European Researchers Propose Quantum Network Between Earth and ISS
Will they also build a Battle School? If so, I wanna go.
How To Communicate Faster-Than-Light
Well, actually It is 11:15 pm, April 1st 2013 as I type this (Central Time Zone, USA.) So, you are incorrect.
North Korea Declares a State of War
Very well put. I appreciate this explanation. I do not pretend to be up on my geography OR geo-politics, so your response was very helpful for my understanding of the situation. Thank you.
North Korea Declares a State of War
Can someone explain to me what it is that gives such a small country that has comparably weak military (they are ranked number 28 in the world according to http://www.globalfirepower.com/countries-listing.asp) and pretty much zero chance of surviving a week in a real war the balls to be so dickish and war-hungry?
Are they really THAT brainwashed and misinformed (or uninformed) as to believe that they can just threaten nuclear war every time they don't get their way? It's like a little kid threatening to run away every time he has to eat his broccoli.
The only scary thing here is that sometimes, very rarely, the little kid DOES run away for an hour or so. Well, I hope for the sake of any innocent people in North Korea that this little boy doesn't run away, and instead learns to shut the fuck up and eat his broccoli.
4-Billion-Pixel Panorama View From Curiosity Rover
I took a look at the panorama and it is indeed awesome. But I found myself immediately trying to identify "objects" and patterns. Not because I believe that there are non-natural artifacts there, but because my brain started saying "Ok, let's see what kind of ridiculous things Richard C. Doucheland will claim as proof of aliens".
I like the guys enthusiasm, and I share a very small percent of his views, but I honestly cannot take him seriously at all. I've never seen someone so intelligent be so purposefully stupid. "Oh and look what we have here ladies and gentlemen. Rectilinear geometry. You can see it plain as day. All you have to do is look. See? I zoomed this low resolution jpeg by 2500% and you can start to see all sorts of lines and squares...where there should be none! It looks...like....a pyramid, people!"
Sometimes I think he's actually a reverse psychology experiment. The government uses him to discredit his own theories by having him use the most ridiculous "proof" possible, "proof" that even a middle school kid can see is absolute hogwash.
I prefer my input devices to be as _______ as possible.
I use a Logitech G510 keyboard because I game often, and I like the backlit keys with customizable color (although the brightness is pretty lacking). This keyboard easily covers multifunctional (has mic and headset inputs and an LCD display with different applets), comfortable, aesthetically pleasing, customizable (programmable macro with additional 18 keys with 3 preset quick-switch keys, ability to disable windows keys, user defined led colored backlit keys, etc.) and precise. Not cheap, probably not able to withstand violent impacts, but definitely a good keyboard for those who game and don't mind non-mechanical.
My mouse, a Logitech Anywhere MX, is the best mouse I've ever owned. Wireless laser with Dark Field Technology is awesome as I have a glass table as my desk at home, and this mouse works perfectly without a mouse pad, right on the clear glass. Tracks perfectly, is comfortable to use, has a nice weighted free- or geared-scroll wheel (selectable by pressing the wheel down), two thumb buttons, can be turned off when not in use to save battery, and has a nice overall weight and feel. However, it can chew through batteries pretty quick (2500mAh rechargeables) and the wheel is really sensitive even in geared mode (screen will jump up and down if you barely touch the wheel half the time, sometimes just by moving the mouse). But I forgive the shorcomings for the massively comfortable upgrade of being able to use it on a glass table without a pad. It's comforatble, aesthetically pleasing, multifunctional, precise, but not cheap or able to withstand impacts and not very customizable beyond standard button assignment options in the driver software.
I suppose that this means my priority is functionality, which is a bit of a grouping of options, but cheap and rugged don't really factor into my purchasing decisions.
Devices on my home network (less modem):
I see all these people listing a myriad of devices and I feel like an amateur.
1 Android phone (Droid Inc)
1 HP netbook
All on my wireless router. I feel.....less geeky. I'm not sure I'm comfortable with that.
PC Gaming's 10 Commandments
I pretty much agree 100% with TFA. Especially about the use of a mouse and having easier configuration of a game.
