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Quickies

Quickies 2:Electric Bugaloo 168

Let's start this off with jsewell's truly amazing story about the rocket car urban legend from the man who claims to have invented it. Did you do your homework last week? Remember that Slashdot was nominated for a Webby in Community so go do their little login dance and vote for us if you think that our First Posts, Oog, Trolls and 'God Slashdot Really Sucks These Days' messages are cool. Maybe we'll even fly CowboyNeal out to give an acceptance speech if we win ;) Glowing Spleen sent us an optical illusion that really bugs me. I had to check if it wasn't an animated GIF. A few for the do it yourselfers: Slash T.M.F.D.W. sent us a real mech and Ryan J. Evans sent in the worlds largest playable tetris. If you don't actually want to build something, but want to play anyway, try SodaPlay and you can mess with these crazy animated 2D springy models. Its surprisingly addictive. After all that building, you might need Jeremy's Microbatch Ice Cream (thanks alangmead) and its "Wired" flavor, a caffinated vanilla ice cream. Between that and the Triple Espresso flavor. Wonder what happens if you keep it in this Bio-Plastic Wrap that detects contaminated food (sent in by Accipiter) You can't use plastic wrap to preserve human heads, but ChunkyGoodness noted that Chet Fleming has US Patent number 4666425 for keeping them alive. Dugh Daren sent us a hilarious essay from Space.com on Star War's most annoying characters that I found extremely funny. brunning pointed us to perhaps the most pressing bug in all of Microsoft's software. kwsNI pointed us to an extremely disturbing article about Pandas on Viagra in China. Blake sent in a filter based on "Being John Malkovitch." Read Slashdot in Malkovitch Mode. And finally, we need a stupid lawsuit: east_bay_pete told us about a commercial that featured a cockroach scampering over the screen ... people are suing because they keep breaking TVs trying to kill the CGI Roach!
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Quickies 2:Electric Bugaloo

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Well, if you look at the parent directory [wagoneers.com] of the Rocket Car story, you will find the same Hotmail account as was mentioned in the cDc version. Since the Wagoneers version has a working link to the after.html page that the cDc was missing, I would guess that Cardhouse has the definitive version. Whether the story is true or not, I cannot say and will not guess.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Sure, they figured it out a long time ago: http://server.esc.cquest.utoronto.ca/psych/psy280f /ch3/hg/hg.html and here: http://lily.ee.yeungnam.ac.kr/~spbae/fun/hermann1. htm
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Hmm, doesnt this mean that at some point, Jar Jar the Jedi will die a gruesome and horrible death?

    After all, in the end, there are only two left.

    "Kill him, Obi Wan Kenobi, he's our bad joke."

  • by Anonymous Coward
    And I remember that it cost a boatload of money to fix it, like say (in Dr. Evil voice) one MILLLLION dollars...

    Actually, I don't remember the exact cost, but CGI rendering was MUCH more expensive back then.

    Why not just play the tape backwards?

  • I am afraid it make too much sense from a Campbellian analysis. The fool, or the Sacred Fool, is a powerfull archetype in mythology. We see this with the Tarot Deck, which starts with 0,The Fool. The Major Arcana is considered to be a path, and the common representation of The Fool is of a simple youth carrying his belongings on a stick, being distracted by a dog's barking, and about to take a step into the Abyss.

    Jar-Jar is too much of the "simple youth" to be anything but The Fool of Episode I. And if he continues the journey, he will become one with the Universe...a Jedi.

    ttyl
    Farrell

  • Wow, some people just can't take a joke.

    There was an X-Files episode where they had a bug crawl across the screen, I thought it was very well-done.

    And who breaks a TV trying to swat a bug? Or sues over it?

    I wish I could say "I'm a moron, give me money!" and have it work. Especially since I need the money for college... ;)

    ...and they say *we* can't figure out what reality is...
    ---
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [152.7.41.11].
  • Restaurants banning cell phones:

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/ news/archive/2000/04/17/state0018EDT0234.D TL

    EDA tools finally ported to Linux after 3 years of user protests:

    http://www.eet.com/story/OEG20000417S0090

    Then again you could just read about electronic valves for diesel engines on slashdot.
  • I have a confession to make: I liked Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo. Granted, I was something like 7 at the time, but even so. Apparently, it's not a very popular movie anymore (or then it would seem)...but damn the dancing was cool.
  • by mwarps ( 2650 ) on Monday April 17, 2000 @02:03PM (#1126947) Journal
    OK, sorry to burst your bubbles here, but this is a few years old, and this guy seems to have ripped it from the cDc (Cult of the Dead Cow) now, personally, I think the cDc should get credit for this story, since they are the original 'posters' of this pile of flaming boo-hah. (did I say that?) But I digress.. anyway.. Here's the ORIGINAL text/html http://www.cultdeadcow.com/cDc_files/ cDc-363/ [cultdeadcow.com] Rock on cDc and all you dead cow lovers out there!
    !ooM moo, mo-fuckah Moo!
  • Now at some level, I consider myself a "save the almost extinct animals" naturalist, and it is outstanding to see that perhaps science has come up with an innovative way of helping animals nearing extinction.

