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Comment DARPA Research Project (Score 1) 147

The story goes that at the height of the cold war DARPA was working on some machine language translation software. English to Russian and Russian to English. When the felt that they had finally got it right they set the system up to take a phrase in English, translate it to Russian, and then translate that back to English to see how closely the phrases matched.

The first researcher stepped up to the console and typed in: "Out of sight, out of mind."
The computer returned: "An invisible lunatic."

Sorry, seemed like the right time to tell that one...

Comment Interesting (Score 5, Insightful) 230

I've been here for a long time. It used to be that I would very rarely if ever read comments submitted by other Slashdotters as I was far more interested in TFA. But as time has gone on I find I am more interested in what others here have to say. Everybody has the same news stories now and it is the insights and comments from the people in this community that are the real value.

Not certain how you're planning to define "sponsors", but if you're planning to accept money from people who would like to mine this community for information I would caution you to tread carefully. You may be trying this on the wrong group of people...

Hope it boots!

Comment Re:3.5K is all anyone will ever need (Score 1) 543

That sounds a bit like a VIC-20 to me. I managed to squeeze an english language command interpreter into BASIC on that machine at one point! Alas, there wasn't much room left to do anything interesting with it once it was running. The 1K computer stored its programs out to an "audio" device and it didn't have any control over the devices motors (like the CBM machines did). You had to jot down where the program started and ended when you recorded it. Then when you wanted to load a program cue the device up to the beginning (I used a reel-to-reel), tell the computer to load something from it, then quickly flip the tape machine to play and hope you timed it right.

Now I've got 2x2TB drives in my machine which are mirrored and another 1TB drive for Time Machine backups. And a laptop with a 128GB SSD... Life is good.

Comment Re:640MB ought to be enough for anybody (Score 1) 543

You're just a young'un. My first computer came with only 1K of memory (1024 bytes) and I had to assemble it myself. No kids, I don't mean plug the cards in and put the cover back on. I had to *solder* it together myself.

I've got 12GB in my current machine (a Mac Pro). When I recently dropped two new 4GB DIMMs into it it booted up and explained in a nice friendly way that I really should put them in a different order for maximum performance (complete with a diagram on how to do it). My how times have changed...

Comment Dead Sea Scrolls (Score 1) 209

This is a common problem with ancient religious texts as often they are fragmented, scattered, and in some cases the bits exists in different parts of the world. A type of recognition tech was used to help piece together parts of the dead sea scrolls:

I recall copying some of the original texts myself, and frankly, I'm surprised they lasted as long as they did in the earthenware jars we made for them.

Comment What Failure Looks Like (Score 1) 220

Looks awesome, but it seems like it is only a matter of time before something fails on the communication end of things and the suit rips an arm or leg off or beats the operator senseless. I'll be watching for the youtube video.

That said, I plan to live to a very VERY old age and wear one of these to help me get around. They didn't mention the elderly as a possible target market, but I can see it.


Submission + - Duke Nukem Forever Finally Released (

lazarus writes: "Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., which publishes the game, launched in Europe and Australia on Friday. The game debuts on Tuesday in the U.S., Canada and Mexico for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PCs.

Despite the long wait, the game launched to tepid reception from critics. The website, which aggregates reviews, gave the Xbox 360 version a score of 55 out of 100. The game did better on the PC with a "metascore" of 76 out of 100. There is no score currently available for the PS3 version."

Comment Observations (Score 4, Insightful) 145

I've been in this IT business full-time for 22 years. Both as an employee and as a contractor. My experience has been that the number of meetings I am asked to attend is directly proportional to my pay.

I had 19 meetings last week. Somewhere between 15 and 22 is a typical week for me. And not a week goes by that I don't wish I could give up the money and go back to some quiet uninterrupted hacking. But I'm afraid that I'm not as sharp as I used to be. And the golden handcuffs are very strong.

Bottom line: If you're a geek, and you're happy, don't let them suck you into responsibility. Biggest mistake I ever made was cutting my hair. If I had to do it all over again, I'd stay the socially inept technical genius. Fuck them. Money isn't everything.

Comment Re:Rubbish (Score 1) 162

Understood - in terms of accounts you are correct. But my point is that with a typical daily maximum of simultaneous users, 15k represents about 33%. In other words, 1 out of every 3 ships you encounter is being piloted by a machine (at the best of times).

As for your assertion that it is players the world over that are accounting for the 15k on-line number, I was in the same boat as you. My play time was typically between 4am EST and 7am (on either side of DT). It wasn't very often that I ran into another human being while playing. Sure, maybe nobody wanted to speak English with me. And maybe they were really good about running back and forth from the asteroids to the stations, or from the stations to the planets. Was your experience different?

I don't envy CCP's position on this. Most of those macros are not owned by "gold farmers", they are owned by real players who use macros to get ahead in the game. If you kill them off you're going to lose those accounts and then some. If you don't kill them off then people who don't cheat are always at a disadvantage.

Have you ever used macros in the game?

Comment Re:Rubbish (Score 1) 162

And how much of that as a direct or indirect result of the use of macros? There are 15,000 users on-line all the time in Eve. Moments after DT they are back. They're bots. And CCP can't afford to get rid of them.

Swear to me that neither you nor your corp benefit by macros. You can't. Even if your corp has a strict policy about it (which is probably doesn't) you can't say for sure that some of your members are cheating, nor can you say that outside organizations that you rely on for resources aren't cheating.

Eve is a simulation. It's fun in the same way that Sim City is fun. But to the point of TFA -- Eve is dying a slow death because while a Sim City MMO may seem like a good idea over a few beers, the challenges of implementing that genre in an MMO are high. Too high for the likes of CCP. At some point they've realized that and are pumping their money into other projects and giving their Eve user base only small expansions and bug fixes.

What will eventually happen to Eve and/or CCP? Probably not much (I don't think CCP is leveraged). But you may eventually find that you're flying around in a universe where the bots outnumber the players and you'll come to the realization that you're not actually playing an MMO anymore...

Comment No, It Can't (Score 1) 405

"If you have a 'smart meter' it is collecting data that can reveal when you wake up, when you leave for work and come home, when you go on vacation and when you take a shower" No, my "smart" meter has been combined with TOU (Time of Use) billing, so naturally I installed 7 day programmable timers on everything. My ground source heat pump only comes on at night and brings the temperature up on my radiant floor heating system. My AC only comes on and cools the house when it is cheap to do so. My hot water tank heats up at night and provides me with enough hot water for the day. My dishwasher comes on in the middle of the night as well. If they are gleaning any statistics from watching my energy usage, they might as well be using the slashdot poll results as well.

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