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Myst Creators Announce Obduction

Shrike82 Ah, that explains something... (103 comments)

I did wonder why Myst was getting attention in various places like Slashdot after all this time. Stir a memory in the thirty-somethings and then announce your "new, fresh game that isn't at all trading on a name from decades past".

about a year ago
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Valve Announces Family Sharing On Steam, Can Include Friends

Shrike82 Re:No co-op (263 comments)

Just out of interest, why is it good when Valve does this sort of thing with Steam but it was ultimate internet uproar when Microsoft proposed the exact same thing for the XBox One before having to backtrack?

Because the XBox is console, and Steam games are on a PC. Think of them being at opposite ends of a spectrum. This is valve taking a step in the right direction (more sharing where there's basically none at the minute), and Microsoft were taking a step in the wrong direction (limiting sharing where it was previously easy to do).

1 year,6 days
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High Court Orders UK ISPs To Block More Torrent Sites

Shrike82 Re:VPN FTW! (133 comments)

Rebuilt how exactly? What is broken about it? Are you implying that the multi-million dollar cost of creating a blockbuster movie is mostly wasted?

about a year and a half ago
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Wayback Machine Trumps FOI Tribunal

Shrike82 Re:I see what you did there... (401 comments)

Thank you; finally some sanity in this ridiculous debate. Reading through the comments in this story I feared that /. had finally become COMPLETELY populated by fucking morons, instead of just being MOSTLY populated by fucking morons.

about 2 years ago
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Wayback Machine Trumps FOI Tribunal

Shrike82 Re:Bad Press (401 comments)

Which crap exactly? Holding a seminar? Inviting people that some self-promoting bloggist (the URL in the summary with his name leading to his blog is SO informative after all) has decided are an AGW answer to the Illuminati? Pray tell dear AC, I long to know what "crap" it is that you speak of.

about 2 years ago
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Wayback Machine Trumps FOI Tribunal

Shrike82 Re:Yep, "AGW" *must* be true (401 comments)

Point by point analysis:

This is incredible. In Jan 2006 the BBC held a meeting of “the best scientific experts” to decide BBC policy on climate change reporting

Is incredulity the appropriate response here? Is the fact that they held the meeting incredible, or are the quotation marks supposed to help me figure it out?

The BBC has been in court blocking FOI attempts to get the list of the 28 attendees, but it’s just been discovered on the wayback machine

Great. How about actually quoting the BBC on their reasons for attempting to block the FOIA request instead of speculating that it must be a conspiracy?

It turns out that only 3 were current scientists (all alarmists). The rest were activists or journalists

Woah, woah, woah. Look at the list everyone. I can spot a hell of a lot more than three names and affiliations on there that I'd call scientists. Which three are we referring to? What discounts all the others from being scientists? A baffling and quite badly founded argument really...

The BBC sent four low level representatives: Peter Rippon, Steve Mitchell, Helen Boaden, George Enwistle. All have since risen to power.

"Low level" eh? The Duty Editor for World at One/PM/The World this Weekend, the Head Of Radio News, the Director of News and the Head of TV Current Affairs. Not to mention the 28 other BBC staff attending. Why the focus on just these four in particular and the dismissal of their roles at that time? Again baffling...

Amazingly, those are also the exact four who have thus far resigned this week over the false paedophilia accusations against Lord McAlpine.

Ah less baffling now. They've been involved in a scandal this week so their involvement brings into question the entire proceedings of a seminar nearly seven years ago, apparently. That's some astounding journalism. *golf clap* Kudos to "Bruce Hoult in a Bishop Hill comment" (from TFA) for selective blindness and blatant agenda pushing in an article attempting to criticise the BBC for the very same things. Truly inspiring.

about 2 years ago
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Duke University Creates Perfect, Centimeter-scale Invisibility Cloak

Shrike82 Re:Such a letdown! (96 comments)

Yes, the reflections being the thing that prevented previous version from being considered "perfect" cloaking devices. But don't let my logic stop you from denouncing this as a let-down...

about 2 years ago
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Astronomers Search For Dyson Spheres of Alien Civilizations

Shrike82 Re:what about nuclear fusion? (686 comments)

The energy output of a star is going to be many orders of magnitude higher than what you'd get from fusion technology. The sun is a giant fusion plant itself! A sufficiently advanced technological civilisation may very well find itself bound only by the amount of energy it could produce or harness, and getting every last scrap of energy from a star is a massive boost to an energy based economy.

about 2 years ago
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Astronomers Search For Dyson Spheres of Alien Civilizations

Shrike82 Genuine excitement (686 comments)

This is the first time in a very long while that I've read a /. story that's gotten me excited. The idea that we could find evidence of a Dyson sphere is quite crotch-tingling for a fan of science fiction like myself!

