Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


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! ×
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Happy 10th Birthday, Duke Nukem Forever

GotWookiee writes: That's right, ten years ago today on Sunday, April 27tn, 1997, 3D Realms formally announced the development of Duke Nukem Forever, the sequel to Duke Nukem 3D. Ten years later, it is still in development.

Major development milestones:
April '97: 3D Realms announces the development of the game.
August '97: PC Gamer magazine publishes the first screen shots.
November '97: Scott Miller states that the intended release date is in 1998.
December '97: 3D Realms gets the Quake II engine source code.
May '98: 3D Realms unveils a first demo footage at E3.
June '98: 3D Realms switches to the Unreal engine. George Broussard states that DNF will be out in 1999. Lots of content is scrapped.
'99: DNF upgrades to the Unreal Tournament engine.
December '99: More DNF screenshots. DNF releases a Christmas card implying it will be out soon.
'00: DNF gets 2nd place in Wired magazines Vaporware Award.
December '00: Another Christmas card.
'01: DNF wins 1st place in the Wired Vaporware Awards.
May '01: Another demo video at E3. The last to date.
'02: DNF wins the Vaporware award again.
'02: New programmers are hired and the game engine is retooled. 95% of previous content is scrapped according to Broussard.
'03: Wired gives DNF the Vaporware Lifetime Achievement Award, created solely for DNF.
September '04: Karma physics engine replaced with Meqon engine.
'05 and '06: DNF wins the Vaporware Award two years in a row, again.
January, '07: In-game screen shot released.

During DNF's record 10 years of development, many things have transpired. Also, many historical events have taken less time than DNF's development. Here are some things that have happened in less time than DNF's development:

1) The production and release of all 3 Star Wars prequels, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, along with every Pixar movie except Toy Story.
2) It took less time for NASA and its contractor's to put a man on the moon and return him to the Earth, from Kennedy's pledge before congress to Armstrong's historic "small step."
3) The career's of Britney Spears and Collin Farrel.
4) The two Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity were proposed, authorized, announced, designed, launched and successfully landed upon Mars where they have been exploring the surface for over 2.5 years.
5) The U.S.S. Ronald Reagan (the largest nuclear-powered aircraft carrier in the world) was in contract, built, launched, comissioned, and began active duty.
6) The Wright brothers designed and flew the first airplane.
7) The American Revolutionary War, Civil War, World Wars I and II, the development of the Atomic Bomb, and the US involvement in Vietnam each took less time than DNF's development.

For a more complete list, check out The Duke Nukem Forever List.

In 2008, George Broussard will make you his bitch!

Submission + - Network Computing's Review of RIM BlackBerry 8800

tomlasusa writes: Mike Brandenburg reviews the BlackBerry 8800 for Network Computing. He says despite limited battery life and weak data throughput, the 8800's voice-activated dialing and push-to-talk features, plus its expandable memory and a GPS sensor put it on par with Windows Mobile phones and the Palm Treo. showArticle.jhtml?articleID=199000161
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Paid to do nothing?

djupedal writes: Are you paid to do nothing? Were you hired to do nothing?

Are you paid, yet you don't do any work? This is for anyone, except of course those collecting job benefits. I'm talking about those that come into work and hang out and do nothing whatsoever productive, but still receive regular performance reviews, generic corporate emails and a routine weekly/monthly salary. Maybe you don't even have to show up at the office.

I have a friend who is going on six months since he was asked to do any type of work, yet his (not meager) salary keeps being automatically deposited and the only time anyone from the office checks on him is to make sure he is still alive. How long has it been since you had an assignment or participated in an active project, etc.? What do you do with your time? How long do you think this type of ghost position can continue? Is this a dream job or an ethical burden?

Submission + - Kurt Vonnegut is dead, at least he's in heaven now

An anonymous reader writes: From "Kurt Vonnegut, the satirical novelist who captured the absurdity of war and questioned the advances of science in darkly humorous works such as "Slaughterhouse-Five" and "Cat's Cradle," died Wednesday. He was 84. The author of at least 19 novels, many of them best-sellers, as well as dozens of short stories, essays and plays, Vonnegut relished the role of a social critic." We may be able to get an interview with the help of Dr. Jack...

Submission + - Palm to replace Garnet with Linux later this year

pete314 writes: "Palm has quietly been developing its own Linux based mobile operating systems and is planning to release the software later this year. Replacing the current "Garnet" Palm OS 5 software on the Treo, Linux will allow for simultaneous voice and data traffic, increase application switching speeds and offer better support for online applications."

Submission + - James Bond Submarines for Sale

syguy writes: "Uboatworx is selling personal submarines that are straight out of a James Bond movie. Starting at $82,000 for a 1 person vessel (about the same price as a Porsche 911) and requiring a 4 day training course, their C-Quester submarines open up an underwater playground. Well, at least the first 164ft (50m) of it, at 3-4mph and for as long as the electrical power lasts, which is about 2.5 hours."

Submission + - Orphan 70-Year-Old Plane Data = 'Trade Secrets'?

Anonymous Flyboy Coward writes: The Experimental Aircraft Association is taking on the Federal Aviation Administration, which has denied a FOIA request for access to construction data to the owner of 70+ year old antique Fairchild F45 aircraft. The FAA sided with a company that was formed in 1990 (and which didn't even know the airplane type existed until the FAA's inquiry) that claims it "owns" the design and manufacturing data to the aircraft, calling the data a "trade secret". The company failed to register with the FAA (as required by law) yet the FAA is standing by it's assertion that they "own" this data, which was turned over to the public domain in the 1950s. Many vintage aircraft owners face a Catch-22 situation: they are required by law to perform maintenance to the manufacturer's specs, but much of this data is unavailable because the FAA refuses to release it without the data's owner's permission... even if there is no such owner. The decision in this case will likely have wide-ranging implications on FOIA requests, as well as affect whether historical antique aircraft will remain flyable or lost forever to a pointless bureaucratic death. The full story is available here.

Submission + - Asus EcoBook -- Bamboo laptop

An anonymous reader writes: has a photo story of a bamboo laptop created by Asus. The Asus Ecobook looks a lot like a MacBook Pro, but is made of real bamboo. The wood above each of its ports is engraved, the keys on the keyboard are designed to mimic the look of bamboo joints, and best of all it's biodegradeable.

Submission + - Man dies trying to use laptop while driving

Scoopy writes: "The Sacramento Bee reports that a 28-year-old Chico, CA man was killed Monday after he lost control of his car while working on his laptop computer while driving, according to the California Highway Patrol.

"We have reason to believe he was operating his laptop because it was still on and plugged into the cigarette lighter," said CHP Cmdr. Scott Silsbee."

Submission + - Gore's Home Energy Use Increases Since "Truth&

MightyYar writes: Apparently Al Gore's home energy use has actually increased since he made "An Inconvenient Truth", according to The Tennessee Center for Policy Research. While this organization is certainly not apolitical and I am a bit skeptical about their claims, if true this would give Gore critics further ammunition — he would indeed appear to be an elitist hypocrite, willing to preach to us about how to live without following his own advice. For us geeks, the Drudge Report gives us the numbers.

Slashdot Top Deals

UFOs are for real: the Air Force doesn't exist.