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Astronomers Invent "Galaxy Game"

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the like-a-visit-to-the-optometrist dept.

Space 55

Hugh Pickens writes "BBC reports that astronomers have invented a game to help uncover the basis of galactic collisions, showing players images of colliding galaxies and asking them to match those to simulations. These galactic mergers could be the key to why the Universe contains a mixture of different galaxies — some with trailing spiral arms, others more like compact balls of stars. Astronomers say that humans are 'much better than computers' at spotting the patterns and similarities. 'The strength of the game is that it takes results from many people,' says Dr Chris Lintott from Oxford University, one of the members of the Galaxy Zoo team. The developers describe the game as a 'cosmic fruit machine' (i.e., slot machine). The game shows players one real galaxy image and, on command, eight randomly selected simulations pop into the 'slot'" surrounding that image. The aim is for players to choose the simulations that look most similar to the real galaxy and take those through to the next round to examine them further. The simulated images show the different aspects of galaxy formation, so as people play, they will generate data that will help astronomers understand these collisions. 'These collisions take millions of years to unfold,' says Anthony Holincheck, a graduate student at George Mason University and another member of the team. 'All we get from the Universe is a single snapshot of each one. [With] simulations, we will be able to watch each cosmic car crash unfold in the computer.'"

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Dear Astronomers: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30230590)

Please use pattern matching.

Yours In Ashgabat,
Kilgore Trout.

P.S.: Please acknowledge this suggestion in Personal Communication in all publications about this method.

Re:Dear Astronomers: (1)

cupantae (1304123) | more than 4 years ago | (#30230780)

From TFA:

'The astronomers say that humans are "much better than computers" at spotting the patterns and similarities'

Presumably, they've thought of pattern matching as a means of matching patterns

Re:Dear Astronomers: (1)

Island Admin (1562905) | more than 4 years ago | (#30231044)

So it is not time to welcome our electronic overlords yet?

Re:Dear Astronomers: (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 5 years ago | (#30233542)

So it is not time to welcome our electronic overlords yet?

No, if you pull that mob before the healer chain is ready you can tank it yourself.

Re:Dear Astronomers: (1)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | more than 4 years ago | (#30230886)

Classifying merging is beyond the ability of most neural nets. It is easier, cheaper, and more reliable to let wet nets do the classifying. Besides, if we teach machines to classify galaxy collisions for us we are only a hop, skip, and jump away from skynet.

Re:Dear Astronomers: (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#30280082)

Please use pattern matching.

Regular expressions are not appropriate on a galactic scale.

Gotta love Google keyword ad-match spamming (5, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#30230612)

And they can quote you the best insurance rates for galactic collisions.

Re:Gotta love Google keyword ad-match spamming (1)

sorak (246725) | more than 4 years ago | (#30230798)

I love it when I look up NFS commands and all the ads are for the newest "Need For Speed" game.

Re:Gotta love Google keyword ad-match spamming (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 4 years ago | (#30231052)

I love it when I look up NFS commands and all the ads are for the newest "Need For Speed" game.

Try googling for exportfs.

The weird stuff is found in a images.google.com search for exportfs. Not disturbing weird like a goatse, just plain old weird.

A pirate flag, some cartoon simpsons looking dude, pages of kanji, a picture of someones little white dog...

Re:Gotta love Google keyword ad-match spamming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30231426)

Cue the half dozen "what ads?" replies.

Re:Gotta love Google keyword ad-match spamming. (0, Offtopic)

coolforsale126 (1686418) | more than 5 years ago | (#30232166)

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Re:Gotta love Google keyword ad-match spamming (1)

ndogg (158021) | more than 5 years ago | (#30232504)

And I'm betting you could probably find one on eBay too.

Re:Gotta love Google keyword ad-match spamming (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#30280094)

Considering that there's a saggitarius starstream colliding with the milky way right now, and that, if it went horribly wrong instead, I'd probably die, I'd give you pretty good insurance on that too.

