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Great Barrier Reef Has Worst Coral Die-Off Ever, Report Finds ( 235

Australia's Great Barrier Reef has suffered from its worst coral die-off ever recorded, according to a new study from the Australian Research Council Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies based at James Cook University. "Stress from the unusually warm ocean water heated by man-made climate change and the natural El Nino climate pattern caused the die-off," reports USA Today. At more than 1,400 miles long, Australia's Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef and the planet's biggest structure made by living organisms. In the northernmost section of the reef, which had been considered the most "pristine," some 67% of the coral died. The good news, scientists said, was that central and southern sections of the reef fared far better, with "only" 6% and 1% of the coral dead, respectively. Coral reefs result from the work of little polyps, creatures only a few millimeters long, budded on top of one another. Over centuries, the shells of these creatures combine to form the exotic shapes of coral reefs. Tiny differences in the anatomy of each polyp species affect the shape of their shells and produce the exotic shapes of each reef. The vibrant colors that draw thousands of tourists to the Great Barrier Reef each year come from algae that live in the corals tissue. When water temperatures become too high, coral becomes stressed and expels the algae, which leave the coral a bleached white color. Mass coral bleaching is a new phenomenon and was never observed before the 1980s as global warming ramped up. Besides their beauty, reefs shelter land from storms, and are also a habitat for myriads of species.

Comment You havn't played the game, have you? (Score 1) 467

Since the game plays _just_ _fine_ without a connection to "the servers" (at least on PS/4) because it's not WoW in space, the presence of item 2 on this list tells me that you've never actually played this game. "The Servers" in No Man's Sky are just data repositories for the discoveries you upload, and the chance to download other peoples discoveries if you find anybody else's planet. There's no "instancing" because your machine is the instance.

Meanwhile, I have not seen a single broken promise in the game. I don't know what the munchkin power-gamer types _thought_ they were buying... but what I got was pretty much exactly what I was sold: An exploration and survival sandbox game with a rich story that you have to "discover" (by reading the texts you farm out of ancient monoliths and ruins).

Now I know the people who didn't pay attention to what was being sold are quite disappointed because they were thinking they were getting Destiny "life full of boomstick!" redux. But go find me a single video from the makers that tried to sell that at all. They talked about exploring worlds, mining, crafting, and dodging sentinels.

Is the game flawless? Fuck no. It's essentially impossible to find your way back along your flight path to that one planet that had that one resource that you desperately need, and ibid for finding your way back to an on-planet trade hub. So the mapping and waypointing needs some work. And I can see signs of bigger things that got waylaid (like observatories that talk about locations in distant space that, instead, direct you to far-away points on the planet you are on), but I suspect that that became a question of things simplified in play-testing.

So I agree with the parts of your sentiment that "you pay your money and you take your chance", but I disagree with any part of anybody's complaint if they are bitching about "the servers" and the lack of WoW-in-space behaviors.

I've yet to see a single complaint that really boils down to a broken promise. I've seen a lot of complaining about things that were fully disclosed in the advanced coverage where the complainer took great liberties with their imagination, insisting that what they were promised was not delivered. But those undelivered promises seem to be entirely in their heads.

Comment It's _exactly_ the game they sold in all the hype. (Score 1) 467

Minus a couple small things (like every planet has lots of upload points instead of having to find an upload point on just some planets) this is _exactly_ the game Hello Games was hawking. I just don't think the audience was paying attention.

Procedurally generated universe: Check. Of _course_ the universe is therefore limited by the number of procedures and skins available in the download, duh...

Rich Story: Check. You of course have to farm the sources (like monoliths) to extract the story.

Completely customizable personal tool, suit, and ship: Check.

Peace versus War is your choice: Check.

Basically the game was marketed as the opposite of Destiny et al. It's survival and exploration instead of "closet full of boomstick!" : Check.

So I went online and found guides on how to quickly max out your ship, suit, and multitool. In other words guides on how to skip the game content. Skipping game content is boring. Check.

I've seen screenshots of people who've advanced further and faster, including people surrounded by sentinel walkers and whatnot.

I got a great sense of accomplishment when I finally figured out how to properly kit out my ship to take on a swarm of fighters (hint, the cannon is dumb fire but the burst beam is on a tracking turret).

And with a low-slot multi-tool, built poorly, I was _everything's_ bitch. But now I've built up a tool that I barely have to aim to take down large creature in moments. (hint, wide-shot bolt thrower and rail-gun mod then build up all the mining beam distance and focus, then never switch to bolt mode, the mining beam gets an invisible halo of destruction).

