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+ - Slashdot is awesome!->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Slashdot is awesome! One of the best sources on the Internet for digesting tech news--you know, news that really matters. As tech people, it's our jobs to dissect problems, poke, prod, and reinvent. And, for better or worse, bitch about ev-ery-thing... But have we, the posters at Slashdot, gone Tea Party? Have we slowly eroded the quality of our own discourse, while patting ourselves on the backs for how damn smart we all are? I, for one, have started to get an overwhelming negative feeling in recent years from Slashdot comment threads. More up-mods for snarky and cynical posts, and from people-who-did-not-RTFA than for positive, insightful, informative, and humility-inducing comments? I'm sure we're all guilty of it of at some level. Or, is the negativity just more entertaining? Or am I totally wrong, offbase, and should I be sent to Slashdot re-education camp? Signed, yours truly, Anonymous Coward."
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Space

+ - Asteroid '2011 AG5' will miss Earth in 2040->

Submitted by dryriver
dryriver (1010635) writes "CNN reports: 'On a day when global doomsday predictions failed to pan out, NASA had more good news for the Earth: An asteroid feared to be on a collision course with our planet no longer poses a threat. Uncertainties about the orbit of the asteroid, known as 2011 AG5, previously allowed for a less than a 1% chance it would hit the Earth in February 2040, NASA said. To narrow down the asteroid's future course, NASA put out a call for more observation. Astronomers from the University of Hawaii at Manoa took up the task and managed to observe the asteroid over several days in October. "An analysis of the new data conducted by NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, shows that the risk of collision in 2040 has been eliminated," NASA declared Friday. The asteroid, which is 140 meters (460 feet) in diameter, will get no closer to Earth than 890,000 kilometers (553,000 miles), or more than twice the distance to the moon, NASA said. A collision with Earth would have released about 100 megatons of energy, several thousand times more powerful than the atomic bombs that ended World War II, according to the Gemini Observatory.'"
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Comment: Re:Sick of this (Score 1) 149

by ojak (#42358341) Attached to: Apple's Pinch+Zoom Patent Invalidated By Preliminary USPTO Ruling

I don't know if you actually remember the first iPhone, but it was similarly horrid. Not only was the build quality very low...

I can appreciate that you prefer Android and Windows CE phones over Apple phones, some people do. But to say that Apple went from a non-player in the mobile phone space to a dominant force almost overnight on the coattails of a "horrid" first iPhone with "build quality very low" and then didn't get any better until Android came along (although unveiled in 2007, first Android phone was released way later in October 2008, btw), is just revisionist history. Don't take my word for it, here are some actual quotes from 2007 reviews, a full 15 months before the release of the first Android set:

ENGADGET:

  • if we had to boil the iPhone's SMS down to a one-word description, "purty" would certainly be a finalist
  • The iPhone's calendar may possibly be the most usable we've ever seen on a cellphone
  • For two megapixels, no autofocus, and no flash, we're about as impressed as we can be.

NEW YORK TIMES:

  • The iPhone matches most of its hype

And it went on and on, and the rest is history... Yes, Android is great too. Windows CE, well, you hang on to that one.

Comment: Re:Sick of this (Score 1, Interesting) 149

by ojak (#42354303) Attached to: Apple's Pinch+Zoom Patent Invalidated By Preliminary USPTO Ruling

Um... I'm no fan of all the lawsuits, patents, etc, but honestly, does anybody actually remember what cell phones were like before the iPhone came out? They were just awful. I built a catapult for my Motorola Q just so I could launch it off my roof.

I'm no fan of Apple's lawsuits, but I also can admit that they did move the ball forward by leaps and bounds beyond the plastic pieces of shit we were all messing with in 2006.

Comment: Re:Video games have been doing this for years (Score 1) 599

by ojak (#42290409) Attached to: Why <em>The Hobbit's</em> 48fps Is a Good Thing

When playing a game, I can easily tell if it's running at 30 fps or 60 fps, and I *much* prefer the higher framerate, for obvious reasons

Games are a bit different with regards to frame rate, since there is no physical camera, so there is no full frame-to-frame motion blur. That's why you need to have higher frame rates for games to look comparable to movies (otherwise games look choppy at 24fps). Movie frames blend into one another since the capture of each frame takes time (based on the shutter speed), and the playback just shows you each frame with the motion blur bakes in (at whatever frame rate). To take that concept a step further, if you were to get a light-sensitive movie camera and crank up the shutter speed while maintaining 24fps, you'll still get similar choppy motion from a movie camera since the increased shutter speed/angle will decrease the frame-to-frame motion blur. Also, if you're panning quickly, 24fps motion blur becomes very extreme and difficult to watch. So, moving to 48-fps isn't really "better" per se in any objective measure, it's just different. You sacrifice frame-to-frame motion blur as the fps goes up, which means it isn't really "smoother", it's just "different".

Comment: Re:60fps with motion blur may provide a solution (Score 2) 599

by ojak (#42288929) Attached to: Why <em>The Hobbit's</em> 48fps Is a Good Thing

I'm all for video and motion being at 48fps, and maybe even 100fps+ for super smoothness which will also help cure motion blur

Motion blur can be a very good thing, and is regularly used stylistically in photography, motion graphics, and video. It's used for effect and implies motion, and IMO, doesn't require a "cure."

Comment: Re:Genetically modified how? (Score 1) 559

by ojak (#41062651) Attached to: California Wants Genetically Modified Foods To Be Labelled

Mankind has been selectively breeding plants and animals for at least that long, even though we've only recently started learning why it works

I personally have more of an issue when the GMO's have cross-species genetic modifications, not so much with selective breeding (biased selection) applied within a species. When my dog tries to mount my cat, sure, it's funny, but I wouldn't eat the offspring...

Comment: Re:Well... (Score 1) 404

by ojak (#41038201) Attached to: Google Seeks US Ban On iPhones, iPads, Macs

I wouldn't go that far, but Google's personality is one where it doesn't agressively go out to destroy the other party.

Lol... You've clearly never worked in the advertising space, where Google only provides price breaks on things like Adwords API credits to companies spending over approx $1M/mo. Those sorts of policies result in all "small" advertisers being charged exorbitant rates for equivalent ad space, effectively subsidizing large advertisers. Their behavior is similar to how big-box stores get discounted anchor rates per square footage in strip malls, which forces unsustainably high rates onto small shops, effectively putting non-venture backed businesses out of business.

I'm not saying they don't have the right to abuse the little guy, but let's not pretend that "Don't be evil" is anything more than a catchy slogan, carefully crafted and pushed by an ambitious in-house marketing team?

The test of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts. -- Aldo Leopold

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