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Comment: Re:How about playing a real MMO ? (Score 1) 103

by EtoilePB (#23682519) Attached to: New Browser-Based MMO Teaches Mandarin Chinese
Indeed, I've often found it beneficial to play available games in other languages, as a way of enhancing my language understanding.

Back around 1994, I had a CD version of "The Secret of Monkey Island" that contained five language versions of the game. I brought it in to my high school French class and my teacher LOVED it. Thanks to that, I can still say, "How appropriate: you fight like a cow!" in French. (Didn't come in so useful at that job where we actually communicated with Francophone schools and businesses, though...)

Similarly, I've played my MMOG of choice -- EQ2 -- on the French servers from time to time. I haven't worked up to having the gall to group with anyone yet but it's still interesting to be in that kind of informal environment in my second language.

That said, even after two years of college Chinese I don't think I'd ever be bold enough to attempt to do that with Mandarin! But I like the idea of an MMO meant for learning. I'll have to give it a try.
Hardware Hacking

+ - Ye Olde Worlde Charm->

Submitted by
The Solitaire
The Solitaire writes "Despite the rather fast paced, technological world most Slashdotters live in, some of us still yearn for the good old days; the days when clocks still ran on clockwork, cooking didn't mean microwaving last night's pizza, and we started our laptops with a turnkey instead of pushing a button... wait, what?

The folks over at datamancer.net have come up with a rather spiffy little hardware mod; they've converted a HP ZT1000 laptop into something resembling a piece of old-English clockwork — and it still functions. From the site:

This may look like a Victorian music box, but inside this intricately hand-crafted wooden case lives a Hewlett-Packard ZT1000 laptop that runs both Windows XP and Ubuntu Linux. It features an elaborate display of clockworks under glass, engraved brass accents, claw feet, an antiqued copper keyboard and mouse, leather wrist pads, and customized wireless network card. The machine turns on with an antique clock-winding key by way of a custom-built ratcheting switch made from old clock parts.
"

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Space

+ - Arthur C. Clarke's 90th Birthday Video Message

Submitted by SoyChemist
SoyChemist (1015349) writes "Just before completing his 90th orbit around the sun, Sir Arthur C. Clarke recorded what may be one of his last messages to the world. "The golden age of space is only just beginning... Space travel and space tourism will one day become almost as commonplace as flying to exotic destinations on our own planet," said the legendary science fiction author. He wished for proof of extraterrestiral life, freedom from our addiction to oil, and an end to the civil war in Sri Lanka — his adopted home. The wheelchair-bound legend concluded by saying that in spite of his many accomplishments, he would most like to be remembered as a writer that entertained many people."
Businesses

+ - The Epic Battle between Microsoft and Google 1

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens
Hugh Pickens writes "There is a long article in the NYTimes well worth reading called "Google Gets Ready to Rumble With Microsoft" about the business strategies both companies are pursuing and about the future of applications and where they will reside — on the web or on the desktop. Google President Eric Schmidt thinks that 90 percent of computing will eventually reside in the Web-based cloud and about 2,000 companies are signing up every day for Google Apps, simpler versions of the pricey programs that make up Microsoft's lucrative Office business. Microsoft faces a business quandary as they to try to link the Web to its desktop business — "software plus Internet services," in its formulation. Microsoft will embrace the Web, while striving to maintain the revenue and profits from its desktop software businesses, the corporate gold mine, a smart strategy for now that may not be sustainable. Google faces competition from Microsoft and from other Web-based productivity software being offered by start-ups but it is "unclear at this point whether Google will be able to capitalize on the trends that it's accelerating." David B. Yoffie, a professor at the Harvard Business School, says the Google model is to try to change all the rules. If Google succeeds, "a lot of the value that Microsoft provides today is potentially obsolete.""
Math

+ - Should Wikipedia Allow Mathematical Proofs?-> 4

Submitted by
Beetle B.
Beetle B. writes "An argument has arisen over whether Wikipedia should allow pages that provide proofs for mathematical theorems (such as this one).

On the one hand, Wikipedia is a useful source of information and people can benefit from these proofs. On the other hand, how does one choose which proofs to include and which not to? Should Wikipedia just become a textbook that teaches mathematics? Should it just state the bare results of theorems and not provide proofs (except as external links)? Or should they take an intermediate approach and formulate a criterion for which proofs to include and which to exclude?"

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Sci-Fi

+ - Goodbye from the STARTREK.COM Team 1

Submitted by Curlsman
Curlsman (1041022) writes "Goodbye from the STARTREK.COM Team

Sadly, we must report that CBS Interactive organization is being restructured, and the production team that brings you the STARTREK.COM site has been eliminated. Effective immediately.
We don't know the ultimate fate of this site, which has served millions of Star Trek fans for the last thirteen years.

If you have comments, please send them to editor @ startrek.com — we hope someone at CBS will read them.

