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Comment ...Fear is the mind killer... (Score 1) 768

I have a feeling that this will be a really good thing for Linux, gaming and the community. Valve are at least focusing on an Ubuntu LTS release and they might have a few bugs/issues to start with, but the biggest thing that will drive this forward is that the community itself will rally round and help too and the possible standardising that Valve can bring to the table, as well as the games themselves. Other Linux distros will jump on board as it gets more popular and the big question of "does it run Steam?" will hopefully be another incentive to drive Linux forward.

Submission Life sized starship Enterprise nearly built in Las Vegas in the 90's->

T-Kir writes: Apparently 20 years ago instead of the Fremont Experience, downtown Las Vegas was actually close to building a life sized version of the refit USS Enterprise had it not been for the then studio chairman Stanley Jaffe nixing it at the final meeting. The project had support from Paramount licensing and then CEO Sherry Lansing, the Las Vegas Mayor and downtown redevelopment committee, but in the opinion of Mr Jaffe saying: “I don’t want to be the guy that approved this and then it’s a flop and sitting out there in Vegas forever.”. As a Trek fan I'm saddened that this never got built because I feel that this would've appealed to a much wider audience than science fiction fans. Props to io9 for picking this story up.
Link to Original Source

Comment Ars are owned by Condé Nast (Score 4, Interesting) 1051

I searched the comments here and noted that no-one has mentioned that Ars are owned by Condé Nast, a company with an estimated $4-5Billion+ annual revenue. They also own Wired and Reddit, let alone Vogue, GQ and numerous other publications.

Why do I mention this? Context. If Ars was still an independent operator then I'd have more sympathy for their argument, and yes they still have numbers to maintain... but have you considered their sister magazines, take Vogue/GQ for example and think of page content vs pages of advertising. I watched "The September Issue" a few weeks ago and the thing that stuck in my mind was that that issue of Vogue had about 800 pages and only over a 100 pages were actual content, the rest were adverts. Fucking nuts! So yes, the argument of advertising driven content isn't going away and we'll see what happens should Mr Murdoch (who seems to want to own every content producer on the planet) try his pay-wall experiment.

As for ad-blocking... I continue using it and am glad since I've seen the latest shit that people have to deal with, auto-loading videos, sound, fly-outs you can't shut, flash ads that grind your page to a halt, as well as the malware that floats around and even hits high profile sites... I want control of what opens up in my browser and the only ads I'd ever consider are Google textual ads... why? cos they don't piss me off. Advertising should be an enticement of a good deal, done in a thoughtful and pleasant manner.. Unfortunately the Advertising 'industry' (I also include SEO bastards too here) battles everyone to promise customers the Earth while pissing off the very people they're meant to attract, they go through periods of continual fads in order to push shit and pretend to everyone they are 'unique' in their services, yet do the same as everyone else. The arguments from most advertisers that people who use ad-blocking software need burning at the stake tells me a lot, in that they just don't 'get-it', a good advertiser/marketer will have spent time arguing both camps and understand the issues at hand (as well as the people they're meant to be advertising to) whereas the rest fail at being the clever people they advertise themselves to be.

My suggestion to Ars, if it is that much of an issue then block your content from being shown 'full-stop' to anyone using ad-blocking software as you did in your experiment... then you only have to serve a minimal bandwidth using text page explaining why, fucking deal with it instead of whining like everyone else (i.e. News Corp, et al). The advertising industry won't die, but it will contract, change and evolve. But as a web browser I will not be dictated to that I have to have certain content forced down my throat, and I will control what I choose to see. There are multiple revenue streams possible, and I view Ars as producing higher quality content than a lot of other sites out there that I would be willing to pay for if I visited it enough (El Reg, BBC News, Slashdot and Fark tend to be my usual reads, and as a TV license holder I already pay for BBC News). Going back to context again, it would also be handy if Ars was to tell us their average percentage of userbase are that employ ad-blocking, which as a tech site I'd guess would be higher than a regular new site.


Insurgent Attacks Follow Mathematical Pattern 181

Hugh Pickens writes "Nature reports that data collected on the timing of attacks and number of casualties from more than 54,000 events across nine insurgent wars, including those fought in Iraq between 2003 and 2008 and in Sierra Leone between 1994 and 2003, suggest that insurgencies have a common underlying pattern that may allow the timing of attacks and the number of casualties to be predicted. By plotting the distribution of the frequency and size of events, the team found that insurgent wars follow an approximate power law, in which the frequency of attacks decreases with increasing attack size to the power of 2.5. This means that for any insurgent war, an attack with 10 casualties is 316 times more likely to occur than one with 100 casualties (316 is 10 to the power of 2.5). 'We found that the way in which humans do insurgent wars — that is, the number of casualties and the timing of events — is universal,' says team leader Neil Johnson, a physicist at the University of Miami in Florida. 'This changes the way we think insurgency works.' To explain what was driving this common pattern, the researchers created a mathematical model which assumes that insurgent groups form and fragment when they sense danger, and strike in well-timed bursts to maximize their media exposure. Johnson is now working to predict how the insurgency in Afghanistan might respond to the influx of foreign troops recently announced by US President Barack Obama. 'We do observe a complicated pattern that has to do with the way humans do violence in some collective way,' adds Johnson."

