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Comment: Re:Guiness just examined the footage? (Score 1) 79

by Chelloveck (#49763553) Attached to: The Hoverboard Flies Closer To Reality

I find it a bit strange Guiness Records only examined the footage before granting the record.

Wait, seriously? The Guinness endorsement was the only thing giving this a shred of credibility in my mind. If they really only saw the video then shame on them. They've been suckered.

Wish I knew for sure. This bit from the CBC site is the only thing I've seen which suggests that all the Guinness Book people saw was a video:

"Duru had been working on a prototype for about five years and last August filmed himself flying his new machine over the lake, which is about 130 kilometres north of Montreal, before contacting Guinness.

"Guinness verified the footage and announced the record on its website Friday."

Comment: Re:bye (Score 1) 530

by Chelloveck (#49752873) Attached to: Ads Based On Browsing History Are Coming To All Firefox Users

No vertical tabs 10 years after widescreen displays started spreading widely?

Yeah, Tree Style Tabs is the killer feature that's keeping me with Firefox. There are a couple of Chrome extensions that kinda-sorta-not-quite do the same thing, but nothing that just moves the damn tabs to the side so I can have a dozen open and still read them. I'm probably stuck with FF until Chrome has a suitable substitute or FF breaks it entirely.

Comment: Best way? Get more laptops. (Score 1) 384

by Chelloveck (#49738343) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Way To Solve a Unique Networking Issue?

Consider this: They're paying you to spend a full day at each gas station doing firmware updates. If they care about the time it takes you should be able to get them to spring for a bunch of laptops so you can load all the pumps at once, properly, without resorting to VMs and trickery. Issuing you 16 laptops so you can do three or four stations in a day is a hell of a lot cheaper than hiring three or four more technicians as babysitters. Argue your case from that perspective and don't bother with the half-ass solution. If they don't go for it, then find a good book and keep doing it one pump at a time. They've decided that you're worth the expense.

Comment: Re:Idiots (Score 1) 827

by Chelloveck (#49737911) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax

This is pretty much the thing, at least here in Michigan. For the sake of argument I won't even accuse politicians of spending on pet projects -- schools are partly funded by gas taxes. Average fuel economy is going up, which means that average gas tax revenue is going down. We just had a big referendum to try to fix the problem. Trouble is, everything is interconnected. Change the law so more gas tax goes to roads and the schools suffer, so you raise the regular sales tax to restore funding to the schools, but the sales tax just goes into the general fund, so you need rules to assure that schools don't get stolen from by other general-fund needs, and so on. What we got was a huge clusterfuck of interconnected laws that nobody could make head or tail of. What was presented as a vote to fund road repair turned into a major shell game and nobody was sure where the money was actually going to end up. People didn't just vote "No", they voted "Hell, no!"

Anyway, I think the Oregon idea has merit. There is a privacy issue, but they're addressing that: "Drivers will be able to install an odometer device without GPS tracking." It might still track out-of-state miles, though. They could easily add a GPS that records nothing and is only used to trigger when the odometer should be running. The state would get the number of in-state taxable miles and no other information. They could also make a sliding rate based on vehicle weight, and even give a further discount for hybrids and electric vehicles if they wanted to provide environmental incentives. It could work without getting all Big Brothery.

Comment: Re:hardly surprising (Score 1) 649

by Chelloveck (#49705621) Attached to: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Gets Death Penalty In Boston Marathon Bombing

There are many reasons to oppose the death penalty, but cost isn't one of them. If killing someone costs more than locking them up and keeping them alive for 50 years, you're doing it wrong. You're doing it really, really wrong.

You could argue that the high cost is due to decades of appeals and other legal obstacles, but that's not a fault of the death penalty. That's a fault of a society that can't commit to using the death penalty. If you're going to argue on the basis of cost you shouldn't be arguing against the death penalty, you should be arguing in favor of it, and against the interminable appeals process.

(For the record, I generally oppose the death penalty. But if it's going to be an option it should be carried out swiftly. And it should be a damn sight cheaper than jailing someone forever.)

Comment: Re:This happened to me last summer. (Score 1) 124

by Chelloveck (#49694375) Attached to: Hackers Using Starbucks Gift Cards To Access Credit Cards

I woke up to five "We auto-reloaded your card" e-mails from Starbucks overnight.

I have a serious question: I assume you must see some advantage to using a refillable gift card or you'd just use your regular credit card in the shop. So what's the benefit? Discounts? Frequent drinker points? Mind boggling convenience? I'm just trying to understand the appeal.

Comment: Re:Old guy here - pixel art reminds me of bad game (Score 1) 175

by Chelloveck (#49683571) Attached to: The Decline of Pixel Art

Pixel art holds zero nostalgia for me. Give me something that looks good, and plays great, and I will buy it. Pixelated graphics do NOT look good.

