Shared posts

26 Mar 14:53

Lone modder’s Half-Life 2: Update brings modern graphics to a classic

by Kyle Orland
Markku.lempinen

Looks pretty good to me :)

As amazing as Half-Life 2 was when it was first released in 2004, time has not been kind to the original release's graphics, which can look a bit flat and dated compared to modern PC games. Enter Romanian modder Filip Victor, who's ready to release the final version of a massive, Source engine-powered graphical update for the game on Steam for free tomorrow.

As shown in a slick comparison trailer and detailed in a PDF brochure, Half-Life 2: Update offers graphical improvements like high dynamic range lighting, improved fog and particle effects, world reflections, more detailed water rendering, improved background models, and other effects that just weren't feasible back in 2004. The update also fixes a number of animation and cut-scene-activation bugs that have persisted in the original release and adds optional fan commentary from a number of high-profile YouTube personalities.

Despite all the graphical changes, the update leaves the original gameplay, level design, character models, textures, and animations intact. "The goal of Half-Life 2: Update is to fix up, polish, and visually enhance Half-Life 2, without ever changing the 2004 original’s core gameplay, or time-tested style," Victor wrote in the update's brochure. "I wanted to ensure that the update was something that would be enduring, and worth the time it takes to play it. I hope that both newcomers and veterans of the Half-Life series will enjoy seeing the work that went into its creation."

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26 Mar 21:09

TPP leak: states give companies the right to repeal nations' laws

by Cory Doctorow
Markku.lempinen

This whole TPP (&co) project is horrible :|

A new Wikileaks-published leak from the secretive Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) treaty reveals a January 2015 draft "Investment Chapter" of the agreement, where the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanisms are set out. They allow companies to repeal nations' environmental, health and labor laws. Read the rest

26 Mar 15:30

Drones on the Dark Side: Imperial Star Destroyer Takes Flight

by Caleb Kraft
Markku.lempinen

Now we're definitely talking! :D

Tm4bC2MStar Wars mania is gripping the drone world and the Make: offices. And  it is certainly gripping Oliver C. The last time we saw him, he had created a stunning Millennium Falcon mod for his quadcopter. He’s back once again, this time with something much more sinister. An Imperial Star Destoyer! […]

Read more on MAKE

The post Drones on the Dark Side: Imperial Star Destroyer Takes Flight appeared first on Make:.

25 Mar 15:23

Project Spartan and IE will now use entirely separate rendering engines

by Andrew Cunningham
Markku.lempinen

They could give free candy to use IE or their not-IE and I still wouldn't touch them voluntarily.

We haven't even gotten a public build of Microsoft's new Project Spartan browser yet, but the company is already tweaking its browser strategy.

Windows 10 was always going to support both Spartan and Internet Explorer, and they were always going to be separate browsers. As originally conceived, both of them would be able to switch between the legacy Trident rendering engine and the new Edge rendering engine. Internet Explorer would remain more focused on legacy sites, though—it would retain compatibility with ActiveX plugins and third-party toolbars, features that Spartan is stripping out.

Now, an MSDN blog post says that Microsoft is making the Spartan and Internet Explorer split even more pronounced. Spartan will still get the Edge engine, but it will drop the legacy Trident rendering engine completely. Internet Explorer keeps Trident—and, crucially, its compatibility with sites designed for IE 5.5 or later—but it will no longer be able to use the new Edge engine. Microsoft says that including the new Edge engine in IE would introduce compatibility problems even without removing Trident. Now, if a site works in Internet Explorer 11 in Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, it's guaranteed to work exactly the same way in Internet Explorer 11 in Windows 10.

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25 Mar 20:44

Video: Shattering a CD at 170,000FPS

by Xeni Jardin

The Slow Mo Guys, Gav and Dan, present their slowest ever episode in which they spin a compact disc at 23,000RPM and film it shattering at 170,000 frames per second. [video link]

24 Mar 18:14

TIE Fighter: '80s anime-style Star Wars fan-made short film, hand-drawn over 4 years

by Xeni Jardin
Markku.lempinen

I dislike anime (the style), but... this was wonderful. And for a change it wasn't from the space terrorist's point of view but from the Imperial one. The proper one, I'd say.

