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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

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Comment: Re:Here's hoping they bought it to close it down. (Score 2) 206

by Smidge204 (#49172457) Attached to: What Would Minecraft 2 Look Like Under Microsoft?

pushed into building artificial worlds because making in the real one is hampered by a perfect storm of regulation and fear under the umbrella of crony capitalism.

...because the only thing preventing children from building sky cities, gigantic castles, sea bases and portals to other dimensions is government regulations.
=Smidge=

Comment: ICYMI: Frontline's Secret State of North Korea (Score 5, Informative) 62

by eldavojohn (#49171137) Attached to: Inside the North Korean Data Smuggling Movement
This exact same topic was covered in Frontline's special on North Korea over a year ago. Their point of contact was Jiro Ishimaru of Asiapress who was sneaker netting USBs over the border. They even took a video of people trying to watch on a tiny screen and having to shut everything down whenever they heard someone outside.

The documentary also touched on humanitarian issues as much as it could using a secret camera. Sad stuff. Great thing to watch. Occasionally you can catch it streaming on Netflix but it seems to not be available right now.

Comment: Re:what's the point? it can't work (Score 1) 101

by Smidge204 (#49130645) Attached to: Amazon Files Patent For Mobile 3D Printing Delivery Trucks

how fast is 3D printing?

How fast is traditional manufacturing? Sure, once you get your tooling set up and dedicate an entire warehouse to production and assembly, you can crank out ten thousand widgets a day... but it takes months and lots of money to get to that level of production.

Meanwhile, if a part can be 3D printed, you press a button and the next morning you have it in your hand. Client/customer needs some customization? No problem, a day or so of computer time and press the button...

can you 3D print in a moving truck?

Probably. Depends on the printing method. It's not completely certain it would be necessary to print on the go to make this work, though.

is a 3D print product pretty? flexible? neon colors, black, and white are what you have, assuming you are not slinging molten metal or concrete, the other two mediums in use. not flexible.

Full color printers have been available since before most people knew 3D printing was even a thing. Flexible? Could be, with the right materials. Just about anything you can reduce to a fine powder could conceivably be used.

The relatively cheap filament-based machines that are all the rage now are far from the pinnacle of additive manufacturing. 3D printing is 30+ years old at this point. ...All that said, though, I think Amazon's idea is kinda dumb. It's amazing what some people would rather have than money, though.
=Smidge=

Comment: Re:Sounds good (Score 1) 599

by Smidge204 (#49130117) Attached to: Republicans Back Down, FCC To Enforce Net Neutrality Rules

regulations prevent innovation directly

How?

And what regulations were relaxed that were holding the telephone industry back, again?

When regulated as a public utility, the company is to some extent protected from competition

The "regulation" means they can't gouge their customers. Also, there is actual, historical precedent that runs counter to your claim.

ISPs are, in many areas, a monopoly or duopoly at best. There is zero competition, and as a result we get the worst service-for-the-buck on the planet. Why is it that ISPs in other countries, which are regulated, are able to provide better service than currently unregulated US companies?
=Smidge=

Comment: Re:Sounds good (Score 1) 599

by Smidge204 (#49128933) Attached to: Republicans Back Down, FCC To Enforce Net Neutrality Rules

Cite these deregulations, please.

It's not coincidence that prices started to fall and service improve shortly after the industry monopoly was dismantled. This has always been the result since the trust-busting in the early 20th century and there is sound reasoning behind why it works: Competing companies will lower prices and improve services in an effort to make them more attractive to potential customers compared to their rivals. Monopolies have no incentive to keep prices low or to really innovate new and better services or products.

You, on the other hand, will have to cite what regulations could possibly have been preventing Ma Bell from providing better service when it was clearly possible to do so all along.
=Smidge=

Comment: Re:Sounds good (Score 1) 599

by Smidge204 (#49127897) Attached to: Republicans Back Down, FCC To Enforce Net Neutrality Rules

That's what happened to telephone service in the 1980s. There was something of a golden age where everyone and their dog was offering cutthroat long-distance telephone service. Prices fell and service improved.

