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+ - NetHack: Still The Greatest Game Ever Written

Submitted by M-Saunders
M-Saunders (706738) writes "While everyone obsesses about frame rates and polygon counts, there's one game that hasn't changed visually since for decades. NetHack may look incredibly primitive today, but it's still arguably the best game of all time, with an unmatched level of depth, creativity and replayability. Linux Voice looks at this fascinating dungeon romp, explaining what makes it great, how to get started with it, and how to discover some of its secrets."

+ - The Internet Archive launches its arcade: Classic games in a browser-> 1

Submitted by SternisheFan
SternisheFan (2529412) writes "Today, The Internet Archive launched The Internet Arcade, a free, emulated, browser-compatible collection comprising arcade games from the 1970s to the 1990s.

Of course, while some games in the archive have been effectively abandoned and even forgotten, others are still popular and actively exploited by their creators, such as games in the Pac-Man franchise. Games from well-known companies such as Capcom, Konami, Namco, Taito, and Sega appear in the list, among many others — around 900, in total.

Archivist Jason Scott writes about the process of getting the Arcade up and running on his personal blog. He explains its purpose like this: "... my hope is that a handful, a probably tiny percentage [of players], will begin plotting out ways to use this stuff in research, in writing, and remixing these old games into understanding their contexts.""

Link to Original Source

+ - Are the world's religions ready for ET?-> 2

Submitted by Science_afficionado
Science_afficionado (932920) writes "At the current rate of discovery, astronomers will have identified more than a million exoplanets by the year 2045. That means, if life is at all common in the Milky Way, astronomers will soon detect it. Realization that the nature of the debate about life on other worlds is about to fundamentally change lead Vanderbilt astronomer David Weintraub to begin thinking seriously about how people will react to such a discovery. He realized that people's reactions will be heavily influenced by their religious beliefs, so he decided to find out what theologians and leaders from the world's major religions have to say about the matter. The result is a book titled "Religions and Extraterrestrial Life" published by Springer this month. http://www.springer.com/social... He discovered that from Baptists to Buddhists, from Catholics to Mormons, from Islam to the Anglican Communion religious views differ widely."
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+ - Potentially Immortal Single Cell Life form Eats, Breathes, Electrons ->

Submitted by retroworks
retroworks (652802) writes "University of Southern California, Los Angeles researchers are studying forms of bacteria, found on the sea bed, which can feed directly on electrons from electric current. Unlike any other living thing on Earth, electric bacteria use energy in its purest form – naked electricity in the shape of electrons harvested from rocks and metals. NewScientist reports on cells which make ATP, a molecule that acts as an energy storage unit for almost all living things. This life form needs no sugar or protein, it can consume electrons, from electricity, directly.

"To grow these bacteria, the team collects sediment from the seabed, brings it back to the lab, and inserts electrodes into it. First they measure the natural voltage across the sediment, before applying a slightly different one. A slightly higher voltage offers an excess of electrons; a slightly lower voltage means the electrode will readily accept electrons from anything willing to pass them off. Bugs in the sediments can either "eat" electrons from the higher voltage, or "breathe" electrons on to the lower-voltage electrode, generating a current. That current is picked up by the researchers as a signal of the type of life they have captured.""

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+ - Magnetic Field of Earth Weakening a Sign Poles Are Flipping->

Submitted by Trachman
Trachman (3499895) writes "The magnetic field of Earth is weakening more rapidly than many scientists thought it would, a sign that Earth’s magnetic poles might flip within a few hundred years as opposed to thousands of years. Data collected from Swarm, the collective name for three European Space Agency (ESA) satellites, confirms that Earth’s magnetic field is weakening, something which has led to many past switches in Earth’s magnetic poles.Deep ocean core studies have confirmed, according to NASA, that the Earth’s magnetic poles reverse on a relatively frequent basis. They usually switch anywhere from 200,000 to 300,000 years. As it has been 700,000 years or so since a flip has taken place, Earth is overdue for one. The weakening magnetic field might be a sign that the switch will occur sooner, rather than later. Scientists, according to a report by LiveScience, had thought that Earth’s magnetic field was weakening by about five percent every hundred years. At that rate, they calculated that a flip in the Earth’s magnetic fields would not happen for around another 2,000 years. However, the new data from Swarm indicates that Earth’s magnetic field is actually currently weakening at a rate of five percent every decade instead of century. That rate is 10 times faster than the scientists had allowed for in their calculations about when the next flip would happen. That being said, we know that the Earth's magnetic field is primary protecting shield from cosmic particles and, consequently, is a primary factor to the Earth's temperature.

My Scoop is following: At the risk of being not popular here at Slashdot I dare to ask: can magnetic field changes and climate changes be connected and analyzed in concert?"