Of course there's the problem of how we can be sure any evidence we see is actually a constructed sphere and not a freak natural occurrence, or something that we simply don't understand or haven't envisaged at this point. Still, any data that showed a "should-be-visible" star radiating heat but not light is something of note. Hell, it would give us something to start beaming signals at like mad in the hope of a return at the very least. Lets just hope it's within X light years, where X is less than half my remaining lifespan so I can catch the "Hello? Who the fuck are you!?" signal from the big blue people on Pandora.

about 2 years ago
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You Can't Print a Gun If You Have No 3D Printer

Shrike82 Re:Politics (632 comments)

To be honest I was going for Funny, but apparently by taking the metaphor to the brink of absurdity I hit some kind of Insightful sweet spot!

about 2 years ago
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You Can't Print a Gun If You Have No 3D Printer

Shrike82 Re:Politics (632 comments)

No, this is not "censorship". This is Toyota reclaiming your car because you drove to a bar and they [Toyota] don't have a liquor license.

Not even close. More like Toyota voiding the lease and demanding the car back because the lease says "no entering car races" and you publicly state you're entering a car race with your leased Toyota.

Still not quite right; more like, Toyota repossesses your car because you say you want to enter it in a race, and Toyota is under the impression that a certain type of license you don't posses is legally required for said race, even though there is no such licensing requirement.

We're getting closer. It's more like Toyota repossesses your car because you say you want to enter it in a race known for it's poor safety record for spectators, and Toyota is under the impression that a certain type of license you don't posses is legally required for said race, even though there is no such licensing requirement, but they don't want their brand associated with any negative press if any spectators get mowed down by their car.

about 2 years ago
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Bitcoin Exchange BitFloor Says It Will Replace Stolen Coins

Shrike82 Re:Refund how? (117 comments)

A student loan has a defined repayment period and method. The loan company couldn't legally demand the money as they'd be in breach of contract.

about 2 years ago
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California Legalizes Self Driving Cars

Shrike82 Re:"Prepare for crash" code ... (508 comments)

A lot of software that we have today can be considered as AI, but like everything there's various degrees. Siri is a form of AI, albeit a crappy one. Wolfram Alpha can perform basic reasoning. Asimo (that little creepy robot) does some stuff that even 30 years ago would have been considered science fiction. We have AI now, just not the Skynet or Sentient Intelligence that people expect from books and films.

about 2 years ago
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California Legalizes Self Driving Cars

Shrike82 Re:"Prepare for crash" code ... (508 comments)

It's not "AI" as most people would think of it. That's just rather typical programming: wait for inputs, analyze them, produce outputs (responses.)

Artificial Intelligence. The ability to react to stimuli and make decisions based on those stimuli is a solid definition of intelligence. Yes, there are others. The fact that it's programmed intelligence makes it Artificial. Trust me, it is AI and the argument over semantics is moot and unproductive.

about 2 years ago
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California Legalizes Self Driving Cars

Shrike82 Re:Must past this test (508 comments)

This is what the vast majority of anti-automated car people forget: an automated car will actually drive in a way that results in a net gain to the system. Everyone benefits when people leave a decent gap between their car and the car in front (go read if you don't believe me). A human driver often won't because they want to "send a message" to the other driver that "they're too slow" or they don't want someone entering "their" territory and will actively move to block them - I see this every day. Automated cars have the advantage of not giving a shit about emotional considerations, and they won't instantly turn into arseholes the moment they get into the "safety" of a car like a lot of the people who seem to share my commute each day. Apologies for the large amount of quotation marks; they're meant to indicate me using an annoying air quotes voice.

about 2 years ago
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Vaporizing the Earth In the Name of Science

Shrike82 Virtual Earth? (100 comments)

Fortunately, the world they're vaporizing exists only in a computer simulation

DAMMIT! I have a deadline on Wednesday and this would have been a great excuse to blow it off and kick back with a cold beer...

more than 2 years ago
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Google Fined $22.5M Over Safari Privacy Violation

Shrike82 Re:The purpose of the law (118 comments)

To make it worse, Google is openly engaged in large scale tax evasion/avoidance.

Just to nitpick (a.k.a. correct your misleading comment) evasion and avoidance are two totally separate things. One is illegal. The other is not. If you are aware that Google are evading tax then you should inform the taxation authorities in the relevant countries and become the hero of many an anti-Google fanboy.

Google are known to be avoiding tax, and to many people (including me) that smacks of immoral behaviour. Taxes are there for a reason. They pay for shit that helps everyone. However, the tax system can never, will never and should never work on the "honour" system. If you leave loopholes that allow people and companies to legally avoid paying as much tax as everyone thinks they should, then of course they'll use them. I mean Jesus, it's not rocket science. Pay $X in tax, or pay $Y in tax, where Y is much, much smaller than X. Both are perfectly legal. Which one are people going to pick? Aside from a select few, anyone who says "Oh I'd pay more than the minimum because it's morally right" is either a moron, lying, or simply wouldn't benefit enough from a tax avoidance scheme to make it worth their while.

