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Comment: Re:Well (Score 1) 756

by layingMantis (#38871405) Attached to: What If the Apollo Program Never Happened?

consider this: everything you now imagine to be impossible (too far, too inefficient to work) are ideas that can be overcome by human imagination and science.

To sit there and decry ideas that seem far-fetched right now has been the purvey of many naysayers before you, most of whom we now regard as rather silly.

Comment: Re:Headline misleading (Score 1) 437

by layingMantis (#34707474) Attached to: Cheaters Exposed Analyzing Statistical Anomalies

[benefit of higher grade] - [cost of honestly achieving higher grade] > {[benefit of cheating] - [cost of cheating]} * [ risk of getting caught cheating] * [value of punishment for cheating].

Firstly, why are [benefit of higher grade] and [benefit of cheating] different variables? The benefit of cheating IS a higher grade. And isn't the [cost of cheating] not in fact the same thing as [value of punishment for cheating]!?

Secondly, your "more than" should be a "less than".

Thirdly, isn't the situation the simpler case of :

"some students will cheat if: [benefit of cheating] > [cost of cheating]*[probability of getting caught]"

?

Comment: Not a valid experiment. (Score 1) 324

by layingMantis (#33011290) Attached to: PC Gamers Too Good For Consoles Gamers?
Put a PC gamer on the PS3 with me and let's try some Killzone 2 deathmatch. I win. Put me on a PC for some Quake 3, I get pwned.

It's not rocket surgery - the analog sticks aren't as instant gratification as a mouse for movement, because developers have more options than 0 or 1 - analog controllers allow for degrees of movement on the sticks, and therefore more realistic movement (inertia). This is why a game like Grand Theft Auto (driving) on PC is kinda sad.

Pitting them one-on-one in an FPS? Well, no shit. Not a valid experiment.
The Courts

Microsoft Wins Windows XP Downgrade Lawsuit 203

Posted by timothy
from the that's-just-like-your-judgment-man dept.
CWmike writes "A federal judge has dismissed a year-old lawsuit against Microsoft over alleged antitrust violations for the 'downgrade' rules it set for Windows Vista and XP. The order put an end to the lawsuit filed by Emma Alvarado in February 2009. In her original complaint, she accused Microsoft of coercing computer makers into forcing consumers who wanted to run Windows XP to first buy Windows Vista, or later, Windows 7, before they were allowed to downgrade to XP. The judge rejected Alvarado's accusations, saying that the plaintiff had not proved Microsoft benefited from the downgrade practices that it created and that OEMs implemented."
Government

Secret Service Runs At "Six Sixes" Availability 248

Posted by timothy
from the only-need-half-as-many dept.
PCM2 writes "ABC News is reporting that the US Secret Service is in dire need of server upgrades. 'Currently, 42 mission-oriented applications run on a 1980s IBM mainframe with a 68 percent performance reliability rating,' says one leaked memo. That finding was the result of an NSA study commissioned by the Secret Service to evaluate the severity of their computer problems. Curiously, upgrades to the Service's computers are being championed by Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, who says he's had 'concern for a while' about the issue."

Comment: Re:Ending the wait? (Score 2, Informative) 209

by layingMantis (#31077450) Attached to: <em>BioShock 2</em> Released
Agreed. I am staying away from Modern Warfare 2 due to the insane discrepancy between critical reviews (~94) and user reviews (>60), on metacritic. And it isn't a ps3/360 exclusive, so there's not even the "dipshit fanboy voting against the other console's games" effect to account for. The same "critics with their collective heads up their butts" phenomenon exists with movies too - check out the high reviews of "Lost In Translation", one of the most overrated films I've seen. Bottom line is that you can't rate a game on a first impression.
Math

7 of the Best Free Linux Calculators 289

Posted by timothy
from the open-in-tabs dept.
An anonymous reader writes "One of the basic utilities supplied with any operating system is a desktop calculator. These are often simple utilities that are perfectly adequate for basic use. They typically include trigonometric functions, logarithms, factorials, parentheses and a memory function. However, the calculators featured in this article are significantly more sophisticated with the ability to process difficult mathematical functions, to plot graphs in 2D and 3D, and much more. Occasionally, the calculator tool provided with an operating system did not engender any confidence. The classic example being the calculator shipped with Windows 3.1 which could not even reliably subtract two numbers. Rest assured, the calculators listed below are of precision quality."
Businesses

Facebook Mafiosi Go To the Mattresses vs. Zynga 102

Posted by Soulskill
from the concrete-galoshes dept.
sympleko writes "Zynga has the lion's share of traffic in Facebook applications, and Mafia Wars is one of their most popular social games. Collapsing under the weight of over 26 million users, Zynga has been scrambling to thwart hard-core gamers who reverse-engineer URLs or script the game to optimize their enjoyment. Many of the workarounds have annoyed users who were accustomed to various game features, and even worse, the hastily-deployed changes have resulted in many players losing access to the game, in-game prizes, or statistics. Fed up with a software company seemingly bent on discouraging people from enjoying their product, a number of tagged players have organized a boycott of all Zynga games. The first 24-hour boycott on Sunday 12/13 resulted in an 11% decline in Daily Active Users, and an emergency thread on Zynga's forums (from which most of the flames were deleted). The current boycott, extending Wednesday through Sunday is being supported by a 428K strong Facebook group. At issue is the social contract between software companies and their devoted user base, as well as the nefarious tactics Zynga has used to raise cash."
Earth

Russians Claim More Climate Data Was Manipulated 715

Posted by samzenpus
from the let-the-flamewar-begin dept.
DustyShadow writes "On Tuesday, the Moscow-based Institute of Economic Analysis (IEA) claimed that the Hadley Center for Climate Change had probably tampered with Russian-climate data. The IEA believes that Russian meteorological-station data did not substantiate the anthropogenic global-warming theory. Analysts say Russian meteorological stations cover most of the country’s territory, and that the Hadley Center had used data submitted by only 25% of such stations in its reports. Over 40% of Russian territory was not included in global-temperature calculations for some other reasons, rather than the lack of meteorological stations and observations. The data of stations located in areas not listed in the Hadley CRU survey often does not show any substantial warming in the late 20th century and the early 21st century."

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