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Comment Re:Uh-huh (Score 1) 70

Funny, that seems like the least challenging part of providing random individuals air transport for the same cost and as sustainably as ground transport, especially since we are talking about cities where walking and cycling are typically realistic options.

Trebuchet.

Comment Re:It's of limited use unless... (Score 1) 263

If it can emit a painful ultrasonic shriek, fire off an omni-directional microwave that makes your skin feel like it's on fire, or blink a bajillion-candle strobe in your face to temporarily blind you... then it's suddenly useful.

Or accidentally bump that laser "rangefinder" up several watts... hey, we were just trying to determine distance to target!

Comment Re:Traffic lanes designated to buses or bicycles n (Score 2) 165

favoring some types of web traffic over others

I can not identify an argument for "net neutrality", that would not also not apply to attempts to prioritize — such as by designating traffic lanes for them — buses, bicycles, cars with electronic toll-payment transponders, and even for emergency vehicles.

In fact, I suspect strongly, that, had the Internet-service provision been in government's hands already, the same people arguing for "net neutrality" today, would've been arguing for "sensible measures" to prioritize "special" traffic.

And vice versa — had private corporations been in charge of streets and highways, their attempts at prioritization would've attracted the same criticism currently hitting the ISPs.

Some neutralities are more neutral than others...

I've always viewed the entire net neutrality debate as a (hopefully) temporary sideshow while/until we fix the larger problem of lack of competition. The only reason (e.g.) Comcast is able to pull the shenanigans that they are is because we can't go anywhere else. Otherwise, if an ISP decided to slow down Netflix and try to extort money from them, their customers would just leave.

Comment Re:Lack of sales figures hinders investment in app (Score 1) 359

Apart from the bad grammar here, I wonder if the lack of apps is because Apple hasn't released sales figures. If a developer doesn't know the size of the market, the developer can't calculate how many people might try an app and thus can't estimate return on investment.

If Watch apps had been a good ROI, the early adopter devs would have made more apps and word would have spread. They don't need Apple to tell them how well their apps are doing or how much they're being used.

Comment Re:Qubes and virtualisation (Score 2) 124

This is why OS architectures like Qubes are important. This is why Linux systems (and everything else) should work more like that. It is also why the principle of least authority needs to make its way out of textbooks and into real life.

When something that sounds great in a textbook never makes it to real life, there's usually a pretty good reason.

Comment Re:What do you mean... (Score 1) 190

You mean how you can download the .deb package from the LibreOffice website, and double click on it to install it? You're right, that's such a huge, painful operation of cryptic commands that nobody could possibly remember. :-/

What a pain... I prefer the Windows way, where every program launches a system tray icon to burn CPU cycles checking their website for updates on their own schedule, then pester me at all times of the day to upgrade and reboot because I wasn't really doing anything important anyway (and of course, having to reboot to upgrade a userspace program just makes me feel safer).

Comment Block? (Score 1) 352

"Marco Rubio and Other Senators Move To Block Municipal Broadband"

C'mon, I know this is Slashdot, but that's quite a misleading title. "Move to allow states to block municipal broadband", or "Move to prevent FCC from blocking states from blocking municipal broadband" maybe, but they're not trying to outlaw it on a national level.

Comment Re:Oh dear god..... (Score 2) 339

But sure, lets have "fun" and speculate about things that simply could not be just so as to pollute the waters with pseudo science until no one can discern the difference between real science and malarkey.

If, 1000 years ago, you had described an Internet-based smartphone or a manned moon mission or quantum teleportation to someone, it would have sounded just as batshit crazy to them as the scenario you describe sounds to us. Part of the fun of trying to imagine a civilization a million years more advanced than humans is that our minds can barely even grasp the concepts, much less how they'd be carried out.

Think of how much technological progress humans have made in the past 100 years. Where will we be 1,000,000 years from now? (Well, we probably will have destroyed the planet and wiped ourselves out, but still...)

Comment Re:Saw it last night in 3D (Score 2) 242

For a contrarian view... I really don't understand why everyone thinks this movie was so well-made. I loved the book and was eagerly anticipating the movie, especially after all the reviews calling it a gripping, edge-of-your-seat thriller.

I didn't get any of the sense of impending danger and claustrophobia that I did from the book. Sure, he ran into some problems but he solved them so quickly there wasn't that "holy crap, what will he do now?" notion that his demise was always just around the corner.

(warning: spoilers) His trip to Schiaparelli crater was probably the biggest nail-biter in the book... the dust storm, the integrity of his makeshift "bedroom", whether or not all of the rover connectors & attached equipment would keep working, the danger of going down the "ramp" into the crater, and the overall sense of utter isolation as he made the months-long trip: it was all replaced by not much more than a screen wipe with his rover magically transported next to the MAV.

When he finally reached the MAV, after eating his meal "surviving something that should have killed me", then did his little victory dance and kissed the device as he arrived... that was such a huge moment and victory for him in the book. All gone from the movie so they could spend 15 minutes on a cheesy, completely invented recap scene at the end.

Oh, and the commander going out to personally retrieve him from the MAV? WTF???

I realize they had to make changes for the movie, but I thought it was all rather boring. My wife, who generally enjoys suspenseful movies but hadn't read the book, agreed.

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