Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

Halo Elite Cosplay Puts Others To Shame 115

AndrewGOO9 writes "Pete Mander, a special effects artist from Ontario, Canada seems like he might have either had way too much time on his hands or just really enjoys Halo. Either way, this is one of those costumes that makes all of the cosplayers at a con feel like their best efforts just weren't quite up to par."

Comment Re:Just what we need (Score 1) 1100

Millions of scientists? Really? This is one of my least favorite arguments for anything scientific, ever. Let's all please face the truth that the vast, vast majority of scientific theories (even those which have been firmly established for centuries) have only ever been verified by numbers of scientists in the thousands, if not hundreds. Most science, while still good science, isn't something just anyone can verify. And it is not remotely true that millions of scientists have somehow verified the current theories of global warming.

Comment Re:Another kdawson special... (Score 1) 756

Having actually RTFA (I know, I know -- "what?!?"), I felt like it was a pretty fair assessment of the situation. Particularly, I felt like the emphasis was on the disingenuousness of Microsoft's claims that 32-bit systems could not support >4GB of memory (not on the possibilities of illegality). Further, your analogy is faulty in multiple ways, because Ford advertises the car as having a rev-limiter and speed-limiter, and advertises these things as being safety features. Microsoft, so far as I can tell, is not being upfront about its market segmentation, and is attempting to hide behind a wall of misinformation about 32-bit systems.

I've seen plenty of pointless Microsoft-bashing articles here at Slashdot. This doesn't seem like one of them. I'm not ashamed to say that I learned a lot from it, and that I wasn't previously aware of the details surrounding PAE (things I never would have discovered unless they were highlighted on a tech-news digest site like Slashdot, since I don't regularly peruse websites dealing with Windows-specific kernel research).
PC Games (Games)

Left 4 Dead 2 Announced For November 231

hansamurai writes "Left 4 Dead 2 has been announced at E3, and a trailer for the game has surfaced. It will be released November 17, 2009, just a year after the first game. Gameplay changes include a new focus on melee weapons, especially the iconic anti-zombie weapon, the chainsaw. The cast of characters is brand new, but the plot appears to take place during the same zombie outbreak." The game is being developed for the PC and Xbox 360, and Valve says it will make use of a new version of their AI engine, which has the ability to "procedurally change weather effects, world objects, and pathways in addition to tailoring the enemy population, effects, and sounds to match the players' performance." Rock, Paper, Shotgun got the chance to do a hands-on preview, providing details about the gameplay and confirming that "it's a coherent new imagining of the game, this time bigger, smarter, and far more elaborate. Oh, and gloriously more gory."

Submission + - Humor in code: unprofessional or not? 2

DrVomact writes: Do you ever inject humor into the comments of your code or—heaven forfend—into the code itself? I recently had a "code review" of a Perl automation program I had written for my department. The salient criticism that emerged was that there was "sarcasm" in my comments, and that this was unprofessional. In retrospect, it was not surprising that the criticisms concentrated on my comments, as no one else in this group does much programming (the PHB claims to have "been a coder" once upon a time...I think he wrote COBOL on punch cards); nevertheless I was dumbstruck. What kind of world is it where you aren't allowed the occasional funny comment in your code? Do we have to be serious all the time? I asked a programmer in the "R & D" group of this paleolithically conservative company I work for, and he responded with a complete unsolicited psychoanalysis: he advised that I should develop a "professional personality" that was different from my real one I use at home. I was shocked—nay, mystified: where do you learn how to do that?

But let's concentrate on the smaller, more manageable issue: is humor in comments truly verboten? Am I the only one who makes the occasional light remark, or even a self-deprecating reminder to "Change this, you idiot...what were you thinking"? I've resolved to take the humor issue to a jury of my peers: to wit, the esteemed denizens of Slashdot.

I received an annotated copy of my code from my PHB, pointing out all my lapses into "unprofessionalism." Here are a few of the lines from my program that were deemed "unprofessional", along with my comments, and meta comments). I cannot actually guarantee that there is any genuinely funny stuff here, only that my completely humorless PHB suspected that it might be tainted. (Sorry about the lack of indenting...couldn't figure out how to make Slashdot's subset of HTML do that.)

if ($^O eq 'MSWin32') {
use Win32::Console;
Win32::Console::Free( );

Weirdly, nobody thought this was at all funny or objectionable.

# Set the directory if we got lucky
This was in a set of nested conditional tests that tried to find a file, no matter what crazy place the person running the program had stuck it. I fail to see this as sarcasm...I call it "cheerful optimism".

# Fix nasty problem where...
Comment in code that fixes crazy stuff in input files. Apparently, the word "nasty" is nasty.

$sysreturn = $proc->wait; # This gets exit code of process (it's already gone, so it's not really going to wait)
The parenthetical comment was marked as objectionable. You got me; I thought this was a potentially confusing line of code, and that the comment helped.

