Jabrwock (985861) writes "One of the biggest limitations on lithium battery-powered electric cars has been their range. Last year Isreali-based Phinergy introduced an "aluminum-air" battery. Today, partnering with Alcoa, a Canadian aluminum producer, they announced a demo of the battery, which is charged up at Alcoa's aluminum smelter in Quebec. The plant uses hydro-electric power to charge up the battery, which would then need a tap-water refill every few months, and a swap (ideally at a local dealership) every 3,000km, since it cannot be recharged as simply as Lithium. The battery is meant to boost the range of standard electric cars, which would still use the Lithium batteries for short-range trips. The battery would add about 100 kg to an existing Tesla car's battery weight." top
Vancouver area school featured in CounterStrike map
The map creator (who wanted to remain anonymous) responded to concerns by writing:
"Let us start by saying Port Moody Secondary is a great school. Rest assured there is no malicious intent behind this production to any actual school property, nor any actual persons associated with the school."
While the original article's headline seems to be implying the game developers made the map, they do clarify later on in the article that the game allows users to create custom maps." Link to Original Source
Jabrwock (985861) writes "Investigators in British Columbia are calling in cyber security experts after a hacker spoofed his phone number to trick the police into sending an ERT to surround a house in Langley, BC. The caller alleged he had killed several people and had taken hostages. A similar incident happened several days earlier in New Jersey." Link to Original Source top
Jabrwock (985861) writes "msn.sympatico.ca will be no more following a parting of the ways between Microsoft and Bell Canada. The two split over ad revenue, and each will now maintain it's own competing web portal as of Sept 1. Web traffic will still be shared between the two, and Sympatico will utilize Bing as it's web search engine. Microsoft had initially teamed up with Bell in 2004 to use the dominant Canadian ISP's Sympatico web portal to sell subscription services to Bell's customers, but now believes that deal is redundant." top
Jabrwock (985861) writes "Various Canadian media outlets are reporting that a 15-year old gamer, Brandon Crisp, is still missing. Brandon was described by his parents as being "addicted" to playing Call of Duty, and has been missing since his parents took his XBox away on Oct 13th. Police are scouring the area around his hometown of Barrie, and suspect he's merely hiding out at a friend's or in one of the many cottages that dot the area, although they do have units checking the nearby waterfront. They are also examining his XBox Live account and PC for chat logs or other clues as to who he talked to and where he might have gone. His parents however, have floated possible causes ranging from gambling websites, to organized crime, to internet pedophiles and stalkers. His bike was found abandoned 4km from his home. Police are asking anyone who knows anything pertaining to Brandon's whereabouts to contact them." Link to Original Source top
Jabrwock writes "The Canadian government finally introduced Bill C-61: An Act to Amend the Copyright Act, after several false starts. Long accused of ignoring consumer concerns, the government, which to date has only met with industry trade representatives, has introduced a bill that on the surface, seems to provide many consumer rights, such as time-shifting and format-shifting. But Law Professor Michael Geist, who has opposed the government's previous attempts at DMCA-style copyright reform, delved deeper into the proposed law, and found that while format-shifting may be legalized, the tools necessary to do so even with old DVDs (which carry DeCSS "copy protection"), carry a $20,000 fine per use.
Industry Minister Jim Prentice has dropped his previous slogan for the bill, "Consumers First" in favour of "Made in Canada". Geist mocked the new bill by suggesting that while it may be "Made in Canada", the bill was clearly "Born in the USA", as it appears to be even more restrictive than the most stringent parts of the DMCA, with all the exceptions and consumer protections taken out." top
Officials Wield Building Code to Close Art Exhibit
Jabrwock writes "Gamepolitics.com is reporting that city officials in Troy, New York apparently used the municipal building code to shut down a controversial video game art exhibit. Iraqi artist Wafaa Bilal had his exhibit abruptly booted from Rensselaer Polytechnical Institute following protests from alumni and the local College Republicans. Protests led by Public Works Commissioner Robert Mirch followed Bilal to the exhibit's new location, the Sanctuary for Independent Media. On the day of the re-opening, complaints were allegedly made to the Public Works department, which then informed the Sanctuary that the show would be shut down until previously cited code violations were dealt with. The Sanctuary had originally been given until April to finish construction work, and claims that before the exhibit, both city building code inspectors and fire marshals had cleared the building for use." Link to Original Source top
Jabrwock writes "Canada.com reports that a video on YouTube is parodying the reportedly taser-related death of Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski at the hands of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Vancouver's International Airport last October. In the video, Dziekanski is confronted in the airport arrivals lounge by MegaMan, who is given the option to 'use restraint, call a translator, or taser mercilessly'. MegaMan chooses the taser option, and zaps Dziekanski until he has 'X's over his eyes. Both the Canadian Polish Congress and the RCMP have expressed disgust at the video. A spokeswoman for the Polish Embassy has said that the video was a product of a public distressed by the October incident." top
