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Submission + - RIP: Paul Baran, father of packet switching ( 1

alphadogg writes: Paul Baran, whose Cold War era invention of packet switching technology helped to lay the foundation for the Internet, has died at the age of 84. Baran, a native of Poland whose family moved to Philadelphia when he was a youngster, developed his concept of a survivable store-and-forward communications network while at RAND the midst of the Cuban Missile Crisis. That concept of packet switching, a digital communications method involving the movement of data divvied up into what Baran called "message blocks" over shared and distributed networks, later found its way into the ARPANET, which evolved into the Internet.

Submission + - Ryzom releases native Linux client ( 1

biking42 writes: The MMORPG Ryzom, in addition to Open Sourcing the core server code last spring, has released a native Linux client. No more messing with Wine and settling with no sound or 3fps. You can also download the client source and compile it yourself. A dev Wiki and Forums can be found at: for both the client AND core server source code.

In addition, for new game accounts they just went F2P. No store or micropayment items yet — just some restrictions on the free accounts. Read about it at the main site:


The Murky Origins of Zork's Name 70

mjn writes "Computational media researcher Nick Montfort traces the murky origins of Zork's name. It's well known that the word was used in MIT hacker jargon around that time, but how did it get there? Candidates are the term 'zorch' from late 1950s DIY electronics slang, the use of the term as a placeholder in some early 1970s textbooks, the typo a QWERTY user would get if he typed 'work' on an AZERTY keyboard, and several uses in obscure sci-fi. No solid answers so far, though, as there are problems with many of the possible explanations that would have made MIT hackers unlikely to have run across them at the right time."

Comment Re:What nonsense! (Score 1) 496

There's a lot of "If I don't need it, no one needs it" arrogance in the OS community. Part of it comes from "it works for me, I don't care about you" (which is just fundamental human nature); part of it is the longstanding "RTFM" tradition (i.e., the root geek community that Free Software sprung from put a high premium on self-help.

Well, there is another possibility. I am not a programmer nor pretend to be one. However, from what I know, it's not a particularly easy endeavor. If I were a programmer and I had spent my volunteered time to do something really hard at the end of which someone came to me and said, "Hey that's great, but I need it this way," I'd probably be resistant. That's not to say I shouldn't make the change, I'd just be resistant. I'd want to try to make them see why MY way is a better way. That could degrade into arrogance quite easily, but, honestly, I might just be tired and thought the project done!

Anyway, that's another possibility.

Comment Ridiculous. Patriots always win. (Score 3, Funny) 626

Look, you guys can talk trash all you want, but when you say this:

>>Patriot defense system failing to take down a Scud missile attack

You're just lying to yourself. The Patriots defense is awesome this year. I mean, was there really ANY point for the Titans offense to show up a couple of weeks back?

And the Scuds? C'mon man. They let go their best man two seasons ago. The QB can't hit the broadside of a barn and their entire wide-receiver corp has Jello hands anyway. The missile attack is a gadget play, pure and simple. Belichick sees right through that and you know it.

Haters need to stop all the hatin' and get on the Pats bus!!!!! GO PATRIOTS!

Comment Re:Original Blog Posting (Score 1) 219

I skimmed it. In other words ignore the end users of your product at your peril.

Good point. Newspapers for so long were more authoritarian and, perhaps, sometimes arrogant. We get information to which YOU don't have access. We then present that information to you in a way YOU can understand. YOU need US.

The Internet, at some point, demanded newspapers regard their readers as more than consumers. It seems some newspapers have a problem with that.

Comment Re:No way will Apple allow BASIC (Score 4, Informative) 214

It seems that trying to predict Apple's actions is not terribly easy. I don't really care if they get Basic enabled. I really just want to play games.

What's interesting, however, is you can break into Basic in the app right now.

Here's how you do it.

1. Launch the app.
2. Tap the power button to power on the C64.
3. Tap the Advanced button on the bottom right.
4. Turn the option "Always show full keyboard" on.
5. Tap the "My Games" button on the lower left.
6. Run any game.
7. Tap the "Extra" button under the game screen.
8. Tap the RESET button on the left.

The app launches BASIC.

I don't know if it's fully functional, but it will run the "10 PRINT "I AM SO GREAT!!!!!!" / 20 GOTO 10" program, which is about the extent of my programming skills.

Disclaimer: I did not discover the above. It was posted on Engadget.

Comment It's a compromise. You honestly don't know this? (Score 2, Insightful) 287

Color me trolled.

Look, this is plainly a compromise that tries to cull wheat from chaff. Don't believe me? Go look at any major American newspaper website. Pick any random story and dive into the comments. Now, take note of the insults, the extremely partisan rhetoric (from all sides), the bad grammar, the incredible misunderstandings of the entire point, and, yeah, even hopes that one or the other subjects go die.

It's simply much easier for anyone to click reply and type out, "HURR DURRR UR A FAGGG." Sure, you can do the same with with a web camera -- and apparently some folks are doing so -- but I bet there are going to be much less to go through than if everyone could pop a comment under the story.

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Thus mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know what we are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true. -- Bertrand Russell