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Comment: I may regret sharing this.... (Score 1) 59

...but my refuge for the zombie apocalypse?
The town water tower. Specifically, INSIDE/atop.

First benefit is that (until now) nobody else would be going there, and you avoid the panic-rush when everyone gets stuck on the freeways.
Many/most(?) stations have emergency generators already built in and by law well-equipped for sustained operation.
Ample fresh water, obviously, and a great situation for catching clean rainfall.

Most of our local towers are largely flat, and basically immune to severe weather and heavily insulated, meaning you'd have a secure, highly defensible place with great sightlines (to signal/communicate other survivors, if that's something you want to do), so high that even if they were attracted to your location, they'd have to pile up so high they'd pretty much liquefy at the bottom before getting to you.

Bring your acetylene kit as you evacuate*, and you could really build a nice home in there, including ziplines to nearby roofs/buildings for foraging (granted, getting back up there if there were zombies around your entry might stink).
*lots of small communities actually have a fair amount of tools stored right inside in the base for maintenance, saving you a lot of work.

Comment: Because that's what 3D visors are these days (Score 1) 49

by Sycraft-fu (#49164167) Attached to: Valve and HTC Reveal "Vive" SteamVR Headset

For whatever reason, the games industry has decided that these things are amazin' and everyone has to do it. Of course nobody is doing it, I mean Occulus has a prototype out that has some pretty major issues and no release date for final hardware but that's it. Everyone else doesn't even have any hardware at all.

So of course what companies lack in deliverables they make up in hype. Talk about how damn cool their shit will be, how the world will be changed, etc, etc. Particularly since it doesn't seem any of them have a solution to any of the issues. Most of the things aren't solved by magic, but by better technology which is being developed by other companies. Things like latency/refresh are largely going to be a combination of higher speed displays and faster GPUs to drive them. Well, those will get developed I'm sure, but by Samsung or LG, not by Occulus or Valve.

Valve has also been having some problems in this area as of late. They seem to wish to become more than just "the guys who run Steam" which makes sense, because Steam is super profitable but also unstable, people could migrate to a different store en masse for various reasons. However their "no bosses" organization means that a lot of playing happens and not as much delivering. So you see hype and noise, but not necessarily final products.

The Steam box is a good example. Heard lots about that for a long time, some hype videos about their controller, and yet nothing is on the market, and there is no date when anything might happen.

Comment: Re:By facts, not links? (Score 1) 292

by swillden (#49163233) Attached to: Google Wants To Rank Websites Based On Facts Not Links

> it was shown that Wikipedia is on par with dead tree encyclopedias

The linked article above is from 2005. A LOT has changed in a decade.

What has changed that's relevant? The existence of mobile devices? Bah.

> What makes it more true now than it was then?

Thanks to the wonders of modern technology and the rise of political correctness fanatics

Political correctness is new since 2005? Ummm, let me guess, you're under 30, aren't you?

You have groups openly state on Wikipedia that it's their goal to push their viewpoints on articles.

Which was also true before 2005.

Clickbait sites written by people close to these groups get turned into sources.

Also true before 2005.

I'll stop here, but nothing you mention was any different previously.

Comment: Re:By facts, not links? (Score 1) 292

by swillden (#49161921) Attached to: Google Wants To Rank Websites Based On Facts Not Links

It had come a long way, then it started being manipulated by ideology pushing extremists that have become very adept at abusing the hell out of labrynthian policies to the point that even when the author of a news article flat out says "They're lying, I never said that at all" it's the author that gets punished.

This exact same complaint was common before it was shown that Wikipedia is on par with dead tree encyclopedias. What makes it more true now than it was then?

Comment: Re:And no one cares (Score 1) 184

by swillden (#49161885) Attached to: Google Taking Over New TLDs

Yes, but it's not progress if it destroys the more technical constructs that allow more knowledgeable people to be more productive. Replacing whole interfaces with a search box does just that.

Does it? I don't think so. The omnibox makes me more productive, not less. The difference is tiny, granted, but it's non-zero.

