In Aliens, what was the primary danger Ellen Ripley faced? Was it A. the machinations of the officials of the Weyland-Yutani corporation, B. the attacks and acid blood of the aliens themselves, or C. the bizarre, space-warping doors of the space colony dumping her into pits of death? According to a recently-surfaced prototype of a Famicom (Japanese NES) port of Aliens, produced by Squaresoft, the answer is C!
Sardius of gaming blog Dream And Friends tells us all about it: Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3[more inside] posted by JHarris at 6:40 PM PST - 37 comments
Inside Google's Age of Augmented Humanity. Wade Roush of Xconomy interviews Google researchers working on speech recognition, machine translation, and computer vision. [CEO Eric] Schmidt talked about "the age of augmented humanity," a time when computers remember things for us, when they save us from getting lost, lonely, or bored, and when "you really do have all the world's information at your fingertips in any language"—finally fulfilling Bill Gates' famous 1990 forecast. This future, Schmidt says, will soon be accessible to everyone who can afford a smartphone—one billion people now, and as many as four billion by 2020.... It's not that phones themselves are all that powerful, at least compared to laptop or desktop machines. But more and more of them are backed up by broadband networks that, in turn, connect to massively distributed computing clouds (some of which, of course, are operated by Google). "It’s like having a supercomputer in your pocket," Schmidt said in Berlin. "When we do voice translation, when we do picture identification, all [the smartphone] does is send a request to the supercomputers that then do all the work." posted by russilwvong at 1:50 PM PST - 62 comments
Hu Jintao, premier of China, is in the middle of his first state visit to the US, whose pomp and circumstance reflects China's growing economic stature and role in world affairs. Due to the linguistic and political differences between the US and China, few Americans know very much about Hu. Many of them will have had their first real look at him during an extended and surprisngly candid joint press conference held with President Obama and lasting well over an hour - something which never happens in China. Fears (or possibly hopes) of a trade war between the US and China a year ago have faded, and instead a trade deal involving $45 billion of American exports was announced, to mixed reactions. He was received less kindly by Congress, whose members expressed disquiet about everything from trade deficits to human rights and whose leaders declined to discuss matters over dinner - perhaps because they did not wish to be lost in the high-powered crowd of attendees. [more inside] posted by anigbrowl at 11:33 AM PST - 62 comments
Cow Clicker distilled social games to their essence, offering players incentive to instrumentalize their friendships, obsess over arbitrary timed events, buy their way out of challenge and effort, and incrementally blight their offline lives through worry and dread. posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 10:50 AM PST - 18 comments
Copycat of Arizona's immigration status bill has passed the Mississippi Senate by a vote of 34-15. The difference here is that there is a precondition with the immigration status check. Though selection cannot be based on race, color, or country of origin but ability to English can cast enough suspicion to warrant a check on immigration status. posted by azileretsis at 10:24 AM PST - 73 comments
Lily the bear is giving birth and is going under the web camagain. The web cam and the American Bear Center are the creation of Lynn Rogers. Dr. Rogers work hashiscritics: "I highly disagree with the way Lynn Rogers has decided to pimp out these bears in order to pay off HIS debt. Instead of studying bears, I believe he has successfully 'studied' humans and has found the trick to manipulating them. " posted by Xurando at 6:50 AM PST - 11 comments