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Comment Re:Perhaps I can explain (Score 1) 447

People, for the most part, will obey gun laws -- except the burglars and killers.

Of all the possible crimes, you picked burglary? Burglars are violent only 7% of the time (plus or minus a point or two depending on the year). Of those violent burglars, only 12% of them had a gun at the time. (Just possession, not necessarily brandished or fired.) So burglars with guns? 0.8% of all burglaries.

You can take that to mean that the heightened penalties for armed burglary vs unarmed burglary have successfully dissuaded nearly all burglars from carrying guns.

Or you can just admit that burglary is a really bad example of a gun crime. Burglars are overwhelmingly non-confrontational criminals.

Try "rapists and killers" next time.

Comment Re:VR is going to land with a thud (Score 1) 174

There is no denying VR sounds cool. In some cases it might actually be cool - I'm thinking particularly of racing / flight / space sims where you sit in a cockpit and the range of movements in game roughly correspond to real life - you sit in the game, you sit in real life, you have buttons and controls in the game, you have buttons and controls in real life.

But for other kinds of game I really don't see the benefit. Yeah it could be used for first person shooters (for example) but then the game has to somehow reconcile a person running, spinning, jumping, aiming, shooting, standing, crouching and throwing stuff to someone in real life sat on a couch. It's likely that it will be extremely disorientating and puke inducing.

And aside from FPSs what can we expect? Probably some lame jump scare horror games. Probably some table top style games. But nothing that particularly justifies the experience. I bet most games will work as well if not better in 2D.

I expect you're right about cockpit games, and I'd add giant robot cockpits to your list. They will work and work very well, and that might be enough to drive a major market.

I also agree that FPSs that are anything like modern FPSs just aren't going to work. There may be FPSs, but it will be like Rainbow Six with the realism turned up to 11, otherwise they will make you sick.

You left out a couple of major categories though.

God games? AWESOME in VR. You control the view, and you don't have to pan very fast across the map if you don't want to. You're looking down at the little buildings and little people doing your bidding. It should work quite well.

RTSs, same thing, though possibly with faster map motion that might not work for some people.

Many styles of MMOs should also work great in VR, especially first person MMOs. Third person should be fine too, and much like the god game/RTSs as far as experience is concerned.

There's a pretty large market, even of established categories. Undoubtedly there are significant adjustments required in terms of rendering and user interface, but all of that should be possible.

What's most interesting is what will be invented because it's possible in VR and just can't be done on a flat screen that doesn't convey a stereoscopic image. Nobody knows what that might be. It will take a lot more units in a lot more hands to find out. Oculus Rift may make that possible, and considering this price, it will probably happen. People easily spend that much on a new monitor or new TV, so why wouldn't they spend it on a Rift? It's another display device, like the others.

Comment Re:So does this mean if the teacher saw it ... (Score 1) 261

Dang it. I meant distributing. What slashdot? Still no edit button?

Nope. It fouls up the moderation system.

That's usually where the conversation ends, but we could actually consider that fact a moment. Ok, it fouls up the moderation system. Something that has been modded up could be edited after the fact into something totally different than what was originally modded. (And would be. Don't kid yourself.)

But this observation does uncover a perfectly reasonable modification. Allow editing until a post has been modded. That actually seems completely reasonable. And modding in this context should include the automatic +1 karma bonus, so if you want to edit your posts immediately after you post them, and you have good karma, then you'll have to disable your bonus. But once you get modded, up or down, it's committed and read-only.

Also if a post gets a reply, it is locked down. Otherwise the reply system gets fouled up. Replies can make reference to things in a parent post that no longer exist, and that's ridiculous and high maintenance. Now the replier has to go edit their post, etc. etc.

But no replies and no mods? Edits should be fair game.

Comment Re:Won't someone think of hurting the children?? (Score 5, Insightful) 261

I'm sorry, but fourteen year olds are not "children" by every definition...

Oh yes they fucking are.

No they're not. By the biological definition, once a specimen has reached sexual maturity, it is an adult. Is a 14 year old human physically mature? No. Is a 14 year old human emotionally mature? No. Is a 14 year old human sexually mature? Hell yes. Effectively every 14 year old girl and damn near all of the 14 year old boys are capable of doing their part of what the species does to make more of their species.