I recently reinstalled Mass Effect 1 and Mass Effect 2, as I wanted to do two full playthroughs of each, one as a good guy and one as a dick. I have all the DLC for both games, and am currently enjoying the bad guy playthrough on ME2.
After reading this article, I realized I had been thinking many of the same things it points out. Especially because of ME2.
For example, in ME2 there are areas where you cannot save. These are usually missions, and it can be frustrating if you suddenly realize you have to leave for work or some other engagement, but your less than halfway through getting Jack from Purgatory station. You either have to lose your progress or be late for work.
The worst offense of ME2 (in my opinion) is how ridiculously difficult it is to customize your graphical and quality experience with the game. With ME1, you had several .ini files that you could scan through and change this or that to suit your needs. Easy tutorials and guides exist to let you know what all the settings do and their effects on the game. With ME2, they have all these .ini files boxed into one file called coalesced.ini, and it's not standard text style. There is an editor you can download called coalescededitor, and it does a good job of seperating everything out so you can make sense of it, and even includes a section of jump lists to get you to the most common settings to change. Such as disabling mouse acceleration. But, why should the community have to be the ones to implement a user friendly way to make the game experience better and more well suited to your system? Would it really have been so difficult for the company who HAS the code and the devs to have just put an extra menu in the config program that allows you to make these changes in a simple and efficient manner?
This leads into what is probably my biggest gripe about modern games (modern, to me, being roughly 2006-ish and up), and that is texture quality. This is a simplification of the issue, however, but still valid and indicitive of inherent issues with dumbed-down configurability. Lets take Mass Effect 2 for example, since it's still fresh on my mind. This is a beautiful game. Great color variety, awesome level designs, cool architecture through out, and some of the best looking character models of any game ever made. The animations (mostly suit-capture), the decent AI, and the storyline are just awesome. But, this game suffers from a very VERY common problem that virtually every game exhibits - garbage textures.
Now, don't get me wrong. The majority of the textures in ME2 are very good or even surprisingly realstic and superb. Take Zaeed for instance. His head and face texture is probably the best looking character texture I've ever seen in a game, even better than Crysis or Crysis 2 characters. Every time I see his face in the game, I seriously think "Man, that is friggin awesome work they did there."
But then I see Jack's body texture (normal costume, not alternate) and think, "Why the hell does her tattoo texture look so damn muddy and blurry? Why wouldn't they try to make a damned TATTOO'D body texture look super detailed and crisp?" And I look a the floor beneath my character. Muddled and blurry. I walk up to a wall. Muddled and blurry. I watch a cut scene with a close up of a mech. Muddled and blurry.
I understand the technical side of this issue. Higher rez textures use more memory and take longer to render and all that jazz. Blah blah cry me a river. This isn't 1998, and I don't have an 8Mb 3dFX card. I have a relatively cutting edge 560Ti 1Gb card. It can handle textures above 512 resolution. So stop hardcoding texture limits, and instead allow us gamers to use 4096 or 8192 textures if we wish. If your still using a Geforce 5600, well, time to upgrade anyway.
I also realize that using texture sizes of 8192 won't always fix a muddy looking wall when your character jams their nose against it, and using 8192 texture sizes on every part of a complex character model is just impractical, but that kind of brings the point full circle. Find a way to map smaller texture sizes onto the same piece with higher overall texture definition. I don't know how you would do it, as I'm not a programmer or game dev. I just think it would really be a good thing for the gaming industry if they figured out how to permantly get rid of muddy garbage looking textures.
Well, that's my two cents. I'm out.
Starcraft II getting panned by users
Personally, I'm surprised no one saw this coming. Not really the whole online single player thing, but the massive amounts of bad reviews on the first day of release from a rushed game from a money hungry company.
