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Java

Sun's Project Darkstar Game Server Platform No More 82

Posted by timothy
from the dropped-off-the-moving-truck dept.
sproketboy writes "Project Darkstar, an open source software platform from Sun labs that simplifies the development of horizontally scalable servers for online games, is being discontinued as of the Oracle acquisition. This project, mentioned a couple of years back on Slashdot, was a unique concept for building an application server specific to on-line gaming. Sadly they were so close at version 0.9.11 (which is still very stable). Hopefully the open source community can get involved and help continue work on this project."

Comment: Re:That's what you get (Score 2, Insightful) 124

by QuantumFTL (#29308627) Attached to: Take-Two Faces $20 Million Settlement For "Hot Coffee" Scandal
I'm pretty sure Take Two is doing just fine, even considering this. Also, nothing says "edgy" like "we got sued for something that wasn't even part of our game, because we're just that badass."

Seriously, I'm sure the execs are laughing all the way to the bank. And the shareholders, well WTF do you expect if you invest in a company that makes games where you can get your money back after fornicating with a professional via vehicular homicide?

Comment: I was an alpha playtester (Score 1) 41

by QuantumFTL (#29248663) Attached to: Developer Explains Clone/Transhumanist RPG
I enjoyed playtesting a (very unfinished) version of this system last summer with a local gaming group. I'm under NDA so I cannot say much, but I would recommend that anyone serious about science fiction RPGs check this out when it's released. If nothing else, you won't find the experience boring.

Comment: Re:Perfect... (Score 1) 170

by QuantumFTL (#28136143) Attached to: Google's "Wave" Blurs Chat, Email, Collaboration Software
I read this as "Perfect for PNP RNGs." I thought that using user input from multiple users just to generate random dice throws was a bit much, but... interesting at least.

Start a google code project for this, I'm sure you'll be surprised how much help you get. email me if there's anything I can do.
Censorship

Afghan Student Gets 20 Years For Blasphemy 618

Posted by timothy
from the consider-this-a-warning dept.
Invisible Pink Unicorn writes "Despite nationwide public support for his initial death sentence, a three-judge appeals court has reduced the sentence of Sayed Parwez Kambakhsh to 20 years in prison. Kambakhsh was charged with circulating an article on women's rights that he found online. From the article: 'Family members have said Kambakhsh was beaten and threatened with death until he signed a confession and that local journalists who expressed support for him were warned they would be arrested if they persisted.'"
Power

Eric Lerner's Focus Fusion Device Gets Funded 367

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the race-for-the-power-finish-line dept.
pln2bz writes "Eric Lerner, author of The Big Bang Never Happened, has received $600k in funding, and a promise of phased payments of $10 million if scientific feasibility can be demonstrated to productize Lerner's focus fusion energy production device. Unlike the Tokamak, focus fusion does not require the plasma to be stable, does not produce significant amounts of dangerous radiation, directly injects electrons into the power grid without the need for turbines and would only cost around $300k to manufacture a generator. Lerner's inspiration for the technology is based upon an interpretation for astrophysical Herbig-Haro jets that agrees with the Electric Universe explanation."

Comment: Re:Nuttier than fruitcakes (Score 1) 299

by QuantumFTL (#23480304) Attached to: ET Will Phone Home Using Neutrinos, Not Photons
They don't respond to electromagnetism, gravity, or the strong force.

IANAP (though I do have a physics degree), but you are completely wrong about neutrinos not being affected by gravity. Gravity curves spacetime itself (at least, if you accept GR) and therefore any ballistic particle passing through it will have a curved path, whether or not they have rest mass (which neutrinos seem to, as evidenced by spontaneous flavor changing). Heck, even :

Because it is an electrically neutral lepton, the neutrino interacts neither by way of the strong nor the electromagnetic force, but only through the weak force and gravity.

I'm not saying that neutrinos are easy to manipulate, but it's not as impossible as you make it sound.

Personally I think the late Dr. Thomas Gold's idea of aliens using excitation states in large nebulae such that they act as a MASER to fasciculate long-range communication is a much better solution, at least for broadcast purposes.
Power

The Texas Petawatt Laser 174

Posted by kdawson
from the you-can-pet-a-dog-or-you-can-pet-a-cat dept.
Roland Piquepaille notes the hype surrounding what the University of Texas at Austin is calling the world's most powerful laser. During a tenth of a femtosecond this laser is 2,000 times more powerful than all the power plants in the US, and is brighter than sunlight on the surface of the Sun. On his own blog Roland points out that UT's is not the first petawatt laser; that distinction belongs to a system installed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 1996.
The Courts