    But I really have to wonder about the Panda. They may be cute and all, but if mother nature really wanted (a lot of) them around, why did she give them such a mindlessly defective reproductive system? (Males produce sperm only part of the year, some males are infertile, and many times they don't know how to mate even when they are producing sperm.) It makes the typical /.'ers sex life look positively productive in comparison.
  • Ok, this is my first rant ever towards the site. Do the posters even check what each other is doing or are they just goofing around all day? C'mon.. this site USED to have at least 70% interest catch, now I only read about one or two articles a day.

    It was one thing when someone other than CmdrTaco was double posting something, but now he's doing it too which means he doesn't even pay attention to his site!

    Moderators: go ahead and troll/offtopic/etc this; you're just violating the rule that you shouldn't decrement a score if you don't agree with the message content

    --

  • hahahaha.. Go gcreime dlíodóir báúil do chuid fo-éadaigh. "May a sympathetic lawyer gnaw at your underwear" :)
  • That Microsoft support issue was just hilarious. How many Microsoft engineers does it take to recognize the world is turning the wrong way...

    Also, those Pandas have it made. What I wouldn't give to have scientists bring mates to me, establishing a "panda dating service" as the article put it.

  • but the entire POINT of the post i'm complaining about was to complain about moderators not thinking and applying "offtopic" to a post that should have been either "troll", "overrated" or not moderated at all.. and the post itself gets hit by a moderator who doesn't think and applies "insightful" where it should have been either "interesting", "underrated" or not moderated at all..


    So the post I'm responding to [slashdot.org] should be marked as Funny, isn't it? but it is +3 insightful. Or am I the only one that finds self-reference funny?
    What about the moderation of this very post?
    __
  • The blood (or a fraction or portion thereof) may be circulated through the body of a second lab animal (or possibly a brain-dead human). This can be accomplished by injecting the blood into a vein of the animal and collecting it from an artery. The intact body will process the blood through its liver and kidndys, and will remove various metabolites and add various nutrients and other molecules.

    Cute.

    Other than that wonderful thought, am I the only one who doesn't see this as an invention? What about prior art? I mean sheesh this was filed in 1987!

    dv
  • I can't belive you posted that silly black dot optical illusion. I am scarred for life! I can't look anywhere around my room without seeing black, no white, no they're black, white, argh!! The dots are all over! GO AWAY!!!!
  • They're going to change it so that the entire universe rotates around Bill Gates...

  • I haven't seen much of the site yet, since it's /.'ed all to hell, but if the designers haven't given their working model a name yet, I propose "Alphonse". Patlabor fans will understand why.
  • Unfortunately it must be true, as no one could have made that up. Of course Jar Jar being a Jedi goes a long way towards explaining why Vader went over to the Dark Side. :-)
  • As I have explained on more than one occasion in other threads, it's self deprecating humor, the idea being that I never get moderated up and don't have enough karma for the bonus point that would give me a default score of 2, so that I'm stuck down at a level that I'm "too good" to browse at. Sort of a snob's comeuppance. Some here are amused by it, some aren't. Some of the other sigs I see around here I find amusing, some I don't, but I haven't seen any worth losing sleep over.
    Expecting all of the sigs on Slashdot to be the literal truth is asking a bit much, I fear.
    I actually browse at -1, always have, although nowadays there are a lot fewer pearls down there and a lot more swine droppings.
  • I suggest that you ...immediately...find something to worry about that's worth worrying about. The world is full of *real* problems that you could be directing your passion and energy towards.

    If I were going to change my sig, it would probably be to something like "I can spell just fine, thank you, it's my fingers that have a problem".

  • I see that you made sure to include the complete list of your credentials to pass judgement.
  • Well, you're obviously an expert on the topic of how to waste space.
  • Yes it's the Irish-language curse engine (An tInneal Mallachtaí)!

    "Drop-down lists of prospective subjects, verbs and objects in English allow one to concoct novel Irish curses from a three-part menu."

    Jefferson City, Missouri's Lincoln University offers this amusing little interactive time sponge here [lincolnu.edu] and The Register explains it here [theregister.co.uk].

  • hey the car in the cliff website is an almost-exact duplicate of an old cDc file [cultdeadcow.com]

    so is the website a fraud or what?

    unc_

  • by Booker ( 6173 ) on Monday April 17, 2000 @02:25PM (#1126964) Homepage
    It works ok in Australia - there are similar devices which also illustrate this effect. :)

    ---

  • "With this device in her posession a woman may feel secure that if employed a man becoming intimate with her shall not recieve pleasure from the experience."

    And another...

    "The penis may enter the device without great resistance and will activate the blade only upon the attempt of the man to withdraw the penis from the device."

    Now, am I the only one who thinks that this was designed by a sadist, with the attempt to separate a man from his penis, rather than prevent the penis from entering the woman? Remember now, the penis will not be cut into little pieces until it attempts to leave the... uhh... device.

    *Shivers* Now I'm gonna have nightmares...

    --

  • Both examples you used use the same meaning of the word. I think what your teacher was trying to say is that the word is pronounced for-tay when it used as a music term, which in this case means "loudly."