There's never enough of this, as the only previous example is the TIE Fighter game itself.

TIE Fighter is an incredible example of how truly amazing and painstakingly created a Star Wars fan film can be.

Read the rest

21 Mar 15:22

Glasses that let colorblind people see colors for the first...

















Glasses that let colorblind people see colors for the first time.

17 Mar 15:05

Photographers Create Meticulously Faithful Dioramas of Iconic Photos

by Johnny Strategy

Making of “The Wright Brothers” (by John Thomas Daniels, 1903)

wright

“The Wright Brothers” (by John Thomas Daniels, 1903)

It all started with a joke—a rather ironic challenge, if you will, to recreate the world’s most expensive photograph: Andreas Gursky’s Rhein II. Because for commercial photographers Jojakim Cortis and Adrian Sonderegger, that meant tolling away in their spare time when money wasn’t coming in to recreate a photograph that had just sold for $4.3 million. This was the beginning of Ikonen, an ambitious project to meticulously recreate iconic historical scenes in miniature. The ongoing project includes immediately recognizable shots—the Wright Brothers taking flight, the Lock Ness Monster poking its head out, “Tank Man” halting tanks during the Tiananmen Square protests—because the images have been seared into our collective memory.

“Every field has its icons, guiding stars, which reflect the spirit of time in form, media and content,” says the photographers. And when something is photographed, it has a way of transcending time rather than becoming isolated. Historical symbolism is fluid and our perception of it can change the same way history can. This, perhaps, is why Cortis and Sonderegger pull away from their miniature scene at the very end, revealing what each photograph actually is: paper, cotton balls, plastic and plenty of their own spare time. Photos shared with permission from the artists. (via Wired)

Making of “Nessie” (by Marmaduke Wetherell, 1934)

Making of “Five Soldiers Silhouette at the Battle of Broodseinde” (by Ernest Brooks, 1917)

Making of “Tiananmen” (by Stuart Franklin, 1989)

Making of “AS11-40-5878″ (by Edwin Aldrin, 1969)

“AS11-40-5878″ (by Edwin Aldrin, 1969)

Hindenburg

Making of “Lakehurst” (by Sam Shere, 1937)

Titanic

Making of “The last photo of the Titanic afloat” (by Francis Browne, 1912)

titanic

“The last photo of the Titanic afloat” (by Francis Browne, 1912)

Making of “La cour du dumaine du Gras” (by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, 1826)

domaine

“La cour du dumaine du Gras” (by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, 1826)

19 Mar 16:12

San Francisco Catholic church installs watering system to spray on homeless people

by Mark Frauenfelder

Saint Mary's Cathedral in San Francisco installed a sprinkler system to keep homeless people from sleeping in the doorway. [SEE UPDATE BELOW] Read the rest

19 Mar 14:28

Leave it to the professionals

by Iain

Presented without commentary. Other than to say, this simple vignette by Letranger Absurde reminds me why I *love* the medium of LEGO, and the creativity of the LEGO fan community!

19 Mar 17:35

The Windows 10 free upgrade for pirates: More confusing than it seems

by Sebastian Anthony
Markku.lempinen

Well, it would be weird for them to give free W10 licenses to those who haven't paid for a W7/8 license earlier. MSFT is not a charity nor what I'd call a "nice company" to begin with. But maybe that's just the penguin in me :)

Early yesterday morning, Microsoft's Terry Myerson surprised everyone—including, I think, Microsoft PR—by announcing that everyone would get a free upgrade to Windows 10, even users with pirated/non-genuine licenses. There was then a fairly long pause while Microsoft PR prepared a response.

First, a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed with ZDNet that, "the plan to allow free upgrades for non-genuine copies of Windows applies to all markets" worldwide, not just China. Then, early this morning—more than 24 hours after the original Reuters story went live—Microsoft PR sent out another statement. Here it is in full:

The consumer free upgrade offer for Windows 10 applies to qualified new and existing devices running Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows Phone 8.1. Some editions are excluded from the consumer free upgrade—including Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise, and Windows RT/RT 8.1. Active Software Assurance customers in volume licensing have the benefit to upgrade to other Windows 10 enterprise offerings.

