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


Forgot your password?

Comment VirtualBox (Score 2) 361

I too recommend VirtualBox. I use it on my desktop Win 7 machine as well as my four year old notebook running Linux Mint. The fact that it's more-or-less free, and essentially identical on both platforms is a definite advantage. Thus far I've used it to play with various LInux distributions and FreeDOS/MS-DOS. I've even been messing with Windows 98 SE and OS/2 Warp lately, although they required a bit of head scratching to get running.

Comment Re:Joss Whedon's Star Wars (Score 1) 816

Let him rewrite the Zahn trilogy for screen and it might have a chance (but I doubt it will appeal to the kind of audience Disney wants...)

The problem with this is the original actors are far too old to play the characters. As a fan of the original trilogy, I consider Luke, Leia and Han to be sacrosanct; I really don't think I'd want to see a film where they were portrayed by different actors.

Comment Wait, what? (Score 1) 1034

"It's a social awkwardness like a stranger in a foreign land", he said. "They don't know what to say. They don't know what to do."'"

In my youth, before porn and videogames (well, beyond a few hours of Nintendo here and there) I never knew what to say, or what to do. Didn't stop me from making a couple babies. [bitter]And after the wife left me for someone else, porn and videogames have done an adequate job of filling her role anyway.[/bitter]

I am more concerned about young men viewing women as little more than a couple orifices and a pair of boobs.

Comment Re:The reason you haven't heard about it (Score 5, Informative) 207

I think I know why North American readers may never heard of it. (USA and Canada represent well over two-thirds of the population of industrialized anglophone countries.) From the article:

in Saarbrücken, Germany

For some reason they never have demo parties like this in North America. Why is that?

I'm Canadian, and I know of the demoscene and all the related terminology the GP doesn't. While I never had the opportunity to attend a party, I loved watching what some of these groups put out. The Amiga era was a few years before my time; I got into it in the mid-90's when names like Renaissance, Future Crew and Triton were the big guns.

There are caps of some of the big name demos from back in the day available on YouTube, with Future Crew's probably being the most popular. I still remember the awe I experienced when I first saw Triton's (later Starbreeze Studios) Into the Shadows demo. I purchased their subsequent game, Enclave, because of that demo (and they were the guys who wrote FastTracker 2).

For those who don't know what the big deal is, way back when PC hardware was pretty crappy these groups were putting out some of the most demanding and advanced programs, stuff that put a lot of what the game companies were pushing to shame. The aforementioned Into the Shadows demo was released in 1995. This is long before 3D accelerators and hardware floating-point math were standard. It really was impressive at the time, and it was being done by groups of kids.

Comment Re:Hey wait a sec (Score 5, Insightful) 511

Both are atheists. "Agnostic" was a term coined by a man who admitted that the term "atheist" applied to him but didn't want to be lumped in with other people the term also applied to.

[citation needed]

atheist - a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings.
agnostic - a person who holds that the existence of the ultimate cause, as God, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable, or that human knowledge is limited to experience.

When I reached intellectual maturity and began to ask myself whether I was an atheist, a theist, or a pantheist; a materialist or an idealist; Christian or a freethinker; I found that the more I learned and reflected, the less ready was the answer; until, at last, I came to the conclusion that I had neither art nor part with any of these denominations, except the last. The one thing in which most of these good people were agreed was the one thing in which I differed from them. They were quite sure they had attained a certain "gnosis,"–had, more or less successfully, solved the problem of existence; while I was quite sure I had not, and had a pretty strong conviction that the problem was insoluble. So I took thought, and invented what I conceived to be the appropriate title of "agnostic." It came into my head as suggestively antithetic to the "gnostic" of Church history, who professed to know so much about the very things of which I was ignorant. To my great satisfaction the term took. - Huxley, Thomas. Collected Essays. pp. 237–239. ISBN 1-85506-922-9 (via Wikipedia).

Comment Re:Django (Score 1) 519

I find white-space denotion unintuitive and awkward at best. I also think it is a fallacy that it improves code formatting habits when compared to braces. It all comes down to the consistency of the individual programmer(s). Perhaps it is my code upbringing (mostly C and C-like languages) but I'll take my Whitesmith over anything else any day. To each their own.

Comment Re:Also (Score 2) 865

Your kids agree with you probably because you're a good parent. Kudos to you on that; nothing wrong with it. No brainwashing required; you feel strongly on the subject, they subconsciously want to please you, and so they agree. Also, I never said kids won't like older movies; I like the classics too that I watched as a kid. The pattern of behavior I described doesn't fully realize itself until after one hits 30, I notice.

Possibly you are correct. My kids are rather unusual, very independent. I believe it comes from being raised by a single parent, and grandparents. However, there are lots of things they disagree with me on. No matter how hard I try, I cannot convince them to sit through Wrath of Khan in its entirety. And believe you me, I've tried.

