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Comment I feel the same way. (Score 1) 269

And the question wasn't addressed in the video.

Can this function like a normal tablet? Will I be able to remove the controller modules and carry it around and read email, use Chrome and Google Now and Microsoft Office apps and snap photos? Or is this a dedicated gaming machine that's just modular?

If the latter, I wouldn't buy it. If the former, I'd buy it to replace my current 8" tablet, as a tablet PLUS gaming experience. But I need a tablet, and I don't want to have to have TWO tablets just to get slightly better gameplay on one of them.

If it's a one tablet concept (would have to be Android, I assume, to have the ecosystem) then great. If it's just a game console with fancy industrial design? Pass. I have good enough gaming on my current tablet.

Comment Late-Breaking News from the Council: WTF G'RANEE? (Score 2) 244

>K'Breel was deposed and executed after his repeated failures in repelling the Terran aggressor. We don't speak of him. All hail mighty G'Ranee, Supreme Leader for Life!

LATE-BREAKING NEWS FROM THE COUNCIL: VICTORY! The Council of Elders has confirmed the blueworlders' resumption of aggression upon our noble red sands. K'Breel, Speaker for the Council of Elders, addressed the planet thusly: OKAY. Okay, so I'm K'Breel (even though anyone on Slashdot can assume the mantle merely by declaring themselves Speaker for the Council), and I'm late, but I'm merely chronologically late, not as in the Late Second Adjunctant to the Council Formerly Known As G'Ranee.

But domestic politics is beneath us tonight -- just take a glance at the blue world beneath us for a look at how bad that can get -- and let us focus on what's important: over the past sol or so, our Planetary Defense Force has been so good at pre-emptively distracting the blueworlders with tasks like landing comets, grabbing their prospective mates by their genitals, low-planetary orbit missions, and just general tribal infighting that we haven't had to shoot down any robotic invaders in quite some time. But when the opportunity presents itself, we take advantage of it, and so, we did. Hence the trivial elimination of yet another putative invader from elsewhere. We'd do it every day, except that the blueworlders lack the gelsacular fortitude to send us more targets. Now as to gelsacular fortitude, on to Second Adjunctant G'Ranee...

When a junior reporter pointed out that the destroyed invader was merely a technology demonstrator built on the cheap to see if a landing was possible, and that the blueworlders' actual payload was safely in orbit, K'Breel had the reporter's gelsacs launched into orbit alongside those of G'Ranee for a closer look.

Comment Don't confuse the worst and the best. (Score 1) 97

"[F]raud, cheating, plagiarism, etc." in *low-end* research, which we also have in spades in the U.S. and in the West more generally (it's really bad in a lot of the also-ran European countries). At the top end, Chinese research is every bit competitive with other players in serious global research, and they have more resources available to them, which they can apply to problems without nearly so much systemic overhead thanks to their particular governing system.

Comment *Because* the put it in an otterbox. (Score 1) 121

I don't use protectors of any kind, but I knew more than just a couple middle-America, middle-class folks who ALWAYS get the hardest, most solid-looking case they can find (irrespective of whether these actually help or which cases perform best). Why? Because their phone is one of their largest investments and a critical piece of everyday tech that they want to protect.

They appreciate the thinnest phone possible precisely because *after* they put it in an Otterbox it will still be manageable, whereas when they had an iPhone 4 or whatever, the Otterbox made it significantly thicker than an old Nokia candybar.

Comment What about Banks (Score 4, Insightful) 98

Well they have been going after the Backpage for 10 years, so I guess at this stage they are just throwing it against the wall and hoping for a judge that will let it stick.

Besides considering how complacent they have been with banks and money laundering drug money and tax evasion, it seems that this is just low hanging fruit by comparison.

Comment Re:Sounds like IPv6 security extensions (Score 1) 88

It's getting so bad that I can see a forced implementation: Either switch or you're un-connected until you do. Set a switch date and enforce it. Thing is, will IPv6 really be the fix needed? I don't see how anything short of hardware built specifically for security on a secure network can be secure.

