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Comment: Australian stores are already closed. (Score 1) 443

by the_mind_ (#36810258) Attached to: Borders Books, Dead At 40

The Borders shops in Australia have already closed down in the last few weeks.

I don't know how they lasted for so long. They were 25% more expensive then other book stores, and at least 50% more expensive than online book shops. Not to mention their huge shops in expensive shopping centers. Including American style in-store coffee shop (who wants to walk through a book store to get coffee? stupid people, thats who).

But hey, I got some cheap networking gear, a label printer and some cool comic-style posters for a pathetically low price.

Comment: 30 day antivirus trials (Score 1) 609

by the_mind_ (#35131826) Attached to: An Open Letter To PC Makers: Ditch Bloatware, Now!

Im convinced that the 30-day anti-virus trial software is the one of largest reason so many computers owned by average users get infected.
"But I have anti-virus!" "Technically, yes you do. It expired one and a half year ago. And you have ignored the pop-up notice ever since."

But its not only 3rd party trial software that should go away. My Dell laptop with 7 multimedia button had a tray app that took up 60MB of RAM and 3% of the CPU.
And then there is support clients, "Cool application launchers" and other crap that is branded with Dell logos.

Comment: Why not build new shuttles? (Score 1) 244

by the_mind_ (#35131584) Attached to: Private Space Shuttle Flights

Why does NASA not build new shuttles of the old design? The material and the actual building cost must be only a fraction of the original development cost.
It can't be because of it being an "old outdated design" or "unsafe" as they have been using them all this time. And with the 20 years of lessons and experience gained there must be some minor changes that will improve them.

Yeah sure, a newly designed shuttle/rocket/whatever probably would probably meet today's needs better. But a newly built old space shuttle is still better then nothing at all

And it surely must have been many times cheaper than the Constellation program mess.

Comment: Australia already have a kind of tiered internet.. (Score 1) 138

by the_mind_ (#34753938) Attached to: BT Content Connect May Impact Net Neutrality

A lot of the mobile phone subscription deals and some of the 3G internet-only subscriptions have severe limits but 'unlimited' access to sites like facebook and youtube.
You can also buy additional access to a selection of usual social-media sites for most subscriptions. Look here for some pricing examples.

With our restrictive data limits even on fixed ADSL lines i would not be surprised if we get so see some "unlimited access to facebook" deals in the near future.

Its already bad and it is only going to get worse.

Classic Games (Games)

Pac-Man's Ghost Behavior Algorithms 194

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-hate-the-pink-one dept.
An anonymous reader writes "This article has a very interesting description of the algorithms behind the ghosts in Pac-Man. I had no idea about most of this information, but that's probably because it's difficult to study the ghosts when I die every 30 seconds. Quoting: 'The ghosts are always in one of three possible modes: Chase, Scatter, or Frightened. The "normal" mode with the ghosts pursuing Pac-Man is Chase, and this is the one that they spend most of their time in. While in Chase mode, all of the ghosts use Pac-Man's position as a factor in selecting their target tile, though it is more significant to some ghosts than others. In Scatter mode, each ghost has a fixed target tile, each of which is located just outside a different corner of the maze. This causes the four ghosts to disperse to the corners whenever they are in this mode. Frightened mode is unique because the ghosts do not have a specific target tile while in this mode. Instead, they pseudorandomly decide which turns to make at every intersection.'"
Education

200 Students Admit Cheating After Professor's Online Rant 693

Posted by samzenpus
from the people-get-what-they-deserve dept.
Over 200 University of Central Florida students admitted to cheating on a midterm exam after their professor figured out at least a third of his class had cheated. In a lecture posted on YouTube, Professor Richard Quinn told the students that he had done a statistical analysis of the grades and was using other methods to identify the cheats, but instead of turning the list over to the university authorities he offered the following deal: "I don't want to have to explain to your parents why you didn't graduate, so I went to the Dean and I made a deal. The deal is you can either wait it out and hope that we don't identify you, or you can identify yourself to your lab instructor and you can complete the rest of the course and the grade you get in the course is the grade you earned in the course."
Emulation (Games)

