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


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Discussed This Report Four Days Ago (Score 1) 183

Three words: Permissive Action Links. Not only will they need the codes to arm the warheads, but they also need training for how to arm the weapons and target them. The nuclear powers like to keep a very close watch over the mental stability of people working with nuclear weapons. The US procedure, the Personnel Reliability Program (PRP), has an exceedingly long list of reasons that disqualify a potential recruit from nuclear duty, to the point where a speeding ticket might be cause for alarm. It's not excessive, it's merely required. For your scenario, two such people would need to be compromised without discovery (the two-man rule applies to nuclear weapons at all times). Quite a feat.

The US procedure for nuclear release is also complex: first, the National Command Authority (the president and vice president or their successors) must order a nuclear strike by initiating the SIOP (Single Integrated Operations Plan). Next the Joint Chiefs of Staff must issue an order to the NMCC at the Pentagon (or Raven Rock if the Pentagon has already been destroyed by a nuclear strike) which then sends off an Emergency Action Message (EAM) to nuclear forces to begin launch. Two people must be present at any point along the chain for this to work right.

Comment Re:Smart Grid is a scam (Score 1) 158

The grid would just be part of the strike. An EMP attack would also knock out communications networks and most non-hardened electronics within the blast zone. This is worse than you think: suddenly without that nice fancy ECU your car doesn't run anymore, or worse, your generator. EMP attacks will always be bad, but a smart grid just makes it worse: not only are your digital control and communications systems out, but now you've lost raw energy too, so simple systems that might have survived (heaters, electric motors, etc) can no longer run. Trying to get aid into the affected zone, especially in, say, dead winter, would be a nightmare.

Comment Re:The Problem with Fallout3 (Score 1) 101

Magic, superior graphics, superior controls

No, no, and no. Magic cannot be worked into the Fallout universe without seriously destroying the Fallout legacy. I don't want psi a la system shock, I don't want telekinetic mutation, I don't want Mass Effect remote hacking, I don't want Bioshock bio-mods. I want Fallout. Are those features cool? Yes. But if I want them then I'll pull out my copy of SS2 or ME or Bioshock.

Not every game needs the latest and greatest knock-your-socks-off graphics engine. I find it isn't the graphics engine that defines a game, but the art direction. Bethesda spent more time making sure the beautiful retro 50s ambiance was present in the game. It works great.

I'm not sure what you're complaining about for the controls. They're the same as Oblivion was, and it worked just well there as it does in this game. This is a first person RPG. It's unfair to compare it to Halo and COD: those games are first person shooters. This game is not! And as for that limited analog motion - PC gamers have been happy with that since Quake popularized the keyboard and mouse method of playing FPSes we're so used to.

This game is not COD5.

Comment Re:Great advertising for new versions! (Score 1, Informative) 590

I'm not sure if this is an attempt at humor or not, but I'm tending towards "or not" because of the Insightful mod.

You seem to have a very skewed definition of capitalism. All capitalism is a market where resources (capital) are invested in a product in the hope that others will find it worthwhile enough to trade for more resources (money). "Intelligent thought" as you put it is the capitalists' best ally: he WANTS his customers to be happy at the price point that makes him the most money. If his products - in this case games - are too expensive, he will reduce his pricing to hit the most profitable point on the curve where expenses are most minimal and sales the highest. It's a self-interest game, certainly, but it's a self interest game that helps the customer.

Comment Re:Remember, folks... (Score 1) 328

Don't be so sure of your bulletproof defense. While it is true no single nation can invade the states on its own, an alliance of multiple superpowers might be able to take it out.

Ignoring the obvious political and ideological hurdles, a Russia/China alliance could pull it off. Hypothetically, if they had a few years isolation to build up a decent bluewater navy, they might be able to land troops on the mainland.

Actually, if limited tactical nuclear war was fought, Russia might be able to pull it off on its own. The Soviets saw the US Carrier Strike Group doctrine as their chief obstacle to taking the states. As such they ensured the Red Fleet had nuclear naval superiority to outmatch US conventional naval superiority. At the end of the cold war it was projected that this nuclear superiority could overwhelm the carrier groups. I'm not sure how much it would take to resume that level of readiness.

The point still stands, however, that there are foreign alliances that could take out the states given sufficient preparation.

Comment Re:nah. (Score 5, Funny) 289

OK, then what about by a Cylon invasion? (Which of course, would begin with a nuclear strike.) I doubt that our toaster children would have any trouble with Mccafree or Norton products.

In my experience if we did have a Cylon invasion McAfee and Norton may be our ONLY defense. Upload it and watch as they can no longer function

You're horrible. Not even the Cylons deserve Norton and McAfee.

Comment Pirate TV (Score 2, Interesting) 438

I'm just wondering when the offshore pirate broadcasts in protest are going to start. It doesn't take much to start a pirate TV station (most HAM radio FSTV transmitters can be tuned to other frequencies than are allotted in the HAM bands). Rig a boat with a studio, anchor in international waters, crank up the transmitter power, and go wild.

Also makes me wonder if the business is open up here in Canada and down south in Mexico to start border blasters.

Comment Re:Is this that important ? (Score 3, Interesting) 434


I'll try not to bore you all with the rant you've heard thousands of times before, but today's music is so... cold. While the advent of MIDI sequencers and cheap pro audio equipment caused a grassroots indie revolution on the internet (Creative Commons/Jamendo), it also allowed the labels to easily produce a single sound. Today's "artists" have very little creative input on their work.

Any idiot can open up one of the many audio editors, lay down a synthesized rhythm track, and make a dance single. Try it yourself. Pop open an editor, get a beat, record some shitty lyrics (you can fix them with a harmonizer, just like the pros), and add tons of distortion and digital effects. Hey, look at that: you have a rap song that sounds just like one of the top 40.

You think with the power of modern synthesized composition, real artists could actually take advantage of the limitless possibilities. Need a 300-member orchestra for a difficult piece? No problem! A good composition program and a nice set of sampled sound and you've got it in a few days' work.

The problem, really, is the labels. There are LOTS of good independent artists and composers out there, who are doing good things with all these new tools. But the mainstream labels seem to stonewall all of them. All we get is dancefloor song after dancefloor song with the same sound.

Of course, the related issue is the conglomerate ownership of radio. I know of very few independent stations left that aren't owned by some massive corporation. In the local radio market where I live up in Canada, we have four main stations. They are/were called Jet, Magic, CBC, and Jump. Jet and Magic are/were both owned by one of the media conglomerates. CBC needs no introduction, as it is the Canadian national public radio service. Jump is a community-licensed, volunteer run station.

So, massive conglomerate decides that Magic (more locally-focused than Jet) is under threat from the community station, Jump. So they shut Magic down, and seek a new license from the CRTC to open a new station.

Now here's the fun part. The CRTC grants the license to the conglomerate. The new station, Sun, has as of now almost entirely eradicated the publicly-accessible community station, which appears will have to shut down. The airwaves are now pumped with top-40 crap, instead of locally produced content. What gets me is that the CRTC WILLINGLY chose to give priority to the station airing music that has ALREADY SATURATED the market, rather than LOCALLY PRODUCED content. The CRTC needs to be shut down and control transferred to Industry Canada, who at least understand the importance of niche radio applications (Canadian HAMs enjoy some of the laxest restrictions in the world).

Whew... now that that's off my chest...

Slashdot Top Deals

The first version always gets thrown away.