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Submission + - Invitation to Slashdot Readers into beta (

gary.flake writes: "Slashot reviewed my book over a decade ago and fanned some flames when I changed jobs. So I thought that the least that I could do would be to give you a sneak peak at what I am up to now. is my new web service that allows you to save just about anything from the Web (text, images, embeds, or whole elements from the DOM with style and functionality preserved). You can keep your clips private, publish them in several different ways, or individually (and privately) share them with other users. For some great examples, see the programming category.

Until our servers start to spew smoke, I'd like to welcome Slashdot readers into our limited beta. Please let us know what you think."

Comment In Soviet Russia, phone owns you... (Score 4, Insightful) 568

What's up with these arbitrary phone OS limitations? I would've hoped that at least Google would've gotten it right, but alas.

I hate to say this, but between my iPhone and my WinMo, I think I like my WinMo phone the best.
Don't get me wrong, it sucks. The UI is terrible. And it crashes. A lot.


- Want to thether for free even though your carrier wants you to pay extra? There's a WinMo app for that.

- Want to thether for free via your phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot so that everyone in your carpool can access the interenet at once? There's a WinMo app for that, too.

- Hell, I can even run two programs at once and mount my phone as a disk drive and fill it up with whatever I damn well please.

Seems like pretty basic/essential functionality to me.

Comment Thousand scientists in a room with a typewriter... (Score 2, Interesting) 90

Okay, so the article is titled "Secret Math", and...

Though they built the system, the researchers don’t quite understand how it works.


Intriguingly, the algorithm doesn’t work nearly as well if any one operation is omitted. The sum is greater than the whole, and O’Carroll and Brinkworth don’t know why.

Wow, some interesting "science" that's going on here.
Great result, but, really, way to go guys! You can't understand a non-linear system's behavior; join the club. I still can't understand why z_n+1 = z_n^2 + c looks so pretty either.

Comment Re:Fear of Science and Technology? (Score 1) 263

Through my extensive zombie research (I've seen more zombie movies than I have fingers and toes), I've come to associate zombies as a satire of civl complacency, lack of control over ones surroundings, suburbia and the like. The rise of zombies recently I think coincides with the increase in these sorts of sentiments.

I've never thought of technology as motivation.

Comment Flow and thinking outside the box... (Score 1) 404

First, I think it's important that a game never be frustrating. This is one of the principles of flow, and more importantly, when a game is frustrating, it really disrupts the player's immersion in the game.

To that effect, one of the most frustrating game elements that I see time and again is the age old "die, fight, repeat" formula.
This is, quite frankly, annoying and has been done before.

Don't get me wrong, some risk is required to have fun (coincidentally, it is also another principle of flow), but a game which forces the user to repeat themselves is a game that's run out of new ideas.
I've seen some variation on this formula in the past with decent success, like bullet time effect, which allows the user to "cheat" and slow down the game when the going gets tough. However, it's still a very constrained way of tackling the problem.
Thinking a little outside of the box, I'd like to see adaptive story lines, where based on a player's proficency and style, the story line changes in sensical ways. Also, tiered reward systems based on proficency, not on difficulty, and new ways to handle character death through story telling elements like ghosts, time warping (maybe the ability to go back or forwards in time?), etc.

Comment Re:idiots (Score 1) 151

Um, I think you totally misinterpreted what the Microsoft engineer was saying.

it possible that peer-to-peer networks could reemerge in the future as a viable, albeit protected, source of content."

By viable, I think he means, "viable buisness strategy for the legal content owners and therefore no longer illegal, i.e., viable for the mainstream public, too".
I'll bet that a P2P researcher is already well aware of the points you made above.

Comment Re:Slightly Wrong Summary (Score 1) 803

Assuming all the above premises hold, it seems likely this is just MS being lazy and incompetent and not wanting to expend effort to write an upgrader for Europe that won't install IE.

Do you honestly believe that Microsoft is doing this out of lethargy?
Mod me down for defending Microsoft here, but they are not stupid. This decision could make or lose billions of dollars. Yes, billions. I'm sure somebody in Microsoft has done the math, argued it from all angles, and there's a damn good reason why it is they way it is.

Your high horse clouds your judgement.

Comment Re:Glowing processors! (Score 1) 92

I think for that pleasing blue glow it's important that we transmit the photons faster than the speed of light in the transmission medium so that they blue shift.

Kind of like that great blue hue you get on an out-of-control nuclear reactor when atomic particles are hitting the coolant at speeds faster than the speed of light in water.

Comment Civil Disobedience! (Score 1) 620

If you have a little extra time before your flight, do the Constitution a favor and purchase a bottle of water before going through security.

When the TSA takes it, be apologetic, play stupid, and jump through their hoops.

If they try to give you any sort of body scan, politely request the more time consuming pat down.

If everyone works together, there's no way they'll be able to keep doing these ridiculous charades. It's only when we all act like cattle and bend over that they'll keep taking away our liberties.
Remember: The terrorists win not when they take us over by force (never going to happen), but when our basic rights and way of life have been erroded. Think about it.

Comment Discrete versus continuous? (Score 1) 236

Being a mathematician myself, I too find this theory quite refreshing. It seems to tie the scattering of complex ideas that I know as quantum physics into one nice little, intuitive package.

For instance, I've always wondered about the seemingly-coincidental, repetitious nature of the universe. Why is it that an electron is to a nucleus, like a planet is to a star, like a solar system is to a galaxy, like a galaxy is to a super cluster? This cyclic nature is well described and documented in fractals,, and so, the universe having fractal roots makes sense.

Another example: the uncertainty of quantum measurements. Why must everything be measured in statistical values? The continuous nature of the fractal again gives nice intuition into this quandary as well. However, this point leads me to wonder just how reconcilable this mathematical simplification actually is. I'm not a physicist, but I do know that much of quantum physics deals with the concept of discrete: discrete time, energy quanta, etc. Fractals, are, by definition, continuous.

Are these two at all acquiescent?

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