A JavaScript Gameboy Emulator, Detailed In 8 Parts 62

Posted by timothy
from the behind-the-scenes dept.
Two9A writes "JavaScript has shed its image of being a limited language, tied to DOM manipulation in a browser; in recent years, new engines and frameworks have given JS a reputation as a language capable of bigger things. Mix this in with the new elements of HTML5, and you have the capacity to emulate a game console or other system, with full graphical output. This series of articles looks in detail at how an emulator is written in JavaScript, using the example of the Gameboy handheld: starting at the CPU, and (as of part 8) running a copy of Tetris."
Games

EVE Online PVP Tournament Streamed Live 101

Posted by Soulskill
from the enemy's-gate-is-down dept.
infinitevalence writes "Every few months the good Viking programmers of the north organize and present one of the most geeky e-sports out there. Thanks to them, for three weekends in a row we get to watch player-controlled spaceships fight it out for accolades and unique in-game items available only to the first, second, and third place winners. This year CCP has all of the content live online and streaming in HD for your viewing pleasure. So find a drink, whip up some snacks, watch the shiny explosions, and listen to the soothing words of player experts as they walk you through the action!"
PC Games (Games)

What Game Devs Should Learn From EVE 270

Posted by Soulskill
from the watch-out-for-volcanoes dept.
An anonymous reader passes along this excerpt from Gamesradar about EVE Online's Council of Stellar Management (CSM), a group of elected player representatives that serve to facilitate communications between the developers and the community: "On the last day, the devs announced that after the earlier discussions about improving the CSM’s ability to effect change, the CSM was being raised to the status of its own department within CCP. This is revolutionary; in one swift move, the CSM went from what could be considered a glorified focus group to what CCP considers to be a 'stakeholder' in the company, given equal consideration with every other department in requesting development time for a project. That means the CSM — and the entire playerbase it represents — has as much influence on development projects as Marketing, Accounting, Publicity and all the other teams outside of the development team. This is, of course, the stated intention. But has any developer gone to such lengths for its fans?"
Robotics

Lego Robot Solves Bigger and Harder Rubik's Cubes 63

Posted by samzenpus
from the version-2.0 dept.
kkleiner writes "It was only two months ago that we saw Mike Dobson's Cube Stormer Lego robot that could solve any 3x3 Rubik's cube in less than 12 seconds. You would think that there was only one person in the world crazy enough and talented enough to pull this off, but now we have found someone else that is just as amazing. The latest Rubik's cube-solving Lego monstrosity is called the MultiCuber, and although it's constructed out of nothing but Mindstorms components and a laptop, it can solve 2×2, 3×3, 4×4, and 5×5 cubes all in the same build! As if that weren't enough, a larger version solves the dreaded 6×6 Rubik's. We discovered the MultiCuber when its creator, David Gilday (IAssemble), wrote us an email to brag about its puzzle-solving might. Consider us impressed, sir."

Comment: Quick review... (Score 5, Insightful) 106

by the_mind_ (#31919798) Attached to: EA Launches <em>Ultima</em>-Based Browser Game

I have been playing this game for a few weeks now since the closed beta.

I can safely say that the game at this stage is no where near release ready.
Its definitely forced out of beta by some bean counter.

Heaps of bugs, even more then your average EA game.
No trading system. You can send resources but you have to trust the other party to send back what he promised. And you can't trade gold at all.
Graphical glitches galore.
Buttons to buy "power items" with real money everywhere.
The artificial restraints put in place to encourage you to buy power-ups are way to strict.
The ranking system only takes the amount of buildings you have into account. Nothing about army size.
Poor graphics that are not much better then place holders.

Having said all that, the game is still quite fun to play if you are in to this sort of game.
After you have your cities set up, a 15min gaming session twice a day is enough to keep playing.
So its perfect game to play on your lunch break.

If you want to play, don't make the mistake of building a castle in your first city.
You will get ripped apart by a large army within a day if you do.

God may be subtle, but he isn't plain mean. -- Albert Einstein

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