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Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

LongearedBat Atari joystick (694 comments)

The Atari joysticks that came with my Atari 2600 outlasted all other joysticks of its age.

My neighbour and I "upgraded" to others that kept breaking. For example the TAC-2 was advertised as unbreakable such that if you break it, you get to replace it free of charge (imagine that guarantee today!) so we replaced our broken TAC-2's 2-3 times each.

Nothing beat the original Atari Joysticks.

Also, Microsoft peripherals such as keyboards and mice are typically very good. If only their software was as good...

about a week ago

DARPA Developing the Ultimate Auto-Pilot Software

LongearedBat Cargo ships (75 comments)

I've long thought that it would be good if cargo ships were automated and/or remote controlled. Piloting cargo ships ought to be relatively easy compared to remote piloting drones in combat.

- Crew is valued higher than cargo, so piracy relies a lot on kidnapping crews for ransom. No crew, no crew ransom. That would change the bargaining balance.

- Also, if crews can't manually override the automatic/remote control, then they have no control over the ships course. That would make piracy even more difficult.

- Crews could stay home with their families.

- The system might evolve into having specialist crews that can be brought in to handle difficult situations.

Docking and leaving might require the presence of crews on ships, but crews could be shuttled between their ships and the docks.

about a week ago

A 2560x1440 VR Headset That's Mobile

LongearedBat Re:Transparent OLED (135 comments)

Would be cool to have them combined. Flick a switch on your AR headset and the outside world is blocked out (with a change in optics?) turning it into a VR headset.

(Don't know how enough about the implementations. I expect they work very differently. But still, it would be cool if they could be combined.)

about two weeks ago

NASA Can't Ethically Send Astronauts On One-Way Missions To Deep Space

LongearedBat Re:Ethical is irrelevant. (402 comments)

Nah, it wouldn't work. Consider the case of an air leak caused by a micro meteor...

Politicians would be using up the remaining air debating whether the leak is real, despite all the evidence, such as dropping air pressure.

Soldiers would be jump into action trying to plug the holes, though hopefully not with bullets.

about three weeks ago

Famous Paintings Help Study the Earth's Past Atmosphere

LongearedBat Re:Clutching at straws (126 comments)

Point taken. I wish someone would mod your post + informative.

about three weeks ago

Famous Paintings Help Study the Earth's Past Atmosphere

LongearedBat Clutching at straws (126 comments)

The climate debate is pretty much settled: humans are responsible for (at least) most of the current climate shock.

But this is just silly. Art is subjective, even for the artist. And even if all artists always painted with perfect colours that don't change over time, artists don't paint sunsets on a regular basis, but rather irregularly, such as when they're extra pretty.

This sort of study makes AGW proponents look desperate, and that's not a good way to convince people who prefer to stick their heads in the sand.

about three weeks ago

The 3D Economy — What Happens When Everyone Prints Their Own Shoes?

LongearedBat Re:What do the cartridges cost? (400 comments)

You should've printed out spare 3D printer cartridges first.

about three weeks ago

Toward Better Programming

LongearedBat Re:We Choose Framentation Over Consolidation. (391 comments)

3. Is Java or Objective C or Delphi.


Yes, Delphi. It will enable you to have 1 code base for Win32, Win64, OSX, iOS, Android. You can also reuse your business layer for web apps.
The trick with good and maintainable Delphi is to not build software the way Delphi is advertised (which is quick and simple, using the latest fad), but rather to use good proper OO (with or without using the latest fad).

That said, it still falls into the same trap that your post is pointing out because, well... technologies evolve as people invent new ways (or sometimes better old ways) of doing things.

about a month ago

Synthetic Chromosomes Successfully Integrated Into Brewer's Yeast

LongearedBat Great! New flavours! (107 comments)

Tastes the future! Welcome to new synthetic flavours: Vin de Nylon, Vin de Phenolic, Cellulose Stout, Polyester Malt, Acrylic Vodka...

about a month ago

Jimmy Wales To 'Holistic Healers': Prove Your Claims the Old-Fashioned Way

LongearedBat Re:You know what they call alternative medicine... (517 comments)

Might I weigh in here...? I've had acupuncture done by physiotherapists, not for anything to do with sickness*.

