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Comment: Poll Suggestion (Score 5, Insightful) 304

by Redbaran (#42315351) Attached to: How Far Are You Traveling For the Holidays?
After looking at the replies so far to the poll, I think we need a poll like the following:

My preferred way to respond to slashdot polls is to:
a) Flaunt my superior intellect by finding some insignificant inconsistency in the poll that is only apparent to high functioning autistics such as myself
b) Securely fasten my tin foil hat, then deride the slashdot editors for given in to "the man" and collecting marketing data from the "sheeple"
c) Have my voice heard as a disenfranchised victim/minority who slashdot has completely ignored by not including as a poll option
d) Go with the CowboyNeal option
e) All of the Above

Note: "Answer the poll like a rational adult" purposefully left out due to option C.

Comment: Biased much? (Score 5, Insightful) 373

by Redbaran (#42019185) Attached to: Microsoft Complains That WebKit Breaks Web Standards
It shouldn't come as a surprise that a summary written by "Billy Gates" would be this slanted... I read the MS blog and I didn't see anything that ruffled my feathers. Don't get me wrong, I still have a bad taste in my mouth from the IE6 days, but all the blog post is doing is saying is "don't make your site webkit specific". This is good advice not because of IE, but because there are still other browsers out there such as Opera Mobile.

In fact, MS blog post specifically states: "Now, it’s very easy to adapt a WebKit-optimized site to also support IE10." See that keyword I emphasized, it means they aren't telling people to abandon webkit. The examples they provide back that up as they leave webkit support in place and add either the non-prefixed standards compliant property or when that's not available, add the IE specific property alongside the webkit one.

As a side note, I take a site like this much less seriously when it stoops to the same level of bipartisan drivel and mud slinging that we all had to endure for the last six months with the US elections.

Comment: Re:Just Wait (Score 1) 113

by Redbaran (#41113677) Attached to: Why Professors Love (and Loathe) Technology

If your class is about engineering your way into someone else's computer, then yes.

No, not even then. Do you think a professor that teaches a security class has any control over the LMS that the school selects or the security built around it? Even so, being able to manipulate a computer system that way is merely one aspect of computers and does not constitute mastery of the subject.

Using your same logic, if the student who breaks into the computer system and changes his grade also fails another student, that's OK too, because hey, that's what the class is about and if the now-failing student can't protect themselves, so be it.

Comment: "Improved Slightly"? (Score 1) 91

by Redbaran (#38808041) Attached to: Embryonic Stem Cell Retinal Implants Seem Safe, So Far
From the article:

Researchers said that the procedure seemed to be safe and no signs of rejection or abnormal cell growth had been observed, and results show that patients’ vision improved slightly.

Can anyone do a better job of defining what exactly that means? Can they see some light now? Shapes? What?

Comment: Re:impractical (Score 4, Informative) 253

by Redbaran (#38744404) Attached to: Printing a Home: The Case For Contour Crafting

we may need to explore alternatives to the massive amounts of wood we use for tinderbox McMansions.

I think you're underestimating how fast Southern Yellow Pine that is used for framing grows. I live around many acres of tree farms and it's impressive how fast they grow. Also, this is what wikipedia has to say (emphasis mine):

Green building minimizes the impact or "environmental footprint" of a building. Wood is a major building material that is renewable and uses the sun’s energy to renew itself in a continuous sustainable cycle.[20] Studies show manufacturing wood uses less energy and results in less air and water pollution than steel and concrete.

Comment: Re:Terrible (Score 2) 380

by Redbaran (#38744264) Attached to: US Supreme Court Upholds Removal of Works From Public Domain

And beyond that, anything that doesn't promote additional works should be unconstitutional. Taking dead authors' works out of the public domain doesn't encourage creation.

Let me be clear, I'm certainly not in favor of this ruling, but allow me to play Devil's advocate for a moment with out being moded down: The counter argument to what you are saying is that taking a work out of the public domain allows the owner of the work to profit from it. The profits can then be used to fund new creative works.

I don't believe that's what really happens now or what will happen with the now non-public works, but I can see that as the counter argument to what you say.

