Liver drug could benefit heavy drinkers

A drug that reverses severe liver damage could be used to treat disease in heavy drinkers who find it impossible to give up alcohol. Scientists developed the drug after discovering a way to prevent the formation of excessive scar tissue caused by cirrhosis, hepatitis and other medical conditions.

To their surprise the drug not only slowed progression of the disease but also reversed damage to the organ.

Source: Guardian

If this makes it to market, it will be a fantastic break though.

Hopefully this research could be adapted to repair the kidneys and the heart.

Tags: drug, liver, repair

Hacking, Hardware, Projects, Software, Fruit Machine Rebuild, Games

Free Fruit Machine E-Book

Fruit Machines can be a fun way of passing the time, but can also be very expensive.

I tend to only play then very occasionally, as you can get hooked very easily.

However if you want to play them, and do not have the first idea of how to play them, or what sort of the buttons mean, then this ebook is for you.

A lot of the information will be out of date by now, but the basics are still as relevant today as they were when this was published.

Download the Fruit Machine - Bandit Bible Ebook (1.35MB).

This file has been virus checked, but please check it with your own anti-virus software.

Tags: download, ebook, free, fruit machine, guide

Hardware, Software

Getting a Grip: Building the Ultimate Robotic Hand

A 6-foot-tall, one-armed robot named Stair 1.0 balances on a modified Segway platform in the doorway of a Stanford University conference room. It has an arm, cameras and laser scanners for eyes, and a tangle of electrical intestines stuffed into its base.

The next Stair will look for the object in its hand and measure the force its fingers are applying to determine whether it's holding anything. It will plan an action, execute it, and observe the result, completing a feedback loop. And it will keep going through the loop until it succeeds at its task.

When a computer fails at a task, it spouts an error message. Babies, on the other hand, just try again a different way, exploring the world by grabbing new objects — shoving them into their mouths if possible — to acquire additional data.


Now hopefully this research will advance Computer Vision and Computer Intelligence, and be available to computer scientists.

Tags: hand, learning, robot, trial and error

Message, Software, Games

Command and Conquer Compared Update

UPDATE: Command and Conquer: Kane’s Wraith

Recently Apoc (EA Community Manager) commented on the previous article Command and Conquer Compared.

This is an AMAZING research report, huge hats off to you, we are listening my friend. Please drop me a line at my e-mail!

Great work, I am passing this around.


Comment by EA Apoc — October 19, 2007 @ 10:57 pm

Read more of this post »

Tags: apoc, cnc3, command and conquer, ea games, missing features, please fix, update


KFC Wrapstar

KFC has recently re-launched the Wrapstar.

The Wrapstar contains two crispy stips of chicken, cheese, tostada, pepper mayo, salsa, lettuce, tomato and a flour tortilla.

The Marketing
KFC Wrapstar

The Result
KFC Wrapstar, resulting product

Tags: crapstar, kfc, malfunction, not quite, wrapstar

Message, Software, Games

Command and Conquer 3 (Tiberium Wars) Compared

UPDATE: Command and Conquer: Kane’s Wraith

This game is impressive, and the new interface is growing on me. I was mortified to find out they had swapped over the mouse keys and very relieved to find that there was an option for "classic mouse buttons" from a patch. The latest patch available at the time of writing is v1.08.

Patches are available from the Command and Conquer website.

Command and Conquer 3 is a great game to play. The introduction video cut scenes are nice, the special effects are excellent, people are in better proportion to everything else.

Online gaming is a mad frantic rush to build up your base. With the addition of cranes, you can add extra production queue to speed up building of your base. The downside to the crane is it adds a useless queue for building defences.

New and Improved Features

  • War factory and Airport repair nearby vehicles, planes
  • Solider unit is now comprised of 5 men, rocket solider unit contains 2 men
  • Change attack stance
  • New camera controls (can rotate the map, zoom in and out)
  • Scrin
  • Reverse move
  • Multiple build queues
  • Tabbed Interface (as seen in Command and Conquer Red Alert and Red Alert 2)
  • Battlecast
  • Easy internet multi-player setup

With all the good things about this game, it is still not quite the Command and Conquer that everyone knows and loves. It misses a few key items that have been available in some or most of the previous games.