Boring (3, Funny)

inhuman_4 (1294516) | more than 4 years ago | (#30230682)

I thought games were supposed to be fun. This just sounds like grunt work. Don't these researchers have grad students to do this kind of thing?

Re:Boring (3, Insightful)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | more than 4 years ago | (#30230888)

Something like this would be a waste of good grad students.

Re:Boring (1)

inhuman_4 (1294516) | more than 4 years ago | (#30231000)

I had intended it to be a joke about grad students having to do the grunt work. But I guess my post wasn't very clear because I got modded down as a troll :(

That or I have been reading too much PhD comics.

Re:Boring (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 5 years ago | (#30233590)

Actually I've found out myself, a rather long time ago, that I was modding perfectly insightful comments to "troll" because I used the mouse wheel to scroll down before I clicked out of the little Mod drop-down box. Result? Some poor sod gets a karma hit. So there's some potential for your "troll" mod to have been that sort of mistake.

I'd much prefer that the bottom of the "moderate" list was a no-op, for that reason.

Re:Boring (1)

Zadaz (950521) | more than 5 years ago | (#30233350)

Given the last few classes of grad students, no, not so much.

Re:Boring (2, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30231380)

You're just jealous I set the high score.

Re:Boring (1)

Kingrames (858416) | more than 5 years ago | (#30232242)

No, he's pissed because he knows your initials aren't "ASS".

Re:Boring (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 4 years ago | (#30231520)

Actually, I think more to the point (some people might call that fun) I was wondering if it's a game, how do you "lose" or get out? Do they have one of the eight choices inserted as knowingly wrong? Bzzzt! Start over and see how many you can get in a row this time?

I am all for Galaxy Zoo and the like, but if it's more human brain grunt-working, just call it that, chances are the people who are keen to do it won't mind either way.

Re:Boring (1)

Nqdiddles (805995) | more than 5 years ago | (#30234400)

Maybe we could just replace Solitaire with this on windows installs. Enough people spend some serious mind-numbing hours (over time at least) playing that, surely Galaxy Zoo couldn't be any less boring...

Re:Boring (1)

Deltaspectre (796409) | more than 5 years ago | (#30233098)

They're fresh out of undergrads

Re:Boring (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#30233238)

just wait like 4chan start sabotaging the results until 2 galactic collisions results in longcat or something.

Re:Boring (1)

HitherYon (798037) | more than 5 years ago | (#30233280)

I thought games were supposed to be fun. This just sounds like grunt work. Don't these researchers have grad students to do this kind of thing?

Fun? That's so old-school. Now it's all about how many hoops you can make your player base jump through for achievement points.

Hot or Not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30230702)

This is the astronomer equivalent of Hot or Not.

Re:Hot or Not (1)

maino82 (851720) | more than 4 years ago | (#30231070)

Supernova or Black hole

Better than "Find the black hole around Uranus!" (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30230762)

So quit complaining.

Re:Better than "Find the black hole around Uranus! (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#30280102)

Actually, your mom loves that game ;)

Er... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30230768)

Now, why of all places would one post this on /. where no one allows Java in their browser???

Huh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30230956)

Argumentum ad populum? On my Slashdot?

More likely than you'd think.

Wonder where they got this idea? (2, Interesting)

Crouse45 (1631351) | more than 4 years ago | (#30230776)

There's already a "game" that uses people to find the best way to fold protiens. http://fold.it/portal/info/science [fold.it]

Re:Wonder where they got this idea? (1)

chichilalescu (1647065) | more than 5 years ago | (#30234666)

Whether or not it's copied, it's a very good idea. Until we get smart enough computers, http://discovermagazine.com/2009/oct/06-brain-like-chip-may-solve-computers-big-problem-energy/article_view?b_start:int=0&-C= [discovermagazine.com] [discovermagazine.com], our best tools for understanding (finding the best model to fit given experimental data) are biological brains. Personally, I would pay game developers to think of translating problems in modern science into simple games for brains that wouldn't get bored too soon (like children, cats and dogs). Why use complicated learning algorithms when they're already implemented in brains?

