Title : Caladrius (New)
Publisher : Moss
Game Type : Shoot Em Up
Console : XBox360
Price : £57.99
Moss unleash quite a beast in this version of bullet hell that seems to be connected direct to hell with its dark overtones and gothic splendour. Certainly not lacking in imagination as bosses utilise their full 3D capabilities to put the willies up players ships having to share the same screen space that feels positively claustrophobic during such encounters. Splendid character design and a heart beat in sync with Akiba culture chic. A real otakus dream realised in glorious gothic graphics.
How do ethics and the free market interact? As the authors of a new paper on the topic point out, the answer is often complicated. In the past, Western economies had vigorous markets for things we now consider entirely unethical, like slaves and Papal forgiveness for sins. Ending those practices took long and bloody struggles. But was this because the market simply reflects the ethics of the day, or does engaging in a market alter people's perception of what's ethical?
To find out, the authors of the paper set up a market for an item that is ethically controversial: the lives of lab animals. They found that, for most people, keeping a mouse alive, even at someone else's cost, is only worth a limited amount of money. But that amount goes down dramatically once market-based buying and selling is involved.
The research was done at the University of Bonn, which appears to have a biology department that includes researchers who study mouse genetics. As Mendel told us, genes are inherited independently. So as these researchers are breeding mice to get a specific combination of genes, they'll inevitably get mice that have the wrong combination. Since proper mouse care is expensive and lab mice typically live a couple of years, it's standard procedure to euthanize these unneeded mice.
Federal authorities have accused eight men of participating in 21st-Century Bank heists that netted a whopping $45 million by hacking into payment systems and eliminating withdrawal limits placed on prepaid debit cards.
The eight men formed the New York-based cell of an international crime ring that organized and executed the hacks and then used fraudulent payment cards in dozens of countries to withdraw the loot from automated teller machines, federal prosecutors alleged in court papers unsealed Thursday. In a matter of hours on two separate occasions, the eight defendants and their confederates withdrew about $2.8 million from New York City ATMs alone. At the same times, "cashing crews" in cities in at least 26 countries withdrew more than $40 million in a similar fashion.
Prosecutors have labeled this type of heist an "unlimited operation" because it systematically removes the withdrawal limits normally placed on debit card accounts. These restrictions work as a safety mechanism that caps the amount of loss that banks normally face when something goes wrong. The operation removed the limits by hacking into two companies that process online payments for prepaid MasterCard debit card accounts issued by two banks—the National Bank of Ras Al-Khaimah PSC in the United Arab Emirates and the Bank of Muscat in Oman—according to an indictment filed in federal court in the Eastern District of New York. Prosecutors didn't identify the payment processors except to say one was in India and the other in the United States.
Alpha.data.gov, an experimental data portal created under the White House's Open Data Initiative.
President Barack Obama issued an executive order today that aims to make "open and machine-readable" data formats a requirement for all new government IT systems. The order would also apply to existing systems that are being modernized or upgraded. If implemented, the mandate would bring new life to efforts started by the Obama administration with the launch of Data.gov four years ago. It would also expand an order issued in 2012 to open up government systems with public interfaces for commercial app developers.
"The default state of new and modernized Government information resources shall be open and machine readable," the president's order reads. "Government information shall be managed as an asset throughout its life cycle to promote interoperability and openness, and, wherever possible and legally permissible, to ensure that data are released to the public in ways that make the data easy to find, accessible, and usable." The order, however, also requires that this new "default state" protect personally identifiable information and other sensitive data on individual citizens, as well as classified information.
Broadening the “open” mandate
The president's mandate was initially pushed forward by former Chief Information Officer of the United States Vivek Kundra. In May of 2009, Data.gov launched with an order that required agencies to provide at least three "high-value data sets" through the portal.
