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Comment: Re:Fusion? done thing. Why reinvent the wheel? (Score 1) 95

by DigiShaman (#49830011) Attached to: Mystery Company Blazes a Trail In Fusion Energy

Aside from trans-atlantic or pacific power lines (to buy and sell energy on the market), you'll never have enough capacity to provide base-load when the sun isn't shining. People think in terms of residential power usage, but there's a metric fuck-ton of power used in industrial that you simple haven't wrapped your head around yet.

Locally generated base-load has to come from somewhere. Nuclear fission and fusion are the only viable "clean" forms of energy. Well, not unless you're fortunate enough to live near hydroelectric.

Comment: Re:Huge Cash Pile (Score 1) 95

by DigiShaman (#49829887) Attached to: Mystery Company Blazes a Trail In Fusion Energy

(1) Getting a serious fusion effort off the ground is fabulously expensive. Even if you have some kind of whizbang micro-reactor concept you need a small army of physicists, engineers and highly skilled fabricators. People who don't come cheap

Cheap energy is a tide the lifts all boats; with regards to improving human quality of life. If the entire WORLD (China, US, Europe, etc) realizes that 1 cent per KWh or less within manufacturing reach, you will have the global equivalent of a moon shot or Manhattan project.

Remember, cheap energy means cheap robotics, means cheap manufacturing. The nation that can build the cheapest is the nation that can export the most. It's a race you can't fall behind. As for the middle east and their cheap oil....their FUCKED when that happens. And near as I can tell, the world at large is pretty fed up with OPEC and their shenanigans.

Comment: Re:The videos are bad (Score 1) 137

by Roblimo (#49828177) Attached to: Cable Companies Hate Cord-Cutting, but It's Not Going Away (Video)

By "nobody" I think you mean you. Videos draw far fewer comments than text stories. This one, for example, has over 10K views and is still climbing steadily, vs. only 114 total comments.

Your login hassles: try emailing - that ought to get you some help.Probably not with the 'fucking' logon system, but with the regular one...

Comment: Re:Some videos (Score 1) 137

by Roblimo (#49828167) Attached to: Cable Companies Hate Cord-Cutting, but It's Not Going Away (Video)

"These same points were made back when Slashdot started video'ing people, to no great effect. Vinegar is needed to catch your attention. You have the perfect opportunity to use 'directed practice based on feedback' which would turn you into a world-class videographer in a couple of years."

Thank you for your words of wisdom. If I want to do world-class videography, I will. But that is not the same as editing (and sometimes making) simple interview videos for a low hourly rate. And being Slashdot, I assure you that sophisticated videos with slick transitions and perhaps a music deck behind the dialogue would draw complaints about how they are "too fancy." I know. I made some. Amusing reactions.

I'll let (the late) Ricky Nelson sing for us:

I'm 62 and on disability, and one day my heart will go BOING! again and I'll be gone. Meanwhile, I do these Slashdot videos for fun and side money. If anybody *appreciated* more complex videos, I'd make them, but I suspect a true reader survey would show that good, full-length transcripts and short, simple videos would be the most popular choice. Or maybe "no videos," a choice to which I'd respond, "So don't watch them!"

You say: "If a video doesn't meet your requirements, it's impossible to tell *why* they don't meet them..." I said you could email video submissions and suggestions directly to me. I (lamely) obfuscated my email address, so here it is in the clear: If you send me a video submission or suggestion and I turn it down, I will almost certainly tell you why.

Did I need to be harsher to get your attention? :) Slather some vinegar on you? :)

Nah. That would be rude. I'm going to listen to some Primus and go to bed.


Comment: Re:The videos are bad (Score 1) 137

These videos are "Meet the Press" style on purpose. They exist to let you see some of the people behind the software, stories, and hardware they (or their companies) make. Steven, for instance, is one of the world's more popular tech journalists. Next time you see his byline, you can mentally call up his image. You may not want to do that, but others obviously do; thousands of people watch /. videos.

I agree with you about charts and graphs, up to a point. And people who have some sort of device or whatever should have a working model to show off. Otherwise, it's like my favorite PR pet peeve: Sending out a press release about a google glass look-sort-of-alike thing that is only a display and saying, "...I would love to schedule an interview for you with a Vufine team member." Instead of a review unit? Come on!

This is not a hypothetical situation. It's a press release I got today from this company:

Obviously, a hands-on test of an eyeglass-mount projector would be more informative than either a video or text interview -- and more fun for me, too. Why didn't they offer a test unit? Not to keep, of course. Just for a few days. Hmm?

Back to the talking head syndrome. I've made a lot of screencap videos, TV news shorts, online ad videos, TV spots, and a few music videos. So yeah, I can do fairly complex video work. 30 cuts in a 60 second piece? Sure. I've done that. BUT here we're sharing information, and a lot of it is pretty dry. We have no budget for motion video or animation, either. I could have included some shots of Steven's articles and pics of TV antennas, cableco logos, and other pieces of "visual interest." If you and a bunch of others feel the extra work/time/money is worthwhile, I'm happy to do that in future videos.

