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User Journal

Journal Journal: 1950s TV 3

If this won't render properly just go here

        A year or so ago, an executive from an electronics company (Apple, if I remember correctly) spoke of the lack of innovation in television sets since the 1950s, and my reaction was âoeHeâ(TM)s either stupid or thinks I am.â
        In the 1950s televisions had knobs on the set for changing channels. Remote controls were brand new, expensive, limited in capability, and used ultrasound rather than infra-red.
        The screens were vacuum tubes, and most were monochrome. Color television was brand new, and it was nearly 1960 before any stations started broadcasting in color. Rather than being rectangular, color sets were almost round; even black and white sets werenâ(TM)t true rectangles.
        They had no transistors, let alone integrated circuits; the IC had yet to be invented, and transistors were only used by the military. They were a brand-new invention. TVs didnâ(TM)t have the âoeno user-servicable partsâ warning on the back. When the TV wouldnâ(TM)t come on, as happened every year or three, the problem was almost always a burned out vacuum tube. One would open the back of the set and turn it on. Any tubes that werenâ(TM)t lit were pulled, taken to the drug store or dime store for replacement. If that didnâ(TM)t fix the problem you called an expert TV repairman.
        The signal was analog, and often or usually suffered from static in the sound, and ghosts and snow in the picture.
        There was no cable, and of course no satellite television since nothing built by humans had ever gone into space.
        However, there is one thing about television that hasnâ(TM)t changed a single iota: daytime TV programming.
        In the 1950s most folks were well paid, and a single paycheck could easily pay for a familyâ(TM)s expenses. Most women, especially mothers, stayed home. As a result, daytime TV was filled with female-centric programming like soap operas, game shows, and the like. Usually there were cartoons in the late afternoon for the kids.
        Today the rich have managed to get wages down so low that everyone has to have a job. The demographics of daytime television have radically changed as a result. Now, rather than housewives (of which few are left, and we now have house husbands), who can watch daytime TV? Folks home from work sick, both men and women, folks in the hospital, the unemployed, and retired people.
        Yet daytime TV is still as female centered as it was when I was five. Soap operas, talk shows with female hosts and female guests discussing topics that would only appeal to women, and game shows.
        Whatâ(TM)s wrong with the idiots running our corporations these days?

User Journal

Journal Journal: A nation of laws 19

Well, not exactly:

âoeIn essence, if we are ever ordered by a government authority to personally violate and sin â" violate Godâ(TM)s law and sin â" if weâ(TM)re ordered to stop preaching the Gospel, if weâ(TM)re ordered to perform a same-sex marriage as someone presiding over it, we are called to ignore that,â Rubio said in an interview with CBN on Tuesday.

âoeSo when those two come into conflict, Godâ(TM)s rules always win,â he added.

And this is the 'moderate, establishment' candidate no less. Ah well, doesn't matter. Either Cruz or Trump are going to spank him into the arms of the private sector anyway.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Astute Article on the Turkey/Russia Kerfuffle 32

A Necessary Conversation

The clash between the Turkish Air Force and Russia is dangerous because it violates the first rule of proxy warfare which is principals don't fight principals. The whole point of proxy warfare is that only the seconds are allowed to cross swords. The duelists are forbidden from engaging each other directly, a convention intended to limit the scope of war.

Read the whole thing.
We mostly discuss international politics as though it were chess, when it really tends more toward of a mafia-driven, mezcal-drenched poker match with arbitrary players every hand.
The ME isn't really "sides" as much as it's a garbled graph problem. Every node is connected, more or less, to every other.
Thus, the principles chosen as a framework for how to react to the current crisis are the least squishy conversation one can have.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Ask Slashdot: What SF Magazines do you read? 2

I'm actually looking for two things: good magazines I haven't found, and good magazines to submit science fiction stories to. I also want to know where I can find your favorite magazines; I've been getting them at the Barnes&Noble in town, but they sell out quickly. Once all they had was three copies of F&SF, and I found it to be excellent. Another time I found five titles, but I haven't seen Asimov's there, and I always liked that one.

Analog was excellent as well, as they've always been. The British Interzone was very well designed, with excellent layout and large amounts of excellent artwork, but I didn't like any of the writing. It just didn't suit my taste.

I have yet to find any decent online mags, I'm sure you guys can supply me with that.

User Journal

Journal Journal: How Does Cheney Do It? 35

It's important to rephrase all news as a conspiracy theory for the consumption of you-know-who. So, with this Clinton Foundation accounting tidbit, the proper question would be "How did Dick Cheney infiltrate PWC and cook the pristine books to make Her Majesty look bad?" Do I get an "A" for the day, coach?

User Journal

Journal Journal: Public Service Announcement About Public Service 3

As a serving military member, my political interest pretty much ended at casting a ballot, at least until 2008. Around that time the portion of the oath where we swear to [emphasis mine] ". . .defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic" kicked in.
The argument that some prior sin of omission in failing to criticize the Bush Administration precludes further criticism of #OccupyResoluteDesk is specious. Ignorance is an excuse unless you remain mired in it, and I've striven to overcome the deficiencies of my education since understanding what a job the Commies have done on our public schools.
Snark away. As a veteran, I support and defend your Constitutional right to soil yourselves as required. Please don't get any feces on me.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Sen. Ben Sasse could help lead real reform 20

A classically liberal speech worthy of study:

To that end, in the coming months, I plan a series of Floor speeches on the historic growth of the administrative state. This will not be a partisan effort; it will not be a Republican senator criticizing the current administration because it is Democratic. Rather, it will be a constructive attempt to understand how we got to the place where so much legislating now happens inside the executive branchâS--for this kind of executive overreach came about because of a great deal of symbiotic legislative underreach. Republicans and Democrats are both to blame for grabbing more power when they have the presidency; and Republicans and Democrats are both to blame in the legislature as well for not wanting to lead on hard issues and take hard votes, but rather to sit back and let successive presidents gobble up more authorities. We can and we must do better than this. And the century-long look at the growth of executive branch legislating over the next many months will be an attempt to contribute to the efforts of all here, both Democrats and Republicans, who would like to see the Senate recover some of its authorities and some of its trustworthiness.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Where's my fridge?? 24

I plan to buy a house next spring, so I'll almost certainly need a new refrigerator. There's a problem: they don't make the fridge I want, and never have. I can't figure out why.
        Refrigerators today are quite different than antique ones, using a different coolent because of the ozone layer, better insulation, the use of rare earth magnets in the motors, and other improvements.
        But they're still incredibly wasteful.
        The fridge I want has two vents outside, much like dryer vents but insulated. There is an electronic outside thermometer, one in the refrigerator, and one inside the freezer.
        When the temperature outside is above seventy fareignheight, the heat taken from the fridge is vented outside, so the air conditioner doesn't have to work harder to cool the hot air refrigerators let out inside the house.
        Under seventy the air is vented into, rather than outside, the house. If the heat is on, it doesn't work as hard.
        But most of all is winter. It's ludicrous that we pump the heat from our freezers with a lot of energy expenditure, while freezing air is right outside that could come in the intake hose and freeze and cool your food. At freezing, this fridge doesn't need the compressor at all and compressors take a lot of energy to operate.
        I don't know why nobody is selling those things.

Bell Labs Unix -- Reach out and grep someone.