Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
Slashback America Online It's funny.  Laugh.

Slashback: Simpsons, Buyouts, Droid 201

Slashback tonight with another notch up for Virginia Tech's Big Mac, another downloadable robot design for the Mini-ITX crowd, updates (both in the negative) regarding two recently speculated-upon business mergers, and more. Read on for the details.

Shooting down those trial balloons. Glitch Tybalt writes with an update to the report that German ISP T-Online might acquire AOL: "This just in from The Register: apparently the buyout wasn't really going to be a buyout, only 70%, and there haven't been any confirmed reports on this. One spokesman for T-Online said '[Such a deal] is more unlikely than likely,'"

On a similar note, gletham writes "A flurry of reports [like this one] over the past day indicated that Nokia was talking with Psion and was seeking to buy the company. This latest piece from Reuters confirms that the topic was merely a rumor and speculation gone rampant. Mind you, with Psion's stock jumping 10% and discussion on Nokia lists and forums quite brisk, you can't help but speculate that Nokia may in fact consider this in the future. The timing is very good, particularly considering Motorola's recent selloff of Symbian ownership. I can't wait to here an official report from Nokia on this one! If all works out, we may even witness a rebirth of the Psion handheld using Series 90!"

Hey, maybe they just hadn't thought of it yet ... wo1verin3 writes "Previously reported was that Fox News Considered Suing Fox's 'The Simpsons' for using a news ticker spoofing the news service. Apparently this was only satire and an apology has been issued.

'Nonetheless, "The Simpsons" (the show, not the characters) issued an apology yesterday: "Matt was being satirical and certainly there was never any issue between the show and Fox News. We regret any confusion.'"

At this rate, it'll be #1 by March! An anonymous reader writes "According to the latest round of leaked information to reach The Register, the Virginia Tech Big Mac has reached 10.28 teraflops. A solid #3 win, 'This places it behind the 5,120 processor Earth Simulator system - 35.9 teraflops - and the 8,160 processor ASCI Q system - 13.8 teraflops.'"

Hold tight, though: Elysdir points to a AP article, pointing out that "the Top 500 list will be officially announced Nov. 18, so it's not clear to me whether the #3 ranking is official or not."

A Droid You Can Build From Downloadable Plans. In this article, LinuxDevices checks out OAP, an open source droid. OAP shares the same VIA Mini-ITX mainboard as the VIA-Roboteq "PC-bot" featured in an earlier Slashdot story, but OAP's project goals seem a little more ambitious. According to the FAQ, OAP will eventually be able to 'Read your favourite news web pages or blogs aloud to you.' A personal droid that reads Slashdot aloud to you -- what more could you ask for?"

(A girlfriend?)

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Slashback: Simpsons, Buyouts, Droid

Comments Filter:
  • Stupid Fox news (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Leroy_Brown242 ( 683141 ) on Thursday November 13, 2003 @07:01PM (#7469898) Homepage Journal

    If you can't handle people poking a little fun at you, you're in the wrong business!

    If you're in the public view, you're going to have people that want to poke fun at you. if a show as insanely popular as the Simpsons is making fun of you, I'd say it's a good thing.

  • Great! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Geek of Tech ( 678002 ) on Thursday November 13, 2003 @07:02PM (#7469911) Homepage Journal
    >> According to the latest round of leaked information to reach The Register, the Virginia Tech Big Mac has reached 10.28 teraflops. A solid #3 win, 'This places it behind the 5,120 processor Earth Simulator system - 35.9 teraflops - and the 8,160 processor ASCI Q system - 13.8 teraflops.

    Now I can have the worlds most powerful "Hello World" ever!

  • Fox who? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Previously reported was that Fox News Considered Suing Fox's 'The Simpsons' for using a news ticker spoofing the news service. Apparently this was only satire and an apology has been issued.

    I live in the UK, and until I started watching The Simpsons, I had never even heard of Fox. Advertisers would pay good money for this sort of publicity.

    Sueing them? Only in America!
    • Re:Fox who? (Score:3, Insightful)

      20th Century Fox is only one of the largest media conglomerates in the world. And ironically, the Fox TV network owes its very existence to "The Simpsons" which along with "Married, With Children" were about the only highly rated shows it had for the first 5 years.

