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Comment: Re:Wrong Math ? (Score 1) 96

by fgodfrey (#49791671) Attached to: Making the World's Largest Panoramic Photo

Yeah, I think their math is off as well. My wife and I have the camera that they seem to have used (a Canon 70D - you can see it in some of their "Making Of" shots) and it shoots full-res RAW files in the 25MB to 35MB range. Even if you turn on RAW+JPEG mode, that's at most ~40MB/image. So I'm not clear on how they ended up with that much data unless it's, like, 20 shots per location and 70,000 locations? But then why say 70,000 images?

Comment: the primal fundamental reason boys do computers (Score 1) 779

by Simonetta (#48962939) Attached to: WA Bill Takes Aim at Boys' Dominance In Computer Classes

Boys have an inherent fascination with the concept of using symbol manipulation to change the functionality of physical machinery. By changing how machines work by typing words and code. Boys are absolutely obsessed with the concept that you can create machines that do what you tell them to do by changing mere symbols (which is what source code is). It is a way of creating life from dead objects by using 'magic' symbols. Religions are based on this. Programming is a type of religion. Boys are very much into this.

Girls, on the other hand, are absolutely fascinated by their ability to create actual living, thinking, unique human beings with their own bodies. They don't need magic symbol manipulation to create artificial life from physical objects. Their bodies create life from their interactions with other life. The lives that girls create can't be controlled like the robots or machinery that boys create, but their human-life creations are infinitely more complicated than what the boys can do.

This is the basic primal fundamental reason why boys are much more attracted to computers and science. Boys spend their lives and careers trying to gain and master the life-creating abilities that girls are endowed with at birth.

Comment: Re:Action vs. inaction (Score 1) 307

by fgodfrey (#48878421) Attached to: Blackberry CEO: Net Neutrality Means Mandating Cross-Platform Apps

I have a choice of which computer and handset I choose to buy and (on the computer) what OS to run. I have two choices in ISP's, or I can move where I *might* have two different choices in ISP's (or not). Moving is a pretty high bar to clear. Buying another handset or changing OS's (or even buying a second handset or computer) because whatever application I want isn't available on the platform I have is a much lower bar.

The problem is that we have chosen to not allow everyone and their brother to dig up the street to lay new cable or string new cable on overhead wires. There are good reasons for that. That, however, means that the so called "last mile" delivery, at least to residential areas, is always going to be a place where competition is artificially limited. So, at that point, you either take the cable-TV route and just let the monopoly abuse its customer base with no innovation for *years* or you need some government regulation to get more competition. Neutrality is one form of that regulation. Personally, I think that without it, the Internet as we know it will cease to exist and turn, instead, into content channels that are available like cable-TV channels on whatever ISP you happen to be attached to. That will severely restrict new websites from being created. Maybe that view is too pessimistic. Another option (or an additional option on top of neutrality) is to have the public "own" (or at least have a strong interest in the operation of) the last-mile network, kind of like the public owns the roads, and force the actual owner of the cable to allow multiple ISPs to exist on the cable (that could also take the form of prohibiting a single company from operating both a last-mile infrastructure and offering public Internet access, or several other similar forms, or it could just mandate that the lines must be leased to anyone who can pay to play).

I'd love to hear another set of options that can be plausibly implemented that would encourage competition in content creation and content delivery that doesn't a) require government regulation (remember, prohibiting exclusive contracts for last-mile service is, itself, a government regulation against an otherwise legal contract) and b) doesn't involve an unwieldy tangle of wires above and/or below every street.

Comment: Re:parachute (Score 2) 248

by fgodfrey (#48835619) Attached to: SpaceX Landing Attempt Video Released

One of the biggest reasons is that, in the location this is happening, parachutes means "lands in the ocean" which implies that your rocket is going to get bathed in salt water, probably engines first. I'm sure you could design some sort of a deployable cover to cover the engines (although they're have to be vented of fuel and cooled first) that would prevent salt water from entering, but I doubt that would be less complex than this scheme and it would almost certainly be heavier.

Finally, remember that one of Elon Musk's long term goals is to land on Mars (whether he will actually achieve that, I have no idea, but he's heading in the right direction) and for that, parachutes won't work. So, this whole thing is really an R&D program. Even if they "only" recover 50% of the spent stages, that's a lot of "cost of goods sold" to cut out.....

