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Comment: Re:The future of MIDI (Score 1) 98

by Dogtanian (#49794879) Attached to: Android M To Embrace USB Type-C and MIDI

One might be thinking right now: MIDI? Wasn't that what my dad used to listen to music [youtube.com]?

Oddly, I also used to used to use a Midi of an entirely different type (*) to listen to music "back in the day" (cough). Always used to find it strange that MIDI had the same name as cheap all-in-one 80s hifi systems...

Get off my lawn et al.

(*) That's not actually mine- which I got rid of around a decade back- but it's the exact same model

Comment: Re:I'm extremely surprised... (Score 2) 159

by garcia (#49753167) Attached to: The Body Cam Hacker Who Schooled the Police

In Minnesota, the public sector is mandated by statute to release information to the public and be setup in a way which facilitates this action:


Subdivision 1.Public data. All government data collected, created, received, maintained or disseminated by a government entity shall be public unless classified by statute, or temporary classification pursuant to section 13.06, or federal law, as nonpublic or protected nonpublic, or with respect to data on individuals, as private or confidential. The responsible authority in every government entity shall keep records containing government data in such an arrangement and condition as to make them easily accessible for convenient use. Photographic, photostatic, microphotographic, or microfilmed records shall be considered as accessible for convenient use regardless of the size of such records.

I have used this exact quoted statute many-a-time to force local government agencies in Minnesota to not only provide me information, which they were usually willing to do, but for free or very low cost.

I made a request once to a public transit agency who told me it would be several hundred dollars to do. I told them if they had followed the statute to make the data readily accessible by the public, it wouldn't require the work they were trying to charge me to do. Their legal counsel informed them I was indeed correct and I got it for the cost of the media.

Maybe there is a similar statute in this case which drove the decision?

Comment: Re:How is this a shuttle? (Score 1) 77

by Dogtanian (#49750443) Attached to: India Targets July/August To Test Its Space Shuttle

this seems more like a reusable space container?

Have to admit that's exactly the conclusion I came to when I did a double-take on "Isro's 1.5 [metric] tonne vehicle".

To put this in perspective, that's about the same weight as the current Ford Mondeo (AKA Ford Fusion in North America, apparently); i.e. a typical upper-midsize car by European standards, and lighter than the average American car(!) (*)

(The NASA Space Shuttle orbiter alone is (according to Wikipedia) 78 tonnes when empty.)

I might have dismissed that as a mistake, but the rest of the article seems to suggest that it isn't.

(*) I guessed that was almost certainly the case, and was correct- around 4000 lbs is 1.8 metric tonnes.

Comment: "Mad Max 2" wasn't the original, surprisingly! (Score 1) 776

I have a hard time imagining any remake being better than the original. It little dialog, but excelled at making you feel for the characters and what was happening at the moment.

Tie that will a limited budget, it was showed they knew how to create a great movie.

"Fury Road" isn't a remake of any of the existing Mad Max films.

Also, you seem to forget (or maybe didn't realise) that "The Road Warrior"- i.e. the film known as "Mad Max 2" outside North America!- wasn't the original either. Granted, the name change (which was apparently because the original "Mad Max" wasn't well known over there) obscures that, and to be fair, "Mad Max 2" *is* probably the closest to what people associate with the series.

If you watch the original "Mad Max", it's quite obviously a much lower budget (*) (and smaller-scale) exploitation film- around a tenth of the budget of Mad Max 2- and IIRC *was* more character based. For someone who had seen the sequel first, I suspect that it might almost come across as a prequel or set-up for its better known follow-up. From what I remember, the basic elements associated with the later films *are* in place, but don't come together until surprisingly late in the film.

Something like "The Road Warrior" *couldn't* have been done on the budget of the (actual) original. That said, the budget of "Fury Road"- at a supposed US$150m is still *way* higher than even the Hollywood-bloated "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome" (supposedly US$12m in 1985, which would be around $27m today)!

(*) Something that Wikipedia confirms; the second film was apparently AU $4.5m, whereas the original was around $400,000!

Comment: Re:It can run Doom (Score 1) 368

and their website looks like it's from 1995 as well!

Finally, a web site which doesn't try to overrun your browser with unnecessary rotating images and the latest and greatest shiny because some web designer said, "Why not?"

Which is ironic, because even in the mid-90s (i.e. almost as soon as the web had become popular), people were already slapping crappy, pixelated pre-rendered GIF animations of all manner of spinning crap onto their "home pages"!

Please see this historical documentary of the phenomenon.

Comment: Re:See it before (Score 2) 276

by demachina (#49668977) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What's the Future of Desktop Applications?

If you want to run applications completely controlled and filtered by Apple, yea go with that. Apple doesnâ(TM)t like something about some app you want to run then you do without that functionality. Apple wants you to use their crappy version of some app so they kill the competing apps, which one are you gonna be using?

I am fine with the prospect of using mobile devices to do everything assuming they have peripherals and expansion, but the prospect of Apple and Google controlling all software, not so much.

Comment: Re:No, his hack was successful (Score 3, Insightful) 246

He issued an HCF instruction.

Shame I didn't have mod points- not just for the joke itself, but because- in a discussion thread that could otherwise have been mistaken for one on Fark or whatever- it says something that this is by far the most reminiscent of the traditional Slashdot audience and style.

