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Comment Re:Colour me apprehensive. (Score 1) 94

Quite honestly, I don't see how it's possible to travel to another star system (let alone back). So I guess sci-fi audiences should write off any sort of movie involving interstellar travel. Even if it were possible via wormhole or warp drive or whatever other invention, the relativistic effects are pretty much never accounted for.

But instead we're quibbling about how scientists would act on another planet.

Comment Re:Colour me apprehensive. (Score 2) 94

Look, every sci-fi fan is in the same boat. However I don't understand the level of vitriol towards Prometheus. It's not like every other movie in the Alien franchise didn't have parts that sucked. Molecular acid...xenomorphs...the entirety of Alien 3....I thought Prometheus was a step back in the right direction after Alien 3 and Resurrection (which was at least better than 3). I am continuously amazed at the hatred towards it. It's a great movie.

Ridley Scott has been one of the few movie directors/producers to embrace sci-fi with any amount of success. He is clearly a fan of Philip K. Dick. Let him do his thing and give it a chance.

Comment Re:Colour me apprehensive. (Score 2) 94

Yeah, I suppose the critters should have instead launched out of eggs and melted through their helmets. /sarcasm

All movies require a certain suspension of disbelief. Still, I will take "two crewmen in a first-contact situation taking their helmets off, running off like ninnies, getting lost, and contaminating themselves." over "Roman emperor fights a gladiator."

Comment Re:Why I don't read Slashdot any more (Score 1) 426

Most people "outside the bubble" as you put it are probably uninformed and have no idea what flash actually is or that alternatives exist. It is up to proficient, informed and educated people to drive new and better technology forward. If all you care about is watching mindless shit on Hulu, than there are literally hundreds of viable solutions to do so. For christ's sake, the article was in reference to a new (albeit the last) version of flash for linux.

Please leave your landline number, and I'll be happy to call you when HTML5 is the no shit standard. Since not everyone has moved on to cell phones, skype, instant messaging, facebook, twitter and email yet, I assume this will be the only way to reach you. Or maybe I could just send you a messenger with a clay tablet or papyrus scroll.

Comment Re:And the winner is...... (Score 1) 403

I love my Xtreamer. Best $99 I ever spent. I use it solely for streaming media from my file server, but it has some sort of capability for internet streaming as well. It'll play any format/container I've thrown at it. It's small and quiet. The company is very good about making updates/bugfixes available. I have absolutely no use for Apple or Google TV.

Comment Re:what secrets are these? (Score 1) 372

Any 14 year-old could probably make an atomic bomb with a critical mass of uranium or plutonium. Such a bomb would be huge and require lots of shielding to be safe to handle - like attaching to an aircraft or loading into a shipping container.

Err, a bare-sphere (no neutron energy manipulation or reflective shielding) critical mass of a plutonium-239 core is only 10kg and with the density of plutonium that translates to a sphere smaller than an orange (9.9cm to be exact).

The reason the original plutonium weapons were so huge is because of low purity of the fissionable materials available, massive over engineering resulting from poor understanding of materials and nuclear processes etc

On the other hand, what is required to detonate a subcritical mass is a little bit tricky.

No such thing exists. All nuclear explosions are accomplished by achieving criticality in some fission material. The critical mass however varies with shape and external factors such as shielding materials capable of changing energies of neutrons or reflecting them back onto their source, temperature of the material, its degree of compression etc.

That sounds very credible, but the handle IgnoramusMaximus does not.

Comment Re:what id like to see (Score 1) 372

Put it this way: A. There are some countries who should not be allowed nuclear weapons because they will probably use them.

There is only one country that has used nuclear weapons in an offensive manner. Should the United States not be allowed to possess nuclear weapons?

Comment Re:Sold Stolen Property to Highest Bidder (Score 1) 404

If this goes to court they have a great case against the finder of the iPhone and Gizmodo. Can't say I feel sorry for any of them

I do feel a bit sorry for them.

I don't feel that the "theft" was a malicious act to deprive someone of property, as much as it was an attempt to cash in on cheap opportunity. Apple got their property back, and it didn't cost them anything other than admitting that it was theirs.

I think they way that Gizmodo and the guy that found it acted was certainly a bit stupid and shortsighted, but unless the guy that "found it" picked Gray Powell's pocket for the thing, calling it "theft" seems a bit of a stretch to me. Any way you slice it, Apple sure got a whole lot buzz about the next iPhone as a result. I don't know how any reasonable person could think that a new generation iPhone wasn't due in the very near future. The three stooges (Gray Powell, Jason Chen and the dude that found it) that brought them all that buzz are probably going to pay a good deal for it. The letter of the law may very well be against them (IANAL), but personally, I see it as a case of three probably otherwise reasonable guys, making some dumb mistakes and no one getting hurt. Don't we have rapists and murderers and, you know, people that really steal shit to prosecute in this country?

Input Devices

Is the Line-in Jack On the Verge of Extinction? 411

SlashD0tter writes "Many older sound cards were shipped with line-out, microphone-in, and a line-in jacks. For years I've used such a line-in jack on an old Windows 2000 dinosaur desktop that I bought in 2000 (600 Mhz PIII) to capture the stereo audio signal from an old Technics receiver. I've used this arrangement to recover the audio from a slew of old vinyl LPs and even a few cassettes using some simple audio manipulating software from a small shop in Australia. I've noticed only recently, unfortunately, that all of the four laptops I've bought since then have omitted a line-in jack, forcing me to continue keeping this old desktop on life support. I've looked around for USB sound cards that include a line-in jack, but I haven't been too impressed by the selection. Is the line-in jack doomed to extinction, possibly due to lobbying from vested interests, or are there better thinking-outside-the-box alternatives available?"

If it wasn't for Newton, we wouldn't have to eat bruised apples.