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Comment: Re:Wrong Question (Score 5, Insightful) 106

The proper questions to ask are those that you know something about. For Snowden to suddenly jump on LGBT rights or Chechen independence would come off as the type of issue-of-the-day “activism” sometimes seen with celebrities. It would make about as much sense as if Pussy Riot went on U.S. television to talk about Obamacare or the Keystone Pipeline.

Comment: Softball (Score 4, Interesting) 292

by _Ludwig (#46803995) Attached to: In a Hole, Golf Courses Experiment With 15-inch Holes

15" holes seem pretty ridiculous, considering you still have to get to the green. Accurate drives and knowing how to deal with situational shots comprise at least half the difficulty of golf. Nobody takes a mulligan on a missed putt, they take them when they slice a shot onto the next fairway over or into a water hazard or whiff it entirely and launch a clump of divot instead of the ball.

But no one derides amateur softball players for not hitting 85 mph pitches or being able to throw out a runner at first with a bullet from 130' away. What might make golf more accessible is building smaller 9-hole courses heavy on par-threes with more forgiving hazards and flatter greens. Less of a time commitment, cheaper due to faster turnover... Change the name somewhat (Golf-lite? Softgolf?) so as to defuse objections from people who want to maintain “pure golf’s” identity as is.

Comment: Re:Sick Society (Score 1) 214

by Lord Kano (#46803381) Attached to: L.A. Science Teacher Suspended Over Student Science Fair Projects

Basically, it is cherry-picking by various ambiguous qualifiers: "stable", "developed", etc. Usually these are just keywords for " compared primarily to the UK, Western Europe, and Canada.."

It's a dog-whistle for the obviously racist intent of "majority white". That's what they mean, that's what they're saying, they just lack the guts to be explicit with it.


Comment: I use Evernote. But I don’t trust it. (Score 1) 147

by Qbertino (#46801201) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Professional Journaling/Notes Software?

I use Evernote. But I don’t trust it.

I use Evernote for most of my digital notes stuff. I like the syncing feature which keeps notes on my mac, smartphone and tablet in sync.

However I don’t trust it for really important long-term stuff. Really essential stuff, such as long writing projects, articles, essays, important letters or digital journals go into textfiles that are in directories covered by redundant backup/archive mechanisms on detached portable HDDs with filesystems that can be read with widely available free open source software (Mac OS X HFS *without* journaling).

Doing anything else with anything valuable that’s supposed to stay useable longer than a decade is insane.

For instance, I still have CD copies of CD Archives of Zip Disk Archives of very old HDDs (2,5 40 MB HDDs would fit on one ZipDisk attached via parallel port - yepp, those were the days) with texts written in Ami Pro. The Ami Pro format is openable with a regular text editor, but it still is anoying to extract the useful data. No way am I installing Dos 5 and Win 3.11 on a Vbox just to run Ami Pro just to open them. Hence, only UTF-8 textfiles since round-about 2000.

You should do the same for any journal stuff that is supposed to last longer than 3 years.

My 2 cents.

Comment: Sharp PC 1403H Pocket Computer, HTC Mobile Devices (Score 1) 679

by Qbertino (#46794075) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

Sharp PC 1403H from '91. I'd bet money that my 1986 Sharp PC 1402 (same device with less memory) still would be working too if I hadn't sold it.
Batteries are from the 90ies too - haven't replaced them since. Still work. Still have microcassettes with my own software on them, such as a Shadowrun (1st Ed.) Character Builder. Would print out the stats on the cash register strip printer. Still have that too, still works. :-)

My Mac Mini from 2006 still is going strong, aswell as my HTC Desire HD Smartphone and my HTC Flyer tablet, both of which have been in hard everyday use since 3 and 2 years ago respectively. Both have been dropped hard multiple times, the Flyer is nicked and dented around the edges, the pounch looks like it's been through a war and I've wasted 3 hardcases on my HTC Desire HD and replaced the battery and protective foil once, because it was so banged up already. I expect both to last another few years with everyday use. It's a shame replacing the HTC Flyer battery isn't done as easyly as with the phone.

I consider the HTC Desire HD and the HTC Flyer the best smartphone and tablet enclosures ever (solid aluminium), better even than Apples current cases - although the iPad Air enclosure does look cool. Shame they don't build them in that quality anymore. They are from a time when everyone was rushing into the mobile market and trying to make a name for themselves. Although the HTC One line still has pretty goog enclosures.

Interesting tidbit: The HTC Flyers enclosure is top notch and very sturdy which makes it notably heavier than your usual 7" plastic tablet. That's actually a little downside.

Comment: Lamy Safari fountain pen (Score 1) 679

by Mprx (#46792151) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?
I've been using a Lamy Safari fountain pen every day for years, dropped it a few times, and it still works good as new. Most fountain pens are fragile and expensive, designed more for asthetics than functionality. The Lamy Safari is reasonably priced and extremely reliable. The grip section has an unusual design that's very comfortable to hold. Even the nibs are tougher than average and if you manage to destroy one (eg. by dropping onto concrete) they are replacable. There's good reason these pens are highly recommended for beginners by fountain pen user groups. It will easily survive long enough to save money over disposable ballpoints if you buy ink in bulk and use a refillable cartridge.

Comment: Re:"Web 2.0" is a decade old now (Score 1) 55

by Just Some Guy (#46789491) Attached to: The Internet of Things and Humans

When I step on my scale, it tells me if I need to carry an umbrella today (based on the weather forecast it downloaded). Then it sends my weight etc. to my iPhone where it's merged with information from my fitness wristband and my diet tracker. Based on that, I get suggestions like "you've been going to bed a little later than usual. You should catch up." or "drink more water today" or "try to walk this much further than you did yesterday".

I think that's not so shabby.

Comment: Re:Just one more reason (Score 1) 256

by Sloppy (#46788923) Attached to: Criminals Using Drones To Find Cannabis Farms and Steal Crops

[Just one more reason] to legalize and regulate.

I can see how this kind of story would support legalization (crimes against criminals often go unaddressed), but how would it support regulating? Is theft unusually common with unregulated crops, as opposed to regulated ones?

(Ignorance plea: Heh, it occurs to me that I don't even know what crops are regulated and what isn't. Maybe agriculture is already totally micromanaged by Washington; I sure hear enough stories of corruption (e.g. subsidies) within the topic!)

Comment: Next up: customer notification (Score 1) 176

by Just Some Guy (#46788513) Attached to: Heartbleed Sparks 'Responsible' Disclosure Debate

One thing I haven't heard discussed is whether affected companies should be notifying their end users about whether they were affected and when it was fixed. I haven't heard from my bank, for example. Where they ever vulnerable? Should I update my password? If they were vulnerable, is it fixed now or would I just be handing an attacker my new password if I were to reset it today?

I wrote up a proposal called Heartbleed headers for communicating this information to site visitors. While I'd like it if everyone picked my idea as the new standard way for doing this, I just wish admins would start using something. We're so close to having a browser plugin be able to tell you "you need to update your password on this site" as you browse. How nice would that be?

Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games -- but not with pleasure. -- Leo Rosten