Comment: Get real, my friend (Score 1) 153

by Simonetta (#48648707) Attached to: US Seeks China's Help Against North Korean Cyberattacks

Get real, my friend. Stuxnet was designed to prevent psychotic religious fanatics from developing nuclear bombs. There is no real question as to whether the Iranians would use any nuclear bomb under their control to murder 100,000s of Jews in Israel. They have said that they will do it in so many words over and over again in their internal religious sermons. To the foreigners they're a little more diplomatic.

    The American-Ashkanzim alliance is the most productive alliance between peoples in all of history. We, as Americans, will never just sit back and watch fascist demented assholes like the Iranian mullahs murder thousands of Jewish people as we did in the early 1940s.

    There is no comparison between using hacking to destroy nuclear proliferation and using hacking to suppress an embarrassing Hollywood comedy movie. Anyone who thinks that the two are equal is a fool.

    You're a smart person if you're on Slashdot. Don't be a fool.

Comment: Old Castro fan calls B.S! on Cuban internet (Score 3, Interesting) 115

by Simonetta (#48648657) Attached to: Cuba Says the Internet Now a Priority

I'm an old Castro and Che fan from the 1960s. . After having met and talked with many Cuban exiles of my own age who have arrived in my city over the years, I now realize that the entire Cuban revolution was bullshit Things suck there. They are always getting worse. I call bullshit on Cuban government's proposal to 'allow' internet access to its citizens. That country is run by fascist assholes. They will never all access to the internet to ordinary citizens. Only Cuban 'stasi' goon-squad assholes and their trusted weasels will be allowed to view Huff Post or Slashdot.

Comment: Subtitle Sunglasses (Score 1) 71

by Simonetta (#48630349) Attached to: Ars Reviews Skype Translator

This speech translator is trés cool.

For a while I've been bugging techies with my conception of 'subtitle sunglasses'. These would be 'ordinary' glasses that would have microphones and nano-technology CPUs inside the frame. The microphones would hear the speech of the person that you are looking at (who is speaking a foreign language), translate that speech into English, and display the text of the translation onto the bottom of the user's frame. Like subtitles in a foreign movie for those of you who have ever seen a subtitled foreign movie. Many Germans haven't. The power to operate these 'subtitle sunglasses' would come from the generators creating electricity from the movement's of the user's head.

I challenge teckies to approximate how long in the future it will be before this kind of product is available for purchase in the $500 range.

One unusually aspect of Moore's Law is that we can project when a product like this will be actually available. We take the cost of making any science fiction concept using today's technology and use future-value calculations of accounting to project a future price time-frame given that the price of the technology will fall by half every 18 months.

Another trick is to use this example as a crude intelligence IQ test. Claim that the Japanese have actually developed 'subtitle sunglasses' but they only translate English into Japanese. Claim that you have been able to obtain a secret advanced prototype of such glasses. Give an ordinary pair of reading glasses to a person and claim that these are actual real 'subtitle sunglasses' that have tiny speakers that create synthetic spoken sound inside the ears. Invite them to try them on. When they put on the glasses, start speaking in Japanese (learn a few phrases well beforehand). The time that it takes them to realize that you are completely bulllshitting them is an indication of how intelligent they are. Hope that they don't get violent.

Comment: Re:Man, am I old ... (Score 1) 173

by fgodfrey (#48622649) Attached to: Backblaze's 6 TB Hard Drive Face-Off

I didn't say never look at them, I said never remove the extra photos from your Lightroom catalog, find the files on disk, delete them, and hope you didn't accidentally delete IMG_8192.JPG instead of IMG_8191.JPG. And yes, it *is* easier to just store them than to do that. If hard drive sizes stop increasing, or the photo cataloging software gets better, that may change. In the mean time, the disk space is cheaper and easier than the time to deal with it.

Comment: Re:Man, am I old ... (Score 1) 173

by fgodfrey (#48621195) Attached to: Backblaze's 6 TB Hard Drive Face-Off

It really depends on why you're taking the pictures. If you are just trying to have the memory, then yeah, you don't need 15 pictures in sports mode. But if you're trying to do something artistic then that's how you do it. And while you *can* sift through and delete all the ones that aren't the best, it's a lot easier to *not* have to do that and just store 'em. How much is your time worth vs. $250 for an 8 TB hard drive that can store, probably, all the pictures we'll take in the next 15 years.

