Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment If you can't see it how do you know??? (Score 5, Funny) 475

While we're in the UK...

Percy: You know, they do say that the Infanta's eyes are more beautiful than the famous Stone of Galveston.
Edmund: Mm! ... What?
Percy: The famous Stone of Galveston, My Lord.
Edmund: And what's that, exactly?
Percy: Well, it's a famous blue stone, and it comes ... from Galveston.
Edmund: I see. And what about it?
Percy: Well, My Lord, the Infanta's eyes are bluer than it, for a start.
Edmund: I see. And have you ever seen this stone?
Percy: (nods) No, not as such, My Lord, but I know a couple of people who have, and they say it's very very blue indeed.
Edmund: And have these people seen the Infanta's eyes?
Percy: No, I shouldn't think so, My Lord.
Edmund: And neither have you, presumably.
Percy: No, My Lord.
Edmund: So, what you're telling me, Percy, is that something you have never seen is slightly less blue than something else you have never seen.
Percy: Yes, My Lord.

Comment Have you tried? (Score 1) 208

Serious question - have you _TRIED_.

Me and my son have. We made all sorts of things. We had 2 sets - one had a beach buggy style car (with kick ass big wheels) - the other was a motorbike (with even bigger kick-ass wheels). We made a kick-ass Trike.

Yeah - we kick ass.

The way I remember it from 30 years back is I had only a small selection of things. Blocks, roof tiles, window frames, doors and some sort of fence. Fine if you want to make a house.

Now we do have an entirely pre-fabricated chassis and several pieces that make a bonnet. However, that bonnet piece can make a car roof, a lid for something (just attach a hinge) or even a breast plate for a monster robot.

If anything the curse of choice is rearing its confusing head!!

Not to mention the number of little coloured pieces and what have you - we even made a nice blue pond surrounded by all sorts of plants (actually the plants we made were originally supposed to be flames for a monster truck but made damn fine red-hot-pokers like plants).

I think the point is to use your imagination.

'nuff said.

Comment The old days of the Internet seems so far away... (Score 2, Interesting) 91

Flame wars with white supremacists, generally antagonising and goading friends, and enemies, on Usenet. Pointless navel gazing arguments about the nature of nothing and everything. Using rude words, racial epithets, the shout down, the noise... maybe even anarchy.

Now everyone seems to be out there busy judging everybody, involving the authorities and more.

Frankly, possibly unfairly, most of the peeps on the net in the early 90s and before understood it was the wild-west of communications... If someone was being a cunt you told them so. If it turned out to be you several folks would probably tell you. These folk were different - I guess, maybe, it went with the territory. It was new and the folks out there bleeding edgers.

It was no place for bruisable egos, political correctness et al - yet, to me, it felt right. People didn't get fired over righteous indignation from some pointless corner of the net. 140 character vomit was not front page news.

The media at large really think that one persons opinion on Twitter is worthy of news... in the old days it was just flotsam and jetsam... if they were being an arse they got called that and that was, usually, that. Either that or the media just see a cheap story in repeating someone's anally generated hyperbole.


Comment Re:Doubt (Score 1) 227

Yes - this helps.

What helps even further is the differences between "old" and "new" style coding. No longer do engineers have to go looking for that "1 crazy hack" - that register bit - undocumented, left alone - it gave me 4 MORE PIXELS ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE DISPLAY!... What happens if I take all the $76's out of the framebuffer - crickey! 40 column text... what if... and so on.

These guys write to specs - DX, OGL - probably with a metric shit ton of "insider info" and plenty of extensions - but that can be reverse-engineered out. Posix, WinNT interface - it's all there - mostly public. Mostly these guys develop on PCs.