    If you check [dictionary.com] Dictionary.com, you'll see that your teacher was partially right. The non-musical term allows both (three, actually) pronunciations, while the musical term allows only one.

    On a side note, isn't this why the Internet was created in the second place (the first priority was the nuclear strike recovery)? So that one doesn't have to guess, but can look up any information in half a minute?

    --

  • The disturbing part about the reaction to the Orkin commercial (I.E., the idiots who are throwing things through their TVs) is this:

    That roach is on the screen for about 3 seconds before the Orkin man appears.

    It's during those 3 seconds that people are getting it through their heads that they need to throw something through the TV, finding something, and throwing it through the TV.

    What the hell is wrong with people?
  • Actually the site is just hosted by IBM o let you search through patents. If you look at who it was assigned to you will see that it was not assigned to IBM.

    Oh. That is messed up by the way.
  • ow...help...please if there is a god help me... I set the optical illusion to my wallpaper... now it hurts to much to look at it to change it back... ow my eyes, ow my poor poor eyes...

    ---

  • Part of me wants to let the pandas die out, since they seem to be so god damned stupid. You'd think that if there was one thing an animal could do well, it would be reproducing. But they're too cute to let them be kicked out of the gene pool.

    The obvious answer is to introduce a bottle of tequila to the situation. It has always worked wonders for when I want to exercise my evolutionary perogatives. Of course misapplication of said tequila could result in the researchers getting laid.
  • You mean, Bronsnan?

    Let he who is without sin cast the first stone...
  • by cswiii ( 11061 ) on Monday April 17, 2000 @01:09PM (#1126972)
    Here's another place, probably faster, where you can find the, err... "roach clip [adcritic.com]".
  • It took a number of readings of this to pick out what I believe is a single, fatal technical flaw:

    First the author writes:

    Attaching the cut-away rail car bases to the Chevy frame was pretty easy too. Jimmy stressed the importance of getting the two sets of wheels precisely aligned, but it wasn't that hard. The old Chevy frame had plenty of places for bolts and welds, so picking spots where the wheels would line up was a snap. And since the Impala was already up on blocks, it was no problem to slide the wheel frames underneath and lift them into place with a floor jack, then weld away.

    Ok ... so the railroad car wheel assemblies are welded directly to the auto frame, not to the auto axle assemblies. Now here's where he describes how the brakes were attached to the rocket car:

    Beck's idea was simple, elegant, and easy to put into practice. I'd install the air shocks on the Rocket Car normally, just as if the car would be riding on pavement instead of rails. But I'd also bolt a pair of wooden beams onto the belly of the car, runners that were placed exactly between the front and rear train wheels. Each runner would be thick enough to reach almost all the way down to the tracks, and the bottom would be covered with rubber cut from old tires.

    Look at figures two and three. See the problem? The figure shows the car body moving up and down relative to the railroad car wheel assemblies, yet earlier he said that the wheel assemblies were welded to the frame, so they shouldn't have been able to move up and down at all.

    Other then that, a masterful telling of the rocket car story!
  • For a tileable version of the dot image, grab these:

    http://www.academus.net/dotty.gif [academus.net]
    or
    http://www.academus.net/dotty.png [academus.net]

    Mycroft-X
  • Hmmm... does this mean that we can expect lawsuits again Futurama?

  • It's due to your brain adapting to the movement, and then an "after-image" of sorts. It's similar to looking at green, and seeing a red afterimage. Opponent processes going on in your head.

    The 'lateral inhibition' you mentioned is due to the center surround component of vision. Think of it as a bulls-eye. The center generates a positive signal when stimulated, but gets damped when the surrounding area is stimulated. It's good for edge detection and things.

    It all falls under 'perception' which falls under cognitive science. I'm taking a class right now called "Perception and the Mind." It's intro stuff, but we've talked about all this stuff. It's kinda neat.

  • Slight physics problem with the earth rotation theory (I know I know it was a cartoon and I am being pedantic.)

    The earth would have to be rotating 17 times faster than it is now to have enough momentum to overcome gravity when it suddenly stopped rotating.

    Never mind the HUGE impact it would have on the core/plates/oceans etc.

    Also, the earth would get EXTREMELY hot due to the conservation of energy. (Carl Sagan notes in "Broca's Brain" that the Earth would reach amazing tempuratures if it suddenly stopped, and in fact, if it slowed over a period of 24 hours it would release enough energy to make the oceans BOIL!!)

    There, how is that for a bizzare quickie response?
    :)

  • they ask if Anakin is supposedly "the one who will bring balance to The Force". If Anakin (as we already know) is destined to become the focal point of the Dark Side, we would need an equally powerful counterpart on the Light Side - in order to have balance. Perhaps it is JarJar who will bring this balance to The Force...

  • It's similar to the Hermann's grid illusion...

    I think so too. My guess is that the Hermann's grid effect is enhanced by the presence of edges surrounding the spots that appear darker. It is well known that edges affect how we perceive shades of grey, see for instance this one [illusionworks.com] for an example of what can happen if the edges aren't there.

    I have to check out that article in Vision Research. Anyway, thanks for the links.