NASA Power Beaming Challenge is On For November 2nd 81

carstene writes "The NASA Centennial Challenge Powered Beaming competition, to develop technology for uses such as a space elevator, or to power a rover in a shadowed crater on the moon, was delayed indefinitely due to trouble setting up the kilometer-high race track. It has now had the kinks worked out and is rescheduled for the week of November 2nd. The competition involves using a high-power laser to beam power to a robot that climbs a kilometer-high cable attached to a helicopter. The competition was previously covered on Slashdot."

Carmack & Mustaine Talk Doom Resurrection For the iPhone 57

themacgamer writes "Luis Sosa had a chance to sit down with John Carmack and Tom Mustaine of id Software and discuss Doom Resurrection for the iPhone: 'At the start we thought it was just a touch screen, so you'd tap to shoot the monsters, but it was never fun; it felt too clinical. It didn't feel like you were swinging your heavy gun around to bring down the monster before he chews off your head,' said Carmack. Mustaine added, '[The shooting mechanic] was definitely a trial-and-error thing. You said the word "distilled," and that's definitely a word we've been using. We really wanted to distill the visceral Doom experience into the iPhone.' He also said, '... we have P2P co-op play that's not in the shipping version, but will come later. We didn't expect the 3.0 OS out so quickly! Two players join together, they see each other's cursors, and they either compete or co-op for a score. We're hoping to patch it in down the road. We're also looking at additional levels and potentially some stat-tracking stuff as well.'"

Huge Unidentified Organic Blob Floating Around Alaska Screenshot-sm 424

Z80xxc! writes "The Anchorage Daily News reports that a 15 mile-long blob of unknown, 'gooey,' probably organic material is floating past communities on Alaska's North Slope. The US Coast Guard sent pollution experts to investigate, who determined that it was not an oil spill or other type of pollution, but were unable to determine what it is. A sample is currently being analyzed by experts in Anchorage, while the blob is following the current northwards."

Submission Majel Barrett-Roddenberry Passes->

Xandar01 writes: Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, the wife of "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry, has passed away, Access Hollywood has learned. She was 76. The actress died of leukemia at 12:27 AM on Thursday in her Bel-Air home with her son, Rod, by her side. She is noted to be the only actor/actress to be a part of all 6 series and 11 movies.
Link to Original Source

Windows Is Dead – Long Live Midori? 695

parvenu74 writes "A story from Infoworld is suggesting that the days of Windows are numbered and that Microsoft is preparing a web-based operating system code-named Midori as a successor. Midori is reported to be an offshoot of Microsoft Research's Singularity OS, an all-managed code microkernel OS which leverages a technology called software isolated processes (SIPs) to overcome the traditional inter-thread communications issues of microkernel OSes."

Microsoft Blesses LGPL, Joins Apache Foundation 425

Penguinisto writes "According to a somewhat jaw-dropping story in The Register, it appears that Microsoft has performed a trifecta of geek-scaring feats: They have joined the Apache Software Foundation as a Platinum member(at $100K USD a year), submitted LGPL-licensed patches for ADOdb, and have pledged to expand their Open Specifications Promise by adding to the list more than 100 protocols for interoperability between its Windows Server and the Windows client. While I sincerely doubt they'll release Vista under a GPL license anytime soon, this is certainly an unexpected series of moves on their part, and could possibly lead to more OSS (as opposed to 'Shared Source') interactivity between what is arguably Linux' greatest adversary and the Open Source community." (We mentioned the announced support for the Apache Foundation earlier today, as well.)

Microsoft Demos "Deep Zoom" Technology 272

Barence writes "Yesterday, during a presentation for this year's Imagine Cup, Microsoft's Mark Taylor demonstrated the company's Deep Zoom technology to appreciative gasps of admiration from the computing students present. It's pretty impressive stuff, and you can try 'deep zooming' for yourself at the Hard Rock Memorabilia Site." Unfortunately the demo requires the Silverlight plugin and the story is pretty thin on technical details. I would be interested to see how they captured the image data to that level without massive pixelation.

"Open the pod bay doors, HAL." -- Dave Bowman, 2001