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Role Playing (Games)

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Announced for November 2011 231

Bethesda took advantage of the Video Game Awards this weekend to announce the fifth installment of the Elder Scrolls series, titled Skyrim. The game is planned for November 2011, and a teaser trailer has been posted on the Elder Scrolls website. Details are sparse, though the game will apparently run on an "all-new" engine.

Comment Re:And he needs a computer to do it for curves (Score 2) 473

"If you can't get rich off of that over the course of your career, you are doing it wrong" -- remember, this discussion was started by an article in which a med school graduate and research scientist reinvented the trapezoid method of integration, presumably because he never learned it in math class. So we're not talking math geniuses here.

Comment Re:*yawn*. Call me when we lose at Go. (Score 2, Informative) 178

Computer programs have already beaten Go professionals at 7-stone handicap games. Mogo and Many Faces of Go have both done it for sure, and Zen is very competitive with both of them. If you go to http://gokgs.com/ and sign into the Computer Go room you'll see that Zen is ranked 3 dan and ManyFaces is ranked 2 dan, and they routinely win games off strong amateur humans. Both Zen and ManyFaces are single-box SMP programs, and the algorithm they use is a Monte Carlo algorithm so it should scale to hundreds of machines, while Mogo already runs on 600 processors...

So Go programs are getting there. Not as fast as chess, but they're still getting there.

Comment Re:Yep! Time to pack it up and go home! (Score 1) 343

Microsoft can't possibly withdraw from China -- it has a huge investment there that has nothing to do with the search engine market. Microsoft Research Asia is headquartered in Beijing; and a number of product teams have development teams in Shanghai (disclosure: including mine). They just opened a 4000-FTE office complex in one of Shanghai's technical districts. So I doubt Microsoft is going to close down Bing China out of principle.

Comment Re:Age and quality. (Score 5, Insightful) 443

Isn't that symptomatic of how the "net culture" has changed, though? Back when Slashdot was new, being on the Internet was something few people did, even less so without inhibitions. It was the lair of tech and science geeks, and that was that. People would dig up interesting science/tech articles and then the comments would debate it over and over (with of course random quotes).

However, nowadays you can't help but notice the politicization of the Internet and, by extension, of all things related to computers and science. I'd argue the politics section you noted highlights that fact: politics now influence this community far more than it did before. There are now ideological debates, megacorporations to praise or decry, lawyers to monitor, laws to bash or applaud... Blogs, social networks, all have changed the face of the Internet and I only believe it normal that Slashdot changed to reflect that.

I honestly wouldn't mind seeing more science and tech articles and less law stuff, but at the same time I'm glad I have a good source from which to read the latest developments in copyright crap or ISP abuses... I guess. Bah, you see my point!

Comment Re:requires 18000kg of antimatter (Score 1) 392

Certainly, but given that there's no magic way of turning ordinary matter into antimatter, the only way of getting that 18 tonnes of antimatter is to make the stuff --- which is where the 4e21 joules of energy comes in.

And frankly, if I wanted to devastate a planet and had 18 tonnes of antimatter around, it would be far more convenient just to take the lid off the bottle than to do all that fiddly messing around with space travel.

(Right now state of the art is just about at the stage of producing one fundamental particle of antimatter at a time. I recall a few years ago that someone had actually managed to assemble a single anti-hydrogen atom that was stable for a while, until they dropped it.)

Comment Fake Personalities, Real Scams (Score 0) 85

Stories like these illustrate the reason why I've stopped using these social networking sites, especially Facebook. The amount of scams on there is ridiculous... all of those little "games" that your friends ask you to sign up to play are just scams to get you to agree to give them your contact information. Now lobbyists are succeeding to make themselves even more unreputable. Way to jump on the bandwagon.

Comment Re:Evil (Score 1) 645

See the problem with that approach is that there is nothing to fall back on if you drive the private insurers out of business

Yes, because having them rely on medical diagnosis for medical problems will bankrupt them. They should be charging fees for what they deliver. If their fees can't cover what they promise to deliver, then there is some problem with their fee structure. Trolling sites with pictures for evidence of fraud may be appropriate (or not, I'm just not getting into that), but canceling treatment payment against the written policy should be illegal (I say should be because I know it is in some places, but don't know about all, not "should be" in the sense of I wish it were). If they are accusing her of fraud, then they should do so and cancel it because of that. If they are coming to a medical diagnosis from a couple snapshots, they should be thrown in jail for practicing medicine without a license, then shut down for unethical practices.

Comment Re:yep... (Score 1) 778

1. Voice commands will work really poorly in crowded places. I'm trying to picture how I'd use voice commands reliably in Denver airport.

2. Any sort of holographic projection thing is going to require something to project on. For privacy reasons you'll often want something you can hold up to your face, and there are many surfaces that would be impolite to use for a holographic keyboard. If you have something you're holding up to your face, now you have to hold the watch steady relative to it... you'd be better off with a detachable LCD screen. At which point you might as well put the phone hardware in the LCD screen instead.

3. Again, ergonomic factors dictate that a watch is not more convenient than a phone for making calls. My watch has one button on the front and four out of the way on the sides. More buttons on the front would make it harder to use (it is typically pressed blind, sometimes while wearing gloves, usually while very tired and out of breath, and for my purposes I need fairly precise timing). A phone needs... a numeric keypad! A device with an effective keypad and be easy to talk into, something good enough that I'd prefer it to my landline, would have to be big. You could have a Bluetooth thing that looks like a phone or a headset or something... but, again, you might as well just make that the phone instead. If you get a call on your watch-phone and don't have a headset with you, what can you do about it? You just get a ring, and maybe you can listen to the message.

Hardware

Submission + - The Man Behind the Netbook Craze 1

theodp writes: A few years ago rivals mocked Asus chairman Jonney Shih. When it hit stores in the fall of 2007, Shih's $399 EeePC was derided by rivals as a low-power plaything. Millions of netbooks later, Shih is having the last laugh, having created what has become a $10 billion category in two years. Before Asus (from Pegasus, the mythical Greek horse), Shih was a top R&D engineer during the startup days of Acer.

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