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Comment: Why only Frozenbyte? (Score 1) 195

by parmadil (#35796902) Attached to: Third Humble Bundle Arrives, 'Frozenbyte' Edition

I keep wondering about the slate of games offered as part of the Humble Bundles. Both of the previous bundles have included a really good "headline" game (World of Goo and Braid), and a bunch of games which to my eyes vary between clever but very light (Osmos), of limited appeal (Machinarium), just plain unimpressive (Gish, Lugaru), and simply unfinished (the still-incomplete Cortex Command, the beta Revenge of the Titans, and this "prototype" Jack Claw). Plus a few I'm simply uninterested in. I'm sure the other games have their fans, and I'm not saying they're bad -- just not especially high-caliber, and generally not something I'd pay more than a couple bucks even if they weren't part of the bundle. Can Wolfire not find more developers to take part, or is this the best available slate of indie-cross-platform games?

(I've bought both of the previous bundles and will buy the third. I'm just disappointed that a) I don't have much money to contribute and b) what's on offer isn't really worth much more to me).

Comment: Re:Tricky, but aimed at a specific type of knowled (Score 1) 741

by parmadil (#35789246) Attached to: Could You Pass Harvard's Entrance Exam From 1869?

As I'm sure you already know, the main dialect of classical Athens was Attic. Later Koine became standardized Greek under Macedonian hegemony. During the middles ages there is also what is known as "Byzantine" today (which is actually a slew of Greek dialects)

I'm not sure if you've looked at any modern Greek but I was shocked by just how much it has in common with ancient dialects (far more than say Italian does Latin). I can't understand most modern (demotic) Greek spoken but the alphabet is the same one Aristotle knew and many words are spelled identically (or so close they are easily identifiable).Of course what represents a dialect versus a distinct language is hotly debated subject even among linguists.. (and politicized if you ask me)

All true, to be sure. I've had a look at Modern Greek, yes; I can sometimes make out the gist of the old Katharevousa dialect but not Demotic, which yields no more than a few familiar roots to my inspection. While there are a fair few common roots, the grammar has undergone massive changes since Aristotle, to the extent that the Attic and Demotic dialects are probably less mutually intelligible than, say, Italian and Spanish.

Comment: Re:Latin answers (Score 1) 741

by parmadil (#35777826) Attached to: Could You Pass Harvard's Entrance Exam From 1869?

(Unsure how to decline 'Gyges' but we'll go with that for accusative. I guess it's a Greek paradigm.)

I think that's correct. It's a Greek paradigm although the original name is presumably Lydian. Woodhouse has it as Guges, -ou, ho, which ought to make the accusative Gugen. The TLG agrees. (Slashdot's dropping the Greek characters for some reason, but the 'e's are both etas).

Comment: Tricky, but aimed at a specific type of knowledge (Score 5, Interesting) 741

by parmadil (#35777686) Attached to: Could You Pass Harvard's Entrance Exam From 1869?

I'm two weeks away from a master's degree in Ancient Greek. I'm not sure I'd pass the Greek portion of the exam. Why? Because it focuses on extremely rigorous memorization of obscure details (and I'm talking obscure details of an arcane dead language, mind you). I can read even difficult Greek pretty well, but that doesn't mean I can decline 'trirs' (a noun in a highly unusual declension), or form the correctly-accented participles of 'histmi', or decline much of anything in the unusual dual number, off the top of my head and without consulting a grammar. Nor, I think, could most of my colleagues. The translation *into* Greek, however, is quite easy. It's a hard test for college freshmen, to be sure, but it's also testing based on a very different sort of educational objective. Passing the Greek section requires more memorization than actual competence in the language.

