Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Comment Annoying as hell (Score 1) 395

The first thing I do when a phone operator robot asks me to say "English" for English or "Espanol" for Espanol, I push all the buttons to see if I can get to a number-based menu, or at least hurt the robot's ears. Saying "English" and waiting for it to confirm that I said English is not faster or more convenient than hitting 1. It's not scary, but it's a computer, and I'm not going to pretend it's not.

Saying, "Open a command prompt," is in no way more convenient, faster, or easier than slamming the mouse to the lower left, clicking, and typing cmd.exe. Having it say, "OK, here's a command prompt," afterward would just be annoying.

Maybe I'm just not picturing the right use case.

Comment Re:Tone-deaf President (Score 4, Insightful) 1026

If spent properly, $16 billion will come back as tax income directly (by spent properly, I mean "if you have a bank account in Ireland, there's no need to apply for the funds, contractor). After contractor profits and material cost, probably $10-ish billion of that will go to guys actually doing work. Those people will no longer be unemployed, making a significant dent in the unemployment rate.

On top of than that, since this money goes largely to people without money, that money will get spent quickly, meaning products will be bought, businesses will be kept afloat by those sales, and those businesses will lay fewer people off by the truckload. Hopefully someone can convince them to spend it on things with a Made In America stamp.

The investment will likely mostly pay for itself when the lines are leased to private companies to run the lines after they're built.

The American people benefit by the additional infrastructure.

This is exactly how government should spend money. But obviously that's a huge amount of money and its application should be careful, thoughtful, and efficient. That's usually where these things go awry; they let private business tell them "what they need" instead of hiring an insanely over-qualified team to actually manage the job with Uncle Sam's interests in mind.

Comment Re:could it be scaled up (Score 1) 170

20km is 140km short of low earth orbit. Though you'd have to talk to someone with more structural engineering knowledge than I have to know how impractical a 20km tall tower is this week. And someone with more rocket science knowledge to tell you if this scheme of whatever quantity of fuel this would offload is of any benefit at all.

As for nanotubes, it's my understanding that they have excellent tensile strength but poor compressive strength, making them useful for a "hanging" space elevator but useless for a very tall tower.

Comment Re:could it be scaled up (Score 4, Insightful) 170

You're then pulling along a 20km hose behind your rocket, and that hose has to be strong enough to support its own weight. You're going to add more weight than you're subtracting.

Unless you built a 20km tall tower that the hose hangs down from and as the rocket ascends you retract the hose so the rocket doesn't have to carry the slack. But then you have to build a 20km tall tower that can hold an enormous amount of hose (still sturdy enough to be 20km long) and the weight of the fuel item you're moving, and since that weight is going to be on one side of the tower you'd have to counterbalance it on the other side. Tricky.

Comment Re:Good lord... (Score 1) 760

Yeah, that's a pretty common thing to say over here in the States whenever anyone from Europe doesn't kiss our butts hard enough. Please know that while Americans that aren't jerks are a minority, we're a very large minority. Unfortunately we tend to just be quietly cool about things, so we're less well-known than our loudmouth brethren. But trust me, we exist, we're numerous, and we want to punch those morons in the neck from time to time just as much as you do. But we don't, 'cause that wouldn't be very cool.

But anyway, sorry about those guys.

Comment Re:other on line shoping sites had software downlo (Score 1) 425

They're not claiming a patent on app stores, just a trademark on app stores called App Store. You can have a McDonalds Shoe Store and trademark it to prevent another shoe store from calling itself McDonalds, even if there have been other shoe stores and other McDonaldses for decades.

However this trademark is quite likely invalid, 'cause you probably can't trademark a shoe store called Shoe Store.

Comment Re:What starts in the war zones (Score 1) 127

Constant, real-time monitoring - sorta
robotic cops - eventually
a TV channel for just about every imaginable thing - yay!

lose of humanity & compassion - not really at all
state-run religion ("OMM" -- "Blessings of the state, blessings of the masses.") - also not at all.
mandatory drug sedation beginning at adolescence - I'm guessing this is ADD-related? Ritalin is the parents' choice, not the government. Adderall gives you superpowers, so when it's even available for normals, I'm first in line.

Comment Re:one line to many cashiers (Score 1) 464

Because you're not shopping on Black Friday. Given how cheap a cash register is and how little space it takes up, it's really not a bad idea to have 7000 of them for the one day a year you need them, even if you only use 1 on weekdays. But it would be a bit of a blunder to be paying 40 people $8 / hour just to save a customer that isn't going to get better service elsewhere 2 minutes.

Comment Re:Why is porn bad? (Score 4, Insightful) 642

Murder in real life makes 99.9% people want to vomit. If you watch a horror movie and start fantasizing about being the killer, there's something incredibly wrong with you.

Squirting DNA at other people in real life is virtually irresistible and damn near the meaning of life. If you watch porn and DON'T want to have sex, you either recently had sex (with zero or more partners) or there's something incredibly wrong with you.

I don't understand why people even compare the two. They're nothing alike, except that they can both be seen on TV if you film them and put them on TV.

But my usual disclaimer when I say that: I don't support censorship of it. Kids will learn to screw. I watched a bunch of porn as a kid, and it was only a minor contributor to why I'm a miserable piece of crap adult. Just teach kids how condoms work so it doesn't destroy them when they figure out how to con their classmates into scratching their itches.

Comment Re:I think the title should be... (Score 1) 1352

A business owner or CEO in the 250k bracket that has his taxes raised is not going to tell his company to hire fewer people.

Partnerships are pass-through entities, meaning the owner and the company are the same for tax purposes. The same is true for S-corps and LLCs taxed as S-Corps (though LLCs can elect to be taxed as C-corps, but it only makes sense to do so if your company is expected to re-invest profits in the company).

Additionally the business owner will anticipate his own reduced income and distribute a larger share of the company's profits to himself to compensate, reducing the cash pool available to hire new employees.

It's a valid point. It's less valid than taxing the fuck out of the top end and giving tons of free money to the bottom. The bottom is going to spend it buying the top half's products anyway, making them richer ten minutes later than they would have been if we reduced their taxes. Tax reductions don't make people rich, sales do.

Comment Re:Noscript wins again (Score 4, Interesting) 330

A "push" credit card transaction would also solve those problems. Why is it that I can only pay for something by giving my entire credit balance to someone and trusting them to give me back everything but what their invoice says? Why can't I say, "Hey, MasterCard, give this guy $50." He gets an email, his automatic email-getting-password-sender-outer tells me how to get to his jiggly bits. ... I mean, the jiggly bits he has video of, not the ones between his pockets.

Comment Re:Odd. (Score 1) 473

If that happens, the guy on the other side created a universe, of which something as insanely complicated as a human is one trillionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a percent. The guy built the moon and is way better at physics than Steven Hawking, so it's not like you're dealing with a guy that lacks either brains or brawn. Plus if the lake of fire is actually on the moon, you're pretty much fucked on that escape part. So best of luck, assuming you weren't the rare total douche who deserves a lake of fire, but I don't like your chances.

Slashdot Top Deals

I judge a religion as being good or bad based on whether its adherents become better people as a result of practicing it. - Joe Mullally, computer salesman