Hans Reiser and the "Geek Defense" Strategy 738

Posted by kdawson
from the thinks-too-much dept.
lseltzer alerts us to a story in the Washington Post on the defense strategy in the Hans Reiser murder trial. "In the courtroom where Hans Reiser is on trial for murder, [the evidence] might appear to indicate guilty knowledge. But his attorneys cast it as evidence of an innocence peculiar to Hans, a computer programmer so immersed in the folds of his own intellect that he had no idea how complicit he was making himself appear. 'Being too intelligent can be a sort of curse,' defense counsel William Du Bois said. 'All this weird conduct can be explained by him, but he's the only one who can do it. People who are commonly known as computer geeks are so into the field.'"
Toys

Geek and Gadgets Set Cross-US Speed Record 805

Posted by kdawson
from the breaker-breaker-need-a-bear-check dept.
Brikus writes "And you thought your car had gadgets. In this story from Wired magazine, we hear about Alex Roy and his quest to break the record time for a cross-USA road trip. One of the biggest roadblocks to breaking the record: highway patrol officers, about 31,000 along the way. So Roy decked out his E39 BMW M5 with a thermal camera, radar/laser detectors, GPS devices, police scanners, and other high-tech gadgets and toys."
Announcements

+ - Cory Doctorow Infringes Copyright

Submitted by idontneedanickname
idontneedanickname (570477) writes "Cory Doctorow whose recent spat with the SWFA caused quite a stir doesn't seem to believe in respecting other people's copyrights himself. In a recent BoingBoing post he reposted Ursula K. Le Guin's short story "On Serious Literature" in its entirety, without her permission, as well as removing the copyright notice it was originally published with. He even misrepresents the intent of her work to boot. He links to the original source where the copyright notice is displayed clearly. Thanks to BoingBoing's catch-all CreativeCommons footer Doctorow essentially rebranded her story with a new license which could lead his readers to further copy the story. Considering that BoingBoing operates for Doctorow's profit, he should be aware that under copyright law, infringement for commercial gain can be considered a criminal offense. More details can be found here."
Space

Astronomers Again Baffled by Solar Observations 299

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the back-to-the-drawing-board dept.
SteakNShake writes "Once again professional astronomers are struggling to understand observations of the sun. ScienceDaily reports that a team from Saint Andrew's University announced that the sun's magnetic fields dominate the behavior of the corona via a mechanism dubbed the 'solar skeleton.' Computer models continue to be built to mimic the observed behavior of the sun in terms of magnetic fields but apparently the ball is still being dropped; no mention in the announcement is made of the electric fields that must be the cause of the observed magnetic fields. Also conspicuously absent from the press releases is the conclusion that the sun's corona is so-dominated by electric and magnetic fields because it is a plasma. In light of past and present research revealing the electrical nature of the universe, this kind of crippling ignorance among professional astrophysicists is astonishing."
Businesses

eBay's Ill-Timed Lifetime Achievement Webby 316

Posted by kdawson
from the do-as-I-say dept.
theodp writes "eBay CEO Meg Whitman will accept a special Webby Lifetime Achievement Award next month on behalf of the eBay Community, which has 'permanently changed the way people connect, discover and interact with each other.' Perhaps by then, people will have forgotten how eBay enabled buyer 'Blazers5505' to hook up with sellers like 'oneclickshooting' just weeks before the worst mass shooting in modern US history, prompting eBay to issue a gun-parts-don't-kill-students-guns-and-ammo-do statement that showed little evidence of its celebrated commitment to social consciousness. CEO Whitman, who received $11.1M last year for her leadership efforts, has kept a low profile since tooting eBay's trust-and-safety horn for Wall Street analysts two days after the Va. Tech rampage."

Apple Goes After the Term 'Podcast' 419

Posted by Zonk
from the lots-of-frustrated-casters-out-there dept.
Udo Schmitz writes "Earlier this year, Apple went up against companies using the word 'pod' in their product names. Now, Apple is going after the term 'podcasting'. Wired has the complete text of Apple's cease-and-desist letter to Podcast Ready." From the article: "Robert Scoble -- whose own company, PodTech, may be at risk in this witch hunt -- has weighed in on the issue by suggesting that the tech community as a whole adopt other terms like "audiocast" and 'videocast' (or alternately, 'audcast' and 'vidcast') to describe this type of content, while other folks feel that fighting Apple and generating a ton of negative press for Cupertino is the best solution. Our take? Apple should be happy that its golden goose is getting so much free publicity, and if it isn't, we know of several companies that probably wouldn't mind if zencast, zunecast, or sansacast became the preferred terminology."

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve immortality through not dying. -- Woody Allen

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