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Comment: Re:uneducated hysteria and panic (Score 2, Informative) 401

by Saeger (#29919901) Attached to: John Hodgman On the Coming Geek Culture

Manufacturing of all things, including food, is also becoming increasingly *automated*, and is nothing to be nostalgic about. Even without molecular manufacturing (nanotechnology), this trend of accelerating (in)human productivity will mean that fewer and fewer warm bodies are actually NEEDED to engineer and produce most of the necessities and luxuries of modern life, and yet everybody is still expected to somehow earn their (should-be-easier) living, doing... something... anything else.

The day is fast approaching when we'll *have* to solve the unequal DISTRIBUTION problem, as you mentioned. Either the fruits of increasingly automated production will be fairly redistributed (oh noes: soshulism), or the fortunate few who hoard the resources and means of production will find the "barbarians" at their gates.

An economy of abundance isn't that far off - the next boom after the current recession's bust, in all likelihood. Green energy is part of it.

The solution is *better* socialism, and not more of the old dog eat dog bullshit. What we need is the systemic intelligence and compassion to DISTRIBUTE a sustainable BASIC living to EVERYONE, which still preserves incentives to try to better yourself and society above your baseline by being exceptional. In the U.S., at least, this idea is known as the Basic Income Guarantee (BIG), which quite a few nobel laureates have advocated for in vain thus far...

Comment: Hybrid I/O well before before 2020 (Score 3, Interesting) 346

by Saeger (#29859999) Attached to: No Cheap Replacement For Hard Disks Before 2020

Nobody with a clue has been arguing that SSD's would be cheaper per gigabyte than ye olde spinning-platter HDDs any time soon.

What we're seeing now, and will see much more of, is the hybrid approach of combining a small-ish (80GB) SSD for the most-accessed OS & Apps, with a monsterously huge and relatively slow (array of) HDDs for bulk data archival and backup.

With HDD I/O still the single biggest bottleneck today, it makes sense to start transitioning to SSDs, but it doesn't have to be all at once. The premium for SSDs -- ~$2.50/GB SSD vs ~$0.10/GB HDD -- isn't that much, but it will probably pay for most to wait another year not just for prices to fall more, but for all SSDs to finally support TRIM, and have efficient firmware that competes with indilinx and intel's. SATA3 will also be welcome as current SSDs have already hit the SATA2 xfer limit.

(Oh, and please don't eat the "ZOMG SSDs have limited write-cycles!" FUD. In the vast majority of normal usage patterns, you'll never ever get close to hitting it, and even you did, the failure mode still allows you to READ your data off if you had no backup, as opposed to a HDD crash.)

Comment: Re:That's bright! (Score 1) 451

by Saeger (#29699695) Attached to: Patent Claim Could Block Import of Toyota's Hybrid Cars

I certainly am not holding any stocks, apart from my short positions.

Hah. Finally full disclosure from you.

Sorry to hear your shorts are bleeding (probably from as far back as S&P 900), but the market can stay irrational (and/or manipulated) longer than you can stay sane wishing for another crash or even just a no-inflation fair value correction.

(btw - the one thing that will save this screwed planet from bigger booms and busts, and also decimate the old scarcity-based markets, is our accelerating technological progress. We're a few short decades away from massively disruptive nano-abundance along with the (A)Intelligence needed to maximize the efficiency and "good" of these increasingly complex systems all around us.)

Comment: Re:insanely motivated (Score 2, Interesting) 167

by Saeger (#29460425) Attached to: How GNOME and KDE Spend Their Money

remove the $%*@%&#% cashew from the desktop.

Hah. It just so happens that the only package in Fedora's repos with "hate" in its name, does just that, so install it (and then add the applet) if you prefer an absolutely spotless desktop. Of course, it'd be nice to be able to more simply disable it without using a workaround package.

$ yum info \*hate\*
Loaded plugins: changelog, fastestmirror, presto, refresh-packagekit, security
Installed Packages
Name : kde-plasma-ihatethecashew
Arch : x86_64
Version : 0.3
Release : 2.fc11
Size : 55 k
Repo : installed
Summary : Removes the KDE Plasma Cashew From the Corner of the Display
URL : http://www.kde-look.org/content/show.php/I+HATE+the+Cashew?content=91009
License : GPLv2
Description: Removes the KDE Plasma Cashew From the Corner of the Display.

Privacy

Judge Rules To Reveal Anonymous Blogger's Identity Over Insults 271

Posted by Soulskill
from the truth-no-longer-the-best-defense-to-libel dept.
Several readers have written to tell us of a ruling in the New York Supreme Court which will allow model Liskula Cohen to find out the identity of an anonymous blogger who posted some of her photos with captions including the words "psychotic," "skank," and "ho." The site was part of Blogger.com, and Google has already complied with a request for the author's IP address and email. "[Cohen's attorney] said that once his legal team tracks the e-mail address to a name, the next step will be to sue Cohen's detractor for defamation. He said he suspected the creator of the blog is an acquaintance of Cohen. The blog has not been operational for months. The unidentified creator of the blog was represented in court by an attorney, Anne Salisbury, who said her client voluntarily took the blog down when Cohen initiated legal action against it. ... the judge quoted a Virginia court that ruled in a similar case that nameless online taunters should be held accountable when their derision crosses a line. 'The protection of the right to communicate anonymously must be balanced against the need to assure that those persons who choose to abuse the opportunities presented by this medium can be made to answer for such transgressions.'"
PC Games (Games)

StarCraft II Single-Player Details Revealed 206

Posted by Soulskill
from the no-lan-wah-wah-hey-look dept.
As Blizzcon approaches, a number of gaming sites were invited out to California to get an early look at the single-player campaign for StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. Kotaku has a detailed write-up (spoiler-free version), and 1Up summarizes one of the missions: "... you're on a planet with an alternating day/night cycle (every five minutes, it switches): during daylight, you're safe. You can build forces and go out and destroy structures. At night, the infected Terrans will relentlessly stream towards your base — necessitating a strong defense against the 'zombie horde.'" An interview with some of the developers is available, in which lead designer Dustin Browder says Blizzard will continue their trend of having downloadable maps and other improvements throughout the game's life. BlizzPlanet posted a mission guide for the part of the game they got to see, and new video footage has been released that shows off the single-player mode.
Communications

How To Send Email When You're Dead 165

Posted by timothy
from the use-your-dead-hand dept.
The Narrative Fallacy writes "'The Last Messages Club' is a new service that sends personal emails written prior to one's death to loved ones in the future. The messages can range from a final love letter, guidance for someone left behind, a list of instructions, details on life insurance and other financial information. 'No one likes to think about their impending "demise," but it is much better to be fully-prepared, so that there is less stress on your loved ones after you pass away,' says founder Geoff Reiss. The system works by giving each member a secure and private vault where they are able to create messages to be sent specifically to their chosen recipient. A secure process ensures that messages are only sent after at least two people appointed by the user have confirmed that you have died and other safety criteria are met. 'I thought at first that maybe it was a bit ghoulish but on consideration I think it's a great idea as it would be nice for loved ones to receive messages from me when I'm no longer here,' says a technical adviser to the company. 'It's strange really as it makes you confront your own mortality in a sense.'"
Books

The Best and Worst Tech-Book Publishers? 271

Posted by timothy
from the little-pots-of-red-ink dept.
An anonymous reader writes "I am an author working on a technical book about an open-source software package. I am looking for a publisher, and I would like to hear experiences from any Slashdot authors. Who are the best publishers to work with and why are they great? Who are the worst publishers in the tech book business, and what nightmare/horror stories can you tell us about them? Any publishing company in particular you recommend avoiding? Any gems of advice (rights reversion, etc.) you can provide for first-time tech book authors?"
Google

Google Wave Preview Opens Up On Sept 30th 118

Posted by timothy
from the well-that-is-what-they'd-say-isn't-it? dept.
snitch writes with this snippet from InfoQ about the current state of Google Wave: "With the Google Wave Preview scheduled for public availability on September 30th, Wave API Tech Lead Douwe Osinga has posted on the Wave Google Group about what the team has been working on along with some future directions. Up until now, with the limited availability of testing accounts there have been complaints on the Google Group from users that wanted to get their hands on this new technology but didn't have access to the sandbox. As Douwe explains, the team has been busy all this time with stability issues and more."
Privacy

Burning Man Responds To EFF's Criticism of Policy 210

Posted by Soulskill
from the headlines-that-would-be-cooler-if-taken-literally dept.
Briden writes "Earlier this week, we discussed the EFF's criticism of the Burning Man Photo Policy. Burning Man has now responded at length on their own blog. Here's an excerpt: 'In fact, there are but two essential reasons we maintain these increased controls on behalf of our community: to protect our participants so that images that violate their privacy are not displayed, and to prevent companies from using Burning Man to sell products. We don't remove images from pages just because they criticize us (I've never been involved in taking down an image from an editorial blog criticizing Burning Man, and it's certainly not because there haven't been any!). We're also not at all interested [in] preventing participants from sharing their personal imagery or impressions of the event on third party sharing sites in a noncommercial manner, so long as they observe the concerns about privacy and commercialism. We're delighted to see people sharing videos, stories, and pictures on our official Facebook page, and we know that it, along with Flickr, YouTube, Vimeo, etc. are representative of the way many of us share personal imagery in the digital age.'"
Sci-Fi

Battlestar Galactica Feature Film Confirmed 342

Posted by timothy
from the more-grace-park-please dept.
Dave Knott writes "Entertainment Weekly reports that Universal Pictures has confirmed rumours of a Battlestar Galactica feature film. Directed by Bryan Singer, and co-produced by original series creator Glen Larson, the new movie will not be related to the recently concluded SyFy Network series. Rather, it will be a 'complete re-imagining of the sci-fi lore that was invented by Larson back in the '70s.'"
Portables

11.6" Netbooks Face Off 238

Posted by kdawson
from the category-benders dept.
Dr. Damage writes "Netbooks have grown from tiny curiosities with 7" screens into surprisingly well-rounded little computers. The latest step is 11.6" displays with 1366x768 resolution and near-full-sized keyboards. Two such systems are available now for under $400 at US retailers: the Aspire One at Walmart and the Gateway LT3103 at Best Buy. The Gateway packs an Athlon 64 processor and Radeon graphics. The Tech Report bought them both and has compared them head to head in some depth, choosing a clear winner between the two." Like most such in-depth reviews, this one is spread across 10 pages.
Microsoft

First MS Retail Stores Will be In Scottsdale, AZ and Mission Viejo, CA 189

Posted by timothy
from the probably-good-swag-on-day-1 dept.
UnknowingFool writes "MS has announced the locations of its first two retail stores. The first one will be located at The Shops in Mission Viejo, CA sometime in the fall. There is an existing Apple store at the location. The second one will be located in Scottsdale Fashion Square in Scottsdale, AZ. That location does not have an Apple store. According to Corporate Communications Director Kim Stocks, the locations were picked because they were 'hot markets,' presumably meaning high traffic. Also, the stores will sell laptops, Zunes, Xbox 360s, MS and 3rd party software. No details on which laptops were provided."
Cellphones

Apple Says iPhone Jailbreaking Could Hurt Cell Towers 495

Posted by Soulskill
from the think-of-the-towers dept.
AHuxley writes "Apple suggests that the nation's cellphone networks could be open to 'potentially catastrophic' cyberattacks by iPhone-using hackers at home and abroad if iPhone owners are permitted to legally jailbreak their wireless devices. The Copyright Office is currently considering a request by the Electronic Frontier Foundation to legalize the widespread practice of jailbreaking. Apple has responded to the request by saying that if the 'baseband processor' software — which enables a connection to cell phone towers — is exposed, then a user could crash the tower software, or use the Exclusive Chip Identification number to make calls anonymously. Apple also thinks its closed business model is what made the iPhone a success. The Vodafone scandal from a few years back showed how a network could be compromised, but that was from within. So, what do you think? Is Apple playing the 'evil genius' hacker card or can 'anyone' with a smartphone and a genius friend pop a US cell tower?"

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