Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Good idea, but terrible implementation (Score 2, Insightful) 110

by otter42 (#47403969) Attached to: YouTube Issuing "Report Cards" On Carriers' Streaming Speeds

First, what gives with the goofy webpages that try to scroll like pages of a book? One of the wonderful things about a web page is for it to be long and easy to scroll through, instead of requiring me to scroll in order to get to the next text section. That makes it really awkward to go back and forth.

Second, where can I search for other people's results? I want to switch to RCN in Boston, how does this webpage help me know how they're doing?

Comment: Re:Cost (Score 1) 473

by otter42 (#46226837) Attached to: Ugly Trends Threaten Aviation Industry

I personally turned down the purchase of a Velocity XL at my local airport when the owner was required to do a security inspection, including taking off his shoes, in order to get to his own hanger. There was no way I was going to be hassled by a security search to access my own private property.

This is purely anecdotal, and it doesn't change the fact that you're right that most of this decrease in numbers has been in the cards for years, but it's false to claim that pilots aren't harmed by the insanity around the TSA and its ilk.

Comment: No policing neologisms (Score 5, Insightful) 775

by otter42 (#39018371) Attached to: Is Santorum's "Google Problem" a Google Problem?

It is not a search engine's responsibility to police our neologisms. Santorum is a word now used by the common public, and it requires no editorializing by third parties. As the original article points out:

The news is better for searches for Rick Santorum's full name, rather than just the word "santorum." In that case, his official site ranks tops.

So in other words, if I'm looking for a person, I write the person's name in and find the person. If I'm looking for a thing, I type said thing in and find it.

For example, would anybody be annoyed if a google search of the word "houston" showed Houston, TX as the first hit, instead of Whitney Houston?

Now as to why Santorum and santorum came to be connected is another matter. But that's something for a different conversation, which the columnist fails to grasp.

Comment: Re:Hadn't expected this on /. so quickly (Score 1) 50

by otter42 (#36395746) Attached to: Making a Real Batcopter, With Parts From the Hardware Store

The bat researchers (I'm a controls researcher, so I have to ask their advice about things like this) say that the bat should carry a load weighing no more than 5% of its weight. On a 10g bat, and these bats are among the bigger species, you can see that this leads to a very small package, indeed.

As for your second question, there were IR cameras recording from many different angles, all of them ground-based. The purpose of the experiment was not to record bat flight with a GoPro; that was just a nice feature that we added since we were already there. The experiment was about perturbing the bats by entering into their clutter and seeing how they respond. Do they flee? Do they ignore? Do they act the same way they do when a hawk attacks? What rules are they following when they fly in a swarm?

Comment: Re:Parts from the hardware store? (Score 5, Informative) 50

by otter42 (#36393906) Attached to: Making a Real Batcopter, With Parts From the Hardware Store

The carbon fiber parts where from hobby-lobby. Although we'll be getting them from HobbyKing in the future because it's something like $5/rod.

The only specialty part was the OpenPilot CopterControl module. That was indeed all of $100. Appropriately sized BLDCs can be bought for $7/ea., a radio is $50, the props are $1.50/ea., the battery was $20, the charger was not high output, and there are a few other components that you didn't list which I won't either in the interests of conciseness. Suffice to say that you can build a complete, functioning quadcopter with a CopterControl for all of $250, incl. the transmitter/receiver combo.

Comment: Hadn't expected this on /. so quickly (Score 3, Informative) 50

by otter42 (#36393670) Attached to: Making a Real Batcopter, With Parts From the Hardware Store

I realize that most of the comments here will probably be poking fun at the batcopter, and I can't wait to read what the /. audience is going to come up with. I guess I underestimated the coolness factor of flying towel racks. However, if you want to discuss the science behind it, I'll be more than happy.

It was a neat project, and we're only just starting, although that's probably the first and the last time that I'll go into the field. Apparently, we have some 30TB of data to wade through, so there's enough there for any dozen PhDs. The next task is to figure out what we actually recorded and to see what we can do with it.