      Fox News has been around for several years and is now beating CNN's pants off. This might have something to do with CNN's complete lack of credibility in the last few years, but can also probably be attributed to Fox News politically right slan
      • . . . attributed to Fox News politically right slant

        So what your saying is being politically right is now politically correct?
        • I think he's saying that the blatent right-wing bias appeals more to mainstream America...
          • Maybe I'm biased but I don't find Fox as blatantly right-wing and Time Magazine, the Washington Post, CBS News or CNN are blatantly left-wing. The biggest thing I get tired of on Fox is the undue attention to pointless, non-newsworthy stuff like the Paris Hilton sex tape. I like O'Reilly even if he is a pompous ass, but I don't like Hannity. He's like the neighbors Scotty who barks all night at the trees. I disagree with Colmes 95% of the time but he's a much better debater. I also like MSNBC, particul
            • I'm definately biased, and I find Time, Washington Post, CBS News, and CNN to be perfectly unbiased. In fact, CBS and CNN are a bit too conservative for my taste. Add Newsweek to your list, btw.

              Frankly, I see no point in trying to pretend that either side is biased or unbiased. Individuals are inherently biased, and even if an unbiased source did exist, we biased humans would never know it.

              That said, my problem with FOX News is that it represents the basest, most knee-jerk kind of conservatism. Both conse
              • I don't agree with your assesments of Time, et al, but I will agree with you on one thing. When I debate and intelligent and thoughtful person I find I tend to agree with them more than disagree regardless of their political persuation. Clearly there are issues on which I would differ with almost anyone, but for people who can get beyond the knee-jerking and the slogan-chanting, common ground is easy to find, and disagreements can be respectful and educational.

                Unfortunately, thoughfulness and intelligenc
                • I don't agree with your assesments of Time, et al, but I will agree with you on one thing.
                  >>>>>>>>>>
                  That's precisely my point. I see a lot of conservative principles as wrong on face value. I simply have different priorities than most conservatives, which makes my interpretation of various events totally different. For example, when I see someone one Fox talking about ignoring the UN, it annoys me. To me, internationalization is more important than getting the absolute best dea
            • Media outlets are only as liberal as the conservative corporations that own them.
            • I still don't get this. How is it impossible to be unbiased? Just because everybody hires former underwear models to do their news rather than journalists doesn't mean that journalists are mythical fairy creaures that never existed. We've had 600-odd years to figure this stuff out, and believe it or not, we actually came up with an entire field just for figuring out how to be unbiased. Many people have taken advantage of that knowledge, Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity have not.

              Anyway, I like Chris too.
              • How is it impossible to be unbiased?

                Each person interprets the news in their own way.
                Think the US Civil War". To the North, it's just the plain ol' "Civil War". To the South, it's often called "the war of Northern Aggression". Everyone puts their own spin on things.

                To say that someone like Peter Jennings is biased reading the news is absurd - he's just reading what's on the teleprompter. To say that someone like Peter Overby is biased is a bit closer because he's doing actual news reports. To say th
        • More likely it's just that Fox is able to capture the vast majority of the right leaning viewers, while the other networks, along with CNN, have to split up the left leaning viewers.
      • I think it has less to do with the right-ward slant and more to do with it being more entertaining to watch. CNN's most entertaining show is Larry King Live and he was tiresome to me back when he was on radio - [that jerk] O'Reilly on Fox beats King hands down in the entertainment department. Personally, I like Buchanan, Press, Matthews and Olberman (the MSNBC line-up), but I'm weird that way.

        Oh, and before I get the snot kicked out of me for equating interest in news programming with entertainment, I w


        • > I think it has less to do with the right-ward
          > slant and more to do with it being more
          > entertaining to watch.

          Perhaps that's why more people get their news from The Daily Show than the Fox News network. At least they make the line between news and fiction clear, and they're certainly the most entertaining. Anyone who sees it as just a comedy show probably doesn't understand South Park either. Oh sure, Savage is funny for about 15 minutes, but then an overwhelming sense of "AAAARRRGGH!" kicks
    • I live in the UK, and until I started watching The Simpsons, I had never even heard of Fox. Advertisers would pay good money for this sort of publicity.

