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Battlestar Galactica's Last Days 799

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the starbuck-freaks-me-out dept.
bowman9991 writes "If your country was invaded and occupied by a foreign power, would you blow yourself up to fight back? If someone pointed a gun at your head and threatened to pull the trigger if you refused to sign a document you knew would lead to a hundred deaths (and you signed!), would that make you ultimately responsible? Does superior technology give you the moral right to impose your will on a technologically inferior culture? You wouldn't expect a mainstream television show to tackle such philosophically loaded questions, certainly not a show based on cheesy science fiction from the '70s, but if you've watched Battlestar Galactica since it was re-imagined in 2003, there has been no escape. The final fourth season is nearly over, and when the final episode airs, television will never be the same again. SFFMedia illustrates how Battlestar Galactica exposes the moral dilemmas, outrages, and questionable believes of the present as effectively (but more entertainingly) than any documentary or news program. It's not hard to see parallels in the CIA and US military's use of interrogation techniques in Bush's War on Terror, the effects of labeling one race as 'the enemy,' the crackdown on free speech, or the use of suicide bombers in Iraq."

Comment: Re:1. perform a song (Score 1) 398

by sugarman (#26530147) Attached to: 17,000 Downloads Does Not Equal 17,000 Lost Sales

> probably for books and movies too

I don't think this will apply to books. How many book-related 'special fan material' do you have? To how many book concerts did you go this year?

This is exactly the problem facing publsihing (and authors) today. While music can get by on concert revenues, what happens to the writers?

While there is some small market for ancilary material for books, is that enough to support an author? Printed works will still be made but they may either be similar to academic work (the funds made from the book are negligible, but they increase status and recognition within their community, increasing the likelihood of academic positions, conference attendance, speaking engagements, or consulting work).

The same may go for tech books as well, though I am not privy to the economics of it, having MS or IBM or Google subsidize the production of the tome to have [author of {blank}] at the company may be of some interest. (Well, maybe a smaller company than those, but the point remains).

I'm not currently seeing a way out for fiction authors at the moment though. Any ideas?

Comment: Unlikely (Score 0, Redundant) 508

by sugarman (#26344819) Attached to: Are My Ideas Being Stolen? If So, What Then?

If you "just got started taking Computer Science classes", I'd say its relatively unlikely that you need to be worried about IP theft. Your implementation of 'Hello World' probably isn't going to revolutionize computing.

This doesn't mean that it isn't something to be aware of in the future, especially as you get closer to your senior project or grad school work. Right now however, you probably should be more concerned with other classmates, depending on how draconian your school is with regards to similar / identical code beding submitted for projects. Learn what your institution's policy is, and you'll likely find the answer to your original question as well.

Security

A Hacker's Audacious Plan To Rule the Underground 313

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the ambition-can-carry-you-just-so-far dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Wired has the inside story of Max Butler, a former white hat hacker who joined the underground following a jail stint for hacking the Pentagon. His most ambitious hack was a hostile takeover of the major underground carding boards where stolen credit card and identity data are bought and sold. The attack made his own site, CardersMarket, the largest crime forum in the world, with 6,000 users. But it also made the feds determined to catch him, since one of the sites he hacked, DarkMarket.ws, was secretly a sting operation run by the FBI."

Comment: Re:Minmaxing ftw! (Score 2, Funny) 286

by sugarman (#26329931) Attached to: The Perils of Simplifying Risk To a Single Number

Now why did anyone think this would be different when real money is involved, and thus the incentive to abuse the rules way higher?

Perhaps because those in the "roleplayer" and "policy wonk" sets have almost no-overlap?

While I'm all for using simulations in systems work, thinking the econ crisis is similar to the time your party killed an Ancient Red Dragon and then bought Greyhawk with the loot probably isn't too helpful.

Microsoft

How Sony's Development of the Cell Processor Benefited Microsoft 155

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-the-outcome-they'd-planned dept.
The Wall Street Journal is running an article about a recently released book entitled "The Race for a New Game Machine" which details Sony's development of the Cell processor, written by two of the engineers who worked on it. They also discuss how Sony's efforts to create a next-gen system backfired by directly helping Microsoft, one of their main competitors. Quoting: "Sony, Toshiba and IBM committed themselves to spending $400 million over five years to design the Cell, not counting the millions of dollars it would take to build two production facilities for making the chip itself. IBM provided the bulk of the manpower, with the design team headquartered at its Austin, Texas, offices. ... But a funny thing happened along the way: A new 'partner' entered the picture. In late 2002, Microsoft approached IBM about making the chip for Microsoft's rival game console, the (as yet unnamed) Xbox 360. In 2003, IBM's Adam Bennett showed Microsoft specs for the still-in-development Cell core. Microsoft was interested and contracted with IBM for their own chip, to be built around the core that IBM was still building with Sony. All three of the original partners had agreed that IBM would eventually sell the Cell to other clients. But it does not seem to have occurred to Sony that IBM would sell key parts of the Cell before it was complete and to Sony's primary videogame-console competitor. The result was that Sony's R&D money was spent creating a component for Microsoft to use against it."
PC Games (Games)

