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Tech Giants Donate $750 Million In Goods and Services To Underprivileged Schools

Anonymous Freak Obligatory... (143 comments)

Oh, so Apple is sending a dozen computers?

about a month and a half ago
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Ebola Does Not Require an "Ebola Czar," Nor Calling Up the National Guard

Anonymous Freak No, it doesn't. (384 comments)

But irrational people insist on it.

about 2 months ago
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A Production-Ready Flying Car Is Coming This Month

Anonymous Freak Re:"Roadable aircraft" (203 comments)

Yup, for a while, it has been my retirement dream to buy a couple "touring motorcycles", and a 6-place, twin-engine airplane modded with a cargo door/ramp (Cessna 421 Golden Eagle or the like,) and tour the world.

It would be great if the Terrefugia TF-X is ready by the time I'm ready to retire. (And, of course, to have the money for either option...)

about 2 months ago
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A Production-Ready Flying Car Is Coming This Month

Anonymous Freak "Roadable aircraft" (203 comments)

This isn't a "flying car", it's a "roadable airplane", just like the Terrefugia Transition: http://www.terrafugia.com/airc...

It is licensed as an airplane, with many, MANY exceptions when licensed as a ground vehicle. The idea is that you drive it a short distance to an airport, then take off and fly as an airplane. Then drive a short distance to somewhere at the other end. It's not meant to be driven even as much as a high-end sports car on the ground. It's mean as "get to airport, fly, get to destination."

As for "production-ready", Terrefugia claims theirs is "production-ready," too...

about 2 months ago
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Antarctic Ice Loss Big Enough To Cause Measurable Shift In Earth's Gravity

Anonymous Freak Re:"Contrary to what we were sometimes taught" (232 comments)

Agreed. I learned about the Gravitational constant and the variability of gravity in high school physics in the US.

One of my proudest moments in high school physics was running a "measure gravity" experiment 3 times, getting to within 0.005 m/s^2 of the right answer all 3 times - for where I was! I thought for sure I was doing it wrong, until the teacher said "and if some of you are getting a number other than a simple 9.8, it's because the local gravity here is actually ." Mine averaged to 0.002 off.

about 3 months ago
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My toy collection is ...

Anonymous Freak Re:Early Star Wars LEGO (209 comments)

No, that came out after I stopped buying. And the Death Star, and the Star Destroyer...

But I now have permission from my wife to buy TWO of the next similar "ridiculously expensive Ultimate" set. One to keep for myself, one to re-sell three years later.

about 3 months ago
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Sierra Nevada Corp. Files Legal Challenge Against NASA Commercial Contracts

Anonymous Freak Re:dumb question (127 comments)

Okay, give me your mailing address, and I will print out the relevant Wikipedia articles and mail them to you on a postcard.

about 3 months ago
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Sierra Nevada Corp. Files Legal Challenge Against NASA Commercial Contracts

Anonymous Freak Interesting comment... (127 comments)

"...the highest ranked and lowest ranked offerors were separated by a minor amount of total points and other factors were equally comparable."

AKA: "We were bottom, but dammit, not by that much!"

about 3 months ago
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My toy collection is ...

Anonymous Freak Early Star Wars LEGO (209 comments)

Lining the window sill of my home office. Pretty much every minifig-scale non-collectors set from the launch of LEGO Star Wars through 2003. Original Trilogy only. I also have the "Collectors" TIE Interceptor and the "Destroyer Droid" Technic; plus a smattering of prequel trilogy sets (that were all given to me as gifts by people that knew I had the SW collection, and didn't know better,) on a shelf.

Plus a few (less than a dozen) of my old childhood toys (all smaller ones,) in a "keepsake box" in the attic.

Oh, and on the LEGO front, I have one of each "primary" LEGO Space minifig from the launch of LEGO Space through the discontinuation of the LEGO Space theme. So not the one-offs, but if it appeared as a "generic" Space minifig at some point during the theme's run, it's in there.

about 3 months ago
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It's Banned Books Week; I recommend ...

