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Comment: Ban Politicians (Score 3, Interesting) 230

by james_van (#43359585) Attached to: New CFAA Could Subject Teens To Jail For Reading Online News
Start updating TOS to state that anyone who is in public office is banned from visiting or viewing a site. Then start sending the bastards to jail for violating... ok well, none of them would actually go to jail, but it may cause enough stir to get this whole stupid idea tossed out.

Comment: Personally (Score 1) 320

by james_van (#42934399) Attached to: Why Hasn't 3D Taken Off For the Web?
I don't think it will take off anytime in the near future. The way that we interact with computers is so ingrained in us that the 3D paradigm is just to foreign for the average user. Sure, movies make it look cool and easy, but out side of gaming and CAD, there just isn't an accepting market. Meanwhile, if you do want to get into 3D development (dons flameproof suit and hunkers down for the inevitable explosion), Flash is still a viable option. Using the Air platform you can target Windows and Mac desktop, Android and IOS (as apps), and with little to no code change, also target any browser that still has the Flash Player installed. At the moment, that's the best option for developing 3D and hitting the highest number of platforms. However, expect much hate and discontent from nerds and fanbois when you mention developing anything in Flash.

Comment: Re:Mini-Cluster (Score 2) 233

by james_van (#42404205) Attached to: Raspberry Pi vs. Cheap Android Dongle: Embarrassment of (Cheap) Riches
why? because we can. not because its a good idea, or because there's some potential great end to it, but simply because we can. there is a certain thrill in the accomplishment that transcends any need for a good reason why. and sometimes, just sometimes, "because we can" is the best damn reason ever. other times its utterly f*cking stupid, YMMV.

Comment: having worked for both, (Score 1) 183

by james_van (#42362699) Attached to: Who Should Manage the Nuclear Weapons Complex, Civilians Or Military?
i can say from experience that neither one is even remotely qualified to manage nuclear weapons. hell, lets be honest, most people people at the management level, civilian and military alike, shouldnt even be managing their own breakfast choices, let alone nuclear weapons, or worse- other people (yes, i consider people much more dangerous than nuclear weapons, but thats just my opinion).

Comment: late 80's, early 90's (Score 2) 34

by james_van (#42025861) Attached to: A Better Thought-Controlled Computer Cursor
i swear i read an article in discover magazine (i know, a magazine, it was that long ago) about some researcher that had hooked up electrodes to a patient and taught them how to control a mouse cursor, and later and electric wheelchair with their mind. it became and autonomic function, just like moving your arm (i hate the term "thought controlled", you dont really "think" about moving, its subconscious function) and it was done using a basic EEG(?). am i imagining this, or does anyone else remember this as well? its quite possible that this is a completely incorrect memory thought, i was a kid at the time and i read a lot of sci-fi, so its very possible my memories of real-sci have mixed with my memories of sci-fi

Comment: High energy particles (Score 2) 235

Not a physicist here, so maybe someone who is (or knows more than me could answer) - could we find a way to absorb the energy from these particles, and maybe pump that energy into the warp drive? one of those "the faster you go, the more energy you collect" kind of things?

Comment: Re:As a tech guy get used to it (Score 2) 396

by james_van (#41584835) Attached to: Replacing Windows 8's Missing Start Menu
doubtful, considering that most businesses wont move to 8 for at least a couple years, and theres a very good chance theyll skip if altogether and thats the only place where i would NEED to use windows 8. in the consumer world, within a few minutes of sitting down at a win8 computer, ill be able to figure out where everything i really need is at (and most likely how to switch to the non-metro mode, but considering that i avoid using other peoples computers where i can it probably wont ever be an issue. and really, who's gonna point and laugh at me cause i dont know how to use win8? 12 year old MS fanbois?

Comment: Designing for the (ignorant) masses (Score 1) 233

by james_van (#40982775) Attached to: Touch Interfaces In Cars Difficult To Use
One of the big problems in design these days (in all manners of design, including UI's in cars) is that the average consumer has no idea that things like this are a bad idea. They don't think about how tactile feedback, or how much they'll have to take their eyes off the road, or auditory input with visual output, or any manner of things that people like us (/.'s) think of. They think that touch is high tech, and therefore better (regardless of the implementation), they put form over function, they want the newest and flashiest, even if it isn't the best. Good design takes a back seat to "cool" design more often than not, because the mass public only wants what's new, shiny and cool. Every now and then, good design and cool design intersect and everybody wins, but it's rare.

+ - Bad software runs the world->

Submitted by
whitroth writes "Excerpt:
What do most people think of when they think of software? A decade ago, probably Microsoft Word and Excel. Today, it's more likely to be Gmail, Twitter, or Angry Birds. But the software that does the heavy lifting for the global economy isn't the apps on your smartphone. It's the huge, creaky applications that run Walmart's supply chain or United's reservation system or a Toyota production line.

And perhaps the most mission-critical of all mission-critical applications are the ones that underpin the securities markets a large share of the world's wealth is locked up. Those systems have been in the news a lot recently, and not for good reasons. In March, BATS, an electronic exchange, pulled its IPO because of problems with its own trading systems. During the Facebook IPO in May, NASDAQ was unable to confirm orders for hours. The giant Swiss bank UBS lost more than $350 million that day when its systems kept re-sending buy orders, eventually adding up to 40 million shares that it would later sell at a loss. Then last week Knight Capital — which handled 11 percent of all U. S. stock trading this year — lost $440 million when its systems accidentally bought too much stock that it had to unload at a loss.* (Earlier this year, a bad risk management model was also fingered in JP Morgan's $N billion trading loss, where N = an ever-escalating digit.)

The underlying problem here is that most software is not very good. Writing good software is hard.
--- end excerpt ---"

Link to Original Source

Comment: Your son is right (Score 1) 342

by james_van (#40749411) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Value of Website Design Tools vs. Hand Coding?
WYSIWYG editors are great for beginners. but, as most everyone has pointed out, they invariably generate messy code. once you've gotten past the beginner stage, you need to get your hands in the code and learn to do things properly. i realize that designers are often quick to say that you should use an editor, but lets look at it this way- would you take carpentry advice from a plumber? probably not. so why would you take advice on coding a website from a designer? and as for using the tools to generate the code, then going back and cleaning up, personally i find that to be more work than just doing it right the first time. hand coding isnt hard, and the more you do it, the faster you get at it.

Prof: So the American government went to IBM to come up with a data encryption standard and they came up with ... Student: EBCDIC!"