Xbox 360 "Slim" Eats Discs
I think the lesson here is that it's kind of stupid for Microsoft not to have used some type of disc stabilization or even lens stabilization technology. Tech that has been used in 20 year old car cd players and walkmans. Granted, slamming your Xbox or computer around isn't advisable in any situation, but the guy in the video wasn't being rough with the system. All he did was lift one end up to about 45 degrees. That should not cause the type of damage seen in the video, unless there is absolutely no disc stabilization technology in use. The thing is, Microsoft has a history of disc scratching in the Xbox systems, and they seem to not have done anything to fix the issues.
Xbox 360 "Slim" Eats Discs
Ugh. I just noticed that I mispelled "maybe" in the story summary. Now I feel like I have lysdexia.
Ubisoft's New DRM Cracked In One Day
Did no one see this coming? Every time one of these customer-raping companies says they have achieved new levels of DRM-Uncrackableness, they are proven wrong within 24 hours. How stupid are these people to continue to waste millions of dollars trying to secure their software from being pirated, only to have their efforts shown for naught within a day, three days at the most? And how do they not fucking understand that all they are truly doing is pissing off customers and running their company name into the ground? Every time I hear about a company pulling this crap I get more disgusted with software companies. Oh, I know they have a right to protect their properties and profits and all that jazz. But, damnit, consumers have a right to expect a certain level of quality and usability WITHOUT draconian restrictions and double talk and non-ownership-of-a-product-you-paid-to-own type bullshit. This is EXACTLY the reason I choose to pirate a large amount of the games I play. I paid for Mass Effect because of the outstanding (to me) gameplay and story/graphics. Same goes for Dragon Age : Origins, The Witcher, Boderlands, and Divinity II : Ego Draconis. Yes, there is a bit of DRM to those games, but it isn't anywere near as retarded, insulting, lame, fucked up, and basically fucking illegal (or at least it SHOULD be illegal) as forcing me to be connected to the internet to play a god damned single player game that, other than the fucking DRM, has abso-fucking-lutley no reason to connect to the internet. Fuck Ubi and I hope with all seriuosness that Assassin's Creed 2 gets cracked and becomes the most pirated game in history while simultaneously becoming the biggest financial failure in the history of video games. Maybe then these companies will stop with the DRM and find a mutally agreeable way to protect their work without screwing over their customers.
Which Game Series Would You Reboot?
Betrayal at Krondor/Return to Krondor, the old floppy disk D&D games like Eye of the Beholder and so on, Journeyman Project, Oregon Trail (this could be an epic game), Messiah, Black & White, Final Fantasy TOTAL AND COMPLETE REBOOT FROM THE BEGINNING, Baldur's Gate series, and many more.
Unfortunately, I've envisioned that this game would be so huge and complex, it would require its own multi-terabyte hard drive to run from (and to be packaged on) and would cost upwards of 300 million or more to make properly. By the time it went to market it would cost like $300.00 to buy it, and thus would not sell well enough to be worth it (at this time).
I can always dream, though.
Microsoft Discloses Windows 7 Pricing
It doesn't really work. You can't really sit there and do a direct compare between the price of the Apple OS vs. Win7. Here's why :
A Mac Pro configured to the tits on the Apple Store site costs $18,075.00 and includes the following : 2.93Ghz Intel Xeon Quad-core processors X2, 32Gb (8x4Gb) of DDR3 1066 RAM, Mac Pro RAID card, 1TB 7200RPM SATA drive X4, Nvidia Geforce GT 120 512Mb video card X4, 18X superdrive (optical drive) X2, Apple Cinema HD 30" LCD display X2, Apple Wireless Mighty Mouse, Apple Wireless Keyboard, Airport Extreme Wifi card, Apple Mini Display Port to DVI Adapter. Also obviously includes the standard case/powersupply/motherboard/sound card that you aren't allowed to change/choose during purchase. All this for a fucking HUGE $18,075.00!