Power utilities are another example. Chances are, you are under no obligation to buy electricity specifically from your utility - some areas allow you to buy your electricity from third parties, and your utility just acts as a middleman and collects a connection fee to maintain the wires, which they do anyway.

Natural gas is the same way, though you might need to be a major consumer to get that kind of deal.

Now imagine if the internet follows that path: The company that owns and maintains the last-mile infrastructure need not be the same company that actually provides the connection to the main networks.
=Smidge=

Comment: Re:First Fascist! (Score 1) 39

by mcgrew (#49118761) Attached to: Welcome back, SlashPot (thank you failure machine samzenpus)

Coincidentally, I saw this JE this morning right after seeing a report on CBS's morning news program that said that marijuana is by far the least dangerous of all recreational drugs. They found the most dangerous was alcohol, followed by heroin, followed by cocaine. I did a quick search, it doesn't look like they've posted it to their web site.

I've found an incredible amount of misinformation about marijuana. This article says "Those who might remember pot from the 70s - the marijuana grown and sold in Colorado today is up to 10 times stronger."

The difference isn't strength of the pot, it's how its potency is measured and how pot is and was sold. They take the pot, grind up the entire bag and test it.

Today, pot is grown indoors so it has no seeds, and only the buds are sold. In the seventies, they put the whole plant; stems, seeds, leaves and all. Leaves are far less potent than buds, stems have very little THC and seeds have none at all, and the seeds are heavy. I saw pot in the '70s that the seeds were more than half the weight of the bag. So grinding up the whole bag would indicate that it's 10 times stronger, when stoners always threw the stems and seeds away and usually saved the bud for the weekend.

The best pot I ever smoked was in Thailand in 1973-4.

Now, even if pot wasn't the safest of all recreational drugs, even if it were the deadliest, how does your neighbor getting stoned affect you or society at large?

There's a chapter in a book that was required reading in a college history class in the late '70s that shows how incredibly moronic prohibition is. Alcohol and Al Capone

Look at Mexico and Columbia. Prohibition is purely stupidly evil.

User Journal

Journal: Triplanetary 1

Journal by mcgrew

I've uploaded a new book to mcgrewbooks.com. Edgar E. Smith was a well known science fiction writer known as "the father of space opera", and Doctor Smith was a food engineer in his other life. The novel I've uploaded is Triplanetary, first published in serial form in Amazing Stories in 1934.

Some of the dialogue is a bit juvenile, but it would make a great movie.

Comment: Downmods (Score 1) 7

by mcgrew (#49068247) Attached to: How long until I'm down-moderated for that one?

Since I rarely post at slashdot any more, instead going to soylent where they're not run by corporate morons who are STUPID enough to add horizontal scrolls it seems I always have mod points.

I used a few in one of your journals, but it was one of the right wing trolls I moderated.

Slashdot has nearly run me completely off of this site.

User Journal

Journal: An Accidental Book 1

Journal by mcgrew

I've read books accidentally, meaning to read a single chapter and winding up reading it in one setting, but I've never started writing one accidentally.

Until now.

Tired of editing Random Scribblings and Voyage to Earth and Other Stories (Formerly titled "Mars Bars"), I thought I'd look for another science fiction novel in the public domain a little less ancient than The Time Machine to add to my web site.

Comment: Burst Forth, Publish Your Policy Report! (Score 5, Insightful) 213

If you look at this list, the majority of these problems are man-made. Other than a super volcano and an asteroid impact, the solution seems pretty simple. We must abandon all technology and kill all but a small percentage of the population. And those that are left must live in isolated groups. That way there will not be a world wide disease outbreak.

Yep, that's the only option. There's nothing between doing nothing and that option. It's all we have. And if anyone starts to talk about mitigation strategies, planning ahead of time or devoting a single cent of taxpayer money toward preparing for it, we are just all going to have a meltdown and throw a tantrum with teabags on our hats. Thank god we have these strawman arguments for what these ivory tower Oxford elitists are telling us to do: eliminate the human race to protect the human race. I cannot believe they would actually come to that conclusion but there it is, right in the article. Those environmentalists will have us starving in mud huts by the end of the month if we just sit by and let this academic report go unabated and without criticism!

*tortured sigh*

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

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