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Comment: Someone Please Provide a Better Explanation (Score 3, Interesting) 360

IMO all of the reporting on this is ambiguous and expects us to know what stuff like "City-safe" means, without defining it.

Surely the vehicle already has to avoid obstacles to park?* Why does avoiding pedestrians cost extra?

It would be very helpful if someone who truly understand this could clear it up. Is the driver really a dumbass who should have known better, or is Volvo insanely treating "not plowing through human beings" as an optional extra?

* Or does it? I admit I have no experience with self-parking cars. How much preparation/setup (i.e. like "pre-washing" for a dishwasher) is required on the part of the driver? Is the driver expected to position the car in a certain way, and make sure certain obstacles aren't present?

Comment: Not Interested (Score 4, Insightful) 118

This is almost as bad as "smart" platforms in cars. Way too much software functionality will be put into devices that will last far longer than the manufacturer's interest in upgrading or supporting it (especially since they'll probably have no interest in the first place). Any TV that lists "smart" as a feature should be avoided like those that list "3D."

Comment: Re: Better Crowdfunded Science Article Rejected (Score 1) 29

Where in this article you love so dearly is a mention of crowdfunding? In the part that's behind a high-cost paywall? If so, tough luck.

He mentions it in the video, and shows in the paper where he thanks his Youtube contributors.

Slashdot has rarely -- really never -- linked to paywall-restricted articles.

Thank you, that (linking the original paper but no news articles) was a problem with my submission that I didn't consider. That said, the BBC and other coverage is easy to find.

++ And FYI, I personally love to interview people like Dr. Mason. I think I'll send him a message through YouTube now, since that seems to be where he's most active online. Thanks for the tip, which you can stop repeating now. I read it the first time, believe it or not.

OK, I promise not to post it again (not even if there's a Part 3 tomorrow).

Comment: Better Crowdfunded Science Article Rejected (Score 4, Insightful) 29

A reposted article deserves a reposted reply.

Which would you rather read about, Slashdot?

a) An already-completed crowdfunded study in the hard sciences that resulted in a major discovery about a widely-known and supposedly well-understood chemical reaction, published in Nature Chemistry, or

b) this unfinished study asking all of us for money, complete with glorious slashdot video, pointlessly spread out over two days?

repost that sums it up:
-----

I know how it sounds to complain that your one submission (out of the many /. receives) didn't get accepted, but I've tried submitting this recent scientific discovery (published in Nature Chemistry) a few times. IMO it's perfect material for Slashdot: an interesting new hypothesis (about a supposedly "well-understood" reaction) put to the test via regularly evolving experiments and apparatuses. And it was even largely funded through Youtube viewers (who the lead scientist thanks in the paper) and documented with (at least one) well-done video.

But /. never ran it. I can't help but think that part of the problem is that the scientist is Dr. Phil Mason, aka thunderf00t, who is known for his vids that expose Atheism+ and anti-Gamergate types as fools. Think about the lousy submissions that do often make it on the front page, especially those that push an agenda.

This is why things like Gamergate (and Slashdot's atrocious coverage of it) matter, even if you yourself don't personally care about videogames; it is a fight against neo-puritans who want to filter ALL types of content (not just games, comics, music, movies, etc) you're allowed to see, and refuse to acknowledge the work of those who don't buy into the "narrative."

P.S. Clearly I'm biased, so if any of you think that my article submission is unworthy for some other reason, let me know (seriously).

Comment: Crowdfunded Science Not Unique (Score 3, Insightful) 51

by Kunedog (#49686165) Attached to: How Light at Night Affects Preschoolers' Sleep Patterns (Video)
What made the editors to go to all the effort to post even one article about this?

its funding is unique; the money for this study is coming, at least in part, from crowdfunding.

This isn't unique. In fact, three times I've submitted news of a crowdfunded, already completed, ground-breaking scientific discovery published in Nature Chemistry, and /. couldn't be bothered to run it. But somehow, this study gets the "deluxe" Slashdot video treament, plus a pointless second article, plus a call to action to "pitch in."

