Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Comment: "X, but on a phone" (Score 1) 59

There have been recent (good) rulings that saying "X, but on a computer" is not a valid patent. I hope that lower courts say that this is just "X, but on a mobile computer" so we don't have to have an explicit ruling also blocking "X, but on a phone".

On another note, I wonder if it would be worth having some crowd-funded anti-patent-troll fund. I know the EFF takes the fight when able, but that's usually after smaller companies/individuals have caved and paid the extortion fee. If there was a fund that would take the patent-holder to court and pay out any ruling against the defendant, should the patent be deemed baseless (any patent, not just electronics), that would hopefully halt the trolls far earlier in the process and dissuade others.

Comment: Teleconference (Score 1) 34

by RyoShin (#49588299) Attached to: Oculus Rift-Based System Brings True Immersion To Telepresence Robots

I've always wondered about something like this, but with a teleconference. Multiple locations around the globe would have a room with the exact same size/shape/furniture, but it's all rather mundane and painted green. The participants in each location wear VR goggles; cameras around the room take 3D visuals of the room's participants, and then combine all the rooms in VR along with giving nice decorum to the mundane room, customizable by group. (Want it to have giant windows so you can watch Godzilla destroy the city in the distance during your conference? Yeah, we can do that.)

This gives something more "intimate" than even the robot, able to project body language and hand gestures. The only issue would be eyes, like a raised eyebrow when a person thinks something is odd, or a furrowed brow for a concern; cameras inside of the goggles, pointing at the eyes, might be able to get this, but I don't know how feasible that is at the moment.

You could even have nifty holographic projections, which would be great for architecture firms (and make it useful for even local conferencing as well.)

Comment: Re:Posting standards (Score 1) 123

by RyoShin (#49582133) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Fark Founder Drew Curtis a Question

Yes, the Photoshop contests have always been of the vein "first submission=99% chance to win". With rare exception you can take the votes per post only and reasonably guess the order in which they were posted. I think TotalFark was even advertised as a way to get a leg-up on Photoshop contests (one of which I won primarily because I was the first to post an entry thanks to my TotalFark membership at the time, and my entry didn't completely suck.)

There are ways to make them work much, much better if they would accept submissions, then open voting. But that would require improvements to the commenting system...

Comment: Re:Attempting with existing title was a mistake (Score 1) 239

by RyoShin (#49581855) Attached to: Valve Pulls the Plug On Paid Mods For Skyrim

The complaints I saw were never about the share to modders, but that the mods cost anything. At least one guy was saying he would never pay for something that was previously free (talking about mods in general, not just specific mods), even if it meant that the modder got incentive to build a higher-quality mod or make more mods.

While Bethesda was rather greedy in their cut, I don't think that a system allowing for modders to sell their mods is an overall bad idea. However, Valve was rather hamfisted in their implementation, and there are a number of pitfalls they didn't take into account properly if at all (avoiding someone take a free mod and just sticking it in the store, mod dependencies on mods made by someone else, etc.)

After all, Valve already has systems in place for giving creators a cut of sales when their item is officially sold through Valve's stores, like cosmetics for Team Fortress 2 characters. Those cosmetics are nothing more than tiny mods for the game with implementation by the game developers.

Comment: Re:Hostile environments (Score 1) 634

by RyoShin (#49581761) Attached to: How To Increase the Number of Female Engineers

Having different interests and preferences in men/women for a certain education or a certain job is not a problem.

It's actually the inverse of a problem: While everyone in a group at work has the same work-related goals, the more variety they have in their personal lives and interests can lead to better approaches by the group.

To use a car analogy, if everyone in working group (or company at large, for that matter), drove only a Trans Am, and people needed to drive somewhere for any reason, everyone's first thought would probably be "Okay, we'll take a Trans Am". But if there are some who drove Trans Ams, and some who drove trucks, and some who drove minivans, and some on motorcycles, you would get a lot more possibilities immediately depending on the needs of the drive, rather than have to figure it out further down the line.

For a tool analogy, if all you have in your toolbox are hammers then everything looks like a nail. But if you have a hammer, and screwdrivers, and pliers, etc., you will be far more capable in whatever task you have to accomplish.

Comment: Re:Soooo.... (Score 1) 634

by RyoShin (#49581697) Attached to: How To Increase the Number of Female Engineers

This is a load of crap that's highly insulting to men, of course.

It's not limited to men. While they are a minority, there are women engineers already, and your line of thinking (which I agree with) implies that these women engineers also have no positive social impact.

It's like some form of the No True Scotsman fallacy. "No REAL female engineer would take corporate jobs for planning dams..."

Comment: Re:Here _I_ come? (Score 1) 216

by RyoShin (#49581201) Attached to: US Successfully Tests Self-Steering Bullets

I think that the heavy movement to "ban" guns and guns parts--whether such bans are useful or not--is in contradiction of the 2nd Amendment. That people have been doing this and trumpeting it has only gotten the American people used to the Bill of Rights applying in a more narrow fashion, leading to lack of outcry about the violation of every other Bill of Rights Amendment except the 3rd. (And, with the way more urban training missions are going in the military, I wouldn't be surprised to see that violated in the next few years, just so the government can cover all ten...)

Comment: Posting standards (Score 2) 123

by RyoShin (#49580759) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Fark Founder Drew Curtis a Question

I was a regular Fark user for some time, and hopped on TotalFark. However, over time I got annoyed with the "cafes" and other social cliques, and found 4chan much more to my liking because moderation was lax (at the time), focusing on spam and obvious trolls, with little censorship.

While I haven't used Fark regularly for years now, I do have some friends from my time there that are active participants, and my understanding from them and other sources is that the posting standards on Fark have gotten even stricter. How much of the moderation standards are due to your personal views (or views of your moderators), how much due to legal concerns, and how much due to member concerns (trolling/stalking/aggravation, keeping various wordfilters to make it more SFW, etc.).

As a followup question, have you ever considered a moderation system like of Slashdot?

(As an unrelated question, if you won your bid for governor but a candidate came along with a better name, would you resign and have them take your place?)

Comment: Re:In other words... (Score 1) 283

Kill us all off? No, that's too simple, I think. A scary thought I had the other day while considering all of this: If robots are able to do the vast majority of necessary work, the non-rich will fall into three main, employable categories:
1) Great artists/entertainers - musicians, painters, actors, prostitutes, and extending to occupations like chefs, who may even be completely attached to a single elite family to fulfill their desires
2) Highly intelligent - the engineers/scientists who maintain robots and do what little work there is that humans can't do, as well as research and medicine
3) Lab rats

The elite will, of course, want to extend their active lives for as long as possible. They'll have part of that second group working on various cures/vaccines/life extenders, which obviously need trials before the elite will use them. Sure, you could import a ton of monkeys... or you could use some of the 180 million unemployed people in the country at that time. We're already at the point where the oligarchy can write a lot of their own laws, so if such a dystopia were to pass it would be easy for them to do away with any laws against testing on humans.

If one of these participants is really lucky, they'll get the benefit of whatever is being tested with little-to-no downsides, plus pay. If they're only somewhat lucky, they'll die quickly in the trials and their family (if they have one) will get a moderate cash pay out (which is how the rich will ensure the desperate will volunteer). Otherwise they'll come out deformed, mentally and/or physically, but still be paid.

Comment: Re:So what? (Score 1) 407

by RyoShin (#49574769) Attached to: Using Adderall In the Office To Get Ahead

Thanks for the kind words. I've actually seen a therapist for a handful of sessions late last year/early this year, and he did help me with some coping mechanisms. However, the appts were $250/visit and we plateaued in progress, so at my suggestion he agreed that I stop the regular meetings. I can go back to him if I feel I need it, which I might do later this year to see if we can move things any further.

