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Comment Re:I get the feeling that (Score 1) 106

I get the feeling that dark matter is today's epicycles

Well you're not the first one, there have been multiple attempts to modify gravity so that it gives the right answers without introducing additional matter. Unfortunately that tends to break other results that our current theory of gravity gets right and trying to "fix" that usually ends up in just as convoluted theories as dark matter/dark energy. Personally I think it's easy to feel like solid matter is a wall but we know radio transmissions pass through it like it was nothing. And neutrinos pass through the planet without even noticing. I don't find it particularly hard to imagine that there are particles that have even less interaction, given what we already know.

Comment Re: 2-Way (Score 2) 402

FFS... They did many years ago... For a two year period only. After that those sticking around were on a month to month contract that wither could walk away from at anytime and for any reason.

I'm on Verizon and have an unlimited data plan (currently)... I also haven't been under contact with them for 4 years now... The entire time knowing that they could cancel my data plan.

Comment Re:Standard of living (Score 2) 606

I'm not voting for Trump, but I doubt it would be any better with Clinton. Just ask yourself this: Has wealth distribution in the U.S. gotten better or worse during Obama's 8 years. Most people would say "The rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer." Now, is that trend likely to continue with Clinton? If not, how is she going to change it?

The Clintons will get richer. That is for sure.

Comment Re: The Republicans want to make everyone work (Score 1) 1124

Investing isn't just "doing nothing". You have to chose well and know what will take off and what won't.

Speculation is trying to pick the right horse. Investment can be just as much about trying to create a balanced portfolio that'll get you a reliable return. You tend to hear all about the spectacular successes and failures, but a vast number of companies produce the nuts and bolts, everyday objects that don't change much at all - not the production systems, not the demand, not the competition. But somebody owns it and somebody's getting a return on it. It's not very exciting to hear that they got 5% ROI while the stock market index 4% ROI though, so you don't read about it much.

What really matters is the value of labor vs capital, once we had artisans and master craftsmen whose work was highly valued. Then we had industrialization and it trended more towards capital, then it trended more towards knowledge workers and now with automation it's trending more towards capital again. If the rich accumulate wealth quicker through capital than people do through labor then the gap widens. The winner is the ones who can invest a billion in self-driving cars, the loser all the people who used to earn a living driving.

Sure, some people will gamble and bet on the right horse or the wrong horse and either join the capitalists or flunk out back to the working class. But they're just statistical noise when it comes to the rest question, how much of the wealth does the 0,1%, 1%, 10% control? It excludes the whole issue about who left and who joined, only how unequal wealth is distributed. And last I heard the differences were increasing, the rich are accelerating away. They don't have to be super good at investing, they just need to not be super dumb.

Comment Re:honesty (Score 1) 57

Slashdot used to be very pro-uber. What happened? Is this the result of the new owners? Are people's opinions so easily swayed? Is this a case of not thinking it through originally?

Same thing that usually happens, you make this new and "flat" power structure then it turns out there's actually a few people/companies with a lot of power or making a lot of money anyway. Before artists had to deal with a few big labels, then they had to deal with a few big stores like iTunes now they have to deal with a few big streaming services like Spotify. Love Wikipedia, hate Jimmy Wales. Love Ubuntu, hate Mark Shuttleworth. Love Red Hat, hate Lennart Poettering. Break Microsoft's monopoly, get the Apple walled garden. Break Apple's walled garden, get Google's mass data mining.

I think some of the idealism and naivety have gone out of the /. crowd, they're much quicker to see what the end game will be and people's true agenda. And it's hardly as selfless as to revolutionize a taxi service stuck in the whip and buggy days. And I think a lot of the tech optimism I remember from the dotcom days has passed, I'm so good I can negotiate my own way I don't need any organization with dead weight holding me back. And then they outsource the whole thing to India or hire in cheap H1-Bs to replace you.

Not that regulation is all good, of course. But it's a bit more complicated than being all bad. Like the "here's a license that's practically a sale, without any of the benefits of ownership" or "here's a work contract that's practically employment, without any of the benefits of being an employee". Because companies have to problems sourcing labor where it's cheapest but sell you region-locked content so they can sell it expensive, they don't have any moral integrity. The social contract only works on small scales, on large scales with faceless mega-corporations answering to thousands of shareholders the only contract is the letter of the law.

Comment Re:Candy (Score 1) 413

I got her in to the pain clinic at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta and the doctor there did a nerve ablation that gave her relief from the pain. It came back and she had to have further treatment but the last 3 years have been pain free. It seems that if doctors can't figure what to do they just throw pills at it.