Thank you for your loyal fandom over the years. It has been a pleasure to serve you.

http://www.startrek.com/startrek/view/news/article/2316633.html

Is this site worth a write-in campaign?"
Communications

+ - Massive Vonage Outage->

Submitted by
caeled
caeled writes "I'm a bit supprised noone else has posted about this. I'm the Technical Support manager for my company which provides call tracking telephony related services. As a result I have a lot of wierd routings and servies I dog food to learn how our customers are impacted. I have one of our TFN's redirected to a vonage number which itself is configured to ring both my desk at home and my cell. Starting around 4:30 last night I was getting a bunch of repeated calls with dead air. Then it became hundreds. After yelling my way to our Director of telephony I discovered a few hundred posts on this forum with other folks experiecing the same thing. The only "offical" comment from Vonage being that some users may experience "no dial tone." After 400 calls through all hours of the night (I'm on call, and most of the repeats look like they are coming from the office emergency line.. I have to check) all I can say is "I wish the damn thing wasn't working""
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Businesses

+ - The Transistor's Birthday

Submitted by Apple Acolyte
Apple Acolyte (517892) writes "Tomorrow the transistor turns 60 years old:

Sixty years ago, on Dec. 16, 1947, three physicists at Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, N.J., built the world's first transistor. William Shockley, John Bardeen and William Brattain had been looking for a semiconductor amplifier to take the place of the vacuum tubes that made radios and other electronics so impossibly bulky, hot and power hungry.
In a related story, the AP looks at the prospect of processor technology nearing the end of potential gains from fab shrinks, indicating that the transistor is showing its age and may need to be replaced in order for the industry to keep pace with Moore's Law."
Security

+ - FFXI accounts jacked by trojan keylogger 2

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A trojan virus targeting the players of the MMO Final Fantasy XI was released through a popular community page (ffxi.somepage.com). The virus keylogs players' account information and uses it to steal their accounts, strip them of sellable gear, and sometimes to put them to use as Real Money Trade bots. No official word on exactly how many accounts were stolen, but the thefts seem to have started at the end of November and haven't stopped since. World of Warcraft players may also be at risk. One community responded by identifying the infection and making lists of stolen accounts. Square-Enix responds on the game's homepage by reminding everyone that the "Starlight Festival is almost here"!"
It's funny.  Laugh.

+ - $85000 Cellphone Charge->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes ""Piotr Staniaszek had been using his cell phone as a modem for his computer, thinking he was covered under his $10-a-month unlimited mobile browser plan from Canadian telco Bell Mobility. He actually caught the bill at $65,000." Staniaszek thought he was being clever using the phone as a modem to connect to the Internet. He must have downloaded a lot quasi-legal [adult] media files to accrue that much charges. Unfortunately, carriers have very special definitions of what kind of data their unlimited data plans cover."
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PC Games (Games)

+ - EverQuest 2: Devs Grant Favors to Cheating Guild 1

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "SOE's small and generally quiet EQ2 Test Server is suddenly at the center of a major controversy. A guild proven to have enjoyed Dev favors on Test was transferred for free to a Live (production) server. No other Test players were allowed this "small kindness," widely known to be forbidden, and transfers from one Live PvE server to another usually cost a player $50 USD.

In an epic thread on SOE's official EQ2 forums, the new senior producer for the game (Bruce "Froech" Ferguson, taking over for the recently departed Scott Hartsman) insults and blames the other players for the fiasco, choosing a guilt trip instead of an apology. Red-names at SOE claim to be sorry that the player-base is offended but, in excellent political double-speak, never once acknowledge themselves as the source of the offense."
Businesses

+ - Should IT Support the iPhone for Business?

Submitted by
explosivejared
explosivejared writes "Should IT departments support the iPhone for business use? A new report by Forrester Research suggests not. The report cites security issues and pricing as cons that outweigh the pros of usability and popularity. From the article: "Enterprises often make mobile device purchasing decisions based on the experience of their peers or industry analysts' recommendations, but with such information lacking about the iPhone, Forrester said it won't likely be making its way into many businesses anytime soon.""
The Internet

+ - Canada's New Copyright Debate

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Leave it to Michael Geist, who led the fight against the Canadian DMCA, to put this week's event into perspective. He highlights how the online pressure against the government shows the power of social media and how the debate in Canada over copyright must now address user rights and consumer property concerns."
Networking

+ - Data trips between light and sound

Submitted by
Roland Piquepaille
Roland Piquepaille writes "As you probably are aware, future communications networks will certainly be based on optics. A research team led by Duke University physicists has done an important discovery which might lead to these future super-fast optical communications networks. The team has found a way to store information coming from a beam of light by converting it to sound waves. More importantly, it was able to retrieve it again as light waves. These reversible data transfers from light to sound are today limited to labs. Several years will pass before commercial companies can use this technique because there are still some technical issues to solve. But read more for additional references and a diagram showing how data can flow between light and sound and light again.."

"No, no, I don't mind being called the smartest man in the world. I just wish it wasn't this one." -- Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, WATCHMEN

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