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PlayStation (Games)

US Air Force Buying Another 2,200 PS3s 144

Posted by Soulskill
from the quick-who-knows-a-good-ps3-flight-sim dept.
bleedingpegasus sends word that the US Air Force will be grabbing up 2,200 new PlayStation 3 consoles for research into supercomputing. They already have a cluster made from 336 of the old-style (non-Slim) consoles, which they've used for a variety of purposes, including "processing multiple radar images into higher resolution composite images (known as synthetic aperture radar image formation), high-def video processing, and 'neuromorphic computing.'" According to the Justification Review Document (DOC), "Once the hardware configuration is implemented, software code will be developed in-house for cluster implementation utilizing a Linux-based operating software."

Comment: Re:Initial cooperation (Score 1) 767

by liegeofmelkor (#27010473) Attached to: US District Ct. Says Defendant Must Provide Decrypted Data
From another article I read a while back about this case, it went more like this (paraphrasing for brevity and (hopefully) comedic effect).

Officer: Can you show me the contents of your hard drive.

Idiot: No problem, only legit porn on this hard drive. (Types encryption password).

0: What do we have here?

I: Lolita flick. I get off on girls that look younger than they are.

O: Nope, this one is really underaged.

I: This niche market is really convincing. I assure you that...

O: Nope, I'm booking you, perv!

I: (aside) OH CRAP!

The point being that the cooperative victim (according to his side of the story) was convinced he was showing legit files to the officer, and only when the officer disagreed did the victim want to invoke his rights. In my opinion, we're probably dealing with a straight-and-narrow law enforcement officer who has no idea that there's an entire sleaze market to make girls look underage.

And really, if I were put in the victim's position, and I was suddenly faced with defending the legality and authenticity of some random file I got from a torrent (with the penalty of jail time if I were wrong) OR simply trying to hide the evidence, I think I would react in the same way.

Comment: Buried gem of a quote (Score 0, Offtopic) 258

by liegeofmelkor (#26845255) Attached to: Ontario Court Wrong About IP Addresses, Too
For those of you whose eyes glazed over after realizing this 'analysis' was drivel, I'll highlight a superb quote which disinclines me to believe anything Bennett says:

Suppose a security company were to discover an exploit in Internet Explorer that could reveal your real name (as entered in your personal computer's Control Panel settings at setup time)...

Your 'real name'?!?! Who the fuck EVER puts their real names on any Microsoft product registration (excluding your basic, non-slashdot reading, use-the-computer-to-download-the-internets user). I think that the MAJORITY of machines that I've seen have some variant of "FUCK BILL GATES/FUCK M$" for registration names. His naivety is worth a chuckle. Enjoy!

Role Playing (Games)

Warhammer Team Hit By Layoffs 89

Posted by Soulskill
from the just-what-every-mmo-needs,-fewer-devs dept.
Zonk notes that Mythic Entertainment, developer of Warhammer Online, is being hit by another round of layoffs. The report estimates that between 60 and 130 staff were let go as part of Electronic Arts' reduction of its workforce. This comes alongside news that the number of Warhammer subscribers has settled to around 300,000. Mythic's Mark Jacobs was quick to affirm that while they were "resizing the team," their plans and schedule are unchanged, citing lower demands on QA now that the launch period has passed. Hopefully this means that their upcoming "live expansion," A Call to Arms, will not be affected by the layoffs.
Networking

Console Download Speeds Tested 81

Posted by Soulskill
from the fun-transfer-protocol dept.
MTV's Multiplayer blog tested and compared the download speeds of games on the Wii, the Xbox 360, and the PS3. They tested a variety of scenarios, with the PS3 most often coming out on top. The Xbox 360 took first in one test, but in that situation it was using a wired connection while the other two were not. The Wii consistently came in on the slower side, taking last place in all but one test. The PS3 ranged from .44 to .79 MB/sec, the Xbox 360 from .26 to .86 MB/sec, and the Wii from .30 to .55 MB/sec. What have your experiences been with console download times?

Comment: Re:Thailand's censorship directly impacts our news (Score 1) 220

by liegeofmelkor (#26665085) Attached to: More Websites Offending Thai Monarchy Blocked

I've always been skeptical about how I've heard that the Thai people are very fond of their king. How do you confirm a statement like this when anyone saying they aren't fond of the king could be jailed? True, they probably won't be jailed, but there's a risk, and that's going to bias results.

I don't have a statistically significant number of Thai friends (and those I know are Americans of Thai heritage (2nd gen., mostly)), but anyone I talked to when the YouTube foot+king video broke didn't really care one way or another about the insult to the king. However, if my friends were in Thailand and someone asked, I'm damn sure what their responses would be.

In short, I don't know any way verify whether the people of Thailand are fond of their king... and as unreliable info (more or less by definition of circumstances), I exclude it from consideration.