Comment Re: The rush to produce easy code. (Score 2) 531

I think this is a bigger problem than is being recognized here. Most coders that I work with don't get to decide on ship dates. They may in a few cases have a claimed "veto power" if the code isn't ready, but they won't use it, because they'll be let go if they don't ship on time.

The management that I see is too often of the "Give me a demo. What are you talking about, that works fine! Ship it! Let's move the press date up by two months!" variety. Some of the better ones are of the "What's our risk exposure? Hmm... Versus the revenue model... Hmm... It's a close call, but I think the we have to go with the risk to hit our targets" variety. At least they *get* that there is risk.

But the fact is that management and investors don't care if software is buggy and insecure as long as those are "edge cases." They're fully onboard with the Fight Club model. "How many clients will get screwed vs. how much money will we make. Sounds like a good tradeoff."

I think most coders are capable of producing good code in a world in which good code is valued. The problem is that it isn't. Shipping products early and often are the values, and management tends to think that if we can ship code early, do write-offs for the bug and vulnerability cases, and then release the next version before having to patch the one that's about to be shipped, then the entire expense of refining and auditing code can just be eliminated.

At least that's been my experience—the idea is that it's a good way to reduce cost. Release a lot. Be "agile" (hate that word these days), which means: just keep releasing completely new code at an alarming pace. That way, you never have to create good code. You produce a pile of rapidly chucked out, 50% entirely new dogshit every three months with your programmers just barely managing to keep up, you release major versions as fast as you can. Consumers and clients don't get time to be exposed to major bugs and vulnerabilities, or to request that they be fixed, because you release fast enough that your answer can be "That product was released six months ago and is now EOL; no fixes are planned. We recommend that you upgrade to the new version." (The new version also happens to include another revenue item of some kind—upgrade fee, etc.—which is better for the bottom line than providing bug fixes for free.)

I think what we see in software is the same thing we see across the rest of the consumer landscape. Managers and investors have realized that disposable, non-repairable junk is better for the bottom line and for themselves, because it means that consumers have to keep paying over and over again, and often. All of the other employees (e.g. coders) are left to come along for the ride by the seat of their pants, or get fired and replaced by someone who will.

Comment Re:This isn't really that hard to understand (Score 1) 680

The problem with climate science is that it's so difficult.

No, it is actually VERY VERY SIMPLE.
1. To show that CO2 has an effect on heat, get two glass jars. One filled with CO2, and one filled with air. Shine an infared lamp (or even just sunlight) on both jars. You can measure that the CO2 jar absorbs more heat, because it's hotter than the air jar. This principle has been known and well-understood for over 100 years, and you can demonstrate this in an elementary-school classroom.

2. To show that human industrial activity releases a shitton (ie. enough to affect the whole world's climate) is also relatively simple. Get in a plane, and fly over the Los Angeles basin. Just look at the carpet of constantly running automobiles, as far as the eye can see across many hundreds and hundreds of square miles. Wrap your brain around this happening 24x7, week after week, month after month ... for decades. Get on Google Earth, and look at the land-area we're talking about; and multiply that by all the major cities of the world. This is completely non-mathematical, but very easy for most people to visualize, if they've ever had the opportunity to fly over any urban sprawl area and just watch it happen. Maybe with a little observation of a car exhaust, and how the engine works, and what kind of volume of gasses it puts out while it's running. Also think about jet engines, and the volume of gas they put out as they're running, and think about the tens of thousands of flights happening right now, and every single day: again, 24x7. Non stop. For decades.

These two simple observations are obvious and plain enough that it affected me on a gut-level. No math required. It's plain and obvious. Not at all subtle.

Now: to observe the actual effects on the world, is not so easy. One way is to look at photos, over decades, of glaciers that have receded. If you've been alive for 30+ years (or longer), you know damn well that even though we've had a couple of harsh winters, it's certainly not like it was when we were kids. If you ask older people, they can tell you that things have definitely changed. But this effect is subtle enough that even the very old people who remember Minnesota winters 70 years ago, don't seem to be able to grasp how very different the climate there is now.

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