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Comment Re:I miss the Tandy (Score 2) 93

Addendum: with an Arduino you could do it even cheaper and you could build it this weekend, although it would involve more DIY software dev and result in less overall capability (with a Raspberry Pi and a tiny USB wifi module you could read RSS feeds or email, etc).

Arduino would be about $20; Longtech makes a cheap 128x64 LCD for $17, keyboard would be $10, and if you fabbed the case yourself for free, total cost would be about $50.

Comment Re:I miss the Tandy (Score 2) 93

Perhaps you should try building one with a Raspberry Pi (once they're released)? A credit card-sized 700 MHz ARMv6 board with SD storage, USB, and it can run off a pair of AA's. You could connect a small cheap 128x64 monochrome LCD like this one from Sparkfun to the GPIO, hook up a keyboard, and run a minimal Debian distribution.

$25 for the Raspberry Pi, $40 or so for the LCD, $10 for the keyboard; throw another $25 in to order a 3D-printed plastic case, use an old 1 GB SD cost would be around $100.

Comment Chrome OS = thin client all over again (Score 5, Insightful) 136

Remember when thin clients were all the rage, guys? Remember Bill Joy telling us the network is the computer? It was true!

Well, kinda...

As it turns out, internet access isn't ubiquitous, at least not yet. In the age of 4G smartphones and tablets we'd like to think it's ubiquitous, but you really only notice that it's not when you have a system like a Chrome OS laptop that literally does not function at all without a network connection.

Even if it were available all the time (airplanes, underground, in the wilderness) it's still not fast enough. And even if it were fast enough, presently we have to deal with usage caps.

Chrome OS is an idea way too far ahead of its time. Right now there's no reason to ditch native software that works perfectly well.

Comment False dichotomy (Score 4, Insightful) 457

This isn't an either-or situation. The TSA's perpetrated a number of civil liberties violations, yes. On the other hand, some kind of free market libertarian fantasy should not come at the expense of public safety either.

The TSA needs to be re-imagined, but we shouldn't revert to the system we had before. But c'mon. A free market system has no incentive to improve in this kind of situation (oh, you died in a terrorist attack? Fine, go to some other airport next time!)

Comment It's time for Slashdot to support Unicode properly (Score 4, Insightful) 139

Lack of support for 20 year-old standard is usually just annoying as hell, but in this case it's actually caused the summary to be wrong. For a site that frequently discusses such topics as technology, math and language (for all of which Unicode is an important part—at least insofar as even being able to TALK about these subjects) there is absolutely no excuse for not doing Unicode.

As far as I'm concerned Slashdot ought to be able to render MathML too.

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