It's not nostalgia, either. It's a genuine like of the stuff you saw as a young adult. Even your one-off example of Aliens actually proves my point - I was young when that came out and I think it was awesome (saw it before I saw Alien, too). But I was old enough already to read reviews, and I distinctly remember the reviews of the day - some of them, at least - complaining that they'd taken the masterfully suspenseful Alien, done a lame sequel to it and filled it with action sequences so that you wouldn't notice what a bad movie it was. And who wrote those reviews? Old people that enjoyed Alien a whole lot when it came out.

Battle: Los Angeles is bad, of course. But then again, there's a shitload of bad movies from the late 70's and early 80's that you and I have already forgotten. A tangential point to my original is that every decade produces some great movies and a ton of bad ones, and the older you are, the more likely you are to pooh-pooh even the good movies from the current decade.

You know, the more I consider it, and consider all the post '00 films I've watched, the more I'm agreeing with you. It's easy to forget the old crappy movies when there's so many new crappy movies to bitch about, especially when todays crappy movies are generally just a rehash of stuff I saw years ago.

I still stand by my point that there is less character development in current films, though. There are numerous films from years gone by that, no matter how terrible I perceived them to be, still managed some semblance of character development. Today's films seem devoid of it, save a few rare films. Then again, my awareness may be limited. I'm a typical nerd with very few interests in genres outside the typical nerd domain, so this apparent lack may just be a condition of the films I tend to enjoy.

I would also like to express my pleasure at how you treated my post as a respectful discussion, rather than just calling me names and whatnot. It's a rarity these days and I appreciate such adult discussion. That and being told I'm probably a good parent is nice. I get so little praise these days, I'll take it anywhere - even from strangers on the 'net. :)

Comment Re:Kids (Score 1) 865

I would love to see something like "Game of Thrones" in a movie theatre setting. But I wouldn't want the kids there.

Why not just watch the television series then?

"A Song of Ice and Fire", as the series is called ("A Game of Thrones" was the title of the first book and the aforementioned television series) is just too big to fit into an hour and a half film. Even a trilogy wouldn't work, as there's more to the story than just the first novel.

Comment Re:Maybe the movies just aren't very good (Score 1) 865

My partner and I can canoodle without offending anyone else.

Why on earth would you want to be hugging your business partner? Could make for an awkward time at the office.

Deliberately being obtuse I know, I just find it curious that people feel the need to use gender neutral pronouns in an age where most people don't give two hoots who others shag.

I agree with you completely. Love who you love and all that. Unfortunately, there are still a lot of folks out there who aren't so open minded.

Comment Re:Also (Score 5, Insightful) 865

I hate it when I look past the summary for insightful commentary on what Ebert said, and all I see for the next 1000 comments is old people complaining how movies were much better when they were in their childhood and possibly early 20's.

Of course, what decade that was totally depends on just HOW old the person commenting is. People never seem to realize that one universal constant - while you're growing up, you watch a bunch of stuff (and listen to a bunch of music), and some of it you think is pretty awesome. Then you get old, and you complain EVERYTHING now sucks. It's been true for decades, if not centuries.

I would just like to share that me (36) and my children (16 and 12) agree that about 75% of movies made after 2000 are absolute garbage compared to films from previous years. While there are standouts that are well scripted, well acted, and well filmed, they are few and far between.

My problem stems not from nostalgia for the good old days, mostly, but rather from the lack of characterization in modern films. Take, for example, the film Aliens. I can remember the characters, rattle off their names and personality quirks, and remember exactly how each one died.

Now take Battle: Los Angeles. I watched it. I can't remember a damned thing about it or any of the characters, except that the butt-chin guy who played Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight was in it. His little squad of characters may as well have been named Disposable Latin Guy, Disposable Black Guy, Disposable White Guy. Completely unmemorable.

Many films come across this way to me now. It's all in the effects and the action, nothing to make the characters stand out at all. And if I don't care about the characters, then why care about the story?

And as I said, my kids agree with me on this - a rare occurance at best with my boys. Believe it or not, they came to their own conclusions on this, no brainwashing required.

Comment Re:Question (Score 1) 192

I guess I have to ask the question, why do people always feel the need to upgrade the OS on their phones. What exactly does the new version of Android provide in the area of functionality that the current 2.3 build? I ask because my current Android 2.3 provides all business and personal needs that I currently require.

Speaking anecdotally, my SGS has issues turning wifi on, has hard locked on occasion, and doesn't have the best battery life. I've also replace TouchWiz with another launcher (but need to keep TW in order to use Kies) which duplicates the functionality of the stock ICS launcher.

I do not use the Samsung apps, nor do I use any of the crap my carrier (Bell Canada) puts on the phone. I rooted it specifically so I could remove all that garbage. A plain ICS on my SGS would eliminate the need for several apps that copy the style of the stock apps. Besides, I am the consumer, the device is a little over a year old (I bought it a few days after Bell launched the SGS), and it's what I want, dammit. I figure I'll eventually switch to CyanogenMod or another 3rd party ICS release once they iron out all the bugs. I believe I am past my warranty period anyway.

Slashdot Top Deals

The world is coming to an end--save your buffers!