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Comment: Re:Now I wish.... (Score 1) 53

by Dogtanian (#47522547) Attached to: Raspberry Pi Gameboy

The point that he is a humorless old bastard? Yeah, we all got that point. There was nothing wrong with your original comment. Some people just hang here that are not really nerds.

Not sure how you come to that conclusion. If anything, I'd expect nerds to be the ones more likely to care that the underlying tech was the authentic original, beyond its external appearance.

Or perhaps this is one of the differentiators between a "nerd" and a "geek".

Either way, whatever one thinks of this sort of thing, it isn't really a story. People have been shoving small-form factor PCs inside old computer cases for years now, leading to stupid headlines like "upgraded Commodore 64 runs 10,000 times faster" when it should say "midrange Micro-ATX PC shoved inside gutted and mutilated Commodore 64 case (with holes cut for ports and slimline DVD drive) runs at its usual speed, supports C64 emulator like every other PC, doesn't even use the original keyboard".

I doubt this is even the first time something like this has been done with a Raspberry Pi. I'm not attacking this submitter in particular, and I don't dislike it as much as I would had he destroyed a much rarer retro device for such purposes, but it's still not news.

Comment: Re:Too long (Score 1) 161

by Dogtanian (#47481253) Attached to: Microsoft's Missed Opportunities: Memo From 1997

Kinect was bought from PrimeSense.

That rings a bell; I think someone made that point the last time I referenced that article- as I mentioned, that post above is mostly just an unmodified cut-and-paste of the original one I made years back, but still pretty relevant. I should have updated that part, but as I said I'm at work just now. :-)

Comment: Re:Too long (Score 2) 161

by Dogtanian (#47481185) Attached to: Microsoft's Missed Opportunities: Memo From 1997

Myhrvold's role was essentially to be the futurist at Microsoft. He was their forward thinker and gave them the geeky excitement that allowed them to make many of the right choices throughout the '80s and '90s. Ignoring him and concentrating instead of the business and litigation-driven path resulted in the gradual slide to the barely relevant, spiteful and fading dinosaur, shedding workers and market share we're saddled with today.

I'm at work, so haven't had the time to properly read the articles et al. However, it's been known for years that MS *have* been doing a lot of serious research with talented people- the research they needed to avoid the position they're now in. The problem is that the vast majority never made its way out for short-term business and political reasons, and they're reaping that failure now. Here's a post I originally made in early 2012 in turn referencing someone else's *very* informative comment (itself dating back to 2010):-

"It's been commented on for *years* that Microsoft have labs stuffed full of very clever and innovative people, yet still seem to end up churning out mediocre, uninspiring crap. One explanation is that internal politics are responsible- this article comment from someone who claims to have worked at Microsoft (click link for full version) is informative:-

There have been many instances at Microsoft where genuine innovations have sat on the shelf or been half-heartedly brought to market [.. In 2002 MS had..] a prototype smartphone that had (essentially) all the useability features of an iPhone, including a trick interface, accelerometer and multi-touch. It was cobbled together and not very pretty, but as a proof of concept, it worked. Yet it never saw the light of day. Why?

Brass’s tablet project was well advanced in the labs too, but somehow never got the traction it deserved internally. [..]

Microsoft has a Darwinian internal structure. Each business unit has to fight for scarce resources, - they compete with each other and only the strong survive. Succeeding in that environment involves more than just having a good (or even great) product or project. Unless you’re Office or Windows, you have to build symbiotic relationships with other business units (preferably the big guys) just to ensure your survival. You have to make their success (at least partially) dependent on yours

[..Secondly..] in its youth, Microsoft could afford to hire only the best and the brightest. Smart people are flexible and innovative in their approach and this reflects in the company’s culture. As the enormous growth of the late 90s took hold, we couldn’t keep up with the demand for more employees and as a consequence, the quality bar dropped. We started employing people who were merely good, not outstanding. These new people were less flexible, less able to handle organisational ambiguity and less passionate about what they were doing. They started to build bureaucracy as a safety-net and as a structure in which they were comfortable operating. Goodbye to dynamic decision-making and rapid market responses.

Anyway, bottom line; the "smart" people starting work there know (or must be really, *really* blinkered not to know) of this reputation, so why are they working there? Silly money?

I'll grant that they came up with Kinect recently, which was pretty innovative (albeit as a response to the Wii controller) and smacked of research turned into a workable product. But that was pretty recent (so couldn't have inspired any but the newest recruits) and probably benefitted from being an XBox product that was out of the way of the entrenched interests and politics of the main Windows-focussed divisions, and in an area where MS had more to gain than lose from innovation."

Comment: Re:No (Score 1) 261

by demachina (#47478059) Attached to: UN Report Finds NSA Mass Surveillance Likely Violated Human Rights

I should point out native americans are still largely unemployed, stuck in reservations on land white American's didn't want. One of their few rays of hope being the ubiquitous Indian Casino where they are exacting their revenge. Still they are second class citizens.