There's a whole other reason for videos of people talking: You know they're not being misquoted. Raw source material protects you against reporters changing meanings or opinions. I've been the misquoted person more than once, and I didn't like it. Even in a case like today's, where we ran a 4 minute video and 20 minutes' worth of text transcript, you can reasonably (and correctly) assume that I have the rest of the interview on a hard drive somewhere. Accuracy insurance.

Audio only? Be my guest! Listen to this video's audio on your smartphone while driving if you like. 100% up to you. But if it was sound only, you wouldn't have the option of watching the video. I was talking with someone else today about video vs. audio podcasts. His company did audio casts for a while, but he says they got a lot more response when they switched to video. And they do *not* provide transcripts.

A lot of this discussion falls into the "can't please everyone" category. Some people prefer watching people talk to reading what they say. (I'm a reader, myself.) But some people prefer visual information intake. Not you, obviously -- which is okay. Read the transcripts, don't watch or listen to the videos.

Last note: You said, "(I need to point out that anyone can grab a camera and record someone talking for ten minutes. What makes Slashdot better than all the YouTube teenagers who do this for their HS project? You have the intent, time, and money to do this. Do it right, then learn to do it well.)"

Geez! You're big on catching flies with vinegar, aren't you? :)

BUT if making simple videos is all that easy, why have we only gotten *one* usable video actually submitted by a Slashdot reader - ever? And it was over an hour long, and our management now wants our videos to be under 5 minutes. So we ran an excerpt of the guy's video and provided a link to the full-length version at his (non-commercial) site.

I have a guy who offered himself up for an interview because he though his product was better than one we did a video about. He does some interesting stuff I'm sure at least some /. readers will enjoy learning about. I'm going to try to schedule him in for next week, and see if he has any raw product demo footage around that I can use to make the video more interesting.

Do you have a video you want to run on Slashdot? Or a topic suggestion? Happy to check them out. Use the usual submission bin or email robin at roblimo dot com.


Comment: Re:Not to be the different guy, but... (Score 1) 83

by gmhowell (#49825635) Attached to: GameStop Swoops In To Buy ThinkGeek For $140 Million

No, I'm in agreement with you here. As much as I don't buy from ThinkGeek anymore (unless they have a really, really wantable T-shirt on sale*...because I'm cheap as hell), having something akin to an Amazon Locker is a boon and a win for them.

It's a heck of a smart business strategy and it's going to be interesting (to me at least) to see how successful it is.

*I have a "Fhloston Paradise" t-shirt, and alas, no one ever recognizes the reference. That causes me to be bummed in almost unreasonable amounts.



Cable Companies Hate Cord-Cutting, but It's Not Going Away (Video) 137

Posted by Roblimo
from the parting-with-a-cable-company-is-such-sweet-sorrow dept.
On May 29, Steven J. Vaughan Nichols (known far and wide as SJVN) wrote an article for ZDNet headlined, Now more than ever, the Internet belongs to cord-cutters. A few days before that, he wrote another one headlined, Mary Meeker's Internet report: User growth slowing, but disruption full speed ahead. And last December he wrote one titled, Reports show it's becoming a cord cutter's world. SJVN obviously sees a trend here. So do a lot of other people, including cable TV and local TV executives who are biting their nails and asking themselves, "Whatever shall we do?" So far, says SJVN, the answers they've come up with are not encouraging.

NOTE from Roblimo: We're trying something different with this video, namely keeping it down to about 4 minutes but running a text transcript that covers our 20+ minute conversation with SJVN. Is this is a good idea? Please let us know.

Comment: Re:Hardware Companies & Telecoms Have Too Much (Score 1) 117

What version? My iPhone 5 never had Verizon branded software installed at the firmware level. Aside from it saying "Verizon" in the upper left corner, there's nothing Verizon installed on it.

Speaking of OS updates, the iPhone 5 will most get iOS 9 this Fall.

Comment: Re:albeit costing three times as much (Score 1) 109

by DigiShaman (#49824555) Attached to: Intel Releases Broadwell Desktop CPUs: Core i7-5775C and i5-5675C

Frequency speeds have been pretty stagnate due to the laws of physics. Asynchronous clocking is one way of dealing with signal propagation and timings as I understand. But the focus these years has been on adding features as the die shrinks further. Not many programs take advantage of multi-threaded operations, hence why the home and office market doesn't see much in the way of increase core count. For raw multitasking, it's my understanding that the Xeon line sacrifices multi-media features for extra cores and cache. Die space is limited as such gets allocated to whatever that market it's optimized for; in that case server and workstation.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo. - Andy Finkel, computer guy