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Comment Re:Wait, let me get this straight... (Score 1) 101

Most American banks aren't building those kinds of buildings *now*. I think they stopped doing that in the 50s. Seeing that kind of building implies they've been around a long time. I don't know if it was considered over-spending when it was done. It was a more common thing to do in the early 20th century. It may have been a kind of reassuring message to people who grew up in the Depression. A "we're here to stay" expressed in architecture. Banks also may have been in competition at that time to pull in well-heeled customers who didn't want to be seen going into a shabby building. People cared about stuff like that back then--guys wore suits all the time, and Fedoras with the suit as they were meant to be worn, with no hint of irony.

Comment Re:Wait, let me get this straight... (Score 3, Funny) 101

I'm going to go downtown, park at the sturdy Bitcoin building, walk in past the colonades and marble lobby, right up to the sturdy oak desk of my local and well-respected Bitcoin representative and seek reassurance that his institution is sound, and that my deposits are safe, fully insured, and returning the advertised rate of interest.

Comment Before anybody tries UBI I'd like to solve traps (Score 3, Insightful) 521

Before anybody tries UBI, I'd like to see trapless welfare. I don't know how bad this is in Canada, but the USA has a lot of "welfare traps". That's a situation where people remain on public assistance rather than work because their real income falls when they start working. We do so many stupid things such as labeling people "low income" and making them wait a long time for "low income housing". Then their "low income status" actually becomes an asset!

Fix that first, then get back to us.

Comment Re:Huh? What? (Score 2) 223

What if the common factor is that all of these artificial sweeteners stimulate the "sweet taste" centers of the brain but don't supply any energy? So then one part of your system says, "hey sugar coming" but the pancreas says "no dummy, this ain't sugar". They then proceed to duke it out, smashing bottles and breaking chairs all over the circulatory system.

It could be like virtual reality. Driving a car doesn't make you sick because your eyes and your balance system provide congruent information. Now put on a VR system and driving games can give you a headache because they only feed information to your eyes.

It's virtual sugar, only feeding information to your taste buds. It doesn't matter who makes the VR, they're all deficient.

Comment Re:Not exactly a neural lace (Score 1) 63

We may not have a good interface directly into the brain for memory, math, and facial recog; but that seems like a problem would could solve. After all, what are our eyes and a phone but a kind of klunky prosthetic for a deficient brain?

What we really don't understand is how this impacts our state of being. If I have a cybernetic implant that allows me to preserve the memory of my family, I'm still alive, right? Simply having access to knowledge of my life doesn't steal my consciousness. Otherwise, family photo albums would make me legally dead.

What we really don't understand is how all the stuff in our brain and body make us conscious human beings. We'll still die; but what does death look like? Is a machine with all my data still me? Will death just be a slight twinge of existential angst, followed by me no longer being a real human being? Or, is a full upload still conscious? What's going to happen? Real immortality, or just a slow transformation into a fancy animated corpse/memorial?

Comment Re:Reminds me of the Pico Brewer (Score 1) 359

Looking over the PicoBrew, it looks like they took the successful coffee "pod" business model and adapted it to beer. Given that, at least it makes sense since brewing beer is, IMHO, more complicated than making a cup of coffee so if you could make the process consistent you might actually add value for people that don't have any aptitude for such things. OTOH, the juicer thing looks to be just squeezing juice out of a bag when you could have poured it out of a bottle instead.

None of this makes sense to me. I just use a regular coffee machine and it comes out great; but apparently there are a lot of people who like that stuff. I sometimes call them "pod people". This is why I'm sometimes really bad at investing: things that look stupid to me can make an awful lot of money. On the other hand, just because something is stupid is no guarantee it will make money...

Comment Favorites are hard (Score 1) 1222

Favorites are hard, it's kind of a silly question so let's give some love to something that a lot of you may not have seen: Dark Star. Things like this leap to mind for me because I saw them back in the days when all we had was analog broadcast with a few channels. They'd show stuff like this after midnight. That's also how I saw the original Planet of the Apes--with the volume down low, hoping my parents wouldn't wake up and send me to bed.

Comment Re:Still don't get why people liked this show (Score 1) 84

I'm American, so I think it's just a matter of tastes. In the golden age of Dean Martin roasts, I was too young. There was a sweet spot where I understood what SNL was satirizing and loved it. Now I'm middle aged and out of touch with the popular culture in many ways. I *know* I'm watching satire on SNL, but I don't know what they're satirizing so it isn't funny. Likewise, a roast isn't going to be funny if you don't know the people being roasted. Of course it's also possible for these things to be poorly executed or out of touch with the culture as you say. I think a lot of SNL is poorly executed these days... but people have probably been saying that since the show first aired.

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