were state of the art only a few years ago can now be played in a browser so easily.

October 08, 2007

Gundam caretaker

via Portal of Evil | Greying Japan looks to robot...