So, would /. rather read about a major discovery in the hard sciences or about this unfinished (unstarted?) study asking all of us for money?

repost that sums it up (don't feel like typing it all again):
-----

I know how it sounds to complain that your one submission (out of the many /. receives) didn't get accepted, but I've tried submitting this recent scientific discovery (published in Nature Chemistry) a few times. IMO it's perfect material for Slashdot: an interesting new hypothesis (about a supposedly "well-understood" reaction) put to the test via regularly evolving experiments and apparatuses. And it was even largely funded through Youtube viewers (who the lead scientist thanks in the paper) and documented with (at least one) well-done video.

But /. never ran it. I can't help but think that part of the problem is that the scientist is Dr. Phil Mason, aka thunderf00t, who is known for his vids that expose Atheism+ and anti-Gamergate types as fools. Think about the lousy submissions that do often make it on the front page, especially those that push an agenda.

This is why things like Gamergate (and Slashdot's atrocious coverage of it) matter, even if you yourself don't personally care about videogames; it is a fight against neo-puritans who want to filter ALL types of content (not just games, comics, music, movies, etc) you're allowed to see, and refuse to acknowledge the work of those who don't buy into the "narrative."

P.S. Clearly I'm biased, so if any of you think that my article submission is unworthy for some other reason, let me know (seriously).

Comment: Mod Parent Up (Score 3, Interesting) 199

This is exactly right. Microsoft is sick and tired of customers resisting their latest shiny upgrade, especially when they do so successfully, as with Vista and 8. Keeping the actual version a secret might cause enough confusion to blunt dissent (and damn the negative side effects).

Remember when Mozilla tried to remove FF's version number from the About Box as a prelude the wacky wapid release schedule?

Comment: It's Not the Location, It's the Authoritarianism (Score 1) 1097

by Kunedog (#49609853) Attached to: Two Gunman Killed Outside "Draw the Prophet" Event In Texas
Please. This was an event held for the advertised purpose of this contest at a neutral location open to the public. If muslims don't like it, they can simply not attend.

You're seriously comparing that to someone going (what, tresspassing?) into a synagogue and forcing an activity into others' faces? Anyone doing that would be forcing others to go out of their way to avoid them.

Alright, so we've established that most jews probably wouldn't tolerate a lot of activities in their place of worship. But they don't give a shit if you do it elsewhere, including at public events. The difference is that certain muslims won't tolerate (under penalty of instant death) some benign activities anywhere on the planet.

Comment: Don't Have to Try Very Hard at All (Score 4, Informative) 1097

by Kunedog (#49609425) Attached to: Two Gunman Killed Outside "Draw the Prophet" Event In Texas

Come on now, if you try very hard to get people angry why the shock when it happens?
I am in no way defending either the loud xenophobic fascist Wilders or anyone that wants to take a shot at him.

Drawing a cartoon of Muhammad that violates the extremists' sensibilities is trivial. AFAIK a stick figure labeled by name or "the prophet" will do. Sending these people into a murderous rage is unbelievably easy, and that's the point: it illustrates just how dangerous to (and incompatible with western society) they really are.

Comment: Re:Lied about Openness (Score 1) 123

by Kunedog (#49583277) Attached to: Crowdfunded Android Console Ouya Reportedly Seeking Buyout

all of that crap you quoted about custom firmware and open recovery mode has zero to bearing on their financial status and problems.

That might (or might not) be true, but it should have some bearing (as it did for me) on whether people who expect hackability should buy one, even at a clearance price.

the employee is right, almost no one, relatively speaking, is going to base their decision to purchase an Ouya on whether it supports custom firmware.

I suspect the promise of such on their kickstarter page (positively) influenced their backers' donations, just like Ouya knew it would. Why promise it, unless they know it's something people want?

Comment: Lied about Openness (Score 1) 123

by Kunedog (#49579325) Attached to: Crowdfunded Android Console Ouya Reportedly Seeking Buyout

It isn't worth $100. The controller is crap, the unit overheats, and you can get more powerful android sticks for less.

And you shouldn't even buy one hoping to hack it either.

