Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

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: Not Surprising (Score 2) 349

by monopole (#38233182) Attached to: TV Ownership Declines For Second Time Since 1970

I haven't looked at a TV transmission in over a year, I only happen to have 2 monitors that incorporate receivers, cancelled cable over 5 years ago.

I either watch DVDs or streaming video. I do have a lovely home theater arrangement, with little or no time to watch it.

TV hit the point of diminishing returns a decade ago.

Comment: Re:What's different (Score 1) 231

by monopole (#35681026) Attached to: Android 3.0 Is Trickling In, But Are the Apps?

Pretty much FUD or worse. I own several tablets w/ 1024x600, 800x600 and 800x480 resolutions running 2.1, 2.2, and 2.3. All the apps scale fine (w/ the exception of ACV which has pretty much been obsoleted by PerfectView). To tell the truth, the cellphone style interfaces are fine particularly if you have fat fingers and bad eyes.

This is mainly a game by which Apple defines what are "real" tablets to continue the perception of the tablet as an expensive luxury item.

Comment: Re:Every 2 seconds? (Score 2, Informative) 79

by monopole (#34117342) Attached to: Real-Time Holograms Beam Closer To Reality

Speaking w/ 30+ years of experience in holography, this is going to be really miserable to make practical. The computation involved is hideous for realistic scenes and the bandwidth is insane. If you want to get real time and something better than sick figures you have to heavily constrain the wavefront reconstruction.

A true hologram reconstructs the entire wavefront emanating from a scene, which gives it it's unique nature. Cut back the bandwidth and the realism or the viewing angle go to hell.

Comment: Re:Python is the Lisp of the 21st century (Score 1) 330

by monopole (#34117130) Attached to: Land of Lisp

Amen! Python is elegant, trivial to install, trivial to use, but insanely powerful. Even on a windows machine, installing a very comprehensive toolchain involves installing Python(x,y) and PyGame

What freaks me out is the mystification of programming and hardware. Having grown up on Ahl's "Basic Games" I always thought computer literacy would increase. Instead we have bunches of fanbois who boast of how ignorant of the hardware and software they use. I mean, when did superuser become an honorific?

Comment: Re:Students will complain (Score 1) 419

by monopole (#34018830) Attached to: Colleges May Start Forcing Switch To eTextbooks

"This put Dan in a dilemma. He had to help her—but if he lent her his computer, she might read his books. Aside from the fact that you could go to prison for many years for letting someone else read your books, the very idea shocked him at first. Like everyone, he had been taught since elementary school that sharing books was nasty and wrong—something that only pirates would do. ...

Of course, Lissa did not necessarily intend to read his books. She might want the computer only to write her midterm. But Dan knew she came from a middle-class family and could hardly afford the tuition, let alone her reading fees. Reading his books might be the only way she could graduate. He understood this situation; he himself had had to borrow to pay for all the research papers he read. (Ten percent of those fees went to the researchers who wrote the papers; since Dan aimed for an academic career, he could hope that his own research papers, if frequently referenced, would bring in enough to repay this loan.)"

  From The Right to Read by Richard Stallman

Comment: Re:Not a netbook? What? (Score 2, Interesting) 348

by monopole (#33976330) Attached to: Early Review of 11" Macbook Air

Quite true, I've been using a EEE 1000HAB ($179 off of woot) with the memory upped to 2GB hooked to a 23" monitor w/ a USB key as my sole "Windows Box" to write a 40 Page proposal which had to be in a ".doc" format. I ended up doing all the illustrations using Poser, DIA and GIMP. It worked fine for this role, perhaps a tad less snappy than a full out computer but perfectly fine for my purposes. It's thin enough and light enough to toss in my big bag or a netbook bag. In fact I prefer just tossing it in my bag rather than a USB drive so I can make any mods to the documents onsite. My I note that my other 1000 HAB runs Ubuntu 10.10 UNR.

All that at 17.9% of the cost of a MBA

Comment: Think about learning as a distro (Score 1) 1345

by monopole (#29315061) Attached to: Schooling, Homeschooling, and Now, "Unschooling"

Knowledge has a series of dependencies. You can't really do quantum mechanics w/o calculus and other higher math, and you can't do higher math w/o algebra, and so on. The problem is that uploading, and validating these dependencies can take many years. In theory conventional education is like the Linux Standard Base, a set of common packages which minimize the amount of dependencies that have to be loaded. Thus, in theory, a high school graduate should be able to handle most forms of non specialized knowledge. College majors and prerequisites are similar in this regard.

Autodidacts are like folks who load every program they use without a package manager. A difficult task which not everybody can do. Also such systems are prone to crashes (massive holes in experience/training)

The problem w/ much of mainstream education is that the 'IT department' is doing things by rote and doesn't really understand packages.

What would be interesting is an educational overlay on wikipedia or the equivalent which would explicitly identify and specify these dependencies.

"Text processing has made it possible to right-justify any idea, even one which cannot be justified on any other grounds." -- J. Finnegan, USC.