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Journal: in which i am a noob all over again 17

Journal by CleverNickName

I haven't posted a journal here in almost three years, because I couldn't find the button to start a new entry. ...yeah, it turns out that it's at the bottom of the page.

So... hi, Slashdot. I used to be really active here, but now I mostly lurk and read. I've missed you.

Education

Quantum Physics For Everybody 145

Posted by kdawson
from the this-time-without-the-math dept.
fiziko writes in with a self-described "blatant self-promotion" of a worthwhile service for those wishing to go beyond Khan Academy physics: namely Bureau 42's Summer School. "As those who subscribe to the 'Sci-Fi News' slashbox may know, Bureau 42 has launched its first Summer School. This year we're doing a nine-part series (every Monday in July and August) taking readers from high school physics to graduate level physics, with no particular mathematical background required. Follow the link for part 1."

Comment: From another perspective... (Score 2, Interesting) 241

I think it should be pointed out that you can, in fact, get this DLC for free when you buy the game. If you get the digital version of the CE, since you don't get any of the physical bits (metal case, cloth map etc.), you're supposed to get the DLC dungeon for free. Has anyone considered that this might be Bioware subtly trying to encourage the sale of digital copies rather than retail boxes? The digital CE is the only version of the game that will include all three DLC bits for free on launch day.

Comment: Re:Wash your hands! (Score 1) 374

by CleverNickName (#29392669) Attached to: Swine Flu Outbreak At PAX

This is good advice, and gives me an opportunity to speak to the community at large: some of us who go to cons and are in a position to shake tons of hands politely decline. It's not because we're being dicks, it's because we know it's a good way to substantially decrease our chances of catching and spreading any germs.

Comment: Oh, cruel irony (Score 2, Interesting) 374

by CleverNickName (#29392641) Attached to: Swine Flu Outbreak At PAX

I played the PAX Pandemic game, where the Enforcers handed out stickers to attendees that read [Carrier] [Infected] or [Immune] (There was also a [Patient Zero].

I got the [Immune] sticker, and by the time I got home on Monday, it was clear that I had the flu. I've had a fever between 100 and 104 all week that finally broke last night, but I'm going to the doctor today because I think whatever I had settled into my lungs. I'll tell him about the H1N1 outbreak and get tested if he wants to run the test, but at this point I think it's safe to assume that I was [Immune] to the Pig Plague, but definitely [Infected] with the damn PAX pox.

Even though it's been a week of misery, it was entirely worth it, and I don't regret going to PAX for a single second.

Software

+ - DMCA take down advice

Submitted by CBung
CBung (1572609) writes "Hello Slashdot readers, I am involved in an open source Java strategy game engine hosted on SourceForge. We have existed for many years and our development is volunteer based. We use the engine to play clones of a popular WWII board game as well as many community created mods and maps. The popularity of the board game is the driving force behind the successfulness of our application. Most users have "been playing that board game for 20yrs", and most of us own at least one of the board games. We love being able to play on line and develop our skills on the board game maps at an international level. Unfortunately, we've recently been hit by a DMCA take down notice from the rights holder the board game that we clone. The IP holder did create a PC version of the board game in 1998 which was poorly maintained and another reason our application was created. At this point, our initial reaction is to simply remove the specifically cloned maps, and maintain our application with many of our user mods. However, many of our mods use the same units and game mechanics/rules as the board game. Is there any way we can keep our application, including the clones of the board game maps, alive?

I will also note that the rights holder recently released an on line version of their board game thats playable on line. However it is very specific and limited in options. It seems more then coincidental that we've received this notice now that their own game lobby is on line. Can our application take refuge in another country? Is there a way to keep our application alive since it is significantly more feature full?"