Comment: Re:Read climate reports skeptically! (Score 1) 1061

by liegeofmelkor (#26623563) Attached to: Global Warming Irreversible, NOAA Scientist Finds

Ok, I'll bite. Sequestration has nothing to do with 'when we produce carbon'. Sequestration technology removes CO2 from the atmosphere, and it isn't picky about where or when it happens (your post seems to imply sequestration at the time of production, which is viewed as highly impractical). There's a former Slashdot article summarizing a study that regardless of where you put the CO2 sequestration plants, the local concentration at various points around the globe equilibrate rapidly... you can look it up though.

Second, read the article... no no no, not the news summary, the PNAS article! Solomon is NOT saying that once/if we stop all carbon production, the oceans will continue to ABSORB carbon dioxide. Solomon IS saying that once/if we stop all carbon production, the oceans will keep RELEASING carbon dioxide for much longer than previously expected.

Third, this isn't an either/or proposition with cutting emissions and carbon sequestration. Any reasonably informed expert would recommend a multi-pronged approach. Reduce/quit emitting on some time scale and use sequestration to clean up the damage.

Fourth, CO2 in the oceans doesn't directly absorb much heat. Its stored mostly as carbonic acid and the frequencies/cross section are completely different.

Whew... alot of misrepresentations in a single sentence, however, I think I've addressed all of them. So, to piece together a more coherent scenario than the one put forth to grab headlines using what I just went over... 1) we reduce or eliminate carbon emissions 2) we implement carbon sequestration to reduce the CO2 still in the atmosphere but 3) the lowered CO2 concentration in the atmosphere prompts release of CO2 from the oceans (as Solomon acknowledged) so we 4) keep running sequestration until the carbon sink from the oceans is depleted. Clear?

Comment: Read climate reports skeptically! (Score 2, Insightful) 1061

by liegeofmelkor (#26619463) Attached to: Global Warming Irreversible, NOAA Scientist Finds

Well, I probably just biased you into thinking I'm a climate change denier with the title, but guess what... I buy into science.

However, there is such a ridiculous, self-reinforcing feedback loop of grandiose speech and groupthink within the climate research community that its no wonder quacks out there are encouraged towards disbelief. If you attend lectures by some of these researchers (personally, its been mostly atmospheric chemists for me), you'll see that nearly every one of them thinks they're some sort of Messiah trying to spread the holy message. This article (the original, not the fluff news summary) is no exception.

In order to secure a newspaper headline title (once again, in order to get THE MESSAGE out), Solomon completely ignores a range of facts and potential solutions.

First fact, she admits in the article that people have previously predicted the consequences to last centuries. Apparently, when you increase the timescale from 200 years to 1000 years, you pass her arbitrary distinction between 'reversible' and 'irreversible'. How about we agree to refer to this as possibly reversible on a really long time scale, huh? And instead of Solomon saying that she was the one to discover global warming was 'irreversible', instead say that it will take longer than expected to return to normal?

Second, Solomon DELIBERATELY turns a blind eye to research already in the literature that contradicts her model. This surpasses vanity and enters into the realm of negligence on the level of an ethical violation. I'm talking about the emerging field of carbon sequestration here. Anyone in the field of climate research WILL know about the branch of research focused on removing and confining CO2 from the atmosphere. While any implementation is still a long way from large scale deployment or commercial viability, if you're going to make predictions on a 1000 year time scale, you might want to take into account technology advances in this field! However, that would destroy Solomon's pretty newspaper headline and reduce it to the following:

Global warming might last five times as long as previously expected assuming we don't find a way to fix the problem first

.

Does that sound front-page newsworthy to you? Ok, I support the theory of man-made global warming. However, if we want to persuade the skeptics and nuts out there, climate researchers should start approaching the issue honestly and responsibly. Half truths will only undermine further discussion!

Comment: I'd settle for commercials... (Score 1) 244

by liegeofmelkor (#26543827) Attached to: Pandora Trying Out Invasive Commercial Breaks
if that's what it takes to finally come up with the funding to appease European rights holders. I loved Pandora in the States, but I've had to cut back since there is no legal way to get Pandora in Germany (I'm assuming proxies to mask country of origin for the purpose of accessing region-restricted media is a legal grey area I shouldn't get into at work).

Comment: Re:Expected (Score 1) 1654

by liegeofmelkor (#26467993) Attached to: Woman Claims Ubuntu Kept Her From Online Classes

I did every report and presentation in OpenOffice and saved MS Word and Power Point compatible versions of my files when it came time to submit my work. The instructors never knew the difference...

Then you were lucky. Files written in OO regularly come up with distorted formatting when opened in MS Word. Tables and figures (in nearly any Word-supported image format) will usually trigger some garbling... and if you type an equation object in OO, you KNOW its going to look like gibberish in Word. For serious applications (like a peer-reviewed journal article), you either need Word or an app that outputs PDF's directly (Tex). Relying on OO files to open properly in Word just won't cut it!

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