Idle? (1)

Thinboy00 (1190815) | more than 4 years ago | (#30230898)

Why is this in science? Shouldn't it be in idle?

Got a walkthrough anyone? (2, Funny)

whatajoke (1625715) | more than 4 years ago | (#30230992)

The very first mission is a boss fight :(


Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30231024)

Disruptive trolls

The purpose of disruptive trolls are to cause the pages of Slashdot to display in an undesirable way or to otherwise bring attention to themselves. The two major categories of disruptive trolls are crapflooding and page-widening.
[edit] Crapflooding

Crapflooding consists of multiple copies of the same message posted many times with slight variations in order to avoid being stopped by the lameness filter. Scripted crapflooding attacks, in which the process of posting is automated, can be very effective. Usually used in conjunction with a crapflood, some trolls write or copy offtopic stories into their comments. Many involve gratuitous and homoerotic sex scenes with the names of Slashdot's editors or other open source celebrities substituted for the characters in the original story. Other stories generally have no set topic and are usually nonsensical and surreal as well as offensive. Some trolls simply post comments that are completely incoherent on any level. Occasionally, trolls may post Base64 encoded images and comments, which appear nonsensical until decoded, whereupon they appear merely offensive (most of the time).
[edit] Page widening/lengthening

The original page widening posts were simple messages consisting of one long stream of characters with no spaces. This caused browsers to render a very wide page with horizontal scroll bars, making it nearly impossible to read the comments page. Slashdot began inserting spaces into any long run of characters to prevent this and so began the evolutionary battle between Slashcode and the page widening trolls. Newer and more inventive ways of causing page widening were discovered, with the use of blockquote tags and the "." character to cause extreme widening on Internet Explorer. These methods were also eventually closed off by the Slashdot editors. Improvements in browser software have also closed many of the loopholes used to widen pages.
[edit] Offensive trolls

Trolls in this category are those intended to be offensive, or those which take the reader to potentially offensive sites. A popular technique amongst Slashdot trolls is to post links to "shock sites" in order to annoy and offend other readers by tricking them into following the links. This is often accomplished by posting the link under the guise of being another link to the article or a rebuttal to the article.

A variation on this theme is for a troll to accuse a legitimate link or comment as being a link or reference to a shock site. In some cases this can have the desired effect of a genuinely insightful comment being moderated downward. Another technique is to embed a shock site link in a comment that otherwise appears relevant to the discussion, in the hope that unwitting moderators will mod up the post. The Holy Grail of this type of troll may be to slip a story submission containing a "shock site" link past the Slashdot editors. This situation occurred in July 2003 and June 2004 when disgruntled webmasters configured their servers to redirect to a shock site when the HTTP referrer was Slashdot.

One particular "shock site" which is overwhelmingly preferred to others is Goatse.cx. This has spawned a large number of other references such as ASCII art of its signature image (hello.jpg) within a square border, and with a derogatory word written inside the anus of the man in the picture. The 'Penis bird' troll, a crude ASCII representation of a bird perched on an erect penis, is another common variant. Troll postings often contain an ASCII art representation of some offensive image, often related to shock sites, with a nonsensical or provocative subject line.

As a result of these trolling techniques, the Slashdot team introduced a feature which appends the domain name a link points to immediately behind that link in every comment to make disguising links more difficult. (e.g. "See Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org]") When this was implemented, people used mirrors and CGI redirection scripts run by Yahoo!, Slashdot or other servers to circumvent this measure.
[edit] Homosexuality and racism

Homosexuality is one of the most versatile and popular trolling devices used. In its simplest form it may be used on its own in the form of a homophobic insult or as a feature of a pornographic troll featuring common Slashdot topics and celebrities. Goatse.cx (see above "shock site" section) also takes advantage of homophobia. Racism is another ploy, sometimes used for effect in conjunction with homosexuality which usually causes offense to individuals unfamiliar with it. At its crudest it simply takes the form of repeated racial insults.

