Forgot your password?

Comment: overthinking the problem (Score 1) 137

by xeno (#47954293) Attached to: Star Wars Producers Want a 'DroneShield' To Prevent Leaks On Set

They're overthinking the problem. It's in Georgia. All's ya need to do is give BillyBob's thousand-year-old grampy a decent slingshot and a bucket of marbles, and tell him you'll pay him $250 every time he can hit one of those tiny little gummint spy planes.

Better yet, get him to tell his fishing buddies about the prize, and his buddies, etc... until you have a low level permeation thru the community. Just remember to pay 'em (and pay out of the set's lunch fund on an obfuscated line item that says something suitably snarky like "humble pie" or "tasty crow".) Oh, and tell 'em old guys: you can't eat what you catch, but you can resell the parts on ebay.... :)

Comment: Re:Is minecraft really 'creative'? (Score 1) 171

by xeno (#47951257) Attached to: The Minecraft Parent

Oh, wow, dude... Calm down. Have some water.
I gotta say, "goosestepping neckbeard" is the best thing I've been called in weeks. And no, a low UID only means I showed up. Just like you did.

I could type something nice about Minecraft, but I already did in another thread today: stuff about minecraft being an excellent UI for 3D printer data.

And try not to lunge so hard at obvious trollage. :)

Comment: HEY NOTCH!!! (Score 5, Interesting) 104

by xeno (#47942523) Attached to: Dremel Releases 3D Printer

The killer app for a commodity 3D printer would be a MineCraft-like interface. I was talking to my teenage kids and their friends about the 3D printer that sits unused in their school lab, and they all complained that the software was incomprehensible. But since they all create amazing structures in MineCraft, I suggested the obvious.... the idea of a crafting UI for 3D design had them jumping up and down yelling “HELL YES we would use that to build amazing things.”

Notch? Are you busy just now? Don't you have some spare cash and free time?
Howzabout a 3D crafting UI that looks like a holodeck room and adopts the standard controls for MineCraft to frame up basic block structures, plus some of the better mod controls for curves, smoothing, and multi-size blocks?

User scenarios would follow something like this:
- Adjust the size of the room you want to work in,
- Rough design using building blocks off the hot bar,
- managing multiple materials or colors from the inventory,
- more complex design with other objects (maybe compound objects) from the crafting table,
- fill/smoothing/spanning following the methods/controls of some of the better mods,
- view/flythrough, save functions, import, export, etc...,
- .... and finally printing.

I’d buy it. Seriously, I would plunk down a grand for the hardware in a heartbeat if the design GUI was fun to use.
(And HP needs to get on the stick, if they want to extend their "ink" market... :)

NOTCH!!! Seriously, you need to get on this.
DREMEL!!!?! Seriously, you need to talk to Notch.

Comment: we're all citize^h^h^h^h^h uncharged criminals now (Score 1) 108

by xeno (#47792245) Attached to: Judge Allows L.A. Cops To Keep License Plate Reader Data Secret

This. By stating that none of the bulk data can be disclosed because of "potential charges," that's a little different than redacting "ongoing investigations" against specific individuals. The latter is a pretty reasonable limitation on the information disclosed from a FOIA request, but the former is a pretty literal form of treason: an appointed or elected official is seeking to subvert the US Constitution's prohibitions on warrant-less searches, and also to bypass constitutional checks and balances by essentially turning judgements into decrees removing rights from every citizen in perpetuity. Add the notion that the topic is secrecy of scope as well as content, and that's pretty much a literal definition of "conspiracy" to violate* the constitution.

*Perhaps "provide a legal contortion that exempts all citizens from certain constitutional protections in a manner that clearly and purposefully violates the intent of the law."

Comment: treat it like a maker project for the kids (Score 2) 187

by xeno (#47739397) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: Cheap But Reasonable Telescopes for Kids?