} else { # For all others, we just need to recover the original declarations that got eaten by the XSLTs
The word "eaten" was deemed unprofessional, sarcastic, or something.

my $status = shift @_; # 1 means the error causes certain death, undef or 0 means it's a warning (user gets to try again), 2 means it's a "notification"
Describes possible values passed to an error handler; "certain death" was deemed objectionable. Perhaps it was construed as a threat?

my %args = @_; # Stuff arguments into a hash, so we can look them up one at a time
"stuff" is an offensive word, apparently. All instances of "stuff" were marked as offensive. Good thing I didn't use "slurp", or "suck", huh?

if($name ne "subsection") { # We want the minor stuff included with first subsect file
To my great consternation, "stuff" is objectionable both as a verb and a noun! I think maybe PHB was using search-and-replace for his code analysis, though.

$button_text="Bummer!"; # It's NOT OK, man!
This one caused the most outrage. It's actually part of the code, unlike the other cases—it's the text of a button in a fatal error dialog. I completely hate when an application notifies me of a fatal error and asks me to click a button labeled "OK"—as if asking for my approval for having screwed up. Like my comment's not OK. PHB wanted "OK", but I finally changed it to "Exit".

So, I ask you, my peers of Slashdot, to pass judgment on me: am I hopelessly unprofessional? Or have I discovered the real reason why so many programmers don't comment their code?

Submission + - Ubuntu's Laptop Killing Bug Fixed (

jeevesbond writes: "Back in October of 2007 Slashdot reported on a bug that would dramatically shorten the life of laptops using Ubuntu. Ubuntu users will be glad to know that a fix has finally been released for Ubuntu versions: 9.04, 8.10 and 8.04 (LTS). However, as this fix is not yet in the update repositories, anyone wishing to test it should follow these instructions for enabling the 'proposed' repository. Report your results on the original bug report. Happy testing!"
PlayStation (Games)

Submission + - Sony cuts prices on PS3

An anonymous reader writes: Sony has announced price cuts on the high-end model, and also is introducing a new low-end model in the US($399). The new model has lost the ability to play PlayStation 2 games, a decision based on the "extensive" lineup of PlayStation 3 games. The 80GB model, which retains backward compatibility, will now retail for $499.
Data Storage

Submission + - Hard drive imports may be banned (

Arathon writes: "Apparently the International Trade Commission is beginning an investigation that could lead to the banning of hard drive imports from Western Digital, Seagate, and Toshiba, among others, on the grounds that they fundamentally violate patents held by Steven and Mary Reiber of California. The patent apparently has to do with "dissipative ceramic bonding tips", which are important components of the drives themselves.
Obviously, a ban would be unthinkable, and yet the ITC has 45 days to settle on a fixed date for the end of the investigation. If the patents are found to be violated, and the Reibers do not allow those patents to be bought or otherwise dealt with, the importation of almost all hard drives would actually be ceased."


Submission + - Transparent Aluminum (Almost) (

jemtallon writes: "University of Michigan researchers have apparently created a transparent plastic as hard as steel. From the article: "Engineering professor Nicholas Kotov almost dubbed it "plastic steel," but the new material isn't quite stretchy enough to earn that name. Nevertheless, he says its further development could lead to lighter, stronger armor for soldiers or police and their vehicles. It could also be used in microelectromechanical devices, microfluidics, biomedical sensors and valves and unmanned aircraft.""

Submission + - DirectX 10 - Are We There Yet? IQ and Performance (

MojoKid writes: "When DirectX 10 was first introduced to the market by graphics manufacturers and subsequently supported by Windows Vista, it was generally understood that adoption by game developers was going to be more of a slow migration than a quick flip of a switch. That said, nearly a year later, the question is how far have we come? This in-depth HotHardware article showcases many of the most popular DX10-capable game engines, like Bioshock, World In Conflict, Call of Juarez, Lost Planet, and Company of Heroes, and features current image quality comparisons versus DX9 modes with each. The article also details performance levels across many of the more popular graphics cards, from both the mid-range and high-end. Digest all the data and you be the judge. Are we there yet?"
The Military

Submission + - New plastic is strong as steel, transparent 1

Andreaskem writes: " published an article about a new material that supposedly is "strong as steel but lighter and transparent.". "The researchers created this new composite plastic with a machine they developed that builds materials one nanoscale layer after another... Mother of pearl, the iridescent lining of mussel and oyster shells, is built layer-by-layer like this. It's one of the toughest natural mineral-based materials.""
The Courts

Submission + - RIAA's First Trial Starts Today in Duluth

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "The RIAA's first trial starts today, in Duluth, Minnesota, in Virgin v. Thomas. The case is being widely covered by, among others, Associated Press, Wired, and Ars Technica. Since a number of people have indicated they will be going to the courthouse and watching the trial, I am hoping for citizen coverage as well. If any of you get to the trial and can report back, drop a comment here as well. The day before the trial the Judge excluded 784 pages of documents the record companies needed to prove they actually own the copyrights to 14 of the recordings in question, because they had failed to turn over the documents when they were supposed to, instead waiting until 2 weeks before the date of trial."

Slashdot Top Deals

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun