Before you ask, it's a brain. Wearing sunglasses. On a sailboat.
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A Matrix Resurrections Star Confirms Who They're Really Playing

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Teddy Ruxpin wants to claw his way back to movie and TV stardom. Keira Knightley is hosting a Christmas party at the end of the world in a new look at Silent Night. Disney’s Willow show finds itself a composer. Plus, what’s to come on American Horror Story, Evil, What We Do in the Shadows, and more. Spoilers, away!

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rraszews
10 days ago
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There is an AMAZING third-act twist in the original Teddy Ruxpin animated series where about 5 episodes before the end, the main antagonist decides to just give up evil and become a surfer.
Columbia, MD

Boeing 747-400 planes use floppy disks for major software updates #VintageComputing #Aviation

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Interesting Engineering reported last year that the 747 uses floppy drives as a navigation database loader and planes require an update every 28 days, according to Gizmodo. This means there exists an engineer who makes monthly visits to every 747-400 — flopping floppy disk in hand — and manually deliver every update, personally.

Additionally, the majority of Boeing 737’s are also updated with floppy disks, reports The Verge. Operators of these planes carry binders stuffed with floppy disks for “all the avionics that they may need,” according to a 2014 Aviation Today report. This means important information about runways, flight paths, airports, and waypoints pilots need to write flight plans.

This has been widely-known since 2014, which raises the question: why hasn’t anyone brought the aviation industry up to speed with the 21st century? An Aviation Today report noted that even now a “significant number of airlines are still using floppy disks for software parts loading.”

Of course, we should say that the 747-400 is an aging plane — its first flight happened 32 years ago, when floppy disks were cutting-edge, in 1988. Now they simply maintain commercial and industrial legacy systems — economic sectors built to last and not adapt to changing standards of computing technology.

You can see the article here and a DefCon video tour of the aircraft

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rraszews
14 days ago
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I assume the answer is "Because no one wants to be the guy who introduced a serious bug by messing with a system that has been working for decades"
Columbia, MD

Body Language

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hey cool body

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rraszews
57 days ago
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This seems like the perfect moment for a "Homoeroticism, yay" joke.
Columbia, MD

Excessive Coffee Drinking Linked to Dementia

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A massive study found a startling link between heavy coffee drinking and an increased risk of dementia and other brain diseases.

Bad news for the caffeine-crazed among us. A massive new study linked excessive coffee drinking — and we’re talking excessive — to a considerably greater risk of developing dementia later in life.

After probing the medical records of 17,702 volunteers in the UK Biobank database, a team of scientists from the University of South Australia found a startling correlation between drinking lots of coffee — seven or more cups per day — and a 53 percent increase in their dementia risk.

And it’s not just dementia. The study, which the team published last month in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience, also shows a link between heavy coffee drinking and a greater prevalence of physical changes in the brain and other neurological diseases. All in all, it’s a shocking revelation about the dangerous side of what’s by far one of the most popular recreational drugs around the world.

“Accounting for all possible permutations, we consistently found that higher coffee consumption was significantly associated with reduced brain volume,” lead study author and University of South Australia neuroscientist Kitty Pham said in a university press release. “Essentially, drinking more than six cups of coffee a day may be putting you at risk of brain diseases such as dementia and stroke.”

Coffee is one of those things that, alongside wine and chocolate, seems to be stuck in a never-ending back and forth of research studies saying it’ll either improve or ruin your health. The fact is that nutritional research is extremely difficult, so different studies tend to point in different directions. But the sheer scale of this new study, coupled with the extremely high coffee intake it examined, grants it extra credibility.

The researchers say that they’re not yet sure why drinking so much coffee is correlated with an increased risk of stroke or dementia. But either way, they added that you probably don’t need to abstain from your daily pick-me-up.

“Typical daily coffee consumption is somewhere between one and two standard cups of coffee,” senior study author Elina Hyppönen said in the release. “Of course, while unit measures can vary, a couple of cups of coffee a day is generally fine. However, if you’re finding that your coffee consumption is heading up toward more than six cups a day, it’s about time you rethink your next drink.”