We have always been committed to ensuring that customers have the best Windows experience possible. With Windows 10, although non-Genuine PCs may be able to upgrade to Windows 10, the upgrade will not change the genuine state of the license. Non-Genuine Windows is not published by Microsoft. It is not properly licensed, or supported by Microsoft or a trusted partner. If a device was considered non-genuine or mislicensed prior to the upgrade, that device will continue to be considered non-genuine or mislicensed after the upgrade. According to industry experts, use of pirated software, including Non-Genuine Windows, results in a higher risk of malware, fraud (identity theft, credit card theft, etc), public exposure of your personal information, and a higher risk for poor performance or feature malfunctions.

That statement had one very confusing sentence: "If a device was considered non-genuine or mislicensed prior to the upgrade, that device will continue to be considered non-genuine or mislicensed after the upgrade." We reached out to Microsoft for clarification, to find out what it actually means to have a non-genuine copy of Windows 10. "We don’t have anything further to share outside of the statement at the moment."

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

16 Mar 16:00

30+ Of The Weirdest Children’s Books Ever

by Lina D.
Markku.lempinen

Context disconnection is always amusing :D

Teddy Bear Would Rather Sit And Watch

Teddy Bear Would Rather Sit And Watch

source

Turtles Sleep

Turtles Sleep

source

Bones

Bones

source

Cat’s Behind

Cat's Behind

source

The Kiss

The Kiss

source

Pleasure Island

Pleasure Island

source

Poor Pussy Party Game

Poor Pussy Party Game

source

Pretend I’m The Poop

Pretend I'm The Poop

source

Something In Her Mouth

Something In Her Mouth

source

Dick, Dick, What Did You Lick ?

Dick, Dick, What Did You Lick ?

source

Morning Of Awkwardness

Morning Of Awkwardness

source

Who Cares About Elderly People?

Who Cares About Elderly People?

source

Harpo’s Horrible Secret

Harpo's Horrible Secret

source

Butcher

Butcher

source

Suck It

Suck It

source

Cow

Cow

source

Do It Now

Do It Now

source

Scouts In Bondage

Scouts In Bondage

source

The Secret Of Being A Good Lover

The Secret Of Being A Good Lover

source

Japan

Japan

source

Fatty Has More Cookies Than I Do

Fatty Has More Cookies Than I Do

source

The Magical World Of Rectal Probes

The Magical World Of Rectal Probes

source

Horse Balls

Horse Balls

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Seamen

Seamen

source

Angry Pig

Angry Pig

source

Boy Vs. Girl

Boy Vs. Girl

source

All My Friends Are Dead

All My Friends Are Dead

source

Everyone Poops

Everyone Poops

source

Invisible Dick

Invisible Dick

Pooh Gets Stuck

Pooh Gets Stuck

source

18 Mar 17:54

LEGO Jurassic Park, the motion picture

by Xeni Jardin
Markku.lempinen

Jurassic Park in Lego? Yay!

“Jurassic Park is brought to life in LEGO as a father, daughter and all their friends combine over $100,000 worth of LEGO pieces to make an epic stop-motion animation.” (more…)
18 Mar 21:45

Congressman to FCC: Open Internet rules jeopardize the open Internet

by Jon Brodkin

The Federal Communications Commission last week released the full text of its Open Internet order, just in time for a series of Congressional hearings called by Republicans eager to chastise the FCC.

An FCC oversight meeting held this afternoon by the Senate Committee on Commerce began with committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) expressing his disappointment in the three Democratic members of the FCC.

"Rather than exercising regulatory humility, the three majority commissioners chose to take the most radical, polarizing, and partisan path possible," Thune said. "Instead of working with me and my colleagues in the House and Senate on a bipartisan basis, to find a consensus, the three of you chose an option that I believe will only increase political, regulatory, and legal uncertainty, which will ultimately hurt average Internet users. Simply put, your actions jeopardize the open Internet that we are all seeking to protect."

