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Comment: There is already such a thing. (Score 5, Insightful) 316

by DerFlob (#40884473) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should Valve Start Their Own Steam Linux Distro?
There is already such a thing. It's called Windows. I want Steam on _my_ installation of whatever distro I prefer. If I had to reboot whenever I want to play, it would negate the advantages of having Steam on Linux (for me), because I already do it this way with Linux & Windows.
NASA

Hints of Life Found On Saturn's Moon Titan 227

Posted by Soulskill
from the time-for-cassini-2 dept.
Calopteryx writes "New Scientist reports that in 2005, researchers predicted two potential signatures of life on Titan. Now, thanks to research done with the help of the Cassini spacecraft, both have been seen, although non-biological chemical reactions could also be behind the observations. NASA's writeup has further details: 'One key finding comes from a paper online now in the journal Icarus [abstract] that shows hydrogen molecules flowing down through Titan's atmosphere and disappearing at the surface. Another paper online now in the Journal of Geophysical Research maps hydrocarbons on the Titan surface and finds a lack of acetylene. This lack of acetylene is important because that chemical would likely be the best energy source for a methane-based life on Titan, said Chris McKay, an astrobiologist at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., who proposed a set of conditions necessary for this kind of methane-based life on Titan in 2005. One interpretation of the acetylene data is that the hydrocarbon is being consumed as food. But McKay said the flow of hydrogen is even more critical because all of their proposed mechanisms involved the consumption of hydrogen.'"
Image

Homer Simpson Named Greatest TV Character 142

Posted by samzenpus
from the all-my-life-I've-had-one-dream-to-achieve-my-many-goals dept.
A survey by Entertainment Weekly has named Homer Simpson the greatest character created for television or film in the past 20 years. Everyone's favorite beer-swilling, donut-eating dad beat out Harry Potter and Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the top spot. From the article: "'People can relate to Homer because we're all secretly propelled by desires we can't admit to,' Groening was quoted as telling Entertainment Weekly. 'Homer is launching himself head-first into every single impulsive thought that occurs to him. His love of whatever ... is a joy to witness.'"
Media

Smokescreen, a JavaScript-Based Flash Player 356

Posted by kdawson
from the now-to-optimize dept.
Tumbleweed writes "How to make Steve Jobs your mortal enemy: Smokescreen, a 175KB, 8,000-line JavaScript-based Flash player written by Chris Smoak at RevShock, a mobile ad startup, and to be open-sourced 'in the near future.' From Simon's blog: 'It runs entirely in the browser, reads in SWF binaries, unzips them (in native JS), extracts images and embedded audio, and turns them into base64 encoded data: URIs, then stitches the vector graphics back together as animated SVG. ... Smokescreen even implements its own ActionScript bytecode interpreter.' Badass!"
Businesses

+ - Why Apple is So Sticky 5

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens
Hugh Pickens writes "Sticky, in the social sciences and particularly economics, describes a situation in which a variable is resistant to change and for web sites or products usually means that visitors or customers keep coming back for more. Now Fortune Magazine reports on an analysis by Deutsche Bank's Chris Whitmore on what makes the iPhone-iPod-iPad platform so sticky and why it's going to get harder, not easier, for Apple users to switch, no matter what Google and the rest of Apple's competitors have up their sleeve. Whitmore says the investment Apple's customers have made in content for those devices in terms of apps, videos and music purchased at the iTunes Store creates Apple's "stickyness." Apple has an installed base today of about 150 million iTunes-dependent devices (iPhones, iPods, iPads) that could grow to more than 200 million by the end of 2011. Using Apple's "Other music related products and services" revenue line to estimate sales of music, apps and videos, Whitmore comes up with a cumulative investment in those devices that stands at about $15 billion today and which Whitmore sees growing to $25 billion by the end of next year. "This averages to ~$100 of content for each installed device," Whitmore writes, "suggesting switching costs are relatively high (not to mention the time required to port). When Apple's best in class user experience is combined with these growing switching costs, the resulting customer loyalty is unparalleled.""

Uncertain fortune is thoroughly mastered by the equity of the calculation. - Blaise Pascal

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