Blacks were still being massively discriminated against until the Civil Rights act which was around 180 years later. They are still second class citizens.

The poor, they are still second class citizens.

Women are the one group doing pretty well for themselves though they are still underrepresnted in government.

Look around the room at a State of the Union address. The room is still overwhelming full of affluent white men.

As for the founding fathers brilliant ideas on governence, it exploded in a bloody civil war in 80 years.

You need look no further than where the U.S. congress, courts and presidency are today. They are a smoldering ruin. They have never been the great institutions Americans are brainwashed in to thinking they are. Are they better than totalitarian dictatorships, sure. Are they models the rest of the world can aspire too, no, not really.

American governement is the best government money can buy.

Comment: Re:No (Score 3, Interesting) 261

by demachina (#47477977) Attached to: UN Report Finds NSA Mass Surveillance Likely Violated Human Rights

Try reading Zinn's A People's History of the United States. It will disillusion you of the comic book U.S. History taught in U.S. school where the founding fathers are all saints and geniuses.

They were mostly self serving and profiteering. Its fitting Andrew Jackson is on the $20 dollar bill because he was infamous for profiteering off the battles he won, mostly by seizing the lands he took and splitting it up between himself and his friends.

Comment: Re:No (Score 3, Interesting) 261

by demachina (#47475983) Attached to: UN Report Finds NSA Mass Surveillance Likely Violated Human Rights

The founding fathers weren't exactly the pillars of individual freedom you seem to think they were. They were an American centric elite and plutocracy trying to displace a Britsh centric elite and plutocracy, mostly so they could have a bigger cut of America's growing wealth.

You can tell because most of those constitutional protections and the Bill of Rights didn't apply to people who weren't affluent(i.e. who didn't own land), women, native American's, blacks/slaves and indentured whites. They applied mostly to white men who had wealth (at least enough to own land).

They actively prevented people who were not white, male and affluent from voting or holding office. They were mostly slave owners themselves, and they were for the most part very affluent and owners of very large real estate holdings. They were all 1%'ers.

The Declaration of Independence and Constitution were carefully designed to inspire support from enough people in the colonies for their Revolution to succeed, and to create the illusion of freedom, but they had no intention of relinquishing their power and control over the levers of government when it their Revolution did succeed. That plutocracy has never relinquished that control in the more than 200 years since.

The NSA along with the DHS, FBI, ATF and IRS are means for maintaining that control.

The Internet let a genie out of a bottle and created dangerous potentential for the rest of us to organize and try to win some of that power and control back.

When faced with the twin crises, and excuses, that were 9/11 and the 2008 crash it was nearly inevitable that The Powers That Be in the U.S. and U.K. would exploit every tool at their disposal, mainly computers and networks, to try to put a lid back on their control of their increasingly restless and networked homelands and to try to maintain their domination of the world as a whole in the face of increasing challenges.

The 2008 crash in particular resulted in widespread global disillusionment with the fact economies and governments are rigged to benefit the ruling elite and screw everyone else. When ruling elites start feeling that heat they trot out their police states, always have, always will.

Comment: Re:Come now. (Score 1) 104

by Dogtanian (#47414185) Attached to: How Japan Lost Track of 640kg of Plutonium

According to another post [slashdot.org] this plutonium could not be used to make a bomb, and the explanation makes sense to me. So even if they change the constitution they won't be making any bombs, at least not with this plutonium.

This story rang some bells with me, and yes, it does appear to be the same case already reported on Slashdot (the figure given in the linked article there was also 640kg).

That time, however, the slant was on the Chinese being concerned that the Japanese may have been "stockpiling" this missing plutonium for weapons.

Which begs the question as to why, if it couldn't be used to make an atomic bomb?

Comment: BOOM! Take that ye scurvy bilgerats! (Score 1) 203

my old $500 epson is not as fast as a $50 cannon, but it renders images better

To be fair, I wouldn't expect a cannon to render *any* images very well. On the other hand, it probably does better than an Epson in defending ships against pirate vessels. (Well, perhaps not a $50 model...)

Comment: Re:Boards or ROM's (Score 2) 133

When I was about 15, there was a Laundromat down the street with an old Asteroids game where the vector monitor worked fine except that the beam never turned off, so you could see how it sat dead center in the screen most of the time, then drew a line from one asteroid to the next, to the next, etc. as it rendered a frame.

Let me guess... eventually it burned a hole all the way through the centre of the screen until one day it got through and (a) blasted the woman whose job it was to collect the change from the machines' head off or (b) lasered her, segment-by-segment- via an early-80s pseudo-computer-effect- into the Asteroids machine itself where she was forced to play life and death computer games and interact with anthropomorphic, sentient realisations of abstract computer concepts, while finding some way to prove that she *was* due the five hours overtime they'd refused to pay her?

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