Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Slashback

Slashback: Games, Goats, Galileo 165

Posted by timothy
from the almost-valentine's-day-dammit dept.
Slashback tonight brings you word on a games contest, an update to the famous spider-goat hybrid which grossed you out months ago, bad news for Galileo's last days, passable news for anyone following the David McOwen story and more. Read on for the updates :)

Make sure you slip this into the fine print of your consulting contracts. Adn writes "Newsbytes is reporting in a story that David McOwen, who was facing some pretty serious charges will be let go with a fine as against a much harsher fate. If utilizing so called "unused cycles" for the greater good is a crime (I know he was not charged for that per se... but bear with me here) then makes you consider uninstalling all those SETI@Home Screensavers doesnt it? Also a larger question...If the law (in these kinds of cases) operates on the 'intent' of the accused, what is the justification for even considering it a crime?"

Playing games builds your mind and your hand-eye coordination. Bill Kendrick writes: "The results are in for the SDL Game Contest held by No Starch Press, Linux Journal and Loki Games.

First place was awarded to LBreakout by Michael Speck. Second place went to Tower Toppler by Andreas Roever. My own game, Vectoroids just barely made third place over another asteroids-style game, Rock Dodgers by Paul Holt.

Congratulations! The full list of games is listed on No Starch's results page."

Guaranteed not to be your average Slashdot book review! Alex Chiu writes "Hello. This is alex chiu. I have written an online book at http://superiching.com Teaching people how to communicate with God using I-Ching. This online book is free for everyone to read. It's at least 5 times bigger than alexchiu.com. If interested, please release this news."

You may remember Alex from the interview we did with him a little while ago -- truly a unique individual.

Flying blind and a long way from home. Vertigo01 writes: "According to this article on CNN.com, galileo has encountered some technical problems on its flyby of Io and "for unknown reasons, went into safe mode" ... (sounds like my last Win98 install) ... flight engineers hope to restore normal operation for the duration of Galileo's life, but it looks like we won't get any more pictures of Io out of her."

Victoria's Secret probably won't put this on the box. FortKnox writes "Spider Silk is long known to be one of the strongest biological structure made (5 times stronger than steel by weight). Biologists have already genetically engineered goats to produce spider silk in their milk. Now, they have successfully extracted the protein and "spun" the silk. The next, and final step, is to mass produce the silk to be available commercially. Move over kevlar, here comes something better! I want to have the first biologically built house! I wonder how insulated spider silk is...."

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Slashback: Games, Goats, Galileo

Comments Filter:
  • by epsalon (518482) <slash@alon.wox.org> on Thursday January 17, 2002 @08:32PM (#2859107) Homepage Journal
    They'll sue you for installing WindowsXP on company hardware. It wastes far more "unused" cycles than a mere distributed.net challange...
    • Because XP is a distributed client itself. Microsoft does not have the server resources to handle serving their .NET architecture. So, XP uses raw sockets to implement a clandestine P2P network. MSN is not serving XP clients, other XP clients are. In the mean time, MS surfs our personal info like google surfs usenet while utilizing what will become the most powerfull supercomputer possible: Everyone's computers.
  • Even at Five Times stronger than steel pales in Comparison to Spectra. I bet its a lot cooler though, and probably more stylish.
    • Re:Spider Silk (Score:4, Insightful)

      by SumDeusExMachina (318037) on Thursday January 17, 2002 @09:02PM (#2859261) Homepage
      Spectra? Was that intended as a joke?

      I used to do some serious competitive sailing, and I can tell you that spectra is rather mediocre when compared to other high-tech synthetic materials on the market currently. It doesn't even measure up to Kevlar as far as strength or streching resistence is concerned. The best that comes to my mind right now would be Vectran, but it has been several years since I was in the field, and thus new developments may have ocurred as a result of America's Cup development and such.

      • Uh...really?

        There are three main grades of Kevlar available: 29, 49, and 149. Respectively, they have tensile moduluses of 62 GPa, 131 GPa, and 186 GPa, and tensile strengths of 2.76 GPa, 3.6-4.1 GPa, and 3.4 GPa. There's also Kevlar Edge, but I don't know nothin' from nothin' about that.

        Spectra 900 has a tensile modules of 117 GPa and Spectra 1000 has 172.0 GPa. Their tensile strengths are, respectively, 2.59 and 3.27.

