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Simple Hack Enables VR Mode For Oculus Rift In Alien: Isolation

NitsujTPU Re:The point? (57 comments)

I could offer a handful of reasons, but the top one would be that they don't want to maintain it. Probably, the developers had Rifts, they wanted to play around with the tech, and they were gambling a bit on the development of the Rift during the development of the game engine (the right time to get involved, if you want to be first-to-market, so a smart move).

However, very few people own Rifts, and so if they left this in, Rift users finding bugs and incompletely-tested code would need to be supported (otherwise, PR nightmare).

When people use the "hack," they have the company has the option of saying, "That's not officially supported, you had to change things in order to do it." So, when there are bugs and things that don't work very well, the company has its hands clean, the enthusiasts still get to fool around with their early-adopter toy, and the company looks better in the long run.

about two weeks ago
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Glut of Postdoc Researchers Stirs Quiet Crisis In Science

NitsujTPU Re:Always been a challenge (283 comments)

That's not to mention the somewhat unfavorable funding climate at the moment. We're coming off of years of departments being hit with hiring freezes.

This means that there is a big glut of really talented researchers who have been in postdoctoral positions for years. If you can't compete with one of these candidates, you don't have a shot until you can.

about two weeks ago
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Former Department of Defense Chief Expects "30 Year War"

NitsujTPU Re:What has happened to Slashdot? (424 comments)

Top story on /r/technology right now: "Unhappy Customer: Comcast told my employer about my complaint, got me fired"

The next 2 have the "politics" tag.

The fourth is about a home CNC mill that can finish (or entirely mill out, who cares?) the lower receiver for an AR-15.

Worth noting is that the last isn't exactly high-tech, because you could have done this with a standard desktop milling machine years ago. (In fact, I'd call this particular mill an extremely poor purchase decision, because you can only make one part on it, and that part costs less to simply purchase). The last one is simply a political move showing that modern technology can make it so easy to produce a "ghost gun" that it's pointless to pass laws banning them.

about two weeks ago
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Former Department of Defense Chief Expects "30 Year War"

NitsujTPU Re:What has happened to Slashdot? (424 comments)

I would argue that that's not really what happened. When CmdrTaco left, the tone of /. was possibly more political than it is now. CmdrTaco did a lot to try to bring /. back to its roots, but the users kept on pushing the content in a more political direction. I don't blame CmdrTaco or the mods, though I agree that some more strict moderation would help the situation as it stands.

I would say that it was two factors:
1) Heavy internet use became mainstream.
2) 9/11

On the first point. Slashdot started in the heat of the first dotcom boom. People wanted to know what was going on in tech. The audience was a self-selecting group made up of developers, open-source users and devs, and entrepreneurs. As time went on, more entrepreneurs and people seeking to get rich (think RedHat IPO) came to Slashdot, and diluted the audience. Now, there's nothing wrong with being one of these people, but they're not the sort who are going to post comments that are deeply embedded in an interest in tech.

Fast-forward a little, and you've got quite a few sites that basically coopted Slashdot's model that popped up. K5 was an early one, but you've got reddit.com, digg.com, fark.com, and now the comments section on cnn.com, all the way to college newspapers like the Yale Daily News website. Link aggregation, or simply sticking a comments section on every single thing posted to the internet became mainstream.

Activity like that diluted what you can get out of a purely democratized content model. True, Slashdot has always had moderation, but a lot of the mod activity is from users, and Slashdot has always taken a gentle hand in these matters. If we're to compare to another website, reddit.com is also heavily driven by user-submitted content. It's, despite what the average redditor would claim, primarily a website about politics, atheism, and pictures, with a little science and tech sprinkled in. That said, the truly aggressively-moderated subreddits are the ones that stay on-topic.

