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Comment: Re:This project is not cost effective (Score 1) 625

The project includes 18 stations, substantial work on a bridge across the Mississippi, ripping out and rebuilding ten miles of urban thoroughfares and sidewalks, a variety of mitigations to reduce negative impacts on university science buildings and other facilities, and, of course, the actual trains and tracks. You can argue back and forth about whether it's a good way to spend money (I think it is), but I don't think you're going to get all that at a radically cheaper price.

Comment: Re:This project is not cost effective (Score 2) 625

I question your $2 million per mile figure. Minneapolis/St Paul is currently building a 10 mile light rail line at a cost of $1 billion. ($100 million per mile) That's at street level through a moderately dense urban area and it includes the cost of all the stations. Maybe $2 million per mile is the cost through flat countryside with no stations and land acquired for free?

Comment: Re:Goes Nowhere (Score 1) 306

by SlashDotDotDot (#34944588) Attached to: Facebook Images To Get Expiration Date
No one will use it because:

A. The people posting the pictures don't care (at least at the time they are posting them)
B. Facebook doesn't want it to work and they have the power to stop it by not allowing encrypted pictures. (If they wanted this feature, they would just provide it themselves by removing the content on a given date.)
C. Even if posters cared enough to use this system, no one would be able to see their pictures because

most people are to stupid to be able to install a plugin

and posters want people to see their pictures (which is why they are posting them online)
D. It is too easy to circumvent

Comment: Re:Poor Michael Bay (Score 1) 532

by SlashDotDotDot (#34553606) Attached to: Why Special Effects No Longer Impress

I'm harping on that movie because from what I've seen, it bases itself on lots of blue and orange colors intermixed with blowing shit up. The story is hackneyed, the little bit of acting I've seen is flat, and any similarity to the original Tron is based solely on the fluorescent colors and that it takes place in a computer.

When was the last time you saw the original? The similarities extend much further then the colors and the setting: the original story was also hackneyed and the original acting quite flat. At least this one has Daft Punk.

Comment: Here's the device I want (Score 1) 449

by SlashDotDotDot (#34478210) Attached to: PC Era Forecasted To End In 18 Months
It's about the size of your thumb. It contains storage, processing power, wifi, cell voice/data connectivity, and a battery, but no display. It can plug into various, standardized input/output units including touch screens (ranging from pocket-sized to large tablet), TVs, PC stations (which are just dumb monitor/keyboard/speaker modules), cameras, video game controllers, your car, simple headphones, eInk displays, etc. You can plug and unplug it from these things on-the-fly. Wherever you plug it in, all your app(lications) work in whatever capacity is appropriate to the size and functionality of the display. On your pocket display, they act like smart-phone apps, at your home desk-station, they act like PC applications. You can upgrade your peripherals independently from your core.

I see no technological barrier to building this family of devices today. Is anyone building it?

Comment: Re:SF: only one impossibility per story (Score 1) 495

by SlashDotDotDot (#33384624) Attached to: How Star Wars Trumped Star Trek For Scientific Accuracy

Star Trek and Star Wars are fantasy but not true SF, they have too many impossible things to qualify as true Science Fiction.

Have you ever seen a Rambo movie? It typically contains a great many impossible things. I'm not comfortable with classifying it as Science Fiction.

His definition would not classify Rambo as science fiction. He clearly emphasizes that in SF there is only one impossible thing (which seems a little arbitrary) and that the story focuses on what would happen if that thing were possible. His definition might classify Rambo as fantasy, but it isn't clear.

Comment: Re:Streaming music player + other app (Score 1) 345

by SlashDotDotDot (#31445368) Attached to: Multitasking In For iPhone 4.0?

You've missed his point rather badly. He isn't saying he wants background processes that never sleep. He's saying he wants process that are allowed to do some work, some of the time, when they aren't the actual task in front of the user on the screen. Sure, they might sleep most of the time, but they might, say, wake up for 10 milliseconds out of every 300 milliseconds to process a data stream, decide not to bother the user, and then go back to sleep.

That said, I don't think you deserved the troll mod. Maybe, "+1 Incorrect Point About A Interesting Topic".

Comment: Re:Duh. (Score 1) 368

by SlashDotDotDot (#30835944) Attached to: NYTimes Confirms It Will Start Charging For Online News In 2011

Frankly, what I really want would be a micro-transaction sort of system. I would be happy to pay 5 cents per article I read on NY times. Sounds tiny right? I'd say I read at least 5 articles on a week day. That's a quarter a day, $5 a month. More than the $50 they ask for.

Why would you prefer a model where you pay $60 per year and you have a decide on a click-by-click basis if you want to spend the money over a model where you pay $50 per year and can read whatever you want on a whim?

On days when I visit the NYT I probably click on twenty articles. Most of them I "read" for about 5 seconds. A few merit more attention and a I read them more completely. I like this freedom to skim. A pay-per-click system would make that cost prohibitive.

I think the future model is going to be a small number of iTunes-style markets for media content that are (somewhat) independent from the media providers. You go to one place to spend your money and manage your purchases (eBooks, mp3s) and your subscriptions (NYT, Pandora, Hulu) and you get one account that lets you access multiple sources from your eReader, your browser, your phone, etc. This system has already begun and will mature quite a bit at the end of this month when Apple announces their iPad. Within a few years several such markets will spring up and then consolidate down to 3-5 major "networks". This model will be both better and worse for consumers, but publishers will get paid so it will stick around.

Patents

Federal Appeals Court Tosses Spam Patent 76

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the no-way-that-was-my-idea dept.
Zordak writes "US patent 6,631,400 claims a method of making sure enough people get your spam. A federal district court had overturned the patent as anticipated and obvious, and not drawn to patentable subject matter. The Federal Circuit, the appeals court which hears patent matters, upheld the finding of obviousness, thus invalidating the patent."

Aren't you glad you're not getting all the government you pay for now?

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