  • i just went to your page..
    i never realized the Malkovich script was based on the same code as the Shodouka project.

    so just a quick note here to tell you how completely and amazingly cool shodouka was/is.. :) Even cooler than the Malkovich script. :) It's amazing the thing works. I don't now and never have spoken japaneese (unfortunately) but still, back in 1996, when i was in the eighth grade, shodouka was the coolest thing i had ever seen. :) Seriously, being able to go to anime pages in japaneese and actually see them the way they were MEANT to be seen completely rocked my world. Even if it was a little slow. -_-

    i humbly bow down before your magnificence, oh great and mighty Ping. :)
  • remember that first April Fools post that was just in dumb gibberish?

    well, i replied to it with a post that had been run through the Malkovich script.

    I got moderated down as "offtopic".

    I wanted to scream out, HOW CAN IT BE MORE ON-TOPIC THAN THAT?? WHAT COULD POSSIBLY BE MORE ONTOPIC TO A GIBBERISH STORY THAN A GIBBERISH POST?? .. but i figured what i did was sophomoric enough that i deserved to be moderated down, even if not as "offtopic".

    so now somehow i feel bitter that had at the time i simply submitted the malkovichizer as a story, i could have gotten the satisfaction of having a quickie printed instead of a karma loss.. but i assumed it had already been posted. (i saw it mentioned in the astralwerks [astralwerks.com] newslwetter..)
    Oh well. I'm probably totally unjustified.. :) Anyway i'm just glad the Malkovichizer got quickied. And i'm REALLY glad the Constructor applet got quickied. I found that last week and it's the coolest thing i've ever seen.. :)
  • > They know exactly what the problem is and the software solution would be, clearly, to make the earth image rotate the other way. But, it seems to me that they are looking for "other options"

    "other options".. hmm...
    We can only hope that in their "research" they don't come across that old Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episode where the evil businessmen attempted to take over the world by making the rotation of the earth stop, thus causing all people on earth to fling off into space due to inertia. The businessmen, who had built an underground shelter so they could survive the massive inertial holocaust, would then come out and, being the only people left on planet earth, would be able to enjoy all of its natural resources all to themselves. The episode contained not only this startling idea, but also the same degree detailed scientific explanation of how such a scheme would be implemented that all Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episodes contained. What if it were to occur to the Microsoft executives that they could carry out such a plan?

    (I'm also pretty sure there was an episode of Rescue Rangers with a similar plotline, and possibly one [jeopardy?] of Pinkie and the Brain, but i don't remember for certain.)

    All i know for certain is, we must take all measures possible to ensure this Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episode, this recipe for destruction, does not fall into the hands of Microsoft. If it does, then the only hope for planet earth may be.. Jackie Chan.

    -mcc-baka
    --- WWJD ---
    (What Would Jackie Chan Do?)
  • by mcc ( 14761 ) <amcclure@purdue.edu> on Monday April 17, 2000 @05:13PM (#1126983) Homepage
    OK.. i realize complaining about my own post being moderated UP is a little odd, but good LORD!

    Where do you get off, moderating my post as "insightful"?? how could you POSSIBLY call that "insightful"?? there isn't one single bit of insight in the damn post! it's just a minor, somewhat interesting anecdote. I have no problem with it being moderated up-- i probably wouldn't have moderated it past score:1 myself had i been the one with the mod access, which is why i didn't put on the score:+1 bonus-- but if you're going to moderate, use ACCURATE moderation!! Don't just assume that because you're pushing the points in the right direction your job is done! The words are there for a _reason_, and "informative", "insightful" and "interesting" are NOT the same thing!!
    Moderators just mark everything as "insightful" no matter what it is, and it's starting to irritate me rather heavily. If people aren't going to distinguish between "insightful", "interesting" and "informative" when moderating, then cdmrtaco should just replace them with one single tag instead of three! Or at LEAST add some kind of lesser metamod penalty for "fair in that this should have been modded up, but not as insightful" or "fair in that this should have been modded down, but not as offtopic".. (since NOBODY is ever going to metamod misapplied "insightful" ratings if it's a good post)

    and i wouldn't really mind normally.. but the entire POINT of the post i'm complaining about was to complain about moderators not thinking and applying "offtopic" to a post that should have been either "troll", "overrated" or not moderated at all.. and the post itself gets hit by a moderator who doesn't think and applies "insightful" where it should have been either "interesting", "underrated" or not moderated at all..

    what is going ON here??
    is there no escape from the misapplied moderation?
    ok, bitch-time is over. you can all go back to your homes now there's nothing more to see.

  • Yeah, it would have been nice if "Malkovich" was spelled right in the story, but that's okay.

    I'm just proud that my site got Slashdotted -- on a mediator no less! -- and it didn't go down. Say, anybody want the code? :)


    --?!ng

  • First person to find out how the HMS Beagle got its name wins a cookie!

    (if you think this post is offtopic, please move on and don't flaunt your ignorance)

    --
    grappler
  • That rocket car story is just a hoax, meant to bring about FUD concerning the true rocket car which was recovered in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947 and is now housed in hangar 18.
  • by Bowie J. Poag ( 16898 ) on Monday April 17, 2000 @02:11PM (#1126987) Homepage

    Just incase you thought the severed-head patent was weird, have a look at this:

    IBM's "Penis Locking And Lacerating Vaginal Insert" [ibm.com] Patent.

