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Science-Fictional Shibboleths ( 508

An anonymous reader writes: SF author Charlie Stross has put together a short list of what he considers to be shibboleths for implausible science fiction. (If you're unfamiliar with the term, read the Wikipedia entry first.) So, what tops his list? "Asteroidal gravel banging against the hull of a spaceship. Alternatively: spaceships sheltering from detection behind an asteroid, or dodging asteroids, or pretty much anything else involving asteroids that don't look like [a pock-marked potato]." Another big red flag for Stross is when authors fail to appreciate Newton's second law, having their characters undergo impacts or accelerations that would turn them into a thin, reddish paste on their starship's hull. Some interesting examples from commenters include: futuristic yet manually-aimed weapons, technobabble as a plot device, and science officers with Ph.D. levels of expertise in dozens of fields. One of mine: entire races or planets full of people who behave the same, often based on some keyword. What are yours? Stross's focus is on books, but feel free to bring up movies and TV shows as well.

Comment helped me with Tellabs 532L (Score 1) 154

I was trying to put in a cross connect for a ds0 in a Titan 532L, but was having no luck as I didn't have a Waddel cheat sheet.. I was putting a dacs II type command like
TCON::FROM 15602,TO 15602,TRSP, MUX
but had no joy, yielding an obtuse error message. So after bang my head against my desk and getting help from two co-workers I finally googled the machine and found "Chris Deputy's" page on Comcast with a command saying to loopback the ds0, but I knew it was actually to put in the cross-connect. Sure enough
TCON::FROM 15602,TO 15602,TRSP
is all it took.

Hyperion Promises An AmigaOS Netbook 258

An anonymous reader writes with a report that an employee of Hyperion Entertainment has disclosed (but not officially announced) that there is a new portable computer with the Amiga name on it in the works, quoting: "Supposedly, the new netbook Amiga is will be 'sourced in a special configuration from an OEM.' The manufacturer in question is, just like the price tag, the launch date and the hardware specifications, currently unknown paving the way for further speculation and rumors. The netbook Amiga will set a mark in computer history as the first portable Amiga to see the light of the day since the Amiga 1000 was introduced to the U.S. market in 1985."

MySpace Lays Off 47% of Employees 206

tgtanman writes "CNN reports that MySpace has announced that it has laid off 500 employees, 47% of its total staff. From the article: 'MySpace's management kept most of the site's developers but gutted nearly every other job role, according to a staffer who survived the cuts ... "Today's tough but necessary changes were taken in order to provide the company with a clear path for sustained growth and profitability," CEO Mike Jones said in a written statement. "These changes were purely driven by issues related to our legacy business, and in no way reflect the performance of the new product."'"

Thousands of Blackbirds Fall From Sky Dead 577

Dan East writes "In a fashion worthy of a King or Hitchcock novel, blackbirds began to fall from the sky dead in Arkansas yesterday. Somewhere between 4,000 and 5,000 birds rained down on the small town of Beeb, Arkansas, with no visible trauma. Officials are making wild guesses as to what happened — lightning strike, high-altitude hail, or perhaps trauma from the sound of New Year's fireworks killed them."

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