One of the more persistent homosexual- and racism-oriented trolls is the "GAY NIGGER" troll. This troll is perpetrated by a group calling themselves the "Gay Nigger Association of America", which encourages people to join by first watching the 1992 Danish low-budget movie Gayniggers From Outer Space, attaining a first post, and applying on an IRC channel. The group distributes pre-formatted troll postings which users can paste into Slashdot. Although the group claims that membership requirements include, in their own words, that one be a "GAY NIGGER", it is understood that its members are neither homosexual nor of African descent, except perhaps by coincidence.
[edit] "Much like being gay..."

One variety of troll involves the poster claiming to be a homosexual, and then going on to express approval for, or liking of, a particular device or technology, in such a way as to imply that there is a connection between the two. (For instance, Macintosh computers or the Linux operating system.)

        "As a gay man, I take positive representations where I can get them. Any time a same-gender relationship is portrayed in a positive but very real light benefits us all. The same can be said of Linux, which, much like being gay, will likely remain a minority OS in the a world that seems married to proprietary software, and never really "come out of the closet" and be truly ready for acceptance the desktop. But anytime we can get some good press, it helps us all. I'm a big fan of Ubuntu (even over Mac!) and I'm proud that Dell has taken a stand and acknowledged that some of us are different, and thats ok." Posted on Slashdot July 6, 2007

This troll is particularly effective, and its style is somewhat reminiscent of classic Adequacy.org trolls, because it relies on the over-reaction of subsequent readers and their own homophobia for comedic value.
[edit] Anti-semitism

Anti-semitism, and Nazism in particular, is now considered highly offensive across the modern world, a fact exploited by some Slashdot trolls intent on causing maximum offense to the reader. The most basic anti-semitic trolls usually involve posting pro-Nazi statements such as "Heil Hitler", sometimes accompanied by a crude ASCII-art swastika, and usually are promptly moderated down as Flamebait.

Less blatant trolls might involve anti-Jewish conspiracy theories, in the spirit of such conspiracy theories rampant during the late 19th and early 20th century. The GNAA (above), for example, is waging a campaign accusing the Jews as a whole, and the State of Israel specifically, of being responsible for the September 11, 2001 attacks. [1] [2]

In a somewhat related vein, trolls often inhabit science or technology stories concerning Israel, dropping into the discussion completely unrelated posts on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Given the nature and sensitivity of this subject, these comments usually are successful in their aim of igniting a flame war.
[edit] Nationalistic insults

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The effect of such trolls is compounded by the immaturity and lack of political culture of many participants on both sides, who comment on foreign events they scarcely know about according to clichés seen in the mass media.
[edit] Deceptive trolls

Often, trolls are created with the purpose of tricking the reader into viewing offensive or misleading information, or to deceive them in some way.
[edit] Article text alteration trolls

Considered by many to be an effective satirisation of those who post comments consisting of a linked article's text (most often in case of the Slashdot effect) for positive moderation (see karma whores), these are arguably some of the most creative and entertaining found on Slashdot. These trolls consist of the linked article's text, copied into a comment, usually accompanied by a subject line indicating that the site has been slashdotted. One or more words, phrases, or paragraphs are covertly inserted or modified to form a subversive or offensive message not present in the original article. These can be in the form of film or book spoilers, or words changed to produce sexual innuendoes, amongst other things. Often moderators will 'mod-up' the comment based solely on its title and the overall appearance of the text, assuming that the comment is helpfully providing the verbatim text of the unavailable site. Comments that have been repeatedly modded-up become more visible and carry an air of validity. Troll comments that fool more moderators therefore trick more readers.

When other users spot the troll, many of them respond with comments warning other users of the deception and asking moderators to decrease the troll's visibility. The most concise posts are empty with the emphatic subject line: "TROLL - MOD PARENT DOWN". Other users go further by pointing out each instance where the troll post differs from the original article. This phenomenon has trolls of its own, wherein a response will describe extra changes that are not present in the original troll post. This "troll-on-troll" phenomenon further increases confusion. Still more confusion is introduced when trolls respond to "Mod Parent Down" comments with rebuttals claiming that the original troll was a legitimate copy of the article, and that it is instead the accusers who are the trolls. Depending on the subtlety and believability of the changes, readers may remain confused until the site with the original article becomes available again. Unfortunately, because of the nature of the Slashdot effect, the original article may not become available again until most readers have lost interest and moved on.

"Mod Parent Down" posts are sometimes seen as comments on legitimate posts, presumably as an attempt to disrupt the thread.
[edit] Web vendor referral trolls

Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and some other WWW vendors have a system whereby a user can post links on their (or others) websites, and gain a small commission per person following the link. These trolls post what appear to be discussion, with links to source material, but are really elaborate advertisements.
[edit] Signature trolls

Signature trolls are an advanced and effective method of trolling, commonly used in reviews of software. The troll posts an insightful comment, which is moderated up based on its merit. The troll then changes his post signature to include an extra link, usually to a shock site. Comments on Slashdot cannot be edited after posting, but the user's signature text is updated within the comment whenever the user changes it. When the troll changes his signature, the malicious link becomes part of the highly-moderated comment. With careful wording, the signature can seamlessly blend in with the post and trick many readers.

The dynamic signature can cause even more confusion when the troll, after being found out, changes his signature back to make his accusers appear false. As the accusatory comments receive negative moderation for appearing false, the accusers lose points from their karma score, resulting in another victory for the troll.
[edit] Movie spoiler

This is a more subtle troll than most. It consists, for the most part, of a genuinely insightful comment split into several paragraphs, with the middle or penultimate paragraph containing one or more movie spoilers.
[edit] Idiosyncratic trolls

Trolls that don't fall into the other three categories are idiosyncratic, and their existence is a result of an inside joke related to the workings of Slashdot culture or history or of geek culture itself.
[edit] First post

Whenever a new story is posted on Slashdot, comments may be added discussing it and there is often competition between Slashdotters to be the first to post such a comment. Some first posters try to make a short insightful comment to avoid being moderated down. The more immature first posts often consist of a subject saying "first post!" or merely "FP" and have no body. Trolls may also post "first post" messages a ridiculously long time after the original story has been submitted as a parody of the first post. There are many other variants of the first post, usually misspellings to avoid the lameness filter: "Frist psot!". Some troll organizations require prospective members to post a 'First Post' on Slashdot using some pre-specified text, which may explain the persistence of the 'First Post' troll.
[edit] Netcraft confirms it

Quite frequently (especially for BSD-related stories) a comment will be posted providing dubious statistics from Netcraft (a network services vendor and internet research firm) and many links detailing the forthcoming death of the BSD operating systems. With its bogus statistics and inflammatory language the original "*BSD is dying" troll was enormously successful, and was still guaranteed to generate responses years after it first appeared. The troll typically starts with the phrase, "Netcraft confirms is dying", modelled after similar but authentic confirmations revealed by Netcraft in their research. Not surprisingly, many variants of this troll were created: Slashdot/VA Linux/Linux/BeOS/Apple (see examples below) is dying, variants on the original link-laden *BSD troll, and even elaborate poetry and song. None were as successful as the original.
[edit] Stephen King is dead

Used simply as an off-topic troll or even a red herring, the American writer, Stephen King, has his very own subculture repeating the myth of his death:

The canonical text of the troll is as follows:

        Subject: Sad news ... Stephen King, dead at 54

        I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Horror/Sci Fi writer Stephen King was found dead in his Maine home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.

This joke has also been used to recognize actual celebrity deaths. The format has also been used outside of Slashdot, usually on other message boards, to announce or memorialize actual deaths.
[edit] Hot grits/Natalie Portman

Back in the day, an anonymous troller (aka the "hot grits guy") would post a reply to every story with a simple "I have poured hot grits down my pants. Thank you." While he mostly got modded down as a troll, the hot grits guy is really the first recurring troll on Slashdot.