    Yes, IBM. :) Meant as an "anti-rape" device for women, this little gem will clamp down on a rapist's dick and shred it to pieces. Better have a strong stomach before you view this document --- its basically a dick blender. Leave it to IBM to come up with it, eh? ;) Makes you wonder who road-tested it...heheheheh



    Bowie J. Poag
    Project Founder, PROPAGANDA For Linux (http://metalab.unc.edu/propaganda [unc.edu])
  • Was it just me, or was that bit (from Being John Malkovich) only the most bizarre scene in movie history??

    (Awesome movie, btw, though the ending kinda sucked)
  • ..how long do they plan to research the direction of the Earth's rotation? Are they going to release a Hotfix which will cause it to rotate around a random axis, or more likely not rotate at all? Will they later release a service pack fixing these issues and breaking Lotus Globe Pro(tm)?
  • by Pope ( 17780 ) on Monday April 17, 2000 @02:42PM (#1126990)
    IIRC, back in the early-mid 80s, NBC's spinning globe graphic for their news intro also spun the "wrong" way. Many people complained bitterly; it was later explained that the art director wanted it to look like the earth as seen from the Space Shuttle.

    Microsoft has not copped to the same plea.

    Pope
  • It seems to be a rather exhaustive fraud, to me. Notice he spends much time discussing why everyone talks about the particular location the "fake" story happened, and never once mentions where it "really" happened. Near a Major Army installation is hardly specific...

  • by turg ( 19864 ) <(turg) (at) (winston.org)> on Monday April 17, 2000 @02:23PM (#1126992) Journal
    Keelor wrote:
    That's odd... I guess Microsoft is willing to admit that Expedia has the Earth rotating the wrong way. I would figured that they would have just lobbied Congress to develop a nuke large enough to make the Earth spin the "correct" direction.
    Um. You are reading too much into this -- they aren't admitting anything.

    Look at the headline:Explorapedia Nature: Earth Rotates in Wrong Direction Now, you could take this either way, but if you had to choose one or the other, I'd say "Earth Rotates the Wrong Directon" sounds more like they're blaming the actual planet, not the software.

    The "Summary" is the same: When you run Explorapedia and use the Exploratron to look at the Earth spinning, the Earth rotates in the wrong direction. Again, they aren't definitively saying that it's the Earth on your computer screen that's incorrect.

    Next, is the "Status" of the problem. Here's where it gets scary: Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in Explorapedia, World of Nature, version 1.0. We are researching this problem and will post new information here in the Microsoft Knowledge Base as it becomes available. They are "researching" the problem? They know exactly what the problem is and the software solution would be, clearly, to make the earth image rotate the other way. But, it seems to me that they are looking for "other options"

    ========

  • But I really have to wonder about the Panda. They may be cute and all, but if mother nature really wanted (a lot of) them around, why did she give them such a mindlessly defective reproductive system?

    Well, given their environment, it may make sense. They developed in fairly remote areas of China, and probably had few natural predators. Furthermore, their diet (mostly bamboo, which is low in nutrients, and relatively slow to replace compared to other vegetation) could not support a high profundity, which would probably have led to overgrazing and starvation. They evolved to maintain a reasonably low population through slow reproduction (since predation wasn't helping).

    Now, with human encroachment and loss of habitat, their reproductive habits have become a liability (only offset by their "cuteness", which now helps the species to remain viable)
  • And I remember that it cost a boatload of money to fix it, like say (in Dr. Evil voice) one MILLLLION dollars...

    Actually, I don't remember the exact cost, but CGI rendering was MUCH more expensive back then.
  • Because it had logo that whooshed into frame over the spinning Earth. This would have been all wrong.
  • by DragonHawk ( 21256 ) on Monday April 17, 2000 @03:13PM (#1126996) Homepage Journal
    Well, maybe not intentional Larry Niven references, but they are there!

    Larry made the same error Microsoft did! (The first edition of Ringworld had the Earth spinning the wrong way. Later versions corrected it. The originals are worth money now.)

    And now we find out that Jar Jar Binks is really Teela Brown!

    It's a conspiracy, I tell you!

    (Either that, or I'm waaaaaayyyy too tired.)
  • Clockwise from memory :)

    I always open my personal CD player to stop it (rather than pressing stop), so I get to see the CD spin down.

  • by delmoi ( 26744 )
    I am a moron, People should really be able to delete there posts if they make a mistake before anyone posts a reply...
  • I friggin LOVE quickies!

    You all are awesome - keep it up.

    Kill an Ewok for Jesus.

    Um... poo.
  • Microsoft apparently got "Netscape engineers are weenies!" backwards as well...
  • March 2, 2000
    - Got a Software Engineer for the control mechanism (Silent Partner, for now).
    - The control mechanism will officially be ran under the Linux Operating System.
    - I hear rumors we got submitted to www.slashdot.org.
    - Looks like there will be a formal meeting, at Earle's house, at 21:00 hours tonight.
    - I'll get a digital camera tonight, I swear! Pictures by Friday night.

