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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:Cruelty (Score 1) 92

by pne (#45606255) Attached to: NASA Will Send Seeds to the Moon In 2015

I think he should stop being a hypocrite eating salads and other plant-based nutrients then. He could become like this super vegan or something for like a month or so before he dies of starvation =P

They're called "fruitarians", eating only what falls off the plant by itself, rather than a portion of a living, growing plant.

Comment: Re:If you can read Chinese you pay twice in China (Score 2) 333

by pne (#45606051) Attached to: China Prefers Sticking With Dying Windows XP To Upgrading

I live in China but don't read Chinese. Last year I brought a netbook here with the intent of running Linux Mint. Because I wanted more than the 2GB RAM limit on the knock-off models I brought a genuine Samsung which came with Windows 7. Having paid for an unwanted copy of Windows I thought I would look at dual booting it. It's been a long time since I used Windows so I had a play to see what Windows was like. I found I could not change the language from Chinese. Some research showed I was expected to pay for an upgrade to get Windows, that I paid for, to actual be usable.

Why single out China? If you bought your computer in the US but didn't speak English (perhaps your native language is Spanish... or even Chinese!), I don't think you can switch Windows to be in Spanish or Chinese without paying for a language pack or a Chinese-language installation CD.

Comment: coins in shopping trollies (Score 1) 397

by pne (#45582059) Attached to: Amazon Reveals "Prime Air", Their Plans For 30-minute Deliveries By Drone

Holy cow - one pound to lock up a shopping cart? In the US those carts typically require 25 cents.

Which, coincidentally, is the largest US coin in common use. (Imagine if they only accepted dollar coins.)

FWIW, in Germany, shopping trollies typically take 50-cent or 1-euro coins.

Comment: libre, government-operated tax software (Score 1) 237

by pne (#45489977) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can You Trust Online Tax Software?

And more to the point: I will fully trust the online tax software if it's free (libre), secure against eavesdroppers, and operated by the tax-collecting government agency itself.

Eh? How is that supposed to work?

Either the online website is operated by the government agency, then you have no way to know that the version of the code they run is the version they make available for download and scrutiny.

Or it's libre, you download and scrutinise it, and run it yourself, in which case it's not operated by the government agency (and isn't particularly online any more).

Also, why would you want libre tax software if you only want a single source to run it?

Isn't the entire point of libre software that it can be modified... by whom, if you won't trust any other service suppliers?

If you want a single, trusted supplier and are only concerned about being allowed to scrutinise the source code, then surely proprietary but gratis and source-available would be sufficient? (Though that still wouldn't solve the problem of proving that the code you see and the code you (implicitly) run bear any relationship one to the other.)

Comment: Re:Real Time? (Score 1) 79

by pne (#45288967) Attached to: Microsoft Research Uses Kinect To Translate Between Spoken and Sign Languages

OK, you have a point.

Being understood definitely beats not being, even if you have to slow down to achieve that. And the translation was happening reasonably quickly if you were slow enough.

I was just a bit disappointed since from the "real time" I was expecting the translation to keep up with someone speaking at normal conversational speed. (Like the asker at the information kiosk, for example.)

Comment: Re:Sign Language Is Obsolete (Score 2) 79

by pne (#45288777) Attached to: Microsoft Research Uses Kinect To Translate Between Spoken and Sign Languages

it is quicker and more convenient for the disabled to send a text message.

I would have thought it would be more convenient for someone to speak/be spoken to in their native language - sign - rather than send/receive a text in a foreign language - English or whatever.

Comment: 4:3 FTW (Score 1) 151

by pne (#45277851) Attached to: Dell Is Now a Private Company Again

4:3 gets us awesome resolutions like 1400x1050 or 1600x1200.


I don't spend most of my computer time watching videos (wide-screen or no). I spend much of my time reading web pages or writing code, both of which profit from vertical resolution.

What good is 1920x1080 if I can have 1600x1200? Those extra 120px vertical are of more use to me than the 320px horizontal.

Comment: Cancer in California (Score 1) 569

by pne (#45266719) Attached to: Why Is Broadband More Expensive In the US Than Elsewhere?

those stickers on everything claiming the product only causes cancer if you live in California.

Do you have a picture of one?

The ones I've heard of say that the product contains chemicals which the State of California knows cause cancer.

So the stickers don't say the chemicals don't cause cancer elsewhere, just that other states have not recognised their carcinogenous properties (or have recognised them but chose not to require a warning to that effect).

Committees have become so important nowadays that subcommittees have to be appointed to do the work.