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Comment: sounds like a great product (Score 1) 53

If you want to quickly try something out this sounds like a great device. I often have ideas I want to try, but when I sit down & look at all the steps I have to go through to just to see if it's a good idea or not, I almost always put it back on the "when I have time shelf". It would also be an easy way for kids to be able to make something that works within their limited attention span. I plan to get one when they come out.

Comment: it costs money to do things well (Score 2) 15

I do video production and corporate event staging so I know how much it costs to do it well. If $8000 is what they need, I can tell you that it's a bargain basement price. I'm a little tired of trying to show people some great presentation on open source and then apologizing for a video that looks like it was done by a 5th grader. People see that and think it's just another adolescent geek doing a science fair project. I think we're all helped when work that is important to us is shown in a professional way. If this guy is willing to do it for that price, I'm going to the kickstarter page next to donate.

We are used to having big companies throw us freebies all the time. To them it's a drop in the bucket. When an individual or small group does something professional looking, it is a big expense for them. While we're all used to getting things for free on the internet, remember that there is still a price. We have to take what they feel like giving away and it may very well be a bunch of crap, put there for their purposes and not ours.

We can draw a line between sharing and charging money, cooperating and competing. All those things have a place and a time. We need to be able to look at the alternatives like adults. And we need to be willing to put our money where our mouth is.

Comment: direct open vs closed comparison (Score 1) 185

I didn't go through every page so I might have missed it, but were there any tests done using the same game or benchmarks for both closed and open source drivers? It looked like the previous article was using a completely different set of games than this test.

Anybody have links to actual apples to apples comparison? I'm using mostly amd cards for reasons that don't have anything to do with gaming but are opengl based. I'd like to get some idea just how far behind the open drivers are from the closed drivers on any recent fairly high end amd card. I know it depends on exactly what features are used and if a feature isn't available the fps will be zero.

thanks.

Comment: decent project (Score 1) 32

by bigmo (#47221773) Attached to: Ellipto: a DIY Fitness Tracker and Dashboard In 70 Lines

This is actually a nice little project. It is what many projects out there should be if they want to be useful to normal people. It has a fairly simple hardware component and a fairly simple software component and a fairly decent reason for being created. My kids could take this as a starting point and within a few days have something physical that they have created and be able to modify it from there to do something useful or educational or both. These are the sorts of projects that should be done in school to show non-geeks they they can make things too.

Is this a slashdot-worthy article? I think it probably belongs on hack-a-day or something like that rather than slashdot, but I don't really care. If you care then you should complain to the moderators about their submission standards and stop beating up on someone who actually did something rather than just whine about how much of an unloved genius they are.

Comment: Re:Still don't know what everyone's complaining ab (Score 1) 168

by bigmo (#46623223) Attached to: NSA Infiltrated RSA Deeper Than Imagined

I can understand your feelings and I don't completely disagree with them either. However I think the issue is that many if not most people have a line they draw where everything beyond it is personal and private and they do not willingly share this information with people unless it's family or very close friends. There have been suicides over people being "outed" for their sexual preference or other intensely personal things. This is bad enough in the hands of normal bullies, but in the hands of government bullies people can be jailed, legitimate governments destroyed and illegitimate governments upheld. Commercial bullies can use secret information to coerce officials into placing outlandish restrictions on our rights as well. I could of course go on and on.

I am under no illusions that we in fact have any sort of real privacy anymore. I know that ended decades ago. However I think that we have the duty to try to make it difficult for those that want to catalog us in every way, reducing our humanity to data points. I for one will continue to try to shovel back the tide, no matter how pointless it may be.

Comment: have your cake and eat it (Score 1, Insightful) 361

by bigmo (#46274879) Attached to: Killing Net Neutrality Could Be Good For You

Caution, this is a rant:

People want to be able to download as much as they want from anywhere they want for a flat rate. This is childish.

I believe completely in net neutrality. The ISPs are in fact common carriers and should be treated as such.

However net neutrality does not come cheap. People have to pay for what they use in bandwidth the same way they pay for what they use for electricity, water and fuel. Someone who uses 10GB a month should pay ten times as much as someone who uses 1GB a month and they should be able to use 100GB if they can afford it.

This is not a social issue. A poor child doing their homework doesn't need a gigantic feed. It's for people who have nothing better to do than watch netflix and play games.

sorry, but I feel better now...

+ - Ask Slashdot: How to explain the need for privacy to the "uninitiated"?