Comment: Inefficient (Score 4, Informative) 123

by Redbaran (#38454330) Attached to: Inductive Charging For EVs To Be Tested In Berlin
Wikipedia cites an 86% efficiency for inductive charging. I would bet that efficiency is hurt as this scales up from a cell phone to a car. Other than helping to improve EV adoption by making it more convenient, why would we want such a system?

Given the current costs of an EV, plus the length of time it already takes to charge, it seems there are other areas of research that would be better focused on. This technology only makes an EV more expensive to own and would probably take longer to charge with. People seem to do just fine connecting a short, thick, clunky hose to their cars now.


Comment: Re:The real question: Will they go after them? (Score 1) 126

by Redbaran (#37687026) Attached to: Acacia Sues Amazon Over Kindle Fire
Amazon has recently been involved in disputes with much larger and more legitimate entities attempting to increase their costs and in all cases they didn't bend like a wet noodle. I'm referring to the multitude of states attempting to force Amazon to collect sales tax, therefore, I say they fight it. See:

Comment: Re:Just Federally Coordinate the Sales Tax Already (Score 1) 949

by Redbaran (#36750138) Attached to: Slate: Amazon's Tax Stance Unfair and Unethical
As a supporter of the Fair Tax, I completely agree, however I think there are two reasons why it won't happen:
1) Entrenched interested in the current system (Accountants, the IRS, politicians, etc) who wouldn't want to see income tax and the complicated system go away
2) The fear that people will really see how much of their money goes to taxes.

#1 prevents a national tax because people don't want to have a new tax, they want a replacement tax. It will be very hard to eliminate income tax in my opinion.
#2 is a real concern because under the current system, no one knows how much of the cost of an item goes towards taxes. If you asked me what percentage of my income went towards taxes, I couldn't tell you. Between matching taxes my employer pays, deductions that I take, taxes that are built in to the price of all the goods I by, etc, there's no way to know. A lot of people will be pissed when they see a 23% VAT (30% sales tax) on everything they buy because for the first time, people will really know that a quarter of all their money goes to taxes.

For those not familiar with the topic, the Wikipedia article is an exceptionally good read in this area:

Comment: So what? (Score 3, Insightful) 339

by Redbaran (#35798330) Attached to: AT&T Lowers Data Access To Just $500/GB
Let them charge as much as they want! All the better for companies like MetroPCS and the pay-as-you-go shops. Walmart has a $45 30day unlimited everything plan: This isn't discrimination against "the poor and oppressed" like the summary implies, it's more like a stupid tax for someone who can't find a better deal.

Comment: Re:Unsure. (Score 1) 282

by Redbaran (#30447080) Attached to: The Perfect Way To Slice a Pizza
You laugh, but in college, I worked a pizza joint and saw people go through this thought process, just the other way around. They needed to feed more people, so they had the pizzas cut into 10 slices instead of 8. Apparently, these people thought we had Jesus working in the back to feed more people with the same number of pizzas.

Discovery Launch a No-Go, Again 98

Posted by timothy
from the but-they'll-miss-their-connections dept.
An anonymous reader writes with an excerpt from Tech Fragments that says "NASA has yet again postponed the launch of Space Shuttle Discovery, which was due to launch today, because of a hydrogen leak in the vent line between the external fuel tank and main engines. The vent line is at the intertank region of the external tank and is the overboard vent to the pad and the flare stack where the vented hydrogen is burned off. ... The NASA launch team is resetting to preserve the option of attempting a Thursday night liftoff at 8:54 p.m. EDT depending on what repairs are needed and what managers decide. The Mission Management Team is meeting at 5 p.m. today to discuss the issue." You can watch for updates on NASA's Space Shuttle page, too.

Comment: Re:Does running a web site really qualify you? (Score 1) 35

by Redbaran (#26981257) Attached to: Transparency Advocate Campaigns To Lead GPO

I run several websites.

I would never claim to be qualified to run a whole government agency.

Nor should having a silver spoon, or lots of money, or famous parents, or a successful Hollywood career, yet those pass as qualifications all the time.

I think you are underestimating his accomplishments as well as underestimating what it takes to run a government agency.

"I think Michael is like litmus paper - he's always trying to learn." -- Elizabeth Taylor, absurd non-sequitir about Michael Jackson