      You only think you've never heard of Fox. It's just the American face of News Corporation, which owns BSkyB (and Sky-everything-else) and a hefty chunk of your newspapers.

      Over here they own a few papers, a few dozen cable/satellite channels with Fox branding, the Fox broadcast TV network (whither the Simpsons), and DirecTV, the leading satellite broadca

      • You only think you've never heard of Fox. It's just the American face of News Corporation, which owns BSkyB (and Sky-everything-else) and a hefty chunk of your newspapers.

        Over here they own a few papers, a few dozen cable/satellite channels with Fox branding, the Fox broadcast TV network (whither the Simpsons), and DirecTV, the leading satellite broadcaster.


        For a second there I thought you knew what you were talking about. Unfortunately, you don't.

        Same scenario, same right-wing bias, different names.
        • Star TV and the Murdoch machine were liberal and anticommunist until Rupert got the opportunity to get into buisness with the Chinese Central Government. Rupert Murdoch is not a conservative, he just cares about his bottom line, which usually improves with conservative governance.
        • Same scenario, same right-wing bias, different names.
          Rupert Murdoch also owns Star TV in Asia which is happily leftist.

          Maybe the lesson then is that the Murdoch empire is happy to get in bed with whatever power structure happens to be in charge in one of his markets.

          That's hardly encouraging.

          • Maybe the lesson then is that the Murdoch empire is happy to get in bed with whatever power structure happens to be in charge in one of his markets.

            Maybe the lesson to be learned is that the Murdoch media empire will present any political viewpoint that will yield a profit in a particular market. Considering the corporate nature of the "News Business" nowadays would you expect anything less?
        • Rupert Murdoch also owns Star TV in Asia which is happily leftist.

          Star TV is leftist? If you mean, "doesn't criticise the Chinse government", maybe. Other than that, look at their schedule [startv.com]. MTV, nature documentaries, sports, movies. All apolitical. The "news" includes Fox News -- leftist?

          StarTV is simply entertainment. You don't get permission to broadcast in Asia otherwise. That asshole Murdoch quickly pulled BBC news when China objected to its coverage.

  • hmmm , maybe this is a really funny way to announce the discovery of a working time machine ?

  • by herrvinny ( 698679 ) on Thursday November 13, 2003 @07:10PM (#7469969)
    OAP shares the same VIA Mini-ITX mainboard as the VIA-Roboteq "PC-bot" featured in an earlier Slashdot story [slashdot.org]

    But the robot in that /. story [slashdot.org] required a $500 motor controller. [roboteq.com] Forget that. Just give me the text to speech components and any important access components (i.e. web parsers, etc) and I forgo the motors. I can actually carry the computer from place to place and let it read me the stories wherever. Or mount the computer on an rc car and drive it around. [rc-car-warehouse.com]

    Specific project goals include:[of the robot, from the sourceforge page]

    Design a coherent set of modular components (hardware and software) that conform to standards (where possible)

    Minimize cost to $1,500 - $2,000, about the cost of a good PC

    Develop a low-cost real-time vision system for use as the primary spatial sensor.

    Thousand dollars for a robot? No thanks.
    • Or mount the computer on an rc car and drive it around.

      You should do this and get one of those incredibly fast gas-powered ones so you can get some hot hot doppler shift action going.
    • Thousand dollars for a robot? No thanks.

      Well how much are you prepared to pay? You cheap bastard!

    • I think the controller is kind of a rip-off. You could easily build something more functional for less than $500 by dealing with AutomationDirect. They sell AC drives and PLCs that will do the job perfectly.

    • It's true, I haven't read the article. But seems to me that there are a lot of web parsers available. Or you could just parse RSS feeds or make some simple regexps on your favorite website, and pipe stuff to festival.

      The guy that introduced me to Linux for a second try (I have done a first try with slackware in 1997, sucesfull, but I didn't know what to do with it at all, ie: no office suite, no games, no mozilla, etc) has his Licq linked to festival, as well as some other tailored alerts as well as select
  • Come on... (Score:4, Funny)

    by ealar dlanvuli ( 523604 ) <froggie6@mchsi.com> on Thursday November 13, 2003 @07:13PM (#7469996) Homepage
    "Previously reported was that Fox News Considered Suing Fox's 'The Simpsons' for using a news ticker spoofing the news service. Apparently this was only satire and an apology has been issued.