        Sounds pretty comparable to me, and I certainly wouldn't call it "mediocre." I also don't think Spectra is as susceptible to degradation from ultraviolet exposure, but I could be very wrong on that point. It does creep, though, which I guess could be a bad thing in sails.

        All I can find on Vectran claims that its modulus and strength is similar to Kevlar-29.
      • I used to wind line sets for sport kites at a kite factory (Shanti, if anyone cares). We used Spectra and Kevlar (and Dacron, but it's really only suitable for single line kites). Anyway, Spectra does have a fair amount of creep, IIRC something like 8-12%. We would stretch it out with 3 or 4 strong pulls and then it had the same stretch as Kevlar, something like 3-5%. Once the creep was out the main difference between Spectra and Kevlar was flamability. The Kevlar wouldn't burn. We did have to put sleeves on both, because when you tied them in knots they'd cut through themselves.

        Oh, and Kevlar really thrashes scissors.

        Never heard of Vectran, though. Has it been around long?

        • Re:Spider Silk (Score:2, Informative)

          by RapaNui (242132)
          IIRC Vectran is a 'Liquid Crystal Polymer' fibre, quite frequently mentioned during the last two(?) or so America's Cup events.
          Seems to mainly be used in competition sails.

          Uh.. found a link:

          Vectran fibres [vectran.net]

  • by Wizard of OS (111213) on Thursday January 17, 2002 @08:34PM (#2859118)
    Hmm, didn't Alex Chiu invent the immortality device? Doesn't that mean that people don't die anymore? Well .. he apparently thinks different now:

    This I-Ching book is designed to allow you to predict just about everything: the death of a person, the exact time and date to expect a visitor, the rise and fall of the stock market, the presidential election, the out come of a war, etc.

    If you know somebody is going to die, then why don't you give him an immortality device. Hmm, buf if you give him that, he won't die anymore, your prediction becomes fraud and the universe will then collapse into a singularity with infinite impropability. :)
  • by InterruptDescriptorT (531083) on Thursday January 17, 2002 @08:35PM (#2859123) Homepage
    Heh. I initially read superiching.com [superiching.com] as superitching.com, and I was just wondering what the market was for prank itching powder e-commerce.

    Hmmm... now that I think about it... (goes off to register superitching.com) ;-)

    ---

    Some say Netware is just like a wheel/ When you abend it, you can't mend it
  • Bonus... (Score:4, Funny)

    by xinit (6477) <.rmurray. .at. .foo.ca.> on Thursday January 17, 2002 @08:36PM (#2859126) Homepage
    At least Super I-Ching doesn't charge by the minute. Unfortunately, I never seem to get through to God - I always seem to reach some joker named Gord [actsofgord.com], and he's none too happy about the bad listing in the directory.
  • by TheQuantumShift (175338) <monkeyknifefight@internationalwaters.com> on Thursday January 17, 2002 @08:38PM (#2859143) Homepage
    Why should this guy's community service be "not related to computers"? If thats what he's best at, then shouldn't he be allowed to use his talents to benefit the community? What, is he going to hack the pentagon while streamlining the city hall databases? Or would this all make way too much sense to be in an american court?
    • It's supposed to be a punishment, which implies it's something you DON'T like. If he likes computers, this makes sense...
      • Then make him use an OS he hates... The punishment is also this: He has been arrested, maybe loses his job over it, and working under the watchful eye of an officer of the law is not something I think he would enjoy. My point is this, instead of just locking people up, why not use whatever skills they may have to benefit the rest of society. In my opinion, if you break the law, you're going against society, so your punishment should benefit society. I do think punishment shouldn't be enjoyed, and so maybe he should be forced to work the help desk or something...
      • The punishment for a crime should be something that forces you to repay your debt to society. You must repair the damage you've done.
    • how to use Linux! Or Windows for that matter.
    • Not to mention the fact that _some_ courts impose computer related community service as a requirement.

