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Sci-Fi

Submission + - William Shatner takes on social networking (myouterspace.com)

nut writes: Everybody's favourite actor, author and starship captain is bringing some new ideas to the world of social networking. Myouterspace.com is, in the captain's own words, "... a Sci Fi Social Network for those with a passion for the arts." Facebook and Myspace should be worried.

Sign up now. Go on, you know you want to.

Math

Man Uses Drake Equation To Explain Girlfriend Woes 538

artemis67 writes "A man studying in London has taken a mathematical equation that predicts the possibility of alien life in the universe to explain why he can't find a girlfriend. Peter Backus, a native of Seattle and PhD candidate and Teaching Fellow in the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick, near London, in his paper, 'Why I don't have a girlfriend: An application of the Drake Equation to love in the UK,' used math to estimate the number of potential girlfriends in the UK. In describing the paper on the university Web site he wrote 'the results are not encouraging. The probability of finding love in the UK is only about 100 times better than the probability of finding intelligent life in our galaxy.'"
Games

Game Endings Going Out of Style? 190

An article in the Guardian asks whether the focus of modern games has shifted away from having a clear-cut ending and toward indefinite entertainment instead. With the rise of achievements, frequent content updates and open-ended worlds, it seems like publishers and developers are doing everything they can to help this trend. Quoting: "Particularly before the advent of 'saving,' the completion of even a simple game could take huge amounts of patience, effort and time. The ending, like those last pages of a book, was a key reason why we started playing in the first place. Sure, multiplayer and arcade style games still had their place, but fond 8, 16 and 32-bit memories consist more of completion and satisfaction than particular levels or tricky moments. Over the past few years, however, the idea of a game as simply something to 'finish' has shifted somewhat. For starters, the availability of downloadable content means no story need ever end, as long as the makers think there's a paying audience. Also, the ubiquity of broadband means multiplayer gaming is now the standard, not the exception it once was. There is no real 'finish' to most MMORPGs."

Comment Meh (Score 1) 467

I just completed a class, and it was my first experience in a completely PowerPoint based lecture scenario. Sure, he jotted occasional notes on the board, but in about 50 hours of lecture I managed to only take about 15 pages of notes (including labnotes). I see the use of PowerPoint as a pro since it gives profs the option of making them available to students, so if you're sick or miss a day then you're not scrambling to borrow notes from someone else. But I actually think it's more of a con since my prof didn't really adhere to his slides, and by week 3 we were already 2 weeks behind. The end result was him giving us the slides and telling us to read them on our own. Gee, I could have stayed home and done that myself. So while it makes it easier for students to stay caught up, it just seems to make the profs less likely to stick to their material. Or, less likely to put as much effort into teaching it. I'd rather handwrite notes off a chalkboard any day.

Comment Re:Bad timing (Score 1) 102

Children are not bacteria. They may seem like it some times, but they're not.

True, at least antibiotics can kill off most bacteria. Children continue to survive. Mmmm, radioactive bacteria. At least next time I eat contaminated beef my skin should have a nice healthy glow.

Comment Re:it's not men driving this phenomenon (Score 1) 512

I think you're ignoring the issue that most girls don't -want- to look at pictures of androgynous looking girls. I personally would rather see models wearing clothes that are of average size, or hell even slightly below that since the average woman is now what, a 14? Which is considered overweight, and is ridiculously so. I think a major problem is that the fashion industry designs for smaller sizes. Numerous times I'll see a shirt in a magazine, fall in love with it and only moments later notice the fine print indicating it's only available from size 0 through 4. Thus magazines pretty much have to work with models that will fit in those clothes. I find that female designers seem to be a little more consciencious about sizing and because of that have a wider range of sizes. Male designers are more suspect to making women have disgustingly waif-like body shapes. So while the magazines don't help the situation, I don't think it's directly their fault.

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