    'Nonetheless, "The Simpsons" (the show, not the characters) issued an apology yesterday: "Matt was being satirical and certainly there was never any issue between the show and Fox News. We regret any confusion.'"


    Does anyone really believe that?
    • I don't. I heard the interview, he sounded serious enough on that one.
    • You should check out Akbar & Jeff's *DIPLOMACY HUT*!
    • Does anyone really believe that?

      I hope your referring to Matt supposedly being satirical, and not Fox News supposedly suing the Simpsons.

      The way it appears, Matt Groening (either satircal, or flat out lying...and it appears he was just lying) claimed Fox News was going to sue him for that episode. Well, Fox News never claimed they would, and so Matt Groening and the Simpsons staff had to issue an apology.

      Ya ya, I know it's Slashdot, and everyone hates Fox News. But this appears to be a case wh

      • > The way it appears, Matt Groening (either satircal, or flat out lying...and it appears he was just lying) claimed Fox News was going to sue him for that episode. Well, Fox News never claimed they would, and so Matt Groening and the Simpsons staff had to issue an apology.

        Still kind of funny... got in trouble with them for pretending to get in trouble with them.

  • hmm... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    In Britain + Ireland, anyway, OAP means Old Age Pensioner. Not the image you want to associate with your robot?

  • This is like one of those newspaper stories that procliams COMMANDER TACO A MURDERER! on the front page in 48 point type, and then three days later there's a little correction in a box at the bottom of the last column on A-42 that reads "the story about Commander Taco being a murderer on the front page of Tuesdays Daily Slasher was in error. Another man named Commander Taco was convicted of penguin murder in American Samoa in 1969. The Slasher regrets the error."

    Or, to bring the point home more closely to the topic at hand, it's like when Homer got slimmed for Sexual Harassment by a TV tabloid, when all he really did was peel the gummy Venus DeMillo off his companion's ass, then when the station issued an apology, they ran it as one of hundreds flashing by on the screen at the end of the program.

    I guess Slashdot just isn't willing to admit that their dislike of Fox News lead them to post a false story, and now prevents them from posting a correction anywhere "above the virtual fold" for casual viewers to see without having to click the link...
    • Oh, come on - can you blame them? I mean, who can pretend to think straight when faced with (Fox News anchor) Patti Ann Browne and her sweet... sweet can.

      mitch

    • >I guess Slashdot just isn't willing to admit that their dislike of Fox News lead them to post a false story

      Led to post a false story? Every media outlet was reporting the same thing. Nice conspiracy theory you've got there, but fark, metafilter, googlenews, etc were running the same story. The truly say part is after Fox's REAL intimidation lawsuit against Al Franken [washingtonpost.com] no one thought Fox suing the Simpsons was at all suspicious.

      Normally, Groening's joke would have been as a understood as one, but Fox's
    • Sure, as soon as Fox News retracts at least 1% of the lies they put forth.
    • The reason we run Slashback is to collect corrections and updates, for instance the one here about M. Groenig / Simpsons / Fox News.

      If a story is still on the front page, we try to get a correction in there as an update. For stories that have rolled off the front page, though, more people will see the correction here than there, simply because readership for particular stories drops off a very steep cliff once they're in the Older Stories list instead of right there on the homepage.

      I don't watch Fox News
  • by John Harrison ( 223649 ) <(johnharrison) (at) (gmail.com)> on Thursday November 13, 2003 @07:20PM (#7470046) Homepage Journal
    So Fox didn't threaten to sue itself, but is the new rule against fake news crawls real, or was it part of the joke as well?
    • So Fox didn't threaten to sue itself, but is the new rule against fake news crawls real, or was it part of the joke as well?

      No, that's real. Actually the new rule is about forbidding talking about Fox's internal rules. But they'll deny that if you ask them about it, which proves it really, doesn't it?