      But maybe that's only in large anti-trust cases where the defendant is a corporation and has something to gain from their sentence.
  • by Tom7 (102298) on Thursday January 17, 2002 @08:39PM (#2859152) Homepage Journal
    Alex is one fuckin' awesome web designer, but I know at least one of his tricks: How to get those awesome flaming gifs. Check it out at http://www.flamingtext.com/ [flamingtext.com] !
  • The Law (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Your guilt or innocence in matters like this isn't a function of the intent. Intent is relevant when you're sentenced. The appropriate thing to have happen is to be found guilty, and then be given a suspended sentence. After all, he did break the law.
    • Re:The Law (Score:5, Informative)

      by quincy_MD (529482) on Thursday January 17, 2002 @09:03PM (#2859270)
      Not quite... The law makes a distinction between 2 different classes of crime: malum prohibitum and malum in se. Malum prohibitum crimes are crimes that are (literally) "Evil because it's prohibited". There is no need to have intent to break malum prohibitum laws. Speeding on the interstate, for example, is malum prohibitum. Even if you didn't intend to speed, you still broke the law. Malum in se crimes are crimes that are (literally) "Evil in and of themselves". These are crimes like murder... To murder someone requires an intent to murder. To be guilty of the crime requires that the prosecution prove you intended to commit the crime. And I'm sure the "stealing computer time" thing is malum prohibitum.
    • Sometimes intent is the crux of whether a crime has been committed or not.

      For example, getting married is a crime - if you do so believing that you are already married (even if you're wrong), then it's bigamy.

      Similarly giving truthful evidence under oath can be a crime - if you do so believing it to be untrue.

      (This is true in my local jurisdiction, anyway. YMMV)

      Obviously intent can be difficult to prove, but the courts seem to manage to cope OK.
  • Something about many-eyed goats & whatnot?
  • by bahtama (252146) on Thursday January 17, 2002 @08:46PM (#2859182) Homepage
    Regarding the spider story, this is the funniest quote I have seen all day. Does he realize what he just said?

    ``The spiders unfortunately are territorial carnivores. They eat each other, and this has caused them to resist all forms of domestication,'' Turner said.

    I can see it now, "Heel boy, now sit, stand. Now spin some silk into a shirt for me!"

    • by Wyatt Earp (1029)
      There was another funny quote about them from a couple years back.

      "If you put a bunch of spiders in togeather, in a few days you are left with one big, fat, happy spider."

      IIRC this was when the genetic alterations was being done to the goats, nice to see there's been progress. This has been a Army funded project for years, I remeber reading it in the WSJ back in the mid 80s.
      • There was another funny quote about them from a couple years back. >

        "If you put a bunch of spiders in togeather, in a few days you are left with one big, fat, happy spider."

        IIRC this was when the genetic alterations was being done to the goats, nice to see there's been progress. This has been a Army funded project for years, I remeber reading it in the WSJ back in the mid 80s.

        Does this mean we're going to end up with one big, fat, happy goat? After all, goats supposedly eat anything - how do they stop the goat eating all the silk?

    • by Anonymous Coward
      > I can see it now, "Heel boy, now sit, stand. Now spin some silk into a shirt for me!"

      This was tried, France, late 1800's or so. A group of entrepreneurs shut hundreds of spiders into a disused barn, I presume with the intent of fumigating later, and then collecting the webbing and spinning.

      When the Barn was opened some time later, it was found that in the absence of other food, the spiders had eaten each other.

      Oh well, back to le drawing board.

  • by doooras (543177) on Thursday January 17, 2002 @08:47PM (#2859188)
    i can't wait to see the bullet proof spider silk bra in the local Contrampo or Wet Seal.
  • by Cato the Elder (520133) on Thursday January 17, 2002 @08:48PM (#2859193) Homepage
    I think the prosecution of McOwen went overboard. However, if you don't own machines, you shouldn't run software on them without permission. Increasing system load means the system spends less time in power saving modes. It does consume bandwith. Also, and I don't know if this was the case here, it can be damned annoying when not set up properly. When I was working to help administer the computers at a Math department at my college, the sysadmin for general computing stayed logged in and run Seti@home through scripts. Problem was, he didn't do a very good job, and sometimes two or more copies would run at once. They also seemed to take a perceptible amount of time to get off the CPU.
    • The same could be said of the million other things people do at their jobs and take for granted. Ever send or receive a personal fax at work? Make a personal call? Write something down on a piece of paper like "Bring home milk" and stick it in your pocket? Yes, these are really petty examples, but (if set up correctly) so is using these kinds of programs.
  • They've found a use for goat milk. ugh!
    • Re:Finally. (Score:2, Funny)

      by imrdkl (302224)
      Goat cheese is pretty tasty. Although this milk might make better string cheese.
    • Goat milk is actually quite good. More taste in there than cow milk, and less fat than sheep milk. You got to try it!
      • Re: Finally. (Score:3, Interesting)

        by MrResistor (120588)
        Goat milk is actually quite good.