Apparently, I'm a Bitcoin miner now, and it looks like I'm actually pretty good at it. Ars is currently in possession of one of the elusive but very real Butterfly Labs Bitcoin Miners. It's a tiny little black box that fits in the palm of my hand, and it contains a specialized ASIC adept at chewing through SHA-256 cryptographic functions—exactly the kind of calculations necessary to bring more Bitcoins into the world. Turns out, it's very good at what it does: it computes hashes at the rate of about 5.3 billion per second.
The Butterfly Labs Bitcoin Miner. Lee Hutchinson
The Miner disassembled. That 80mm fan gets pretty darn loud. Lee Hutchinson
I've got any number of computers around the house here to try the Butterfly Labs box out with, but I took the masochistic route and chose to try it out on OS X. This took quite a bit of back-and-forth with John O'Mara, creator of the popular MacMiner Bitcoin mining application. After several hours of troubleshooting, we eventually arrived at success. Here it is, happily churning away:
The Butterfly Labs Bitcoin Miner chewing its way through calculations at more than five billion hashes per second. Lee Hutchinson
According to my trusty Kill-A-Watt, the miner is drawing a pretty constant 50 watts at a similarly constant 0.73 amps. Its 80mm fan is whirring at what can only be described as "hair dryer" levels. According to MacMiner, the ASIC is generating a fair amount of heat, too—it's reporting a temperature of more than 80C.
When we left off, former software impresario and all-around goofball John McAfee had fled Central America and landed in, of all places, Portland, Oregon. Now he's speaking publicly, offering up stories about his life like:
I had my right testicle shattered by a hammer in 1974 when I ran afoul of some local drug barons in Oaxaca. It's the size of a grape now and shaped like a small frisbee.
I was also taking more drugs weekly than most of you will do in a lifetime, and I was a totally indiscriminate user. Whatever came across my desk went up my nose, down my throat, in my veins or up the nether region.
The stories get stranger from there.
The Arduino Due.
Raspberry Pi has received the lion's share of attention devoted to cheap, single-board computers in the past year. But long before the Pi was a gleam in its creators' eyes, there was the Arduino.
Unveiled in 2005, Arduino boards don't have the CPU horsepower of a Raspberry Pi. They don't run a full PC operating system either. Arduino isn't obsolete, though—in fact, its plethora of connectivity options makes it the better choice for many electronics projects.
While the Pi has 26 GPIO (general purpose input/output) pins that can be programmed to do various tasks, the Arduino DUE (the latest Arduino released in October 2012) has 54 digital I/O pins, 12 analog input pins, and two analog output pins. Among those 54 digital I/O pins, 12 provide pulse-width modulation (PWM) output.
Stanford Professor Andrew Ng is bringing back the idea of an artificial intelligence that can think like a person. With Google's Deep Learning project, he's creating machines that take a multi-layered approach to information, building up knowledge and figuring out concepts by passing data between various networks that can each recognize a small piece of it. The approach is designed to mimic how the human brain processes information with neural networks, and it's starting to work — last year, Google's "brain" figured out how to identify cats in YouTube videos without being told that the concept of "cat" existed. Wired has profiled Ng and his work on brain-like computers, a project that also ties into current government-funded brain...
Recently released video of a police shootout in a Brazilian slum has ignited controversy in Rio de Janeiro, raising important questions about the city's crackdown on crime ahead of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics — both of which will be hosted in Rio.
The black-and-white video, captured using heat-seeking technology last May, was recorded from a police helicopter during a pursuit of Márcio José Sabino Pereira — a 36-year-old convicted drug trafficker who went by the name "Mathematician." The helicopter tracks Mathematician through the densely populated slum of Favela da Coréia, before unloading a torrent of bullets just as he entered a car. As the New York Times reports, some of these bullets hit buildings surrounding...
Valve has begun testing new biofeedback technologies based on a player's sweat levels and eye movements, as part of the company's ongoing efforts to incorporate user emotions into gameplay. As VentureBeat reports, Mike Ambinder, Valve's resident experimental psychologist, discussed the developments at last week's NeuroGaming Conference and Expo, held in San Francisco.