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Comment: Re:New design (Score 4, Informative) 90

by idontgno (#49142619) Attached to: 3D Printers Making Inroads In Kitchens

From the announcement Soulskill mentioned below:

And effective today, we've jettisoned the Slashdot Beta platform out the side portal. Slashdot has always been a bit quirky, and "user friendly" is sometimes in the eye of the beholder. After heavily experimenting on the Beta platform and splitting traffic between Classic and Beta, we've made some decisions about which platform changes ultimately make sense: starting today, we're unifying users back on our Classic platform.

That's right. Beta has surrendered. Sanity has prevailed. We, the users, actually won.

It's oddly sad that you don't usually get to say that. But also reassuring that we get to say it of Slashdot.

Comment: Re:Forget mice - consider dogs, horses, cats, and (Score 2) 193

by idontgno (#49089525) Attached to: Human DNA Enlarges Mouse Brains

Dogs are genetically disposed to imprint on their owners. Imagine a dog that really does understand human language... complete with grammar. Lassie, sort my mail then bring me bills and magazines.

*wag*.... aroo?... grrrrrr....

Translation: Yaay, I can help! Wait. Nooo! Dammit, I can't sort mail, I have no opposable thumbs! That thoughtless bastard, giving me physically impossible orders! I'm gonna crap in his slippers!

Privacy

Gadgets That Spy On Us: Way More Than TVs 129

Posted by timothy
from the it-looks-like-you're-writing-a-letter dept.
Presto Vivace writes with a reminder that it's not just Samsung TVslots of other gadgets are spying on you "But Samsung's televisions are far from the only seeing-and-listening devices coming into our lives. If we're going to freak out about a Samsung TV that listens in on our living rooms, we should also be panicking about a number of other emergent gadgets that capture voice and visual data in many of the same ways. .... Samsung's competitor, the LG Smart TV, has basically the same phrase about voice capture in its privacy policy: "Please be aware that if your spoken word includes personal or other sensitive information, such information will be among the Voice Information captured through your use of voice recognition features." It isn't just TVs, Microsoft's xBox Kinect, Amazon Echo, GM's Onstar, Chevrolet's MyLink and PDRs, Google's Waze, and Hello's Sense all have snooping capabilities. Welcome to the world of Stasi Tech.

Comment: Re:Sweet F A (Score 1) 576

Whereas we smart adaptable warlike dishonest (feigned surrender, guerrilla warfare, etc.) monkeys whack together an Orion-drive space battleship right under the aliens' bifurcated trunks and play a game of hard-ball orbital chicken with the aliens' irreplaceable (and full of all their families) mothership.

I constantly waver between loving how cool that book is and hating how cornball it is.

Maybe that's the lesson the aliens need to be aware of: humanity are right bastards when at war; there's almost nothing we won't do to avoid losing, or to make you pay if we can't avoid losing.

Comment: Re:OK, so this is our definition of Hacker now? (Score 1) 42

by idontgno (#49081519) Attached to: One Year of Data Shows the Hacker Community Is Tight-knit and Welcoming

I'd argue the ideal hacker is multi-disciplinary. Certainly, a lot of the computer hacker (good kind, not media kind) culture comes out of electronics hacking (amateur radio, the world famous MIT Tech Model Railroad Club, etc.). Some computer hackers are fair mechanics as well, because grokking your car or motorcycle or other complicated mechanical conveyance is cool.

Makerspaces obviously make some accommodation to soft hacking, like software development or network stuff. You just don't need big obvious tools like drill presses or 3d printers to do that.

I find "maker" pretty appropriate, although it lacks consideration of the "unmaker" kind of hacking: taking something apart that someone else made for the purposes of understanding it. Maybe remake it to your liking, maybe just drop the parts in the reuse bin.

I wish we didn't have to back away from "hacker" because of all the damn stupid barbarians with their damn stupid swords co-opting the word.

Comment: Re:Technology can NOT eliminate work. (Score 3, Insightful) 389

by idontgno (#49074647) Attached to: What To Do After Robots Take Your Job

Sure.

1) A robot may not injure profits or, through inaction, allow profits to come to harm.
2) A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3) A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Comment: Re:What is their education? (Score 1) 809

by idontgno (#49048663) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Portion of Developers Are Bad At What They Do?

Or you may be overestimating how much your students will retain and recall in 2-3 years. :)

BTW: "they have to used mods to decrypt"? What is "mods" in this context? Perl modules? Modulus maths? Bored London teenagers dropping amphetamines and racing scooters from cafe to cafe?

Comment: Title Encapsulates Bad Premise (Score 4, Insightful) 809

by idontgno (#49048501) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Portion of Developers Are Bad At What They Do?

Title asks "Ask Slashdot: What Portion of Developers Are Bad At What They Do?"

Title actually means "Ask Slashdot: What Portion of Developers Are Bad At What I Do?"

If a functional understanding of a fairly specialized technological area is what you have in mind, don't assume it's widespread.

That's like getting bent out of shape if the local mechanic (fully trained and certified, even) doesn't know the detailed intricacies of ECM programming.

If you want a broadly expert Renaissance Engineer, I hope you're prepared to pay more than the usual one-trick-monkey pay. You're not talking about an engineer, there. Something more like Chief Engineer or Chief Scientist.

Comment: Re:Lasers are easy to stop (Score 1) 517

by idontgno (#49000491) Attached to: The US Navy Wants More Railguns and Lasers, Less Gunpowder

Considerably greater OTH range? Plus completely killer direct-fire kinetic energies, which is actually applicable to another kind of target: anti-air.

And no gunpower or other chemical propellants, which means your warship's warload is all projectile, no propellant (higher fraction of carried mass on-target).

But other than those, yeah, no advantage whatsoever.

Comment: Re:I'll take an old computer, please (Score 1) 294

by idontgno (#48994299) Attached to: Radioshack Declares Bankruptcy

Replying to myself because I couldn't be troubled to read my google search returns before hitting "Submit" on my last comment.

The Distribution Center is toast.

I still have fond memories of the Radio-Shack-that-was, and that place is a part of them. "4 cubic feet of random parts for $25? I'll take 4!"

Brand new TEAC FD-55 360k floppy disk drives (originally intended for Tandy 1000 family systems)? Worked great with my TRS-80 and my old CP/M system, and a steal at $20 each.

Comment: Re:I'll take an old computer, please (Score 1) 294

by idontgno (#48994249) Attached to: Radioshack Declares Bankruptcy

Radio Shack used to have a huge distribution center and "outlet store" in the Hagerstown, MD area where I was living about 20 years ago. I'd pick up all kinds of out-of-date stuff they must have gathered from back store rooms of Radio Shacks across the country.

I guess the distribution center is still there. I wonder if they'll turn it into the Mother of All Clearance Centers?

Comment: My own cynicism about Apple is getting out of hand (Score 4, Funny) 98

When I saw this snippet in TFS:

It's possible some of those former GTAT employees might help construct the new command center.

I actually thought "just like a conquering nation making their new prisoners build their own prisons."

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