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Comment Commodore PET (Score 1, Interesting) 857

You spoiled brats with your C64s with floppy drives and your VIC-20s... you had it too easy. The original Commodore PET had 8K of RAM, a 40x25 character display, and storage on a cassette tape.

Fun memories:

  • * Playing stored program tapes on my cassette player (later on when I got a modem, discovering that the sound was very similar)
  • * Clumsy but workable graphics using the shaped symbols in the upper ASCII set and POKE commands to move them around the screen quickly
  • * Opening the case to explore the motherboard, and discovering that the connector for the CRT could plug into other pins sticking up to produce interesting flashes on the screen (amazingly did not electrocute myself or fry any components)
  • * Trying to write a Monopoly game and blowing up the 8K RAM just defining an array of 40 elements for the property squares

Good times! My roommate in college did get a C64. He had to keep two 1541 floppy drives, because they tended to overheat so he'd keep one in the freezer and swap it out with the one that was overheating.

Comment Re:Most of the alternatives he describes... (Score 5, Insightful) 140

The general purpose nature of email is a bit reason I still use it extensively. Also...

  • * Not limited to 140 characters
  • * Better handling of conversation threads
  • * Better at handling mixed media (audio, photos, PDFs, office documents all attached to a single message)
  • * More control over formatting
  • * Easier to organize, archive, and search for past conversations

I'm a member of a group that works together doing voiceover and audio book projects, and the guy running the show uses not just facebook but specifically the Messenger feature within Facebook for all our discussions and planning. The result is that there's a single chat window going back three months containing every conversation we ever had without any search capability, sample clips attached with no way to save them to an external device (you can only play them back within Messenger), and don't even get me started about the animated GIFs that I have to see over and over again whenever I open that chat pane.

Comment Re:Surveillance doesn't prevent terrorism (Score 3, Insightful) 360

Especially in this case. From the summary:

British press reports suggest Masood used the messaging service owned by Facebook just minutes before the Wednesday rampage that left three pedestrians and one police officer dead and dozens more wounded..

Even if he had sent in plaintext "GONNA DRIVE THROUGH A CROWD OF PEOPLE AND KILL AS MANY AS I CAN!!!" minutes before doing so, how could they have stopped him? Hell, he could have called police and told them explicitly where he was and what he was doing, maybe even sent a live video feed from his phone while he was doing it.

Security theatre.

Comment Re:Is it still full of flying penises? (Score 2) 55

Linden Labs have provided content creators (that is, the population of users who comprise Second Life) much more power over who can do what on their "land". As a result, most places are civilized now. Only group members of a region can create objects on that land; there are limits to how many objects can be rezzed at one time (so anyone who does manage to engage in griefing will be limited in scope); abusive activity is much more quickly curtailed.

Of course you can still find flying penises, not to mention sex with goats, snuff games, a thriving sex slave industry and the like but you have to actively go searching for it.

Comment Re:Second Life still has thousands of users? (Score 2) 55

Right, because it doesn't appeal to activities you consider important, it just doesn't make sense that it would appeal to anyone else on the planet. Are that many people really not as enlightened as you?

Just for grins you might try reading TFA, and learn something about why it's still popular enough to be profitable for Linden Labs.

Comment Re:So, lemme get that straight... (Score 1) 159

You joke, but I really wonder about the double standard. They would have us believe that pictures or statues featuring full frontal nudity are for whatever reason inappropriate. OK, I can live with that. I know what it's like to be a parent waiting to have "the talk" with my kids on my timetable, not when some random social media site decides it's time.

And yet... it's somehow magically inoffensive if that giant schlong is centuries old? Allow nude art or don't allow it, but don't try to have it both ways just because a ninja turtle signed the work.

Comment Re:To answer the question. (Score 1) 624

Exactly. Just like my namesake said, follow the money.

Fake news is ridiculously profitable from an advertising point of view. Headlines and stories that rile people up, fuel their confirmation bias, are addictive; people will keep coming back to your site for more and share links to your site on social media to bring in more addicts. All so you can rake in the cash selling ads that target a growing audience.

Comment Re:Less Hype Needed, Highly Speculative (Score 1) 240

Attempting to up the hype a bit

Please don't. The paper contains a wildly speculative idea which, while technically possible, is based on a single, unconfirmed experimental result.

This. The first thing I noticed in TFA (I know, that was my first mistake) was the headline leading with "Physicists confirm"... and then trailing off -- before the end of the headline! -- into speculative weasel words like "possible", "if true", "may be", etc. Which is it, phys.org? Did scientists confirm it, or is it just a possible discovery?

Then people wonder why scientific discoveries are so badly misreported.

Comment Can't turn, can't climb, can't run (Score 5, Informative) 343

So you're saying that there's no truth to this story? Where's you're evidence? You have none? Then why should I believe your negative spin?

Always a clever tactic to demand an explanation and then triumphantly declare that the other person has none before any time has passed for replies to be made. Here, let me help you with that "missing" evidence. Have you missed the news for the past eight years? The F-35 program has been dogged at every step by cost overruns, test failures, design-by-committee creeping features, etc.

I could go on all day, but you get the idea. Just google "F-35" + "waste" + "failure".

Comment Re:I call BFD here (Score 1) 623

Go Los Angeles and there are some freeway offramps marked 25 MPH

Are those actual, legally enforced speed limits (black lettering on white background) or advisory speed limits? It makes a difference in court. The former can get you a ticket if you exceed it; the latter is just a commonsense guideline ("If you have any brains at all, you'll slow down to 25 to take this exit/curve/whatever"). You can't get a ticket for going faster than the advisory speed limit, but your insurance company can use it against you if it can be proven that you were going too fast at the time of the accident.

Comment Re:News at 5... (Score 1) 451

I realize that the OP's suggestion ("programmed to avoid getting in accidents and nothing else") was ridiculously oversimplified, but... that's no less ridiculous than the "dilemmas" presented in the game.

Scenario 1: Crash directly into a concrete barrier or into a crowd of people and cats. Really, there are no other possible outcomes at all? Not rapid controlled deceleration, not swerving off the road, nothing else comes to mind?

Come back to me when you have *realistic* scenarios.

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