I just worked thru this same project with my MS/HS kids. For us, the answer was not a specific scope, but the best one we could find for cheap secondhand. It worked out very well to involve the kids not just with the content viewable thru the scope, but with the mechanics of assembling a working setup. Now they're interested in the optics and process, not just the results.
After several crappy new ones (thanks, woot...) we happened upon a Celestron Astromaster 90 for $25 at the local Goodwill (1000mm focal length/which they advertise as "dual-purpose telescope appropriate for both terrestrial and celestial viewing" -- but the most important thing for us was the stable tripod. Even a great scope will be frustrating and a turnoff for the kids if it's wobbly and hard to see something cool at the outset, like craters on the moon. For the CA90, I picked up an eyepiece-to-Tmount adapter and T-to-DSLR for $30, allowing us to swap naked-eye viewing and digital photography (face it, if you succeed and the kids go 'oo shiny' the next question is 'can i put this on tumblr?'), all for under $100 and the whole setup fits into the car trunk.
An alternate which we also enjoy, while not strictly a "telescope": I picked up a 500mm F6.5 camera lens for under $50 (I have both a refractor and long-tube/telescope style and slapped a 2x matched doubler on it, giving us an effective 1000mm telescope with a t-mount end. We dropped an additional $8 on a t-mount adapter for a DSLR, and $30 for a manfrotto lens holder for a tripod (optional). For under $100 total, this gave us some pretty sharp digital-only viewing that fits into a messenger bag. Again, this is a win not because it's the best optical setup, but because it pulls the kids into the process AND the result is shareable.
Oh... and one other cheap trick that is a huge help with viewing using budget (but not crap) optics: Attaching about 8in of 1in link chain (just the standard hardware store proof chain) to the objective end of your long telescope makes an excellent vibration damper. With this chain damper and a 2- or 10-sec delay on your camera, you can snap no-touch/super-clear pictures thru the scope with most excellent results.
YMMV. Good luck!

Comment: Connected to mass layoff of Windows SDETs? Maybe? (Score 5, Insightful) 304

One of the bits of logic used for recent layoff and reorgs has been something like 'component/security/etc testing had become so mature at Microsoft (!) and ingrained into normal dev processes, that such a large population of SDETs (testers) across OS and key office products is unecessary.' Just chew on that for a second, and ponder how intensely stupid that seems.

But nevermind my opinion; I guess we're getting some at-scale empirical testing of whether getting rid of testers en masse was a good idea.

Comment: Where does it keep its brain? (Score 1) 98

by xeno (#47671995) Attached to: Gartner: Internet of Things Has Reached Hype Peak

The Cloud = software as a service (SaaS) = hosted services = "the network is the computer" = blah blah blah..'s all more or less the same decades-old idea:
  "you just click buttons and pay us all the money, nevermind what's behind the curtain."
...where you trade huge amounts of control for incremental savings
"we're not sure where your data lives, so you'll just have to trust our vague compliance statement"
...with the same bad security implications:
  "software vulns and compromise stats are a trade secret, so don't ask"

So with a nod to JKR...
I offer the only truly wise decision principle regarding adoption of "cloud"/hosted services:
"Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can't see where it keeps its brain."

Comment: Re:Best $4400 I've ever spent in my life (Score 1) 109

Mmmmm.... No. Bzzzzt.

Presbyopia eventually affects virtually everyone by age 40-50, but that just means that you become slightly more farsighted as the natural lens becomes less flexible. Corrective surgery still removes all astigmatic defects, corrects the focal distance to a normal range, reduces eyestrain by normalizing the two eyes, along with other minor benefits. Old people getting laser correction just means "only" having perfect vision past 0.5-1 meter or so.

Now that I'm old (near death by hipster standards, or so I'm told) and need reading glasses for close work, do I regret getting laser correction? Am I not getting "bang for the buck" as I read highway signs a quarter mile ahead? Do I feel sad as I look at the moon and pick out crater edges wiith my naked eyes?

