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First Person Shooters (Games)

Duke Nukem Forever Release Date Revealed 288

Posted by Soulskill
from the restocking-bubblegum dept.
stupid_is writes with news that Duke Nukem Forever has now gotten a firm US release date: May 3rd. It will release worldwide three days later. The game was resurrected last fall by Gearbox Software and 2K Games after 3D Realms' 12-year attempt at development came to an end in 2009 when the company closed its doors.
Transportation

Denver Airport Overrun by Car-Eating Rabbits 278

Posted by samzenpus
from the night-of-the-lepus dept.
It turns out the soy-based wire covering on cars built after 2002 is irresistible to rodents. Nobody knows this better than those unlucky enough to park at DIA's Pikes Peak lot. The rabbits surrounding the area have been using the lot as an all-you-can-eat wiring buffet. Looks like it's time to break out The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch.

Comment: Alternative Energy? (Score 0) 514

by kalel666 (#32789672) Attached to: Obama Awards Nearly $2 Billion For Solar Power

Stolen from http://chizumatic.mee.nu/ghosts_of_my_past/:

  In order for "alternate energy" to become feasible, it has to satisfy all of the following criteria:

        1. It has to be huge (in terms of both energy and power)
        2. It has to be reliable (not intermittent or unschedulable)
        3. It has to be concentrated (not diffuse)
        4. It has to be possible to utilize it efficiently
        5. The capital investment and operating cost to utilize it has to be comparable to existing energy sources (per gigawatt, and per terajoule).

        If it fails to satisfy any of those, then it can't scale enough to make any difference. Solar power fails #3, and currently it also fails #5. (It also partially fails #2, but there are ways to work around that.)

        The only sources of energy available to us now that satisfy all five are petroleum, coal, hydro, and nuclear.

        My rule of thumb is that I'm not interested in any "alternate energy" until someone shows me how to scale it to produce at least 1% of our current energy usage. America right now uses about 3.6 terawatts average, so 1% of that is about 36 gigawatts average.

        Show me a plan to produce 36 gigawatts (average, not peak) using solar power, at a price no more than 30% greater than coal generation of comparable capacity, which can be implemented at that scale in 10-15 years. Then I'll pay attention.

        Since solar power installations can only produce power for about 10 hours per day on average, that means that peak power production would need to be in the range of about 85 gigawatts to reach that 1%.

        Without that, it's just religion, like all the people fascinated with wind and with biomass. And even if it did reach 1%, that still leaves the other 99% of our energy production to petroleum, coal, hydro, and nuclear.

The problems facing "alternate energy" are fundamental, deep, and are show-stoppers. They are not things that will be surmounted by one lone incremental improvement in one small area, announced breathlessly by a startup which is trying to drum up funding.

The way you can tell that a fan of "alternate energy" is a religious cultist is to ask them this question: If your preferred alternate source of energy is practical, why isn't it already in use?

Why not? Because of The Conspiracy(TM). The big oil companies don't want it to happen, and have been suppressing all this live-saving green people's energy all this time for their own nefarious purposes.

As soon as you hear any reference to The Conspiracy(TM), you know you're talking to someone who is living in a morality play. That isn't engineering any more, that's religion. And while religion is an important part of many people's lives, it has no place in engineering discussions.

Comment: Google Voice? (Score 2, Insightful) 615

by kalel666 (#32367440) Attached to: Proposed Law Would Require ID To Buy Prepaid Phones

I recently got off the Verizon teat and bought a prepaid phone (several, actually). No more contracts for me, thank you. Though I have 4 or 5 prepaids now, I use my Google Voice number with all of them. It makes it easy for my freinds and family to reach me no matter what phone I use. So what good would registering for a prepaid do, hmmm? I don't use the numbers assigned to the phone anyway. I guess they'll have to outlaw Google Voice.

