Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


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 Dodging reality with numbers (Score 1) 505

Ten years ago, Macs were clearly the minority of notebooks. Oh you'd see them in coffeeshops sometimes--they were hardly unusual--but mostly there were Dells and Gateways and HPs and so on. The last couple of years, good grief, go to any of those same coffeeshops or hang around on a college campus and we're talking 50% or more of the computers are Macs. The difference is bold and obvious. Now do the stats show an increase from 2 to 2.5% or whatever? I don't know. It might be based on corporate PCs or what elementary schools on a budget buy. But it's pretty obvious that Macs have made a huge leap to prominence.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Why the Lack of Worry about Populati 4

Junks Jerzey writes: While everyone bickers about the validity and causes of global warming, the earth's population is growing at amazing rates. In under a century we'll be hitting limits on fresh water and food production. And if global warming is true, the addition of 3+ billion people in the next fifty years isn't exactly going to slow things down. So why the lack of concern about the more concrete problem?

Deadline Scheduling Proposed For the Linux Kernel 113

c1oud writes "At the last Real-Time Linux Workshop, held in September in Dresden, there was a lot of discussion about the possibility of enhancing real-time capabilities of Linux by adding a new scheduling class to the Linux kernel. According to most kernel developers, this new scheduling class should be based on the Earliest Deadline First (EDF) real-time algorithm. The first draft of the scheduling class was called 'SCHED_EDF,' and it was proposed and discussed on the Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML) just before the workshop. Recently, a second version of the scheduling class (called 'SCHED_DEADLINE,' to meet the request of some kernel developers) was proposed. Moreover, the code has been moved to a public git repository on Gitorius. The implementation is part of a FP7 European project called ACTORS, and financially supported by the European commission. More details are available."

Ultracapacitor Bus Recharges At Each Stop 419

TechReviewAl writes "A US company and its Chinese partner are piloting a bus powered by ultracapacitors in Washington DC. Ultracapacitors lack the capacity of regular batteries but are considerably cheaper and can be recharge completely in under a minute. Sinautec Automobile Technologies, based in Arlington, VA, and its Chinese partner, Shanghai Aowei Technology Development Company, have spent the past three years demonstrating the approach with 17 municipal buses on the outskirts of Shanghai. The executive director of Sinautec touts the energy efficiency of this approach: 'Even if you use the dirtiest coal plant on the planet [to charge an ultracapacitor], it generates a third of the carbon dioxide of diesel.'"

Comment Re:Glad I'm not the only one who didn't like it. (Score 4, Informative) 104

It seemed more like a technology demo than an actual game.
For the time, it was amazingly deep in terms of gameplay. I don't know what other real-time game you could even compare it to. You had several tactical views, you had to manage fuel, system-specific damage, the AI felt menacing (in terms of how it would home in on your starbases). Fuel wasn't just magic; you had to dock with a starbase to get more. The whole game was highly interactive in a real-time way: AI units would move when you were looking at the map view, you could veer off course in hyperspace and end up in adjacent sectors
I actually thought the visual side of things was fairly lame.

Comment CPU performance articles are quaint (Score 1, Interesting) 173

While I hardly think 640K is enough for anyone, this story strikes me as an odd curiosity, certainly not something worthy of the Slashdot front page. In the age of netbooks, the iPhone, and notebook computing, does the ultimate pinnacle of performance even matter any more? Even with desktops, I just bought a $600 Dell that's so far beyond anything I can throw at it (with the usual exception of those few extraordinarily demanding GPU-bound games that need $400 video cards just to scrape by), that CPU performance is no longer on my radar. And it's not even an i7; it's the last revision of the Core 2 Duo.

Average Gamer Is 35, Fat and Bummed 439

kamapuaa writes "According to a study published in the upcoming October issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the average US video game player is 35 years old, overweight, and tends toward depression. Specifically, female video game players tended towards depression, while males tended towards large BMIs. While the study itself points to several conclusions, one researcher noted: '... habitual use of video games as a coping response may provide a genesis for obsessive-compulsive video-game playing, if not video-game addiction.'" On the flip side, the Washington Post is running a story about the mental health benefits of playing video games.
PlayStation (Games)

