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Comment Re:Bad usernames too (Score 1) 343

You utterly, totally hit it out of the park. It's good to plan for contingencies, but you can be paralyzed by what-ifs. Rarely does one course of action ever define itself as singularly best with no risks or downsides.

Funny - I will have to add the Martian lizard baby bit to my list of what-ifs that I use to talk to customers who start worrying about edge conditions. I work in traffic, and when they start going down the lines of "...and then, if a semi jack-knifes while a motorcycle with a side car is going through the zone, and swerves into the should to avoid it, and ..." I usually pull out the "...and a flying saucer swoops down low enough to go through the laser scanners but doesn't touch the sensors embedded in the road..."

Comment Re:Playboy w/o nudity? (Score 1) 98

You are so correct. Where are my mod points? Their articles are actually really, really good. They're varied, too - not always the same thing. Most actually had some depth to them (unlike most mens' magazines, like Details or Maxim, that give you a paragraph and two pages of pictures). Obviously, Playboy had dual-appeal - which is part of what made it sophisticated. The whole joke - "I read it for the articles" - came about BECAUSE of the quality of articles. That joke didn't start around Penthouse or Hustler for a reason.

Comment Re:not really a security risk (Score 1) 189

Agree. The whole "OMG you're telling CRIMINALS you're not home" is BS, and also sounds remarkably like the same argument used when answering machines came out... and when people put announcements of weddings and funerals in newspapers... and ... Oh wait, someone wrote a better article about it than I can:

8-Year Fan-Made Game Project Shut Down By Activision 265

An anonymous reader writes "Activision, after acquiring Vivendi, became the new copyright holder of the classic King's Quest series of adventure game. They have now issued a cease and desist order to a team which has worked for eight years on a fan-made project initially dubbed a sequel to the last official installment, King's Quest 8. This stands against the fact that Vivendi granted a non-commercial license to the team, subject to Vivendi's approval of the game after submission. After the acquisition, key team members had indicated on the game's forums (now stripped of their original content by order of Activision) that Activision had given the indication that it intended to keep its current fan-game licenses, but was not interested in issuing new ones."

Failed Games That Damaged Or Killed Their Companies 397

An anonymous reader writes "Develop has an excellent piece up profiling a bunch of average to awful titles that flopped so hard they harmed or sunk their studio or publisher. The list includes Haze, Enter The Matrix, Hellgate: London, Daikatana, Tabula Rasa, and — of course — Duke Nukem Forever. 'Daikatana was finally released in June 2000, over two and a half years late. Gamers weren't convinced the wait was worth it. A buggy game with sidekicks (touted as an innovation) who more often caused you hindrance than helped ... achieved an average rating of 53. By this time, Eidos is believed to have invested over $25 million in the studio. And they called it a day. Eidos closed the Dallas Ion Storm office in 2001.'"

Living In Tokyo's Capsule Hotels 269

afabbro writes "Capsule Hotel Shinjuku 510 once offered a night’s refuge to salarymen who had missed the last train home. Now with Japan enduring its worst recession since World War II, it is becoming an affordable option for people with nowhere else to go. The Hotel 510’s capsules are only 6 1/2 feet long by 5 feet wide. Guests must keep possessions, like shirts and shaving cream, in lockers outside of the capsules. Atsushi Nakanishi, jobless since Christmas says, 'It’s just a place to crawl into and sleep. You get used to it.'”

Comment Re:A true innovator (Score 2, Insightful) 227

Actually, maybe we're already well into the world of the next sonic revolutionary: Andy Hildebrand, inventor of Auto-Tune. Although I'm not sure I'm ready for a world where the "Auto-Tune effect" is as popular as the twang of a Les Paul guitar.

Too late, it's all over everything. I spent a fair amount of time in recording studios, and used Auto-Tune from it's first release onward. It has a very distinctive sound, even when used subtly. Trust me when I say the overwhelming majority of recordings made nowadays use it to one extent or another - enough that you can hear it. And I'm not talking about just the obvious cases. At least in modern music, it is more pervasive than the "rock guitar" sound.

Comment Re:Be firm.. (Score 1) 902

All really good advice.

It is easy to be angry at near-nameless, near-faceless entities who understand the mumbo-jumbo of computers and electronics... who do "things" that make "other things" not work, or who seem to take 1 second to actually fix a problem that has been going on for a week. Whether all that is *true* or not is immaterial. Perception is reality.

When your co-workers see you as a part of the company, the team, and a friendly person, their attitude will change. It's just harder to assume the worst about someone you're friendly with and know, unless they prove useless. Since you're self-described as doing a good job, this shouldn't be the case.

Comment Indeed (Score 1) 519

Much to my co-workers' dismay, I have a Model M. To be specific, I have *3* of them (one at work, one at home, one spare). My home one is a rare black one.

I love the clicky, tactile feel. I, too, learned to type on an electric-but-old (IBM Selectric) typewriter, which may have something to do with it.

The downside is that my co-workers can definitely tell when I'm *not* working...

Using X-ray Radiography To Reveal Ancient Insects 67

1shooter writes "Researchers in France are using a synchrotron as a giant X-ray machine to peer into the insides of opaque amber to reveal insects dating from the age of dinosaurs. 'The European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble, France, produces an intense, high-energy light that can pierce just about any material, revealing its inner structure... From more than 600 blocks, they have identified nearly 360 fossil animals: wasps, flies, ants, spiders.' The process reveals detailed 3D images that can be used to make near-perfect enlarged scale models of the bugs using a 'plastic printer.'"
Data Storage

Submission + - Toshiba boosts hard drive density by 50%

An anonymous reader writes: Toshiba has unveiled a ground breaking technology that boosts recording density on an 80GB 1.8-inch single platter drive by 50%. Using the Discrete Track Recording (DTR) technology Toshiba was able to pack 120GB storage on a single 1.8-inch platter. The new development will hugely benefit media player, UMPC, and ultra-portable laptop segment where 1.8" drive with maximum possible capacity are in great demand.
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - Plant Tycoon - the perfect plant simulation game! (

hiddenobjectgames writes: "Plant Tycoon Game
From the creators of Fish Tycoon and the epic Virtual Villagers series comes Plant Tycoon, a great new plant simulation where you grow plants, harvest seeds, and sell adult plants in the Nursery to make money. Monitor your plants health, age and maturity and be careful of dehydration and..."

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