So no, 14 year olds are not children by every definition. We would be better off if we acknowledged that and made allowances for it.

The creation of the category "teenager" should have filled that bill, but too many societies on Earth are positively schizophrenic about acknowledging the sexual realities of being a teenager. On the one hand, they're wishing with all their might that teenagers are still children—asexual, trusting, obedient, happy almost by default—and on the other, commercial advertising and entertainment sexually flaunts teenage bodies as the very peak of desirability and perfection, and it's all downhill after that. The reality is complicated, but it does include sex and sexual things.

So here we have a government getting all up in arms about a naked 14 year old boy. Do they think this is the first time in history a teenage girl saw a naked teenage boy unsolicited? Are they stupid? Teenage boys have been flashing teenage girls and vice versa since the dawn of time, when some near-monkey first said, "Shit, it's cold out here. I'ma wrap this bear skin around my naked ass." A week later, a near-monkey girl flipped up her skirt and mooned a boy, and a near-monkey boy dropped his drawers and waggled his penis at a girl, and it's been happening ever since. The use of the precious cell phone is fucking irrelevant, and the police register is fucking moronic. He didn't do a damn thing that hadn't been done before, and civilization didn't fall because of it, then or now.

Comment Re:I can already see the Slashdot headlines (Score 1) 229

A year from now, I look forward to hearing Comcast whine about how "No legitimate user could seriously expect to pay $30 for 1.5 petabytes per month. Obviously, unlimited didn't mean unlimited - We intended it to give only another 300GB. We need to limit these greedy users out of fairness to our other customers."

A year from now? What color is the sky in your world? Comcast won't deploy anything capable of 1.5 petabytes per month anytime this century. Even when Google finishes their rollout in their 20th city (around 2080), they still won't bother. They'll just whine and cry, because that's so much cheaper than investing in infrastructure.

Comment Re:This is a real threat (Score 1) 242

It's because it's easy to install a new firmware (ddwrt or tomato), set your country as JP and use channel 13 for instance at full power...

A poor example. The FCC clarified some time ago that they didn't intend to restrict the usage of channel 13 in the way that current firmwares do (usually by locking it out entirely).

If the rule hadn't so obviously been written by Belkin's lawyers as a money grab, we'd be less annoyed with it. As it is, the reason you cite sounds more like an excuse than a reasonable (and legal) justification.

Comment Re:they don't ban installation of open source (Score 1) 242

It would be absolutely fantastic if people would be rational about tech news. Tech people/netizens are starting to sound like my grandfather now. Every change is something to be feared.

It ain't paranoia if they really are out to get you.

Considering DD-WRT was mentioned by name as something that would explicitly be banned, yes, this is something to be feared. If the FCC was doing their job, the job of regulating transmitters in order to preserve the utility of the commons that is the electromagnetic spectrum, the job that someone else pointed out they've been doing for 80 years, then there would be no problem. But when the proposed rule is worded primarily for the purpose of enriching a tiny handful of corporations, and only tangentially justified by their actual mandate, we're going to start sounding a bit shrill about it.

Tired of how shrill Slashdot has become lately? Blame the problem. Regulatory capture, and ongoing attempts such as this to extend it. This is the new normal. So of course we're going to become suspicious of every change, and of course we're going to be shrill about every change, because even when it's not such a blatant attempt at profiteering as this one is, Occam's Razor leads us to the conclusion that it's just a more subtle attempt at profiteering at our expense that we haven't figured out yet. The expense not only of our pocketbooks, but also our freedom, specifically the freedom to do whatever the hell we want with our possessions.[1]

The people running the FCC are people, but they are not just like me. Not in the least like me. The people running the FCC tell 300 million people what they can and can not do. I don't. They are not remotely like me. Therefore if I want to be suspicious of their motives, I damn well can be. Judging by past behavior, I damn well should be.


[1] And before the pedantic among us 'correct' me and tell me I don't have the freedom to do whatever the hell I want with my possessions, it was a rhetorical device. The previous paragraph acknowledging the problem of preserving the commons was your clue. I am perfectly well aware that this is a worthy and laudable goal, and if the number of cases of WiFi AP firmware modification resulting in out-of-spec radio performance that interferes with other uses of the spectrum ever rises above zero, the FCC might have a good reason to issue a new rule. But it still wouldn't be this rule.

