Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Hrm (Score 4, Informative) 138

While I'm a huge fan of Star Trek and Astronomy in general, I don't think a moon of Pluto should be called Vulcan. Why? The name "Vulcan" is from Roman mythology, and is the name of the Roman god of fire and volcanos. Last I checked, Pluto and it's moons were too far away from the Sun to have any connection to fire and volcanos. In other words, Pluto's moons are too far outside of the system to make the name "Vulcan" appropriate. I hope the IAU has the sense to name this moon after something that fits contextually.

Now if they'd discovered that Mercury had a moon, Vulcan would be the obvious choice!

Comment Re:Are you serious? (Score 2) 357

I've played most of the big releases from Bioware since 2008, and there is not a single one that can be finished in any sense of the word in two to four hours. Even if you ignore the side missions/quests and focus only on the big story moving content you're still going to be playing for 10-12 hours.

I just did a Mass Effect trilogy run a few weeks ago and this is what I ended up with: Mass Effect: 36 hours played
Mass Effect 2: 29 hours played
Mass Effect 3: 24 hours played

I understood why people were complaining about the Day-1 DLC with Mass Effect 3, specially after completing the game in only 2/3rds of the time it took to finish the first of the trilogy. It's actually quite obvious that the From Ashes Day-1 DLC was originally intended to be part of Mass Effect 3. There's simply too much exposition and interaction with Javik to have had him tacked on after the fact like they did with Kasumi or Zaeed in Mass Effect 2. With Kasumi and Zaeed, when you interacted with them in their quarters on the ship they had very simple replies; Zaeed usually talked about his past missions and Kasumi mostly jabbered about your other crew mates and her past heists. There was no interactive dialog, no questions you could ask them. It was basically click and hear them say something.
Ashley Williams, who was a late addition to your crew in ME3 core game was implemented like Zaeed and Kasumi. She'd say something if you clicked her, but there were only a couple instances where you'd try to interact with her and you'd get a cut scene where there was a Q&A.
Mass Effect 3 AND Dragon Age 2 seemed to me to be rushed games. Both seemed like they were lesser games than their predecessors and both had a huge amount of outcry due to Day-1 DLC, as well as claims that the developers cut corners (particularly the end of ME3) to get the game to market. All of this seems to have happened since Bioware was acquired by EA (no big surprise there really).

Comment Re:Rather something else (Score 4, Insightful) 470

TNG made the Borg. The movie First Contact and Voyager turned them into pussies. Maurice Hurley originally wrote the Borg to be like a force of nature; like a hurricane that swept through an area leaving nothing but destruction in their wake. Your only option for survival was to get the hell out of the way and hide until the storm passed.
Then the writers decided to bring them back, but they decided to anthropomorphise them. So they took Picard, who at the time wasn't sure if he was going to continue playing the part of Picard, and borgify him, leaving the viewers hanging. Would Picard be saved or would he leave the show and become a recurring bad guy?
Then we got Hugh. That's when the Borg began their downward spiral into pussydome. The moment Hugh said "Geordi is my friend" I knew it was all over.

Then we got Lore with the Borg renegades, who all had cool names similar to Locutus. Apparently a single Borg discovering individuality was enough to completely cripple an entire cube's population. No security on that network I guess.

Then we got First Contact, where they basically rebooted the Borg into a technological space vampire bug species. Pretty much everything we learned about them from the episode Q, Who? was ditched so they could play a bigger role. We got the Queen, which was completely opposite to the idea of a collective consciousness! She is the big bad, the drones are just vampiric zombies to be blasted apart by holographic tommy guns.
From there we went to Voyager, which completely ignored the Borg until their ratings started to sag, then they decided to ditch one cast member and replace her with a borg drone with big tits and a nice ass. From there on out, the Borg became a running joke. Voyager disproved that resistance was futile. They disproved that the Borg were even a serious threat. By the end of Voyager the Borg had been relegated to "major annoyance".

But this wasn't the end. Oh no! They had to bring the Borg back for Enterprise! Cause, you know, Enterprise took place in an alternate universe created when the Borg went back in time in First Contact and changed the past. So they had some Borg survive their sphere exploding in orbit and making it down to the arctic where they would be found by some scientists in the 2150's. Now, this could have been done really well, but they still had all the props and costumes left over from Voyager, as well as the same lame-brained producers and writers, so we just got more of the same, ultimately ending in a signal being broadcast alerting the borg to the existence of Earth, thus allowing them to find their way there in the future, around the 2360's...

I have a love-hate relationship with Star Trek. And it's mostly Berman/Braga's fault. Had they had some producers with a minute amount of balls, the Borg could have been awesome. Instead they turned them into B-grade movie bad guys for the ratings, and it is still going on today. In the MMORPG Star Trek Online, you can take out entire cube ships by yourself without much hassle. They've even gone so far as to link V'Ger with the Borg... cause everything in Star Trek has to be related to everything else.