Amen, brother! Pixel art was great when that's all that was possible. Compared to what's possible now it's just plain ugly. Oh, sure, there are a very few modern games that really benefit from the retro style. Good for them. Most, though, merely do it because good art is hard. Really good pixel art is hard, too, but barely passable pixel art is a lot easier than barely passable HD art. Nothing says "not enough budget to hire an artist, just have the programmer do it" like pixel art.

Most "glorious 8-bit retro style" games would look a lot better with HD artwork. It doesn't have to be photo-realistic; stylized cartoony artwork is great in most cases. Let's just admit that the choice to use pixel art is almost always a budgetary decision, not one driven by the higher artistic vision.

(Ghost Control, I'm looking at you! Put your game in the XCom: Enemy Unknown engine and it would rock!)

Comment: Re:$5k??? Really, NASA? (Score 2) 156

by Chelloveck (#49633537) Attached to: NASA Will Award You $5,000 For Your Finest Mars City Idea

It occurs to me that a feasable plan for a sustainable mars colony is worth a *HECK* of a lot more than just $5K....

Don't worry, they're not actually looking for ideas. They have tons of ideas. They have people whose whole job is to come up with ideas. They have an army of very knowledgeable volunteers in groups like The Planetary Society who'd write detailed thousand-page treatises on solid waste recycling on Mars, in exchange for just knowing that the human race has an off-world outpost. They're not lacking for ideas.

This contest is just a way to get people to start thinking about a serious effort to go to Mars, as opposed to the Mars One suicide fantasy mission. $15k worth of prizes is cheap advertising. And maybe, just maybe, if enough people start talking about going to Mars our eternally-opportunistic politicians will decide it's a safe bandwagon to jump on and cough up some real support.

Comment: Re:Saw something like this on the news (Score 1) 105

by Chelloveck (#49633285) Attached to: Woman Alerts Police of Hostage Situation Through Pizza Hut App

Because the guy kidnapping your daughter might actually be that boyfriend she trusted and knows her well and that she has to phone daddy every Monday or he'll get suspicious, so he lets her but listens in. She might need that way to make herself known without anyone else noticing.

You mean the boyfriend she trusted well enough to tell, "My dad is so lame! Not only does he make me call him once a week, he actually gave me a safeword. Can you believe it? I have to be super careful never to say the word 'trousers' or he'll go apeshit and turn into Liam Neeson." That trusted boyfriend? Good thinking.

Comment: Re:Like multiplayer? (Score 1) 104

by Chelloveck (#49628231) Attached to: GOG Announces Open Beta For New Game Distribution Platform

Since GOG is the ones selling the games it would be great if they chose a set of ports (like Steam) and just set the games to use that BEFORE they sold 'em.

Eh? How do you propose they do that, with hundreds of games originally written in dozens of development environments, the source code for many of which probably now exists only moldering in a landfill?

I expect it could be done with a proxy process (eg., the launcher) listening on the official GoG ports and forwarding packets to whatever ports the actual game wants. Not impossible. Easier than trying to modify the steaming pile that most older games called the network layer, even if the source code was available.

Comment: Re:in other words, (Score 1) 341

by Chelloveck (#49527861) Attached to: Study Confirms No Link Between MMR Vaccine and Autism

Water isn't wet. Wetness is a description of our experience of water; what happens to us when we come into contact with water in such a way that it impinges on our state of being. We, or our possessions, 'get wet'.

Is he a dot, or is he a speck?
When he's underwater does he get wet?
Or does the water get him instead?
Nobody knows, Particle man

Comment: Re:Lets say yes so they put an FM radio on my phon (Score 2) 350

While I don't think the lack is a safety risk - and I do think the headline is just the usual sort of attention-whoring we expect from the media these days - having an FM radio is very useful if there is a regional emergency. And since most people are usually carrying a phone anyway, locking out that ability does them a disservice.

The summary reads like an NAB astroturf campaign. Their "free radio on my phone" ad campaign is a beautiful example of fear mongering. One of their radio spots even invokes 9/11 and insinuates that the aftermath would have been much better if only there had been some way to broadcast information to the masses. The amount of FUD they push is appalling.

The unfortunate part is that they're probably right, that having everyone already carrying an FM receiver probably would be at least marginally beneficial in a disaster situation. But that's not really the reason they're doing it. They're just self-serving assholes using fear to prop up their faltering business model as people abandon broadcast FM for streaming. This isn't about public safety, this is about the loss of revenue and using FUD and conspiracy propaganda to get it back.

Comment: Be scared! (Score 1) 78

by Chelloveck (#49481549) Attached to: GAO Warns FAA of Hacking Threat To Airliners

For a chilling documentary of airline hacking you need look no further than the first episode of this.* Watch, and be scared!**

* Hey, if they're going to claim "based on a true story" in the title credits, I'm going to call it a documentary!

** Oh, you'll be scared all right. Not to mention revolted and sickened. Just not necessarily at anything having to do with airline safety.

Programmers used to batch environments may find it hard to live without giant listings; we would find it hard to use them. -- D.M. Ritchie