Read 16 remaining paragraphs | Comments

18 Mar 11:30

Classic FPS Descent to be rebooted by Star Citizen alums

by Lee Hutchinson
Markku.lempinen

I played Descent (SW) and Descent 2 quite a bit back in the day, the third I missed because I didn't have a computer that could've run it. But this sounds interesting!

The last time we checked in with Eric "Wingman" Peterson was August of 2014, where he was running Cloud Imperium Games’ Austin office and overseeing development on Star Citizen’s persistent universe. However, just a few months after that, Peterson left Cloud Imperium to develop his own game: a reboot of the mid-'90s first-person shooter game Descent.

Peterson has formed Descendent Studios, hired a development staff, and is currently overseeing a Kickstarter to pull together a minimum of $600,000 to finance development of the game, which is titled Descent Underground. Critically, Descent Underground has something that previous attempts to resurrect the Descent franchise have lacked: a licensing agreement with IP-holder Interplay.

Kickstarter teaser for Descent Underground, formerly code-named "Ships That Fight Underground."

Old name, new presentation

Descent was published by Interplay more than 20 years ago, in 1994. The first-person shooter developed by Parallax Software had players zipping around underground in a series of cavernous (and sometimes claustrophobic) mines filled with mad killer robots. Players navigated the underground environment in a Pyro GX spacecraft, which led to the game’s main selling point: it wasn’t just a regular FPS, but one which offered "six degrees of freedom." In other words, you could move in any direction (X, Y, and Z) and turn in any direction (roll, pitch, yaw).

Read 14 remaining paragraphs | Comments

13 Mar 17:01

Please give this pastor $65 million so he can buy a private jet

by Mark Frauenfelder
Markku.lempinen

I'd actually donate to a cause to keep folks like this locked in dark cellars or something...

gulfstream

There's only one way for Pastor Creflo Dollar to "continue to spread the gospel of grace around the world" and that's by donating $65 million dollars so he can have a Gulfstream G650 jet. You are asked to "Sow your love gift of any amount." [via]

13 Mar 14:53

NYPD caught wikiwashing Wikipedia entries on police brutality

by Cory Doctorow
Markku.lempinen

Colour me surprised.


Anonymous users from NYPD's IP block have made questionable edits to the Wikipedia entries on high-profile police brutality victims including Eric Garner, Sean Bell, and Amadou Diallo. Read the rest

12 Mar 14:36

"Why Linux Is Still Not Ready For The Desktop"

Markku.lempinen

The text in question is bad, badly written (calling open source "open sauce" for real, is this person still 12?) and ridiculously weirdly opinionated.
I heartily disagree with most of what he says and reading this brainvomit just made me agnry. Bleh.

While there's 1000+ Steam games on Linux and the Linux desktop experience improving greatly with GNOME 3.14/3.16 and KDE Plasma 5, for Windows users not everyone feels the Linux desktop is ready...
13 Mar 00:00

Terry Pratchett

Thank you for teaching us how big our world is by sharing so many of your own.
10 Mar 00:38

Photo

Markku.lempinen

Consider me thoroughly amused!



10 Mar 10:01

Lego Cacodemon is ready to devour your minifigs

by Nannan
Markku.lempinen

Amazing!

I never thought it’s possible to build such a realistic minifig-scale Cacodemon from Doom, but Jarek with his skills for crafting minute details has proved me wrong. This vignette would make a killer desk-buddy for any Doom fan who also likes Lego.

Doom

09 Mar 18:09

Coder’s childhood : when you absolutely need free space

by CommitStrip
Markku.lempinen

Fucking up sys32 is way too modern for my childhood misadventures, but yeah, I can relate to this somehow :p

07 Mar 03:45

Albuquerque PD encrypts videos before releasing them in records request

by Cory Doctorow
Markku.lempinen

Amazing

Har-har-fuck-you, said Albequerque's murderous, lawless police department, as they fulfilled a records request from Gail Martin, whose husband was killed by them, by sending her encrypted CDs with the relevant videos, then refusing to give her the passwords. Read the rest

04 Mar 10:00

How to respond about on-going outages

by sharhalakis
Markku.lempinen

This has never occurred to me, damnit!

image

uaiHebert

05 Mar 01:22

Lost in the Andes: the finest Donald Duck story ever written

by Peter Schilling Jr.
Markku.lempinen

Barks was the master of Ducks for a good reason.