I did a free-flight (no pathing) and found myself in a world of hurt, and got back on path.

There are six or eight pathing pips and I've only unlocked one (you get two for free) so I'm assming eventually those other pips mean something.

I've had only one group of crashes on my PS/4 (version 1.4 had a tendency to crash if you opened your inventory in space). Other's have had more crashes. I've hat that same experience on other games, and when it's happened I've done a "rebuild database" on the PS/4 and then reinstalled and the problem went away, so that's more of a platform issue than a stability issue IMHO.

So I've seen a lot of bitching by power gamers and power levelers who then discovered (or didn't figure out) that they should be reading the text in a story game, and no, you _won't_ end up in a one-man super fortress because _duh_, that's not this game.

Quite frankly some times it is boring, which is the nature of exploration, but I've managed to sit down and play for eight hours straight... completely engrossed in the game.

So a bunch of whiners want their money back because they didn't pay attention to the advertisements. Ha Ha, sucks to be stupid. But in terms of being a "bad game"... not so much.

What I regret is that this means that the money won't keep floating in so the company probably won't be able to roll out the next chunk.

TL;DR :: Everything promised has, so far, been present in the game. But if you are a stupid munchkin power gamer, who wants every room to have one monster and one treasure, then you will be sadly disappointed. If you were looking for world of warcraft in space, this is not your game, and its developers never pretended it would be. The people who want their money back are essentially guilty of bad decision making and failure to pay attention to plain-spoken promises.

Comment Fathom Events (Score 2) 331 I subscribe to their newsletter, and I regularly see movies, tv shows, and specials in the theater that I wouldn't ordinarily be able to see with the "full theater experience". Recently it was Batman The Killing Joke, Doctor Who episodes, Shakespeare birthday celebration, etc. I paid about $12.25 per ticket (for three people) and bought about $30 worth of theater concessions. For Killing Joke we had a group of ten people and we all had a great time, and the entire event was sold out with such demand that additional nights and showtimes were added. so yes, for certain things, I will leave my widescreen monitor and go for the theater experience.

Comment When will Medium go to hell? (Score 1) 39

So far I've been fairly pleased with reading things on Medium, although some of the weird sliding underlay pics I can do without. So when will the nice experience give way to a horrible one? When they force ads on those who run ad blockers? When they decide they aren't making enough money from the site as is? Micro transactions? So far it's been almost too good to be true.... which makes me deeply suspicious.

Comment Caring, more or less (Score 1) 765

I know you are correct, but I have decided to hear it as "I could care less (but that wouldn't be worth the effort)".

Alternately: "It might surprise you to know, seeing how little I care, that I could care less than I appear to, but it would take quantum observation to discriminate between how much I care and the theoretical zero point."

So it's wrong but it's not wrong-wrong.

This is hand-in-hand with "It's not 'apathy' per se, I just don't think I care."

In english the ironic is normative. 8-)

Comment Real Name Policy - Off Topic (Score 1) 293

Anyone know how to get around the stupid "real name policy"? I go by a different name due to my association with the fringe art community, and they are trying to force me to upload ID that shows my real name, which I've heard then locks you into using that name. I don't need potential employers knowing that I shoot nude pics for fun.

Comment FACEBOOKISTAN (Score 2) 293

Just watched this last night, while I've heard of the issues with content moderators previously, this is the first time I've seen it all laid out including the censorship of legal political parties. Also to be found in the usual places if you'd like a download.

Facebookistan Site
Watch on YouTube Facebookistan english version

Comment Self esteem issue (Score 5, Insightful) 499

Women leave roughly 7 times as often as men after they do badly in an interview. And the numbers for two bad interviews aren't much better.

Once you factor out interview data from both men and women who quit after one or two bad interviews, the disparity goes away entirely. So while the attrition numbers aren't great, I'm massively encouraged by the fact that at least in these findings, it's not about systemic bias against women or women being bad at computers or whatever. Rather, it's about women being bad at dusting themselves off after failing, which, despite everything, is probably a lot easier to fix.

Also the title here is particularly bad, but I guess it's part of the Science News Cycle

Comment Do Zip/Rar/Archive Bombs still exist? (Score 1) 113

This got me thinking of the maliciously constructed ZIP/RAR files that would expand endlessly from a very small zip into files that were larger than any hard drive could handle, as well as make directory/file structures so deep you couldn't delete them in windows. Sure these days they are hiding malicious payloads in there as the above bugs mention, but I could see one of these being the payload for annoyance purposes if they still exist.

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