Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Result (Score 1) 809

Like paperwork and administration, a weapon as you see it is always a dead loss. Until something unexpected happens and you need proof, or in the case of the military, defence. You don't do it or support it all the time because it ALWAYS provides a benefit; you support/do it all the time because when something goes pear shaped out of your control, you have something that can deal with it/cover your ass.

Comment Re:Old (Score 1) 342

So you're walking around on a 2d plane shooting and doing effects without having a hitscan in the environment? Interesting.

While the ship models in EVE are static (though gun turrets aboard do rotate), the effects they have to generate are considerably more intensive. Just about any activity you do in your ship will have some external visible effect. Repairing armor or shields will result in a visual animation over your hull or shields. Each gun that fires means a single effect just for that. Any remote support, ditto. A logistics ship can be remotely repairing 4-5 ships at once, with a visible effect for each seperate repair signal.


That's a link to one of the tournament fights that CCP put on between player groups. The client HAS been modified, but only to show the health of 20 ships at a time, broken into teams, and to remove the commentator's own ship UI. Other than that, it's legit. That's a small 10v10 battle.

Comment Re:Old (Score 2, Interesting) 342

EVE can handle over one thousand players in a single system/"zone". Places like Jita (THE trade hub of EVE) regularily pass 1300 concurrent active users at one time. In one star system. Admittedly though the vast majority of Jita players are "passing through" or conducting trade and not shooting each other in the face. Star systems out in the areas of space where players create their own empires can have fleet battles that push past 400 people per side, though admittedly there are occurences of heavy lag. In the past (IE one year ago or more) this would be instead extreme lag to the point of killing the node. In the last year however they have implemented heavy server and database optimizations that are pushing the boundary of stable large group combat higher and higher. I wish I could have better references, but I know several battles have been fought that were past 300v300 and were done with a minimum of lag (the reason I remember this is because of the comments wondering WHERE the lag was). CCP devs have also stated that they've just begun major DB optimization and they expect greater improvements to come. Of course, that's them selling their product, but they do recognize it is a major issue, and they ARE working towards correcting it. To turn the question on its head, how many people can a single WOW server handle, in one instance, in one specific zone? All PVPing against each other or providing remote support in one manner or another? Personally I'd be suprised if that number was any higher than what EVE is currently capable of.

Comment Monitoring Already in Use (Score 1) 297

To a degree, up here in Canada (lower mainland of Vancouver) the police already monitor power consumption of homes and apartments for marijuana grow ops. One thing that people don't notice/realize is that a grow op actually has a rather specific power signature. Homes with grow-ops are typically yearly rental/lease agreement homes. The growers themselves do not live at the property. The end result is a static high power draw that keeps the lights and hydropondics gear running 24/7. This is VERY different from even the most excessive of home power uses. Unless you're running a commericaial dishwashing/laundry/whatever out of your home that operates 24/7 you're going to have a VERY different bit of power consumption. Add on to the fact that it's not the only actual investigation technique. Grow Ops are typcailly seldom attended all the time, so some basic surveillance would reveal the difference between you being a power hog and you growing a crop in your basement.

Comment Re:Vaporware (Score 1) 78

But would you expect ANY sort of technological improvement like this to boost output by 50%?

Yes, why not?

Because pulling percentage growth numbers out of thin air is PHB at its finest. Set the bar at an unrealistic level and you won't get any motivation or progress. Goals have to be at least somewhat realistic and attainable in some manner for them to be actually useful. Otherwise you get something out of a dilbert cartoon.

Such infrastructure improvements can take years to properly pay off dividends, so we may be waiting for some time before we get real results.

I'm not even asking for the improvements to pay off — this is separate from an actual output increase. I just want an appreciable increase — regardless of whether it has (yet) paid for the software — before I get excited.

Fair enough on that. :) With this however, only time will really tell however.

Comment Re:Vaporware (Score 2, Insightful) 78

But would you expect ANY sort of technological improvement like this to boost output by 50%? Such infrastructure improvements can take years to properly pay off dividends, so we may be waiting for some time before we get real results. That of course will be attributed to other inputs (either because cause/effect cannot be determined, or because it serves a political master better to have something else as the cause).

Comment Re:Its the usual castle gate mentality (Score 1) 463

This is oddly one of the main things that's driven into my Business Admin degree. In virtually every course we encounter where we have standardized math equations (mainly seen when doing mortgage and other time-value money work) we are introduced to the concepts and we do some questions on paper, and then we're shown how to use our calculator (a basic BA-II+ by TI incidentally) to do the same math. In many cases it's not the student's implementation of their solution that is a problem but instead their math. A simple error in copying a number or some other mundane "oops" that results in them failing a question. We're taught and trained to understand HOW the calculator does the dirty work so we can recognize when we get an odd answer (the calculator isn't our god after all, just a tool) but we use it to do a LOT of dirty work that vastly speeds up our time. For example, this was a question we had in 3rd year finance. It's not the ONLY question in the exam, I should add. Certainly not the hardest. Anyhow, a pizzeria has the option to buy a new oven or keep the current one. We have to take ALL the cash flows for the next 5 years on both options, bring them back to the present, as well as disposal costs and returns, amortizations, tax shields and more. With a non-linear cash flow to boot. Want to bet how many people did that stuff by hand? Yeah. Not many.