Comment Re:hire two ninjas (Score 2) 842

Persson also began hosting wild parties where guests like Skrillex, Selena Gomez, and Tony Hawk would sometimes make appearances.

I'd hire a ninja keep those people out.
And another ninja to beat my ass if I had actually invited them.

Those people? Those people are precisely the kind of people who would show up to a Notch party. They were all raised middle class, at best, and I'd be shocked if any of them are more than double digit millionaires.


Yeah, I looked it up. Skrillex is worth an estimated $36 million, Selena Gomez is worth $20 million, and, surprise, surprise, Tony Hawk is worth $140 million. Still, none of them came from even big money, let alone old money.

With the exception of 2 or 3 posts here, Notch probably got better advice from Tony Hawk than he has from anybody else. Which is amusing to think about.

Comment Bait (Score 1) 123

Trojan horse? Seriously? ++Clickbait;

From their own blurb:

In the future, OnHub can support smart devices that you bring into your home, whether they use Bluetooth® Smart Ready, Weave, or 802.15.4. We also plan to design new OnHub devices with other hardware partners in the future. Stay tuned for news from our second partner, ASUS, later this year.

In other words, they told the world up front that it's for home automation. So... Shock! Horror! It's for home automation!

This thread is full from top to bottom of why the Alphabet name was created. The Google guys want to be able to sell neat hardware without the tremendous "Google will spy on meh!" backlash. If the hardware is designed, manufactured, branded, and sold by a company that ISN'T an advertising company, maybe people will be able to believe it.


As for the device itself, I don't understand why all the angst about only two ports. My router is a Linux box. It has only two ports. It only needs two ports. The switch is a nice 24 port gigabit device, $70 on sale at NewEgg. It moves Ethernet packets around. My wifi access point is the dumbest possible no-name in bridge mode. It moves wifi packets around. I don't want either device to be routing anything at the IP level. Not their jobs.

I have to agree, I don't see why it's not a beige box. Infrastructure should not be seen. Isn't that the point of wifi? Invisible packets flying through the air! To this.... vase-looking thing on the kitchen counter? They justify it with "it werks better if it's out in the open!" I think I can live with a little signal degradation, and dispense with the electronic vase that my mother-in-law is going to try to pour water into.

Comment Re:Turnabout is fair play? (Score 1) 576

Now that we've established the Belgium part is a fabrication, I'll wager good money the Chile and China parts are also fabrications. I've got a working visa in Hong Kong, no need to register with the police there. Shortly I'll have one for the UK, done a crapload of research, again no need to register with the police.

The GP left out the part where he's a registered sex offender. What can he say? He likes to piss on buildings. The fact that it was an elementary school at 10:00AM is all just a big misunderstanding. Is it his fault they site the bar within staggering distance of a school? And he just woke up. And he drank a LOT the night before. Perfectly natural mistake.

But he has to check in with police everywhere he goes.

Comment Re:Energy density (Score 1) 399

It's there, but we have to put an absurd amount of relatively rare resources into photovoltaic cells to make *use* of that energy.

You have peculiar notions about what solar cells are made of.

By weight, a finished monocrystalline solar panel is primarily silicon, 2nd most abundant element in Earth's crust, followed by aluminum, 3rd most abundant element in Earth's crust. The n-dopant that is half of what makes the silicon a semiconductor is phosphorous, 11th most abundant element in Earth's crust. The p-dopant that is the other half of what makes the silicon a semiconductor is boron, 41st most abundant element in Earth's crust, considerably more common than beryllium or tin, somewhat less common than lead. There is a tiny bit of silver on the upper surface, as a conductor, 65th most common element in Earth's crust, and the only remotely rare element in the list. Fortunately it is used in proportion to its rarity, so it's not a limiting factor to speak of.

In short, solar panel production is not in any way material limited. The Earth is made of the necessary elements, almost in the proportions they are used. There is enough of the necessary materials available to plate the entire surface of the Earth in solar cells, oceans included.

Fortunately no such excess is necessary. A population of 20 billion could enjoy the average per-person energy availability of an American without covering an appreciable fraction of the Earth's surface in solar panels, and you couldn't tell the difference in terms of the material used.

To communicate is the beginning of understanding. -- AT&T