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Suspected Church Arsonist Brags on Gamefaqs Forums

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335w ago - A teenage boy has been arrested on suspected arson charges for burning down a Palmyra, MO church. What makes this game related you may ask? It seems that GameFaqs forum poster "Jediknight12345" (original, eh?) made a post in the "Current Events" page asking readers if he should burn down a school and a church.

The post was quickly removed by forum administrators and then a few days later another post showed up from the same person. This time, Jediknight12345 bragged that he had in fact burned a church/school down, described how he did it and even went so far as to post pictures of the event for posterity.

Fellow forum posters immediately alerted local news station WGEM and authorities leading to the teenager's arrest. According to recent reports, the arrested suspect was a member of the church and its attached school.

Video below:




 

Video Games and Aggression

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335w ago - In 1955, the U.S. Senate blasted comic books, deploring their depiction of every horrible thing from murder to cannibalism.

The lawmakers heard from a prominent psychiatrist who singled out the Superman comic books as especially "injurious to the ethical development of children" because they "arouse phantasies [sic] of sadistic joy" in our youth. Another witness testified that children had been jumping off high places in attempts to fly like their hero. Shame on that Superman. He ruined the lives of so many children!

Half a century later, violent video games are the comic books of our day. Testimony before our state Senate included descriptions of horrific-sounding games. One witness described a game where the player scans in faces of classmates and teachers and then shoots them. He also referenced another game called Postal that gives points for watching innocent people beg for mercy before you kill them. The only problem is that we've never met one kid - or any person of any age, for that matter - who has even heard of these games. They are straw man arguments.

One frequently cited research article criticizing violent video games includes several studies. One of these studies was a "correlational study" from which the authors concluded, "Playing violent video games often may well cause increases...
 

Bad games spur record year for industry

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335w ago - 2007 was a record setting year for the games industry. Large and small companies had record profits. Retailers reported dramatic increases in sales. It may be argued that 2007 was the year of the Video Game, the year that gaming broke into the true mainstream of popular culture.

With major titles such as "God of War II", "Halo 3", and "Super Mario Galaxy", there was no shortage of major titles to help spur those record setting numbers. The focus for this sales success has been focussed on these major blockbuster titles. One area that has gone largely ignored though is the flood of mediocre and downright bad games released throughout the year.

Led by titles like "Carnival Games" and "The Shield" 2007 was also a record setting year for mediocrity.

"There's no doubt there were a lot of terrible games out last year," said a spokesperson from Ubisoft Montreal, who preferred to remain anonymous. "Our company was responsible for a few of them. When you have quality, you're going to have junk too."

That dearth of quality though is what has spurred the overall success of the industry. Aside from creating incremental sales with low budgets, the glut of mediocre titles causes rabid sales for quality titles when they are eventually released.

"I...
 

Malicious programs hit new high

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335w ago - The number of malicious programs found online has reached an unprecedented high, say security firms.

Reports vary but some estimates suggest there were five times as many variants of malicious programs in circulation in 2007 compared to 2006.

Security company Panda Software said it was getting more than 3,000 novel samples of so called malware every day.

Criminals pump out variants to fool anti-virus programs that work, in part, by spotting common characteristics.

Threat landscape

Security software testing organisation AV Test reported that it saw 5.49 million unique samples of malicious software in 2007 - five times more than the 972,606 it saw in 2006.

AV Test reached its total by analysing malicious programs and generating a digital fingerprint for each unique sample.

The organisation said the different ways malware can be packaged will mean some duplication in its figures, but the broad trend showed a steep rise.

The organisation uses the samples to test security programs to see how many they can spot and stop.

Panda Software said the number of malicious samples it received in 2007 was up ten fold on 2006. In a statement it said the rise represented a "malware epidemic".

Finnish security...
 

PSP 1.5 Kernel Add-on v2 for 3.90 M33 CFW released!

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335w ago - Dark_AleX released an update today for the 1.50 kernel add-on for standard PSP units running Custom Firmware 3.90 M33.

The update adds support for memory sticks greater than 4GB in size under the 1.5 kernel and fixes a display bug that affected TA-86 units when resuming from sleep mode.

To install, simply copy the "150k_installer" folder to GAME and run the installer from the PSP's Game menu.

Download: PSP 1.5 Kernel Add-on v2 for 3.90 M33 CFW [Right-click, Save As]

Instructions: Copy to /PSP/GAME and run.

Changes:

- TA086: when being in 4th brightness level and recovering from sleep mode, the display was black. Fixed.
- Added support in the 1.50 kernel for memory sticks greater than 4 GB. (I finally got my 8GB card! )
Before, only the first 4 GB portion was recognized by the 1.5 kernel.
Now, the theroetical limit is 4GB*512 = 2 Terabytes. ("only" 1 TB, if sony were using signed variables).
 
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