        As long as you restrict their diet. A goat that's been alowed to eat whatever it wants can have some pretty gnarly-tasting milk.

  • Bah-h-h-h-h (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anomaly Coward (468493) on Thursday January 17, 2002 @08:52PM (#2859208)
    Bertha shouldn't be-e-e-e! Bertha shouldn't be-e-e-e!
  • Normally, it's a lot of fun to mock people like Alex Chiu. Then I realized that he is probably making tons of money selling his "rings" to clueless surfers. *Sigh*.

    By the way, he will be coming out with your very own "One Ring" (Immortality Ring Ver 2.0) soon.
  • by Rikardon (116190) on Thursday January 17, 2002 @08:54PM (#2859219)
    I want climbing ropes made out of spider silk! I think the smallest-diameter climbing rope is currently 9.5mm. Spider silk would be much lighter even at the same diameter; you could probably trust your life to a 3mm diameter (just guessing) spider silk rope, at dramatically lighter weight than is currently possible.

    OTOH, can you imagine how freaky it would be to suspend your body weight from a rope so thin that you might not even be able to see the end of it?
    • i wouldn't be surprised to see 007 using that to infiltrate the russians or whoever needs some good spyin' on at the time of the next movie.
    • It would have interesting applications for movies and theatres. Actors could "fly" about, and producers wouldn't have to worry about people seeing the wires.
    • You can get 8.5mm 'half-ropes' - you're meant to use them in pairs, but when in extremis they're employed singly for tough sport routes to reduce weight and drag. I did my first F7c (Hard UK E6 6b, not sure of the US grade) on one. not sure if it made any physical difference in that case, but it was a psychological edge.

      Big disadvantage with this, though, is that the thinner it gets, the trickier it is to get into your quickdraw. I had length-matched 'draws with BD 'hotwire' krabs on them in the crux section so I wouldn't fumble the clip. A 3mm spider-silk rope wuld be very tricky to clip with - like using prussik cord. perhaps you could stiffen a section in the manner of the Beal program ropes to make clipping easier and the sheath more durable?

      3mm - fine for topropes, no good for real climbing
      • by blair1q (305137) on Friday January 18, 2002 @01:54AM (#2860376) Journal
        Big disadvantage with this, though, is that the thinner it gets, the trickier it is to get into your quickdraw. I had length-matched 'draws with BD 'hotwire' krabs on them in the crux section so I wouldn't fumble the clip. A 3mm spider-silk rope wuld be very tricky to clip with - like using prussik cord. perhaps you could stiffen a section in the manner of the Beal program ropes to make clipping easier and the sheath more durable?

        Damn.

        Babelfish just looks at me funny when I feed it this.

        --Blair
      • I did my first F7c (Hard UK E6 6b, not sure of the US grade)

        F7c is around 5.12c/d or around Australian 27-28. There's not a bad conversion chart at http://www.australianbouldering.com/

        Hmmm, methinks it's time to dust off the chalk bag (no, that ain't Anthrax!)
    • If spider silk resists stretching more than kevlar, I don't see it being much fun to land a lead fall on onna those suckers.

      Still, might make great sheaf material. No idea how this would affect diameter though...
    • if you get the rope too short, you'll cut your finger off with a swift jerk ;-)
    • Oh yes, I can just imagine the fun of taking a fall and -whoops!- I just cut myself in half with my non-stretching very thin line. Yes, this sounds like a great idea, but I'll pass thanks. Perhaps what you really need is a rope cored with woven spider silk and then sheathed in something light and abrasion resistant. Just a thought.
      • What gives you the idea that spider silk is non-stretching? Au contraire, spider silk is very stretchy. [sciencenews.org] University of Wyoming researchers found the gene for capture silk which, while also very sticky, can stretch up to 3 times its original length. That's a bit too far, and it would be REALLY tough to handle (how would you let go?).

        Dragline silk, though (which is what I imagine we'd want for climbing) is what Nexia is producing [nexiabiotech.com]. It's only 1/5th as stretchy as capture silk (see first link, above), which means it'll stretch to 1.4 times its original length -- plenty of "shock absorption" to keep you from getting cut in two.