Anonymous Freak While all good choices... (410 comments)

Fahrenheit 451 wins because it is directly about the banning of books.

about 3 months ago
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iOS 8 Review

Anonymous Freak Re: No good for older iPhones (216 comments)

Yup, and I have alternate ROMs for my original iPhone that adds essentially all the features of iOS 7 (obviously excepting things that are missing in hardware, of course.)

about 3 months ago
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iOS 8 Review

Anonymous Freak Re:No good for older iPhones (216 comments)

Find me an Android from 2010 that can run KitKat.

Find me more than two Android devices that got KitKat on launch day.

Yes, Apple ruthless abandons old devices. But you KNOW it's happening. The iPad 1 was the only "surprise! We discontinued support earlier than you thought!" device, but even then, you knew when iOS 6 was first announced that it was going to happen. And if you get support, you get it on day 1. Today, the iPhone 4S and newer, iPad 2 and newer, and iPod touch 5 all get iOS 8.

Android devices are a complete mixed bag. You may get good support for 2-3 years, you might get screwed with zero updates ever. You might get the update on day 1, you might get it 6 months later.

Android has many ways it is far superior to iOS, but release reliability and long-term device support are *NOT* among them.

about 3 months ago
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iOS 8 Review

Anonymous Freak Re:Nerd fight (216 comments)

I like that he has a six-digit ID... New Here is older than the vast majority of /.ers.

about 3 months ago
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iOS 8 Review

Anonymous Freak Re:Nerd fight (216 comments)

HAHAHAHAHHAHAA!!!!

The negativity of all the quotes bits should have clued you off.

about 3 months ago
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iOS 8 Review

Anonymous Freak Re:Just use screens (216 comments)

That's exactly what I do. Main screen is for "use it every day" with no folders at all, second screen is for "use very often, divided by theme" such as "financial", "media" (which means media consumption for me, so Netflix, Hulu, etc,) "Photo", "science", "sports". Third screen is games, subdivided by category. Fourth screen is "I almost never use these, but space is cheap, so I'll just stuff them here" - mostly store apps that I only have so that Passbook works right with them, apps that Siri integrates with so that I can tap results and have them launch properly (Yelp, etc,) and other things that when I really want to use them, I end up launching them another way. (Google Doc, Sheet, Slide; which I launch via Drive almost exclusively.)

about 3 months ago
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How many devices are connected to your home Wi-Fi?

Anonymous Freak Re:Sooo many devices and appliances (260 comments)

Yeah, you'd think I ran a small datacenter...

(And while I do like to joke that to friends, I don't actually.)

A couple machines running multiple VMs don't help the count, either.

about 4 months ago
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Is "Scorpion" Really a Genius?

Anonymous Freak Re:I worked for Dell back then (391 comments)

But the Humpty-Dumpty sense is the best sense!

And, of course, you are completely correct. I should have used i.e., not AKA.

It was a dumb Americansism-abused-grammar mistake. I shall claim "it was written half past midnight in a sleepy stupor" as my excuse. :-P I am normally a spelling/grammar pedant; this just shows that even OCD grammarians screw up once in a while. (In general, if my spelling or grammar is incorrect, it's on purpose for humorous effect.)

about 4 months ago
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Barry Shein Founded the First Dialup ISP (Video)

Anonymous Freak Re:Not the first, just the most egotistical. (116 comments)

agora was. I know because I had it. I know because a friend and I convinced Alan Batie (the owner/operator) to install a SLIP daemon in 1987.

Many years later, I worked at Intel, and looked up Alan. I had to introduce myself to the man that, to me, "gave me the Internet." He remembered me. (Or my user name, anyway.) I was more flattered by that at the time than if a sports star or president had told me they remembered me.

about 4 months ago
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Is "Scorpion" Really a Genius?

Anonymous Freak Re:I worked for Dell back then (391 comments)

If you read, he supplied more computers than Dell and Gateway combined....... Before 1993.

While both Dell and Gateway existed since the '80s, neither were international powerhouses until the mid-90s. I'm sure both HP and IBM were blowing this guy out of the water in Ireland.

I mean, I sold more cell phones worldwide in 2006 than Apple and Google combined, for crying out loud! (AKA: I sold one.)

about 4 months ago

Submissions

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sgi declares bankruptcy, to be sold to Rackable.

Anonymous Freak Anonymous Freak writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Anonymous Freak (16973) writes "In what could possibly be the last story to get the "Silicon Graphics" tag here on Slashdot; sgi has announced that they are going to be acquired by Rackable Systems for a paltry $25 million.

