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Comment: Good spot (Score 1) 19

by Schaffner (#41101443) Attached to: XCOR Aerospace Plans a Florida Base For Lynx Suborbital Spacecraft

Florida's a good spot for them. There are no mountains for them to crash in to. Nice flat spaces to make very long runways. In fact, there might be a runway of unusual size that the government isn't using very much that they can use. Also, a handy supply of alligators to turn into a reptilian zombie worker army.

Comment: Re:Trains? (Score 1) 461

by Schaffner (#39107041) Attached to: Nuclear Truckers Haul Warheads Across US

Concord Naval Weapons Station used to have a very large rail network, including in the nuke weapons area. The BNSF and Union Pacific both have main lines that go past the base. A group ran a steam locomotive excursion on the line that went by the base. We stopped there to take photos and unloaded several hundred people. A few minutes later trucks loaded with Marines armed with M-16s were there asking us what we were doing there.

Comment: Re:Oh, they can fuck right off. (Score 1) 258

by Schaffner (#37091116) Attached to: After Cell-Phone Switch-Off, Anonymous Promises BART Protest

BART tickets are also time limited. If you enter a station fare gate you have 3 hours to exit. If you do not exit the system in that time the fare gate will not open and will give a "see station agent" message. You then have to go the station agent and explain what you've been doing inside for so long.

Comment: Luxury! (Score 1) 456

by Schaffner (#35916698) Attached to: Minnesota School Issues iPad 2 To Every Student

> Why in my day, we had to buy our own graphing calculators â" in the snow, both ways, uphill!

Luxury! In my day we could only dream of graphing calculators. We had to make do with 8 digit, 4 function calculators. Only the rich, hoity toity kids had a square root button. Don't even get me started about what we had to do for transcendental functions!

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Real-Life Frogger Ends In Hospital Visit 314

Posted by samzenpus
from the going-for-the-logs dept.
BigSes writes "A 23-year old man has been hospitalized after police in South Carolina say he was hit by an SUV while playing a real-life version of the video game Frogger. Authorities said the 23-year-old man was taken to a hospital in Anderson after he was struck Monday evening. Before he was hit, police say the man had been discussing the game with his friends. Chief Jimmy Dixon says the man yelled 'go' and darted into oncoming traffic in the four-lane highway. Has it come time to ban some of the classics before someone else goes out and breaks a few bricks with their heads after eating a large mushroom?"
Facebook

How Zynga's CityVille Drew 70 Million Players In Less Than a Month 101

Posted by Soulskill
from the none-of-us-are-as-dumb-as-all-of-us dept.
An article at Gamasutra takes an in-depth look at how Zynga's new browser-based social game CityVille managed to accumulate tens of millions of players in the relatively short time since its launch early this month. Quoting: "The Facebook interface induces a high degree of user blindness. It does not do a great job of exposing new games and applications, and lacks a directory or a 'Featured in the App Store' style of editorial (as Apple does for the iPhone), which means that for most developers there are huge problems in getting their games in front of users' eyeballs. With all of the free advertising channels on the platform now constrained or dead, this has meant that the Facebook economy has been acquiring an increasingly Darwinian shape. Where it used to be an egalitarian environment in which any developer could strike it big, over the last year it has become top-heavy with larger developers accruing exponential success, and cutting off oxygen to smaller companies by default."
PC Games (Games)

Future Ubisoft Games To Require Constant Internet Access 497

Posted by Soulskill
from the this-will-go-over-well dept.
Following up on our discussion yesterday of annoying game distribution platforms, Ubisoft has announced the details of their Online Services Platform, which they will use to distribute and administer future PC game releases. The platform will require internet access in order to play installed games, saved games will be stored remotely, and the game you're playing will even pause and try to reconnect if your connection is lost during play. Quoting Rock, Paper, Shotgun: "This seems like such a bizarre, bewildering backward step. Of course we haven't experienced it yet, but based on Ubi’s own description of the system so many concerns arise. Yes, certainly, most people have the internet all the time on their PCs. But not all people. So already a percentage of the audience is lost. Then comes those who own gaming laptops, who now will not be able to play games on trains, buses, in the park, or anywhere they may not be able to find a WiFi connection (something that’s rarely free in the UK, of course – fancy paying the £10/hour in the airport to play your Ubisoft game?). Then there's the day your internet is down, and the engineers can’t come out to fix it until tomorrow. No game for you. Or any of the dozens of other situations when the internet is not available to a player. But further, there are people who do not wish to let a publisher know their private gaming habits. People who do not wish to report in to a company they’ve no affiliation with, nor accountability to, whenever they play a game they’ve legally bought. People who don’t want their save data stored remotely. This new system renders all customers beholden to Ubisoft in perpetuity whenever they buy their games."
Space

15-Year-Old Student Discovers New Pulsar 103

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the sky-isn't-the-limit dept.
For the second time in as many years, a student has made a discovery while participating in the Pulsar Search Collaboratory (PSC), a joint program between the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and West Virginia University designed to get students and teachers involved in analyzing data from the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT). This time it was high school sophomore Shay Bloxton, who discovered a brand new pulsar. "For Bloxton, the pulsar discovery may be only her first in a scientific career. 'Participating in the PSC has definitely encouraged me to pursue my dream of being an astrophysicist,' she said, adding that she hopes to attend West Virginia University to study astrophysics. Late last year, another West Virginia student, from South Harrison High School, Lucas Bolyard, discovered a pulsar-like object called a rotating radio transient. His discovery also came through participation in the PSC."
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Facebook Master Password Was "Chuck Norris" 319

Posted by samzenpus
from the ad-nauseum-roundhouse dept.
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "A Facebook employee has given a tell-all interview with some very interesting things about Facebook's internals. Especially interesting are all the things relating to Facebook privacy. Basically, you don't have any. Nearly everything you've ever done on the site is recorded into a database. While they fire employees for snooping, more than a few have done it. There's an internal system to let them log into anyone's profile, though they have to be able to defend their reason for doing so. And they used to have a master password that could log into any Facebook profile: 'Chuck Norris.' Bruce Schneier might be jealous of that one."

Comment: Re:Audio/Videophiles Beware (Score 5, Informative) 397

by Schaffner (#30792518) Attached to: THX Caught With Pants Down Over Lexicon Blu-ray Player

Well, it was Grace Hopper and she's the mother of COBOL, not FORTRAN. She used to give out "nanoseconds" at her lectures. They were 11.9 inch lengths of wire, which represents how far electricity can go in a nanosecond. A friend of mine still has one of these "nanoseconds" he got from her.

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Own Your Own Fighter Jet 222

Posted by samzenpus
from the only-one-on-the-block dept.
gimmebeer writes "The Russian Sukhoi SU-27 has a top speed of Mach 1.8 (more than 1,300 mph) and has a thrust to weight ratio greater than 1 to 1. That means it can accelerate while climbing straight up. It was designed to fight against the best the US had to offer, and now it can be yours for the price of a mediocre used business jet."

There are worse things in life than death. Have you ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman? -- Woody Allen

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