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Comment Re:Anecdote (Score 1) 220

He would [...] tailgate like crazy. These are all very good things to do in Mario Kart.

I don't know what version of Mario Kart you lot played, but tailgating was NEVER a good idea unless you had a green shell and even then it was often just a chance to get something dumped in your lap before you could pull the trigger. Duh.

In fact, it was one of the only Mario Kart lessons that actually transitions well to real driving: Don't stay too close behind people, you never know what kind of crazy shit they're about to try.

Comment Re:Quality, not quantity (Score 1) 554

"The main problem is that after numerous years of life-experience, you start realizing what unbelievable sacks of shit most people truly are. If YOU get to live forever, you're going to have to deal with THEM forever too."

No offense, but it sounds like you need better friends. I'm a 20-something, but I've had the remarkable good fortune to carefully select a social circle of good people, and the results are fantastic. You should try it. There are good people out there, raise yourself to their level, then just interact with the lousy people as little as possible. Problem solved.

(Not advocating immortality, just saying your opinion sounds more like most of the high-school kids I know who are forced to spend the majority of their time around people they dislike than someone who has the freedom to make choices in who they associate with).

Comment Re:But you can still get it, right? (Score 1) 415

For the record: I've got a Moto Droid. direct from verizon it comes with the check box clicked to "restrict applications to those purchased from the app store."

In the event you want to install an app from another source, you're notified about the setting, and prompted to change it if you want to install the app, in which case you're taken directly to the settings page and can change the state of the check box yourself.

So even if your phone is configured to deny it by default, in my experience it is an easy thing to change.

Comment Re:Comparisons like this don't mean squat... (Score 1) 702

Believe it or not, your 'typical home user' doesn't play games.

Yeah, I know we're gamers, and we held the mantle of PC development for all these years. I'm dual booting Win7 and Ubuntu right now because I love games and would never try to use Ubuntu as a dedicated gaming platform. Rah rah shish-boom-bah and all that. But we're not typical. Not anymore.

The average computer user isn't a gamer anymore. Instead he's a college kid that wants to check facebook and work on his next paper. She's a soccer mom looking to book tickets for a weekend away with her husband and maybe e-mail her parents. She's a teenage girl who wants to follow Justin Beiber's twitter feed religiously and play farmville. He's a father who wants to rip his old vinyl albums to MP3s and edit his home videos of his son's high school games.

None of these people--these typical home users--need Windows as a gaming platform, and most of them, reminded about gaming, would think of an Xbox360 before they'd think of Windows 7.

Comment Re:its a valid point (Score 1) 405

I waited to pick up an Android phone until the Droid hit Verizon, so I finally jumped in last November.

The original Droid shipped with a clean Droid 2.0 install. 2.1 and 2.2 were pushed in pretty short order after the tech builds hit the market and both included very nice feature upgrades. The phone has been stable, and well supported by Verizon and Motorola. My only issue with it is a poorly designed battery door. I don't talk on the phone or text much, so my bill is $70 a month for unlimited data and about twice as many minutes or text messages as I'll ever need. The one time I thought I had a software problem (intermittent static in the onboard speaker), a soft reboot cleared the issue immediately.

I'm coming up on a year and my phone will more than meet my needs for the next year. the only place where the original Droid lags is hig-res video, and that's not an important feature for me. Sure there are faster phones on the market, but you're on Slashdot--there has always been a performance curve for electronics, and in the computer instrutry it has always been a case of knowing that something better and cheaper will come along soon.

It sounds like you want the smartphone industry to release the perfect phone for you, at the cost you specify, then sit on its hands and refuse to make anything better until you feel like you need something new. Screw that, I want them working on new designs all the time, so that a year or two from now, when I /do/ feel like replacing my Droid, there have been years of development in the interim to drive costs down and improve the quality of the new devices. I'm glad that my coworkers are getting HTC Incredibles--they're financing the next round of development, meaning it'll be cheaper to buy a Droid 2 or Desire Z when I do want to upgrade.

TL;DR: You're wrong. Whine less.

Comment Evil? (Score 1) 553

Trolling I'll give you. Shameful attention-whoring, I'll grant.

But evil? I mean, has the word come to mean so little that saying something strange in order to garner free publicity is actually evil now? Don't we have better uses for the word than this? With ACTA in the making, the 9th circuit telling the American cops they can GPS tag cars without a warrant, and over a dozen countries still listed as having "Pervasive" levels of internet censorship, you want to use evil to describe THIS douchebag?

Take a breather, mate, your priorities are way out of whack. If his bullshit bothers you, try not reading his next brilliant idea (which I predict will be a suggestion of discounts to passengers who sh*t before they board the airplane, to cut down on fuel costs).

Comment Re:Even some PC games are better face to face. (Score 3, Informative) 177

For the social gamer that's lost his LAN crowd (due to them all growing up, gettin' wedded, what-have-you) there's a breed of bar/internet cafe/gamespace that is becoming more and more prevalent. The Atlanta one is called Battle and Brew and rents time on PCs loaded with most of the modern games, as well as big screen TVs and a full rock band setup.