Natalie Portman is a popular target for this troll. When referring to her, they frequently profess their endless love for a statue of the naked and petrified actress, preferably covered in hot grits. Naked and Petrified is now such an infamous troll that it virtually epitomizes Slashdot trolling, and is often referred to and parodied in Slashdot comments. Other incarnations of the troll suggest that Natalie Portman pour hot grits into their (the trolls') underwear.
[edit] Reigniting flamewars

Popular on software and development articles, this troll tries to explain why a particular operating system, programming language or other concept is inferior to others, in a way intended to annoy, intending to start a flamewar. This type of troll will either make an outlandish and obvious claim or subtly use a valid criticism of something in an aggravating fashion.

For example:

        * "The K in KDE stands for Krap."
        * "Why would I want a desktop with a smelly foot on it?"
        * "Linux has below average SMP support."
        * "My BSD machines have much better uptimes and stability than my Linux machines."
        * "Object-oriented programming is difficult to use and doesn't increase productivity."
        * "Open source software has poorer levels of QA than proprietary solutions."
        * "Python scales up for large projects better than Perl."
        * "IPv6 adds too much new overhead to be viable."

These types of post, usually moderated down as flamebait, sometimes cause a flamewar to begin amongst those who reply and thus the troll gets his 'bite' (See You Have Been Trolled et al.).
[edit] Minor trolls

        * The Get Some PRIORITIES! troll began to appear after the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks. A classic offtopic troll, it employs highly hyperbolic language to criticize the other posters and Slashdot in general for discussing trivialities like new gadgets or changes in U.S. copyright law in the wake of such a horrific event. ( see this post for an example).
        * The Think about your breathing troll causes the user to think about their breathing, and it claims to be the most effective troll ever.
        * The Think about your parents having hot sweaty sex next time you masturbate troll intends to implant offensive images in the mind of the reader the next time he or she masturbates.
        * The Is it good or is it whack? troll: This troll responds to a comment by asking of the comment's subject, "What's [subject] all about? Is it good or is it whack?". In general, this troll aims to suggest wide-eyed naïveté about a well-understood subject. This phrase comes from the popular comic character in the UK and the US, Ali G.
        * The I Fail It! / I succeed it! trolls originally came from the computer game Blazing Star in which the game over message read: "You fail it! Your skill is not enough, see you next time, bye-bye".
        * The My freelance gig in front of a Mac trolls appear in virtually every discussion about Apple Computer. The troll claims to have witnessed taking 20 minutes to copy a 17 MB file from one folder to another and proceeds to question all Apple users as to their platform choice. It is a straight forward copy-and-paste from a weblog entry by Jason Kottke.
        * The I find your ideas intriguing / interesting and wish to subscribe to your newsletter / journal troll is a common sycophantic reply to a post that may or may not have merit. ( see this post for an example). (This is a quote from an episode of the Simpsons.)
        * The Stalkers are trolls who fixate on a user and reply to all their posts anoymously usually repeating some sort of an insult. Most stalkers are probably members of the "Gay Nigger Association of America"
        * The in space! trolls appeared after the slashdot article, "IP6 tested in space", and reiterate the story headline with "in space!!" attached to the end, for example "New Apple Desktops Released in space!!"
        * Various Horsecock trolls, including I can't believe it's not horsecock! are a recent phenomenon, originating in mid-2007, possibly as a crossover from K5. They are posted randomly.

Red Dwarf planet pool (1)

skyriser2 (179031) | more than 4 years ago | (#30231028)

First thing that came to my mind, that planet pool scene from Red Dwarf:

Red Dwarf - Planet Pool:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBmgZv6YAxE [youtube.com]

Promoting the game (1)

zmaragdus (1686342) | more than 4 years ago | (#30231082)

Colliding galaxies together? Watch out for celebrity endorsement by Mike Meyers: "Smashing Baby!"

