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Comment Cost and Benefit (Score 1) 250

I don't believe we do lack any backbone, initiative, dream, drive, or balls. What we are is re-tooling for the future. The past was big, single issue drives. It was what we could afford, and what we could do. Now we have a crossover moment in the historical record when sweeping change goes from being a government- or big corporate-driven event, to a massively multi-polar, crowd-driven one. Look, it used to be you had to spend thousands of dollars to buy enough computing power to run a graphical display. Now it's so cheap it's throw-away. It used to be you had to have massive investment to manufacture things, now you can do so at commodity prices.

In that context, let's re-ask the question, what does it mean that China has landed a probe on the moon? It's great for them, as evidence they have mastered the state-driven quest for achievement. But what's really got to blow your mind is that private individuals are about to do the same, and more. If you are old, and set in your ways, that's quite threatening. Me, I find it incredibly exciting. It puts a spring in my step. It means the era of nation-state primacy is coming to an end, and that the Age of Human Potential is about to explode. I am glad for it, and grateful I get to be alive to see it.

Comment Doom (Score 1) 225

I started out playing Pong. Zork and other nascent games followed. Our grandmother taught us how to program, since she was the first one in our part of the state to own one of the early IBM PCs (the one with the 4"x4" screen). Atari, Colecovision, Sega, Nintendo, were all part of our mother's milk, digitally speaking.

Doom in college, though, was the first time I felt horror at playing a computer game. When the T-Rex demons came for me at the climax, with the creepy music, I felt something past the usual reflex adrenaline. Amazingly 20 years later we're still mostly at the adrenaline reflex and the genre has yet to fully come into its own as a medium for artistic expression, but the imminent demise of TV and its Baby Boomer audience hint at much better things to come. Doom, I think, will be cited by future gamer audiences and critics, as one of the classics that laid firm claim to creative seriousness.

Comment Absurdity (Score 2) 293

I love gaming. I have spent far too much time at it. The thought that somebody in our nation's government is getting paid to do it and spy on the rest of us while doing so is ludicrous. The NSA will never be able to assemble enough SIGINT to prevent anything, only follow key words retroactively to find perpetrators after it's too late. In the meantime, the temptation to exploit casual behavior for political ends is too overwhelming.

The NSA represents the most existential threat to our freedom as Americans that has ever been, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union combined & included. If we fail to put an end to the NSA, then what happens with China, Russia, and Islamic terrorism is entirely moot.

Comment Fresh Water Lost to Space (Score 1) 273

Yes, all our fresh water, once drunk, is lost forever to space. Some say water you pee into the toilet or behind a tree runs to the sea, evaporates into clouds, falls to the ground as rain, and flows as rivers and springs back to the great intake pipes that lead to your faucet in the great hydrological cycle, but I call that junk science. Mumbo-jumbo about conservation of mass and energy aside, once you've used something. IT. IS. GONE. FOREVER.

Comment Asus Nexus 7 $200 (Score 1, Interesting) 370

I've had one for a year now and am quite happy with it. It was much more affordable than the iPad too. Its form factor beats the iPad because you can slip it into your front pocket (of your jeans). No extra carrying case required. Of course I often have to repossess the thing from my wife, who sneaks out of the house with it squirreled away in her purse.

Comment Podcasts (Score 0) 370

All the new music I've discovered in the last thirteen years has been through word of mouth and podcasts. With Napster I forgot any such thing as CDs, music stores, radio, and paying for music ever existed. After a lifetime of getting shafted by the record labels believe me I did not feel too bad about that. When I read Courtney Love's screed on the recording business, and other studies about how most artists made their money from touring, all residual angst about not paying for music went away. Blogs, podcasts, word-of-mouth, serendipity. They all give context to the music of periods of my life and are much more meaningful than the pre-packaged, commodotized RIAA fare we used to have spoon-fed us. As such, as far as it concerns music, I honestly feel like a happier human being. Also, I have been inspired to learn how to play guitar. I'm not good, but again, I'm a happier human being for being able to play what I can. I suspect the same will shortly be true of video entertainment as well.

Comment NSA Delenda Est (Score 5, Interesting) 256

I like the idea the folks in Utah had to cut off the water supply from the NSA facility so they're unable to cool their hardware and it melts. An across-the-board move to shun them and their conspirators in Washington would send the clear message that they had better change course and obey the law before the American people compel them through more drastic measures.