  • by bcolflesh ( 710514 ) on Thursday November 13, 2003 @07:23PM (#7470069) Homepage
    HAHA - Rupert "Nelson" Murdoch
  • Fox News Considered Suing Fox's 'The Simpsons' for using a news ticker spoofing the news service

    If they had problems with the simpsons parody imagine the fit they would have over this show [cnnnn.com]
  • New Hairdo (Score:3, Funny)

    by zephc ( 225327 ) on Thursday November 13, 2003 @07:50PM (#7470229)
    Give the OAP a '70s bowl haircut, spray it silver and call it Twiggy

    *beedeebeedeebeedee* Hey, Buck, I'm open source!
  • ...when I picture applications for a personal droid, having it read /. to me is not the first one that springs to mind.
  • in the related links section?
  • FoxNews (Score:1, Troll)

    by _aa_ ( 63092 )
    FoxNews must have a giant bug up its butt if it's willing to sue the people that saved it's own sister network over something that (if possible) is even more obviously satire than Al Franken's book title. I guess when you have the name "Fox" attached to the title of your company, you have to fight to the death for every litte bit of credibility you can get your hands on.

    Of course I get all my news from A Bare and Balanced News Source [nakednews.com].
  • by stienman ( 51024 ) <adavisNO@SPAMubasics.com> on Thursday November 13, 2003 @08:28PM (#7470486) Homepage Journal
    Red Hat Linux 9 was installed using mostly default installation options (you can download the ISO images for this GNU/Linux distribution free of charge from redhat.com). The exceptions to the default installation choices are listed here:
    * Custom (as opposed to Personal Desktop) installation type.
    * Automatic Partitioning.
    * System Clock uses UTC.
    * No Firewall.


    All your robot are belong to me, baby. Oh, I'm sorry, you didn't want to be woken up at 2am to learn about the new FDA approved, no prescription needed Viagara alternative?

    So sorry. Won't happen again. At least not for another hour...

    -Adam
  • by rgmoore ( 133276 ) * <glandauer@charter.net> on Thursday November 13, 2003 @08:42PM (#7470557) Homepage
    A personal droid that reads Slashdot aloud to you -- what more could you ask for?

    Given that this is /., I'd think that the answer would be obvious:

    1. Natalie Portman, naked and petrified
    2. A bowl of hot grits poured down my pants
    3. A Beowulf cluster of personal droids that read Slashdot aloud to me
    4. ...
    5. Profit!
    6. In Soviet Russia, you read Slashdot aloud to your personal droid.
  • I haven't seen one of these in ages, but from memory I remember them using an 8088 processor.

    I think it would be a neat project to retrofit this old robot with a modern ITX mobo. Has anyone actually tried it?
  • -- what more could you ask for?" (A girlfriend?)
    Nah, governments would ban it straight away as it would negatively influence a population growth ;)
  • Matt was being satirical and certainly there was never any issue between the show and Fox News.

    Yeah, but it's funny, cuz it's true.
  • "what more could you ask for?"

    (a girlfriend?)

    ha, take this [imdb.com].
  • Formula 1 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by rixstep ( 611236 )
    the Virginia Tech Big Mac has reached 10.28 teraflops

    This is a bit like Formula 1 - great PR for the company. Except Ferrari and the rest pay for their supercars.

  • FOX Cartoon News (Score:3, Interesting)

    by LuYu ( 519260 ) on Friday November 14, 2003 @03:01AM (#7472356) Homepage Journal

    "Now Fox has a new rule that we can't do those little fake news crawls on the bottom of the screen in a cartoon because it might confuse the viewers into thinking it's real news," [Groening] said.

    Nonetheless, "The Simpsons" (the show, not the characters) issued an apology yesterday: "Matt was being satirical and certainly there was never any issue between the show and Fox News. We regret any confusion.'"
    Gee, I did not realize I was stupid enough to believe a news ticker on a humorous cartoon was real. I guess I am too stupid to know how stupid I am. However, it looks like censorship has come to my rescue again! No more confusing cartoons with real life for me. Thank you FOX.

    Might this not be FOX News' problem for issuing news that might be confused with a satyrical cartoon? Maybe FOX News' content is about as believeable as "Study: 92 per cent of Democrats are gay... JFK posthumously joins Republican Party... Oil slicks found to keep seals young, supple... Do Democrats Cause Cancer?" (from the Yahoo! article [yahoo.com]). Well, if they are anything like CNN, that sounds about right.

    • If Fox News thinks people can't tell the difference between a cartoon and their news broadcast then either they think that their audience is incredibly stupid or they realize that Fox News is no different than a cartoon.

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

Working...