If the government wants to moderate Google's behaviour (besides just pretending to want to) then they would fine them far, far more.

Maybe, but if they want to moderate Google's tax-paying behaviour then they should close the bloody loopholes that let them avoid it in the first place.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Most Underappreciated Sci-Fi Writer?

Shrike82 Re:Neal Asher (1130 comments)

I'd say Asher's work (my opinion based on his Agent Cormac novels only) was much harsher and grittier than Banks'. There's less character development, less deep plots and the writing style is not quite as refined. However, I enjoy the work of both authors and would suggest you borrow a copy of Asher's first Cormac novel (or the first in one of his other series) and see if it tickles your fancy.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Most Underappreciated Sci-Fi Writer?

Shrike82 Re:Stanislaw Lem (1130 comments)

maybe even Jack Vance and Zelazny mentioned.

Vance mentioned further up. As I mentioned up there, an anthology of short stories from some fairly well known SF writers set in Vance's universe was published not so long back and is called "Songs of the Dying Earth". From what I understand (haven't yet read Vance's original works) it touches upon many of the characters and plots from his work so don't read if you're potentially upset by back stories that aren't as you imagined!

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Most Underappreciated Sci-Fi Writer?

Shrike82 Re:Ursula K. LeGuin (1130 comments)

Having recently picked up and devoured "Songs of the Dying Earth" I can agree with this. I'd never read any of Vance's original works, and was initially a little taken aback when I discovered the book I'd scooped up from the Si-Fi section in a rush was more Fantasy than Sci-Fi (let's not argue over the dividing line today). However, the world Vance created seems quite incredible, and the guest authors producing short stories for "Songs of the Dying Earth" did a spectacular job. Once I've worked my way through the backlog of books I have right now I may have to invest in some of Vance's original works.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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Fusion Power Soon to be a Reality (Again)

Shrike82 Shrike82 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Shrike82 (1471633) writes "The BBC are reporting encouraging results in the quest for nuclear fusion as a realiable power source. Previously it was believed that so called "laser fusion" would be hampered by interference from plasma — a "soup" of highly charged particles created by the lasers — but it seems that not only is the interference less significant than expected, it can actually be used to control the fusion process. The scientist heading the team behind this research is optimistic that a stable fusion process will happen any time now:

Dr Glenzer is confident that with everything in place, ignition is on the horizon. He added, quite simply, "It's going to happen this year."

It remains to be seen if fusion really is about to take off, or whether this is just another one of those amazing discoveries that quickly disappears, leaving fusion "in the next few decades" once again."
Link to Original Source

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Microsoft Disconnects Xbox Owners

Shrike82 Shrike82 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Shrike82 (1471633) writes "The BBC are reporting that around 600,000 XBox owners have been banned from using Microsoft's XBox Live service for modifying their consoles to "play pirated games". The article mentions Terms of Use violations as the reason for disconnections, and cites game piracy as the main reason behind this move. The bans will only affect online services, so anyone banned from XBox Live can still use their consoles for offline gaming."
Link to Original Source
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Hackers offer tool for Xbox Live revenge

Shrike82 Shrike82 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Shrike82 (1471633) writes "Disgruntled XBox Live players are apparently being offered a way to get revenge on fellow players. Common tools for Denial of Service attacks are being marketed as a means to kick players from games, and even prevent the use of XBox Live as a whole. By flooding the port(s) associated with XBox Live a player can effectively be blocked from the service entirely. For as little as $20 (£13) "some Xbox Live hackers will remotely access a customer's PC and set up the whole system so it can be run any time they need it". Now the player that you dominated in Halo 3 isn't limited to sending you abusive messages — they can actually stop you from using a service you've paid for, effectively wasting your money."
Link to Original Source
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Mozilla reveal plans for Firefox 3.2

Shrike82 Shrike82 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Shrike82 (1471633) writes "Mozilla have described plans for the next version of their popular web browser, Firefox. Mozilla's "Ubiquity project" is set to become a standard feature, allowing "users to type natural language phrases into the browser to perform certain tasks, such as typing 'map 10 Downing Street' to instantly see a Google map of that address, or 'share-on-delicious' to bookmark the site you're currently visiting on the social news site." Also of interest is so-called "lightweight theming" allowing users to customise the browsers design more easily. The launch date is still somewhat unclear, and Mozilla are apparently unsure if version 3.2 will be released at all, apparently considering going straight to Firefox 4."

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