Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:Bandwagon effect (Score 1) 930

by Avalain (#32906864) Attached to: Toyota Sudden Acceleration Is Driver Error

Notice that all the problems happened at around the same time. It's not a constant failure rate.

It's entirely possible that a couple of drivers did have a stuck throttle due to a floor mat or other issue. This made the news. Then a bunch of other people thought that this would be a great way to make money on a class action lawsuit by faking the same problem. It doesn't have to be a defect or bad drivers, just a bandwagon effect of people trying to scam money in tough times.

It doesn't even have to be people who are trying to scam the system. If, for example, a young, relatively inexperienced driver (read: child) borrows a car from another driver (read: parent) and crashes it because they hit the gas instead of the brake, well, the perfect excuse is just sitting there in the news. Why wouldn't they jump on a chance to shift the blame?

Comment: Re:Still waiting on the BioWare / Illusion merger. (Score 1) 183

by Avalain (#32844360) Attached to: <em>Dragon Age 2</em> Announced

I side with more temporal consequences in my gaming like coming back to find everyone dead because I took to much time.

Same here. In fact, this is the reason that I tend to stick to the main storyline. I mean, here you are, racing the clock to get somewhere before the bad guys destroy the world, but instead of heading there directly you decide to take some time off and help an old lady get rid of rats in her basement. This really just kills the feeling that your character is part of the world with real world constraints. As an example, I'd love if after Lothering you only had time to go to 3 of the 5 next locations before the other ones were overrun.

Comment: Re:I don't want it, it's human blood stained (Score 1) 1184

by Avalain (#32500982) Attached to: Apple Announces iPhone 4

You'd better stop buying almost every single product in every single store then since nearly all of it is made in China or some other country with similarly low wages. I don't know how anyone can be shocked about Chinese workers getting paid a low wage, it's very common knowledge & the reason everything is made there in the first place. Are you swearing off all Chinese made products? If not you are a hypocrite. Foxconn also makes non-Apple devices & products. Are you going to swear off buying these too?

Extending this a bit, if you don't swear off all Chinese made products you're a hypocrite, but if you do swear off all Chinese made products you are effectively doing your part to weaken the Chinese economy which of course keeps those wages low and people poor. 113 euros a month is pitifully small to us, but in China it's (probably) a living wage. No they can't afford much in the way of luxuries, but they're doing much better WITH that job than without a job at all. In fact, all of the Chinese made products and companies like Foxconn are actually helping to create the largest middle class in China in modern history.

Comment: Re:Competition (Score 1) 332

by Avalain (#32337790) Attached to: Google <em>PAC-MAN</em> Cost 4.8M Person-Hours
Well, the whole point was that if you tell someone to draw a "something"-man, they will be more likely to draw a male than female. Perhaps "fireman" was a bad example. Mailman is maybe a better choice since it is a job performed much more often by women. In this case it makes sense to choose a name that is more politically correct. You know, like Personman.

Comment: Re:Amazon should love this precedent (Score 1) 492

by Avalain (#30764778) Attached to: US DOJ Says Kindle In Classroom Hurts Blind Students

Well, that isn't really a fair comparison. The tape player only has 5 static buttons that the blind person has to learn which are easy to remember and switching tapes can be done using touch only. I could run a tape player as a child with my eyes closed. There was no on-screen menu and the navigational controls were simply fast forward and rewind. In fact, a walkman was so simple that someone could swap tapes with one hand without taking it out of their jacket pocket.

The Kindle requires more than that. Context specific buttons and a menu screen mean that a blind person would need a lot of practice before they would be able to navigate around on one, if they could even manage at all.

Comment: Re:Finally! (Score 1) 336

by Avalain (#30457908) Attached to: EU Accepts Microsoft's Browser Choice Promise
Well, all users that don't care or don't understand are going to pick one of the first 5 browsers. The other 7 are going to be initially hidden and no one who doesn't care is going to bother scrolling down. (Ok, "no one" is a little strong. I'm sure there are some people who will do it).

Actually, I have a feeling most of the users who don't know what they're doing will look for "Internet" and find "Microsoft INTERNET Explorer".

Comment: Re:So many extinction level events yet we linger (Score 1) 451

by Avalain (#30447436) Attached to: Yellowstone Supervolcano Larger Than First Thought
Well, first of all the only events that you listed which could potentially make the human race extinct is the meteor(ite) and gamma ray burst. All of the other ones will have major consequences but aren't going to destroy human life on the planet.

the Yellowstone volcano is fascinating; it hasn't exploded for 640000 years and, perhaps coincidentally, it normally erupts every...640000 years. So we're due for another one at anytime. It's pretty scary to think about except that it could be off by 10-20 thousand years. So it could blow up tomorrow (it's already showing warning signs) or it could be another 10000 years. That's about twice as long as all recorded human history which means we'll have plenty of time to "become spacefaring people".

A large enough impact event could certainly destroy life as we know it. The last one was 65 million years ago (ok, it's up to debate if the K-T was because of a meteorite, but let's say it is for the sake of argument). There is a huge span of time between these events. In fact, it's such a large amount of time hardly anyone can really comprehend how long that really is.

As for a grb, well, the chances of one originating close enough to us and being pointed in our direction are also very very low. They estimate we should get one once every billion years or so. Again, that is a long time.

So really, what is the point of living in fear? It may happen tomorrow and we don't have time to do anything about it anyways. In this case hiding in your basement isn't really going to help and neither is any amount of money we spend on space travel. It's more likely that something as monumental as this is going to hit us anywhere between the next 10000 to tens of millions of years from now. Space travel IS advancing, albeit slowly when compared to a normal human lifespan. In 10000 years, though? I think we'll get off the planet in time.

The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent. -- Sagan