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Comment Experience with hardware is different (Score 2, Insightful) 122

Preserving the software is one thing, but the experience of running one of these programs on the original hardware is considerably different.

With Star Raiders, for instance, the joystick is necessary to enjoy the same experience as an original user. Arguably the boot up sequence too and the CRT monitor.

Another example: "Daredevil Dennis" on the BBC Micro. The internal speaker on the system produces the sounds. Good luck reproducing that efficiently. And just the reality of sitting in front of the machine itself, loading the program from 5.25" disk and using the original keyboard to play the game completely alters the whole thing.

- not to mention the fact that an emulation of the hardware is going to be imperfect.

North Korea's Own OS, Red Star 316

klaasb writes "North Korea's self-developed computer operating system, named 'Red Star,' was brought to light for the first time by a Russian satellite broadcaster yesterday. North Korea's top IT experts began developing the Red Star in 2006, but its composition and operation mechanisms were unknown until the internet version of the Russia Today TV program featured the system, citing the blog of a Russian student who goes to the Kim Il-sung University in Pyongyang."
XBox (Games)

Modded Xbox Bans Prompt EFF Warning About Terms of Service 254

Last month we discussed news that Microsoft had banned hundreds of thousands of Xbox users for using modified consoles. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has now pointed to this round of bans as a prime example of the power given to providers of online services through 'Terms of Service' and other usage agreements. "No matter how much we rely on them to get on with our everyday lives, access to online services — like email, social networking sites, and (wait for it) online gaming — can never be guaranteed. ... he who writes the TOS makes the rules, and when it comes to enforcing them, the service provider often behaves as though it is also the judge, jury and executioner. ... While the mass ban provides a useful illustration of their danger, these terms can be found in nearly all TOS agreements for all kinds of services. There have been virtually no legal challenges to these kinds of arbitrary termination clauses, but we imagine this will be a growth area for lawyers."

Canadian Blood Services Promotes Pseudoscience 219

trianglecat writes "The not-for-profit agency Canadian Blood Services has a section of their website based on the Japanese cultural belief of ketsueki-gata, which claims that a person's blood group determines or predicts their personality type. Disappointing for a self-proclaimed 'science-based' organization. The Ottawa Skeptics, based in the nation's capital, appear to be taking some action."

Comment Greenwich Observatory (Score 2, Interesting) 1095

G.O. is really stunning and worth visiting. Go in the afternoon, then take one of the fast boats up the Thames from there to Central London as the sun is setting. Really very excellent, but make sure you know the boat times in advance. Visit LMNT in Hackney ( - It's a crazy restaurant and you'll see a different part of London. You could have gone to White Mischief ( for some Steampunk goodness, but it looks like it's not on while you're there so how about The Horse Hospital ( Plenty of interest to see there. Don't bother with a laptop, there's too much else to be spending your time on.

Comment Feynman on String Theory (Score 1) 553

Along similar lines, from Richard Feynman: "I don't like that they're not calculating anything. I don't like that they don't check their ideas. I don't like that for anything that disagrees with a n experiment, they cook up an explanation - a fix-up to say, "Well, it might be true." For example, the theory requires ten dimensions. Well, maybe there's a way of wrapping up six of the dimensions. Yes, that's all possible mathematically, but why not seven? When they write their equation, the equation should decide how many of these things get wrapped up, not the desire to agree with experiment. In other words, there's no reason whatsoever in superstring theory that it isn't eight out of the ten dimensions that get wrapped up and that the result is only two dimensions, which would be completely in disagreement with experience. So the fact that it might disagree with experience is very tenuous, it doesn't produce anything; it has to be excused most of the time. It doesn't look right."

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