The second factor is 9/11. I'd say that things were basically under control prior to that. On 9/11, the attacks were the big news of the day. I couldn't find the reference, but I think that that is still the most actively commented on story of all time. It pulled in a big crowd of people who wanted to discuss the attacks in real-time, and then they stayed. This was an instant dilution of Slashdot's content, and it stayed that way. For years to come, you'd see political commenters who, for the most part, only wanted to discuss politics. If you'd ask them to stay on-topic, they would give you an excuse along the lines of, "More important stuff is going on than science and technology." These people really seemed to want for the world to grind to a halt until they were happy with the political situation. They're still around.

Measure's were taken. CmdrTaco made several posts both requesting community input and suggesting measures and solutions to the problem. Eventually he stepped down.

In short, Slashdot's problem, if you're looking for a site to discuss science and technology, where people are passionate about these matters, is an audience problem. Folks like us are in the minority now. We always have been, but the internet grew, and is no longer a place where "early adopters" congregate. It is very difficult to have a site like what Slashdot was these days, because a self-selecting audience will include a majority of people who aren't all that invested in either science or technology.

Even with heavy moderation, you would have a difficult time curating the site, to be honest. If you look over recent top stories, the question of, "at what point is moderation fair?" would be kind of difficult to answer. Undoubtedly a new space mission makes the cut, right? Okay, what about discussion of the NSA's activities? Given the volume of communication that is performed online, one could make an argument that every story about their activity is relevant, but it's political material. Of course, there are some clear "rejects." The story that we're all commenting on hasn't got anything to do with technology.

about two weeks ago
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Harvard's CompSci Intro Course Boasts Record-Breaking Enrollment

NitsujTPU Re:Linux, cryptography, HTML and JavaScript. (144 comments)

I can shed some light on this.

This course is an introductory course for non-majors. That's why it's not like "Intro to Computer Science."

The big deal with Harvard's CS50 course isn't that everyone wants to enroll in computer science, but that it is being taught in a very unorthodox way. Students have the option of attending lectures or watching video lectures online. There is a great deal of supplementary online material. They have all night coding sessions with food and games which are sponsored by businesses such as Microsoft and Google.

More info can be found here: https://cs50.harvard.edu/

about a month ago
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ACM Blames the PC For Driving Women Away From Computer Science

NitsujTPU Re:CS Core Curriculum? (329 comments)

Where did you go that theory *wasn't* part of your core?

Also worth noting is that the reason that we teach so much programming is because that's the job associated with the degree. If you don't plan on programming with your degree in computer science, then you'd probably better plan on some graduate school. I suppose you could treat it as an, "I just needed a degree" subject, but it's a lot of work if all you're after is the ability to say that you finished your BS.

about 2 months ago
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California May Waive Environmental Rules For Tesla

NitsujTPU Why not let this one go? (327 comments)

California already has number of big, powerful companies headquartered there. They've got a number of great universities. Why pull out all of the stops to get Tesla to set up shop in-state? The US is a big country, and a few other states might want a share of the wealth that a company like Telsa could bring in.

about 2 months ago
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Point-and-Shoot: TrackingPoint's New Linux-Controlled AR-15s

NitsujTPU From the hip? (219 comments)

Really? You're shooting an AR-15 from the hip at a range where a trackpoint system would be helpful?

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Preparing an Android Tablet For Resale?

NitsujTPU Selling for parts (113 comments)

Just a quick note. You probably won't make much on the proceeds for a sale for parts. Used tablet parts don't fetch very much on the open market. If the tablet is non-working, there is no guarantee which parts work and which don't. Taking tablets apart is difficult and time-consuming, so there is a lot of labor involved. Also, due to the ways that tablets tend to be assembled (lots of epoxies and thin plastics), it is very easy to damage the parts during disassembly.

about 3 months ago
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Largest Collection of WW-II Buckminster Fuller Domes

NitsujTPU Fuller Dome (1 comments)

Interesting, though, when one cites a Fuller Dome, people generally expect a geodesic dome, the design for which Buckminster Fuller is better known: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geodesic_dome These DDUs are an entirely different design.