An In-Depth Look At Game Piracy 504

Posted by Soulskill
from the share-and-share-alike dept.
TweakGuides is running a detailed examination of PC game piracy. The author begins with a look at the legal, moral, and monetary issues behind copyright infringement, and goes on to measure the scale of game piracy and how it affects developers and publishers. He also discusses some of the intended solutions to piracy. He provides examples of copy protection and DRM schemes that have perhaps done more harm than good, as well as less intrusive measures which are enjoying more success. The author criticizes the "culture of piracy" that has developed, saying. "Fast forward to the 21st century, and piracy has apparently somehow become a political struggle, a fight against greedy corporations and evil copy protection, and in some cases, I've even seen some people refer to the rise of piracy as a 'revolution.' What an absolute farce. ... Piracy is the result of human nature: when faced with the option of getting something for free or paying for it, and in the absence of any significant risks, you don't need complex economic studies to show you that most people will opt for the free route."
Security

McCain Campaign Sells Info-Loaded Blackberry PDAs 165

Posted by timothy
from the quickly-unring-that-bell dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A news station in Washington D.C. has reported that the McCain Campaign has allegedly sold to reporters Blackberry handhelds with campaign-related information such as e-mail messages and phone numbers: 'We traced the Blackberry back to a staffer who worked for "Citizens for McCain" ... The emails contain an insider's look at how grassroots operations work, full of scheduling questions and rallying cries for support ... But most of the numbers were private cell phones for campaign leaders, politicians, lobbyists and journalists. "Somebody made a mistake," one owner told us. "People's numbers and addresses were supposed to be erased."'"

Comment: How does it compare with a PC? (Score 1) 46

by sugarman (#25818101) Attached to: Gaming Benchmarks For the New MacBook Pros

15 fps in Crysis? What could you get for a comparably priced (ie $2000+) laptop or desktop PC?

I know the Very High Quality setting in the http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-4870-x2,2073-18.htmlrecent Video Card rundown at Toms Hardware was seeing in excess of 30. So how does the Mac really stack up for gaming?

The Almighty Buck

Fuel Efficiency and Slow Driving? 1114

Posted by timothy
from the practical-interest-here dept.
vile8 writes "With the high gas prices and ongoing gas gouging in my hometown many people are trying to find a reasonable way to save gas. One of the things I've noticed is people driving exceptionally slow, 30mph in 45mph zones, etc. So I had to take a quick look and find out if driving slow is helpful in getting better mileage. I know horsepower increases substantially with wind resistance, but with charts like this one from truckandbarter.com it appears mileage is actually about the same between 27mph and 58mph or so. So I'm curious what all the drivers out there with the cool efficiency computers are getting ... of specific interest would be the hemis with MDS; how do those do with the cylinder shutoff mode at different speeds?" Related: are there any practical hypermiling techniques that you've found for people not ready to purchase a new car, nor give up driving generally?

The Register: Upgrade drags Stealth Bomber IT systems into the 90s->

From feed by registerfeed
Pentium, code written in C - cutting edge stuff

US aerospace heavyweight Northrop Grumman has revealed some details of a planned upgrade to the computing system of the famous B-2 Stealth Bomber, one of the most expensive and unusual aircraft in the world. According to reports, the well-known but seldom seen ghost bomber will be finally moving up to Pentium processors and code written in C. The B-2 will also get a new disk drive.


Link to Original Source
Announcements

+ - New Solar Energy Technology

Submitted by qazsedcft
qazsedcft (911254) writes "The BBC is reporting:

A new way capturing the energy from the Sun could increase the power generated by solar panels tenfold, a team of American scientists has shown. The new technique involves coating glass with a specific mixture of transparent dyes which redirect light to photovoltaic cells in the frame. The technology, outlined in the journal Science, could be used to convert glass buildings into vast energy plants. The technology could be in production within three years, the team said.

"

We have a equal opportunity Calculus class -- it's fully integrated.

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