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Classic Games (Games)

M.U.L.E. Is Back 110

jmp_nyc writes "The developers at Turborilla have remade the 1983 classic game M.U.L.E. The game is free, and has slightly updated graphics, but more or less the same gameplay as the original version. As with the original game, up to four players can play against each other (or fewer than four with AI players taking the other spots). Unlike the original version, the four players can play against each other online. For those of you not familiar with M.U.L.E., it was one of the earliest economic simulation games, revolving around the colonization of the fictitious planet Irata (Atari spelled backwards). I have fond memories of spending what seemed like days at a time playing the game, as it's quite addictive, with the gameplay seeming simpler than it turns out to be. I'm sure I'm not the only Slashdotter who had a nasty M.U.L.E. addiction back in the day and would like a dose of nostalgia every now and then."

Comment Re:Interesting Geographical reference (Score 4, Informative) 582

Cost is a factor, but not really the dominant one.

In the midwest, the big deal is insulation. Wood-frame cavity walls are better at insulating than brick. 4 inches of brick has an r-value of .44 while 3/4 inch plywood uninsulated by itself is .93; try looking it up if you don't believe it. A typical modern wood frame exterior wall has an r-value of 12, when the air barrier, sheathing, air gaps, cavity insulation, etc. are all considered. Hence in the midwest, with the extreme continental weather, nobody builds in brick (although you'll see brick facade). As for tornado proofing, standard masonry is insufficient. Some people pay gobs of money for a single tornado proof room, which involves steel reinforced cinder-block construction; most people just dig a basement.

On the west coast, building code typically requires either steel frame or sheathed wood structure (wood frame covered entirely by plywood or oriented strand board). You do not want to be in or near a traditional masonry structure in an earthquake. Sheathed wood frame has far better quake resistance, and is considered highly survivable for high-magnitude quakes up to 3 stories tall without anything more than paying attention to making sure it is sheathed all the way around and tie down to the foundation & between floors.

That wood frame happens to be quite inexpensive is nice bonus, but not the whole reason.

Comment Summary is factually wrong; daily limit is 4000mg (Score 2, Informative) 631

2000mg is not the daily limit for acetaminophen; 4000mg is. 2000-3000 is the limit for "at risk" populations (e.g. existing liver disease). The linked article doesn't even mention a dosage limit. You can take your 2 Percocets and 2 extra strength Tylenol and still be under the dose limit; that's only 2300 mg even with the high-dose Percocets.

It's one thing to be concerned about an overdose and set a dose limit; it's a completely different thing to arbitrarily lop the max dose in half to cause hysteria.

Comment Not quite as impressive as it sounds (Score 4, Informative) 139

Google's sorting results from last yeat (link) are much faster; they did a petabyte in 362 minutes, or 2.8 TB/sec. They minute sort didn't exist last year, but Google did 1TB in 68 seconds last year, so I think it may be safe to assume that they could do 1 TB in under a minute this year. Google just hasn't submitted any of their runs to the competition.

From the sort benchmark page, the list the winning run as Yahoo's 100TB run, leaving out the 1PB run; that implies the 1PB run didn't conform to the rules, or was late, or something.

People have commented that this is a "who has the biggest cluster" competition; the sort benchmark also includes the 'penny' sort, which is how much can you sort for 1 penny of computer time (assuming your machine lasts 3 years), and 'Joule' sort, how much energy does it take you to sort a set amount of data. Not surprisingly, the big clusters appear to be neither cost efficient nor energy efficient.

Comment Why is paperless considered green? (Score 1) 299

I challenge the premise that paperless is actually green. Cellulose is rather difficult to biodegrade (if it weren't, all the trees in the world would be eaten to mush). Trees for paper making are generally farmed wood. So keeping your paper statement (even if you throw it out later) acts as a carbon sink. Hence it is good for the environment. Plus, you don't have to deal with the "whoops, that statement you need is too old" issue.

Portables

Submission + - Dell accused of selling defective notebooks-again

crowbarsarefornerdyg writes: Dell's in the courts again, except this time Sony isn't to blame. The lawsuit stems from overheating Inspiron laptops. I own one (I inherited it, ok!) and it has overheated since we got it. Dell's answer? Keep it cleaned out. From TFA:

'A lawsuit filed in Ontario Superior Court alleges that Dell notebooks suffer from design defects that cause premature failure of the motherboard due to overheating.

The suit, which seeks class-action status, was filed on behalf of an Ontario owner of an Inspiron PC, according to articles by the Canadian Press and the Associated Press. It claims that Dell knew or should have known of the defects but sold the notebooks anyway.'

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/01/12/inspiron_d efect_lawsuit/
Sci-Fi

Submission + - Scientists prepare to move Doomsday Clock forward

antikarma writes: The keepers of the "Doomsday Clock" plan to move its hands forward next Wednesday to reflect what they call worsening nuclear and climate threats to the world. The symbolic clock, maintained by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, currently is set at seven minutes to midnight, with midnight marking global catastrophe. The group did not say in which direction the hands would move. But in a news release previewing an event next Wednesday, they said the change was based on "worsening nuclear, climate threats" to the world.

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