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Submission + - SPAM: All-Female Ghostbusters Reboot Nominated for Hugo Award 1

Okian Warrior writes: The Hugo Award has fallen to a new low with this current nomination ballot. The horrible Ghostbusters reboot, written and directed by Paul Feig and featuring an all-female cast, was nominated for the Best Dramatic Presentation – Short Form category. The inclusion of this failed abortion of a film will forever taint the Hugo ballot going forward.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Apple 1, Commodore 65, Enigma machine, inventor of C++ (vcfed.org)

An anonymous reader writes: Vintage Computer Festival East XII is this Friday through Sunday. This year they've finally gone insane: you'll find an Apple 1, Commodore 65 (really!), Enigma machine, the guy who invented C++, DEC PDP-8 raster graphics .... who needs sanity when you've got all that? The event benefits Vintage Computer Federation, which a national user group (and 501c3 nonprofit) for collectors/hobbyists. Kids get in free.

Comment Re:$700 GTFO (Score 4, Informative) 151

Some of that extra processing power is useful for more than just games. Blender, for example, is a 3D modelling, animation, and rendering package that will use the CUDA cores in these graphics cards to drastically speed up rendering calculations. This can be tremendously useful to someone doing 3D graphics or video editing.

Comment Re:Dr Who (Score 1) 98

You're thinking of "Destiny of the Daleks" with the Daleks pitted in a war of logic vs. logic against the Movellans. Supposedly the idea was that both 'robot' cultures were at a stalemate because each calculated the perfect maneuver and counter-maneuver and neither could gain the upper hand. The Daleks decided to unearth their creator, Davros, who had been buried in a cave-in at the end of "Genesis of the Daleks", hoping that he would endow them with some quality to defeat the Movellans. The Movellans had foreseen this move and were attempting to thwart the Daleks. In the middle of this, the Doctor and a freshly-regenerated Romana appear to rain on everyone's parade.

Comment Re:Solve problems like... (Score 1) 85

A clue for you might have been that I mentioned Project Bento. That obviously indicates I'm current on SL technologies, and not 'defending it based on memory'. I didn't mention the name of the island because it wasn't necessary and I prefer to retain my anonymity -- something you should be able to appreciate, considering how you're challenging me namelessly. People actually *in* SL know where it is. I'm on friendly terms with every other builder on this island and there isn't a single bot in play. There are times, for example, when I'm the only soul within 65,000^2 meters -- though such periods are usually brief. I logged in just now and saw there are three people on the sim right now, besides myself, including a name I don't recognize.

That's just one island consisting of loosely-associated builders/owners. There are places I visit that are almost *perpetually* active most of the day, often with dozens of avatars at the same time ... for example Builder's Brewery. Some club-owning friends host parties that draw enough avatars to max out the entire sim ... though only for an hour or two. Second Life isn't deserted, but I *do* think it's spread out far too much for the population it has. Much of the mainland expanded during the hype years, only to become lots of abandoned parcels since. A lot of social activity migrated to the thousands of islands, which are often more difficult to find.

As far as what you can do in SL, I'm pretty sure 3D modelling, texturing, and animation remain relevant. As does scripting, hosting parties, role-playing, story-telling, and sharing art and music.

Comment Re:Solve problems like... (Score 3, Interesting) 85

Funny, I'm still actively involved in Second Life and maintain a partnership in a large community build that sees hundreds of visitors a day. There's a fair amount of just chilling with friends, but we also routinely welcome newcomers. I'm also questioning this notion that something has "killed" Second Life. It's still around and still vibrant having just implemented a new avatar bone system known as Project Bento that allows for much greater avatar flexibility, facial rigging, additional appendages for non-human avatars, etc. So it's certainly not dead.

I think the perception of it having died comes from the hype generated starting around 2006. For several years, every big organization tried to find a reason to exist in SL, leading to ridiculous concepts such as Coke machines dispensing cans of soda; like avatars need to drink. Eventually people came to realize that SL wasn't the next World Wide Web as so many claimed it would be, and the corporate interest faded.

SL remains the leading virtual world, allowing an unfettered marketplace for content creation. It's a fun environment for meeting people, programming, 3D development, writing, and many other creative and technical activities.

Comment Re:Let's face it (Score 2) 146

As I recall, the ledger that was leaked also included a salary for Peters, which is a big no-no in these cases, and probably the thing that pushed CBS over the line -- well, that and financing a studio to make more productions. He wasn't taking a huge a cut, I think it was in the $30k region, but it definitely made the Axanar project more than a not-for-profit fan film.

Comment Won't Be Star Trek (Score 2) 146

The only thing I can read from this is that in order to meet CBS/Viacom/Paramount requirements, it can't retain any of the Star Trek elements we'd like to see. In which case, it will be just another space combat short with no connection to any greater framework that makes it have relevance. Peters' bluster has not only ruined his Axanar project that would have brought an interesting bit of Trek 'history' to light, but it has ruined the chances of any other fan film becoming a serious production worthy of consideration, thanks to those stringent guidelines CBS understandably developed.

Comment Re:News for Nazis (Score 2) 1560

Oh, it works, if my discussions with friends who voted for Hillary are any measure. Every last one of them conceded Hillary's weaknesses, but insisted she was a better pick than misogynistic, homophobic, racist Trump. And I can't really blame them for that opinion based on how much the media drilled that impression in. But while I agree that there are people who voted for the Great Pumpkin specifically because of the exaggerated and hysterical rhetoric used by the media, I think Hillary's defeat primarily came from her campaign's smugness about victory. The final weeks before the election, the message was consistently "Hillary's got this one, and Trump doesn't stand a chance." What hubris! What stupidity! That basically told all her supporters that it wasn't critical they get out and vote, while telling Trump's just how desperate the situation was.

But then, Hillary's campaign was a series of mismanaged debacles.

Submission + - Mapping the brain functions of extinct animals

brindafella writes: How can scientists map the brain functions of an extinct animal? The technique is called diffusion tensor imaging, and it has recently mapped the preserved brains of two thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus), extinct as of 1936 in Tasmania, the island state of Australia. Thylacine were the largest known carnivorous marsupial (pouched mammal) of modern times. Diffusion tensor imaging looks at how water diffuses inside parts of the brain. Using it with traditional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the researchers mapped how molecules moved through the brain of the thylacine while it was alive to reveal the neural wiring of different brain regions. They tested the technique with a brain of a similar animal, a Tasmanian Devil (Sarcophilus harrisii), preserved at about the same time, and the brain of a recently deceased Devil.

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