Kind of neat (1)

codepigeon (1202896) | more than 4 years ago | (#30231202)

A lot of people are bashing this. I think its kind of neat. I will "play" for a while.

Galaxy Zoo (1)

Munden (681257) | more than 4 years ago | (#30231390)

This has been around for two and a half years and they relaunched it as Galaxy Zoo 2 back in Feb. of this year. Wonder why the BBC is rehashing the story now...

Re:Galaxy Zoo (1)

WraithCube (1391567) | more than 4 years ago | (#30231824)

Not only that, but slashdot covered the release of galaxy zoo [slashdot.org] and covered it again when it found a rare specimen [slashdot.org] . I spent quite a bit of time going through pictures when it first launched, but the interest had died off before it changed to Galaxy Zoo 2. It seems to have improved quite a bit since the original, but I wouldn't have imagined adding extra pictures to every page is enough to get to the front page of slashdot. Especially since as you said that change was made back in February.

Re:Galaxy Zoo (3, Insightful)

meglon (1001833) | more than 5 years ago | (#30232676)

And along the same lines, computer programs have been around for DECADES.. yet they still make news. Who'da thunk.

The GZ2 wasn't a relaunch in the typical sense, it was new and more precise information, with new goals. This galaxy merger tool is also new, and has yet another new goal.

Perhaps we could have gone with the idea back in the day that "Everything that can be invented has been invented," Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. patent office, 1899.... yet, we didn't. New things are still making the news.

Re:Galaxy Zoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#30232740)

This has been around for two and a half years and they relaunched it as Galaxy Zoo 2 back in Feb. of this year. Wonder why the BBC is rehashing the story now...

It may have something to do with the Galaxy Merger feature, which happens to be right in the the Slashdot and BBC headlines. It only just [galaxyzooblog.org] came online, this isn't old news.

Credibility shot... (0, Flamebait)

scooter.higher (874622) | more than 4 years ago | (#30231660)

Sorry, but British scientists already screwed up with their climate "research" so I'll wait for the next go 'round...

CAPTCHA (2, Insightful)

sherakama (1411161) | more than 4 years ago | (#30231726)

A game. Pssht. I have better games to play. Now make it a type of CAPTCHA and you will have your data prompto.

Re-classify as volunteer work (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30231802)

I'm torn. On the one hand there are very very few opportunities for someone with basic education to help scientists, and especially astronomers do real work. On the other hand as a "game" this is about as boring as you can get. I think there are enough amateur astronomers who are willing to help , especially in bite sized chunks (just look at the amateur effort tracking variable stars!) so why not call it what it is - volunteer work - and drop the lame game interface?

Pre-empted car analogy? (1)

Psaakyrn (838406) | more than 5 years ago | (#30232340)

I see what you did there...

Add it to loading screens in games (1)

Dideamon (1686464) | more than 5 years ago | (#30232634)

If they added this kind of stuff to loading / zoning screens in online games i'm sure people would use it to kill a few seconds

Meta (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 5 years ago | (#30233598)

Slashdot is crowdsourcing. Welcome to the hivemind. Everything is fractal and you have your branch and I have mine.

Anonymous Coward (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#30234048)

If I remember correctly, many years ago Sydney University (Australia) built up a PC with LINUX just to study what happens when Galaxies collide. They may have come a long way with their calculations by now.
Unfortunately I do not remember who was doing the work but I built that PC.

Re:Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#30246116)

Thanks, this information is very informative.

It's distributed intertube computing (1)

pinkushun (1467193) | more than 5 years ago | (#30234368)

They get the young ones interested in exploring the universe (I'd loved this 10 years ago!), a lil better than being productive on joecartoon. Those gerbils are too damn cute though...

Tagging as history (1)

Gaffod (939100) | more than 5 years ago | (#30254972)

Wow, I remember this from when was in high school, learning about polynomials.

For perspective, I have anxieties about having too little time to prepare for the GRE nowadays. (Glances at source) Oh, of course. Does anybody know a site like slashdot, you know, news for nerds stuff, only the news are actually... Umm... new?
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