        And although Nexia doesn't say anything about abrasion resistance, they do say they're hoping to create fibers with specific properties for specific applications. I do agree that the fibers may need to be sheathed in something else (maybe even dragline silk would be too sticky -- who knows?), but I still think it'd be a vast improvement over what we carry today.

  • hahahahah (Score:1, Redundant)

    by Anonymous Coward
    "superiching.com" -- sounds like the site you'd
    go to when you can't get rid of that damn jock
    itch. :)
  • Tower Toppler (Score:2, Informative)

    by Renraku (518261)
    Tower Toppler was an Atari game from way back in the day. Dunno if the gameplay in the one mentioned is the same as the sourceforge one, but it wouldn't surprise me. I begged my parents for this game for years, forgetting about shitty pac-man or the Indiana Jones game that had no point at all.
    • Re:Tower Toppler (Score:3, Informative)

      by SuzanneA (526699)
      Actually, its a rewrite of Nebulus by Hewson. It was released on the C64, Spectrum, ST, Amiga, and probably others. I'm not sure which came first, probably either the Spectrum or C64 version (given that Hewson was a UK company).
  • Imagine what would happen if a goat fed her offsprings. The silk could end up passing through through them, creating the first ever animal made leash! Since that would count as tool usage, would that mean that we'd have species competition? :)
  • Why don't you include some more kooks and kook science for us. I'm sure Ludwig Plutonium is eager for an interview.
  • Inviting trouble (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nathdot (465087) on Thursday January 17, 2002 @09:00PM (#2859252)
    I don't care if the latest breaking news is "Scientist clone new super species of hybrid shark/goat" or "Apple releases latest PC: the iGoat", know this, and know it well:

    An article on slashdot with "GOAT" in the headline is inviting trouble

    :)
  • by imrdkl (302224) on Thursday January 17, 2002 @09:02PM (#2859263) Homepage Journal
    Means that, at 100km high, perhaps one of those bigger volcanos it was going to look at took offense?
  • by Dr. Awktagon (233360) on Thursday January 17, 2002 @09:08PM (#2859286) Homepage

    McOwen used resources without permission. Ideally that gets you a talking-to from a supervisor, at worst it gets you fired.

    Taking legal action against an employee for it is way overboard, and even 80 hour community service and $2100 is too much, considering he was fired from a subsequent job, and probably has had his life turned upside down for a few months (I believe he and his wife had a newborn at the time). The reason we should have a fair legal system is so you don't have to go through this kind of thing. What on earth was the attorney general thinking? Where they trying to meet some quota or something? Testing out a new law?

    Anyway, glad to see things turned out all right, and he didn't have to go to court, where he probably wouldn't have had enough money to win the case.

    • Oh, nonsense. He was at a university, ,allegedly a center of learning. A good one would applaud him for his initiative: capturing otherwise wasted resources for purposes of advancing scientific research. If there were some reason that the screensavers caused a problem, then the right response would be to ask the guy to uninstall the screen savers.

    • "where he probably wouldn't have had enough money to win the case"

      It takes a whole new dimension when first you read : "The reason we should have a fair legal system "

      If your actual legal system is in the view of : I have money, the best lawer possible, so now move and abandon the case, well yes, you're in trouble...

      Oh yes, Moderator, Flamebait is -1. Honesty would put me in "Insightful", or Offtopoc. Now make you choice, and remember : I have more money, and the best lawyer...

      Ooops, got carried away 8)
  • by epsalon (518482) <slash@alon.wox.org> on Thursday January 17, 2002 @09:10PM (#2859292) Homepage Journal
    I wonder if they have been taking McOwen to court if has run something that could actually save lives [stanford.edu] on the department's spare time.
    I think they just decided to use public opinion against "cracking" and made McOwen a criminal ("Look, he's trying to break codes [distributed.net] on company time. He must be a criminal"). Sorry, not criminal, what's the buzzword again? Ah, terrorist...
  • Houses?? (Score:5, Funny)

    by freeweed (309734) on Thursday January 17, 2002 @09:25PM (#2859384)
    I want to have the first biologically built house!

