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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:file transfer (Score 2) 464

by michaelmalak (#49144311) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Old PC File Transfer Problem
That will work if the hard drive is IDE. If, however, the hard drive is RLL or MFM, then I personally would go the (expensive) route of buying a modern desktop PC with an ISA slot and an ISA MFM or RLL card. Reportedly from various message boards, "drivers are not needed" when using ISA MFM/RLL cards, and I've never tried it myself. But I'm guessing it's probably true for some version of Windows (e.g. Windows 98 or Windows 2000), which that computer vendor seems to specialize in.

Comment: Not 5 vaccines, 7-11 (Score 0, Troll) 297

by michaelmalak (#48988033) Attached to: Mississippi - the Nation's Leader In Vaccination Rates

I'm a moderate anti-vaxxer -- one of the many who separate, delay and select. When I read the Slashdot summary that said "5 vaccines", I thought, "oh, that's not so bad." But I just now looked it up and it's really between 7 and 11 (11 for those of us who separate, as two of the 7 are triple-vaccines):

  1. Hepatitis B (HepB)
  2. Inactivated Polio (IPV)
  3. Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (DTaP)
  4. Haemophilus influenzae type
  5. Pneumococcald (PCV)
  6. Measles, Mumps, Rubellae (MMR)
  7. Varicellaf (VAR; aka Chickenpox)

Comment: Lucas: Highest form sci fi (Score 1) 422

by michaelmalak (#48886785) Attached to: Disney Turned Down George Lucas's Star Wars Scripts

Science fiction reaches its zenith when it is commentary by analogy to the present human condition. The original trilogy reached this as it was Lucas' protest of the Vietnam War. This was evident even before Lucas' public statements, from the 1976 novelization and its prologue Journal of the Whills. The prequels were, from the strict standpoint of plot and political commentary, a satisfying fulfillment of this 1976 prologue. That the prequels were released during the Iraq War, a mirror in many ways of the Vietnam War, couldn't have worked out better for communicating Lucas' original 1970's message. Everyone caught on for Episode III, but it was all there in Episode II as well. Episode II was released so soon after 9-11, though, that most people weren't able to key in on it then.

The prequels suffered by having too large a budget. Lucas did better in the original trilogy when budget constraints forced creativity. In the prequels, Lucas felt obligated to have ridiculously short filming schedules for the human actors, and then to leave most of it on the editing room floor so as to not waste all the CGI footage. But the stories in Episodes II & III were outstanding.

Now that Star Wars is in the hands of the Bono-seeking corporatocracy, I have dim hope of any continued criticism of government and monopolies -- and certainly not of any drawing of parallels between the Dark Side and contemporary power structures.

Comment: HR underestimates domain knowledge training (Score 2) 271

by michaelmalak (#48867517) Attached to: The Tech Industry's Legacy: Creating Disposable Employees

My blog post today argues that it takes as much or less time to train an existing employee on new skills than it does to train a new employee on the company's domain knowledge.

I.e., yes, companies should be training instead of churning. And training doesn't even cost anything any more except for the paid time to do it -- everything is online now.

Comment: Women Bad at Spatial Relations; But Can Be Taught (Score 2) 218

Statistically, women are bad at spatial reasoning. There are many sociological and political reasons for this, of course, and there is even a natural component. Even the same woman, when at a point in her cycle where testosterone is low, performs worse at spatial reasoning than when her testosterone is high.

But regardless of the source, the good news is that spatial reasoning can be taught.

Comment: Re:Which is kind of a shame (Score 4, Interesting) 314

by michaelmalak (#48821653) Attached to: Radio Shack Reported To Be Ready for Bankruptcy Filing
Indeed, 3D printing would have been an ideal market for them to tap. And they should have been the ones to invent Bluetooth keychain finders, not leaving it up to a crowdfunded attempt. The could have been a Square vendor -- do you detect a theme here? Smartphones are the new "radios" and they could have specialized in accessories for them. And why is a search engine paving the way now for the long-sought dream of home automation? That's just the sort of thing you want a storefront for on a Saturday afternoon. Could also have supplied the emerging meshnet communities (more "radios"). The list goes on.

"Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit!" -- Looney Tunes, "What's Opera Doc?" (1957, Chuck Jones)