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Comment Re:Missing the Mark (Score 1) 86

The Rift isn't a walled garden. Most Steam games are compatible, you can freely develop on it, run free software, use WebVR, etc... You also don't need a Facebook account.
The store itself is not open but you don't need to use it. In fact, with everything else being equal, it is recommended to buy your games on Steam, this way, if you get another compatible headset (like the Vive), you can still play your game.
As for playing our current games in VR, it is not that simple. VR require a specific control scheme in order to be enjoyable. For example, camera movement that doesn't match player movement can make people sick. For that reason, teleportation-based movement is often preferred, and gameplay has to be adjusted for it.

Comment Re:So SpaceX rockets don't exist? (Score 1) 142

Where are the solar roofs? I mean a complete working installation on a regular customer roof. Right now, solar roofs are still vapor, though I am relatively confident it will turn into a real product. After all, solar shingles are not breakthrough technology. I am not sure about the economies of it though.

Tesla cars and Falcon launchers are very real. Hyperloop and Mars missions... not so much. Musk is not all hot air, but there is still a lot of it between the real products. He is a smart guy, he knows how to balance vaporware with solid investment for fun and profit.

Comment Won't paywall articles get downranked? (Score 1) 97

Google says that paywalled news sites won't get downranked. It may be true in the sense that there won't be an explicit penalty.
However, a common reaction after hitting a paywall is to go back to the search page and find something else. Normally, in that situation, googles downranks the offending site, considering that it didn't match the user's needs.

Comment Re:Because SHINY.. (Score 1) 487

A smartphone is as crucial as, say, a car or a washing machine. Though it depends on the situation.
Internet access is becoming essential. At least in some countries, they are talks about making it a basic right, like electricity and clean water, and making some official procedures internet-only. And for some people, especially the poorest, a smartphone may be their only way to access it.
Considering you are posting on Slashdot, you probably own a computer and a home internet access, and maybe the same thing at work. And your activity most likely doesn't require you to be online at all times. In other words, you have the privilege of not needing a smartphone.
It is the same as a city dweller saying that a car is not crucial. He is most likely right. In fact, in some cities, owning a car is actually undesirable. But that's forgetting that if you live in the suburbs, not having a car is inconvenient, and it is basically impossible if you live in the countryside.

Comment Re:Just a thought... (Score 1) 49

It is actually a mix of both. SMTP is push-based but POP/IMAP are pull-based. A purely push-based or pull-based system would require 24/7 connectivity for all clients (for receiving and emitting respectively).
Making the internal connectivity pull-based would just make things slower. Mail is push-based by nature, sending mail is the active part, receiving it is passive. With real-life post offices, the sender is the one who do all the procedures and pays for the stamp, the receiver just needs to check his mailbox. Compare to buying a newspaper, where the customers is the receiver and the sender simply makes it available.

Comment Re:The EU (Score 2) 335

If a private company blocks some kind of content, it is totally within their rights. They own the platform and using it is a privilege, not a right. They are only required to follow their own contracts. If you are unhappy with that, find another platform, or create your own.

When a government decides to force companies to remove content, that's real censorship. A completely different matter.

AFAIK, the USA have much stronger freedom of speech laws than the EU. And Google and Facebook usually block content on their own, probably because being associated with hate speech is bad for business.

Comment Re:Amazon is part of it... (Score 2) 133

I don't need anybody to sell me anything. I come to the store to buy a thing that I like. All I need is someone to give it to me and take my money. I actually find people giving me advices rather annoying since I usually spend days researching about the thing I want to buy.

You are the exception rather than the rule.
And the reason you are doing this research is probably because you don't trust salesmen. Wouldn't it be better if you actually had a competent guy, pointing you directly to the right product, saving you all that time?
And while I am also the kind of guy who spend days researching before buying, sometimes, it is easy to get lost in details. A competent seller advice can bring you back to earth. It happened to me several times.

Comment Mein Kampf (Score 5, Interesting) 166

Mein Kampf is banned in many countries.
The way it was implemented is a bit uncommon because it uses the copyright law : Hitler's property was seized by the government of Bavaria, including Mein Kampf copyright, and it was used to block the sales.

I really think that no list of banned books should be without it. Because it shows that censorship is not just about LGBT stuff, it is also about what "progressives" find despicable. And if you really are against censorship, you should also fight for Mein Kampf to be available.
It also shows that copyright abuse is a form of censorship.

Comment Re:Flying cars? (Score 1) 251

In other words, shipping containers with people inside.
With such a system, it is likely that many people for which "pods" would be their only home. In fact we are already building housing out of shipping containers.

Now, interestingly, your solution tends to be the opposite of the path we are following. Your idea is one about comfortable slow travel, which remind me of the magnificent Titanic, Orient Express and Hindenburg. Now, the idea is to pack as many people as possible and move them as fast as possible. Even first class on the best airline is nowhere near what you get on a cruise ship in terms of comfort.

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