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Comment The Oral Tradition (Score 1) 348

What is interesting is in some ways we are moving towards (back to) a more oral tradition. As our machines get better and better at understanding us we will inevitably do more talking and listening than writing (just look at how people are starting to dictate their text messages). I recently had a conversation with someone who postulated that our ability to write would disappear entirely. I don't think so, certainly not in the next 200 years or so. Our ability (and need) to express ideas through writing and imagery is much too ingrained in our culture to die out quickly.

Ultimately Cerf may be right, but perhaps not for the reasons he thinks. We will certainly lose a historical record of civilization but it may be because we stop writing.

Comment Something's Fishy (Score 1) 377

This is how the Fuze case will look. Really? Where is the lightning port on the bottom of the iPhone in that picture? Did Apple relocate it to somewhere else on the phone, because it looks like you've glued a plastic mold to the back of an iPhone and photoshopped out the lightning port.

To make this work you've got to connect this "case" to the existing lightning port and that is on the bottom of the phone. Which means you're going to have to have this case wrap around the bottom of the phone. And how are you going to do that without blocking the speakers and/or making it ugly as sin?

Comment Superdistribution of Content (Score 1) 207

The attackers are distributed. The victims are not. We need to superdistribute web content like we do with music. Think TOR meets torrents. It would take httpd authors, browser authors, and even search engines to get in on the act, but it would put an end to the problem. (somebody is probably already working on this)

The web, like e-mail, is going through death throes. The kids will decide what lives and what dies I guess.

Comment Form Over Function (Score 1) 78

Let's face it, companies like HP need a way to differentiate themselves from the myriad of assemble-it-yourself boxes out there. They are (or at least have been) an engineering powerhouse. Let your designers do cool stuff and you'll end up with better designers and more loyal customers.

For the first time in a long time I am beginning to feel like the big companies of yesteryear like Microsoft and HP are moving in the right direction. It has been a while and it is probably a lesson in "necessity breeds invention".

Comment Re:*The* Quickest, Not *Its* Quickest (Score 1) 175

This (for me) is actually the issue. These cars are not actually that "fast" generally, they are only fast in a straight line. You don't see any Teslas at amateur (or professional) racing events because they overheat after just a few minutes of spirited driving. To get the range and acceleration you want requires so much weight for the battery that they don't corner very well.

What is the maximum Gs you can pull on a Tesla around a corner? Not too high, I would wager. But nobody talks about that.

Comment Re:Lucky you're not in Australia (Score 1) 623

Great post. You failed to mention one interesting thing about driving in Ontario though. If you get caught doing 50km/h over the speed limit (31mph) this is considered "stunt driving" and not only do you instantly have your license suspended and your car impounded, but there is a mandatory fine of between $2000 and $10,000!

The strange thing about driving in Ontario is that everybody is doing 15+ over the limit, but people don't get pulled over until they are 30+, and NOBODY in their right mind does anything like 50+ over. So in practice everybody is driving 20-30 over the limit. In the US people are driving between the speed limit and 5mph over.

Comment Re:Public Admission of Stupidity (Score 2) 219

Years ago I was driving home at night after a movie. I had just hit the outskirts of town where the streetlights and such had ended when all of a sudden something ran out from the side of the road and stopped right in front of me. I hit the brakes and stopped within a foot of a young woman who had crouched down with her hands over her eyes.

When she looked up she started screaming at me: "Why didn't you hit me!? Why didn't you hit me!?" I looked at her -- she was crying, and her face was black and blue.

I spoke calmly to her and managed to convince her to let me take her to the hospital (probably a risky move in hindsight). "I'm drunk and stoned" she said; she wouldn't let me take her to the cops. Claimed her boyfriends sister beat the hell out of her, but I suspect it was the boyfriend.

In any case, I won't bore you with the rest of the details. Bottom line from that experience is that I don't skimp on tires when I buy them (you use them for stopping too), or brakes. Having a "third" eye in a car looking out for you and for other people can't be bad.

Comment Re:Compromise (Score 1) 369

I think this is a very good suggestion -- a compromise as you suggest. And I think that the arguments against it insomuch as it may help identify (log) someone who "needs" to post anonymously are missing the point. Everything you do here is logged, and having the additional datapoint of an e-mail address is not going to make you any more anonymous. You're not anonymous on Slashdot or anywhere for that matter. You're just annoying. This suggestion seems like the right one to improve the signal to noise ratio here.

Comment Re:Thanks to (Score 1) 185

Have you guys done the math on what happens to your revenue stream if we stop allowing AC posts? I realize that there is a small percentage of people and a small percentage of stories where it would be important to post as an AC, but my feeling about that is if it is important to say you can create a burner account to say it. I'm not sure if you've noticed but the trolling and flaming has achieved some kind of new low here these days. Most ACs are just here to fuck with us because it is easy and they get off on it.

My poll question would be:

Should Slashdot remove the ability to post anonymously?

1. Yes
2. No
3. All my posts are written by CowboyNeil

I have no idea if this has been asked before, but it should probably be asked again anyway. Times have changed.

Comment Re:No Thanks (Score 1) 59

When we have self-driving cars I'm planning on picking up the highest-paying job I can find an hour away so I can game my ass off before and after work every day without any distractions from the wife and kids. :)

You obviously have a much better laptop and a much better data plan than I do. ;)

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Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"