I was diagnosed with "Clinical" depression in college; the rest visits have me listed as "severe depression", I think. Major Depressive Disorder sounds familiar, but I'd have to go through my various forms to see what the exact diagnosis was.

Comment: Re:So what? (Score 1) 407

by RyoShin (#49573017) Attached to: Using Adderall In the Office To Get Ahead

I don't get it. I really don't.

People, in general, like two things:
1) Instant results
2) The feeling that bad things are not their own fault in the least
So if someone has a stressful work life, rather than admit that they have a bad job and get out they try to get drugs to dull the stress. It's easier and offers cognitive disassociation.

Which is not to say that everyone taking such medication is taking the easy way and don't actually need it. Personally, I'm on my fifth anti-depressant medication regimen (which is actually a combination of two meds I tried in the past individually), have briefly visited a psych ward in the past, and seen a handful of therapists/counselors. There is nothing majorly wrong in my life, I just hate myself indiscriminately without the medication (with the medication I only somewhat hate myself.)

Comment: Re:Media's role (Score 1) 256

by RyoShin (#49572813) Attached to: Wellness App Author Lied About Cancer Diagnosis

The death of investigative journalism aside, I think the reason that the "first line" media companies (those that had direct contact with her) did not check up on her story is same reason that Rolling Stone didn't check up on their fraternity rape story: They had a good narrative that would get attention and felt that checking up on the story could be harmful to the victim/claimed cancer patient. Then, all the other media companies just piggy-backed off that as word-of-god to share in the click-throughs.

Any inconsistencies brought to light are rejected as being nitpicking by "haters", something that also fits the narrative of the story.

Comment: Re:Solar rarely enough for the whole house (Score 1) 297

by RyoShin (#49572605) Attached to: Tesla To Announce Battery-Based Energy Storage For Homes

Pumped storage requires very specific geography (two reservoirs separated by a hill).

What is the possibility of personal pump storage? Rather than use natural geography, you have two (rather large) tanks with a pipe and a hose between. Could this be useful for personal use in cases where a battery would not be useful? (For instance, a rarely-used location in the plains or desert.)

Comment: Re:This is called "rubber hose cryptoanalysis" (Score 1) 225

You get mugged, you tell the mugger the password is 1234 instead of 5678, and the ATM happily dispenses money and calls the police for you.

There are a few problems with this, such as:
1) The person now has to remember two PINs instead of one; if they forget the duress PIN, which is likely since they never use it personally, they have to hand over the proper PIN anyway to avoid getting hurt. (A counter to this has been "make it the same PIN, but backwards"; then you have to figure out how to work with PINs like 4224.)
2) If the duress PIN has anything in common with the normal PIN, it's likely the person will mis-enter at some point and accidentally trigger the duress signal
3) If it's a shared bank account, but the account holders can have separate PINs for their cards (dunno if this is a current possibility or not), there is a potential for PINs and duress PINs clashing

I imagine that banks have already considered such an idea and found it wanting, or that the cost of implementation and dealing with false-duress situations to be considered too much.

Doing the same thing for a phone would be much easier, because people can install an app to do such as necessary. In fact, I would be surprised if there wasn't such an app already.

Comment: Re:Propaganda Works (Score 1) 685

by RyoShin (#49571509) Attached to: Except For Millennials, Most Americans Dislike Snowden

I don't know if I can speak for all "young consumers" (I'm 29 myself, which I think puts me on the edge of that group), but between the misleading tactics of advertising and a complete loss of confidence in elected leaders (and non-elected, for that matter), I have developed heavy cynicism towards any statement from "the Man", be it a company hocking its products or a politician hocking a need for something. I give their statements no credence until I have done at least some research on my own.

For advertising, when I don't just disregard the ad completely, I do my own research to see if there's any scientific basis for the claims and/or look at product reviews to see how it truly stacks up against alternatives.

For politicians, I do research on any statistics claimed and personal reflection on logos, some analysis on ethos, and completely disregard pathos.

As far as we know, our computer has never had an undetected error. -- Weisert