Apple's WWDC Unveils iPhone 3.0, OpenCL, Laptop Updates, and More 770

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the one-more-thing dept.
Lots of big news from WWDC today including updates to almost all of Apple's laptops. They added a 13-inch version to the MacBook Pro line, updated the MacBook Air, and added a few new ports to some of the machines including an SD slot and firewire 800 port. Software updates saw Safari 4 launched, OS X updates including threading changes, Exchange support to mail, calendar, and address book, and OpenCL a new open graphics standard. The iPhone got quite a bit of love in 3.0, much of it just confirming older news. Cut, copy, and paste, shake to undo, developer APIs, Cocoa Touch support for text, landscape mode updates, spotlight, and MMS all made the bullet list. You will now also be able to rent and purchase movies directly from your iPhone. Other new features in 3.0 include the much debated tethering ability, allowing you to use your iPhone as a cellular modem (unfortunately there was no mention of AT&T actually supporting this feature, a wonder there wasn't a riot), integrated TomTom GPS navigation, and game features galore. New functionality also allows you to locate your iPhone via MobileMe, play a sound to help you locate it (regardless if it is set to silent), and even wipe your data remotely. The New iPhone hardware updates, "3GS", adds a 3 megapixel auto-focus camera, voice interfaces, twice the processing power, and hardware encryption. The 3GS comes in 16GB ($199) and 32GB ($299), pushing the 3G (which they are keeping on the market) to $99. Lots of other small updates amidst the bustle, looks like another successful WWDC.

Comment: John Scalzi on why it won't work (Score 1) 370

by CleverNickName (#21961464) Attached to: Sony's Idea of DRM-Free Music
John Scalzi wrote a hilarious exchange on his blog the sums up perfectly why this idea is made of fail:

Sony BMG spokesperson: We're pleased to announce we are the final major music corporation to release electronic tracks without that pesky DRM! All you have to do is leave your house, go to a selected retail outlet, buy a special card there, go back to your house, scratch off the back of the card to find a code, go to our special MusicPass Web site, enter said code, and download one the 37 titles we have available, from Celine Dion to the Backstreet Boys!

Kid #1: Or, in the time it takes me to jump through all those hoops, I could just download all 37 of those albums off of Pirate Bay.

Kid #2: Or, I could just scratch off the back at the store, record the pin number, go home and download the album through a Tor connection, so you can't trace my IP number.

Kid #1: Also, what's with this first slate of artists? Celine Dion? Backstreet Boys? Kenny Chesney? Barry Manilow? Are you high?
There's much more, but I didn't want to jack his entire post.
Google

+ - The Google Phone is a Reality.

Submitted by
MrCrassic
MrCrassic writes "It appears that Google is initiating talks with well-known PDA/smartphone manufacturer HTC to make the Google phone a reality. With impressive tech specs and an already impressive concept underway , could Google be the next company to make a mark in the wireless device industry? From the main article:

However, a recent report by CrunchGear states that its own sources at mobile handset provider HTC have tipped the site off to multiple gPhone handsets being prepped for launch in the first quarter of 2008 and that the handsets will be coming out of Taiwan. There will supposedly be over 20 different handsets to choose from — some with GPS — and they will carry special versions of Google Maps, Google Calendar, Gmail, and VoIP-enabled Google Talk. Speaking of software, Google is rumored to be developing its own operating system for the gPhone. According to reports by Engadget, the OS has been in development since 2005 after Google's acquisition of a mobile software company called Android. The Android team has since developed a Linux-based mobile OS while at Google — a detail that is corroborated by the CrunchGear report — which of course comes with tight Google integration. Both sites appear to agree that their sources indicate Google isn't currently looking to develop the hardware... for now.
"
Sci-Fi

Simon Pegg to Play Scotty 233

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the take-ship-go-to-mum's-kill-phil-sorry dept.
In response to yesterday's casting news about Chris Pine possibly taking the captain's chair for the new Star Trek movie, apparently Simon Pegg will be playing the role of Scotty. Simon Pegg is known for his role as Shaun in Shaun of the Dead and more recently for his leading role in Hot Fuzz. "Pegg joins Zoe Saldana as Uhura, Anton Yelchin as Chekov, John Cho as Sulu and Zachary Quinto as Spock in the film which reportedly, and logically, 'chronicles the early days of the Enterprise crew.' Leonard Nimoy will also put in an appearance, while Eric Bana signed up this week as the movie's villain, Nero."
User Journal

Journal: Confronting pseudoscience in advertising

Journal by Daniel Dvorkin

The Scientist reports that UK group Sense About Science is confronting advertisers about pseudoscientific claims in health products such as "Aerobic Oxygen," "Salt Lamps," and "Activ8." They called the advertisers' customer service numbers and grilled the unfortunates on the other end of the phone about their misuse of scientific language to sell products. The project,

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