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Is it Art?
Topic: Games 6:52 pm EST, Jan  6, 2009

The other way in which games might converge on art is through the beauty and detail of their imagined worlds, combined with the freedom they give the player to wander around in them. Already quite a few games offer what’s known as ‘sandbox’ potential, to allow the player to ignore specific missions and tasks and just to roam around. (Many people’s favourite aspect of the Grand Theft Auto games involves their sandboxiness. A favourite sandbox activity in the California-set Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was simply driving to the coast and watching the sun go down over the ocean.)

I actually did this in GTA4... it's... uncanny.

Is it Art?

CNN Medical Correspondent as Surgeon General? - The Caucus Blog -
Topic: Miscellaneous 5:20 pm EST, Jan  6, 2009

President-elect Barack Obama is paging Dr. Sanjay Gupta to serve as surgeon general.

Dr. Gupta, who performs double duty as a medical correspondent for CNN and a neurosurgeon, is a leading contender to fill the high-profile position in the Obama administration. The job could be accepted in the coming days, according to people familiar with the situation at the television network and in the Obama transition.

CNN Medical Correspondent as Surgeon General? - The Caucus Blog -

Apple Drops Anticopying Measures in iTunes -
Topic: Miscellaneous 5:19 pm EST, Jan  6, 2009

Apple said it would begin selling song downloads from all four major music companies without the anticopying measures that have been part of its iTunes store since it opened in 2003. It will also move away from its insistence on pricing songs at 99 cents.


Apple Drops Anticopying Measures in iTunes -

California Supreme Court to Hear Arena Search Case -
Topic: Miscellaneous 2:18 pm EST, Jan  6, 2009

Mr. Sheehan, a retired glazier, has held season tickets for the San Francisco 49ers since 1967. But when he and his family showed up at the stadium on a fall day in 2005, guards at the gate told him that all visitors had to go through a physical search. Though he had never objected to searches of bags, he said, the pat-down “just hit me wrong.”

When his 5-year-old grandson spread his arms for the search, he recalled, “I thought, wait a minute! We’re still living in the United States of America.”

On Tuesday the California Supreme Court will hear the case that Mr. Sheehan brought over the search policy, which was instituted in stadiums across the National Football League.

California Supreme Court to Hear Arena Search Case -

Sidebar - Animal Cruelty Law Tests Free Speech -
Topic: Miscellaneous 2:11 pm EST, Jan  6, 2009

A decade ago, Congress decided it was time to address what a House report called “a very specific sexual fetish.” There are people, it turns out, who take pleasure from watching videos of small animals being crushed.
The Supreme Court is likely to address those questions soon in the case of Robert J. Stevens, a Virginia man sentenced to 37 months in prison under the law for selling videos of dogfights.

Sidebar - Animal Cruelty Law Tests Free Speech -

MD5 considered harmful today
Topic: Computer Security 1:37 pm EST, Jan  3, 2009

We have identified a vulnerability in the Internet Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) used to issue digital certificates for secure websites. As a proof of concept we executed a practical attack scenario and successfully created a rogue Certification Authority (CA) certificate trusted by all common web browsers. This certificate allows us to impersonate any website on the Internet, including banking and e-commerce sites secured using the HTTPS protocol.

MD5 considered harmful today

Military rockets: Solution for NASA? --
Topic: Miscellaneous 8:04 pm EST, Dec 30, 2008

For more than three years, NASA chief Michael Griffin has maintained that the safest, most reliable and affordable way to return astronauts to the moon is on the Ares I, a rocket he helped design from parts of the space shuttle. Alternatives, he insisted, such as modified military rockets, were simply not capable of carrying humans to the moon and beyond.

But interviews, as well as documents obtained by the Orlando Sentinel, indicate that military rockets can lift astronauts safely into space -- and to the moon -- for billions less and possibly sooner than NASA's current designs.

Kill the stick!

Military rockets: Solution for NASA? --

Chinese Warships Sail to Pirate-Infested Gulf of Aden -
Topic: Miscellaneous 4:42 pm EST, Dec 29, 2008

Stratfor, a private intelligence agency based in the United States, said in a report that a Chinese antipiracy patrol would afford its navy “some very real opportunities for on-the-job training, covering everything from logistics far from home and combat against seaborne opponents to communications and joint operations with other, more experienced navies.” null

Chinese Warships Sail to Pirate-Infested Gulf of Aden -

Blind, Yet Seeing - The Brain’s Subconscious Visual Sense -
Topic: Miscellaneous 3:27 pm EST, Dec 29, 2008

The man, a doctor left blind by two successive strokes, refused to take part in the experiment. He could not see anything, he said, and had no interest in navigating an obstacle course — a cluttered hallway — for the benefit of science. Why bother?

When he finally tried it, though, something remarkable happened. He zigzagged down the hall, sidestepping a garbage can, a tripod, a stack of paper and several boxes as if he could see everything clearly. A researcher shadowed him in case he stumbled.

Blind, Yet Seeing - The Brain’s Subconscious Visual Sense -

Electric-Car Battery Makers Seek Federal Funds - Bits Blog -
Topic: Miscellaneous 3:24 pm EST, Dec 29, 2008

In the race to make the lithium-ion batteries that will run the electric cars of the future, the United States is losing to Asian countries, and start-ups and big companies need to band together to build a lithium-ion battery industry in the United States, says Jim Greenberger.

Electric-Car Battery Makers Seek Federal Funds - Bits Blog -

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