Getting faithful reproductions of something that outputs 24 bit RGB data over HDMI (and therefore obeys their rules) is many orders of magnitude easier than, say, getting pixel perfect output of a SNES or GBA - a system in which the programmer can hack and bash almost anything at clock cycle accuracy. That concept has vanished too (it just isn't easy to count cycles anymore)

It is unlikely one will need to emulate a BONE at GPU transistor level (or even just plain old bus level). Instead one says "this is mostly going to be DX - let's see what is added/changed". Of course the ideal machine to emulate that on is one with a DX$version graphics card.

Comment My Boy + iPad then Playbook(!) (Score 1) 537

That looked incredibly fiddly. Invisible corners (I use 'em on my mac but only for multi-desktop). Tricky start "screen". Why do I want to stick things to the side of the screen? Why does the weather app need to take over the whole screen?! Anyway... I'm sure it will improve and I'll get it. Damn, I've changed UI so often another change means nothing to me - maybe I'm commonly using half a dozen UI's a day. Lemme count - WinXP, Gnome, Blackberry, Playbook, iPad, HTC One X, plain Android not to mention a variety of applications and there UIs... then there's the ones I create!

I think that the sort of $stuff being done there is much more suited to a touch screen.

However, my lad has been using his mummy's "Tap Tap" (iPad) for a few months. He's just turned 2 and accomplished those tasks being shown there in a fraction of the time - in large amount because the device is that easy and the touch screen allows for direct manipulation which little 'uns get much more than mice and gamepads (he hasn't figured out the Nintendo DS yet which annoys him as he loves Yoshi) . He knows what the home button does, knows about Youtube "cows, cows, cows", old Pingu and steam trains!. He tries to play Angry Birds, World of Goo, Bad Piggies but really he likes sit on daddy's lap and watch (that's me BTW). He gets to the pictures and scrolls them around etc. I put Geometry Wars on there... he tried to play it but that's HARDCORE!!! (and nothing beats 2 analogue sticks anyway).

I do wonder about what effect this will have on him but, TBH, as a parent I've learnt if it isn't one influence it's another and this one doesn't seem bad at all. He's been playing on it for about 5 months I suppose and pretty much has it nailed although he will stick all his fingers on the screen then be a bit baffled when the task manager appears.

He's learnt that whenever he gets lost or confused that he should go for the home button. My mama-bear pointed that out a few times - he understood.

He loved it till I got a Playbook - which has excellent speakers (compared to iPad). Now he wants "daddy tap tap" so we can listen and dance to Surfin' Bird!

Anyhoo... Gotta crack on with work so I can go home and play with my boy!!!

Any other geeky mum's and dad's got a story about tech and their little ones?

Comment Transputer... (Score 3, Interesting) 133

I was at the Multicore Challenge at the UWE in Bristol, UK on Monday.

I went last year. It was fascinating.

Anyhoo... David May was there talking about multicore parallelism. It turns out that the last patent protecting the Transputer designs has lapsed.

SOoooo... if you want some open hardware get cracking! You can probably run them fast enough these days to bit-bang an LVDS/HDMI/CSI interface with little more than an amp.

Make mine the one with the 16 by 16 array please....

Seriously. Anyone got the balls to try it? I'm in!

Comment Re:Flyby nice, but we need a probe in Pluto orbit (Score 2) 137

I am intrigued by your ideas and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

But seriously, Mankind really needs to take a leap into a deep space network seriously.

Automated drones (lots of technology, blasted into space) sent on crazy-long orbits through the Solar System (and beyond?) bringing multi-scopic, n-D views of the heavens in every colour of radiation for less than a round of bankers KY errr... Quantitive Easing. Pfft, write it off as Job Creation.

Comment Unlicensed Spectrum? Unbelievably Reckless!! (Score 5, Insightful) 157

For a start, visible (and invisible) light has a frequency of between 400 and 800THz (800 and 375nm), which is unlicensed spectrum worldwide.

My God! They're broadcasting my movies over an unlicensed, unregulated carrier! This MUST be stopped! This "visible" light will aid paedophiles, piracy, terrorists, drug dealers and all manner of criminality!

Slashdot Top Deals

Technology is dominated by those who manage what they do not understand.