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Comment: Re:Meh. Not that big a problem. (Score 1) 404

by Acy James Stapp (#42179315) Attached to: Auto-threading Compiler Could Restore Moore's Law Gains

You seem to be describing a class of problems known as "embarrassingly parallel", as in "I'm embarrassed when I can't solve this problem in parallel." There are other parallel problems that are more difficult and that require actual brainpower to solve. Perhaps you just haven't run up against one.

Comment: Re:Good free command line tool (Score 3, Interesting) 440

by Acy James Stapp (#41205339) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do I De-Dupe a System With 4.2 Million Files?

I recently had this problem and solved it with finddupe (http://www.sentex.net/~mwandel/finddupe/). It's a free command line tool. It can create hardlinks, you can tell it which is a master directory to keep and which directories to delete, and it can create a batch file to do actually do the deletion if you don't trust it or just want to see what it will do. Highly recommend. In any case, 5 TB is going to take forever but with finddupe you can be sure your time is not wasted, unlike one of the free tools that analyzed my drive for 12 hours and then told me it would only fix ten duplicates.

I tried this vs. Clone Spy, Fast Duplicate File Finder, Easy Duplicate File Finder, and the GPL Duplicate Files Finder (crashy). (Side note: Get some creativity guys). There's no UI but I don't care. It doesn't keep any state between runs so run it a few times on subdirectories to make sure you know what it's doing first then let it rip.

Comment: Phillip Reeve's Larklight (Score 1) 726

by Acy James Stapp (#40390657) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Science-Fiction/Fantasy For Kids?

It's more steampunk fantasy but it is both easily approachable for children and fun for adults. Hard scifi is harder to get into; at least for myself I was a lot more interested in fantasy at that age and moved on to scifi later. A Wrinkle in Time has been mentioned, and it's a fun read.

Comment: Re:Sounds like a headache (Score 1) 1306

by Acy James Stapp (#35616558) Attached to: US Contemplating 'Vehicle Miles Traveled' Tax

They won't require it. They'll just threaten to withhold interstate funding from any state that refuses to comply.

You know...at what point are the people and the states going to get pissed off and put a STOP to us giving so much $$ to the Feds only to allow them to used it to blackmail us?

You go first.

Games

Balancing Choice With Irreversible Consequences In Games 352

Posted by Soulskill
from the no-takebacks dept.
The Moving Pixels blog has an article about the delicate balance within video games between giving players meaningful choices and consequences that cannot necessarily be changed if the player doesn't like her choice afterward. Quoting: "One of my more visceral experiences in gaming came recently while playing Mass Effect 2, in which a series of events led me to believe that I'd just indirectly murdered most of my crew. When the cutscenes ended, I was rocking in my chair, eyes wide, heart pounding, and as control was given over to me once more, I did the only thing that I thought was reasonable to do: I reset the game. This, of course, only led to the revelation that the event was preordained and the inference that (by BioWare's logic) a high degree of magical charisma and blue-colored decision making meant that I could get everything back to normal. ... Charitably, I could say BioWare at least did a good job of conditioning my expectations in such a way that the game could garner this response, but the fact remains: when confronted with a consequence that I couldn't handle, my immediate player's response was to stop and get a do-over. Inevitability was only something that I could accept once it was directly shown to me."
Classic Games (Games)

20 Years of Commander Keen 152

Posted by Soulskill
from the aliens-ate-my-babysitter dept.
angry tapir writes "This week marks the 20th anniversary of the release of the first Commander Keen game. For those too young to remember, Commander Keen was a series of shareware 2D platform games for the PC released by Apogee Software (aka 3D Realms) developed by no less than id Software — the developers of Wolfenstein 3D, Doom and Quake."
Security

