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Mars

New Mars Rover Rolls For the First Time 100

Posted by Soulskill
from the keep-them-doggies-rollin dept.
wooferhound writes "Like proud parents savoring their baby's very first steps, mission team members gathered in a gallery above a clean room at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory to watch the Mars Curiosity rover roll for the first time. Engineers and technicians wore bunny suits while guiding Curiosity through its first steps, or more precisely, its first roll on the clean room floor. The rover moved forward and backward about 1 meter (3.3 feet). Mars Science Laboratory (aka Curiosity) is scheduled to launch in fall 2011 and land on the Red Planet in August 2012. Curiosity is the largest rover ever sent to Mars. It will carry 10 instruments that will help search an intriguing region of the Red Planet for two things: environments where life might have existed, and the capacity of those environments to preserve evidence of past life."

Comment: Re:Major fixes (Score 2, Insightful) 100

by shdragon (#32886590) Attached to: Big Changes Planned For <em>The Force Unleashed 2</em>

It sounds like they are trying to fix my most hated part of the game, the combat system. I loved the look and feel of the game but the combat system made me give up near the end. Surprisingly even though I hated it so much, pulling a Star Destroyer out of the sky was a novel and creative (if poorly implemented) idea.

I read an interview with the devs in Game Informer where they admit that the on-screen instructions for pulling the Start Destroyer are wrong, hence the "it takes 20 minutes to beat the level". Poor QA but I still loved the game.

Games

EVE Online Battle Breaks Records (And Servers) 308

Posted by Soulskill
from the blame-it-on-the-torrents dept.
captainktainer writes "In one of the largest tests of EVE Online's new player sovereignty system in the Dominion expansion pack, a fleet of ships attempting to retake a lost star system was effectively annihilated amidst controversy. Defenders IT Alliance, a coalition succeeding the infamous Band of Brothers alliance (whose disbanding was covered in a previous story), effectively annihilated the enemy fleet, destroying thousands of dollars' worth of in-game assets. A representative of the alliance claimed to have destroyed a minimum of four, possibly five or more of the game's most expensive and powerful ship class, known as Titans. Both official and unofficial forums are filled with debate about whether the one-sided battle was due to difference in player skill or the well-known network failures after the release of the expansion. One of the attackers, a member of the GoonSwarm alliance, claims that because of bad coding, 'Only 5% of [the attackers] loaded,' meaning that lag prevented the attackers from using their ships, even as the defenders were able to destroy those ships unopposed. Even members of the victorious IT Alliance expressed disappointment at the outcome of the battle. CCP, EVE Online's publisher, has recently acknowledged poor network performance, especially in the advertised 'large fleet battles' that Dominion was supposed to encourage, and has asked players to help them stress test their code on Tuesday. Despite the admitted network failure, leaders of the attacking force do not expect CCP to replace lost ships, claiming that it was their own fault for not accounting for server failures. The incident raises questions about CCP's ability to cope with the increased network use associated with their rapid growth in subscriptions."
Networking

Guaranteed Transmission Protocols For Windows? 536

Posted by timothy
from the no-charge-for-autocompression dept.
Michael writes "Part of our business at my work involves transferring mission critical files across a 2 mbit microwave connection, into a government-run telecommunications center with a very dodgy internal network and then finally to our own server inside the center. The computers at both ends run Windows. What sort of protocols or tools are available to me that will guarantee to get the data transferred across better than a straight Windows file system copy? Since before I started working here, they've been using FTP to upload the files, but many times the copied files are a few kilobytes smaller than the originals."

Comment: Re:ha ha (Score 1) 466

by shdragon (#27479169) Attached to: Columnist Fired For Reviewing Pirated Movie

Sorry, but I must disagree with you. The distribution of the movie is the illegal act. Downloading it is not illegal since he did not redistribute it. Copyright is about distribution not consumption. Was it an unprofessional and asshat move to review an 0mG 1337tZ pr3-r3le4se movie? Yes. Did he violate the law? No.

Comment: ragdoll cat.. you'r kidding, right? (Score 1) 1032

by lithron (#26842023) Attached to: How To Keep Rats From Eating My Cables?

Please do your homework before purchasing a cat. Ragdoll cats are just as likely to run away from a rat as to attack it. They are extremely docile and won't even defend themselves when they are being attacked by another cat. If you want to get a good rat catching cat do your homework and speak with the group you are adopting it from.

The Internet

2/3 of Americans Without Broadband Don't Want It 538

Posted by kdawson
from the if-we-build-it-will-they-come dept.
Ant writes in with news that won't be welcomed by the incoming US administration as it tries to expand the availability of broadband Internet service. A recent report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project indicates, as noted by Ars Technica, that two-thirds of Americans without broadband don't want it. "...when we look at the overall reasons why Americans don't have broadband, availability isn't the biggest barrier. Neither is price. Those two, combined, only account for one-third of Americans without broadband. Two-thirds simply don't want it. The bigger issue is a lack of perceived value."

Comment: Re:Trade-offs of a 9/80 work week (Score 1) 1055

by shdragon (#26536995) Attached to: How Does a 9/80 Work Schedule Work Out?
Why does it matter which of the Fridays you get paid on? As long as ((money in) >= (money out)) over any reasonable length of time greater than two weeks, shouldn't it all come out the same at the end?

It's not a function of payables vs. receivables. It's a function of happiness. Seeing more money in your account than the day before should make one happy. ;)

Comment: Trade-offs of a 9/80 work week (Score 4, Informative) 1055

by shdragon (#26442383) Attached to: How Does a 9/80 Work Schedule Work Out?

The company I work for just switched to a 9/80 a few months ago. We're a little different since we have a schedule A and a schedule B, so only 1/2 the people are at work any given Friday. It's had some ups & downs.

Here's what I see as the positives:
1. Having a 4 day work week every other week rocks!
2. Getting paid on the Friday where I work 5 days makes it all the more bearable.
3. Easier to get chores, errands done since everyone else is at work.
4. I get more work done during the last hour of every 9 hour day than any other hour.

Here's the negatives:
1. It's a PITA to schedule meetings.
2. Sometimes I travel and it seems to always fall on a week where I'm supposed to be off that Friday.
3. Customers are annoyed because they're not on the same schedule and aren't understanding that it won't be until Monday before I get back to them.
4. I feel like I have less time to get work done since every other week I only work 4 days.
5. More free time means I spend more money.
6. Getting to work while it's dark & leaving when it's dark is depressing.

Comment: Re:Constitutionality (Score 1) 630

by lithron (#26279625) Attached to: Sex Offenders Must Hand Over Online Passwords

Oh, its a lot worse than what the article claims. I suggest everyone living in the state of Georgia (US) to go read the bill. SB474 - Located here. This bill lets the state do all kinds of nasty things to "sex offendres" (I'll let others define that and argue about it).

Guess its time to write to my local Senator.

There can be no twisted thought without a twisted molecule. -- R. W. Gerard

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