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Comment: Those damn battery packs... (Score 1) 998

by perdera (#39630809) Attached to: Hybrid Car Owners Not Likely To Buy Another Hybrid

The battery on my wifes Honda Civic 'went bad', whatever that means. I didn't care about the specifics, but a light came on on the dashboard, we took it in, they said the battery needed to be replaced. It had failed with less than 1,000 miles left on it's warranty. I can't even begin to tell you how much I would have RAGED if it waited a little longer to fail and we were in for thousands of dollars for a replacement. Of course, the new battery doesn't come with a new warranty, but they 'assured' us it will never fail, 'battery technology has improved a lot in the past several years'...yeah, probably true, but we'll see.

Comparing her Civic Hybrid to my Jetta TDI (Diesel)...I just really don't see the point in the Hybrid. Really seems like a whole lot of additional complexity for not much of an improvement in other regards.

Oracle

RIP, SunSolve 100

Posted by timothy
from the to-the-moon-instead dept.
Kymermosst writes "Today marks the last day that SunSolve will be available. Oracle sent the final pre-deployment details today for the retirement of SunSolve and the transition to its replacement, My Oracle Support Release 5.2, which begins tomorrow. People who work with Sun's hardware and software have long used SunSolve as a central location for specifications, patches, and documentation."
Patents

8-Year-Old Receives Patent 142

Posted by samzenpus
from the young-inventor-society dept.
Knile writes "While not the youngest patent recipient ever (that would be a four year old in Texas), Bryce Gunderman has received a patent at age 8 for a space-saver that combines an outlet cover plate with a shelf. From the article: '"I thought how I was going to make a lot of money," Bryce said about what raced through his brain when he received the patent.'"
Image

Govt To Bomb Guam With Frozen Mice To Kill Snakes 229

Posted by samzenpus
from the rodent-rain dept.
rhettb writes "In a spectacularly creative effort to rid Guam of the brown tree snake, an invasive species which has ravaged local wildlife and angered local residents, the US Department of Agriculture is planning to 'bomb' the island's rainforests with dead frozen mice laced with acetaminophen. While it might not seem difficult to purge an island of snakes, the snake's habit of dwelling high in the rainforest canopy has so far thwarted efforts to rid the island of the pest. Eradicating the snake is a priority because it triggers more than 100 power outages a year at a cost of $1-4 million and has driven at least 6 local bird species to extinction."
Image

Woman Trademarks Name and Threatens Sites Using It 273

Posted by samzenpus
from the keep-my-name-out-of-your-mouth dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Be careful mentioning Dr. Ann De Wees Allen. She's made it clear that she's trademarked her name and using it is 'illegal... without prior written permission.' She even lists out the names of offenders and shows you the cease-and-desist letter she sends them. And, especially don't copy any of the text on her website, because she's using a bit of javascript that will warn you 'Copyright Protect!' if you right click on a link."
United States

Rupert Murdoch Publishes North Korean Flash Games 186

Posted by Soulskill
from the wonder-if-they're-paywalled dept.
eldavojohn writes "You might recall back in June when it was noted that North Korea was developing and exporting flash games. Now, the isolated nation state is apparently home to some game developers that are being published by a subsidiary of News Corp. (The games include Big Lebowski Bowling and Men In Black). Nosotek Joint Venture Company is treading on thin ice in the eyes of a few academics and specialists that claim the Fox News owner is 'working against US policy.' Concerns grow over the potential influx of cash, creating better programmers that are then leveraged into cyberwarfare capabilities. Nosotek said that 'training them to do games can't bring any harm.' The company asserts its innocence, though details on how much of the games were developed in North Korea are sparse. While one of the poorest nations in the world could clearly use the money, it remains to be seen if hardliner opponents like the United States will treat Nosotek (and parent company News Corp.) as if they're fostering the development of computer programmers inside the DPRK. The United Nations only stipulates that cash exchanged with companies in the DPRK cannot go to companies and businesses associated with military weaponry or the arms trade. Would you feel differently about Big Lebowski Bowling if you knew it was created in North Korea?"

Comment: Re:I didn't buy one for the payback (Score 1) 762

by perdera (#33195594) Attached to: Just One Out of 16 Hybrids Pays Back In Gas Savings

Within the subset of people interested in buying a NEW car, there are those that weigh their purchase on 'green' considerations, rather than the biggest and baddest polluter they can find. MORE green is still better than LESS green.

It's like when I get a Diet Coke with my Chipotle Burrito, someone said to me, why bother? Whaaaat? Because 1100 calories is better than 1800 calories, that's why bother.

It's not like there's suddenly some arbitrary value of 'greenness' you suddenly pass that makes you a REAL 'greener'. More green is more green. Are there even MORE BETTERER GREENER decisions you could make? Sure, but that doesn't somehow make your current decision LESS green.

Space

Geomagnetic Storm In Progress 110

Posted by Soulskill
from the sky-is-falling dept.
shogun writes "The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports a strong geomagnetic storm is in progress. The shuttle, ISS and GPS systems may be affected." They think this storm was caused by a weak solar flare on April 3rd. As you may expect, this has caused some unusually impressive northern lights since it started. What you may not expect is a photograph from Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi aboard the International Space Station showing the aurora from orbit. He apparently tweets a lot of pictures from space. He and his crewmates have taken over 100,000 pictures since coming aboard the ISS.
AMD

Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 — Gaming On Six Panels 111

Posted by Soulskill
from the for-the-truly-dedicated dept.
MojoKid writes "AMD's 6-output Radeon has been seen in action at a number of events, but today the ATI Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition is being officially launched. HotHardware paired the card up with six 22" Dell LCD panels in a 3x2 configuration — with a max resolution of 5760x2160 — and ran it through a number of popular titles including Dirt 2, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Left 4 Dead 2 and Crysis. For specialized, high-end graphics cards like this, the market potential may be relatively small. If, however, the idea of multi-monitor gaming is appealing to you and you've got the means to score one of these cards (along with multiple displays), you won't be disappointed." Reader Vigile adds a different analysis of the card's six-monitor gaming: "PC Perspective found FPS games were basically unplayable because of the bezel through the middle of their vision while RTS and racing games like StarCraft 2 and DiRT 2 were spectacular."

Comment: Re:Betrayal at Krondor (1993) (Score 1) 325

by perdera (#31597250) Attached to: The Unsung Heroes of PC Gaming History

As a big Raymond E. Feist fan, that game was just the ultimate child geek experience for me. I still remember that awesome spell you could cast that would make sweet nectar sweat out your enemies pores and swarms of fairies would come and bite them to death. I had pages of trial-and-error letter lists for the lockboxes with riddles I couldn't figure out. LOVED that game.

I was really interested in Darklands, but as a child I didn't 'get it' and so ended up in difficult situations and dying all the time, so I lost interest.

Starflight was huge, don't remember the game much, but remember the annoying decoder wheel you had to use to play it, hehe.

I was also a big fan of Sentinel Worlds, I can still hum some of the music.

For RTSs, I cut my teeth on Dune 2 and C&C. I bought my first sound card for Dune 2, and I remember the amazement when I heard that 'high quality' sound coming out of my PC. C&C was even my first real 'online' game (aside from BBSs), as you could use your modem to dial up and connect to another C&C user and fight head-to-head.

I also fondly remember every single Sierra game, that company put out some awesomely fun stuff until it went all point-and-click. I learned to type on those games (and their non-Sierra text-only precursors). I still type faster than anyone I know (though it helps being a Linux admin keeps those skills sharp). I remember trying to play Leisure Suit Larry and always had to ask my parents to help me answer the questions you had to answer to prove you were an adult and could play the game. I thought they were serious content protections, so I always thought I was doing something so naughty. Of course it was just a joke, but I didn't know that. The Space Quest series was hilarious.

Pretty much all of the classic TSR 'gold box' D&D games were great experiences. For some reason I recall not really getting into 'The Curse of the Azure Bonds' though, can't recall why.

Something about Omikron: The Nomad Soul really drew me in, too, though it's not nearly as old as many of these games, it's just one I don't ever hear anyone else talk about. I don't know what it is, but I got REALLY into that game.

Image

Supersizing the "Last Supper" 98

Posted by samzenpus
from the a-meal-fit-for-a-king-of-kings dept.
gandhi_2 writes "A pair of sibling scholars compared 52 artists' renditions of 'The Last Supper', and found that the size of the meal painted had grown through the years. Over the last millennium they found that entrees had increased by 70%, bread by 23%, and plate size by 65.6%. Their findings were published in the International Journal of Obesity. From the article: 'The apostles depicted during the Middle Ages appear to be the ascetics they are said to have been. But by 1498, when Leonardo da Vinci completed his masterpiece, the party was more lavishly fed. Almost a century later, the Mannerist painter Jacobo Tintoretto piled the food on the apostles' plates still higher.'"
Games

Game Difficulty As a Virtue 204

Posted by Soulskill
from the all-hail-battletoads dept.
The Wii and various mobile gaming platforms have done wonders for the trend toward casual or "easy" games. But the success of a few recent titles, despite their difficulty, has caused some to wonder whether the pendulum has swung too far; whether a little frustration can be seen as a good thing. Quoting: "The evidence is subtle but compelling. For one example, look to major consumer website GameSpot's Game of the Year for 2009: Atlus' PS3 RPG Demon's Souls, which received widespread critical acclaim – none of which failed to include a mention of the game's steep challenge. GameSpot called it 'ruthlessly, unforgivingly difficult.' Demon's Souls was a sleeper hit, an anomaly in the era of accessibility. One would think the deck was stacked against a game that demanded such vicious persistence, such precise attention – and yet a surge of praise from critics and developers alike praised the game for reintroducing the experience of meaningful challenge, of a game that demanded something from its players rather than looked for ways to hand them things. It wasn't just Demon's Souls that recently flipped the proverbial bird to the 'gaming for everyone' trend. In many ways, the independent development scene can be viewed on the macro level as a harbinger of trends to come, and over the past year and into 2010, many indies have decided to be brutal to their players."
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.'"
Games

NYT's "Games To Avoid" an Ironic, Perfect Gamer Wish List 189

Posted by Soulskill
from the more-or-less dept.
MojoKid writes "From October to December, the advertising departments of a thousand companies exhort children to beg, cajole, and guilt-trip their parents for all manner of inappropriate digital entertainment. As supposedly informed gatekeepers, we sadly earthbound Santas are reduced to scouring the back pages of gaming review sites and magazines, trying to evaluate whether the tot at home is ready for Big Bird's Egg Hunt or Bayonetta. Luckily, The New York Times is here to help. In a recent article provokingly titled 'Ten Games to Cross off Your Child's Gift List,' the NYT names its list of big bads — the video games so foul, so gruesome, so perverse that we'd recommend you buy them immediately — for yourself. Alternatively, if you need gift ideas for the surly, pale teenager in your home whose body contains more plastic then your average d20, this is the newspaper clipping to stuff in your pocket. In other words, if you need a list like this to understand what games to not stuff little Johnny's stocking with this holiday season, you've got larger issues you should concern yourself with. We'd suggest picking up an auto-shotty and taking a few rounds against the horde — it's a wonderful stress relief and you're probably going to need it."

He who has but four and spends five has no need for a wallet.

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