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Comment: just the word; not the concept. (Score 4, Insightful) 292

by eobanb (#42876941) Attached to: Is the Concept of 'Cyberspace' Stupid?
Laugh all you want at the retro-ness of the word 'cyberspace', of course, but let me just say this: I was born in 1986, so during my childhood the internet grew with me. I only barely remember there being a time when the internet was not widely used. Consequently, I essentially do think of the internet as a 'place', or least I imagine that an MRI scan would see the same area of my brain lighting up. And why not? It's infinitely more democratised, instantaneous and ubiquitous than any other prior communication medium. Which, at least in my subconscious, makes me think of it as closer to real life and place than to '0s and 1s on wires and in computers' in the same way I think about real life itself as such, rather than 'matter and energy bumping around in a universe of space-time'.

Comment: Re:I miss the Tandy (Score 2) 93

by eobanb (#38290240) Attached to: An iPad Keyboard You Can Type On and Swipe Through

Addendum: with an Arduino you could do it even cheaper and you could build it this weekend, although it would involve more DIY software dev and result in less overall capability (with a Raspberry Pi and a tiny USB wifi module you could read RSS feeds or email, etc).

Arduino would be about $20; Longtech makes a cheap 128x64 LCD for $17, keyboard would be $10, and if you fabbed the case yourself for free, total cost would be about $50.

Comment: Re:I miss the Tandy (Score 2) 93

by eobanb (#38290156) Attached to: An iPad Keyboard You Can Type On and Swipe Through

Perhaps you should try building one with a Raspberry Pi (once they're released)? A credit card-sized 700 MHz ARMv6 board with SD storage, USB, and it can run off a pair of AA's. You could connect a small cheap 128x64 monochrome LCD like this one from Sparkfun to the GPIO, hook up a keyboard, and run a minimal Debian distribution.

$25 for the Raspberry Pi, $40 or so for the LCD, $10 for the keyboard; throw another $25 in to order a 3D-printed plastic case, use an old 1 GB SD card....total cost would be around $100.

Comment: Chrome OS = thin client all over again (Score 5, Insightful) 136

by eobanb (#36756514) Attached to: Samsung Chromebook Series 5 Review

Remember when thin clients were all the rage, guys? Remember Bill Joy telling us the network is the computer? It was true!

Well, kinda...

As it turns out, internet access isn't ubiquitous, at least not yet. In the age of 4G smartphones and tablets we'd like to think it's ubiquitous, but you really only notice that it's not when you have a system like a Chrome OS laptop that literally does not function at all without a network connection.

Even if it were available all the time (airplanes, underground, in the wilderness) it's still not fast enough. And even if it were fast enough, presently we have to deal with usage caps.

Chrome OS is an idea way too far ahead of its time. Right now there's no reason to ditch native software that works perfectly well.

Comment: False dichotomy (Score 4, Insightful) 457

by eobanb (#36633692) Attached to: Time To Close the Security Theater

This isn't an either-or situation. The TSA's perpetrated a number of civil liberties violations, yes. On the other hand, some kind of free market libertarian fantasy should not come at the expense of public safety either.

The TSA needs to be re-imagined, but we shouldn't revert to the system we had before. But c'mon. A free market system has no incentive to improve in this kind of situation (oh, you died in a terrorist attack? Fine, go to some other airport next time!)

I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the demigodic party. -- Dennis Ritchie

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