GUI

When PC Ports of Console Games Go Wrong 398

Posted by Soulskill
from the in-other-words-always dept.
A post up at Gamasutra complains about the lack of effort put into the PC ports of some console games. The author picks on the unimpressively-reviewed Ninja Blade in particular: "Just as a quick guide to what we're dealing with here: when you create a new save file at the start of Ninja Blade on the PC, it warns you not to 'turn off your console.' Yes, Ninja Blade is one of those conversions: not so much converted as made to perfunctorily run on a different machine. In-game, you're asked to press A, B, X and Y in various sequences as part of Ninja Blade's extraordinary abundance of quick-time events. Whether you have an Xbox 360 pad plugged in or not, the game captions these button icons with text describing the PC equivalent controls. Only it doesn't always do that. Sometimes, you're left staring at a giant, pulsating, green letter A, and no idea what to do with it." What awful ports have you had the misfortune to experience?
Biotech

Scientists To Breed the Auroch From Extinction 277

Posted by samzenpus
from the back-by-popular-demand dept.
ImNotARealPerson writes "Scientists in Italy are hoping to breed back from extinction the mighty auroch, a bovine species which has been extinct since 1627. The auroch weighed 2,200 pounds (1000kg) and its shoulders stood at 6'6". The beasts once roamed most of Asia and northern Africa. The animal was depicted in cave paintings and Julius Caesar described it as being a little less in size than an elephant. A member of the Consortium for Experimental Biotechnology suggests that 99% of the auroch's DNA can be recreated from genetic material found in surviving bone material. Wikipedia mentions that researchers in Poland are working on the same problem."
Role Playing (Games)

Genre Wars — the Downside of the RPG Takeover 248

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-gain-1912-experience dept.
Phaethon360 writes "From Bioshock and Modern Warfare 2 to even Team Fortress 2, RPG elements are creeping into game genres that we never imagined they would. This change for the most part has managed to subtly improve upon genres that needed new life, but there's a cost that hasn't been tallied by the majority of game developers. 'The simple act of removing mod tools, along with the much discussed dedicated server issue, has made [MW2] a bit of a joke among competitive players. Gone are the days of "promod," and the only option you have is to play it their way. If Infinity Ward are so insistent on improving the variety of our experiences, they don’t have to do it at the expense of the experience that many of us already love. It really is that simple. If they don’t want to provide a good "back to basics experience," they could at least continue to provide the tools that allow us to do that for ourselves.'"

Comment: Re:Related question (Score 1) 395

by kalel666 (#30810984) Attached to: Truth Or Dare — What Is the Best US Cell Company?

FYI...

Also, if you do the $30/month plan (1000 minutes, texts), you get an annoying minute warning before each call

Try Net10 customer service. 1877TENCENT they do everything a ST rep can do.
also heres the number to Trac Phone Corporate...18008765753

And trac phone executive resolutions....18008765753

Also Elston the appraised represenative......18006264883 x6107

I always call net10 cust service first. They removed that message for me without hassle I don't even bother with ST cust service.

Businesses

Former Exec Says Electronic Arts "Is In the Wrong Business" 180

Posted by Soulskill
from the inspiring-internet-outrage-is-a-bad-business-model dept.
Mitch Lasky was the executive vice president of Mobile and Online at Electronic Arts until leaving the publisher to work at an investment firm. He now has some harsh things to say about how EA has been run over the past several years, in particular criticizing the decisions of CEO John Riccitiello. Quoting: "EA is in the wrong business, with the wrong cost structure and the wrong team, but somehow they seem to think that it is going to be a smooth, two-year transition from packaged goods to digital. Think again. ... by far the greatest failure of Riccitiello's strategy has been the EA Games division. JR bet his tenure on EA's ability to 'grow their way through the transition' to digital/online with hit packaged goods titles. They honestly believed that they had a decade to make this transition (I think it's more like 2-3 years). Since the recurring-revenue sports titles were already 'booked' (i.e., fully accounted for in the Wall Street estimates) it fell to EA Games to make hits that could move the needle. It's been a very ugly scene, indeed. From Spore, to Dead Space, to Mirror's Edge, to Need for Speed: Undercover, it's been one expensive commercial disappointment for EA Games after another. Not to mention the shut-down of Pandemic, half of the justification for EA's $850MM acquisition of Bioware-Pandemic. And don't think that Dante's Inferno, or Knights of the Old Republic, is going to make it all better. It's a bankrupt strategy."

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