Unless you have tentacles of a giant octopus, you can't really shoot an epic selfie without a selfie stick. That or you lug around a large mirror or a very patient friend (at which point it won't be a selfie).
Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!
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).
An open DECENTRALIZED search system would be way better than a system that's simply built on open source. Hell, for all we know maybe even Google is completely on open source. But the data sets that seed the search engine, without which the algorithms are simply crunching meaningless strings of letters, are kept close to Google's corporate bosom.
What we need is a search engine where everyone that searches can have access to the entire data set if she or he chooses to do so. This is similar to the way the Bitcoin blockchain works. Everybody can choose to have a copy of every Bitcoin transaction ever made, or if they're lazy or don't have the computing resources connect to a full Bitcoin node using something called a light wallet (which downloads only the relevant parts of the Blockchain related to the transactions made using a certain Bitcoin address).
So let there be a basic light version of your engine and a full version. If that's not feasible, maybe you can make an advanced client that processes only parts of the complete data set, but is distributed in such a way that the parts can easily be combined into a complete data set.
I gave up editing Wikipedia when it started to ban edits via proxy servers. Forcing editors to give up their anonymity only gives a false sense of confidence they would be more responsible since they now have a "reputation" to protect, even if their real identities are hidden by some lame pseudonym. This weeds out the casual vandals, but not the determined peddler of disinformation or serial practical joker.
Wikipedia's problem with accuracy is a function of its size. It's become far too easy to hide in the crowd of correct or substantially correct information. This is no different from a lone wolf troublemaker escaping all the security theater we put in airports, train terminals, and other crowded places.
"It might this time. Chinese manufacturers may find a way to bring the price down enough to make them so common that they lose their stigma and are affordable to a larger audience."
They already have. Or maybe they haven't. There's technically nothing standing in the way of building cheaper models or clones. Google for: segway unicycle. You'll get links and photos of devices (seems quite odd calling these things vehicles) that look like a Segway without the handles, or a skateboard where you stand facing straight forward rather than sideways. Maybe the gyro patents (as these appear to be the main technical "innovation" of the Segway system) are standing in the way of a massive price drop? They should cost no more than a mid-range laptop at Chinese prices.
It doesn't follow that because you're an expert in 2D and some types of 3D design, you're automatically an expert in 3D modeling in general. Children trained early might actually become better than adults with years of computer graphics training. Maybe becoming a good 3D modeler requires the brain to be wired differently, something that can be easier to achieve in childhood, the way that a child for example can become fluent in a language faster than an adult would. Maybe it's the way a child is less afraid of making horrendous grammatical mistakes or ugly peanut-like shapes.
With the rise of creative commons, or should we say the "maker" commons, the need for patents is greatly reduced. Whatever remains is probably best served by mega-Kickstarter-style bounties funded by governments or ultra-rich philanthropists, large-scale moon-shot or Manhattan-type projects for finding the cure for cancer/aids or the elusive quest for sustained nuclear fusion.
Think of it this way. In an island with one inventor, you damn well should treat that inventor like a king if you want to live better than flint-using troglodytes. But where there are potentially hundreds of millions of inventors working on their own small design, awarding one big patent for minor design improvements become counter-productive. The patent will actually stifle attempts to evolve the technology independently.
History is actually full of examples of similar technology being independently developed by different people and even different cultures at different places and different times (things like the printing press or the gun or even intellectual "inventions" like calculus and the theory evolution). True, hundreds of years might pass before something is reinvented. But when even plans for how to build a gun can be posted online, an invention can be improved by hobbyists tinkering with a design known to work (no reinventing the wheel).
"Unless you have deep philosophical reasons to never ever run Microsoft software, for almost any cutting-edge hardware youmay be better off just running VMWare (Workstation or Player) on Windows, then running your Linux within the VM."
Well, for the last five years, I've never found the need to buy cutting edge hardware for my desktop and laptop computing needs. My desktop runs fine with an all Intel setup (a NUC mini PC with no discrete video cards) with a CPU that was two generations behind the bleeding edge. Ditto for my laptop. Not a gamer of the FPS variety, so I've got all the speed I need with my "obsolete" hardware. So a Debian Linux install works just as fine as any commericial OS full of desktop bling. However, I do have a fairly "modern" tablet by a certain Korean company, whose bloatware infested Android variant I promptly replaced with a more open custom ROM.
Hiroshima might have been necessary as a show of US military might, but why launch take 2 on Nagasaki? Saying the atomic bombing-s (with an s) were necessary is a bit deceptive. These first generation nuclear weapons were really more weapons of fear than mass destruction. Nukes only earned their world-ending potential with the invention of ICBMs. Before that, it would have beeen a simple matter of launching fighter planes to shoot down the slow moving heavy bombers. Nagasaki was a totally unnecessary military experiment, practically a war atrocity.
That term just about sums up what this is about. It's a press release, and y'know when you're a politician press releases are cheaper than talk, which may well turn out to be more expensive poltically if you misspoke or get the wrong cut of a sound bite. Press releases are easier to deny as the work of one of your staffers, which you can promptly fire as a sacrificial goat.
"citing as examples both Vladimir Putin and actor Richard Belzer as bearing some tendency toward the same characteristic shape"
So is Putin Braniac or Professor X(avier)?
I'm out of my element here, but isn't this true for other smash mega movie series? How many megastars have the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings series produced? The only superstar the HP series produced is JK Rowling and even she is having traveling following that one up. A megaseries is a good paycheck for a "name" actor who does mostly outstanding but law paying work. For newcomers it's a chance to be known so you can later do low paying movies and hopefully better quality (beyond the special FX budget) movies.
"The next-biggest unknown"
But it's been pretty well known since Einstein's time that powerful energy sources also make for powerful weapons.
Yeah, there's always two ways to title a tech story, the utopian and the dystopian implications of a coming-of-age sci-fi technology. I'm beginning to think maybe only a form of democratic communism will save us from the techno barons of the future. That or the spread of molecular manufacturing, where the only resource you need is the dirt in your backyard, unless the hoi polloi have all been by the time packed into mega-prison-like kilometer-high apartment complexes.