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The Struggle For Private Game Servers 125

A story at the BBC takes a look at the use of private game servers for games that tend not to allow them. While most gamers are happy to let companies like Blizzard and NCSoft administer the servers that host their MMORPGs, others want different rules, a cheaper way to play, or the technical challenge of setting up their own. A South African player called Hendrick put up his own WoW server because the game "wasn't available in the country at the time." A 21-year-old Swede created a server called Epilogue, which "had strict codes of conduct and rules, as well as a high degree of customized content (such as new currency, methods of earning experience, the ability to construct buildings and hire non-player characters, plus 'permanent' player death) unavailable in the retail version of the game." The game companies make an effort to quash these servers when they can, though it's frequently more trouble that it's worth. An NCSoft representative referenced the "growing menace" of IP theft, and a Blizzard spokesperson said,"We also have a responsibility to our players to ensure the integrity and reliability of their World of Warcraft gaming experience and that responsibility compels us to protect our rights."

First Zero-Gravity Wedding Planned 133

Trenchcoatjedi writes "A couple from Brooklyn, NY are planning the first wedding in zero gravity. The wedding will take place June 20th aboard a parabolic flight operated by Zero G Corp and will be officiated by Richard Garriott of Ultima fame. The dress is designed by a Japanese haute couture designer and is specifically intended to be worn in zero gravity. Even the wedding rings will be made from meteorite."

Comment Shades of Vulcan's Hammer (Score 1) 176

I just got done reading Philip Dick's Vulcan's Hammer, where a rogue AI starts manufacturing little flying spy robots. That perch.

Can I not read ONE sci-fi novel without someone trying to make it a hideous reality?

Maybe that's why Hollywood is pumping out the PKD films like there's no tomorrow... to prepare us for the pink mind-control lasers. And the flapples. I still don't know what an effing flapple is, and I have gobs of PKD novels and short stories sitting around my conapt.

Comment Re:Morrowind (Score 1) 183

Somewhat relieved to hear that others had the same problem with the Elder Scrolls. A friend of mine was watching me play and said "Why do you pick up every single alchemical ingredient like some kind of demented vacuum cleaner?"

The houses in Morrowind were never large enough, I ended up using the toolset to build myself a lair for my ill-gotten loot.

My killer combo in that game was Boots of Blinding Speed + Hide of the Apostle + Daedric Crescent. It was like Worf meets the Flash.

I'd still be playing Oblivion if it didn't crash on my system every ten to thirty minutes.

Comment Re:creationism/evolution (Score 1) 391

I believe we were created by god, to evolve. Obviously, thousands of years ago, we were different, but evolved to what we are today. What's interesting, is when I say that, depending on which side of the creationism/evolution debate you are on, sparks controversy from both sides ;)

Actually, I've been saying this for years.

I know the uber-militant-atheists will storm you with their cold, steely, just-as-unprovable-assumptions, but just ignore them. Hardcore militant atheists are just as annoying to average folk as the hardcore militant fundamentalists. One is fundamentalist re: the Bible, the other fundamentalist re: radical materialism.

A quick analogy: If an astronaut lands on an unexplored planet and finds intricate, complex crystals in strange formations that seem impossible to occur strictly naturally ... these on an airless lifeless planet with no fossil record of life within the last few billion years, the investigation would not center on "omg did an alien put those here, and if they did, did they put it here with a machine or by hand?" Instead, given that the 'crime scene is several billion years old, it's a little hard to forensically put together who did what. In fact, it could be IMPOSSIBLE to determine whether ANY intelligence put them, or whether strange confluxes of mineralology or probability had brought them together.

From the other perspective. If you are out taking a stroll in a new area, and come across an old ruined house in the woods ... Are you ready to "prove" it was built with Craftsman tools on the spot ... or using prefabricated pieces? Oh, yes... it's UNPROVABLE.

My underlying point is this: Either with an airless rock in space, or an old ruined house... our energy is better spent dealing with 'hazards of an airless moon' or 'house restoration' than arguing over unprovables.

Don't assume I'm talking about evolution's unprovability -- actually I know quite a lot about paleontology for the average bear and have no delusions over the validity of the theory -- unless wild new evidence surfaces. But as to whether a God exists, especially a God concerned with free will ... to whom provability DESTROYS the validity of free will / belief / faith .... that will HAVE to remain unprovable. Either proof would ensure nihilism's ultimate victory.

Comment Re:I know where . . . (Score 1) 471

That's why you print it, THEN photocopy it, maybe with a slightly smudged plastic sheet over it. Using an old non-digital copier that you picked up out of someone's rubbish or bought with cash at a 2nd hand store. Then drop it in a public postbox in a crowded place. Use gloves. Don't let any part of you that contains DNA get into the envelope. Did I miss any identifying factors?

Yes, you forgot to say if we're in a Tom Clancy novel or a William Gibson novel.

Comment Impostor, mysteriously ignored. (Score 2, Interesting) 117

The movie "Impostor" really never even gets mentioned, and it was pretty damned faithful to the original story. Dunno why certain movies, that are no less bad than the rest of Hollywood's ... um... output... get passed over in the Public Attention Lottery. (i.e. the film version of Vonnegut's "Breakfast of Champions"... all-star cast, fun performances, pretty close to original novel, and no press / attention whatsoever)

Comment Re:Cowards. (Score 1) 321

Has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?

"Spin monkey banana for what utility said bacon robot add pixel word what?" Because what i just said, makes nearly as much sense as what you just said. Sorry if that offends.


Submission + - Scientist Ignites Hydrogen in Water with Radio (

Criceratops writes: "Apparently a cancer researcher in Erie, Pennsylvania, while researching methods of desalinization with radio frequencies, found that the hydrogen bonds weaken and then burn while the radio waves were maintained. The AP says that this story broke in Pittsburgh, otherwise Yahoo's front page is compromised. Is the energy crisis solved? The story says that the hydrogen burned at temperatures of 3000 degrees F!!! And the exhaust of course would be H20 vapor! This is a plea for this one to be verified or disbunked!!"

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Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards. -- Aldous Huxley