So much potential, wasted by crappy writers and producers...

Comment Lame (Score 2) 288

It orbits the star in 28 days. That means it's probably tidally locked. One side of the planet would be boiling, the other side would be freezing. The only habitable area on the planet would be yet another habitable zone near the planets terminator.
Weather on this planet would be pretty crazy, if it has an atmosphere at all, and life? I doubt it. Any life on this planet would have no day/night cycle, which seems kind of important for life as we know it.

And that's why I'm really getting tired of all these sensationalist "We found another Earth-like planet" headlines. Mr. Guillem Anglada-Escude of the Carnegie Institution for Science is being very disingenuous claiming that this is the "Holy Grail of exoplanet research". It could be, but without knowing more about it it's just as likely that it's as dead as Mercury or the Moon. Except bigger.

Comment History repeating itself... (Score 1) 154

1848: Federal judges wary of mail impact on juries
1898: Federal judges wary of telephone impact on juries
1918: Federal judges wary of radio impact on juries
1948: Federal judges wary of television impact on juries
1978: Federal judges wary of satellite impact on juries
1988: Federal judges wary of email impact on juries
1998: Federal judges wary of instant messaging impact on juries

Let's just go with this:
Federal judges wary of communication impact on juries

Comment Re:Terraforming 101 (Score 1) 96

This is the counter argument to terraforming that pops up on Slashdot in just about every story that has popped up about Mars. Yes, solar winds will gently blow the atmosphere off into space. The thing is, depending on how thick the atmosphere is, this could take tens of thousands of years, maybe even millions of years. In other words, we could replenish the atmosphere (by melting dry ice, diverting and burning up comets in the atmosphere, etc) as needed.

Comment Do they also... (Score 1) 119

Do they also ban R rated movies with bloodspray and limb dismemberment? No? I guess they don't understand that, like art, books, music, television and movies, video game companies cater to different demographics.

Not really surprising though: The more I hear about Australia the more it reminds me of rural Kansas.

Submission + - Studios Lose Appeal against ISP (

Vorghagen writes: "A GROUP of 34 movie studios headed by Village Roadshow has lost its appeal against a Federal Court judgment involving internet service provider iiNet.
The court has found it was impossible to hold iiNet responsible for its users illegally downloading movies and television shows."

Submission + - Court rules Against Studios in Piracy Case ( 1

skirmish666 writes: The giants of the film industry have lost their appeal in a lawsuit against ISP iiNet in a landmark judgment handed down in the Federal Court today.
The appeal dismissed today had the potential to impact internet users and the internet industry profoundly as it sets a legal precedent surrounding how much ISPs are required to do to prevent customers from downloading movies and other content illegally.


Submission + - New Zealand Earthquake (

Anonymous Coward writes: "A strong 6.3-magnitude earthquake has struck the city of Christchurch on New Zealand's South Island, seriously injuring people and damaging buildings throughout the city.

Video footage showed damaged buildings throughout the city centre, with bricks and shattered concrete strewn across the pavement. Hundreds of dazed, screaming and crying residents wandered through the streets as sirens blared throughout the city."

Comment Re:Wrong summary? (Score 4, Interesting) 82

Shih said the service is particularly well-suited to companies that have franchises and branch offices that want to provide a local flavor to their Facebook content, but also must comply with corporate rules and leverage content from corporate and other users in the system.

In other words, they get to approve all comments made on not only their facebook page, but any of their local franchises, or the local users of those franchises. So if I go to my local McDonalds and get crappy service and decided to later post that on the local McDonalds facebook page, the corporate office AND the local franchise would have to approve my message before it was displayed for others to see.

Comment Re:Why not, indeed? (Score 1) 229

However, as we re-enter manned space exploration, we will be looking for heavy-lift options that don't actually exist today, and those present the opportunity to develop new methods.

I think you mean "if" we re-enter manned space exploration. The U.S.A. has completely lost it's technological edge when it comes to space flight. Sure, the military probably has something up it's sleeve, but NASA has, um, nothing that can get a human into orbit after Endeavour's final flight in late April. Sure, they're talking about making another man-rated heavy lift launcher, but they've been doing that for the last 3 decades with nothing to show for it.

I'll be shocked if we have a new heavy launch vehicle actually produced by NASA in the remainder of my lifetime. More likely; a private company will have a heavy launch vehicle that can be man-rated, but never will be due to the lack of cash the U.S.A. has to spend on such things.

Sorry to be a buzz kill, but the glory days of manned U.S. space exploration are over.

Slashdot Top Deals

Old programmers never die, they just become managers.