A PC configured on NewEgg, with equivalent or better parts (except the optical superdrive, of which I didn't find any @ 18X), including the following : Antec 1200 Black Steel Case, ASUS Z8PE-D12X Mobo, XFX GX295NHHFF Geforce GTX 295 1795Mb 896-bit GDDR3 viedo card X4, ABS Tagan BX1300 1300W Modular Active PFC power supply, Intel Xeon W5580 Nehalem 3.2Ghz Quad Core processor X2, Seagate Barracuda 1.5TB 7200RPM SATA 32Mb cache SATA drive X4, Logitech MX 5500 Revolution Wireless Keyboard/Mouse Combo, HP LP3065 30" LCD monitor X2, LG Super Multi-drive X2, Creative Sound-Blaster XFi Titanium Fatal1ty Pro sound card PCI-X, Encore ENLWI-N Wifi N adapter, Noctua NH-U12P CPU cooler. All that for $10,017.79. Add another $200.00 or so for shipping, another $299.00 for Win7, and another maybe $30.00 for thermal paste/a cable here or there/whatever, and your topping out at less than $10,600.00 for a BETTER system.
The way I see it, I'd rather pay %100 for my computer and $120.00 to upgrade to Win7 than pay %180 for a computer AND $30.00 to upgrade my OS.
Now, to be fair, I only made the comparison on the extreme high end. At the average consumer level, the Apple premium is closer to %170.
Why Linux Is Not Yet Ready For the Desktop
First let me say the I'm not anti-Linux. Any competition to MS is good, as it (you'd think) makes them strive to make better software with better features and reliability. And I have no animosity towards Linux supporters/users.
However, I do have a hard time understanding why many Linux Lovers have such a hatred of Windows, and why they continually claim that Linux is better and can do EVERYTHING that Windows can do and more.
I'm sorry to say this, and I'm really not trying to be a troll (even though I'll most likely be modded as such), but Linux is worthless to a LARGE amount of end users for simple reasons (whether or not the end user is simple themselves doesn't really matter) :
A) Installation IS a pain in the ass for anyone who isn't a geek with a decent amount of experience. Hell its a pain in the ass for those who DO have a decent amount of experience, especially when trying a new distro for the first time that has a wholly different install experience.
B) Driver support sucks. Oh, sure, a lot of the big hw companies have usable drivers for Linux. But does that driver work well with your distro? Do all the features work with your distro? And what about the non-juggernaut hw companies. A vast majority of them don't have native Linux drivers, making it a super-headache to get the item to work in Linux.
C) Software selection leaves a lot to be desired. As pointed out in TFA, Open Office vs MS Office is just one of many instances where FOSS really takes a back seat. And most of the industry-standard software either doesn't run on Linux at all or works partially and only in a VM (which kind of defeats the purpose of using Linux).
D) Games. I don't think I really need to expound upon this one. We all know (even if some of you can't seem to admit it) that gaming on Linux SUCKS ASS because most games don't work on Linux.
Ok. Now I know that some of what I touched upon can be band-aided by using Wine and such, but come on. That's cheating. If the OS can't natively run the software, and has to do so in a virtual-Windows environment, why not just use Windows?
Oh, I already know what a lot of the answers to that question will be. "Windows has viruses and isn't secure!" or "Windows doesn't have good driver support either!" or even "Because MS is EEEEVVIILLLLLLLLL!!!!" Well, guess what. Windows SHIPS insecure, but once installed by any competent person who knows how to tweak the system, Windows can be as secure as any other OS out there. I've used almost every iteration of Windows, and starting with XP have never had a virus infection or security breach (and I download a LOT of crap from unreliable sources). That's not to say that a virus has never actually physically been on my system. Just that I've never had to format, reinstall, repair, or anything. Just delete the offending file, and maybe a registry entry or two. And I've had some virii show up that could have screwed me over royally. But because I tune my system the way I do, not much damage can be done, even if I intentionally download a virus (which I have tested several times). Now, I'm not saying I'm invulnerable. I know my system can get FUBAR'd by this or that virus or breach. But it's a safe bet that I'm more secure than any Linux distro out there (which I've proven via a friend who runs Debian, by betting his system would get FUBAR'd before mine after 3 consecutive days of surfing and downloading from some very disreputable sites. His system was tanked in two days, mine never got touched.)