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "How do you — fellow Slashdotters — explain the need for privacy to people who don't think they should care? I feel it's wrong for Google to know who I am, where I live, where I work, who I know, for Vibre to have access to all the phone numbers in my phone, for loyalty card companies to record all my purchases and for government to spy on me with street cameras and PRISMs. But I struggle to explain why to people like my wife or teenage kids who claim they've got nothing to hide and therefore don't need to care. And all their peers are doing it so why shouldn't they? Especially if they can get a free service or marginal discounts — and think it's worth giving up the privacy. I feel it's wrong and try to minimise my exposure but it's inconvenient at times and have a hard time explaining why am I doing it. I've got nothing to hide either, I just don't think I should share everything I do with some anonymous organisations. Or should I not care, sign up and join the herd because it's a lost battle anyway?"

+ - NASA and ESA to communicate with lunar orbiter using lasers->

Submitted by cylonlover
cylonlover (1921924) writes "Space communications have relied on radio since the first Sputnik in 1957. It’s a mature, reliable technology, but it’s reaching its limits. The amount of data sent has increased exponentially for decades and NASA expects the trend to continue. The current communications systems are reaching their limits, so NASA and ESA are going beyond radio as a solution. As part of this effort, ESA has finished tests of part of a new communications system, in preparations for a demonstration in October in which it will receive a laser data download from a NASA lunar orbiter."
Link to Original Source

+ - Annoyed at the NSA, I've written a tutorial about anonymity... 5

Submitted by PhilipTheHermit
PhilipTheHermit (1901680) writes "Ok, Slashdot, I've been lurking around here for the better part of a dozen years, but I don't think I've ever submitted anything too significant... I'm actually a bit terrified because this is like putting my head in the lion's mouth. If my tutorial sucks, I'll probably be torn to shreds, although I hope that it doesn't suck. Keep an open mind when you read it, OK? So, here goes.

I think the reason why most people aren't using tools like TOR and encryption is that they don't know they CAN, and they think the government is all-powerful, as it's portrayed in movies and on television. Geeks like us know that it's not too hard to be anonymous online or use encryption, but there aren't enough of us doing these things to have much of an effect. What we need to do is get everyone ELSE using this stuff, to make the operation of a potential surveillance state as difficult as possible.

My central thesis here is that the answer to a surveillance state is to maintain two personas, the boring public one you don't care they're watching, and an anonymized one they can't pin to you where you express yourself freely without fear of punishment. My recommendations are to use Tor with anonymous email and forum accounts, GnuPG to protect your files, GnuPG and Tor with Thunderbird to protect your email, and Pidgin with Tor, OTR, and GnuPG to protect your text messaging (I also talk about Cryptocat, which when used through Tor, is kind of an interesting approach).

I've written tutorials for Gnu/Linux and Windows 8 so far (I consider Windows 8 to be a worst case scenario, so anything I managed to get working on 8 should work better everywhere else). I'm going to do a Mac OS/X version also, but I haven't started that one yet.

For Gnu/Linux, which I consider the best-case scenario, the tutorial is available for free download at my website (you can also buy a paper copy if you want to, but the free PDF is exactly the same content as the paper version). On the copyright page of my Gnu/Linux version, I give you permission to copy it to anybody you like, host it on any website you like, and in general, spread it as far and wide as you can (all I ask is that you don't modify it in any way). My site only has so much bandwidth, so if you like the tutorial, PLEASE mirror it and post links to the mirror, ok?

You can download the free tutorial here:
http://www.tech-hermitage.com/BooksAndDownloads/page0.shtml#ProtectingYourPrivacyAndAnonymityOnline

For proprietary operating systems, I'm not offering a free tutorial, but rather a proprietary one at modest cost. I think there's a nice symmetry to that. Besides, if the free PDF is Linux-only, this will give people an incentive to try Linux out, which is a good thing."

Comment: Re:Another fad ends (Score 1) 256

by bigmo (#42760481) Attached to: Microsoft Phases Out XNA and DirectX?

I have some video display code that currently uses triangle strips. I'm planning to change to quads so that geometry correction can be done more easily in my app. I could certainly do it with triangles, but it's just a lot easier with quads. This is used on workstation machines so I'm hoping (although I haven't dived into it yet) that the driver, rather than the hardware, won't have to re-work everything piece by piece.

I am a computer. I am dumber than any human and smarter than any administrator.

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