    I cant believe no one mentioned that they've chosen Linux as the official OS of the Mecha. I can picture the adds now:

    Is your operating system opressing you? (Tank with MS logo rolls onto screen and point barrel at camera)
    Switch to the free OS that packs a wallop (Mecha foot comes down on turret and squishes tank flat. Pan up to the meriad of Linux vendor logos on the side of the mech ala a stock car. Pan up to the CGI penguin in a combat helmet who gives the camera a thumbs up.)

  • Yeah, the site provider CQhost.com (don't ever go there) is providing really bad service in our time of need :o) It should be back up tomorrow (hopefully). Again, the link is roa ch article [primalchaosonline.com] Hope you comeback to visit us. Thanx L8r
  • You must not have read the follow up: They defined the rotation correct for MS Earth (tm). The planet just isn't in spec yet.
  • by Restil ( 31903 )
    Damn. Nice idea. I want to build one now too. :)
    25' tall is gonna be a bit difficult to handle. I can see one of these things running down the freeway at 120 mph, but it wouldn't be able to clear the bridges.

    Still, I'd love to see the cops trying to call that one in. :)

    A full scale, operational model of ED209 would be nice to have sitting in my front yard tho.

    -Restil
  • Microsoft tech support currently have a call in to Superman, based on his previous expertise in reversing the direction of rotation of the Earth.
  • Explorapedia Nature: Earth Rotates in Wrong Direction

    The information in this article applies to:
    Microsoft Explorapedia series: World of Nature for Windows, version 1.0

    SUMMARY

    When you run Explorapedia and use the Exploratron to look at the Earth spinning, the Earth rotates in the wrong direction.

    STATUS

    Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem with the Earth 1.0. Further research indicates that the Earth is round. We are researching this problem and will post new information here in the Microsoft Knowledge Base as it becomes available.

    Keywords : kbhowto mskids kids series explore turn turns spin spins bug error revolves revolving
    Version : EARTH:1.0
    Platform : SOLAR SYSTEM

    ---

  • If this was a fraud, this is the most detailed
    version of the story I have ever heard. Almost believeable.. I say Bravo.. Long live the rocket car!

    Malice95
  • It's up here in Boston too; I get it at Stop & Shop.

    Chris
    (jonesing for some Tiramisu. Or Cinnamon Bun, quite probably the BEST ice cream flavor ever made)
  • I know others have stated it, but...

    This is a "self-referential" UL - that is, an urban legend being refuted with... tada! ...another urban legend.

    Most urban legends don't give specific names, or dates, or places. Most tend to be short.

    This particular one happens to be very long, but sadly, it is still an urban legend. However, it does make an interesting story - it is well written (not the best prose on the planet, but a good yarn!), and keeps you reading and laughing all the way through. The proof of it being an urban legend is the lack of important details (like names, for instance - of places for one).

    I have to say, someone had a lot of time on his hands!
  • I am shaking my head sadly...

    While interesting that someone (or a group) is actually thinking about doing this, I tend to wonder if they have looked into any prior art...

    The closest any group has come to creating a mecha (aside from the GE Hardiman suit), has been the Ohio State University Walking Truck (I don't think they called it that, but that is what it looked like). The system had multiple legs (six), and a computer controlled adaptive walking gait system, with sensors on the legs and feet. The "driver" sat up front in a "cab". The whole thing was run by a small engine driving a generator and hydraulic pump.

    The only other device I know of that is like a mech is the Robosaurus.

    In both cases (ok, all three if you count the Hardiman), the cost to build the systems was immense. In the end (well, with the exception of Robosaurus), all were "scrapped". Nothing more ever came out of them.

    MPS thinks that somehow they will create a walking mech, that is able to balance properly and be drivable - and do it out of a garage? Don't get me wrong - I wish these guys luck, but unless some of them worked with SRL at one point in their lives, I don't think it is going to happen. I would be impressed if they were able to build a functioning LEGO version (building prototype leg devices don't count - and yes, I know people have created bipedal walking LEGO machines).

    If they could build a bipedal LEGO machine that walked in a figure-8, I would believe they stand a chance in hell of building a full size device. But doing so would mean that they have (in a garage, no less), beat out the likes of GE, Honda, OSU, and DOD - who have near unlimited resources, and developed a drivable, bipedal walking machine.

    I know that it only took one college student to kick off the whole Linux thing - but this is a totally different matter - one that encompasses everything from robotics to AI to engineering to materials science (that steel better be damn strong for the forces it will encounter!), through a number of other disciplines.

    Hey guys! Prove me wrong - one last thing, I was born and raised in Bako, so I would be damn proud to see the first true mech walk outta there...
  • Of course, if you'd read on how adcritic gets it's commercials you'd relieze it's not "illegal content", but something that is set up by the advertising companies themselves.
  • Maybe perhaps because I don't do drugs........
  • Considering that his date postdates the first time I heard the Urban Legend version by three years...Yes I'd say that it is a fraud.

    But very entertaining...

  • Creepy - I'm learning Czech right now and some of the words had the same look and sound to them...

