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Comment: Re:Oh no! (Score 1) 1521

by richdun (#37213122) Attached to: Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda Resigns From Slashdot
I share your cautious pessimism. The Internet has changed a lot, some for the good, some for the bad, but it's important to remember and even maintain the "founding" institutions just so we can always come back and remember where we've come from.

Remember when news blogs became popular, posting stories every few hours or minutes or seconds, not daily like newspaper sites in those days? Slashdot was doing that long before.

Remember when user comments on stories became popular, so anyone (unfortunately/fortunately) could add their 2 local lowest denomination of currency about the important happenings of the world? Slashdot was doing that long before.

Remember when your online persona and reputation became an important identifier of which user submitted content would be more widely read and even accepted by the community. Slashdot has prior art on +1 and "like," but used much more interesting variations on "like," such as "funny" and "off topic" and "troll." (What's that? Those last two give -1? Oops.)

Slashdot set a lot of foundations for news and user interaction on the wild wild web, even while changing only slightly over all this time. Change can be great and inevitable, but change because of what's now shouldn't cloud what is or was. (I, for one, still kinda like the pre-Michigan UI better...)

TPTB would do well to let those that work with Taco keep /. the way it is.

Comment: Requirements (Score 2) 141

by richdun (#36025074) Attached to: DARPA Building Futuristic Space Exploration Group
Said organization must comply with the following requirements: - Uniforms should be brightly colored, vaguely indicating role, and adaptable to look good while allowing for command-level officers to engage in hand-to-hand combat on a regular basis. - All senior officers should be skilled in everything. Yes, everything. We'll decide who does what based on who's standing around at the moment, not based on some specialized set of skills or designated responsibilities. - The organization should construct a fleet of vessels, with one vessel getting all the priority assignments while the rest of the fleet does Sudoku until needed for a well-intentioned but otherwise ineffective show of support. - The organization should be composed of scientists and explorers who just so happen to run around with the most powerful weapons currently available. Asteroids can hurt, right?

Comment: Re:Deflectors to full? (Score 1) 160

by richdun (#35565416) Attached to: NASA Wants Revolutionary Radiation Shielding Tech
I'd think one of the key interests in new active shielding techniques is weight. As you said, some things as we know them now just require more mass or relatively light material in rather thick shielding. Assuming this tech doesn't come with a revolutionary mining of asteroids or a revolutionary construction in space, we still have to get the stuff up there. Maybe impossible, but if some kind of generator(s) could replace a few inches of metal / ceramic, that could mean big savings in launch costs and the ability to use more fuel for extraplanetary maneuvers.

Comment: Deflectors to full? (Score 3, Insightful) 160

by richdun (#35565054) Attached to: NASA Wants Revolutionary Radiation Shielding Tech
Active shielding could lead to some neat side techs, as with most NASA tech. But, this being what it is, I'll summarize the next few dozen comments: (insert comment here about not wasting money on NASA when we could use their budget to take care of some rounding errors in the national debt) (insert irrelevant reference to Fukushima here) (insert comment that all NASA craft would now be indestructible with the addition of something for which the polarity could be reversed and / or to which all auxiliary power could be diverted)

Comment: Re:Ethics aside... How? (Score 1) 693

by richdun (#34268788) Attached to: 200 Students Admit Cheating After Professor's Online Rant
He mentions a question bank in the video. The publishers of many textbooks will often publish a set of test questions that professors can sample to use on their exams. Of course, it's common knowledge that these question banks are out there and available with enough digging / a single Google search, but many professors continue to use them. So whether the exam was proctored or not, the students allegedly had access to the questions and answers before the exam. Maybe they didn't know exactly which questions would be asked, and they would still have had to memorize the answers (assuming they didn't bring the Q & A sheets in with them to use during the exam), but that's still cheating.

Comment: Re:Kinda slow (Score 2, Funny) 295

by richdun (#33726128) Attached to: Fifty Meter Asteroid Might Hit Earth In 2098

Well, I'm guessing it isn't on a direct course for Earth, and is traveling through the solar system on some eccentric orbit around the Sun. Also, once it gets here (if it gets here), it will accelerate both as it gets closer to the Sun's gravity well and as it gets closer to Earth's gravity well (the latter especially as it enters the atmosphere).

If it is headed directly for Earth, though, like "They're on a direct course for Sector 001," we're in trouble.

Comment: Re:Confusing logic is confusing. (Score 1) 547

by richdun (#33663860) Attached to: Xbox Head Proclaims Blu-ray Dead

And I would think most movie watchers (whether also "gamers" or not) would fall mostly in line with the console gamers, with the exception that mobile devices make the convenience factor of digital copies that much more convenient (and the lock-in for the "single store" model that much more of a con).

You broke it down right. This is 2 separate gaming markets, plus the movie market. Unlike the CD/DVD era, there's a compelling argument that convergence is not required this time around, just as there wasn't in the tape / floppy / cartridge era.

Comment: Confusing logic is confusing. (Score 1) 547

by richdun (#33662562) Attached to: Xbox Head Proclaims Blu-ray Dead

Let me see if I can lay this out:

1) An Xbox exec claims that Blu-ray will be "passed over" as an HD format.
2) Author notes that Apple seems to agree, pushing consumers to use the iTunes store rather than make OEM Blu-ray drives available on Macs - even though the majority of iTunes-connected devices are not Macs, and most would agree Blu-ray for iPod Nano or even iPad would be odd.
3) ???
4) Argument in 1) is refuted by claims that gamers still like physical media, despite recent stats showing more PC gamers are buying downloads rather than physical copies of games.

What does the growth of downloaded games, games which are available only on CD / DVD in physical form, have to do with Blu-ray not succeeding as an HD format?

Comment: Re:The "choice is bad" argument (Score 2, Interesting) 405

by richdun (#33587550) Attached to: Will Android Flavors Spoil the Platform?

If you like choice though - if you prefer a less expensive phone or one with all the bells and whistles, or larger or smaller or whatever, Android is an obvious choice. If you like to choose the phone network based on pricing or features, quality of network, or how badly they restrict the phone's features to maximize your bill, again Android is a clear winner.

Yet none of these things (hardware and network) have anything to do with Android (software).

Regardless of what us the technically inclined think, most users don't care about choice or technical ability or "free open source" or any of that. They have one requirement - "How can I make my gadget do a particular thing?" And if my gadget, which is supposed to be the same kind of gadget as my friend's gadget, has a completely different set of things it can / can't do, I'll just want my friend's gadget.

The only thing keeping this debate open is that in the US, where most of these arguments are made, carrier lock-ins make true direct comparison impossible for most consumers. Make every device available on every network and we'll get an answer.

Comment: Re:how about out of business? (Score 5, Insightful) 169

by richdun (#33468534) Attached to: Where Does Dell Go After Losing 3Par?

Hmm, where have I heard that one before?

Maybe they'll get lucky and invent the next great... um... portable music player? No, that didn't work... PDA? No, that worked, but the market disappeared into smartphones... Smartphone? No, beat to the punch 4 or 5 times over... Printers? Tablets? TVs? No, no, and no.

Dell's problem isn't that competitors beat it into branching out. Dell's tried branching out tons of times. Dell's problem is its founding business model - mass-assemble PCs using standardization and volume to bring costs down - doesn't work on any of the new electronics markets. And even the things that went well were crippled by bad design, bad materials, or just blame bad timing. (For instance, their multi-function displays are nice... but who wants to carry around a multi-function display with their laptop?)

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