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

by pragma_x (#38697620) Attached to: Windows Admins Need To Prepare For GUI-Less Server

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

by pragma_x (#27077585) Attached to: Bionic Eye Gives Blind Man Sight

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

by pragma_x (#27040657) Attached to: Making a Horror Game Scary

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

by pragma_x (#26985517) Attached to: Music Industry Conflicted On <em>Guitar Hero</em>, <em>Rock Band</em>

"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

Submitted by
Baldrson
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

Submitted by realinvalidname
realinvalidname (529939) 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

Submitted by Anonymous Coward82
Anonymous Coward82 (666) 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->

From feed by techdirtfeed
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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