Like any masterpiece, Carl Barks' 1949 comic book story "Lost in the Andes" means many things to many critics, each one finding something new with every reading. Read the rest
04 Mar 20:06

Analyzing Monkey Island 2 puzzle dependencies and game balance

"What makes a good puzzle chain? How can charts and graphs help you get the right feeling if the puzzles you wrote work as intended concerning the overall game experience?" This post answers that question. ...

03 Mar 18:07

TIE Fighter Drone Mod is Coolest Since Millenium Falcon

by Caleb Kraft
Markku.lempinen

A TIE Interceptor drone? Now we're talking!
Though, if the wings can't be bent, a TIE/ln would work more naturally.

Oliver, the maker of the incredible Millenium Falcon quadcopter we shared recently, is back with yet another impressive creation. This time he has tackled the iconic Tie Fighter Interceptor. Much like the Millenium Falcon build, he’s using foam to loosely represent the shape. When flying around, the illusion is quite […]

Read more on MAKE

27 Feb 15:01

EU Commissioner Wants to Abolish Netflix-Style Geoblocking

by Ernesto
Markku.lempinen

I remember the NES-era country-specific blocks and I found them stupid. Just like the dvd regions and whatnot. These very pointless and very artificial limits don't quite work in this day and age (and they never should have worked in the first place).

ansipDue to complicated licensing agreements Netflix is only available in a few dozen countries, all of which have a different content library.

The same is true for many other media services such as BBC iPlayer, Amazon Instant Video, and even YouTube.

These regional blockades are a thorn in the side of Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market in the European Commission. In a speech this week he explained why these roadblocks should be abolished.

“Far too often, consumers find themselves redirected to a national website, or blocked. I know this from my own experience. You probably do as well,” Ansip said.

“This is one of many barriers that needs to be removed so that everyone can enjoy the best Europe has to offer online. It is a serious and common barrier, as well as extremely frustrating,” he added.

The Commissioner is targeting an issue that lies at the core of the movie and TV industries, who license content per location. Ansip specifically mentions BBC’s iPlayer, but other services including YouTube, Amazon and Netflix have the same restrictions.

The geoblocking restrictions are demanded by content creators, who want to sell the streaming rights on a regional basis. To enforce these licenses, users from outside of the designated countries are blocked.

The Commissioner believes that this is an outdated concept which he likens to discrimination. If people want to pay for content, they should be able to, regardless of where they live.

“In the offline world, this would be called discrimination. In the online world, it happens every day,” Ansip noted. “I want to pay – but I am not allowed to. I lose out, they lose out.”

“How can this be a good thing? We put up with the situation because there is not much alternative. Now it is time to do something about it,” he added.

The artificial restrictions are not a market issue according to the Commissioner, but a matter of rights. These rights should be enjoyed equally and not just by the happy few who happen to live in a ‘licensed’ country.

“There should be no exceptions. Everyone should be treated the same. This is a key principle that underpins everything we want to achieve,” Ansip said.

The EU is currently discussing how copyright legislation in Europe should be overhauled and the Vice-President for the Digital Single Market hopes that measures against geoblocking will be part of the new rules.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and anonymous VPN services.

25 Feb 23:38

A five-year video timelapse of the Sun

by Xeni Jardin
Gorgeous video from NASA Goddard's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), which recently marked a 5 year anniversary.

Read the rest

24 Feb 03:08

Idaho lawmaker asks if women could swallow cameras for gynecological exams before abortion

by Xeni Jardin
Markku.lempinen

ô_Ô
Why is it always men who come up with the most braindead ideas regarding abortion? I guess it's because they know they don't have to suffer through them :P

Christ, what an asshole. Idaho Republican Rep. Vito Barbieri. Courtesy Idaho State Legislature website.


Christ, what an asshole. Idaho Republican Rep. Vito Barbieri. Courtesy Idaho State Legislature website.

A complete idiot who managed to get elected to The Idaho House of Representatives received a female reproductive anatomy lesson today. Read the rest