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Comment: Re:Am I missing something? (Score 2) 358

by Xelios (#47163493) Attached to: The Disappearing Universe
It's not that the thing itself is flying away from us at c, it's that all the space in between us and that thing is expanding. Naturally the further away it gets, the more expanding space there is between us and the thing, the faster the thing appears to be receding from us.

In this system nothing is moving faster than the speed of light but the effect is the same: a spacecraft trying to reach that galaxy would need to overcome all the expanding space between, and that would require a speed greater than c. In fact, at that point even light from that galaxy would not reach us anymore, putting it outside our cosmological horizon.

Disclaimer: I may not know what I'm talking about. This should really be in my sig.

Comment: Re:BSG? (Score 1) 669

by Xelios (#46283919) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Games Are You Playing?
Might be the Diaspora mod for Freespace Open, which is really good.

Some back story for those that don't know, Volition (the developer behind Freespace 2) released the source code to the game about 10 years ago when it became apparent that they weren't going to be able to make a third installment. Since then the FS2 community has enhanced the game engine, fixed bugs, overhauled the graphics, added support for all kinds of new peripherals and created several new games, like Diaspora and a Babylon 5 conversion.

If you're a fan of space combat sims you really should check out Freespace Open. Besides playing through the original campaigns I'd recommend Blue Planet (included in the installer) and the subsequent War in Heaven campaigns.

Comment: Re:Familiarity counts? (Score 1) 59

by Xelios (#46113539) Attached to: 30 Minutes Inside Valve's Prototype Virtual Reality Headset
On the other hand I can see this becoming very useful for overcoming fears or certain types of neurological disorders. We recently put together a training program for a clinical trial with Parkinson's patients who experience "freeze of gait". Certain situations (like walking through a narrow doorway) can cause them to become locked in place in a sort of trance until some external stimulus snaps them out of it again. The idea was to train these situations from the safety of their own home in order to better deal with them in public. The clinical trial hasn't started yet, but I'd guess a VR headset would provide a much more realistic experience than a monitor.

Comment: Re:Worst Company? Seriously? (Score 1) 346

by Xelios (#43405621) Attached to: EA Repeats As 'Worst Company In America'

More importantly BoA has been branded "too big to fail" and owns so many subsidiaries by now that they don't need to worry themselves with what ordinary consumers think of the Bank of America brand.

EA, on the other hand, was bothered enough to dish out pre-emptive damage control, so maybe some good will come of this.

Well, probably not.

Comment: Awesome! (Score 5, Informative) 121

by Xelios (#41232635) Attached to: Battlestar Galactica Community Game <em>Diaspora</em> Has Arrived
Anyone who hasn't seen the wonderful things the Freespace 2 Open Source team has done over the years should really check it out. The game itself is $6 on GoG, and since Volition released the source code it's seen a complete overhaul for everything from AI to graphics. The classic campaigns are still there (and are well worth playing through), and there's been some really great fan campaigns released over the years too.

I'd highly recommend the Blue Planet campaign. Part 2 (War in Heaven) is especially noteworthy for really giving you the feeling of being on the losing side of a war, something you don't see very often in games. Part 1 has full voice acting, with voice acting for part 2 still in progress.

Comment: Re:I for one (Score 4, Insightful) 228

by Xelios (#40636917) Attached to: Rethinking How Congress Pushes Copyright Laws
I saw this back during the SOPA trial. During the hearings the people on the left did everything they could to try to push it through, the people on the right were more or less the only ones speaking out against it.

One has to wonder why the $2 trillion+ in taxes we pay every year don't buy us as much influence over the legislative process as $100,000 in campaign contributions by various corporate interests. Why aren't election campaigns funded by tax dollars instead of private donations?

Comment: Re:Ah, America! (Score 3, Funny) 562

by Xelios (#38525216) Attached to: Verizon Adds $2 Charge For Paying Your Bill Online
My ISP charges 3â to mail a monthly statement in the interest of cutting down on waste paper and mailing costs, so I switched to online billing a long time ago. I don't really miss it because they were kind enough to keep sending an extra envelope with advertisements and "tell your friends" incentives every month, completely free!

If what they've been doing hasn't solved the problem, tell them to do something else. -- Gerald Weinberg, "The Secrets of Consulting"