Some of my muscles around my hips are so tight that the hips begin to lock. The physio stabs the muscles, causing them to... basically spasm**. Thereafter they're too weak to continue being as tight as before. At least that's their explanation, and it seems to work.

* Until I looked at your links, I never knew that acupuncture was used to cure sickness. That makes about as much sense as using leeches to cure cancer.

** The spasm feels like I'm being electrocuted with a very strong electric current. Not particularly comfortable, really not.

about a month ago

Getting Misogyny, Racism and Homophobia Out of Gaming

LongearedBat Re:Remove fear labeling to start objective discuss (704 comments)

Of course race exists, but racism is learnt.

If races didn't exist, then we wouldn't have names for them. Also, children always inherit the race(s) of their parents, without fail.

One could argue that race is really no more than family resemblance on very large scales. So fine, let's give a name to the concept of "very widespread family resemblance that provides visual cues of where a person's ancestry may have originated from". Perhaps a simple name. Let's call that concept "race". Howzat?

Little story...
When I was a kid I lived in central Africa, out in the sticks. Where we lived there were very few palefaces. (I must have stuck out, being a little blond kid.)
Then we moved to Europe. Where we lived, at the time, there were very few non-palefaces.

Two years later I was on the bus and friend said "Hey, look. There's a black man." After looking around for a moment I said "That woman's wearing a dark blue dress, but I can't see anyone wearing black.".

No one had taught be the concept of race.

Of course, now that I know what races are, I can see that most of my friends are of other races. But each person is who they are, regardless of race.

Being racially aware is not the same thing as being racist. But of course race exists, so don't fall for that "Race does not exist" kool-aid.

about a month ago

Overuse of Bioengineered Corn Gives Rise To Resistant Pests

LongearedBat Re:So you say you want a revolution? (259 comments)

Revolutions don't need to be violent. I think in some countries, and especially if done in the right way, they can be peaceful.

about a month ago

Overuse of Bioengineered Corn Gives Rise To Resistant Pests

LongearedBat Re:The most damning aspect of this affair (259 comments)

Also... Those with the greatest numbers have the greatest potential power, but those who are more organised have the greatest actual power.

We (the common people) are not organised enough to stand up to governments, especially those governments that are able to keep tabs on what we're doing/organising.

about a month ago

Why Did New Zealand's Moas Go Extinct?

LongearedBat Re:Did past people hunt in a sustainable manner? (180 comments)

Betteridge's law of headlines: No

Nor did our ancestors farm sustainably.

One would think that by now we ought to have learnt our lessons and that we'd now be more careful. Alas, apparently we seem to be a very slow learning mob.

about a month ago

Engine Data Reveals That Flight 370 Flew On For Hours After It "Disappeared"

LongearedBat Re:What about radar? (382 comments)

the only way that plane could have disappeared completely from radar was if it disintegrated.

...or flown into a worm hole, or gone into hyperspace.

about a month ago

Apple Refuses To Unlock Bequeathed iPad

LongearedBat Re:Disguisting! (465 comments)

Actually, yes. Death is kinda... terminal. One will never need/want/use/reclaim that data or those devices ever again. As in: never ever!

Much better that my family get what was mine (it'll then actually be theirs due to inheritance) then them having to pay lawyers to prove that they are my inheritors and that I'm actually dead.

about a month and a half ago

NASA Forgets How To Talk To ICE/ISEE-3 Spacecraft

LongearedBat Re:HAM (166 comments)

A 20m plate of pork?!? Will need barrels of German brew to wash it down with.

about 1 month ago

India Plans Mission To Probe Sun By 2020

LongearedBat Re:Take ... (146 comments)

They're going into a sun spot... you know, a hole where the sun don't shine (as brightly).

about 2 months ago


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