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Comment Re:Screaming (Score 1) 320

I was home sick from High School too listening to the launch on the Voice of America on my shortwave radio in my room. The announcers initially sounded hopeful that the crew compartment somehow made it to the water in a way that may have been survivable. Then I went downstairs and saw the video on CNN and that hope was gone.

Comment Re:X-Files vs. Bab-5 - ouch! (Score 1) 480

I was prime demographic early teen geek when TNG started but gave up on it after about the third episode. After sitting through a 45 minute majestic saucer separation and recognizing Q as the ultimate writer's device to be able to place the characters in any possible scenario (as if the future and a big section of the galaxy wasn't enough) I couldn't take it anymore. I've only seen sporadic episodes of any of the series since and haven't felt driven to watch any of the full series. I suppose in my dotage when free time may not be in such tight supply I'll sit through the lot. I haven't seen any TOS in 25 years but feel like I still have them memorized from the time before TNG.

Lacking the MST3K option, x-files got my vote although I find books are still generally the best delivery method for sci-fi.

Comment Re:What a nightmare (Score 1) 332

relying on "magical" things and/or super tech to achieve the desired story line

Can't get much better than having Q and the holodeck for arranging any scenario needed to let the writers off the hook from coming up with stories set in it the ST time frame.

One might think that being in the future with a galaxy of worlds and species to explore would result in sufficient stories to be told, but apparently not...

Comment Re:Something is missing (Score 2, Informative) 94

A) There is not that much Martian atmosphere to slow the "meteorite" to the point a "soft landing" and I can see no re-entry rockets on said rock; so your reasoning is bollocks.

In the BBC series Wonders of the Solar System, this type of non-crater-producing Martian meteorite is used as possible evidence that Mars had a thicker atmosphere in the distant past when these meteorites impacted. It was in the Thin Blue Line episode if I remember correctly.


The Big Technical Mistakes of History 244

An anonymous reader tips a PC Authority review of some of the biggest technical goofs of all time. "As any computer programmer will tell you, some of the most confusing and complex issues can stem from the simplest of errors. This article looking back at history's big technical mistakes includes some interesting trivia, such as NASA's failure to convert measurements to metric, resulting in the Mars Climate Orbiter being torn apart by the Martian atmosphere. Then there is the infamous Intel Pentium floating point fiasco, which cost the company $450m in direct costs, a battering on the world's stock exchanges, and a huge black mark on its reputation. Also on the list is Iridium, the global satellite phone network that promised to make phones work anywhere on the planet, but required 77 satellites to be launched into space."

4G iPhone Misplacer Invited To Germany For Beer 164

eldavojohn writes "You may recall the hapless engineer who left a fairly sensitive iPhone at a bar recently. Well, in a PR stunt, Lufthansa has invited him to visit Germany on their dime after citing his latest Facebook status, 'I underestimated how good German beer is' as well as his obvious passion for German beer and culture. It's not clear if Gray Powell has decided to 'pick up where he last left off' (as the letter puts it). I know what my decision would be."
Classic Games (Games)

How Do I Create a Spiritual Game Successor? 125

An anonymous reader writes "I've recently been on a legacy video game binge, reliving the nostalgic days, when I realized that one of my favorite old games can be vastly improved with a few tweaks. This game is pretty much made for a controller, so I would love to get it done on Xbox Live, but doing it on the PC is just as viable. Unfortunately, I am pretty sure the game is not in the public domain yet. Based on previous stories covered here, some companies are all for community made successors while others choose to give them the crushing blow from the start. My question is: how far is too far when one is trying to make a spiritual successor? I do not intend to copy any materials, but it would be lovely if I could incorporate some game design ideas (very general level design, movement, and just one or two game features)."

Apple Patches Massive Holes In OS X 246

Trailrunner7 writes with this snippet from ThreatPost: "Apple's first Mac OS X security update for 2010 is out, providing cover for at least 12 serious vulnerabilities. The update, rated critical, plugs security holes that could lead to code execution vulnerabilities if a Mac user is tricked into opening audio files or surfing to a rigged Web site." Hit the link for a list of the highlights among these fixes.

Police Called Over 11-Year-Old's Science Project 687

garg0yle writes "Police in San Diego were called to investigate an 11-year-old's science project, consisting of 'a motion detector made out of an empty Gatorade bottle and some electronics,' after the vice-principal came to the conclusion that it was a bomb. Charges aren't being laid against the youth, but it's being recommended that he and his family 'get counseling.' Apparently, the student violated school policies — I'm assuming these are policies against having any kind of independent thought?"

Duke Nukem 3D Ported To Nokia N900 95

andylim writes "It looks as if Duke Nukem isn't completely 'nuked' after all. Someone has ported the 90s classic on to a Nokia N900. As you'll see in the video, you control Duke using the Qwerty keypad and shoot using the touchscreen. I'm wondering how long it will take for this to get on other mobile platforms." In other Duke news, reader Jupix points out that 3D Realms' CEO Scott Miller recently said, "There are numerous other Duke games in various stages of development, several due out this year. We are definitely looking to bring Duke into casual gaming spaces, plus there are other major Duke games in production."

Comment Re:Human exploration IS worthwhile IF... (Score 1) 309

High-tech masks and data gloves not withstanding, I've wondered why there's no plan to shoot unmanned ships to the nearest ten or twenty star systems even if it's 100 - 200 years before they get there and we start getting data back and even if in the meantime technology advances enough to make these initial ships pointless - e.g. warp drive is developed. There's a reasonably good chance that FTL travel won't be developed in the next 1,000 years (if ever) so why not try to accomplish something in the nearer term?

Is it possible to aim well enough to place a ship in orbit of a star 8 - 30 light years or so away? How much could we learn about a star system with a satellite orbiting a star at a distance roughly the same as between Jupiter and Saturn for example? Would it be any better than current or near-future Earth based imaging can provide? If such a satellite came into orbit of our solar system sent by another civilization, would we readily be able to detect it?

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