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Comment Re:And this is news because? (Score 1) 102

Interesting. You seem to believe geek is now a culture dependent upon product selection. Is this related to the purchased hipster culture? Do you enjoy the labels you bought? Are you sure they are the right ones? You like forming cliques, and belonging to one when it's gaining popularity, don't you?

Comment Multiplayer Minecraft and Bukkit (Score 1) 142

Minecraft is sort-of-fun on its own, but the game really blossoms when you do something like run a Bukkit-based server and get a world or two going, get some of the important plugins going, and invite friends into your world. If it weren't for the Bukkit project I would have been done with Minecraft by the time Beta came out.

My greatest hope is that one day someone will bridge the gap between second-life and Minecraft and will create a game that has the flexibility and user-generated content from second-life with the simplicity and procedural block-based terrain of Minecraft. I want more blocks! I want scripted NPCs! I want Minecraft to be a MUCK!

  • Bukkit project
  • Tumblr for our minecraft server

Comment Re:In other words (Score 1, Offtopic) 565

I'm close with you on this. I have believed for a while now that the American Dream is revenge. We love revenge as a society.

Maybe humans love revenge as a species. I don't know, I'm not travelled enough to really speak about other cultures.

But from winning the lotto and quitting your job with a big "fuck you guys" to postal workers going postal, to columbine, to "nuke the entire middle east" and how we treat criminals (we want punishment a lot more than we seem to want rehabilitation), we have a guttural response to everything. We have been hurt, and thus we will seek to hurt. Perhaps we aren't strong enough (money, influence, physical strength, etc) to take our revenge, but some day... some day we'll be the badass who will lay the smack-down.

I'm going to go back to lurking for another year or so now.

Comment Re:Mouse will be dead? (Score 1) 414

I agree, I envision a touch interface desktop to be like a small drafting table. It amuses me that people have a hard time considering this; there are posts and posts above where they only consider the options of either horizontal or vertical, since those are the positions they are currently familiar with.

Comment Re:Just got one (Score 1) 205

My point is that you don't get free energy... you could eliminate those extra batteries, but to get the same life, you'd need to replace them with a single larger battery. That single larger battery probably wouldn't fit in the cover as well as the lots of little ones.

An example: The CR2016 batteries used are 90mAH, 1.6 mm thick, and 20 mm diameter. Replacing this with a DC/DC converter (at a very generous 80% efficiency - at currents this low, the power taken by the generator is significant - the real efficiency would probably be in the 40-50% range) would be a single 675 mAH battery. That's a CR2450 battery -- 5 mm thick (3x thicker) and 24mm in diameter.

Pricewise, CR2016's are $0.18 each, qty 5000 (Esquire ordered 1.4 million batteries). I didn't find bulk 2450's, so I compared the same manufacturer from the same vendor - the price was 2.66x the cost of the 2016 -- so, I'd guess $0.48. The savings is 6*0.18 - 0.48 = $0.60. At 40% efficiency (two 2450's), the savings is $0.12 -- minus, of course, the cost of the converter, which is non-trivial. You need the driver chip (usually not cheap) and a pair of capacitors (high quality, or else you'll get EMI).


NASA Tests Hypersonic Blackswift 487

dijkstra writes "Blackswift was previously rumored to be a super secret hypersonic scramjet-based aircraft co-named HTV-3X, essentially a 21st century version of the SR-71. Today NASA has unveiled the real Blackswift (video link), which uses pulse detonation engines (PDEs). A PDE is essentially a modern version of the old V-1 buzz bomb engine. This engine requires significantly fewer moving parts and achieves much higher efficiency than a turbofan, and is technically able to go hypersonic without any kind of 'dual-stage' engine."

Robotic Camera Extension Takes Gigapixel Photos 102

schliz writes "Scientists at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a device that lets a standard digital camera take pictures with a resolution of 1-gigapixel (1,000-megapixels). The Gigapan is a robotic arm that takes multiple pictures of the same scene and blends them into a single image. The resulting picture can be expanded to show incredible detail."

US House Rejects Telecom Amnesty 614

The US House has just approved a new bill that rejects the retroactive immunity to telecommunication businesses and denies most of the new powers for the US President to spy on citizens without a warrant. "As impressive as the House vote itself was, more impressive still was the floor debate which preceded it. I can't recall ever watching a debate on the floor of either House of Congress that I found even remotely impressive -- until today. One Democrat after the next -- of all stripes -- delivered impassioned, defiant speeches in defense of the rule of law, oversight on presidential eavesdropping, and safeguards on government spying. They swatted away the GOP's fear-mongering claims with the dismissive contempt such tactics deserve, rejecting the principle that has predominated political debate in this country since 9/11: that the threat of the Terrorists means we must live under the rule of an omnipotent President and a dismantled constitutional framework."

White House Email Follies 205

Presto Vivace forwards a link detailing a recent House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing on the White House missing emails mess. David Gewirtz's report, carried in OutlookPower and DominoPower (in 6 parts, keep clicking), makes for scary reading. "If, in fact, the bulk of the White House email records are now stored in bundles of rotting PST files, all at or above their maximum safe load-level, that ain't good in a very big way... I object to using the inaccurate and inflated claim of excessive cost as a reason to avoid compliance with the Presidential Records Act."

White House Says Phone Wiretaps Will Resume For Now 262

austinhook brings us news that the U.S. government has resumed wiretapping with the help of telecommunications companies. The companies are said to have "understandable misgivings" over the unresolved issue of retroactive immunity for their participation in past wiretapping. Spy agencies have claimed that the expiration of the old legislation has caused them to miss important information. The bill that would grant the immunity passed in the Senate, but not in the House.

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"There is nothing new under the sun, but there are lots of old things we don't know yet." -Ambrose Bierce