Comment: Re:danger vs taste (Score 1) 630

by Dogtanian (#49563277) Attached to: Pepsi To Stop Using Aspartame

Sales of diet Pepsi are falling because half of them are buying Pepsi Max instead. Not sure how it differs from the diet option. They both taste equally bad to me.

Depends which one you mean- apparently there's a "Pepsi Max" (nee "Diet Pepsi Max") on the US market which has more caffeine than regular Diet Pepsi. The "Pepsi Max" sold in the UK since the early 90s is really just... Diet Pepsi marketed towards men instead of women.

About 15 years ago, I tasted some (UK market) Diet Pepsi and Pepsi Max side by side just out of curiosity- the difference was minor at best.

The reason for having the two was- I assumed- more to do with marketing. Diet Pepsi and diet drinks in general were marketed and perceived as "girl" drinks, which probably put off male consumers. Pepsi Max launched with (very) 90s male-oriented advertising. (*)

What surprises me is that Coca Cola took around 15 years to do the same marketing trick with Coke Zero. That- at least- has the excuse of being a clearly different product from Diet Coke. (It sucks because it follow's Diet Pepsi and Pepsi Max's nasty over-intense "sweetness" rather than Diet Coke's less intense but more unpleasantly "hollow" sensation (**)).

On the other hand, it means that some men (e.g. my boss) might still have a legitimate reason to buy Diet Coke instead of Coke Zero, which he doesn't like.

Personally, I think almost all diet soft drinks are horrible, except Sugar Free Irn Bru because it's one of the very few- if not the only one- that avoids both the above pitfalls if it's properly chilled. Plus, it's not over-sweet, it's got caffeine in it, and IT'S SCOTTISH! (^_^)

(*) What's weirder; the fact that with the wonder of the modern Internet YouTube (cough) I can find obscure twenty-year-old adverts in under a minute, or the fact that that advert still seems familiar to me after all that time. (I remembered the annoying "ooh" at the end even before watching it).

(**) You might recognise this as "my mouth thinks this is sweet, but some part of my reptilian brain knows damn well this is carbohydrate-free chemical-flavoured water and is refusing to give me any sense of satisfaction in drinking it").

Comment: Re:Will probably be used for VR applications. (Score 1) 152

by Dogtanian (#49473727) Attached to: Sharp Announces 4K Smartphone Display

But the same thing could happen to VR one day. We've got a limited view of what VR is and what it can do right now. What happens within a decade or two might be so different that you'll be writing a similar comment about VR.

You're missing the point I was making. It's not that people 20 years ago would have had a limited idea of what the "phone" could do.

It's that a lot of what we now associate with the smart-"phone" was never really a consequence of the phone- or the phone functionality- itself. Rather, it's a result of the fact that they were driven by *computers* that allowed the introduction of useful but secondary functionality (like calculators, snake, et al) of ever-increasing sophistication. It's the evolution of that to the point that it is more important than the "phone" itself- yet the device retains its vestigial name.

Of course, expensive proto-smartphones had been around since the late 90s (e.g. Nokia 9000 Communicator), but even those were never designed solely as "phones".

Smartphones are as much the successors of portable computers and PDAs as they are of phones, and would be seen as such by someone from the 80s. If you'd asked someone then where (e.g.) the early Psion Organisers might lead us in 30 years time, you would probably have got more insight than asking them questions about "phones".

The only thing such people could be "blamed" for would be not foreseeing that we'd get there via the mobile phone rather than via the PDA/pocket-computer route.

Comment: Re:Will probably be used for VR applications. (Score 1) 152

by Dogtanian (#49472755) Attached to: Sharp Announces 4K Smartphone Display

Two decades ago, nobody thought the "portable phones" market would ever overtake the laptops market.

That's misleading. Two decades ago a phone was just a phone, and people back then would assume that's what was meant.

Today's smartphones are effectively portable computers and communications devices that happen to include a phone as part of their functionality- the "smartphone" name is more a legacy of the direction they evolved from (i.e. the phone market) than a reflection of what they are now. If the concept had been invented out of the blue in a world of traditional "dumb" phones (mobile or otherwise), they almost certainly wouldn't be referred to as such.

Arguably they're more akin to a continuation of the concept of a PDA. The fact that they aren't- again- has more to do with where they evolved from and the fact that the market for PDAs (as they were then) had declined quite seriously in the years immediately preceding the iPhone.

Comment: Re:What they are probably meaning: (Score 2) 169

by Dogtanian (#49364147) Attached to: Graphene Light Bulbs Coming To Stores Soon

The writer of the original article should be shot, hung, shot, and then boiled.

Ah, Slashdot. "I don't like what this guy said! Kill him!" (Applause and upmods)

Good grief. Any normal person would recognise it's more likely that the OP was indulging in deliberate hyperbole to indicate his displeasure with the writer, rather than a psychopath who genuinely meant it literally. Especially given the repetition of "shot"(!)

Either you have some form of autistic spectrum disorder (in which case, no offence, but that did need explained to you), you're stupid or you're just a would-be-smartass trying to score argumentative points by feigning misunderstanding and offence anyway.

Comment: Re:Journalists being stonewalled by Apple? (Score 1) 269

by demachina (#49340881) Attached to: Developers and the Fear of Apple

Hacker News has a fairly good track record causing something resembling the Slashdot effect at least on lower capacity servers. Its pretty rare you hear anyone comment that they got a traffic surge when their blog appeared on the front page of Slashdot any more, though it is quite common to hear comments about traffic surges from Hacker News.

Nothing happens.