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Comment Re:Cut to the chase. (Score 1) 145

So far, the previous Fires haven't been too easily rootable, or so I understand.

Note that if you want a $50 plain-vanilla Android tablet, there are plenty of choices in that price range on Amazon.The Fire's going to have better specs, but it's going to be locked to Amazon's ecosystem. You have to be aware of that going in.

Comment Re: what's the problem? (Score 3, Informative) 145

You can open it, yes. But unlike for any book that is indexed, such as the books on an e-ink Kindle, it loses your place in a manually opened book from the SD card as soon as you close it. This eliminates one of the biggest advantages of an e-reader over paper--the ability to pick it up right where you left off without needing a bookmark.

Submission + - $50 Fire tablet with high-capacity SDXC slot doesn't see e-books on the SD card 1

Robotech_Master writes: For all that the $50 Fire has a 128 GB capable SDXC card slot that outclasses every other tablet in its price range, and it evolved out of Amazon's flagship e-book reader, it strangely lacks the ability to index e-books on that card. This seems like a strange oversight, given that every other media app on the tablet uses that card for downloading and storage, and its 5 GB usable internal memory isn't a lot for people who have a large library of picture-heavy e-books—especially if they want to install other apps, too.

Comment Not a Honeywell test kit (Score 1) 361

At least that actually is a bomb. There are Facebook memes going around that purport to show that Ahmed's clock actually resembles "a real bomb"...but the "real bomb" photo they use is a photo of a Honeywell security testing kit, ganked from a blog entry in which the owner of said kit elects not to bring it on an airline trip for fear it would be mistaken for a bomb. Which is rather ironic, or something.

Submission + - The Last Unicorn, other Peter S. Beagle titles hit Kindle October 1

Robotech_Master writes: Peter S. Beagle's publisher Connor Cochran has announced that fan favorite The Last Unicorn and several other titles by Beagle will be available in e-book form from Amazon as of October 1. Apart from a brief sale via The Humble Bundle, this will mark the first time an authorized e-book edition of The Last Unicorn has ever been available for sale. It will be offered in both a "Classic" edition and a "Deluxe" edition, featuring sequel novella "Two Hearts" and an interview with Beagle.

Submission + - The Public Collection: Indianapolis's own 'Big Free Libraries' (

Robotech_Master writes: Indianapolis has just launched a great new series of art installations intended to promote both art and literacy. The Public Collection will act as a sort of artistic big version of the "Little Free Libraries" that have been popping up lately—offering hundreds of books to the general public, including homeless and hospital patients, absolutely free.

Comment Of Virgins and Karma (Score 1) 113

It's not as if this idea is exactly unknown, though the outfit I know of (and subscribe to) that's doing it right, Karma, now only gives 100 megabytes for free, then you have to pay for more. (Though if you use your personal referral code, anyone who buys a hotspot saves with it $10, and you get $10, too. Thanks to a couple of blog posts, I've earned nearly $400 worth of free WiFi so far.)

That being said, 100 megabytes is more than enough for someone to hook up for long enough to check his email, do a little social networking, and so on. And they give it to you at the full 4G LTE super-speed. not some super-throttled you-really-should-pay-us-if-you-want-it-faster scheme.

The one problem with the scheme is that the public nature of it means you don't get the benefit of password encryption on your WiFi. But VPNs are pretty cheap these days.

Comment Re:WIRED has it right (Score 1) 1044

The "No Award" option has been present for years, and has been used multiple times before when the majority of the voters felt that nothing in a given category merited an award this year. That's not a "slate," that's a valid voting choice people can make if they think all the nominations either suck or simply should not have been nominated. There's nothing new about it being used again now, save that so many of them happened at once. Fans sent a strong message that they will not tolerate some minority diddling with the nominations.

Even if it was a "slate," if you're going to say that the original "slate" was a valid means of nominating, the idea of an opposing "slate" being used to cancel it out should be equally valid.

Comment WIRED has it right (Score 1, Insightful) 1044

This whole movement came out of the same place as GamerGate. A reactionary minority group, upset that their media fandom was getting too diverse, tried to spark a backlash. It didn't work for GamerGate, and it didn't work for the Puppies either.

The fans rejected the Puppies' attempt to stuff the ballot with their own (largely subpar) works, and now the Puppies are claiming victory with a refrain that sounds an awful lot like "Those grapes were probably sour anyway."

Comment It's because humans suck at judging risk. (Score 1) 523

Gregory Benford had a great column about this, all the way back in 2000. It also involved a nuclear powered satellite.

It's human nature to react more extremely to new things, especially if they seem "unnatural." This might have been a survival instinct in bygone days, when the hominid who noticed that bush was out of place could take another path and avoid getting eaten by the sabertooth tiger behind it. But like so many such instincts, it translates poorly into the technological era.

Mirrors should reflect a little before throwing back images. -- Jean Cocteau