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Comment Echoing? (Score 1) 2

I'd love to know how they're working in things like echos in determining shot-location in a downtown core where sounds can reverberate off monolithic buildings. Out in 'the burbs' I can see it being a LOT more useful, but downtown in the concrete jungle I'd be shocked if it were as accurate as the "few yards" that they're claiming. Then again, spatter enough of these in an area and I guess it's just a matter of computation.

Submission + - Solar Power Begins to Shine as Environmental Benefits Pay Off ( 2

mdsolar writes: "Amid polemics over rising electricity prices in Europe and the level of green energy subsidies in various countries, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that the growth in clean-energy generation is a huge success story.

Solar photovoltaic generation, known as PV, like wind power before it, is coming into the mainstream — at great environmental benefit.

Based on comparative life-cycle analyses of power sources, “PV electricity contributes 96 percent to 98 percent less greenhouse gases than electricity generated from 100 percent coal and 92 percent to 96 percent less greenhouse gases than the European electricity mix,” said Carol Olson, a researcher at the Energy Research Center of the Netherlands.

Photovoltaic generation offers several additional environmental advantages, Ms. Olson said in an interview.

“Compared with electricity from coal, PV electricity over its lifetime uses 86 to 89 percent less water, occupies or transforms over 80 percent less land, presents approximately 95 percent lower toxicity to humans, contributes 92 to 97 percent less to acid rain, and 97 to 98 percent less to marine eutrophication,” she said. Eutrophication is the discharge of excess nutrients that causes algal blooms."

Submission + - GOCE Satellite Burned Up Over Falkland Islands ( 3

An anonymous reader writes: After the European Space Agency lost radio communications with its Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) satellite late on Sunday, the outcome was clear — the gravity probe had re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere and burned up. What was less certain, however, was where the spacecraft had burned up.

The mystery of GOCE’s re-entry has now been solved — the one-ton satellite came down over the Falkland Islands, a British overseas territory 300 miles east of the Patagonian coast in the South Atlantic Ocean.

Submission + - NASA's Mars Orbiter Reaches Data Milestone (

Nerval's Lobster writes: NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has sent 200 terabits of scientific data all the way back to Earth over the past seven years. That data largely comes from six instruments aboard the craft, and doesn’t include the information used to manage the equipment’s health. That 200-terabit milestone also surpasses the ten years’ worth of data returned via NASA’s Deep Space Network from all other missions managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. “The sheer volume is impressive, but of course what’s most important is what we are learning about our neighboring planet,” JPL’s Rich Zurek, the project scientist for the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, wrote in a statement. It takes roughly two hours for the craft to orbit Mars, recording voluminous amounts of data on everything from the atmosphere to the subsurface. Thanks to its instruments, we know that Mars is a dynamic environment, once home to water. “Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has shown that Mars is still an active planet, with changes such as new craters, avalanches and dust storms,” Zurek added. “Mars is a partially frozen world, but not frozen in time.” While the Orbiter’s two-year “primary science phase” ended in 2008, NASA has granted the hardware three additional extensions, each of which has resulted in additional insight into the Red Planet’s secrets.

Submission + - Feds Deploy National System of Microphones Capable of Recording Conversations ( 2

schwit1 writes: The Washington Post recently published a feature length article on gunshot detectors, known as ShotSpotter, which detailed how in Washington DC there are now, “at least 300 acoustic sensors across 20 square miles of the city,” microphones wrapped in a weather-proof shell that can detect the location of a sound down to a few yards and analyze the audio using a computer program.

While the systems are touted as “gunshot detectors,” as the New York Times reported in May 2012, similar technology is already installed in over 70 cities around the country, and in some cases it is being used to listen to conversations.

This network of computer programs, urban wi-fi infrastructure and technological products inside our homes that all have the capability of recording our conversations represents an even more invasive and Orwellian prospect than anything Edward Snowden brought to light, and yet discussion of its threat to fundamental privacy has been virtually non-existent.

Comment Re:Film Industry (Score 5, Interesting) 272

My major beef with your ?defense?commentary? of the game industry is that I hear it constantly and it becomes a self-serving bias for execs. The more we accept "Hollywood-model" games and buy the next "$380B in development Rock'emSock'em XVII", or whatever, the more industry types that didn't come from a game-dev background feel like they should not innovate and make new games, but rather pour good money after bad with blockbuster prequel/sequel games. I guess what I'm trying to say is that MBA's sniffing after money appear to have transitioned from the film business to the game business and I think that's REALLY bad for the future of gaming.

Comment And yet they still missed the boat (Score 2) 169

When they first came out I wanted to support them, but I'm in Canada - geoblocked. Strike 1. A year or two later I finally got a VPN, stopped my satellite subscription, modded my ATV2 and started watching. Shortly thereafter most of the content creators pulled their content from Hulu to try and create their own empires. Most of the shows I WOULD watch got pulled and placed onto their crappy services. Strike 2. In this digital age I want to watch what I want, when I want, and I don't want the limitation of having to try to remember to squeeze in that episode of X before the show expires on Hulu. I missed the season finale of Grimm by 3-4 days because of this expiration model for the show. Strike 3. Netflix, you get my money. Hulu/NBC etc... you don't, and I still watch the stuff that could have been on your site making you revenue, but I do it through other sources.

Comment Wait - wasn't that the place... (Score 4, Interesting) 78

Wasn't Digg that site I used to visit as often as ./ before they whored themselves to advertisers to allow funded content to overtly make it to the front page instead of ACTUAL user submitted content? BTW: yes - I'm aware lots of users were themselves industry shills, but at least it had the pretense of being a community-driven website.

Comment Re:Hmm (Score 1) 25

I understand your rationale, but with respect - that may work for some crappy ipod app game, but not something like an MMO*. I think it'd be naive to think any truly modern game could be developed w/out substantial investment. There's just way too much overhead in terms of time/effort spent on things that need to be paid for (hardware/graphic designers/audio engineers). Sure you could try taking your life's savings and do it that way, but costs would, I imagine, be so large you couldn't feasibly do that. Kickstarter's just making public the process of gaining VC that has existed since forever (think of the trip to the Americas from Europe as Spanish-funded VC when no other nation in Europe thought Columbus was sane). I think Kickstarter is a fabulous idea, it brings VC out of the hands of the privileged few and to the masses. In a way it democratizes VC making sure that ANY idea gets a chance to get off the ground, not just the ones that make it through the screeners at VC firms. *Minecraft is the only example I can think of....but then again, look at its graphics/sounds. *shudder*

Submission + - Cancer can teach us about our own evolution (

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."

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