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! ×

Lower Merion School's Report Says IT Dept. Did It, But Didn't Inhale 232

PSandusky writes "A report issued by the Lower Merion School District's chosen law firm blames the district's IT department for the laptop webcam spying scandal. In particular, the report mentions lax IT policies and record-keeping as major problems that enabled the spying. Despite thousands of e-mails and images to the contrary, the report also maintains that no proof exists that anyone in IT viewed images captured by the webcams."

Professor Says UFO Studies Should Be Taught At Universities 311

New York anthropology professor Philip Haseley wants young people to get the best education possible, and part of that education, he says, should be about UFOs. Haseley thinks universities should offer classes on UFOs and other unexplained phenomena from space. "[A sighting] happens to millions of people [around the world]. It's about time we looked into this as a worthy area of study. It's important that the whole subject be brought out in the open and investigated," he said. I want to believe the truth is out there in 500 words or less.
Role Playing (Games)

Can a Video Game Solve Hunger, Disease and Poverty? 72

destinyland writes "Dr. Jane McGonigal of the RAND Corporation's Institute for the Future has created a game described as 'a crash course in changing the world.' Developed for the World Bank's 'capacity development' branch, EVOKE has already gathered more than 10,000 potential solutions from participants, including executives from Procter & Gamble and Kraft. '[Dr. McGonigal] takes threats to human existence — global food shortage, fuel wars, pandemic, refugee crisis, and upended democracy — and asks the gaming public to collaborate on how to avoid these all too possible futures.' And by completing its 10 missions, you too can become a World Bank Institute certified EVOKE social innovator. (The game designer's web site lays out her ambitious philosophy. 'Reality is broken,' but 'game designers can fix it.')"

Can You Fight DRM With Patience? 309

As modern DRM schemes get more annoying and invasive, the common wisdom is to vote with your wallet and avoid supporting developers and publishers who include such schemes with their games. Or, if you simply must play it, wait a while until outcry and complaints have caused the DRM restrictions to be loosened. But will any of that make game creators rethink their stance? An article at CNet argues that gamers are, in general, an impatient bunch, and that trait combined with the nature of the games industry means that progress fighting DRM will be slow or nonexistent. Quoting: "Increasingly so, the joke seems to be on the customers who end up buying this software when it first comes out. A simple look back at some controversial titles has shown us that after the initial sales come, the publisher later removes the vast majority of the DRM, leaving gamers to enjoy the software with fewer restrictions. ... Still, [waiting until later to purchase the game] isn't a good long-term solution. Early sales are often one of the big quantifiers in whether a studio will start working on a sequel, and if everyone were to wait to buy games once they hit the bargain price, publishers would simply stop making PC versions. There's also no promise that the really heavy bits of DRM will be stripped out at a later date, except for the fact that most publishers are unlikely to want to maintain the cost of running the activation, and/or online verification servers for older software."

Comment Motorola v360 (Score 1) 422

That damned phone lasted for three plus years, in my pocket everyday. My kids used it to make period phone calls. Many drops, stepped on, and generally just abuse. Then one day, I dropped it at just the right angle and a side near the hinge. It lasted for two more weeks before I accidentally snapped the lid of the phone off. Even without a working display the phone still worked! I could hear it ring or vibrate, but when I answered it, I had to put it on speaker phone to talk to the person.

Well, the display was obviously dead so anything phone related didn't work, but after three years the thing still "works."

Now the w450 they sent to me as a replacement. That thing sucks. The interface is painful, the screen seems smaller and the buttons just don't seem to work as well.

Comment Math MMORPG (Score 1) 160

I have been thinking about a Math MMORPG that is based on educational learning. For instance:

Mage: Level of Mage is based on Mathematic ability of the player. If you can answer a high level Algebra problem then you can cast that 7th level spell. Effectiveness could also be determined by how close the player was to the answer.

Fighter: Thac0 is based on the historical knowledge of the user. "What year was the Battle of Hastings?"

Thief: ThaC0 could be based on something like Art History and thieving abilities based on something like Philosophy.


I think it would be great if this could be done and hosted by a nonprofit organization to promote learning. The concept would take away the MMORPG process of grinding away at useless button clicks and would encourage learning something other than stupid game mechanics. And finally once someone understood the system, playing would be better for casual gamers.

Comment Bard's Tale (Score 1) 1120

Bard's Tale: Yes it was rebooted on the XBox a few years ago (sort of), but they killed that game. The game that was in development by a fan group looked like it was going to kick so much butt (Devil's Whiskey), but then EA started sending cease and desist letters so they had to change it. I remember that it was going to be called"The Bard's Legacy."

I have to grab a copy of Devil's Whiskey.

Comment Re:DOD Repository (Score 1) 211

Yeah, I worked at shitty little web hosting company and they had their own repository server for updates to all of the managed servers. The admin team has at least three security guys who's job it was to QA the repository on pretty much a daily basis. They monitored for security patches and posted them to the repository as soon as possible. And we supported about 4 different OS's at the time.
I can't see why you won't have your own repository with a few people who knew deb/rpm package building for your specific repositories. And then it's just a matter of standardization. "Here are the OS we support."

Comment Cheapest easiest solution (Score 1) 1092

Make magazine had this covered back a while ago:

Mologogo with a cheap $60 cell phone.

Before your kid leaves for the day, check her bag and make sure it's on and working properly.
When she gets home, put the cell phone on the charger.

In the event that you loose your kid, you check the website and Mologogo will tell you where the kid is at.
My phone can tell me where any of my friends are, yours should to.

Easy peasy.

Comment Re:Education: Why can't it be more addictive (Score 1) 308

Yeah, I know what you mean, sorta. I have to retake Calc I sometime in the future, but what I got out of the class made me feel like I knew things few other people really understood in the world. I wanted to apply Calculus to other areas of my life.
But, I mean; there should be games and fun things that are just as addictive/fun as WoWCrack that actually teaches you something. Image WoWCrack games where you learned Calculus or even Algrebra. Your level was based on the equations you could solve. And rather than grinding on killing trolls or orcs you were grinding on equations.....
I wish I was a developer......

Comment Education: Why can't it be more addictive (Score 1) 308

What the hell is wrong with this society? We have people holed up in their rooms playing these MMORPG's and they're not learning anything except how to raid and grind. They could be doing learning through grinding just as easily. If only we had people developing these kid of games. Could you imagine a kid/teenager/basement dweller saying, "I'm addicted to Calculus!!!!" Or, "I hate the grind between Partical Physics PHD 1.1 and Partical Physics 1.2."
We/they play these games with stupid rewards for something that is completely intangible. At the very best you could say that these games are teaching people who to function in a team environment and how to organize projects. That's really about it.
Oh MMORPG why can you be more educational.

Comment Re:Underwhelmed (Score 2, Interesting) 461

I agree with you about the kobayashi maru test, but in a sense I disagree with you.
The way that the test was exploited seems almost like a modern exploit. Look at exploits to run code on modern gaming platforms:
- The PSP: Uses a tiff exploit. You get it to show a bad picture, it reboots and runs a custom firmware (if I understand that right)
- The Wii: Exploits a save game. You save an exploited save game, you play the game, you walk up to a character and the system reboots loading a custom firmware.
And Kirk isn't very subtle. At least not in the Star Trek I have watched. He's a tactician, he takes risks, and at times he is very brazen. But subtle? No. Not Kirk.

Slashdot Top Deals

The only possible interpretation of any research whatever in the `social sciences' is: some do, some don't. -- Ernest Rutherford