I'm curious to see how this new sort of gamer's pub does in the modern social climate.

I'm hoping they will do well--it'd be a good thing to be able to wander into such a place when I'm sent out to some city I don't know on business and be able to find a few kindred spirits and a gaming rig when my own gaming machine is 3,000 miles away.

Comment Re:The only problem with that... (Score 2, Insightful) 198

"sometimes people randomly move their mouse around to fulfill their OCD-ish needs."

You aren't kidding. Back in the earlier days of the Internet, I used to have my color palette inverted, so I was more comfortable with white text on a black background. I got fond of it, but as the internet began to rely more and more heavily on embedded and background images and that started resulting often in pages I couldn't see or wouldn't render properly, I finally went back to the 'normal' palette. Now I find I compulsively highlight text with the mouse, sometimes text I'm reading, because it makes it "look right" according to what I'm used to, and sometimes just random text or links as I glance at them, even if I have no interest in them. I'm also constantly rehighlighting and unhighlighting text as I read it, often without realizing it unless someone else is reading over my shoulder (in which case I drive them a wee bit nuts).

As a result, my cursor movement would drive any analysis software completely batshit, as it would appear like my cursor made click-through decisions, then dropped into a psuedo-random walk+click+drag routine while I read each page, without ever accidentally clicking a link until I was ready to move on.

I figure I can't be the only one that does this.

Comment What if we are rediscovering the natural state? (Score 1) 307

Humour me for a moment.

The classic hunter/gatherer model, which humans used as our evolutionary jumping-off point from God knows how far back, is very strictly social.

Think about it. The tribe sleeps communally, generally around a safe point that keeps everyone close together in case of attack by wild animals or roving brigands. During the day the hunters may rove (but often as a pack, if they intend hunt large game) and the gatherers raise the young and tend to whatever non-violent productivity is needed (collecting food or firewood, what-have-you). Of course, without the hunters present, it's probably best to stay in groups and gather together, for safety in numbers.

A proto-human might be born into a tribe of 30 or 40 people, live his entire (40 year) lifespan in the company of those 40 and see every one of them every day, talking to his closest few almost every moment he is awake for much of that time. Sure, there will always be introverts who retreat for solace and quiet, but the lifestyle itself would have necessitated some close connection. Outside of those that he sees daily, he might only see members of other tribes rarely if at all during the year.

Fast forward to the period of cities of a million plus, and a brain that was designed to establish long term relationships with a maximum of perhaps 50 people and interact with them constantly is now regularly exposed to 10,000 people a day, and often only sees a member of that 50 for five minutes out of the day. Perhaps 10 of those people are actual friends, another 40 are passing acquaintances like the bus driver or the corner hotdog stand guy, but the other 9,950 are complete and total strangers. Interacting with them is absurd, as you're likely to see each for only five seconds out of the rest of your life.

Then along comes the internet connected phone, and now, through this magical little window we hold in our hands, we can re-establish the tribal links for which our brains are wired. We can actually keep in constant touch with that handful of 50 or so humans that, five thousand years ago, would have been our 'tribe'.

Then, once you've gotten that relationship nice and established, you take that magical window away for a day. Of course they feel isolated.

Anyway, just a thought.

Comment Re:Of course (Score 1) 307

you can look at how people in a bus or a subway will stare at the floor and try their best not to make eye contact.

Yeah, but I've been traveling to major cities throughout North America and Europe since the mid 90s, and in my experience that attitude is NOT a result of the modern supersaturation of connectivity to our friends--I don't think it's sharply more prevalent now than it was in 1996, when the vast majority of humanity went without any sort of portable communications device all the time.

The million+ cities have a crush of humanity that is simply too great for you to make and break connections with people all day every day and keep your sanity--at some point, you *have* to withdraw from the people around you, especially on public transport. Blaming cell phones on that is miss-associating the social need (not making eye contact in public) with the cause (too many people for a normal human to process).

Comment Re:Beware, the robot is teleoperated (Score 2, Informative) 93

Two thoughts.

1) Just because a video displays something beyond the perceived state of the art doesn't mean it isn't real. I know plenty of people that couldn't fathom the BigDog videos the first time they saw them.

I've worked in the personal robotics industry as well, and I agree with you: much of that footage must be teleoperated. Some of the tasks (feeding someone, selecting a beer from the fridge) might be autonomous behaviours but the overall combination is unlikely--it would be equivalent to someone breaking the sound barrier before the advent of the jet engine.

Still, just because you work in the industry and it doesn't seem possible doesn't mean you shouldn't CYA with some pretty serious qualifiers.

2) Please, please, please stop spreading the use of the word Roboticist. People who work with electronics aren't Electronicists. People who fix cars aren't Mechanicists. The guys behind the Manhattan Project weren't Atomicists. Call yourself a robotics engineer. If that's too many syllables for you call yourself a robot designer. If you can't be bothered to say five syllables. . .try swallowing chunks of your pride until you can. Computer scientists and Software Engineers do it every day. Hell, Electrical Engineers have seven to spit out and they still manage.

"Roboticist" just sounds like a term a 2nd grader would come up with while writing a short story for a sci-fi competition.

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