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Posts Tagged ‘journalism’

Action Games Improve Eyesight

I’ve had many an argument online with folks obsessed with ‘you’ll go blind’ mentality towards video games, amongst other things. I feel vindicated today as I read that a study found video games are “good for eyes”, far from being harmful to eyesight action games provide excellent training for what eye doctors call contrast sensitivity.

Contrast sensitivity is the ability to notice tiny changes in shades of grey against a uniform background, and is critical to everyday activities such as night driving and reading. It often degrades with age.

The findings, published in Nature Neuroscience, reveal a previously unsuspected adaptability in the brain, and could open the way to new therapies, the researchers said. ”This is not a skill that people were supposed to get better at by training,” said Daphne Bavelier, a professor at the University of Rochester in New York state and the study’s lead researcher.

”It was something that we corrected for at the level of the optics of the eye – to get better contrast detection you get glasses or laser surgery.”

”What we found is that even without this correction you can help your brain make better use of whatever information is received from your retina,” she said.

For the study, Bavelier and three colleagues conducted two sets of experiments. In the first, they compared the contrast sensitivity of hard-core action game players with video game aficionados of the same age who preferred less rapid-fire fare.

In action games, players typically target and shoot figures that pop up suddenly on a computer screen. The researchers found that the action buffs were 50 percent more efficient at detecting contrast. But there remained a chicken-or-egg question: had their vision been improved by playing, or did they become action game players because they had better than average contrast sensitivity to start with?

To find out, Bavelier asked two groups of non-action video game players to undergo 50 hours of training. One played a popular point-and-shoot game called Call of Duty, and the other played a game that offered a rich visual experience, but one bereft of action.

”We found that the people in the first group improved by 43 percent, and the other group not at all,” she said. As important, the study also found that the improvement was not transitory. ”The positive effect remained months, even years after training, indicating long-lasting gains,” she said.

Is there some limit beyond which playing action games loses its positive effect or becomes detrimental? Can you, in other words, have too much of a ‘good thing’?

“For your visual system, probably not. For your social life, perhaps,” said Bavelier.

Australian Police using DNA Profiling

Police say DNA has become a vital crime-fighting tool and helps speed up clean-up rates. In Queensland they have taken DNA samples of children, which figures under Right to Information legislation have revealed, a collection of DNA from 1275 children aged between 10 and 16. earmarked as the next generation of criminals was carried out.

Civil libertarians have accused the police and State Government of giving up on Queensland’s youth and focusing more on convictions than on rehabilitation. Civil Liberties Australia chief executive Bill Rowlings said it was an infringement of civil rights because, while the law ensured a child’s criminal record was not carried through into adulthood, it would not stop their DNA remaining in criminal databases indefinitely.

Last year, the Queensland Police Service caught 33,644 juvenile offenders. “Some of these children might be guilty of stealing a Mars Bar and for that the Queensland police are prepared to put them on a national criminal register, possibly for life,” he said.

The average daily number of juveniles in custody in Australia is 800. Youth Affairs Network Queensland director Siyavash Doostkhah said he was against taking DNA from children and called on the Government to fund more rehabilitation and youth mentoring programs.

“It never brings any safety to the community,” Mr Doostkhah said. “If we get more tough, if we collect more DNA and have more cameras out there . . . it doesn’t stop crime, it just brings convictions.” That being said the Australian law enforcement industry as a whole is fed by conviction basis, meaning that budgets are given and awards recieved for numeric dominance over the population as opposed to deterrence or rehabilitation.

A Department of Communities spokesman said there were currently about 139 young people in detention in Queensland and insisted it was a priority to focus on rehabilitation for young offenders.

Posted: January 10th, 2010
Categories: general, politix, pop culture, science
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L4D2 New Content ‘The Passing’

In an yesterday, Valve announced the first downloadable content add-on for Left 4 Dead 2 (L4D2), “The Passing,” targeted for an early Spring 2010 release. The Passing “brings the original Left 4 Dead (L4D1) Survivors down south for a meeting with the L4D2 cast, while delivering new single-player, multiplayer and co-operative gameplay for the PC and Xbox 360.” Valve stated that players will assume the role of the L4D2 Survivors and merely meet with the L4D1 characters.

In addition to a new co-operative campaign and arenas for Survival, Versus and Scavenge mode, there will also be a “new co-operative challenge mode of play.” It’s unknown whether the L4D1 crew will be joining them making 8 v 8 or whether it will still be 4 v 4. The Passing will also add a new “uncommon common” zombie class, melee weapon and firearms, along with a new set of achievements for xbox users.

