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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).

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Comment: Re:No real mystery here (Score 1) 43

by Dan East (#49379385) Attached to: X-37B To Fly Again

I'm sure it's doing more than that. It has a payload bay like the space shuttle. Certainly it is doing spying, but it's very likely that it is actively testing new technology that has to make up for the loss of capability that the Space Shuttle provided. More than likely it launches micro satellites, then locates and tracks them, and finally recaptures them. It could also be launching a larger payload of some kind, then manipulating the payload with a robotic arm, etc.

Comment: Exiting (Score 4, Interesting) 301

by Dan East (#49372993) Attached to: Attempted Breach of NSA HQ Checkpoint; One Shot Dead

According to a CNN article, they were leaving the secure area, not entering. A quote from an official said they failed to follow proper safe EXITING procedures. Another major news site said that a gun and cocaine were found in the vehicle. It's a large complex and a lot of people live in it. Sounds like drugs were being ferried in or out, and it didn't have anything to do with the NSA or secrets.

Comment: Makes sense (Score 5, Insightful) 190

This makes sense for a number of reasons. First, it will keep scalpers from buying up so many devices and selling on eBay. Makes it much easier for Apple to keep track of these people. Second, it will reduce the number of impulse buys for people that don't really understand what the device can, and more importantly, can't do, thus reducing the number of returns and increasing overall customer satisfaction. Sure, it has downsides, but I think the upsides probably win out in this case.

Comment: Re:Putin's getting desperate... (Score 1, Troll) 83

by Dan East (#49367849) Attached to: NASA Denies New Space Station Partnership With Russia

space exploration is probably one of their strongest points both historically and currently

Russia has heavy lift capability, and that's basically it. I tried to find the last time they actually did exploration (as in probes, rovers, etc) and didn't see much of anything since the Soviet Union. Right now NASA, ESA, Japan, China and even India are all ahead of Russia as far as exploration goes, as all those organizations have active probes in space doing science. Russia is basically just hauling stuff into orbit.

Comment: Fake, not practical (Score 5, Insightful) 40

by Dan East (#49315317) Attached to: Magic Leap's AR Demo Video

First of all, of course it's fake.

The biggest flaw is the interface itself. A full 20 years ago, when Johnny Mnemonic (the movie, not the short story) came out, and I saw Keanu Reeves using that VR internet type access, I knew that those interfaces would never work in the real world. I'm sitting here browsing the internet, typing this message, etc, by moving my fingers maybe an inch most. We are currently stuck having to do physical interactions to interface with a digital world. As long as we are stuck using this kind of interfacing (IE it's not plugged directly into our mind), then the less physical effort is required to interface, the more efficient, faster, accessible, and convenient computers will be to access.

Really, I'm going to lift my arm up to head level, and make a huge gesture like I'm pulling laundry out of the washing machine, to look at a message? LOL Suuuuuure. Anyway, you can spot it in a minute when these interfaces are generated by animators / artists / movie effects people, because they could never gain widespread usage when the majority of people would be fatigued after a mere 10 minutes using such a system. Kind of like every movie with a computer makes beeps and blips every time you interact with any widget, which in reality would drive the average human out of their mind in exactly 20 minutes. Yeah, looks cool as a prop, but annoying in real life.

Oh, and I like the way that gun somehow turns into an actual prop in that guy's hands. They've invented a transporter and holodeck to go along with their VR headset apparently.

Comment: ActiveX (Score 5, Informative) 95

by Dan East (#49308361) Attached to: South Korea Begins To Deprecate ActiveX

In case anyone is wondering what ActiveX is, it's essentially a Windows program you download that runs natively on your computer. It gets to draw to the specified element in the browser, which makes it look like it's part of a webpage. There isn't (or wasn't) any kind of sandboxing or security once the ActiveX component was installed - it could do anything it wanted on your computer like any other Windows program, because that's essentially what it was. The only security was whether or not you installed the ActiveX component in the first place. If I remember correctly they are really just DLLs, and used Component Object Model for the standard in which the DLL exposes methods, etc.