Comment: Re:Submarine versus Viking longship (Score 2) 48

And I could see a longship having a piece break off after getting shot at and having that debris end up in just the right spot to clog the subs engines or torpedo bays or something like that. Sure it's statistically unlikely, and probably not even a 1/1000 chance of actually happening, but for the sake of game play I can accept it.

At that point you're better off imagining the sub had a critical weapons malfunction and blew itself up so the longship wins on walkover. Or that the warrior sneaked into the riflemen's camp and poisoned their water supply.

Comment: Re: Foxconn Factories' Future: Fewer Humans, More (Score 1) 176

by Kjella (#49159463) Attached to: Foxconn Factories' Future: Fewer Humans, More Robots

Weren't people saying the same sort of things when the "assembly line" was first invented? After all, the main purpose of the "assembly line" was to make the same amount of stuff with fa fewer workers than had been needed previously.

Well first off you're not looking back far enough, during the first industrial revolution there was massive unemployment as machines replace skilled artisans and craftsmen with cheap, expendable factory workers that could receive minimal training in their one task on the line. The assembly line actually comes very late in a mostly industrialized society already and an old fashioned manual assembly line still employs a considerable number of people. And Ford famously doubled wages to get retention up, because the assembly line work was actually getting complex and needed trained workers.

This time we're not just dividing and rearranging the way workers produce their product, we're cutting the humans entirely out of the equation except for meta-roles like designers, developers and repairmen. For example take the banking industry, it used to be huge with branch offices all over the place. ATMs were the first blow, now online banking has reduced it down to next to nothing. I just checked the figures on one bank I know, 250 FTEs (full-time equivalents) supporting 380,000 customers.

Think about it, in how many service industries is the human staff actually a service? When I go to the grocery store, what I want are the groceries. I don't care if robots automate the whole shop if they keep delivering the same service and quality. When it comes to water/sewage/electricity/internet etc. I'd rather not deal with them at all, I pay a bill and it works. If a lot of those jobs disappear at the same time and I don't mind seeing them go, but I'm paying nearly the same for the robot/self-service service there won't be much left of my paycheck to pay whatever new jobs these people have found.

Comment: Re:Pretty pointless (Score 1) 291

by swillden (#49158817) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Does One Verify Hard Drive Firmware?

You are assuming the company would know the legal limits of an NSL. you are assuming the company would care about legal limits. If the NSA agent makes a good case of "Terrorism" then they will likely get what they want.

Of course the company would know the legal limits. They have attorneys.

That they might not care I addressed in the second paragraph.

Comment: Re:Xfce 5 should be based on Qt. (Score 1) 88

by Kjella (#49158799) Attached to: Xfce 4.12 Released

If anything, what I want is for my DE not to be based on a major toolkit. This breaks down when it gets to the file manager

And the system settings, that one is much tighter integrated to the DE than the file manager. And it needs to manipulate the pointer. And context menus, arrange menu bars etc. so it need some kind of UI toolkit. I don't quite see what it has to gain by reinventing the wheel, it's not like pulling in Qt/Gtk drains that many resources by themselves.

Comment: Re:Pretty pointless (Score 1) 291

by swillden (#49158471) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Does One Verify Hard Drive Firmware?

I guess even if there was a way, the vendor would probably just get a NSL to put the backdoor in himself

NSLs can't do that. The law is quite specific about what an NSL can request. Not only can't it demand pro-active measures like backdoors, NSLs can't even demand the content of communications that the recipient already has. NSLs are limited by law to demanding communications metadata only.

Well, I suppose a letter can be issued that demands anything at all, and companies may choose to comply, but they don't legally have to if the letter specifies more than what is allowed by law.

Comment: Re:do no evil (Score 1) 184

by swillden (#49158419) Attached to: Google Taking Over New TLDs

Perhaps they should be asking for a ".google" gTLD, for that purpose, instead of trying to monopolize a generic identifier.

I was about to suggest the same, but with ".goog", to make it shorter.

They've applied for and received (been delegated) both.

If it's not in the computer, it doesn't exist.