Doug Lombardi, VP of marketing at Valve, is calling The Passing “the most important campaign in the Left 4 Dead story.” There has been no comment on pricing yet, nor whether this means there will be more than 1-2 online play servers active at any given time for xbox live users, which is the most common complaint about the game. Even during prime time you can search to join active games and come up with 0 for half the campaigns even though sales dictate that L4D2 is a smash hit, the official game servers just don’t seem to talk to one another.

Incest + Saatchi & Saatchi = Toyota?

In the nastiest piece of advertising filth to hit the face of the globe Toyota really went in balls and all with this little ditty. I’ve got pretty crass humour, but tbh I didn’t even find this mildly amusing, and I’m glad that the whole hairy armpitted muff diving feminist lobby is raging at these twats, the marketing execs behind this should be hung drawn and quartered, or at least sacked and damned to the pits of advertising and marketing lecturing at some shitty third rate university in Uzbekistan.

This is one of the many adverts in a long line that have been massively sub par released from what used to be the hoity toity brand of Saatchi & Saatchi, their most recent succession of adverts have been either abysmal quality on par with a second or third year university project, or utterly offensive. Check out the advert below, it’s probably the first and last thing you’ll knowingly see by this ailing advertising firm. It’s doubtful that familial rape and incest will get many brownie points with future clients.

“The people at Toyota have besmirched their brand with this squalid effort, featured above, which revolves around a creepy play on words in which a father discusses her daughter’s virginity and sexual prowess with her young boyfriend.” says one angry journo-blogger, “It almost defies belief that a major company would associate itself with this garbage. It’s offensive on so many levels – the kids in the ad look really young, the idea of a father discussing his daughter in such a fashion is a total gross out, there’s a stupid hubba-hubba tit joke, the “give her a pounding in any direction” line, the girl at the end saying she’s ready to blow. In a perverse way it’s a credit to the creators that they managed to jam so much tasteless and desperately unfunny crap into just one minute and 14 seconds.”

Toyota are ubiquitously pointing the finger at their commissioned advertising firm, claiming they selected the ad ‘at arms length’ by letting Saatchi & Saatchi handle it exclusively, but regardless some balls are going to be getting kicked, and with humour this fucking low brow and lame it’s worthwhile.

There’s one line, as corny as I’d expect from S&S to drop, which you won’t hear their execs saying in relation to their plummeting share prices, “Oh what a feeling!” 🙂

Posted: December 14th, 2009
Categories: news
Tags: , , , , , ,
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Silent Hill 2, The Play

Silent Hill 2, the play, will be premiering in Sweden on the 17th of December, 2009. With material posted on a member of the production teams deviant art account it looks like they’re going ahead with production! They swear they’ll release it on YouTube and DVD also, but state it may be delayed for English subtitling as it will be in Swedish and to expect it around January / February.

The cast is made up of unknowns, Torbjörn Karlsson as James Sunderland, Rebekka Robertsdottir as Angela Orosco, Peter Joelsson as Eddie Dombrowski, Peter Jacobsson as Pyramid Head, Joy Jonsson as Laura and Madeleine Olsson as Maria. Don’t expect quality though folks, the play is written and directed by Anna Råberg as university project, nothing more.

In other news, whilst this story is old it’s batshit insane and deserves a mention; back on the 13th of October, 2009 a 35 year old man suffering psychiatric illness flipped the hell out and shut down power to a hospital in the Netherlands for over 45 minutes, leaving doctors and nurses to manually support the lives of patients in ICU.

The kicker is, he believed that by ‘pulling levers and throwing switches’ in the right order he would win ‘a toothbrush’ which was required to help him solve a puzzle in Silent Hill. Yep, you read right, he thought he was playing a game, and was actually wigging out in a hospitals maintenance room. Needless to say, the court found him not guilty on–you guessed it– Posted: December 9th, 2009
general, lifestyle, news, zombies
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UK Photographers Lose Rights …

Why wouldn’t someone in a public office invite scrutiny? What’s that line (or logical fallacy rather) the police and government use when they take away our rights, “you’ve got nothing to fear if you’ve got nothing to hide” or something? 🙂

It’s now a criminal offence to take photos of law enforcement in the UK, talk about a police state – Click here for more.


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