    You mean, as opposed to all the wooden houses that we currently live in, all produced from 100% inorganic trees? :)

  • Super I-Ching (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Gord.ca (236984) <[ac.oolretawu.sc ... [ta] [kcollophg]> on Thursday January 17, 2002 @09:29PM (#2859413)
    Wow.. I was on Alex's website just yesterday. I noticed the link to the Super I-Ching sister site, and was browsing around it a bit.

    From what I picked up, I-Ching is more a method of telling the future than conversing with the supernatural. Then again, I think the idea is that seeing the future and talking to God are kinda the same thing.

    As you may be aware, Alex's main claim to fame is that he is the purveyor of the eternal life rings. These cheat death by stopping or even reversing aging. However, they can't protect from accidents, some diseases, being shot (how I'm glad I'm not American...) That's where I-Ching comes in. If you can see the future, you can avoid being shot or whatever. So you need both the rings and I-Ching to really be immortal. They complement each other nicely.

    I-Ching is performed by throwing coins or something. (I wasn't really clear on this.) The results, as well as the time/date/year (on Beijing time) and maybe some other variables, go through a complex analysis. Future events, as well as vagely the time and place they will occur, come out. Those who are better at I-Ching will be able to figure out more. Oh yeah, and when I say complex, I mean it. It looks like learning Java was easier than learning I-Ching. There's 5 elements and hexagrams and bonding and lines and more fun than I can handle.

    The most interesting part is how logical it is. It might not be backed up by properly controlled scientific evidence, but the method itself really makes sense if you let it make sense. It's just like getting answers from a complex physics equation.

    So here's the moral of the story, children: Just because it makes sense to you, doesn't make it correct. People who can use this lesson include:
    Politicians (Tax cuts create jobs! The economists say so, I understand it, it must be true!)
    Almost anyone who argues about anything (Yes, that includes you. And me.)
    Alex Chiu, the subject of the day. This can actually be used to understand his website. He wrote something down. It made sense to him, so now he doesn't understand that it might not be true.

    </rant> ;-)

    • Re:Super I-Ching (Score:2, Informative)

      by _ph1ux_ (216706)
      I-ching is performed by throwing three coins.
      The I-ching is the reading of the meanings of tri-grams. Tri-grams are made up of three lines - either solid or broken.

      Each coin represents one line. Heads=solid Tails=broken.

      So if you throw three coins it will be something like: heads, heads, tail (usually you predetermine that you are going to read the coins leftmost first - or something.)

      so H,H,T would look like:

      ---
      ---
      - -

      and you would look up this trigram symbol for its meaning....

      sometimes you would throw 3 times and look up all three symbols to get a more in depth reading.
    • I briefly thought about writing a program to automate the processing of Mr. Chiu's Super I-Ching method. As I mulled it over I realized that there was an algorith so simple you can do it in your head for any arbitrarily complex set of I-Ching data.

      f(i-ching inputs) = bullshit

      You won't even need to use your fingers, as with those party-trick arithmetic methods!

    • > I-Ching is performed by throwing coins or something.

      Yarrow stalks, traditionally. That's why Bruce Schneier's strong pseudorandom number generator is called Yarrow.
      http://www.counterpane.com/yarrow.html

      But anything that gives random bits will do - coin flips, dice, thermal noise on a diode, radioactive decay, lava lamps (http://www.sciencenews.org/20010512/mathtrek.asp) , whatever.
  • What makes goat milk so special for spider silk production? I would have thought of two other scenarios first:

    -- Genetically alter silkworms to produce the spider silk.

    -- Genetically alter cows to produce the silk laden milk, since they would produce much higher yields than goats.

    The article is a little short on details, and it makes it appear like after the spider domestication failed, they went straight to goats. Anybody know why the above two examples are inferior to genetically altered goats?
    • Re:Why Goats? (Score:2, Informative)

      by Wise Dragon (71071)
      I have years of experience milking and caring for goats and cows.

      Goats

      Are less likely to die than cows, and less expensive when they DO die

      Reproduce faster than cows.

      Can eat a wider variety of foods than cows

      Are easier to milk than cows

      Are easier to drag around than cows

      Goats make less of a mess when they defecate.

      The main problem with goats is that the milk tastes terrible. Some breeds are tastier than others, but I gag on most of it. Note that this is not a problem when it comes to spider silk.

    • What makes goat milk so special for spider silk production?

