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Comment Is this why they always fix things in Star Trek? (Score 0) 49

I always wondered why 'Star Trek' characters seemed to spend a good fraction of the episodes rebuilding critical parts of their spaceship/gun/etc on the fly, under duress, and with a limited amount of time. I mean yes, obviously, some of it was just good (suspenseful) TV, but it's interesting to hear that there was actually an era when the person doing the engineering work would later be the one to actually go on the mission. Maybe they modeled Star Trek off people like this guy.

Comment Why doesn't this happen more? (Score 1) 355

So aside from the details of this particular incident, why doesn't this happen more?

I want to be clear that I don't want this to happen, it's clearly a bad, bad thing when it does, but think of it this way: Each term (semester, quarter) millions of people enroll in classes. Tens of thousands of classes. Business 101, Advanced Operating System Design, Underwater Basket Weaving, whatever. Statistically it's very unlikely that any given class will fail (there's probably at least one person who's going to do the work well enough to pass) but over the whole set of classes, term after term, year after year, shouldn't we expect to see this happen at least once every so often?

Comment Cost = Labor, not tech (Score 3, Insightful) 87

The cost of producing a large amount of well-thought out, cohesive, modular, high-visual-quality video is in the labor, not the cost of the tech. What the professor is saying is that she doesn't have the time to write 200 hours of script (or even write out 200 hours worth of detailed notes), record the 200 hours (which'll take more than that to record - no-one can do 200 hours of high-quality video on the first take), go back and edit stuff (even just cutting out uhms & ahs takes long than you think - step 1 will be to re-watch the 200 hours of video to find them :) ), etc, etc.

The $100,000 figure struck me as being weird, as well, but the professor's point is that producing 10 hours of video for each of 20 lessons in addition to all the other course materials is way, way too much to just demand that someone do.

Besides, for stuff like this you mostly want a good book anyways. Something that you can read a short paragraph of, stop and think about for a bit, come back and re-read in order to make sure that you got it, read another paragraph the same way, maybe work through a problem or two. Videos of this would be nice, but they're window-dressing around the main event.

Comment Microsoft Spartan? (Score 5, Interesting) 317

Isn't this how the XBox became the XBox? They released the code name of their internal project, people kept using the name, and then they just stuck with it?

On the one hand "Microsoft Spartan" doesn't seem corporate enough. On the other hand it'll fit right in with Firefox & Chrome, which also have non-descriptive names that are pan-inoffensive yet interesting...

Comment Single Service, or open/data-portable? (Score 1) 150

Reading this my first thought was "What if that single-service company goes out of business?" Is it really any different for a single-focus company to go out of business than for a Google (etc) product to be discontinued?

I loved Google Reader too, and was happy to be able to move over to Feedly pretty easily because Reader allowed me to export my data.

Maybe what we really want is not companies that have a single focus, but rather companies that allow us to move our data/patronage elsewhere?

Comment I love /. clickbait (Score 4, Funny) 553

Y'know, for all it's flaws, warts, and Dice-y-ness, I think it's a good sign that the clickbait here is stuff about systemd.
Seriously - on other websites they'll drive up pageviews by posting something like "This just in: politicians you disagree with are EVIL!! EEEEEEVIIIIIL!".

What whips up the /. crowd into a frothy frenzy?
Systemd :)

Comment Re:I don't get "smartphones are too expensive" (Score 1) 150

Fifteen years ago people paid $1,000 or more out of pocket just to connect a desktop to the Internet.

Wait, what??? 15 years ago is 2000 - where did you live (and what service did you get) that you actually paid $1,000 to get online? Even if you wanted to buy a new network card, pay someone to install it, buy the modem/cable modem/etc and pay someone to install that I still can't believe it would cost $1,000.

(Are you including the cost of the desktop itself in that price? That would make a lot more sense....)

Comment Why is this posted here? (Score 1) 386

C'mon - /. loves Google, and when talking to a bunch of engineers/IT/software types the last thing you want to lead with is "Your awesome idea isn't sale-able"

My top two guesses are:
1) This is /. click-bait: watch as we all pile on and argue with the summary!
2) This was mass-posted to a bunch of sites by a service. Maybe not the exact same article everywhere, but someone wants people to think that Google isn't all that, and has paid someone else to post stuff promoting that view

What does everyone else think?

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