Comment: Potential for abuse (Score 2, Interesting) 760

The potential for abuse is insane. Say I'm rich. I simply hire some poor guy with zero income to break the law when I need it done (driving me around when I'm in a hurry is a good one). If he gets in trouble I give him a bonus. If he gets caught too many times then I hire some other guy. Really, this is a stupid idea, and will further lead to bias and all kinds of issues with the police. Want to bet people driving more expensive cars get pulled over more often there? Especially in jurisdictions that rely on traffic fine income to support their infrastructure. Cops have latitude in writing tickets, etc. Only going 5-10 over? It's their choice to pull you over or not. They are not *required* to by law, and because of that, the potential for discrimination based on wealth will happen. Maybe you've just a got a cop who financially is in rough shape and he wants to stick it to the man. Well, he'll just wait for a luxury car to come along and bust them for going 5-6 over the limit.

Stupid idea.

Comment: Re:At this point Mars is running before you can wa (Score 2) 228

Imagine if the Roanoke colonists decided Antarctica should be their goal. Well that's where Mars colonization plans are today. Of all the reasonable candidates, (Low earth orbit, the Lagrange points, the Moon, Mars, Asteroids) Mars is about the worst. It's at the bottom of the deepest gravity well outside of earth, except for the asteroids it has the longest travel time, and will have the longest development time before it can return resources to the people that invest in it.

Hang on there a second. How do you colonize low earth orbit or the Lagrange points? By your analogy, you're saying the Roanoke colonists should have "colonized" the Atlantic on a big floating platform or something. That isn't colonizing. The point in either the moon or mars is to extract and make use of resources to build habitations, create fuel, food, energy, etc. Hanging out in space in a tin can is not "colonizing" anything, no more than sitting in a raft in the middle of the Atlantic.

Comment: Well there's your problem right there... (Score 5, Interesting) 101

by Dan East (#49224531) Attached to: Gigaom Closes Shop

Gigaom reaches over 6.5 million monthly unique readers and continues to be the leading independent voice that demystifies emerging technology through its news, events and research. We’re a new type of media company with a business model that leverages technology, transparency and access to information. The company’s growth has been propelled by great writers, journalistic integrity, industry depth and audience engagement.

We offer integrated advertising programs across all of our channels: Cloud, Data, Media, Mobile, Science & Energy, Social & Web, and Podcasts. With a strong mobile reach of over 2 million monthly readers, our mobile advertising on Flipboard is highly targeted. With an array of podcasts, newsletters and other custom campaigns, we have a campaign offering to fit any client’s budget and marketing goals.

I don't know who these "6.5 million monthly unique readers" are, but if the regular crowd at Slashdot has never even heard of their site, then they weren't really reaching 6.5 million people, or they were the wrong 6.5 million people. According to their careers page it looks like they had a lot of overhead and tried to run like an old fashioned news company with two offices in major cities. They certainly weren't lean-and-mean.

https://about.gigaom.com/caree...

Comment: Ocean sizes (Score 4, Informative) 58

by Dan East (#49191747) Attached to: New Data Indicates Arctic-Ocean Sized Body of Water on Ancient Mars

First of all, the Slashdot headline is wrong. It is "arctic ocean" sized, not antarctic. Second, the article makes another comparison that makes more sense, since Mars and Earth aren't the same size (how big would the arctic ocean be placed on mars? Not something we can visualize). That is the ocean on Mars covered slightly more of the planet than the Atlantic ocean covers on Earth - the Mars ocean covered 19% of the planet, while the Atlantic covers 17% of the Earth. Of course the volume of water and depths are totally different.

Comment: Re:"Real" money (Score 0) 178

by Dan East (#49181599) Attached to: One Year Later, We're No Closer To Finding MtGox's Missing Millions

Mt Gox is an exchange, and exchanges exchange "real" money for bitcoins, correct? So say I paid $2,000 for bitcoins at Mt Gox, and I left those coins there instead of transferring to my own wallet. Thus if those particular coins went missing, I would have been out exactly the $2,000 I paid for them. Now on the other hand, say I mined bitcoins and transferred to Mt Gox for them to be sold, and those coins went missing. They never had any "real" value attached to them - only whatever resources I claimed to have consumed in generating them. See the difference?

Committees have become so important nowadays that subcommittees have to be appointed to do the work.

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