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Comment: Re:AAA studio? (Score 1) 170 170

Riker: ::eye roll:: ::sigh::

2K Studios Battleship Commander: "Picard, we will not stand for this outrage! We acted according to our laws and traditions; the developers that have defected *must* be returned to us so they may be given their exit interviews. Release them to us at once!"

Worf: "Captain, the battleship has powered up their phasers."

Comment: Requirements (Score 2) 626 626

We need more requirements. I'd like to submit the following as a starting point:

* Must be usable with respect to the correct chronological context. Consider how the first 10 amendments to the US Constitution have been hashed over, in the last 200+ years. We need to be able to reference the exact version of the language, as used, in any legal script. This will keep lawyers from interpreting version 1.0 laws using version 2.0 rules and definitions. Alternatively, the task is monumental: create a language that will stand as valid speech, *forever.*

* Must be amendable. Amendments to the language must not be permitted to collide with existing definitions. I would go as far as to say that synonyms and homonyms must be strictly prohibited; a side effect here is a relatively pun-free language.

* The definition of anything must be readily quantifiable, without ambiguity, right down to the planck constant if need be. Recommending the strict use of SI measurements for both space and time.

* An improved version of these requirements must be penned in version 1.0 of the language, to be followed immediately by version 2.0

Comment: Re:Backwards compatibility (Score 2) 626 626

Then that's technically the existing corpus of law in any English speaking country, today.

Over time, the legal system has accrued terminology, jargon, and definition as each case has helped clarify or reinforce the written law. So we have things like "malice aforethought" or "work for hire" that have relatively exact meanings when compared with the use of those phrases in passing.

Yet we know that it's not exact *enough*. It fails as a specification over, and over again.

Comment: Re:The Ancient Battle (Score 1) 780 780

Another critical difference is a tradeoff between cost of learning and the flexibility of the interface. A CLI is hard/expensive to master, but once you do, you can do a great deal of work as the tools are able to interoperate in unforeseen ways. A GUI is the opposite situation: easier to learn, but overall, a shallower toolset that can only be used in ways that are deliberately designed into the interface.

The only way a GUI can even come close to the flexibility of a CLI, would be to require a radical re-think of the whole thing. For instance: allowing the user to attach objects from any piece of software in the system, to any control, in any interface, at any time. That would be a start, as it still doesn't address things like arbitrary logic, data flow, or automation between tools. From there it becomes obvious why Microsoft is toying with the idea of pushing software vendors to invest in CLI tools: as you say, it's easier to engineer.

Comment: Re:When i see things like this... (Score 1) 203 203

That's probably the next step. Powering it would be a bitch, but I'm sure some kind of inductive power via a headband would do the job.

I think an 8x8 sensor is just enough to make this work for an optical prosthetic. The saccading motion of the eye would build up a higher resolution image inside the patient's mind. It would still be low resolution overall, but it would be a huge step over the current prototype.

Comment: Re:How to make games scary? (Score 1) 129 129

Fatal Frame followed that advice exceptionally well. Your "weapon" in that game is a camera that eats souls. So not only are you continually faced with the doubt that the silly thing will actually do the job, but you have to get really close and take photographs of malign spirits over and over again. It's very effective at creating fear in the player, beyond what the environment can do.

Comment: Re:The music industry (Score 1) 140 140

"they're pissed they're not producing and making the games themselves."

This is too true. And they should be pissed because they failed to see this coming and capitalize on it. But it's not too late.

XBOL completely nailed the distribution details down for content updates, and RockBand and GuitarHero can now use the same controllers. The standards have been set, and the kinks worked out. If there was ever a time for any one of the big five to roll out their own game with regular updates, this would be it.

But no, instead they stammer and stomp their feet. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

Biotech

+ - Flowers For Algernon

Baldrson writes: "Drug Researcher reports that Algernon lives: ''...[R]esearchers ... have conditionally knocked out a specific gene to prevent an enzyme called cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) from being produced, but only in the brain. This led to the mice becoming more adept at learning and also able to more quickly decipher environmental changes...."It's pretty rare that you make mice 'smarter,' so there are a lot of cognitive implications," said Dr Bibb. "Everything is more meaningful to these mice," he said. "The increase in sensitivity to their surroundings seems to have made them smarter." ''

The mice did have a more difficult adolescence than the "normal" mice, who bit them and pushed them off the wheel when the researcher wasn't looking."
First Person Shooters (Games)

+ - VA Tech Shooter Not a Gamer; No Corrections Coming

realinvalidname writes: The San Francisco Chronicle takes Jack Thompson and Dr. Phil to task for blaming video games for the Virginia Tech shootings before perpetrator Seung-Hui Cho was even identified. "Last week's unfounded attack on gamer culture would be far less frustrating if it weren't something that happens at least once a year. Imagine how ridiculous it would seem if cable news interviewed alarmists who blamed professional wrestling or game shows (two things that Cho reportedly did enjoy in college) for a massacre before a suspect was identified."
It's funny.  Laugh.

+ - Dutch escort agency to service geek virgins

Anonymous Coward82 writes: The Register reports that Dutch escort agency Society Service has set up a special service for geek virgins looking for that elusive first sexual encounter. Sociology student Zoe Vialet set up the agency last year, Ananova reports, and admits she's had "a lot of demand from virgins" — most of them from the IT sector. She explained to De Telegraaf: "They are very sweet but are afraid of seeking contact with other people. They mean it very well but are very scared." Zoe has a crack team of five girls "specially trained" to pop geeks' cherries. However, those readers tempted to avail themselves of their charms are warned it's not just a case of stump up the cash, insert your floppy in the drive, eject and then off for a pizza.

ISP Kicks Out User Who Exposed Vulnerability; Doesn't Fix Vulnerability->

Over the past few years, there have been plenty of examples of companies with security vulnerabilities blaming the messenger when the vulnerabilities are pointed out, often threatening them with time in jail. The end result, of course, is that many security researchers are afraid to report vulnerabilities, as they may be blamed for them. Of course, that doesn't mean that others haven't found the same vulnerabilities and started using them for malicious purposes. The latest such case is pointed out by Broadband Reports and involves an ISP in the UK called BeThere. Apparently, a college student discovered and published a pretty major vulnerability found in the routers the company uses, allowing anyone to access the routers remotely. Rather than thank the customer for finding and highlighting a pretty serious vulnerability, the company has cut off his service and threatened him with lawsuits. Oh yeah, they also haven't bothered to fix the vulnerability -- despite it being published 7 weeks ago. The reasoning from the ISP is astounding. They claim that since they can't find any evidence that anyone ever used the vulnerability, he must have discovered it by "illegal" means. Who knew that simply probing for security vulnerabilities was illegal? And, of course, the ISP told the guy he's not allowed to talk about its legal threat to him -- which isn't actually legally binding. It's not clear if the ISP doesn't understand what it's done or simply doesn't want to fix the vulnerability -- but the fact that it seems to think it's ok to leave the vulnerability there and just cut off the guy who pointed it out should make other customers of BeThere wonder about how the ISP treats their security.
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