Jabrwock (985861) writes "GamePolitics.com reports that in response to outrage over his flash game V-Tech Rampage, which allows you to recreate the Virginia Tech Massacre in 8-bit fashion, the author, PiGPEN, has demanded 'donations' in compensation for withdrawing his creation. $1000 gets it removed from Newgrounds.com, $2000 gets it removed from his website GooGumProduce.com, and $3000 gets you a cash-induced apology. Is it really about freedom of speech if you're demanding payment in return for your silence? Could this be considered industry blackmail, since politicians with an axe to grind are sure to link this indie game with mainstream entertainment, as they have done with Border Patrol and other controversial flash games?" top
Jabrwock writes "GamePolitics.com is reporting that a Washington State teen has been arrested for an alleged school shooting plot. His father says the 17-year-old was working on a design for a first-person shooter game and that the boy's arrest was politically motivated. After two school aides overheard the teen discussing locking school doors and shooting people as they came out, they discovered a notebook labeled "Assassination", which the teen and his father claim are both related to the game design." top
Jabrwock writes "Presidential hopeful and Democrat John Edwards is the first candidate in the '08 race to have a virtual campaign office in the MMO Second Life. Now he is also the first candidate to have an online office vandalised with pictures of him in blackface, a feces-spewing obscenity, and posters of communism. The virtual office was apparently overrun by SL players wearing Bush '08 tags, who harassed visitors with verbal abuse of Edwards in particular, and Democrats in general." top
Jabrwock writes "Unsatisfied with the Canadian government's attitude towards file sharing, the industry is taking a new approach towards P2P file sharing in Canada. After providing Canadian ISPs with IP addresses of suspected offenders, major ISPs agree to forward an email to the user of that address on behalf of the industry that warns them that they are potentially infringing on copyright. No legal action is mentioned, but the Business Software Alliance claims the warnings are a wake-up call to users. In contrast in the US the ISP is the one receiving the email, along with threats of legal action if it is not dealt with.
The Canadian version seems more of a 'Please stop, eh?'" top
Jabrwock writes "The music industry responded to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs' call for DRM to be discontinued with a counter offer: You first.
Mitch Bainwol, chairman of the RIAA, said that Apple should be opening up FairPlay to work on rivals' devices, rather than telling the industry to drop DRM altogether. Bainwol believes that the market would be better served if the public could chose which device to play their media on, rather than be linked to one particular vendor. But the industry still wants some controls over what kind of choices the public has with regards to how to enjoy that media..." top
Jabrwock writes "Dennis McCauley says the video game industry should take efforts to distance itself from Super Columbine Massacre RPG! in order to make it clear that it was an indie venture, and has nothing to do with Rockstar's Bully, which has been labelled a "Columbine Simulator." Confusion over the two occured during a Utah committee hearing recently, when legislators began discussing "that Columbine game" and why it was rated "T" for teen. Later an ESA rep corrected them and told them that the only Columbine game in existence is a non-commercial home-brewed game." top
Jabrwock writes "GamePolitics.com, a member of of the Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA), is doing a Q&A session with Hal Harpin, the ECA's president. The ECA is an advocacy group that lobbies on behalf of gamers. Posters can ask Hal questions about the ECA or the gamer scene in general. Last year Hal did a similar Q&A when he was president of the Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association." top
Jabrwock writes "GamePolitics.com reports that US District Court Judge James Brady has made his injunction against Louisiana's video game bill permanent. The bill was penned by video game critic Jack Thompson, who had withdrawn his support for the government's case during the preliminary injunction in August, citing a lack of co-operation from the state Attorney General." top
Jabrwock writes "GamePolitics.com reports that a judge in Miami ruled that Take Two Interactive, makers of the controversial title Bully, must hand over a copy of the soon to be released game to the court within 24 hours. Jack Thompson, the plaintiff, called the ruling a 'huge victory against the violent video game industry', although Take Two can still appeal the order. Thompson filed a lawsuit asking the court to label Bully a 'public nuisance' and restrict it's October 17 release in Florida." top
Jabrwock writes "GamePolitics.com reports on Michigan Congressman Fred Upton(R-MI)'s efforts to punish Take Two Interactive for the "trash they put out across this country." Unhappy with the Federal Trade Commission's apparent inability to lay the smackdown on Take Two over "Hot Coffee", Upton proposed the Video Game Decency Act, which would make it illegal to withhold the disclosure of game content "with the intent of obtaining a less restrictive age-based content rating." The catch is "intent". How do you prove that a half-finished, cancelled scene was "intended" to sneak past a rating authority?"