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42 Artificial Intelligences Are Going Head To Head In "Civilization V"

Slashdot -

rossgneumann writes The r/Civ subreddit is currently hosting a fascinating "Battle Royale" in the strategy game Civilization V, pitting 42 of the game's built-in, computer-controlled players against each other for world domination. The match is being played on the largest Earth-shaped map the game is capable of, with both civilizations that were included in the retail version of the game and custom, player-created civilizations that were modded into it after release.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








MediaTek’s new chips include the first ARM Cortex-A72 processor

Liliputing -

Chip maker MediaTek is introducing two new processors at Mobile World Congress this week. One is a 64-bit, octa-core processor aimed at mid-range smartphones. The other is a quad-core chip aimed at tablets… which happens to be the first processor based on ARM’s new Cortex-A72 design. MT8173 quad-core tablet chip This processor is is a quad-core […]

MediaTek’s new chips include the first ARM Cortex-A72 processor is a post from: Liliputing

Kubuntu 15.04 Beta 1 Screenshot Tour

LXer -

We are preparing Kubuntu Vivid Vervet (15.04) for distribution on April 23rd, 2015. With this Beta 1 pre-release, you can see what we are trying out in preparation for our next (stable) version. We have some interesting things happening, so read on for highlights and information.

​Catalonia prepares to set up own foreign missions, tax system amid independence drive

RT -

Nationalist leaders in the northeastern region have urged a snap local vote on the issue of independence on September 27, AFP reported.

Catalan president Artur Mas and his government are reportedly working on tax, diplomacy, and social security restructuring in case Catalonia becomes an independent state.

The focus is on taxation as the Catalan authorities now collect only 5 percent of the taxes raised in the region.

Last November, Catalan president Artur Mas organized a symbolic vote on independence, with 80 percent voting in favor. However, the turnout was only 40 percent.

READ MORE: Catalonia to open up to 50 ‘embassies’ around the world in ‘a few years’

Catalonia has 7.5 million residents (16 percent of Spain’s population), and represents some 20 percent of the country’s GDP. Alone, the region could collect 100 billion euro in taxes yearly, much more than Catalonia would need if it becomes independent, said Joan Iglesias, a former Spanish tax inspector, who is now behind the Catalan tax reform.

"Everyone knows that Catalonia would be viable economically. It is the most economically productive territory in Spain," Iglesias told AFP.

Apart from the tax reform, Catalonia would need to establish its own central bank, upgrade computer systems and employ more civil servants.

Also, the region says it needs to open more foreign offices. Currently, Catalonia is represented in the UK, France, Germany, the US, Belgium and has recently set up missions in Austria and Italy.

READ MORE: Catalonia’s flag burned as 40,000 march for Spanish unity in Barcelona

In February, Mas set up a commission responsible for carrying out the tasks essential for an independent state. Plus, he ordered a study into the steps Catalonia needs to take to make sure the services like telecommunications would function in case of secession.

However, “work is advancing too slowly,” Catalan lawmaker with the separatist Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC) party, Lluis Salvador, told AFP.

“We need to streamline our efforts so we arrive at the elections in September at a much more advanced state."

READ MORE: ‘Final instrument’: Catalan leader urges early independence election

There are those who disagree with the efforts with the Catalan organization responsible for ensuring Catalan laws are constitutional – the Council for Statutory Guarantees – saying that the regional authorities don’t have the right to create “a parallel state.”

In the elections, separatist Catalan parties face opposition from new anti-austerity party Podemos, which is not supporting the region’s independence.

“We don’t want anybody to leave Spain,” Juan Carlos Monedero, a Podemos founder and executive committee member, said in an interview in December. “But the guarantee against a breakup of Spain is to give the different regions with their own distinct identity the right to choose. That way they stay in the federation because they want to, not because you force them.”

European officials have warned Catalonia that it would have to leave the EU if it becomes independent. Earlier Scotland faced the same warning.

Mistrial declared after key Muslim witness swears oath on Bible

RT -

Michael Davies, 38, was accused of attempted robbery in Birkenhead, a town close to Liverpool. He was allegedly trying to rob a kebab shop armed with a hammer last summer. He denied the allegations.

During the hearing, the takeaway restaurant manager, Kerim Kurt, was reportedly asked whether he had ever purchased stolen goods from Davies. He replied it would be “against my religion,” the Daily Mail reported.