From the press release:

"We have been working very hard to strengthen our company, and today, we've taken another big step in that direction," stated Robert "Bo" Ewald, CEO of Silicon Graphics. "This transaction represents a compelling opportunity for Silicon Graphics' customers, partners and employees, who can all benefit from the emerging stronger company with better technologies, products and markets reach."

April Fools joke? Your guess is as good as mine."
Link to Original Source

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Special Effects master Stan Winston dead.

Anonymous Freak Anonymous Freak writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Anonymous Freak (16973) writes "From The Associated Press:

Hollywood special-effects maestro Stan Winston has died at age 62. The Oscar-winning visual effects artist died at his home Sunday evening surrounded by family after a seven-year struggle with multiple myeloma, according to a representative from Stan Winston Studio.


And from Fangoria:

Variety confirmed details about the death last night of makeup and FX master Stan Winston at age 62. Winston succumbed to multiple myeloma, which he'd been fighting for seven years, at his home, surrounded by family.


Stan Winston was responsible for some of the most iconic special effects in the industry, from Aliens to Jurassic Park to Iron Man. His incredible ability to bring some of the most fantastic visions to life will be missed."

Link to Original Source

Journals

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Last Journal entry was "first month on iPhone" - so might as well do "first week back"

Anonymous Freak Anonymous Freak writes  |  about 4 months ago

And I mean it. I have now been using an original iPhone (aka "iPhone 2G") for a week as my primary personal cell phone.

I got a work phone that satisfied 99% of my usage, but I've had my personal cell phone number since 1997, having ported it between carriers numerous times. I passed my personal phone down to my daughter (who had an old iPhone 3G that she basically used as an out-of-date iPod touch that we activated for her 9th birthday as "emergency cell phone".) She was ecstatic about the upgrade.

But there was one problem: my plan had been to port my long-owned personal number to Google Voice, and just have it ring my work cell (and use the Google apps for text messaging on it.) But for some reason, Google Voice says my number can't be ported. (Maybe I've ported it too many times? It's on T-Mobile right now, which is the carrier I started on (when it was VoiceStream Wireless.) Well, with the port-to-Google shot down, I realized I would still need SOMETHING to send/receive text messages to people who have that as my primary number. (I forwarded my voice calls to my work phone.) So, what better than a little nostalgia? Dug out the old original iPhone - purchased launch day 2007 on a lark. I wasn't planning on getting one, I was just visiting my crazy friend who had waited in line over night right before the store opened - and he offered to let me "take his second". (Apple Stores were allowing you to buy up to two phones. He only wanted one, and he didn't want to be accused of letting me cut in line, so he just bought it and immediately sold it to me.)

I had the battery replaced a few years ago, when my daughter was using IT as an "obsolete iPod touch", but then nearly immediately put it in to storage as she got upgraded to the retired-from-my-use iPhone 3G. It is in nearly flawless physical condition (a slight ding in the Aluminum case on the side directly opposite the mute slider is all.) I loaded up Whited00r, a Jailbroken custom firmware that visually and functionally emulates iOS 7. That gave me a modern look and feel, plus most of the under-the-covers useful features (MMS, which Apple never officially supported on the original iPhone, etc.) Loaded up Twitter and Facebook, for LOLs. They still work just fine.

Yes, EDGE is slow, but it's passable for MMS, Facebook, and Twitter. All in all, it works reasonably well, even 7 years on.

I also dug out my official Apple Bluetooth Headset, but the battery has long since had its day - it lasts about 3 hours of STANDBY time, which means I only turn it on for my morning and evening commutes. (And really, since my phone number is forwarded to my work phone, and my work phone pairs to my speakerphone, it's only for making outbound calls to people who wouldn't recognize, or I don't want to have, my work number.)

It's kind of funny, because when I got my first smartphone (a Symbian S60 device,) I thought "wow, I might do more 'not talking on it as a phone' on this than using it as a phone!" Yet going back to the iPhone, I find I'm using it more for talking and texting than anything else. Although there have been a couple times that I have used IT for web browsing, Facebook, or Twitter over my work phone - just because I could.

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One Month on iPhone.