No. Not one single teensy bit. I am happy to age this way; much happier than all other options.

Comment: Re:Reality not sufficient, (Score 2) 109

Mod parent up. Wish I had points.

I had my eyes zapped about 5 years ago, and even with some complications I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

Why? I did it beause glasses were making me hesitant to play with my kids.

As they grew older, I was always getting them knocked off in game play or horsing around, and then I found myself declining to play or playing soft or begging off.... Sport lenses were always a half-measure, and contacts are a maintenance timesink vs continual risks of infection. For a while I was interested in intracorneal rings (the only corrective eye surgery that is 99+% reversable) but there wasn't enough data and they were never really popular in the US. I had PRK instead of LASIK because my astigamtism's anomalies were near the surface (the "flap" would contain irregularities). The final thing that swayed me was that laser surgery (in my case) could be performed in about 10-15% of the corneal depth that is safe to treat. This meant plenty of safety margin for the initial treatment, plus I can have it re-corrected to better than 20/20 as necessary over multiple years without hitting safety limits -- basically I'll die many years before hitting any kind of limit on corneal correction. The PRK process is a much slower recovery than LASIK, and I had some complications that added a couple weeks to that, but I remember the first afternoon after getting the "bandage contacts" off and seeing with my fresh new 20/15 eyes... looking across Lake Washington at ripples in the water from canoe oars, and seeing the color and texture of the window trim on the Safeco building well over a mile away from my car on the 520 bridge. The world is absolutely fucking gorgeous again.

But would I have done it specifically for gameplay? What?

Jesus, dude, go outside and look at a tree.

Comment: Re:It's TCO, not licenses only (Score 2) 296

or the feature plain sucks (track changes in Office > Libre)

Huh? Have you used a recent version of LOffice? The track-changes feature in LO is considerably more elegant than MSOffice, both visually (in page view you still see the tagged and ordered comments/changes while displaying an accurate representation of the print view), and logically (I can reply by comment on a comment in LO, and record the justification for edits as the comments are ordered in a threaded conversation. And you don't lose the comments if you select and type instead of explicitly deleting text. By contrast in MSOffice, if you overwrite a section with track changes turned on, it always deletes the comments that went with the old text -- so MSOffice only has "track SOME changes."

I know it's a minor issue, but that in that respect, LO wins hands-down.

Comment: Re:Good to hear (Score 1) 296

Visio... ugh. I have a love-hate relationship with Visio, and got off the train at Visio 2010 -- which is ok, because it runs acceptably under Wine.

Some detail: At work I have a major publication based on about 50 complex diagrams in Visio, now in its 5th edition over the past 5 years. Originally drafted using 2003, the move to 2010 was annoying but acceptable, as it brought no discernible benefit but took away no features I needed. I was also ok with 2010 because it runs acceptably under Wine, which means I can load it at home where I much prefer Linux.
Since I work somewhere near Redmond, I got pushed to 2013, and I find it completely dysfunctional. The interface is hideous, object manipulation is difficult and requires many extra clicks for common tasks... and FFS the PDF rendering is totally broken. Even our IT and product support can't get pub-quality resolution out of the v2013 PDF engine. For a while I used Visio 2013 + GhostScript to generate acceptable PDFs because the file format incompatibilities between 2010 and 2013 made it a PITA to roll back, but there were other problems with that and eventually I just rolled back to 2010.

Upshot: If you're content with Visio 2010, then I'd say to use it on Windows or Linux as you prefer.
But Visio 2013 has regressed in UI and functionality to the point where I prefer to use DIA on Linux.

Comment: Re:no thanks (Score 5, Interesting) 172

by xeno (#47510639) Attached to: Firefox 31 Released

...and I'm not alone. According to Moz's own dev feedback tools, the Australis phelgm-globber of an interface has been trending at 80%-dislike from day one after introduction..

The biggest mistake you can make is to believe that you are working for someone else.