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Time Dilation Drug Could Let Heinous Criminals Serve 1,000 Year Sentences

Lord Grey Cost savings (914 comments)

I agree that extending a prison sentence seems a little barbaric. But what about looking at this from a pure cost-saving viewpoint? Instead of sentencing a prisoner to 10 years (or whatever is normal for their offense) and keeping them in prison that long, use the drug and keep them in prison for only one year but make them feel like 10 years have passed. Huge cost savings to the public, right there.

about 10 months ago

Embarrassing Stories Shed Light On US Officials' Technological Ignorance

Lord Grey Re:it **is** outrageous (299 comments)

it is completely outrageous...the people who make the laws about a thing not knowing the essential function of how a thing works...that's the definition of legislative incompetence!

This isn't limited to the high-tech stuff we all love and know. Witness the asinine bans on e-cigarettes being instituted around the country. They seem to be based on the idea that "it looks like smoking analog cigarettes, so it must be just as bad for you and everyone else." Or, "some e-cigarettes have candy flavors, therefore they are being marketed to children" which completely ignores the fact that some adults like those flavors, too. No e-cigarette bans are based on science, or evidence.

about 10 months ago

Austin Has Highest Salaries For Tech Workers, After Factoring In Cost of Living

Lord Grey Downside (285 comments)

I worked for Apple in the early 90's, when they were opening their first sites in Austin. Our group was eventually moved there (and I'm still there, in a suburb) from Campbell, CA. Anyway, at the time there was a lot of internal marketing around "why you would want to move to Austin."

With perfect timing, the local San Jose newspaper ran a political cartoon captioned "There Are Problems Everywhere" or something like that. It had a drawing of the entire United States, with descriptions of the local problems. California was titled with "Earthquakes" and a little arrow. Florida had "Hurricanes."

The state of Texas was decorated with the word "Texans" right in the center, with little arrows pointing all around.

This is still very true today. I wish I had saved that cartoon.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: What Essays and Short Stories Should Be In a Course On Futurism?

Lord Grey Re:Niven short stories (293 comments)

New technology typically goes through a phase where it is really expensive when it is first released, and then it gets less expensive, right? The Jigsaw Man is set in that initial timeframe. Breakthroughs in the medical science gave doctors the ability to transplant every organ except the brain and spinal column, but the cost was still very high and only a few could really afford it.

Niven does explore the next phase, where the cost comes down (or the technology is replaced by something less expensive), in his novel A Gift From Earth. I think the novel was written before the story, in fact.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: What Essays and Short Stories Should Be In a Course On Futurism?

Lord Grey Niven short stories (293 comments)

A number of Larry Niven's short stories would be excellent examples of futurism:

The Jigsaw Man really stands out as a commentary on how power would be abused when organ transfers became nearly 100% successful (yet very expensive).

The Last Days of the Permanent Floating Riot Club talks about flash crowds.

Cloak of Anarchy deals with, strangely enough, anarchy.

about a year ago

Wozniak Gets Personal On Innovation

Lord Grey Invisibly advance (161 comments)

Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking about them.

- Alfred North Whitehead, Introduction to Mathematics (1911)

Technology that Woz describes is essentially invisible, because the user can focus on the task and not the tool. As tech people, creating such technology should be our goal. I imagine that the vast majority of us want to do that, anyway. What we need to do is convince the people in charge of the money to let us.

about a year ago

20-Somethings Think It's OK To Text and Answer Calls In Business Meetings

Lord Grey Link to research paper (453 comments)

The actual paper, in PDF format, can be found here.

about a year ago

Excess Coffee May Be Linked To Early Death

Lord Grey Amateurs (220 comments)

Those of us under 55 who drink a lot of coffee – more than four cups per day ...

I'm a 48-year old card-carrying member of the Serious Coffee Drinkers of America. I drink my first four cups of coffee before I leave for work in the morning. My coffee cup at work is actually a travel mug, and it's never empty or contain cold coffee. I drink a full pot of coffee between dinner and bedtime. Most workdays, I drink 20-30 cups of coffee, easily. I cut back to only 10 cups or so per day on the weekends.

I just had a full health checkup. I have no -- zero, none, nada -- health problems. Sure, my knees are starting to ache and I now wear glasses to read, but as far cholesterol, glucose levels, triglycerides, etc. goes, I'm well within the normal range. My blood pressure was 106/70 and my resting pulse was 54.

Maybe I'll be one of those old guys that eats and drinks whatever he wants and lives to 110. Maybe coffee is the reason.

Mayo Clinic Proceedings, I laugh in your general direction.

about a year and a half ago

Developers Rolling Out Pebble Smartwatch Apps

Lord Grey Re: Douglas Adams was correct⦠(64 comments)

Uhhh...unproven theories stated as fact? The world must still be flat for some people. The earth IS the most significant planet in the solar system, and we haven't heard of a single person pop into an ape, or a human into an amphibious form, for thousands of years. Crazy how some THEORIES make some people deceive themselves into believing they have something smart to say.

The sound you're hearing is commonly referred to as the "Epic Woosh." It is similar to the sound of a Boeing 747 flying approximately six inches over your head.

