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Comment: Re:Null experiment for the 21st century (Score 2) 62

It's true, physically it's a very different experiment. However, I think what the poster was referring to was what Michelson-Morley led to, which was huge. From Wikipedia:

It attempted to detect the relative motion of matter through the stationary luminiferous aether ("aether wind"). The negative results are generally considered to be the first strong evidence against the then prevalent aether theory, and initiated a line of research that eventually led to special relativity, in which the stationary aether concept has no role. The experiment has been referred to as "the moving-off point for the theoretical aspects of the Second Scientific Revolution".

In other words, although the aims of Michelson-Morley were proved wrong, what they did find eventually led to big new science - and the same might apply here once hindsight is brought to bear.

Comment: Re:No it is not (Score 1) 101

by ricky-road-flats (#42313407) Attached to: Is the Flickr API a National Treasure?
Read what I said in GP. I didn't say it wouldn't go away, and I didn't say it couldn't. I said that it's harder for it to go away because it has critical mass. There are several ways it could go away - the management might fuck it up and scare people away (AltaVista). Something better might come along - but it will have to be a LOT better and get a huge user-base REALLY quickly, or it just won't succeed (look at Google+). Or the things it does might be done by something higher up the stack - iOS, Android etc.

Comment: Re:No it is not (Score 2) 101

by ricky-road-flats (#42312573) Attached to: Is the Flickr API a National Treasure?
I didn't make my point clearly. AOL was popular (certainly not "most people" in the Internet, even back then), but importantly in terms of total numbers relative to the world population, it never made so much as a blip. And as for GeoCities, same applies even more so. Facebook also, unlike all the others, has a really powerful thing in its favour - many people (including me) use it as a way of keeping in very occasional touch with others - at a glance I can contact them, see what they've been up to recently, and let them know news about me.

Comment: Re:No it is not (Score 2) 101

by ricky-road-flats (#42307049) Attached to: Is the Flickr API a National Treasure?
I disagree. Maybe those you named failed because they didn't achieve critical mass. I would argue that Facebook and Twitter have done that, which makes it much harder for them to fade. Not impossible, but much harder. Flickr - maybe, maybe not. Picasa online was a decent contender before it got mashed into Google+...

Comment: Re:No wired... (Score 1) 177

by ricky-road-flats (#42038953) Attached to: Hands-On With Intel's "Next Unit of Computing" Mini PC
Not so fast... I too didn't like that idea, but I just went to and searched for NUC - first link that comes up is this:

It clearly shows a single gigabit NIC. I'll bet there are models with and without.

Comment: Total Bullshit Article. (Score 3, Informative) 489

by ricky-road-flats (#41111233) Attached to: Windows 8 Tells Microsoft About Everything You Install
The "Windows SmartScreen" referenced in TFA is nothing of the sort.

This is an IE9 feature, which would not be a huge surprise to find is still there in IE10. TFS links to an 18-month-old article talking about it in IE9. Not Windows 8. There is nothing to back up the wording used in TFS or TFA. It's a good feature I have enabled on my parent's machines for their protection, as it's one more layer against malware downloads.

The ONLY things this feature touches is executables which are downloaded from the Internet using IE. Install from a DVD? Download using Chrome/Firefox? USB drive? Copied from another disk? Compiled yourself? None of those things gets "sent to Microsoft".

Just someone (successfully) using a combination of inflammatory wording and gullible/lazy /. editors to generate traffic to their blog.

Comment: This is very much an American cultural thing (Score 5, Interesting) 263

by ricky-road-flats (#40854129) Attached to: Overconfidence May Be a Result of Social Politeness

I hate to bring up something like Americal Idol (and its predecessor Pop Idol) in somewhere like Slashdot, but I think it's relevant.

In the UK Pop Idol, the judges were always honest - if they found someone who couldn't sing, they told them they couldn't sing. They told them to not give up the day job, to abandon their dream of being a pop star. On the flip side, if they were good, the judges said so - and because of that it really meant something.

In the few bits of American Idol I've seen, it's totally different. The judges (I seem to remember Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson in particular) when presented with someone who clearly didn't have a hope in hell of becoming a star of any kind, tied themselves in knots trying to say something positive. They just didn't ahve it in them to say "You're not a singer, forget about it". They'd say "You need to work hard to improve your rhythm" or " You're great but you're just not what we're looking for", and so on. Simon Cowell gave much more honest opinions and built a huge business out of doing it - but he was seen as Captain Negativity, the joke one, with the other two encouraging the no-hopers to keep their dream.

The result? People in the UK who got that negative feedback accept (sometimes reluctantly) that they won't ever be a star and go back to singing in the shower and leading a normal life. People in the US don't have that reality check, so keep on trying, making themselves look more and more ridiculous, desperate and above all untalented.

Comment: Re:Two Words: Window Shop (Score 1) 732

by ricky-road-flats (#40127359) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Shop For a Laptop?

Yes, this. I get people to go to PC World and play with all the laptops there - then tell me which was their favourite in terms of the keyboard, screen, size, and look and feel.

I then get them that model (from a decent retailer, NOT PC World, with the technical options (RAM, CPU, GPU, HDD/SDD, etc) that I think are appropriate for what they're going to use it for.

Comment: Re:The opposite. (Score 2) 208

by ricky-road-flats (#39158831) Attached to: Is Hypertext Literature Dead?

To clarify:

The books that existed before Hypertext came along were the way they were because of the medium. Books are linear, searching is a PITA, pictures were expensive and static..

HTML and related technologies changed that. Many forms of delivering literature have flourished -, and spring to mind of examples of completely different formats of delivering content that can include story-telling, education and much more.

There's more literature out there than there ever has been before, and a lot of it is hypertext. Is all of it good, or high quality, or of lasting value? Of course not. But then there's plenty of dross printed on dead tree too.

Comment: The opposite. (Score 2) 208

by ricky-road-flats (#39158787) Attached to: Is Hypertext Literature Dead?

I haven't read TFA, but if the summary is anything like right, then they are dead wrong. From very recently,

And more people are reading more than ever before using hypertext - fiction, fact, opinion - every kind of literature you can think of. I think it's called the web, or something.

How can you work when the system's so crowded?