Comment Service Paid For (Score 1) 1010

If it's a public school, then a tax-paying citizen can reasonably claim he has already paid for the electricity in question. Should we now ask special permission to walk down the sidewalk or drive down the street? No, of course not. We as taxpayers have already paid for it.

The policeman was way, way out of line. He should find himself without a job in short order. Boneheads like him give commanders ulcers with the PR fallout.

Comment Absolutism (Score 1) 1010

Your absolutism is puerile. Arrest someone for plugging a device into a public outlet? It's the height of insanity. Do you also advocate for slamming someone to the pavement if they enter a crosswalk one second before the Walk sign illuminates? It's technically jaywalking, so why not, eh? Should you face the massive fines and jail terms described in the fine print of a government document if you leave off a period in your address? Hey, you signed it to attest it's accurate, right? It's. Your. Fault. Please remove yourself from our company until such time as you can demonstrate an adult, mature understanding of the world we live in.

Comment Rule of Law (Score 3, Insightful) 462

We have all learned to our chagrin that this is what has become of the rule of law in our day and age. There is no law, there are no rules. The Constitution no longer applies. There is only rule by fiat. That's a very shaky basis for a society. It will not end well for those promulgating this state of affairs. There are hundreds of millions more of us than there are of them, and we are heavily armed and educated. Everything we need to track down and hang the 1%.

Chew and digest.

Comment Price Point (Score 1) 810

I test-drove a Leaf in Michigan this summer and the car was awesome. It accelerated faster than my Honda Fit and was totally quiet. If I lived in the suburbs and commuted the average distance to work everyday, I would spring for one in a second. But we live in Brooklyn, and the lack of charging space, limited range, and higher price point are still sticking points for us. If I could afford a Tesla Model S I could get around the first thanks to its high range. So we're waiting until we can either afford a Model S or Tesla puts out a mass-market model we can afford now. After the gas shortages after Hurricane Sandy I am itching to ditch the ICE.

Comment God I hope not (Score 2) 248

The day terrestrial laws apply to extraterrestrial space is the day humanity curls up into a little ball and dies. Space is vast, and the ability of dissidents and frontiersmen to charge out into it and carve life from cold balls of rock gives hope to all those who despair of the cause of freedom here on Earth.

And if I'm the intrepid guy who makes it to Mars and builds a sustainable colony there, the last g*damn thing I'm gonna worry about is filing paperwork with retard bureaucrats in Washington DC or the UN. They can all go hang. In fact, I would post a sign on the outskirts of my settlement: "Lawyers, politicians, and bureaucrats shot on sight."

Comment Makerspaces (Score 1) 152

I think a makerspace in every school makes more sense. No, fossils, a makerspace is not the same thing as shop class. Teaching kids to code, work with CAD programs, and see the result print out on printers not only teaches STEM more effectively to the kids who are wired to like STEM anyway, but makes the process more accessible to kids who are, say, arty or sporty. So putting 3D printers like Fab@Home's would make more sense than MakerBot because it's more versatile, and gene-sequencing machines, centrifuges, autoclaves, and such for biohacking because future manufacturing could well be bio-based. CnC machines and lathes come into the mix as well. Lastly, dedicating a significant portion of instruction time to the makerspace rather than as an option for "kids who aren't nerdy" is the only way to cement America's place in the technological future.

Comment Government (Score 5, Interesting) 44

My favorite part of Blackberry's troubles is that it will cripple the federal government. All the politicians and their lackies run around with Blackberrys sutured to their hands, texting each other in meetings and rudely breaking off in mid-conversation to answer texts because they're incredibly important people and you're not. It's not intentional of course, but Blackberry's failure will do more for productivity in Washington DC and to bring the people living in the Beltway bubble back down to earth than all the NGOs, PACs, and citizen action groups combined.

With the NSA revelations, government shutdown, plummeting approval ratings, and now Blackberry's shutdown, DC is teetering on the edge of collapse (thank god). I'm wondering what will be the straw that breaks the camel's back. Student loan bubble bursting?

Comment Game Stores (Score 3) 385

The next retail model to go belly up are GameStops and the like. When Steam is fully up and running there will be no reason to buy your own copy any more, which means the lucrative secondary market many game stores rely on for profit margins will go away.

Incidentally when Steam is fully transitioned to Linux it will have an effect on prevalence of MS in the home, too.

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