I'm glad you figured out a way to end the pain, just realize that there are many painful diseases and injuries we don't have a cure for no matter how long and hard you search. Using medication to numb the pain is in many cases the best we can do to reduce suffering, whether it's short term until it heals, more or less permanent against chronic disease or just to ease the passing for terminal diseases. I don't think doctors want to "throw pills at it" if they can see a better option. But sometimes specialists can see possibilities others don't, that's why we have them so sure try all options. Just don't expect it to work for everyone.

Comment Re:it's a small step, but... (Score 1) 45

Real progress would, in fact, be not having to compile for dozens of different architectures. Such as describing a way, in a standardised language, of being able to do anything, no matter the underlying hardware. Remember those days? When languages did that for you?

Not really, no.

No more reinventing the fucking wheel for every platform, no more having to compile multiple versions and formats (...), the best performance you can get for that particular architecture

Hardware has different capabilities. Platforms have different capabilities. Abstractions and layers of indirection trade performance and simplicity for interoperability and reuse, you will never write code that is "perfect" on all metrics. So you want your application to output sound, great. So tell me how would you write code that runs on everything from a Sound Blaster from the 90s to bitstreaming over HDMI and any and all future formats yet to come? Does the OS have some kind of configuration if you want this to play on headphones or not?

That's when you start stubbing out APIs, my game wants to output sound and I'll make my own function do to the right thing for this sound card. Then maybe the OS will abstract that away and your app just hands it off so it can do the right thing. And then maybe the hardware will abstract that away so the OS can talk one standard like USB audio. But all of this is a work in progress that's constantly expanded because we want hardware or software to do new things. Maybe we want hardware mixing or don't want to play sound on this machine but pipe it somewhere else over the network.

What you are asking for is essentially like every other attempt at cross hardware/platform development ever. Write C, no more hardware-specific assembler. Don't write for 3dfx, matrox, nVidia, write for DirectX or OpenGL. Write Java, write once run everywhere. There's many reasons we move in that direction. There's also many reasons we sometimes move in the other direction, like now with Vulkan we're basically scaling back OpenGL and saying game engines use this low level interface instead of the abstractions because they're holding you back.

Comment Re:One more reason ... (Score 4, Insightful) 95

For starters, the only bird type that can hover in one spot is the Hummingbird. If you see a large bird hovering perfectly still in one spot, you can bet your ass it's a drone.

Well if you bothered to properly disguise your drone as a bird I'm sure you'd have a program to fly in gentle circles like a bird searching for pray to "hover" over an area. Otherwise it'd be kinda obvious.

Comment Re:Marriage (Score 1) 266

Tax benefits, hospital visitation, inheritance issues, insurance costs...and on, and on, and on.

FYI that won't be enough in the long run. We had that in Norway from 1993 to 2009, homosexuals could register as "partners" but not "married" but had equal rights in all of the above, though adoption was kept out of it. Despite being quite equal in law there was a strong emotion on both sides from homosexuals that felt their love wasn't regarded as equal and from fundamentalists who were quick to point out that this was not to be understood as marriage. So in our current law there is marriage and only marriage, regardless of sex.

Comment Re:PS4 XBone (Score 1) 99

Finally, cross-platform development has brought its own cancers to the PC side. I could have a bad encounter with a table saw and still be able to count on one hand how many AAA games released in the past two years allow for dedicated servers. (...) dedicated servers were a standard component for multiplayer PC games for over a decade, but are now an endangered species. Games used to frequently ship with level editors and modding kits, that allowed for new characters and maps to be community created (DLC used to be DIY, and free). Again, this is a highly exceptional state of affairs now, and I'm patently unconvinced it's a positive direction for PC gaming.

I'm quite sure the first one got nothing to do with being "cross-platform" and everything do with control. The market that doesn't have an always-on/cheap/reliable Internet connection has dwindled to the point where they don't care and by tying everything to central services they have control both over piracy and swinging the ban hammer. Any major organized LAN party will have a fat pipe to the Internet, heck if I wanted to pay $1750/month I could have 10 Gbps fiber at home today. I'd agree more with modding, there consoles have pretty strongly pushed the "one gaming experience for everyone" model. That said, not many games have the simple "LEGO block" model where you can just puzzle things together and have it work anymore. I do remember the games that had it, but I also remember the limitations and many games that didn't but were fun then and there even though they lacked the replay value.

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