TSA Pats Down 3-Year-Old 1135

Posted by samzenpus
from the security-theater dept.
3-year-old Mandy Simon started crying when her teddy bear had to go through the X-ray machine at airport security in Chattanooga, Tenn. She was so upset that she refused to go calmly through the metal detector, setting it off twice. Agents then informed her parents that she "must be hand-searched." The subsequent TSA employee pat down of the screaming child was captured by her father, who happens to be a reporter, on his cell phone. The video have left some questioning why better procedures for children aren't in place. I, for one, feel much safer knowing the TSA is protecting us from impressionable minds warped by too much Dora the Explorer.
Robotics

The REX Robotic Exoskeleton 53

Posted by kdawson
from the walk-like-a-man dept.
ElectricSteve writes "When Robert Irving was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, it was the catalyst for him and his childhood friend, Richard Little, to turn their engineering skills to the task of developing an exoskeleton that was a practical, standing-and-walking alternative to wheelchairs. The result is REX, an exoskeleton made of strong, lightweight materials that is designed to support and hold a person comfortably as he moves. Users strap themselves in to the robotic legs with a number of Velcro and buckled straps that fit around the legs, along with a belt around the waist. While most robotic exoskeletons we've looked at, such as the HAL, augment human motion, this is generally not an option for wheelchair-bound users, so REX is controlled using a joystick that sits at the wearer's waist level." The rig is expected to cost $150K when introduced later this year in New Zealand. Gizmag has an obnoxious timed popover subscription nag, so NoScript is indicated.
Classic Games (Games)

Fan-Developed Ultima VI Remake Released 161

Posted by Soulskill
from the serious-dedication dept.
An anonymous reader writes "20 years after the original game launched, a fan-developed Ultima 6 remake has finally been released! The Ultima 6 Project was formed in 2001 by Sliding Dragon to develop a remake of Origin's Ultima VI: The False Prophet with newer graphics and a more immersive engine. Soon assembled under the banner Archon, the team members, who hail from all over the globe, have set about recreating the world of Britannia, adding an enhanced storyline to bolster intraseries continuity and building on the Ultima legacy in a way that will please fans new and old."
Image

Police Investigating Virtual Furniture Theft 103

Posted by samzenpus
from the someone-has-been-sleeping-in-my-virtual-bed dept.
krou writes "Finnish police are involved in the investigation of up to 400 cases of theft from virtual world Habbo Hotel, with some users reporting the loss of up to €1000 of virtual furniture and other items. Users were targeted using a phishing scam that used fake webpages to capture usernames and passwords. There is no mention as to whether or not the thieves made off with the bath towels, gowns, shampoo bottles, and soaps."
Image

The Race To Beer With 50% Alcohol By Volume 297

Posted by samzenpus
from the good-stiff-12-pack dept.
ElectricSteve writes "Most of the world's beer has between 4% and 6% alcohol by volume (ABV). The strength of beer achieved by traditional fermentation brewing methods has limits, but a well-crafted beer that is repeatedly 'freeze distilled' can achieve exquisite qualities and much higher alcohol concentrations. An escalation in the use of this relatively new methodology over the last 12 months has seen man's favorite beverage suddenly move into the 40+% ABV realm of spirits such as gin, rum, brandy, whiskey, and vodka, creating a new category of extreme beer. The world's strongest beer was 27% ABV, but amidst an informal contest to claim the title of the world's strongest beer, the top beer has jumped in strength dramatically. This week Gizmag spoke to the brewers at the center of the escalating competition. New contestants are gathering, and the race is now on to break 50% alcohol by volume."
Movies

Mass Effect To Invade the Big Screen 142

Posted by Soulskill
from the seth-green-seems-like-a-lock dept.
UgLyPuNk writes "This could be a good thing or a bad thing: EA has just confirmed that it's making Mass Effect into a movie. The franchise has been acquired by Legendary Pictures, which is best known for its co-productions of The Dark Knight, Clash of the Titans, 300, Watchmen, and, um, The Hangover, as part of a co-financing agreement with Warner Bros."

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