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Comment I voted some other (Score 1) 137

If you must have a pong, Heiko Selber's honourable mention beats Piotr Dabrowski's hands down, in my opinion -- yours is pretty classy Piotr but I prefer the full field, myself (same reason I detest tablet-ized interfaces).

But I don't think the logo should go crazy on sideways references; hence I cannot vote for any of the other "presented" options. My top 6 are, therefore, #1, #7 and #9 from the accepted list, and Pocholo Peralta's, Erik Berglund's and Pete Mendoza's honourable mention entries.

* #1 refers to these polls, a strong feature of slashdot from so long ago that it might as well be the beginning.
* #7 has classic lines and is self-referential to its topic
* #9 is almost Matrix-y and ASCII-art-ish without being a 100% send-up of either
* I preferred Pocholo Peralta's logo over Sean Murphy's #31 because I view animated graphics, generally, as abominable. This works in the 15th anniversary theme tastefully and effectively.
* Erik Berglund's logo embodies slashdot's quirky take on everything -- give it a twist!
* I like Pete Mendoza's contribution for the same reason I prefer #7 to the ones to vote for. I'm disappointed that nobody used the default Slashdot logo font in the same way, actually.

I think I'd have to vote for #1, as much as anything because I can suffix my vote with

you insensitive clod...ank

Comment No RSI hint #1: Don't use the mouse (Score 2) 262

In 27 years of professional software development I have watched numerous co-workers succumb to various RSIs, require ergonomic keyboards just to be able to bear the pain of working. The one difference I notice between me and these unfortunate folks is this: I avoid using the mouse.

I use keyboard shortcuts, I prefer a text editor that allows me to do everything including navigating from a standard QWERTY keyboard (in my case, the One True Editor, vim but there are other options -- I've also used BRIEF, OS-9's stylograph and IBM's Personal Editor in my time). Hot-keys, short-cut keys, accelerators, anything that keeps my hands on home row have been my safeguard.

It's also fair to say that I have been playing piano since I was 5 but I still think that "stay away from the mouse" is the best advice anyone will give you.


Comment Simple is beautiful -- just not on a tablet (Score 4, Insightful) 370

This kind of comment comes from the same kind of morons who brought us the re-tooling, for instance, of GMail. It was great (to use) the way it was. Now I hear nothing (NOTHING!) but complaints about it (or blank stares which when probed yield statements of powerlessness). If the underlying code was ugly, the first update cycle should have been to upgrade the code in a way that none of the users would notice.

Note to Jimmy Wales: resist the UX-groupthink mob who would tell you to make Wikipedia more tablet friendly. If it's ugly, it's ugly the way the old White Pages were ugly. Ugly and informative. The way a real newspaper used to be ugly (especially the front sections up to where the editorials, letters and Op-Ed pieces lay): ugly, information rich and informative.

Note to the groupthink mob: if you must make something tablet-friendly, make sure it's still screen friendly during the design before you foist it on those of us who haven't caved-in to constant computing through tablet ownership.

<quickly hitting submit before going off and doing something real>...ank

Comment Don't blame Agile for bad recruiting results (Score 4, Interesting) 491

Agile is just a structure. Like anything else, it's only going to be as good as the people you put in place to execute it. A properly constituted agile team will put documentation (of designs, code, deployment, whatever) up as stories/tasks that need to be accomplished right alongside working features. Documentation is an end-product just as surely as working code and unit tests are.

If the team doesn't identify those tasks and sign up for them, you hired the wrong people. Reform your recruiting process before you blame a process that delivers a working solution at the end of every sprint. And if your so-called Agile doesn't pretty much do that, then you really are being scammed.

(I've been a developer for 26 years; some form of Agile has covered the most productive and enjoyable parts of my careeer)

Comment Secrecy and Polywells (Score 1) 244

First, thank you so much for this. Someone else has already talked about Most Informative Post to slashdot this year. I agree.

Second, your point on peer review and secrecy is well taken. In the case of Polywell, the only reason it's known about outside the US Navy is the invasion of Iraq and now that they have enough money to pour into it once again, it's going dark again. Whenever I hear complaints against Polywell about peer review, I feel a bit like Bussard and his team are being painted with the Cold Fusion brush which isn't fair. It'd be nice if someone could take the data that's already out in the public and find enough funding, at least to try to duplicate their results. Or is the data that's out there even enough for that?

Whatever other things get blamed, I still say it's secrecy that hampers scientific advance more than anything else.

Comment Re:Cost/Benefit -- tokamak vs. other options (Score 1) 318

This doesn't get a lot of public exposure. I had never seen this diagram or anything like it.

But some of the rhetoric sounds a bit weird: "We predicted this result (experimental) in the 70s and achieved it in the 90s." Now that's a long development cycle. In the meantime, I got impatient. Can anyone blame me?

And I still have a problem with doing D-T fusion that sends so many wild and crazy neutrons out into the world where they'll make things outside the reaction chamber radioactive (or brittle) (or both). Don't the inherent risks in that reaction make it incumbent on us to find other source reactions that don't have those problems?

But thanks for the link. That was interesting...ank

Comment Re:Cost/Benefit -- tokamak vs. other options (Score 1) 318

thanks for keeping this up, jo_ham...

"Disappointing" then, is outsider-speak for, "I thought this was going to lead to widely distributed production-level reactors that would lead away from dependency on other more destructive, consumptive and dangerous forms of energy generation..."

Or to put it another way, "Fusion tomorrow, warp engines the next day, replicators the day after that, right?" Only it's not working out that way. It sucks to be the public watching. It probably sucks even more to be the scientist who's working on it -- at least until he sheds some of the idealism of youth.

"the science is good" reminds me of something Dr. Bussard said in the "Should Google Go Nuclear?" video.

But if the goal is power that really does become cheap and clean, I'll still insist that there's something right (at least the tiniest bit) about being disappointed with ITER so far.

Comment Re:Cost/Benefit -- tokamak vs. other options (Score 2) 318

How is ITER disappointing: how many decades of research have they performed without inching perceptibly closer to positive power output, and with each iteration (pun noted) you yet another large expensive facility full of potentially dangerous (flying neutrons engendered more radioisotopes), useless (structures become unsound when enough of the atoms in their engineered parts change and the alloys no longer have their specified characteristics) remains.

Cannibalising as a mistake: I'm with you here and the amount spent on ringtones, petfood or any of the other frivolous stuff we humans can't quite do without would seem to be better sources for this money. Still, I hardly think shaving off one to five percent of the money from ITER will hurt it very much -- heck, with the amounts we're talking about, shaving ITER by one to five thousandths wouldn't hurt ITER at all but could provide oceans of seed cash for other alternatives.

Middle East wars etc.: totally with you on that one. Wasn't it the cut in Navy funding with Gulf War 2 that drove Bussard, for instance, to seek other funding in the "Should Google Go Nuclear" video?


Comment Cost/Benefit -- tokamak vs. other options (Score 2) 318

ITER/Tokamak has been around for a long time with, to say the least, disappointing results in the long haul.

At some point, practical planning would say that a portion of the money -- even a very small portion -- being spent on ITER projects should be redirected to make sure that the pre-occupation with ITER isn't starving other options that may turn out to be better ideas. It's often been the outliers that succeed even in technology areas where lots of attention and money have been spent on some "standard" solution.

I'm not against pure science but in this situation I'm likely to appear so to some: it's annoying to me that ITER, the long term "solution of the future and always will be" is getting so much money that other options are being starved out. Am I completely out to lunch for some reason?

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