Comment: Re:Man, am I old ... (Score 1) 173

by fgodfrey (#48619123) Attached to: Backblaze's 6 TB Hard Drive Face-Off

Yeah, but a better camera will be more than that. My wife and I took over 7000 pictures on our honeymoon (which lasted about a month) with a Canon camera. That's about 7MB/picture (seems to go up to about 12 for JPEG). If we'd taken them in RAW (which, arguably, we should have since some of the shots would be nice to reedit or do lens correction on) it would've been around 25 to 30MB/image with our camera. If you use sports mode (taking 10 or 15 shots every time you push the button), I could easily see hitting 100GB/month. All depends on whether this guy's wife is as obsessive about her "recreation" as my wife and I are....

Comment: Re:Man, am I old ... (Score 1) 173

by fgodfrey (#48619037) Attached to: Backblaze's 6 TB Hard Drive Face-Off

I design audio for theater. I have a 3TB archive of my designs and it grows about 300GB per year (musicals, where I do recording, take about 100GB per show). My wife likes taking pictures and she generates a few gigabytes per month of pictures. Many people keep movies. My parents have an archive of their favorite (broadcast) TV shows that they recorded with EyeTV. You're right that it's extremely likely that nobody will care about most of this stuff when we die. But we're still alive. What's so hard to understand about that?

Yeah, I could spend hours paring down my audio collection. I could delete the musical recordings, eliminate duplicates, and throw away shows I'm likely to never revisit. My wife could delete most of her pictures (ones that were out of focus, test shots, ones that she doesn't like for some reason). My parents could buy DVDs (which are simply a less convenient form of storage). But why would any of us do this? I occasionally get asked to remix songs and I reuse sound effects from shows sometimes. My wife goes back and looks at shots or may change her mind about what she wants to keep.

When you can fit 8TB on something the size of a medium book, why wouldn't you keep stuff you might use again?

Comment: My toenail holds my music collection (Score 1) 433

by Simonetta (#48596101) Attached to: Vinyl Record Pressing Plants Struggle To Keep Up With Demand

I have a 64G SD card that holds 8000 songs that are about 4 minutes each at 250KBPS MP3. This SD card is the size of my toenail. It costs about $15. The same amount of recorded sound on vinyl records would take up about 140 cubic feet of space.
Did I forget to mention that I can plug my 8000 song music collection into your computer and a few hours later, my music collection is my any your music collection and it costs you $15, should you decide to store said collection on a medium the size of a toenail. An 800 album vinyl music collection would cost about $12000.

There are idiots out there who would argue that the nearly in-perceivable audio difference between a 250KBPS MP3 music collection and a vinyl collection is worth $12000. They are trustafarians with young perfect ears who don't have to worry about paying rent, food, and childcare on a $40000 salary.

Unless you actually are one of them, you should never take anything that these people say seriously.

Comment: To hell with taxis... (Score 2, Interesting) 295

by Simonetta (#48595955) Attached to: French Cabbies Say They'll Block Paris Roads On Monday Over Uber

I had to pay $60 for an eight mile (12 km) taxi ride from the Portland Oregon airport to downtown because the idiot public transit system there stopped running from the airport at 11:25pm. All the flights from the East coast and Midwest USA leave in the late early evening and arrive between 11:30pm and 1:00am. The local public transport system (TriMet) spends millions of dollars each year telling people how wonderful they are, but they can't even get one single bus an hour on this most important route of the city: the airport to the downtown.

To hell with taxis, and especially to hell with Tri-Met!

Anything that improves the basic transport needs of any 21st-century city is welcome!

Comment: Re:Go back in time 5 years (Score 2) 581

by fgodfrey (#48421817) Attached to: Debian Votes Against Mandating Non-systemd Compatibility

THIS (* see below) dizzying pile of config files with nondescript names. And that doesn't even include the set of names that are magically generated either implicitly and from other files. For reference, /etc/init.d has less than half this many files. Furthermore, to know what actually is going to boot, I cd into a directory and type "ls". Can anyone tell me which of these is actually going to execute when my machine boots?

To answer a non-rehetorical question: Can any of the systemd lovers (or haters, I'm not picky) tell me how the heck I move /var to a different filesystem without editing every single file in that directory below? Just putting the mount point in /etc/fstab doesn't work because stuff that depends on /var executes before /var gets mounted. I added a unit file to mount /var and gave it a "before" dependency on dbus (which is the first thing that seems to break), but it starts dbus while it's doing the fsck on /var anyway.

(*) The list was going to go here. But it's so long Slashdot won't let me post it. There are 255 unit files in /usr/lib/systemd/system. They have fun names like "systemd-tmpfiles-setup-dev.service".

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