      From another article in Forbes:

      Turner got the idea while teaching at McGill University in Montreal in 1992, after learning that scientists had isolated three spider genes that code for silk proteins. "It was a purely serendipitous find. The silk gland of spiders and the milk gland of goats are almost identical. Teats equal spinnerets."

      The advantages of goats over cows are detailed in another reply.

    • This is Slashdot, right? It should be obvious. Ever heard of cowse.cx?
    • Now you can have cows too, acording to this article on Wired [wired.com]
  • by OverCode@work (196386) <overcode@ g m a i l . c om> on Thursday January 17, 2002 @09:55PM (#2859534) Homepage
    The game download page is not ready yet, but you can find many of these games on the authors' home pages. I highly recommend downloading them -- there were some really good submissions. And by all means don't just download the top three. Almost all of the entries are worth a look.

    Although some were disappointed that their games didn't win, everyone has been very polite and understanding. That says a lot about the open source/free software development community. It really was a pleasure to deal with everyone involved in the contest.

    -John (one of four SDL game contest judges)
  • Great. (Score:5, Funny)

    by emf (68407) on Thursday January 17, 2002 @10:19PM (#2859631)
    "I have written an online book at http://superiching.com Teaching people how to communicate with God using I-Ching. "

    Great, now God's going to get slashdotted.
  • by Ravagin (100668) on Thursday January 17, 2002 @11:53PM (#2860007)
    I can see it now. There's going to be some horrible accident, and the genetic alterations will get out of control, and then we'll have eight-limbed goats clambering all over our metropolisesisesesises. Massive got-webs woven from one building to another! Enormous throbbing goat egg-sacks, from whence come countless tiny goat-spiders which will invade everything and everywhere!

    There will be all kinds, just like with spiders! We'll have daedly black-widow goats, which kill with a single bite! Wolf-goats (there's an irony!) that stalk about on their massive hairy legs! Jumping goats! Goats that, you know, dig those little holes with the fake top thingies and jumpout at their prey... maybe they'll use sewers.

    The web-spinning goats will feast on large birds - the raptor population will be decimated. Mexico and Canada would dig massive moats to keep them in the States, and Britain will patrol our waters and airspace to preserve the quarantine, but the goats will weave parachute thingies and fly across the waters on the winds.

    The goatspiders will soon cover the entire planet. They will adapt to every environment, forcing humanity into underground fortresses. The goatspiders will improve upon our technology and colonize the solar system, being contacted by the Culture, who don't even notice humanity. Soon our kind will be nothing more than few highly isolated communities deep beneath the planet's surface. At that point, it's only a matter of time before humanity's flame is exitnguished entirely.

    But we'll have lots of really comfortable lingerie!
    • God, maybe I'm tired but that had me sputtering onto my monitor! Thank you, the funniest thing that I've read in days. Obviously the spirit of John Wyndham passed on into you!
      • Gosh, thanks. Probably the combined result of too much science fiction and too little sleep (with a play opening this week and the inexorable approach of the end of the semester).
  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Friday January 18, 2002 @03:13AM (#2860649)
    the phrase:

    `That's where the goats come in'
    .
  • Actually, I'd suggest not building houses out of spider silk as stated in the article, for the primary reason that spider silk is water soluble.

    background on all this can be found
    here [bbc.co.uk]
    • Of course, that's why it would DEFINATELY be a good idea to make lots of lingerie, dresses, etc out of it.

      Might be the next evolution to the "wet t-shirt" contest!

  • What you don't know is that XP is just covering up Microsofts attempt to distribute the worlds first "micronet" that is processing hundreds of trillions of flops a day, everyday.

    What is happening, and you the public don't know is XP is really a work of art and uses less processing power the windows 3.11! All that drive spinnig, Proccessor time, and bandwidth is MicroNet juicing your systems unused processor time. Playing it off as XP's poor coding is better than admitting they are jacking your cycles.

    What else are you really going to do with p4 2ghz machines besides secretly back the worlds largest distributive net project. Your just part of Big Bills world wide web farm baby.

  • truly a unique individual.

    Nope, there are lots of people are mentally ill and even more who want to rip people off with claims for a product that cannot possibly be true.

  • Gallileo hasn't even crashed yet...
    You're supposed to crash BEFORE you go into safe mode.
    Or at least that's what Win98 has always told me :)

    Magius_AR

When you don't know what to do, walk fast and look worried.

Working...