The other sound you're hearing, or will hear once you've recovered from the Epic Woosh, is the sound of millions of geeks around world rolling their eyes at your colossal ignorance of science fiction canon.

about a year and a half ago

Leaked Microsoft Video Parodies Chrome Ad

Lord Grey Re:Internal only? (243 comments)

Microsoft's internal videos have made it out into the wild before. The iPod box video was eventually confirmed real.

This Scroogled video, on the other hand, feels like a transparent marketing ploy.

about a year and a half ago

Google Glass Is the Future — and the Future Has Awful Battery Life

Lord Grey Re:Rev. 1 hardware, people (473 comments)

... Rev 2 will simply plug into neural probes and power itself from your brain. What battery life problem?

There are some managers where I work who would experience severe battery life problems, then.

about a year and a half ago

When Was the Last Time You Used a Landline Phone?

Lord Grey Home POTS (329 comments)

I still have Plain Old Telephone Service at home, albeit with several fancy wireless handsets scattered around the house. I also have a cherry red corded handset (my wife refers to it as the BatPhone) that I can use when the wireless handsets die, like after a prolonged power outage.

Having this landline, in this configuration, is an intentional decision. It's separate from all my networking stuff, it survives power outages (when I haul out my BatPhone), and it generally works a hell of a lot better than any other technology for voice calls. Calls are clear, don't get dropped, I hear every word, and there is no latency.

I'm keeping my landline, thankyouverymuch

about 2 years ago

Students Calculate What Hyperspace Travel Would Actually Look Like

Lord Grey Re:Warp vs Hyperspace (234 comments)

Who can forget Lint Warp?

Remember: don't count your weasels before they pop, dink.

about 2 years ago

HTTP Strict Transport Security Becomes Internet Standard

Lord Grey Re:I'm still not getting it (98 comments)

It's been a very long time since I've messed with web technologies at this level, so I'm tossing the following out merely for discussion purposes: What about changing the default browser to behavior so that instead of first trying the http: prefix, browsers try https: instead and then fall back to http: only when necessary? Would that work around the 'ssl stripping' issue?

more than 2 years ago

On Nov. 22, 2012, I expect to be ...

Lord Grey Fishing (340 comments)

My family started a new tradition a few years ago and plan to continue it this year. The day before Thanksgiving, we'll buy a bucket of chicken from KFC and stick it in the refrigerator. At dawn on Thanksgiving, you'll find us launching our bass boat on a local lake. We'll spend the whole day fishing, tying up at some point to eat our Thanksgiving dinner of cold KFC chicken and whatever else we've thrown in the cooler.

Good times.

more than 2 years ago

A Better Thought-Controlled Computer Cursor

Lord Grey Yay (34 comments)

Stephen Hawking is probably jumping up and down for joy now.

Errr, wait....

more than 2 years ago

The Empire In Decline?

Lord Grey Citation Needed (488 comments)

... sales of the Surface tablet are disappointing ...

I'm not fan of Microsoft. It's a huge bureaucracy that stifles the innovation of a lot of very bright people who work there. I would not be surprised at all to learn that their late-to-the-party tablet isn't selling well.

However, I've not seen any concrete evidence that Surface tablet sales are "disappointing." There were some vaguely-worded comments by Ballmer in a French magazine or something, and something about a few people returning the table after discovering that they couldn't run their existing apps, but that's about it. From what I've read, Surface seems to be selling. Does anyone have any concrete numbers?

more than 2 years ago

Do Recreational Drugs Help Programmers?

Lord Grey Not in my experience (878 comments)

I was a casual pot smoker decades ago. I tried, several times, to write code while stoned. Invariably, I regretted it in the next day. It was like looking at someone else's code and realizing that the other person really doesn't understand programming at all.

The problem (devil?), I think, was in the details. You get some terrific ideas when you're stoned. (Also some terrible ideas, but we'll stay positive for now.) Broad, general, sweeping ideas about how to do something in the most elegant manner imaginable. Better than anything that's come before. Then you sit down and actually try to write the stuff and realize that the compiler is extremely, extremely picky about everything. You also realize that you can only hold about two things in your head at a time, which makes handling complex data structures or algorithms really challenging. It's like trying to drive a cheap RC car from one point to another, where all you can do is go forward in a straight line and turn right in reverse. You can get there, but the route is torturous. Going from a broad idea to the details of writing code is not well accomplished while stoned. You have to hold too many things in your head simultaneously.

Bottom line, I discovered that it was a lot better doing other stuff stoned than write software. Programming with a perfectly clear head is way more satisfying in the long run. Of course, all this was a very long time ago. Maybe if I returned to smoking now I would think differently.

more than 2 years ago

GM Brings IT Dev Back In House; Self-Driving Caddy In the Works

Lord Grey Re:Target Market (171 comments)

You clearly have not test driven a Cadillac CTS-V. 556hp V8, 0-60mph in 4.0 seconds. Not a track car, but it gets the job done.

Some of the "slightly older and affluent folks" appreciate that.

more than 2 years ago


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