Missing Features (in order of preference)

  • Method for indicating whether a target is within range of attacking unit. (highest)
  • Walls, Tarmac and Gates
  • Indication of item being built is currently on hold
  • Collateral damage to near by buildings by a destroyed building
  • Water based units
  • Command Outpost controls the radar (no radar without any, and when last one is destroyed the radar is not available)
  • Engineers repair Garrisonable buildings
  • Multi-player options (Shroud regrows, tech level, super weapons, start with base, Tiberium regrows)
  • Control over game replays
  • Random map
  • Tiberium veins
  • Par times for campaign game
  • Better AI. (2x Brutal enemies crippled with 4 planes. Enemies built no anti-aircraft, when playing online.)
  • Change music (lowest)

Compiled below is comparison of all the Command and Conquer games (excluding CNC Renegade) and all the features that are missing or in need of improvement.

If any features have been missed, please post a comment about it.

Read more of this post »

Tags: cnc3, command and conquer, ea games, generals, generals zero hour, missing features, please fix, ra, ra2, ts sun

Message, Software, Games

Command and Conquer 3

Command and Conquer 3 is a game I have been meaning to buy for a while, but I just couldn't justify its price tag of £34.99 ($70).

Like some of you, I was waiting for the game to drop in price.

Then I received an email from Game, telling me that Command and Conquer 3 Kane Edition was now selling for £17.99 ($36) including free delivery.

Being a huge Command and Conquer fan, I immediately bought the game online that lunchtime. Game said delivery would take 2 business days.

To my shock and excitement, the package arrived the very next day.

Feverishly I installed Command and Conquer.

The game was a little sluggish to load, but once it had, it worked flawlessly. Quickly I checked the Graphics options. The graphics settings had been detected on pretty much the very lowest settings. Never had I expected it to be able to have the settings on maximum, but very low was slightly worrying. I turned a few options on to low (especially texture quality) and the game looked reasonable. I was happy with the results.

Coming soon Command and Conquer 3: Compared. Does it live up?

Tags: cnc3, command and conquer, kane edition

Hardware, Money, Software, Games

Free Money and a Couple of Bargains

I am always up for money saving tips, and money off.

So when I heard about Give or Take I was impressed.

Give or Take is cash back website that allows you claim back a proportion of the money you spend online at some retailers.

Some times its a percentage of the sale, and some times its a fixed amount.

Recently I've purchased a Dell Vostro 1000 (read my review), my car insurance, a copy of Command and Conquer 3 and have also signed up for an American Express Nectar card and a free credit check.

Total Cash Back: £168.97

I should get a cheque beginning of October 2007, minus a £5 admin fee for the year.

That's not a bad amount when I had spent only £530 on items I was going to buy anyway.

How much could you claim back using Give or Take?

Software, Languages, Bash

Installing Cygwin

What is Cygwin?

Cygwin is a Linux-like environment for Windows. It consists of two parts:

  • A DLL (cygwin1.dll) which acts as a Linux API emulation layer providing substantial Linux API functionality.
  • A collection of tools which provide Linux look and feel.

Why is it useful?

With Cygwin you can compile lots of Linux applications with little or no modification for use on your Windows computer.
Take advantage of Bash scripting and whole host of other useful Linux programs, like traceroute, whois, xwindow and hostx.

How can I get it?

This is the easy part. Go to the Cygwin website and download setup.exe.
The set-up process is straight forward, and there will be three decisions to make:

  • Where you want your Linux root to be installed
  • Which mirror you would like to use
  • which packages to use and you are on your way.

You will now have successfully installed Cygwin.

If you have any stories about Cgywin, feel free to post comments about them.

Tags: Cygwin, Linux, Windows

Software, Languages, PHP

PHP: One Instance

Suppose you have a script in PHP that you only ever want to only ever run one instance of.

For example:

  • Maintenance script (repair,optimise)
  • Update script (crawler)
  • Server

These types of scripts need only to be launched once, and more could be counter productive or even dangerous.

The simplest way to stop multiple instances is to check to see if the last running script is still running.

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