about 10 months ago
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Xbox One Controller Cost Over $100 Million To Develop

NitsujTPU Re:Wow... (206 comments)

They *did* invest in the Kinect 2. The Kinect 2 has also been a major success.

about a year ago
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Xbox One Controller Cost Over $100 Million To Develop

NitsujTPU Re:Wow... (206 comments)

This is actually the opposite of something that's wrong with a company. They used the money that they had in order to fund research in order to produce a better product, and somewhat simply to do new and interesting research. I can't see why you would think that this is a bad thing.

People cite the "nimble" bit when they mean that a company is stuck in its ways or unable to adapt to change. Doing major research and development is the opposite of that. It's where people who are experts in a field use their talents to really thoroughly explore new ideas.

Moreover, your assertion lies on the idea that, somehow, this research isn't paying off. The consequence of that would be that they somehow fail to make money on the XBox One. It's a little early to be calling the XBox One a commercial failure, given that it won't be.

about a year ago
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Should the U.S. bomb Syria?

NitsujTPU Re:should slashdot be asking if the U.S. should bo (659 comments)

I agree, and I mean no offense to the admins when I say this. If every tech site tries to be a general news site, there will be no tech sites. Content like this dilutes the technical content of sites like Slashdot. There are plenty of places to talk politics. There should be a place to talk tech.

about a year ago
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Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda Resigns From Slashdot

NitsujTPU Thanks (1521 comments)

Honestly, Slashdot has been one of my favorite websites ever since it was shown to me in high school. Within a year or two after I started reading Slashdot, it became *the* place to become "in the know" with what was going on in technology.

A big part of the direction that Slashdot has moved in has been a product of this. More and more people knew that Slashdot was a place to go to to get "in the know," but the pool of truly enthusiastic, sharp, science and engineering minded people became diluted with people who simply wanted to be associated with that. Everyone wanted to participate, and the signal to noise ratio went down. It's unfortunate, but the thing that initially attracted people here was largely due to your vision and your efforts. I don't believe that your departure is likely to improve the site. I know that I, at times, have been critical of the direction that Slashdot has gone in (and at times you have expressed frustrations with the site yourself, or at least, frustrations with what you should do with it), but this change in direction has largely been a product of the change in readership. It has been your vision that has managed to keep it sane.

What is truly unfortunate is that, looking around the Internet for a site that gives me the same enjoyment that Slashdot did in its heyday, I have come up empty-handed. It really does feel like there is nowhere online for the old-school geek anymore. Everyone wants to be part of that now. In fact, being a "hipster" now involves saying how geeky and quirky you are. It's pretty annoying seeing kids who can't even program move in on my turf like that.

Anyway, thanks for all of the effort that you've put into this site, and I honestly do hope that we meet at an Open Source convention of some sort someday. If we do, I'll buy you a beer.

more than 3 years ago
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All the Best Games May Be NP-Hard

NitsujTPU Re:Just to throw this out there (322 comments)

You know, I just shouldn't have chimed in. I'm beginning to regret that I did.

Thank you for speaking down to me. Now, lets get to business.

I get it. I actually understand computational complexity very well. Had you read the follow-up post, which was posted well before your post, you would see that I added the caveat "if P!=NP", long before you had a chance to talk down to me.

more than 4 years ago
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All the Best Games May Be NP-Hard

NitsujTPU Re:Just to throw this out there (322 comments)

I actually threw in the caveat in a follow-up post (since I wasn't very atomic about it) that this was if P!=NP. Nothing that I said affects class inclusions once that caveat is thrown in.

more than 4 years ago
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All the Best Games May Be NP-Hard

NitsujTPU Re:chess and go aren't np-hard, but they are also (322 comments)

The generalizations of both games are NP-Hard. They're only constant time because of the fixed number of pieces and places for those pieces to go.

more than 4 years ago

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