Anonymous Freak Anonymous Freak writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Well, it's been a full month since the iPhone's release, and here is as good a place as any to post my impressions...

Yes, I had activation issues. Took 12-ish hours to activate. No instant gratification for me. Since then, the only major network issue was the EDGE network going down on the first weekday after the iPhone launch (I have another entry on that.)

For ease of use, it's excellent. Better than a Palm, better than a Windows Mobile, way better than a Symbian S60 smartphone (which I swore by before this.) I have no ease of use complaints at all.

For underlying usability, lack of Flash and Java is annoying, but not a deal breaker. I haven't had a single website that I've wanted to go to that just wouldn't work. One complaint is the fact that .mp3 and .wav files aren't supported either in email or web. I get my home and work voicemails emailed to me in these two formats, and I can't listen to them on the iPhone. Google Maps could *REALLY* use the ability to easily change a start, middle, or end point by dragging (the way you can on the web version,) for easier re-routing. Especially with traffic. Yesterday I mapped a route that had me going on 15 miles of red freeways, and I had no way to reroute. I had to just play it by ear and figure out a new route on my own, entering an intersection as a 'start' point while stopped at a red light on my newly chosen route. One goofy aspect is that you can turn the iPhone on its side either direction while web browsing, even while playing videos on the web, but you HAVE to rotate it counterclockwise for YouTube or iPod videos. It would be nice to have the choice.

Stability is a well-documented problem. Safari crashes once or twice a day for me, in about 2-4 hours of Safari use per day. And early on, I discovered that if you leave the iPhone 'on' for too long, it starts to become unresponsive. (After about a week of not turning it off, I had an issue where after I slid the 'unlock slider', then typed in my code, I would need to hit the Home button for it to actually get beyond the code entry screen.)

Of course, there are some other features lacking, that are rumored to be coming soon in a software update. I figure I'll give it until Leopard comes out on the desktop to complain about the lack of those features (Notes don't sync to anything on the desktop, no MMS or AIM, etc.)

Overall, it's been great, with just a few minor nitpicks.

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EDGE network down nationwide. iPhone to blame.

Anonymous Freak Anonymous Freak writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Ah... AT&T apparently didn't know what they were getting in to. Not only are the activation issues still going strong, but now (the first weekday since iPhone's release,) but now there are nationwide issues with their EDGE network. I am one of those experiencing the problem, and have been since 9:00 AM (Pacific) this morning. My iPhone says it has an EDGE connection (the little blue 'E',) but I get no data flowing. I called AT&T support, and was told it is down nationwide, with no estimated time to be back up. The agent basically blamed all their problems on the iPhone. That they hadn't prepared properly for all the demand of both activation, and data network use, that the iPhone would introduce.

Ah, you'd think AT&T would have had plenty of time to prepare. I mean, with all the hype, how could they *NOT* have anticipated this much demand? They should have prepared for every single iPhone that has been manufactured to be activated and actively on EDGE at 7:00 PM Hawaiian time on Friday. (i.e. A total sellout nationwide, with everyone activating within one hour of purchase.)

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Who are you, and what are you doing?

Anonymous Freak Anonymous Freak writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Alright, well... I seem to have been generating a lot of flames recently, so I might as well try to explain myself.

I'm a geek. No, really, it's on my business card. I've been 'playing' with computers since 1984; both PC and Mac. I'm a fan of technology in general, and like the Macintosh because of it's well-executed implementations of various technologies. I am not a Microsoft-hater. I admire Linux, and know my way around a command line well enough to not get into serious trouble. (Or at least fix it when I do.)

I own a Prius. Not because it's 'hip', not because I think it will save me money, but because I like the underlying idea. That a car doesn't have to compromise to be environmentally friendly. And I like to support companies that do "the right thing."

I'm a 'Liberal Republican'. No, it's really not an oxymoron. I support low taxes, little government interference, and a balanced budget. I do *NOT* support the infringement of individual liberties, or government-sponsored religion. I am pro-death (death penalty, abortion, assisted suicide.) I am for 'gay marriage'. (Although I would prefer to see the government get out of 'marriage' altogether, and make ALL government-sanctioned unions simply 'civil unions', and let churches be the only organizations to use the word marriage.) Keep your morals out of my bedroom, and keep the government out of my business.

Any questions?

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