Mozilla

+ - Mozilla IronMonkey and ScreamingMonkey

Submitted by
mritunjai
mritunjai writes "Mozilla foundation has started work on IronMonkey and ScreamingMonkey projects this summer. According to an interview given to Artima, this would be beginning of The Browser Scripting Revolution. IronMonkey is an effort to integrate Microsoft .NET CLR into Tamarin Javascript VM donated by Adobe to Mozilla. This would enable Mozilla browsers to eventually be able to run web applications written in Python (IronPython) and Ruby (IronRuby) and presumably other .NET languages like C# apart from Javascript. ScreamingMonkey is an effort to integrate the (.NET enabled) Tamarin VM into other browsers starting with Microsoft Internet Explorer. Java was not considered as it was not open source when the decision was taken."
Space

+ - Deathbed confession swears by Roswell aliens->

Submitted by
hellbreaker
hellbreaker writes "Lieutenant Walter Haut, the public relations officer at Roswell base in 1947, died last year; but he left behind a sworn affidavit (to be opened in the event of his death) describing a spacecraft, and little green men that he himself witnessed. Okay, maybe not green, but this just brings the whole question back: what exactly happened there?"
Link to Original Source

Apple iPhone Dissected 338

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the better-them-than-you dept.
Conch writes "Only hours after the launch, the Apple iPhone has been dissected. The good folks at AnandTech violated one of the first iPhones to still our curiosity about whats inside the aluminum shell. 'Please note that we're doing this so you are not tempted to on your recent $500/$600 expenditure, while it is quite possible to take apart using easy to find tools we'd recommend against it as it will undoubtedly void your warranty and will most likely mar up the beautiful gadget's exterior.'"
The Courts

+ - New Obviousness Standard Destroying Bad Patents

Submitted by
Stop Software Patents
Stop Software Patents writes "We finally have the first case citing the new standard of obviousness the Supreme Court created for patents via KSR v. Teleflex. In Leapfrog v. Fisher-Price, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit found that, although the specific combination of existing toy features Leapfrog patented had not been patented before, the combination did nothing that would not have been anticipated by someone skilled in the art of toymaking. The article goes on to say that this may indicate that many obvious internet patents, which closely mirror existing offline business practices, will soon become deservedly worthless."
Security

+ - Quantum Cryptography Hacked

Submitted by mrbluze
mrbluze (1034940) writes "Nature reports on a eavesdropping technique developed by researchers at MIT for intercepting quantum-encrypted messages:

To listen in, the team used a quantum-mechanical principle known as entanglement, which can link together two different traits of a particle. Using an optical setup, the team was able to entangle the transmitted photon's polarization with its momentum. The eavesdropper could then measure the momentum in order to get information about the polarization, without affecting the original polarization.
This stuff is beyond me, but I can't wait to read Slashdot's explanation!"
Power

+ - Indian project shows solar power affordable - U.N

Submitted by sas-dot
sas-dot (873348) writes " A solar power project in India supplying electricity to 100,000 people will be widened to other developing nations after showing that clean energy can be cheaper than fossil fuels, a U.N. report said on Sunday. BBC News says that the $1.5m project, led by the UN Environment Programme (Unep), supports Indian bankers who offer finance to people who want to purchase a unit. The sunlight-powered systems are used to light homes and shops instead of expensive and polluting kerosene lamps. Officials hope to expand the scheme to Tunisia, China, Ghana and Indonesia. Before the UN project was set up, purchases were predominately cash only — making the devices too expensive for most people. The Indian Loan Programme helps its bank partners offer lower interest rates, longer payback periods and smaller deposits. "This project removes one of the main barriers to the shift to solar power — lack of financing," said Jyoti Painuly, a UN senior energy planner. "Asking customers... to pay cash for solar systems meant asking them to pay upfront an amount equal to 20 years of electricity bills." In terms of greenhouse gas emissions, the UN says a single wick lamp each year burns about 80 litres of kerosene, which produces more than 250kg of carbon dioxide. An estimated 100 million families in India use kerosene lamps."
Music

+ - Court rules playlist customization not interactive

Submitted by
prostoalex
prostoalex writes "Is music played via customized playlist delivered interactively (i.e., via user participation) or non-interactive (i.e., decisions are made on the server side)? The question does seem metaphysical, but it took Sony BMG Music Entertainment and Yahoo! six years to figure it out. User-driven playlists are bucketed with on-demand music services, while server-driven playlists are equaled to broadcasts, thereby causing different licensing mechanisms to take place. Yahoo! inherited the legal wrangle when it purchased a music startup Launch, which built a music recommendation feature. Court decision determined that recommendation algorithms that rely on usage data to build playlists server-side are still eligible for broadcast license, thereby substantially lowering the costs of operating a music recommendation site."

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