Sony Announces PS3 Slim, Price Cut, Improvements To Home 427

Sony's press conference today at the Gamescom convention was full of announcements. They officially revealed the PS3 Slim, which will be 36% lighter and 33% smaller than the normal PS3. It will come with a 120 GB hard drive and list for $299 when it hits retail stores in early September. Normal PS3s will drop to that price as well starting tomorrow. (Unfortunately for Sony, their unveiling was spoiled a bit by several retailers jumping the gun on new advertisements, not to mention the rumors that had been swirling for weeks ahead of time.) Sony also announced a PS3 firmware update as well as new features and customization options for Home. In addition to that, the PS3 and PSP will be getting a digital reader service. At launch it will bring access to Marvel comic books, and will expand from there. They didn't talk much about their upcoming motion control scheme, but promised more details next month at the Tokyo Game Show.

Comment This assumes we actually know how the brain works (Score 1) 598

We know a modern CPU has, say, a billion transistors in it, so all we need to do it put a billion transistors together, and hey, it's a CPU! Yes, we know the brain has neurons and so on, and we know some of the details of how they function, but that's all. We still really don't know how the brain works. Read any book that tries to explain the mechanics of the brain and the superficiality of knowledge in this area will rapidly become apparent. All we have are loose, high-level theories, none of which have ever been demonstrated to be valid.

Comment Wow, people still do comparisons like this? (Score 1) 192

My main desktop PC is a single-core 3GHz Pentium 4 from 2004. Yes, it's over 5 years old. And with that purchase my worries about performance and chasing the high-end came to an end. I haven't played a 3D PC game since DOOM 3 (which ran beautifully on my system when the game first came out), so I don't really know much about that end of things, but I haven't even had vague worries about performance. I process raw digital photos, program in a lot of interpreted, high-level languages, put together complex documents in vector drawing and page layout packages. Was there a time when PCs were slow? :) I've also got a dual core Mac Book, which is heading toward three years old. I have yet to do anything to make it break a sweat. As far as I'm concerned, I have infinite computing power in front of me.

Comment Re:More to the point (Score 1) 296

Some of us prefer to have a computer over a console. I'd rather play Fallout 3 on my computer because I can't stand console controllers, especially for FPSs. Its nice to be able to Alt-tab out of games and check things out, and to be able to download patches for buggy games, and extra content for the expandable ones. Consoles also suck for RTS games,

This is just the same old argument that sounds like it's from 2000. Funny thing is, everyone owns a computer regardless of whether they own a console or not, so there really isn't anything as a "console only" owner. As such, people tend to not be nearly as defensive about their consoles as the PC-only die-hards are. Anyone with a "big, fancy PS3" can go buy an RTS for their computer if they want to.

But PCs as full replacements for consoles isn't flying for a couple of big reasons:

* Hundreds of millions of dollars are being poured annually into developing console games, so if you care about games at all, then you're missing out by boycotting consoles. There are good PC games and ports, too (like Fallout 3), but they're in the small minority. Consoles are where the action is.

* Mobility and, as a result, low power consumption are driving PC sales. Most people would prefer a slick laptop with 6 hours battery life over a thousand-watt gaming rig.

Honestly, a console--or a handheld game system like the Nintendo DS--is relatively inexpensive, so there's no reason to over-justify your insistence on only playing PC games. Just pick up a $130 DS and you can get some amazing experiences. And I'm seriously glad I own an Xbox 360, because some of the best games in recent years are for that system.

Comment This is not about replacing digital cameras (Score 1) 443

Of COURSE digital cameras supersede the original Polaroid dream of instant pictures. Insert a big "duh" here." This is more about some people liking the quirky qualities of Polaroid film. There's been a resurgence in Polaroid photos on Flickr, and they're coming from people who also own thousands of dollars worth of digital photography gear. It's an artistic novelty, doing low-res pixel art (all the rage in Flash games) or playing music on a scanner.

Comment Because games have gotten too hardcore (Score 1) 438

I love video games, and I've played them since I was a kid. But most "real" games have two big problems:

1. You need to play for hours at a time in order to make any progress.
2. They're designed to be frustrating. Fight some boss or do some level, then die, then do it again, sometimes a dozen times or more. That's the whole point of these games, to force you to push yourself and bang your head against a wall in order to beat them.

Once I started seeing this pattern in "gamers" games, I got tired of them very quickly. I'm all for new experiences that aren't based upon time and frustration.

Slashdot Top Deals

Your computer account is overdrawn. Please see Big Brother.