    Cyano
  • I don't get the Malkovichizer. Perhaps it was slashdotted or something, but all the pages I saw had almost all the text replaced by the word "Malkovish". <<woo>>

  • Thanks for the mirror! My isp wouldn't let me load the microsoft site. Something about obscene content...
  • There are so many fun ideas you can come up with when doing a crossover story -- what if <foo> used a plot involving the Teela Brown gene?

    Anyhow, the big difference between Jar-Jar and Teela (and between Jar-Jar and <any other major character anywhere>) is that Teela (and Luke and Obi-Wan) eventually grows into a mature person. They all realize that they can be something better.

    As a minor supporting role, Jar-Jar hasn't exhibited any of this character growth; he just gets clumsier and clumsier. It'll be interesting to see what happens to him in Ep 2. (Hopefully the Teela Brown gene fails miserably and the little fscker gets pasted, but that's just my opinion.)

    P.S.- Yeah, the first edition Ringworld mistake was hilarious. I met Niven once; he tells great stories about his early days. I'd love to get my hands on a first edition Ringworld.
  • Yes, and that made it a great movie.

    When I saw being john Malkovich on the resturaunt scene, I was immedeately reminded of good 'ol Slashdot, but with every word being "Malkovich", and everyone resembling RMS, including the lonuge singer.
  • ANyone have a mirror for the mech site? I can't download any of the pictures. It just hangs until infiniy
  • hilarious essay from Space.com on Star War's most annoying characters that I found extremely funny

    I am sorry to have to jump to Jar-Jar's defense, but whether this article was meant to be 'hilarious' or not, anyone familiar with Joseph Campbell (or who has taken any literature analysis/appreciation courses) would have to think twice about the Gungan's role in the epic after reading this. As annoying as he was, he very well could turn out to be one of the most important characters. While I wouldn't go so far as the author did in comparing him to Luke Skywalker, I think there is definitely some real purpose besides comic relief in Jar-Jar.

    IMO, the Ewoks were much more annoying as characters...but ended up being more marketable. Why? It's the fur. ;-)


    The Divine Creatrix in a Mortal Shell that stays Crunchy in Milk
  • No, it can't be true! It can't. It makes a horrible kind of sense though. Jar Jar should have died 12 times over in that movie. Even the weaker characters from 4-6 evolved.

    Wuse the fawce, Wuke! Wet go uf war feewings... Twust me....
  • by yiegie ( 59764 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2000 @12:16AM (#1127022)
    It's during those 3 seconds that people are getting it through their heads that they need to throw something through the TV, finding something, and throwing it through the TV.

    What the hell is wrong with people?
    It is not as implausible as it sounds. Let's take the average tv-zapper as an example:

    0:00.00 - Cockroach appears
    0:00.02 - Eyes register creepy movement
    0:01.00 - Brain registers creepy movement, inference engine is started
    1:30.00 - Conclusion is reached: "A Cockroach!!"
    1:30.05 - Automatical defense system is started: "Let's kill it!"
    1:30.37 - Brains register object in right hand
    1:30.40 - Arm slings remote control to screen
    1:30.85 - TV explodes
    1:30.90 - Eyes register exploding thingy
    1:31.40 - Brains register explosion, inference engine is started
    3:00.00 - Conclusion reached: "I just killed my TV! They made me do it!"
    3:00.02 - Search for solution starts - depth first
    3:00.05 - Conclustion reached: "Let's sue them!"

    As you can see, they need less than two minutes to break their TV. Thanks to the high-availability of solution-data, they only need 0.03 seconds to decide to sue. Experimental data is still gathered to determine how long it takes them before they find out whom to sue.

    I think we need more research and then come up with a new set of guidelines, or maybe a law, like the MAOCTVA (The "Maximum amount of creepy thingy visibility act"), to prevent thses kind of things from happening in the future. After all, it's the governments duty to protect US citizens as much as possible.

    YDD


  • I would figured that they would have just lobbied Congress to develop a nuke large enough to make the Earth spin the "correct" direction.

    Of course. Thats what they mean by "We are researching this problem and will post new information here in the Microsoft Knowledge Base as it becomes available."

    ======
    "Rex unto my cleeb, and thou shalt have everlasting blort." - Zorp 3:16

  • by ToLu the Happy Furby ( 63586 ) on Monday April 17, 2000 @02:21PM (#1127025)
    It's not IBM's patent. IBM just hosts a searchable database which lists all US patents, including that one.


  • It only hurts when the man pulls out and it doesn't even slash off the shlong, it just painfully hooks into it. At this point I'm sure any successful rapist would do his best to beat the crap out of the woman, he's got nowhere to go at this point and is very, very much in pain and angry. Not to mention if you didn't get VD from him yet, you got it now.

    What purpose does it serve to hook a rapist's shlong like a fish? Now that they're stuck together which one negotiates how they're going to get over to the phone to call the police. Or maybe she decides this one is too small and throws it back.
  • Only problem with this story, whether cDc originated it
    or not, is that I first heard it in 1966. The beginning
    of this little number has not been traced yet, folks...
  • Anyone figure out yet? :)

  • Dang it. The link got /.'ed. Does anyone have the page of it? I remember seeing a roach on an old project screen in sixth grade. All the kids were grossing out from the roach feelers and legs. Hehe. It was HUGE too!