The post Excessive Coffee Drinking Linked to Dementia appeared first on Futurism.

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rraszews
60 days ago
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I hate when articles like this fail to question which direction the causal arrow goes: does excess coffee consumption INCREASE the risk, or does increased risk prompt increased consumption? I could EASILY imagine that one of the precursors to dementia is "frequently feeling like you could use the kind of boost caffeine gives you"
Columbia, MD

Floppinux – An Embedded Linux on a Single Floppy #Linux @w84death

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Krzysztof Krystian Jankowski has created an embedded Linux distribution from scratch. It fits on a single floppy diskette. At the time of writing, it uses ~1MB of storage. This gives ~400KB free space to use for other software.

This distribution can boot on 486DX PC with 24 MB of ram (did not boot with less using QEMU). On an emulator it boots almost instantly. On bare metal modern hardware, the only thing that prevent those speeds is the actual speed of a floppy drive.

I’m using the latest revision. It’s a feat of it’s own that connects old and new technologies together. At the moment it is Kernel 5.13.0-rc2.

It can also be used in kiosk mode.

See the distro description page for more information.

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rraszews
116 days ago
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24MB of ram is far more than most 486es would've been equipped with.
Columbia, MD

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy the game anniversary edition playable online #Gaming @BBC

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BBC in the UK hosts on their website an interactive Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy game. Based on the 1984 Infocom game, it’s a text adventure (remember them) where you type in text to perform actions. How very quaint!

See the game here or continue reading about the history:

The original game

“There was a time when computer games didn’t have graphics. Or at least they couldn’t have graphics and sound at the same time. They certainly couldn’t have graphics, sound and enough content to keep even a human being amused for more than a few minutes. So they had text.

The 20th anniversary edition

The 20th anniversary edition was still essentially a text game. The Infocom origins of the game were still evident, from the opening credits to the ‘Help’ message. . It was not an attempt to produce a fully animated version, the graphics as followed in the tradition of E. H. Shepard’s illustrations for A.A. Milne’s books – they didn’t reflect all the events described. Most of the images rightly remained, to quote Simon Jones, “in the universe of your head.”

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Game – 20th anniversary edition

The game was put together by a 4 person team, with Rod Lord supplying design brilliance, Sean Sollé the brains behind the game code, Roger Philbrick designing and coding the entire supporting site, and Shimon Young coding the Flash front end to create the lovely looking final product. For small team, their efforts made a big impact, and not only raised the traffic to the Radio 4 website by 1000%, but also scooped a BAFTA.

Despite its runaway success, in later years the game had been left to languish on some mothballed pages on a server that was due for demolition to make way for a high speed server array…

The 30th anniversary edition

The game was spotted languishing on these pages, quietly ticking over with up to 70 visitors on a good day. The time seemed right for a spit and polish and to re-house it on a shiny new server just before the old ones were switched off for good. An already cantankerous game with a penchant for killing people in a variety of amusing ways, the game has not become more friendly while sulking unloved and unnoticed.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Game – 30th anniversary edition

The game is still the same wonderful piece of interactive fiction that Douglas Adams wrote and Steve Meretzky programmed, but in finding it a new home, a few changes needed to be made. The old Flash game would not work on the new servers, and in porting it to a new HTML5 incarnation, several innovations took place. We were able to build in a larger, handier interface, with additional keys and functionality, and build in the ability to tweet from the game.

Then things started to get silly. Having covered the basics, we decided to slip in an ‘Any’ key, just because we could. The $, % and ^ symbols were replaced with new ones for the Altarian Dollar, Flanian Pobble Bead and the Triganic Pu, not because they are needed in the game, but just because we felt like it. We then decided that rather than having a simple functionality where the user could tweet, we would allow the game itself to tweet, based on the actions of users in the game.

This was when the game’s personality started to shine through. This may or may not prove to have been a good idea…

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rraszews
194 days ago
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The flash game is technically interesting because they didn't change the code or anything; it's just the binary of the text game being run in a flash-based interpreter. The graphics are triggered by code in the interpreter that looks for certain text to be output.
Columbia, MD
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