Now, that whole paragraph above leads to the main point I'm trying to make. An average end user will not understand/like/want to go through the massive learning curve of Linux. Nor will they be happy with the horrible compatability. At the same time, they will not be happy with the virus-fest and crash-athon of Windows. But they will put up with Windows because 95% (I'm guessing) of software works with Windows, as well as 99.99% of games (not taking into consideration that many games don't work when shipped due to crappy coding and rush-rush-rush mentallity). And it is much easier to tweak and tune Windows to be more secure than it is to tweak and tune Linux to run everything and to be able to use all of your hardware. Not only that, but if its made for Windows then it works with Windows. With Linux, if its made for Linux then it works with Distribution B/C/E but not A/D/F or only with G. And only certain kernel revisions. And woe be to he who has a custom compiled kernel.
Now, having said all of the above, I'd like to point out that I would LOVE to see Linux suddenly start kicking ass and taking names. I'd love to see full interopability and compatability, ability to play all the games natively, driver support at least on par with Windows, etc. etc. I'm not looking forward to shelling out 200 bucks or more for Win7. I'd much rather have the same features and usability for 30 bucks for a distro package or for free even.
Ok. I'm done. And I have a suspicion that my karma is done too.
Scientist Forced To Remove Earthquake Prediction
That seems like a pretty good improvement in earthquake prediction. If this guy can consistantly predict earthquakes with a +/- of one week, I'd say he's doing something right, and should be listened to. But he has to do it consistantly. One out of one is a good start.
Jupiter's Great Red Spot Is Shrinking
I'm surprised it's shrunk as much as 15% but the Hair Pie was never my strong point :)
There. Fixed that for ya!
Slashdot Launches User Achievements
It certainly would be an interesting feature, if it actually stays after today.
Ballmer Scorns Apple As a $500 Logo
I'm kind of surprised at how everyone latched onto the video games, and completely ignored the rest of my post. I don't play video games all day everyday. And when I do play them, I get as much enjoyment from them as I do when I read a good book, watch a good movie, go to a car show, or go to the park. The point of my post is that price versus compatability/versatility is my biggest deciding factor when building a system. As it is for a lot of people.
I would buy Apple if their prices matched what I can build myself for less money and more versatility. No where did I say that I hate Apple or that Microsoft is god. Nor did I say that I am a troglodyte who lives in his moms basement and subsists on Hot Pockets and WOW. When it comes down to it, a lot of people prefer to have the ability to play 99% of the games on the market, use 90% of the software available, and have better control over what hardware they are using for considerably less money, versus 40% of the games, 75% of the software, and limited control over what hardware they are using for more money and a logo. A lot of people prefer to buy Apple or use Linux/etc. for their own reasons, not the least of which is percieved security (meaning that Apple has its own share of security issues, just not enough user base for the exploiters to care) and/or open source. (The preceding numbers are a quick estimation after browsing NewEgg, Amazon, and a couple of gaming sites)
Neither group is wrong and neither is right. Both have their ups and downs, pros and cons, wins and losses. In todays economy, I would not be surprised at all if Apples prices become a major loss for them. But I'm not an oracle, and I don't play the market, so I have no real idea how the whole thing will play out. I was simply stating my personal feelings and opinions. But, I forgot that this is Slashdot, where opinions are treated as heresy, and the way one person feels about something is immediately set upon by everyone whose view differs in the slightest. My bad. If you are offended by any of what I just said, sorry. Theres no reason to BE offended, but if you ARE offended, then I think the problem lies not with what I've put on the table, but rather with your inability to accept that other people don't see things the same way you do
Ballmer Scorns Apple As a $500 Logo
Well, I'd rather pay $100.00 for the Microsoft logo and whatever I choose to spend on hardware that I put together and be able to play every game I want to play than pay $500 dollars for a logo and be limited to canned hardware configurations and nominal game and software titles.
Not trying to be anti-Apple or pro-Microsoft here. He just has a bit of a point. In today's economy Apple has to be feeling the sting. It's there own fault for being overpriced on pretty much every level.
That said, I'd love to have a Macbook. But I can't afford even a Netbook right now.