Dr. Kenneth Sebesta

Comment: Re:Was Microsoft Riight? (Score 1) 716

by otter42 (#35709158) Attached to: Apple's Secret Weapon To Win the Tablet Wars

Re point #1:

I'm a longtime and continuing user of Windows, Linux, and Mac, in that chronological order. 6 months ago, a friend gave me his old iPhone 3G. Now I've got a Nook Color running CM7 and an Atrix on order. After the experience with the Nook Color, I'm petrified of getting the Atrix. It's simply amazing how you can go forward in hardware, but backwards in usability. What does that have to do with point #1?

Simple. Apple has a focused, single-minded user experience. Everything they sell can use almost everything that is made. No Motoblur/HTC Sense/Android/Gingerbread/Honeycomb/FroYo/etc... How do you expect a salesperson to be able to tell you what a tablet is good for, when s/he doesn't even know what the tablet can do, because Android is... what?

To be honest, I don't regret my Nook Color, not for the price, but I could not articulate why someone else should buy one, not even at $250. Yet I could easily do that for an iPad at $600+. I don't own an iPad, and probably never will, but after having seen the software ecosystem, and the relative quality of the user experience (Android is too many, too many options. For simple stuff. Like deleting a program.), I can easily talk to someone and figure out what an iPad could do for them.

XBox (Games)

+ - New Kinect Acheivement: Ring of Death->

Submitted by otter42
otter42 (190544) writes "It seems that the XBox 360's Kinect will manage to scratch 100% of games. Okay, hyperbole aside, it really does seem that playing a kinect game becomes a question of when the disc will be fatally scratched, rather than if. The problem is that, in order to save $0.25/ea., Microsoft decided to forgo rubber bumpers that protect the spinning disc from vibration. As the Kinect virtually ensures there will be lots of humans jumping, bumping, hopping, and grinding, it's difficult to imagine when vibrations won't be present."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Yeah, I can kind of understand that (Score 1) 484

by otter42 (#34561076) Attached to: America's Cubicles Are Shrinking

Being one of these "younger" workers I think the article is referring to, I can definitely relate. I don't enjoy working in a solitary office, find that having a colleague in close proximity helps me out when I'm stuck, etc... I recently had a 10m^2 office, shared with one other researcher, and I definitely miss it. My wife has the ability to have a decent sized office with a window view, but she prefers to share a 50% bigger office with a second colleague. They get more done that way.

Of course, others would prefer anything but, and I respect that, too, but this isn't necessarily as Orwellian a quote as that.

Google

+ - "My goal is NEGATIVE advertisement"-> 3

Submitted by otter42
otter42 (190544) writes "It's a bit of a moral dilema to post this to slashdot, giving the bastard what he wants, but even if DecorMyEyes is right and it's true that all bad publicity is good publicity in Google land, the story still needs to come out. The NYTimes has an 8-page exposé on how an online business is thriving because of giant amounts of negative reviews. It seems that if you directly google the company you have no problem discerning the true nature; but if you instead only google the brand names it sells, the company is at the top of the rankings. Turns out that all the negative advertisement he generates from reputable sites gives him countless links that inflate his pagerank."
Link to Original Source

+ - Best CMS solution for non-technical business? 3

Submitted by amarkham
amarkham (153845) writes "I'm working with a non-profit organization that would like to consider expanding their site from their fairly basic "HTML + minimal PHP" site. I'm an accomplished engineer and could build them a nice database-backed site, but don't like that approach as I realize I won't always be around to support them. I've also considered helping them get set up on Drupal or Joomla, but am concerned they'd still have trouble supporting it without reasonably technical support.

I haven't had much luck finding hosted CMS solutions (Refinery HQ?), but in theory, that'd be the way to go.

Any good suggestions?"

+ - USCG Sues Copyright Defense Lawyer->

Submitted by ESRB
ESRB (974125) writes "The US Copyright Group has sued Graham Syfert, an attorney that created a packet of self-representation paperwork for individuals sued for P2P sharing of certain movies and moved to have sanctions placed against the defense attorney. Syfert sells these packets for $20, and the USCG claims the 19 individuals that have used it have costed them over $5000."
Link to Original Source

Computers are useless. They can only give you answers. -- Pablo Picasso

Working...