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Comment: Gimme a keyboard (Score 3, Interesting) 67

by ptaff (#47348609) Attached to: Ars Takes an Early Look At the Privacy-Centric Blackphone
All fine, but can they (or someone else) release such a device with a keyboard? the point'n'grunt interface just gets so annoying for serious stuff (ssh with a soft keyboard, you're kidding me, where's the other half of my screen?). I mean this phone is not aiming for the 8-year old brat crowd, unlike most of what's on the market today.

+ - The way we board airplanes makes absolutely no sense->

Submitted by walterbyrd
walterbyrd (182728) writes "Most US airlines follow the same procedure for allowing non-first-class passengers to board a plane. They let people who are sitting in the back board first, then people in the next few rows, gradually working their way toward the front.

This procedure makes absolutely no sense.

The fastest ways to board a plane are Southwest's boarding method — where people choose their own seats — or a theoretical boarding method known as the "Steffen method" that's not currently in use"

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+ - Lavabit Founder Explains Why He Was Forced To Shut It Down->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Ladar Levison, founder of the encrypted email service Lavabit that shut down last year because of friction with U.S. government data requests, has an article at The Guardian where he explains the whole story. He writes, 'My legal saga started last summer with a knock at the door, behind which stood two federal agents ready to to serve me with a court order requiring the installation of surveillance equipment on my company's network. ... I had no choice but to consent to the installation of their device, which would hand the U.S. government access to all of the messages – to and from all of my customers – as they travelled between their email accounts other providers on the Internet. But that wasn't enough. The federal agents then claimed that their court order required me to surrender my company's private encryption keys, and I balked. What they said they needed were customer passwords – which were sent securely – so that they could access the plain-text versions of messages from customers using my company's encrypted storage feature. (The government would later claim they only made this demand because of my "noncompliance".) ... What ensued was a flurry of legal proceedings that would last 38 days, ending not only my startup but also destroying, bit by bit, the very principle upon which I founded it – that we all have a right to personal privacy.'"
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+ - Free software foundation condemns Mozilla's move to support DRM in Firefox.->

Submitted by ptr_88
ptr_88 (3031455) writes "Free software foundation has opposed Mozilla's move to support DRM in Firefox browser partnership with Adobe. This is what FSF has to say about this move : The Free Software Foundation is deeply disappointed in Mozilla's announcement. The decision compromises important principles in order to alleviate misguided fears about loss of browser market share. It allies Mozilla with a company hostile to the free software movement and to Mozilla's own fundamental ideals ."
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+ - iOS 7 Updates Silently Removes Encryption for Email Attachments->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Apple has removed encrypted email attachments from iOS 7. Apple said back in June 2010 in regards to iOS 4.0: "Data protection is available for devices that offer hardware encryption, including iPhone 3GS and later, all iPad models, and iPod touch (3rd generation and later). Data protection enhances the built-in hardware encryption by protecting the hardware encryption keys with your passcode. This provides an additional layer of protection for your email messages attachments, and third-party applications." Not anymore."
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+ - laser lit lunar eclipse->

Submitted by Mister Liberty
Mister Liberty (769145) writes "Tom Murphy, astrophysicist at UCSD (https://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/) writes:
While not related to Do the Math, I encourage you to check out this (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140418.html) stunning photo taken by Dan Long capturing our recent laser ranging efforts during the April 15 lunar eclipse. This is a real photo, taken through a C-11 telescope with a focal reducer (700 mm, f/2)—the outgoing laser beam has not been artificially superimposed. Normally it is really difficult to get a picture of our faint beam heading toward the Moon, because the Moon is so glaringly bright. The eclipse provided a great photo-op, and also a means to test the hypothesis of dusty reflectors. To me, this shot is just gorgeous. But I have more invested in it than the average Joe: this picture serves as a visual representation of a key focus in my life over the last 14 years—so of course I’m enamored.""

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Comment: History repeats itself (Score 5, Insightful) 86

by ptaff (#46816157) Attached to: David Auerbach Explains the Inside Baseball of MSN Messenger vs. AIM

Yeah, those long forgotten chat-silo days when you needed an ICQ account, an AIM account, a MSN account, a Yahoo account to reach all your friends... fortunately XMPP/Jabber would solve all of this, and even Google would embrace the open standard with their new GTalk.

Oh! wait... it was a bait and switch.

Don't be evil does not mean be good.

+ - There's got to be more than the Standard Model

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang (3485481) writes "The Standard Model of particle physics is perhaps the most successful physical theory of our Universe, and with the discovery and measurement of the Higgs boson, may be all there is as far as fundamental particles accessible through terrestrial accelerator physics. But there are at least five verified observations we've made, many in a variety of ways, that demonstrably show that the Standard Model cannot be all there is to the Universe. Here are the top 5 signs of new physics."

The only possible interpretation of any research whatever in the `social sciences' is: some do, some don't. -- Ernest Rutherford

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