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Comment: No one is taking into account the 3DS? (Score 1) 305

by BHS_Turf (#34479240) Attached to: Gamers Abandoning DS, PSP In Favor of Smartphones

Nintendo has been teasing us with the 3DS, and you wonder why people stopped buying the DS?

Another reason people are buying phone games over DS/PSP games is price. The handheld games are between 3 and 50 times as much as their iPhone cousins, when the iPhone games are not free.

A third possible explanation is that there has been no significant hardware change/upgrade in the DS/PSP lineup to drive buzz and sales.

The article is pretty weak on analysis or looking for alternative explanations for the drop in sales.

Comment: Curious (Score 1) 279

by BHS_Turf (#32681862) Attached to: Best Way To Publish an "Indie" Research Paper?

As I have written several distance calculators I am curious about your "new algorithm that greatly improves the performance over existing algorithms" I have frequently traded-off accuracy for speed, and have even re-invented a few that turned out to be hybrids of existing algorithms. I would be curious as to what kind of performance gains you are getting, and whether or not accuracy suffers. Also for sufficiently distant points, do you use the great-circle or rhumb-line calculations i.e. do you allow for bearing to change over the course between the two points?

I have found however that for most purposes that require a moderately high degree of accuracy the vincenty algorithm is fast enough:

Where accuracy is not important at all using an average 1 minute = 1 nm or an approximation based on distance from the equator

good luck


Hobbits' Brains Shrank Due To Remote Home 190

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i-always-blame-atrophy dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The 'hobbits,' dubbed homo floresiensis, caused a worldwide sensation when they were discovered five years ago, when some scientists claimed that the 18,000-year-old human-like fossils found on the Indonesian island of Flores represented an entirely new species. Now researchers at the Natural History Museum in London believe that the creatures' small brains could have developed to reduce the creatures' energy needs, crucial for surviving in an isolated area with limited resources. 'It could be that H. floresiensis' skull is that of a Homo erectus that has become dwarfed from living on an island, rather than being an abnormal individual or separately-evolved species, as has been suggested,' says palaeontologist Eleanor Weston. 'Looking at pygmy hippos in Madagascar, which possess exceptionally small brains for their size, suggests that the same could be true for H. floresiensis, and the result of being isolated on the island.' Although the phenomenon of dwarfism on islands is well recognized in large mammals, an accompanying reduction in brain size has never been clearly demonstrated before."

Star Trek's Warp Drive Not Impossible 541

Posted by samzenpus
from the engage dept.
Trunks writes "No doubt trying to ride the hype train that's currently going for the new Star Trek film, has a new article detailing how warp drive may not be impossible to acheive. From the article: '"The idea is that you take a chunk of space-time and move it," said Marc Millis, former head of NASA's Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Project. "The vehicle inside that bubble thinks that it's not moving at all. It's the space-time that's moving." One reason this idea seems credible is that scientists think it may already have happened. Some models suggest that space-time expanded at a rate faster than light speed during a period of rapid inflation shortly after the Big Bang. "If it could do it for the Big Bang, why not for our space drives?" Millis said.' Simple, right?"

IP Enforcement Treaty Still Being Kept Secret 172

Posted by timothy
from the in-the-spirit-of-openness dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "More than a thousand pages of material about Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), are still being withheld, despite the Obama administration's promises to run a more open government. The EFF and Public Knowledge filed suit in September of 2008, demanding that background documents on ACTA be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). 'We are very disappointed with the USTR's decision to continue to withhold these documents. The president promised an open and transparent administration,' said EFF Senior Counsel David Sobel. Publicly available information about the treaty shows it could establish far-reaching customs regulations over Internet traffic in the guise of anti-counterfeiting measures. Additionally, multi-national IP industry companies have publicly requested that ISPs be required to engage in filtering of their customers' Internet communications for potentially copyright-infringing material, force mandatory disclosure of personal information about alleged copyright infringers, and adopt 'Three Strikes' policies requiring ISPs to automatically terminate customers' Internet access upon a repeat allegation of copyright infringement. 'What we've seen tends to confirm that the substance of ACTA remains a grave concern,' said Public Knowledge Staff Attorney Sherwin Siy. 'The agreement increasingly looks like an attempt by Hollywood and the content industries to perform an end-run around national legislatures and public international forums to advance an aggressive, radical change in the way that copyright and trademark laws are enforced.'"

+ - Conservapedia replaces Wikipedia with anti-science

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Some conservatives have launched an alternative to Wikipedia due to bias: ikipedia

The new resource is still small (only about 3200 articles, many weak and with gaps in coverage such as having an entry for mathematical "crisp sets" but not for "sets"), and understandably endorses religious and conservative points of view. But the encyclopedia also undercuts the search for knowledge with statements such as "But historical facts, or their absence, are irrelevant since we all know He existed. Historical sources and scientific facts are unnecessary," in the entry for Jesus (, and bizarre anti-science entries ( pedia_and_math_1.php)."

+ - HDCP prevents PC from playing 1080p on TV

Submitted by
motherball writes "Will hardware manufacturers and the movie industry stop at nothing to fight the consumer? An article in EDN mentions that newer TVs deliberately do not include the common HDMI connector but instead have the HDCP (high-bandwidth digital content-protection) connector which is intended to make it impossible to hook up your PC to your TV and render 1080p! Who stands to gain from this? Doesn't the consumer (I hate that word) have any rights?"
Media (Apple)

+ - Apple: the best and worst

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes " is running a two-part column on the 10 best and 10 worst things about Cupertino — and it would seem Steve Jobs' latest magic trick is the ability to create products that are simultaneously Mitchell and Webb... Take the iPod — it's apparently blessed with "usability and simplicity". Yet has also "long been dogged by accusations of dodgy battery life, defective mechanics, easily scratched or cracked screens and a general lack of longevity"... Or the iPhone — a flagrant example of 'style over substance', says writer Seb Janacek, before really sticking the boot in: "A clutch of mobile devices have been offering the same services for the last year or so at a fraction of the price. And it doesn't arrive for another six months or so. And when it does there will be just one operator to choose from. The latest example of Steve Jobs snake oil?"... But wait! "The gloriously sexy iPhone was worth the wait"... gushes the same author... "Apple spent two and a half years developing a device that makes the usual phone functions, MP3 playing and internet browsing work as a whole"... Confused? It seems Steve Jobs is not the only one guilty of a 'reality distortion field'..."

+ - Puretracks music store drops DRM

Submitted by
khendron writes "The Canadian online music store Puretracks (a store I have generally avoided because of their Microsoft specific solutions) has announced that it will immediately start selling part of its catalog as DRM-free mp3 files. The site's unprotected catalog, which includes artists such as The Barenaked Ladies and Sarah McLachlan, will initially feature only 50,000 of its 1.3 million tracks, but will grow weekly.

More also from the Globe and Mail. If this endeavour is successful, maybe we will see the larger music labels jumping on board."

Disclaimer: "These opinions are my own, though for a small fee they be yours too." -- Dave Haynie