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Comment Direct messaging? He is NOT kidding you. (Score 1) 1823

Allowing Slashdot members to send private messages to each other is a vital need. There are times when

* members want to continue a conversation with each other, while drifting into off-topic territory
* one member wants to pick the brain of another and/or collaborate on Something Big
* member A is so impressed with member B's posts, that A wants to offer employment to B.

Currently, if you want to contact another Slashdot member, you use the kludge of replying to one of that member's comments. And of course there's no guarantee that member is even checking to see whether any replies are coming in. Furthermore there's no way to privately exchange phone numbers, etc. Put my email address into my profile? Are you kidding me??

Slashdot is a collection of really big brains, who are unbelievably handicapped by the lack of a way to communicate with each other. Unleash the potential! By doing so, Slashdot would attract even more really big brains.

Comment What a higher mod cap achieves (Score 1) 1823

The current score cap of 5 is an arbitrarily chosen number. Because of that arbitrary cap, we end up with some +5 comments that are much better than others.

Lift the cap, and users will be able to see what the Slashdot community truly thinks about each comment. Then we will see, for example, the occasional incredibly profound comment attain a score of +10, and we can filter accordingly if there are a large number of +5s and we don't have time to read them all.

Comment Better alternatives, forsaken (Score 2) 180

It sounds like the powers-that-be behind ITER are going to press ahead with it, despite the fact that progress would come better, faster and cheaper by switching to an ARC-like design.

Just as the powers that be are pressing forward with Space Launch System, even though we could put more stuff in orbit, sooner and cheaper, by developing the Falcon XX instead.

The phrase "shaking my head" is apt here.

Comment No, they shouldn't thow in the towel (Score 1, Interesting) 137

They're never going to stop piracy... Movie companies would do a much better job if they stopped trying to squash any sort of piracy

How is your argument any different from the following?

- Retailers are never going to stop shoplifting. The should stop trying.
- The police are never going to stop murder. They should stop trying to enforce that law.
- The SEC is never going to stop securities fraud. They should stop trying to enforce those laws.

Comment Cavalier attitudes about theft (Score 2) 137

Strawman much? I've never heard anyone claim that Hollywood will be killed by piracy, just as I've never heard anyone claim that Macy's will be killed by shoplifting.

It won't kill Macy's, but shoplifting has killed lesser retailers who almost attained profitability, and it is a crime.

How well would the following argument hold up? "There are more than enough shoppers on this planet to accommodate the greedy stockholders who own Macy's, as well as accommodating those who don't feel like paying them a damn dime for the merchandise on the shelves."

(Nevermind that in many cases, those "greedy stockholders" are senior citizens on fixed incomes, whose pension fund owns shares of Macy's, or Viacom, or Disney.)

I suspect you're not as cavalier about theft when it's your property -- intellectual or otherwise -- that's stolen.

Comment Another great idea for whipslash to pursue (Score 1) 1305

Great idea.

Thanks, here's another great idea: allow Slashdot members to send private messages to each other.

There are times when members want to continue a conversation with each other, while drifting into off-topic territory; or where one member wants to pick the brain of another and/or collaborate on Something Big; or where member A is so impressed with member B's posts, that A wants to offer employment to B.

Currently, if you want to contact another Slashdot member, you use the kludge of replying to one of that member's comments. And of course there's no guarantee that member is even checking to see whether any replies are coming in. Furthermore there's no way to privately exchange phone numbers, etc.

Slashdot is a collection of really big brains, who are unbelievably handicapped by the lack of a way to communicate with each other. Unleash the potential! By doing so, Slashdot would attract even more really big brains.

(You many have noticed my really low user ID, 3683. Having observed things since the beginning, I know whereof I speak about the limitations that are holding Slashdot back.)

Comment No, ballots shouldn't have "None of the above" (Score 1) 171

No, every election shouldn't have a line for "None of the above". If a voter doesn't like any of the candidates, he or she can still help society by voting for the lesser of two evils. (Or if there are n undesirable candidates on the ballot, by voting for the least of n evils.)

Does it suck when you have to hold your nose and vote for the lesser of two evils? Sure, but if you don't, you're more likely to get the greater of two evils. Which sucks even more.

Comment Great comment moderation, but room for improvement (Score 1) 1305

Slashdot's comment moderation system is better than just about every other site's, but there is still room for improvement.

Why cap comment scores at 5? Because of that arbitrary cap, we end up with some +5 comments that are much better than others.

Lift the cap, so users can see what the Slashdot community really thinks about each comment. Then we will see, for example, the occasional incredibly profound comment attain a score of +10, and we can filter accordingly if there are a large number of +5s and we don't have time to read them all.

Comment You present a false choice (Score 1) 875

You present a false choice, between a social safety net and no social safety net.

We are always going to have a social safety net. The real choice is, will we pursue pro-growth policies that allow us to fund a great safety net rather effortlessly? Or will we condemn ourselves to a low-growth economy, in which maintaining a mediocre safety net is rather burdensome?

Social Security was set up as a rob-Peter-to-pay-Paul scheme, with Peter being current workers, and Paul being current retirees. (Along with that scheme comes a constant angst: "Birth rates are falling, and if we don't let in millions of immigrants with questionable skills and loyalties, there won't be enough workers paying FICA taxes and Social Security will collapse!")

If it had instead been set up as a system of more privatized accounts, with owners permitted to invest the funds in bonds and diversified stock holdings, all current retirees would be immensely better off. And they would have the means to contribute to a more robust social safety net than the one we currently have.

Comment Xenon molecules are not waiting to be struck (Score 1) 104

Scintillation in liquid Xenon happens when Xe atoms are ionized and temporarily form molecules before returning to a neutral state and emitting photons.

Then TF summary is wrong when it says "liquid Xenon sits waiting for a dark matter particle to strike the nucleus of a Xenon molecule".

It's also entirely likely that the person who wrote the summary wrote "molecule" when they meant "atom"...

This. TFA doesn't contain the word "molecule," only TF summary does. Would make no sense for this detector to contain macroscopic quantities of exotic polyatomic Xenon molecules.

Comment I don't like my LEDs... (Score 1) 338

Although the retailer claimed that my bulbs have a "warm" light with about the same color temperature as incandescent, I still notice that they throw a distinct bluish cast into the room. For me, it's not a very comfortable light.

They are "dimmable," too, but their "dynamic range" -- the spread between maximum and minimum brightness -- is not nearly as good as incandescents.

I will wait for a few more years of improvements before giving LEDs another chance.

Comment This is not a solution for LED (Score 4, Informative) 338

If this was such a good solution, it could probably be used for LED lights as well

No. Incandescent filaments have to be hot to produce light, but with its entirely different mechanism, reflecting infrared back onto a light-emitting diode will not help it produce more light. Heat is NOT good for the diode. LED bulb designs actively do the opposite of these nanomirrors: they transfer heat away from the diode. (You may have noticed the fins on some LED bulbs. Their purpose is to radiate heat and keep the diode cooler.)

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