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Comment Is this the OASIS? (Score 1) 230

Having just re-read Ready Player One not too long ago, I began to take stock of the things that I could see developing in the not-distant future of the ever-present online society and then comparing them to their OASIS counter-parts. Every now and again you see something as ridiculous as this, and you realize that if the technology was just that little tiny bit better, it wouldn't be science fiction after that.

Comment Re:All drives fail, sooner or later... plan for it (Score 2) 145

I think the point here isn't that there's a drive or manufacturer out there that doesn't fail. The point here is that with such a huge sample range, you can make somewhat useful trends and comparisons between failure rates on a macro scale that no standard user would be able to do themselves. If you look at 56,000 disks and see that Seagate accounts for a larger percentage of drives and lower equivalent failure rate among manufacturers, you can *generally* expect that buying a drive of an equivalent model as compared and evaluated here will have *on average* a better reliability rate than a comparative drive shown to have a worse value in this study. None of this absolves you of responsibility to your data, but it gives you a guideline toward making your data storage medium as reliable as possible.

Comment This new change needs to be optional (Score 1) 33

Oracle already intentionally supports the concept of multiple versions by allowing Static installations; when an installation is flagged as Static, it is installed separately, using the full build version number as the folder name rather than the major version only (i.e. jre_1.7.25 rather than jre7), Doing this allows you to call multiple different versions of Java independently, based on your needs. However, if I just run the installer as-is, it does an in-place swap of the version; if I go from a standard install of Java 1.7.25 (installed to a folder called jre7) to a standard install of 1.7.55, it just empties the jre7 folder and installs Patch 55 in the same place. The existing installer already removes non-Static versions now, so if they're going to start forcing more removals of older versions, I can only assume that means it will remove even Static installations. This Static removal policy needs to be a command-line toggle that I can prevent. My company utilizes Java as a cross-platform development engine to run one of our major products on. Each version of our software is tied to a specific version of Java, and as such, engineers end up having multiple versions of Java installed to support each version of our software. Because of this, we're always installing newer versions of Java while not wanting to remove the older versions.

Comment Re:I get it, but don't think it was fair to the mo (Score 1) 400

The thing is, he really isn't that annoying in the original trilogy. He's hapless and completely pessimistic, but he's not that annoying. In the prequels, however, he's gone to complete bumbling stupidity and slapstick humor at his expense, sometimes to the ridiculously improbable level. Look at ESB; Luke and Han are missing, and Threepio stupidly tells Leia how long the odds are. Afterward, he realizes what he did, and he super-awkwardly tries to apologize to her to make her feel better. He understands how big a mistake he made, and in a completely droid-like way, tries to fix it. In AotC, on the other hand, he's literally chopped up in a cartoon-like fashion and reassembled with different body parts and accidentally participates in the battle, all the while telling snarky bad jokes. There's no deeper layer of subtle understanding; he's just gone from the pessimistic character to the comic relief.

Comment What does this accomplish? (Score 5, Insightful) 197

"Those people [who post abuse online] think they can sit in the comfort of their homes and do whatever they want on the internet. We don't let that happen. They can't hide from us, we will find them."

So the idea is that you're going to find them, and then post their picture and their message near to them so that they and everyone else can see what a tool that person is. Except you're going to obscure the picture and hide the name so that nobody knows who did it except the original author. Basically, you're just publishing this person's hate mail on the wall like a poster, and letting them see their work writ large.

Comment A familiar concern to Sci-Fi authors (Score 2) 394

Look at today. How many different electronic book formats are there? Ten years from now, how many e-book readers will read these same formats, and how many new ones will there be? A hundred years from now, you'll have even more formats growing at that same progression rate until either a radical shift in information storage occurs, or the system becomes overloaded. Today, many people devote time and energy to maintaining these formats or helping convert them from older to newer, but the center cannot hold; eventually, information will be lost.

Roger MacBride Allen has an interesting time travel series called The Chronicles of Solace that briefly touches on a similar issue to this; archiving historians struggle to contain the ever-growing wealth of data that humanity generates. Specifically, they attempted to copy and duplicate all written and electronic material in a readable format for use in the Grand Library, but constantly struggle with the task that the 'standard' access method changes rapidly every few years. Not only do they have to create a format for storage that can survive ever-growing changes, but it must also contain built-in equipment that can be reverse-engineered and re-used after a potential interplanetary disaster removes all human knowledge of the technology. Their current solution? Printed books. Billions of them.

Comment Re:Translation: Positive publicity ONLY, please! (Score 2, Insightful) 80

Or, you know, so that they don't get five thousand uber-gamers all testing with the same general hardware range and then end up discovering at release day that anyone not running an i7 over FIOS is unable to play. You know, the other 90% of their target audience. Please tell me that you're not in any way related to QA in anything that you've ever done in your life.

Comment Re:Of John Scalzi (Score 2, Informative) 832

I'm not really sure to what you're referring on the second half of your post. Mention is made repeatedly of the fact that data bursts take time to execute, and that most of the information being relayed back and forth is small; tactical positions, status updates, small personal messages, etc. All of these could be done with a single Ad-Hoc wifi connection in our day and age, with our tech.

The power requirements for the brain pal were handled internally by the device itself. In other words, it had a battery. Perhaps one that could be charged off the body's own internal energy sources? Remember, these bodies were basically designed to be the ultimate combat chassis, and so the fact that the body's own internal electrical field could be used to do something like that...not a big deal.

Finally, in The Last Colony, a huge deal is made of the fact that the enemy *can* intercept electronic transmissions, to the point that not a single colonist on the planet is allowed to have a BrainPal active, even the military personnel, unless they're in a specially shielded bunker. In fact, nobody is allowed to have any form of electronic technology that could so much as broadcast a byte of data, because it could be picked up *across the solar system* by an enemy ship.

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