  • In other news, MS has also confessed to the MicroBerto Reporting Service that Windows NT revolves the wrong way as well.

    "The operating system is known to only install properly off of CD-ROMs that rotate counter-clockwise. All other installs end up with an insecure system that crashes if turned on."

    Mike Roberto (roberto@soul.apk.net [mailto]) - AOL IM: MicroBerto

  • That's odd... I guess Microsoft is willing to admit [microsoft.com] that Expedia has the Earth rotating the wrong way. I would figured that they would have just lobbied Congress to develop a nuke large enough to make the Earth spin the "correct" direction.

    ~=Keelor

  • by Keelor ( 95571 ) on Monday April 17, 2000 @01:02PM (#1127046)
    Interesting--the largest Tetris ever posted yesterday [slashdot.org] must have already been defeated by the one covered in today's quickies.

    :p

    ~=Keelor

  • by Keelor ( 95571 ) on Monday April 17, 2000 @01:10PM (#1127047)
    When I read the article on pandas taking Viagra [discovery.com] I could help but notice the following paragraph.
    The male panda can only mate for 10 to 20 seconds at a time, and hence the chances of getting the female pregnant are very low. With Viagra, the male could mate for up to 20 minutes.
    Despite looking throughout the entire article, I failed to see the typical disclaimer.

    * Results not typical. Please consult your doctor before you begin using Viagra.

    ~=Keelor

  • Here are good explanations of the word play and allusions in the patent mentioned in this post. The URL they came from will follow.

    4,666,425 (*) [GG, RB] -- "Device for Perfusing an Animal Head." Yep, anmachine designed to keep a severed head alive. Sadly, all drawings show the head from the back; the draftsman missed a great opportunity to have some great expressions. Assignee-at-issue is "Dis Corporation," a play on words of "discorporation," to have one's head severed (Or death, if one reads Heinlen).

    ["Applied for as a joke by 'Chet Fleming,' a nom de plume. Fleming wrote a book about it, which I have a copy of. His device allows one to remove a head of an animal (or human) and hook it up to a prior art heart/lung machine, kidney dialysis, etc., to keep the head alive. Examiners have had great fun with it -- a bulletin board favorite, with the obvious comparisons to 'They Saved Hitler's Brain' (that great B-movie). I understand the Office was embarrassed and may have withdrawn it from issue (apparently not - ed.). The copies in the shoes were stamped 'do not cite as reference.' 'Fleming's' book is 'If We Can Keep A Severed Head Alive...,' published by Polinym Press (ISBN 0-942287-02-9). A friend of mine knew 'Fleming,' who is an engineer and patent attorney (and is probably reading this). I'd love to meet him." - RB].

    And the URL: http://www.perpendicular.com/becker/craig/patents. html

    -ted

  • by BWS ( 104239 )
    What they don't realized is that for the average kid, we learn sex by watching PORN. So, I think the issue here is not potience [Viagra] although it does help. I think we have to make them watch porn. instead of letting them watch TV, watch Porn.

    Now, normal people porn may or may not do it for Pandas. I don't know, but I think it will. mmmmmm, Porn for Pandas. POP :).

    If that doesn't work, we have to hire Bill Gates CGI Inc to make Panda Porn. I'm sure that will get then aroused to mate :).

    On the other hand, if the panda normally mates for 20 seconds and now 20 minutes due to viagra. That means 60x performance increase. It normally takes me 30 minutes, that means by sex sessions will now list, mmm, 30 hours?

    Oh Baby
  • Here [illusionworks.com] it is! Man, stare at the center of the circle as close as you can for thirty seconds, then swap your hand in front of the monitor. Your hand literally warps like rippling water.

    Pretty freaky!

    The rest [illusionworks.com] of the site is pretty cool.


    You should never, never doubt what nobody is sure about.
  • If I was stupid enough to actually break my TV due to a commercial the last thing I would do is be willing to admit it in a court of law. Your Honor I'm an idiot please help me now and then help society by making me get a vesectomy.
  • by andyh1978 ( 173377 ) on Monday April 17, 2000 @01:56PM (#1127105) Homepage
    It's similar to the Hermann's grid illusion, the one with the white grid on black background, and you see black dots on the intersections. That one's explained at http://www.illusionworks.com /html/hermann_grid.html [illusionworks.com]... it's due to 'lateral inhibition'.

    They've got the illusion posted as well (the Scintillating Grid illusion [illusionworks.com]), but all they say is that 'the underlying mechanism behind it is not yet fully understood.'

    Still gives me a headache though. Ouch.

    Can anyone find that illusion with the concentric rings that rotate in opposite directions? ... you stare at it spinning a while, then look away, and everything you see swirls in a spiral. Definately not one to try after a few drinks...
  • 1978 is pitifully late. My dad told me the story in the early/mid 1960's. His version had the car hitting trees, turning to shrapnel as it hit the second line of trees, etc. I've emailed him to ask where/when he heard it. (He was a Boeing engineer at the time, working on missles.)

"The chain which can be yanked is not the eternal chain." -- G. Fitch

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