Here's what the Kickstarter page said about openness and hackability:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ouya/ouya-a-new-kind-of-video-game-console

Hackers welcome. Have at it: It's easy to root (and rooting won't void your warranty). Everything opens with standard screws. Hardware hackers can create their own peripherals, and connect via USB or Bluetooth. You want our hardware design? Let us know. We might just give it to you. Surprise us!

But close to release, I decided to never buy one after I learned that the company didn't support a genuine end user recovery mode, and witnessed an Ouya employee (Al Sutton) berating and insulting the customers who insisted on one.

His attitude about custom firmware was shocking as well.

From a long-dead ouyaforum.com thread:

I'm keeping a track of how many requests we get relating custom firmware, and from what I'm seeing the user base is not as interested in custom firmware as you might think, which is echoed by this thread (we've shipped 60,000+ units, and less than 10 people have commented in the last month in this thread about getting access to recovery mode).That doesn't mean that we're shooting the idea down, you need to keep in mind that in terms of priorities this is way down the list as you'd expect from any feature where it's being requested by less than one tenth of one percent of the user-base.

After people began calling Al Sutton out over this and citing the Kickstarter page to him, he made things even worse by implying that root access was a priviledge and that Ouya was doing modders a special favor by having it, and that Ouya hadn't promised much of anything (instead attempting to compare the console's openness to that of consoles you can buy at Gamestop).

As for "Open"; Well, a year or so ago the idea of going into a gaming centric store like GameStop or Game, buying a console, taking it home, writing a game on it, and publishing it without spending big money on development kits, licensing, and the like was pretty much non-existant. That's where OUYA is open; It's open to anyone to write games and apps without having to pay dev kit and licensing fees, it's open in that once you have your console you can code for it.
The reason you can still simply get root access is that I've seen people want to tinker beyond what most users would do. OUYA could stick to what was originally put on the Kickstarter page and take away root from non-devkits, but I, for one, would be against that, because I've seen that people do use it constructively and responsibly, and not everyone bricks their device then raises a support ticket to try and get OUYA to fix it.

It really floored me to read this a week before Ouya's launch, given the kickstarter page's promises of hackability.

Anyone with a reflashable phone (or any pretty much any other Android device whatsoever capable of using custom ROMS) knows that a real recovery mode is absolutely essential, in case the OS/kernel gets borked. And a functioning non-OS-dependant recovery mode isn't just important for hackers. It could also be the difference between a faulty official update merely inconveniencing you, or outright bricking your console. Ouya's supposed "recovery mode" relies on an already-bootable OS, so it's useless.

Even worse was the principle of the thing, and the evil behaviour of promising a feature from the beginning, then trying to handwave it away at crunchtime and citing a vague low demand (which wouldn't matter even if true). It reeks of Elite:Dangerous, which announced that they disabled the offline mode right before release.

Comment: Shady Misinformation About Real Name Policy Too (Score 5, Insightful) 359

by Kunedog (#49557905) Attached to: Google Insiders Talk About Why Google+ Failed
Yep, if you want me to participate in an online community in a lasting and meaningful way, there's no way in hell I'm using my real name.

Even worse, Google tried to confuse the issue (i.e. talk out of both sides of its mouth) by drawing a practically meaningless distinction between your "real" name and your common" name. See, your common name is "the name that you commonly go by in daily life," as opposed to your real name which is . . . fuck if I know. IMO, it was intentional double speak so they could claim "it's not actually a real name policy" whenever convenient.

Add to that at least one false start of rescinding the policy (is this one for real? Who knows?), and it's no wonder most of the internet judged them no more trustworthy (and of course potentially far more dangerous) than Facebook.

Comment: 2D Fusion Reactor Too (Score 1) 299

by Kunedog (#49551459) Attached to: Tesla To Announce Battery-Based Energy Storage For Homes
Lockheed's fusion reactor was reported the same way:

http://hardware.slashdot.org/s...

The company says it has proved the feasibility of building a 100MW reactor measuring only 7 feet by 10 feet.

Is there something about energy tech that makes people afraid to mention a third dimension (other than time, of course)?

The solution of this problem is trivial and is left as an exercise for the reader.

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