Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


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 Duke won't run on 20MHz (Score 1) 189

Apologies for my crotchetiness but I have memories of trying to run Duke 3D on a 50Mhz 486 and it was painful. I remember it well because I upgraded with a Kingston Turbochip (133MHz AM5x86) and the difference was amazing. The single most impressive upgrade I have ever done to a computer.

Anyways Duke 3D on 20MHz 486 won't work.

Comment Surely this is within the margin of error (Score 4, Insightful) 245

How is this even newsworthy? 100 million years is less than 1% of 13.8 Billion years. Given how little of the Universe we have actually see so far the margin of error for any prediction like this has to be huge so a 0.7% change is meaningless.

Over two thousand years ago Eratosthenes estimated the circumference of the Earth from measurements taken in the vicinity of ancient Egypt. Given the limitations of his measurements we are amazed that he managed to get an answer that is in the right ballpark. Depending on interpretation his calculation was wrong by between 2% and 16%. The age of the Universe is a much bigger problem and the amount of it we have seen to date is a much smaller proportion than Egypt was to the size of the World so I think it is fair to assume that even if all the key assumptions underlying this age of universe calculation are correct the margin for error is huge. Of course it is even more likely that something we don't know yet will render the entire calculation invalid.

Comment Some suggested Games (Score 1) 550

I tend to agree with the first post that if she isn't a gamer by now then you probably can't turn her into one. However here are some games that I have found from personal experience that gamers and non gamers can enjoy together. Some are co-op but some are solo games that you sit beside and help along.

Stay away from realistic violence. Sadly this probably rules out most of the games you enjoy yourself.
Stay away from any game that requires significant mouse or controller dexterity. This rules out most first and third person action games and also many old school platformers.

Fantasy themed MMORPGS (WOW, LOTRO, GUILD WARS etc. Just don't expect to be doing raids together any time soon)
Fantasy themed RPGS but beware of overly complex ones. Kingdoms of Amalur is very approachable.
Point and click adventures used to be great for non gamers. See if you can find one made this century.
Fantasy themed Co-Op: Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, Trine 1/2, Dungeon Siege 1,2,3
Easy Driving games: Mario Kart, Trackmania
Any of the Lego games (Harry Potter, Indiana, Batman etc) works great if you play Co-Op on a Wii
In fact lots of of games on the Wii: Wii Sports, Just Dance (go on embarass yourself)
World of Goo highly recommended and can be fun to solve levels together.
Any game by Pop Cap (Plants versus Zombies especially recommended)
Just about Facebook or mobile game is accessible to casual gamers but you'll probably hate them.

Comment Re:A Positive Move (Score 1) 124

What I don't understand is why the content producers go along with it. By giving an exclusive rights to one distributor they are cutting the audience for their product. Sure they can charge over the odds to that one distributor but ultimately the more people see your product the more money in total comes in so surely it would be better for them to distribute their content widely at a reasonable price than to rely on one big payment from one distributor.

Comment Re:A Positive Move (Score 2) 124

Even though I am a Netflix subscriber I completely disagree that this is a good move. My problem is with the word "exclusive". As long an individual distributors get exclusive rights to content it means that large groups of consumers (those who choose for various reasons to go with another distributor) are blocked from getting the content they would like. In my country for example I can't watch most HBO shows because HBO has signed an exclusive deal with a different cable provider but if I switched to that provider I would lose other stuff instead.

This has a long term distorting effect on the market. Instead of distributors competing against each other by "being a better distribution service" they spend all their money trying to lock up exclusive rights to content and we customers are forced to put up with a crappy service just to see the content we want to watch.


Submission + - Nintendo Wii U Teardown Reveals Simple Design (pcper.com)

Vigile writes: Nintendo has never been known to be very aggressive with its gaming console hardware and with today's release (in the US) of the Wii U we are seeing a continuation of that business model. PC Perspective spent several hours last night taking apart a brand new console to reveal a very simplistic board and platform design topped off with the single multi-chip module that holds the IBM PowerPC CPU and the AMD GPU. The system includes 2GB of GDDR3 memory from Samsung and Foxconn/Hon-Hai built wireless controllers for WiFi and streaming video the the gamepad. Even though this system is 5 years newer, many analysts estimate the processing power of Nintendo's Wii U to be just ahead of what you have in the Xbox 360 today.

Submission + - Cancer can teach us about our own evolution (guardian.co.uk)

hessian writes: "Cancer, it seems, is embedded in the basic machinery of life, a type of default state that can be triggered by some kind of insult. That suggests it is not a modern aberration but has deep evolutionary roots, a suspicion confirmed by the fact that it is not confined to humans but is widespread among mammals, fish, reptiles and even plants. Scientists have identified genes implicated in cancer that are thought to be hundreds of millions of years old. Clearly, we will fully understand cancer only in the context of biological history."

Submission + - Deathstar! Europe Building Most Powerful Laser Ever Built (singularityhub.com)

kkleiner writes: "On the coattails of CERN’s success with the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), Europeans and the world at large have another grand science project to be excited about: the Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) project to build the most powerful laser ever constructed. These lasers will be intense enough to perform electron dynamics experiments at very short time scales or venture into relativistic optics, opening up an entirely new field of physics for study. Additionally, the lasers could be combined to generate a super laser that would shoot into space, similar to the combined laser effect of the Death Star in the Star Wars trilogy, though the goal is to study particles in space, not annihilate planets."

Submission + - Valve's Big Picture Could Be A Linux Game Console (theverge.com) 1

Penurious Penguin writes: Via LXer, a hopeful article at The Verge persuasively suggests that through Valve, Linux could soon become a formidable contender in the gaming arena, capable of holding its own against such giants as Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and the Wii. With 50 million users, a growing Linux team, a caboodle of interesting experiments ("Steam Box" hardware baselines, etc.) and a strong conviction that more-open platforms are the way, Valve may actually see it through.

Comment For a lot of folks this is a big deal (Score 1) 472

If you only use your phone to take drunken snapshots down the pub this won't bother you but quite a lot of folks care about the quality of their phone photo's. Instagram's 1 billion dollar success story was largely built on Iphone pictures. Up to now the Iphone camera has been rated as best in class but not any more it seems. Worst of all it doesn't sound like it will be easy to fix.

Comment A jerk is a jerk whether or not they are brilliant (Score 1) 480

The original article seems to have raised a lot of geek hackles because of the implication that you need to con bright people into performing miracles to get your company off the ground and then promptly fire them as soon as the company starts to grow.

What every one seems to be missing is that there are plenty of brilliant people who are not jerks and there are plenty of jerks who are far from brilliant. I would strongly support the idea of getting rid of jerks because I have seen the damage they can do to organisations but you are firing them because they are jerks not because they are brilliant.


Submission + - Nazi Budda Came from Space (bbc.co.uk)

mattaw writes: "This "Indiana Jones" style story of Nazi's acquiring this ancient historical statue from Tibet began when scientist Ernst Schafer working for Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS was commissioned to search Tibet for ancient "Aryan" evidence. Himmler was said to believe the Aryan race originated in Tibet and was keen to recover objects from the area.

The icing on the cake is that the statue is made of real meteorite and that scientists have been able to identify the actual one as the Chinga meteorite that fell in the border region of eastern Siberia and Mongolia about 15,000 years ago."

Slashdot Top Deals

Enzymes are things invented by biologists that explain things which otherwise require harder thinking. -- Jerome Lettvin