Broke Counties Turn Failing Roads To Gravel 717

To save money, more than 20 Michigan counties have decided to turn deteriorating paved roads back to gravel. Montcalm County estimates that repaving a road costs more than $100,000 a mile. Grinding the same mile of road up and turning it into gravel costs $10,000. At least 50 miles of road have been reverted to gravel in Michigan the past three years. I can't wait until we revert back to whale oil lighting and can finally be rid of this electricity fad.

Comment Re:WotC wants 3e DEAD! At any cost (Score 1) 501

Does anyone know if WotC has done a big buyback? It almost seems like someone has been scouring the bookstores methodically, snatching up everything that would suggest an older edition ever existed.

I can't speak for other places, but I ended up talking with several local game store owners in my neck of the woods. From what I've been able to piece together, a fairly self-reinforcing cycle kicked in about the same time they announced 4e:

1) 4e announced, fanbase is split as some embrace the expansion, others see possible writing on wall and begin buying 3.5e stuff where they can. Some hobby stores begin discounting 3.5e in order to clear out "old inventory".

2) As more people begin to grab 3.5 stuff, sales in local stores of said increase, outpacing 4e sales noticeably. Stores put in restock orders to local distributors. Lower margin per item is compensated by higher volume sales, so local stores wish to keep items in stock as much as possible.

3) WoTC notices that 3.5 demand is higher than 4e. They then conduct a buyback at the distributor level (this is what happened in my neghborhood. WoTC bought back, at almost retail IIRC, all of their own 3.5e product). Distributors inform local stores that they have no more WoTC stock in inventory and will not be receiving more.

4) Locals discover 3.5 isn't getting restocked, many core books are cleaned out and several secondary markets are also cleaned.

End result: 3.5e stuff is virtually gone except for several niche stores that only stocked it as a secondary product (I've found myself hitting Chapters stores, Goth clothing and miscellaneous stores, and other out of the way locations to pick up various 3.5 stuff).

Comment Re:Eve Review (Score 1) 299

That doing anything by yourself in EVE is going to be boring, unless you're somewhat antisocial (which is suprising... would've thought Zero was right in the middle of that category). In a lot of ways it's like playing Clue with only one other person. You can do it, but you lose so much of the game that you ought to wonder why...

Comment Re:Tackle? (Score 1) 799

I don't think the Japanese were completely over matched. Especially at the beginning of the war. A lot of the reason the US did as well as it did was due to nothing more than luck. Certainly not all allied victories were, but there were some very decisive battles that were mostly luck. I don't think the US wanted to have to deal with such a industrious and determined enemy again in the foreseeable future. I certainly agree that surrender on Japans terms would keep them from looking like "spineless weenies". However not allowing Japan to do so, was much more disgraceful to such an admirable people and was a way to avoid allowing them to dress their wounds and try again.

Actually, the Japanese were completely outmatched. Yamamoto stated that he could "run wild for one year, eighteen months at most" but after that, he would not be able to garuntee anything. Just comparing industrial output, the disparity was sickening. By 1944, the US had 41.7% of TOTAL military output, worldwide. The US army and navy did as well as it did by weight of their numbers and the tenacity of forces.

Take a look at this site: http://www.combinedfleet.com/economic.htm I haven't had the time to verify the numbers (Pacific theatre was not my major) but they do overall jive with what I know, and I've seen the two authors that are quoted in more scholarly works, so I take what is presented here at face value.

The Japanese were quite headstrong, but by the time they were losing Iwo Jima, they knew that there was only really one end; their loss. You can see it in their strategic and tactical responses. One-way fleet sorties, utterly defense-oriented combat operations. Add to that the fact that their own cities were being bombed and burnt to the ground, even the people themselves were beginning to bend and crack.

Comment Re:Tackle? (Score 5, Insightful) 799

Except the Japanese were putting out some negotiations via the russians to try to negotiate a peace settlement by early '44. By that point they had recognized that should everything continue, they were going to lose. Their negotiations were meant to save face at home by presenting a story about how they "hadn't really been totally defeated". The main sticking point was that they wanted to keep their current political structure, emperor and all. The main allies (The US especially) wanted an unconditional surrender. Hence the war continuing onwards. Just because you're looking to surrender dosen't make you a spineless weenie. There is such a thing as recognizing when you're completely overmatched and needing to cut a deal...

Slashdot Top Deals

It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats.