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Comment: Supernova!? (Score 2, Informative) 839

by pladdtn82 (#34232768) Attached to: Scientists Propose One-Way Trips To Mars

"We are on a vulnerable planet," Schulze-Makuch said. "Asteroid impact can threaten us, or a supernova explosion. If we want to survive as a species, we have to expand into the solar system and likely beyond."

I'm pretty sure any nearby supernova that threatened Earth would be pretty efficient at ending life on Mars, too.

Crime

Thief Returns Stolen Laptop Contents On USB Stick 352

Posted by samzenpus
from the it's-been-a-pleasure-being-your-victim dept.
While it's true that Sweden is responsible for unleashing IKEA and ABBA on humanity, not everything they produce is terrible. Their thieves are some of the most considerate in the world. An unnamed professor at Umeå University received a USB stick with all his data after his laptop was stolen. From the article: "The professor, who teaches at Umeå University in northern Sweden, was devastated when ten years of work stored on his laptop was stolen. But to his surprise, a week after the theft, the entire contents of his laptop were posted to him on a USB stick. 'I am very happy,' the unnamed professor told the local Västerbottens-Kuriren newspaper. 'This story makes me feel hope for humanity.'"
Canada

Ontario School Bans Wi-Fi 287

Posted by samzenpus
from the balance-the-humors dept.
St. Vincent Euphrasia elementary school in Meaford, Ont. is the latest Canadian school to decide to save its students from the harmful effects of Wi-Fi by banning it. Schools from universities on down have a history of banning Wi-Fi in Ontario. As usual, health officials and know-it-all scientists have called the move ridiculous. Health Canada has released a statement saying, "Wi-Fi is the second most prevalent form of wireless technology next to cell phones. It is widely used across Canada in schools, offices, coffee shops, personal dwellings, as well as countless other locations. Health Canada continues to reassure Canadians that the radiofrequency energy emitted from Wi-Fi equipment is extremely low and is not associated with any health problems."
Games

Do Gamers Want Simpler Games? 462

Posted by Soulskill
from the i'd-say-no-but-i-used-to-love-frogger dept.
A recent GamePro article sums up a lesson that developers and publishers have been slowly learning over the last few years: gamers don't want as much from games as they say they do. Quoting: "Conventional gaming wisdom thus far has been 'bigger, better, MORE!' It's something affirmed by the vocal minority on forums, and by the vast majority of critics that praise games for ambition and scale. The problem is, in reality its almost completely wrong. ... How do we know this? Because an increasing number of games incorporate telemetry systems that track our every action. They measure the time we play, they watch where we get stuck, and they broadcast our behavior back to the people that make the games so they can tune the experience accordingly. Every studio I've spoken to that does this, to a fault, says that many of the games they've released are far too big and far too hard for most players' behavior. As a general rule, less than five percent of a game's audience plays a title through to completion. I've had several studios tell me that their general observation is that 'more than 90 percent' of a game's audience will play it for 'just four or five hours.'"
United States

One Year Later, USPS Looks Into Gamefly Complaint 183

Posted by Soulskill
from the good-luck-answering-in-less-than-a-year dept.
Last April, we discussed news that video game rental service GameFly had complained to the USPS that a large quantity of their game discs were broken in transit, accusing the postal service of giving preferential treatment to more traditional DVD rental companies like Netflix. Now, just over a year later, an anonymous reader sends word that the USPS has responded with a detailed inquiry into GameFly's situation (PDF). The inquiry's 46 questions (many of which are multi-part) cover just about everything you could imagine concerning GameFly's distribution methods. Most of them are simple, yet painstaking, in a way only government agencies can manage. Here are a few of them: "What threshold does GameFly consider to be an acceptable loss/theft rate? Please provide the research that determined this rate. ... What is the transportation cost incurred by GameFly to transport its mail from each GameFly distribution center to the postal facility used by that distribution center? ... Please describe the total cost that GameFly would incur if it expanded its distribution network to sixty or one hundred twenty locations. In your answer, please itemize costs separately. ... Does the age of a gaming DVD or the number of times played have more effect on the average life cycle of a gaming DVD?"
United States

State Senator Caught Looking At Porn On Senate Floor 574

Posted by samzenpus
from the let's-vote-on-this-instead dept.
Everyone knows how boring a debate on a controversial abortion bill can get on the Senate floor. So it's no wonder that Florida State Sen. Mike Bennett took the time to look at a little porn and a video of a dog running out of the water and shaking itself off. From the article: "Ironically, as Bennett is viewing the material, you can hear a Senator Dan Gelber's voice in the background debating a controversial abortion bill. 'I'm against this bill,' said Gelber, 'because it disrespects too many women in the state of Florida.' Bennett defended his actions, telling Sunshine State News it was an email sent to him by a woman 'who happens to be a former court administrator.'"
Businesses

Bungie Signs 10-Year Deal With Activision 85

Posted by Soulskill
from the make-sure-you-write-your-name-on-your-lunch dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Infinity Ward may be suing Activision under allegations of low payment and no royalties, but it seems some developers are still happy to work with the publisher — it has just signed a 10-year deal with Bungie, the studio behind the popular Halo series of FPS games. Activision will publish all of Bungie's games in the next decade — although Bungie will own the IP. The terms of the deal are similar to those brokered by former Infinity Ward chiefs Jason West and Vince Zampella when they signed with EA after being fired in March."

Comment: Re:Not just the first amendment (Score 1) 2124

by pladdtn82 (#11532354) Attached to: U.S. Kids Don't Understand First Amendment
Very true. Any ammendment, or any part of the Constitution can be altered or repealed by a future ammendment. The 21st ammendment essentially nixed the 18th (prohibition). The 17th ammendment changed the manner of the election of senators, originally prescribed in Article I, Section 3.

Furthermore, I would argue that the ability to modify or overturn any law is important. Once you say "This law is permanant, it can't be changed" you've closed the door on democracy. Granted, I doubt very highly enough people would ever want to repeal or weaken the 1st ammendment, but the freedom to be able to do so is nonetheless important.

Those who claim the dead never return to life haven't ever been around here at quitting time.

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