“Are you a Christian?” John Weate, defending, proceeded.

“No, I'm a Muslim,” Kurt said.

The judge said the trial could not go on and discharged the jury.

“Unfortunately, [evidence from the witness on oath] was sworn on the Bible and he just informed us he is a Muslim, which means I can't accept his evidence and neither can you, because it was sworn on the wrong holy book,” Recorder Patrick Thompson said, adding that "it is probably best a fresh jury who doesn't think we're all totally incompetent hears this case.”

The attempted robbery case is now set to be retried.

Followers of different faiths are given copies of their holy books, with Muslims swearing on the Quran, Jews on the Old Testament, while atheists can simply “affirm” instead of swearing.

Craig Brittain (Revenge Porn King) Sues For Use of Image

Slashdot -

retroworks writes "Washington Post reporter Caitlin Dewey leads with, "Revenge-porn impresario Craig Brittain is learning the hard way that karma is a real witch." The report states that the Federal Trade Commission has settled a complaint against Brittain, whose defunct site, "Is Anybody Down" was accused of unfair business practices. From the article: "The site paid its bills by soliciting women's nude photos on Craigslist and/or from their exes, publishing the photos without the women's permission (and often with their names and phone numbers attached), and then charging fees of $200 to $500 to take the photos down." Brittain agreed to destroy the image and never operate a revenge porn site again. However, On Feb. 9, "Brittain filed a takedown request to Google, demanding that the search engine stop linking to nearly two dozen URLs — including a number of news articles, and files on the case from the FTC — because they used photos of him and information about him without his permission." Ars Technica explains. "In this instance, fair use and general First Amendment principles are on Google's and the media's side."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Huawei TalkBand B2 is a wearable fitness tracker and a Bluetooth earpiece

Liliputing -

The Huawei TalkBand is an unusual wearable device which you can wear on your wrist to use as a fitness tracker or pop out of the wrist strap and use as a Bluetotooth headset for your smartphone. Last year Huawei launched the TalkBand B1. This year the company has a new model with a more […]

Huawei TalkBand B2 is a wearable fitness tracker and a Bluetooth earpiece is a post from: Liliputing

Russia ready to repel any nuke strike, retaliate – missile forces command chief

RT -

“If there’s a challenge to repel a lightning-fast nuclear in any given conditions – it will be done in fixed time, that’s dead true,” the Strategic Missile Forces Central Command’s chief, Major-General Andrey Burbin, told Russian News Service on Saturday.

Russia’s strategic missile forces are positioned geographically in such a way that no global strike can knock them out completely, Burbin said.

In case an order is given to carry out a nuclear strike, Russian nuclear weapons operators will fulfill it, he added.

“There would be no hesitation, the task would be executed,” he said.

#Russia’s SMF Ready to Repel a ‘Lightning-Speed’ Nuclear Strike / Sputnik Int http://t.co/D3vIx0xNaA via @SputnikIntpic.twitter.com/zreX0lTpLv

— Enrico Ivanov (@VonHenrick1) March 1, 2015

The unavoidability of a retaliatory nuclear strike from Russia is also guaranteed by the fully automatic and constantly modernized ‘Perimeter’ system, also known as “Dead hand.”

The system collects data from various sources, such as radioactivity and seismic sensors scattered throughout Russia, by scanning radio frequencies and communication activities.

READ MORE: Military dominance over Russia impossible, nuclear deterrent top priority – Defense Ministry

If pooled data indicates that Russia has suffered a nuclear strike, the system launches special missiles that travel through national airspace, sending launch signals to all surviving strategic nuclear missile complexes. In this case a retaliatory missile strike is launched without human input.

Burbin also told RSN that rearmament of the Strategic Missile Forces is ongoing as planned and by 2020 up to 98 percent of Russia’s nuclear deterrent forces will be armed with brand new weapons.

READ MORE: Russian 'ABM killer' intercontinental missile to enter service in 2016

Nationwide war games of Strategic Nuclear Missile Forces were conducted in February, with 30 missile regiments training in 12 regions of Russia.

Missilemen performed ultimate combat operational readiness, counteraction to subversive groups and perfected defenses against airborne precision weapons.

On any given day, over 6,000 servicemen are maintaining the operational readiness of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces.

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