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An Open Source Pitfall? Mozilla Labs Closed, Quietly

Puff_Of_Hot_Air Re:Blame C++ (111 comments)

I would get all huffy about your post except for the fact that your username is the most awesome in the world. Carry on brave squid lips, carry on!

2 days ago
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Oculus Rift CEO Says Classrooms of the Future Will Be In VR Goggles

Puff_Of_Hot_Air Re:Some classes would be AWESOME! (182 comments)

What nonsense. I claimed that VR had the potential to correct for the limitations in current technology around "broadband" human interaction. Obviously more needs to be done in terms of capturing each persons 3d "image" to project into the VR space and so on. Why you find this offensive is beyond me. (And yes I didn't read the article, this is slashdot after all).

4 days ago
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Oculus Rift CEO Says Classrooms of the Future Will Be In VR Goggles

Puff_Of_Hot_Air Re:Some classes would be AWESOME! (182 comments)

I'm not sure why I'm supposed to prove anything, I thought we were discussing ideas? Where I see the short term use case is in school of the air type environments. It's a long way off, but that doesn't mean it's not a good idea. But as I alluded to, I think the commercial environment is where you might see this hit earlier. Games will drive the tech, but economies of scale could see some new and interesting applications.

5 days ago
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Oculus Rift CEO Says Classrooms of the Future Will Be In VR Goggles

Puff_Of_Hot_Air Re:Some classes would be AWESOME! (182 comments)

The point of this, the entire point, is that VR provides the potential to create an immersive experience that will finally allow true broadband human interaction. Having worked in corporate space for many years trying to get cross site teams to function well, I can assure you that chat rooms, phones, even webcams and the like, do not cut it for human interaction. So much is lost in the subtle body language, the eyes, the stance, the arms folded. VR could change all that. If I can finally see you properly, look you in the eye, share a virtual whiteboard, then it will truly no longer matter if we are in the same office. Or classroom.

5 days ago
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Report: Microsoft To Buy Minecraft Studio For $2bn+

Puff_Of_Hot_Air Re:Isn't it a little bit obvious? (368 comments)

And why not? This Notch fella sounds like he's just been holding things back.. "No VR because Oculus sold out!" "What's that mega-corp? 2 Billion?". Owned by Microsoft might see rational rather than ego-centric decision making.

about two weeks ago
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A New Form of Online Tracking: Canvas Fingerprinting

Puff_Of_Hot_Air Re:Why does this work (194 comments)

Well, if all factors are equal it doesn't vary, otherwise every run on the same machine would vary and it would be useless. The point is that there enough differing variables between machines that it becomes useful for finger printing (and also for identifying specific hardware/driver/os/browser signatures). It would be used in conjunction with other techniques in practise I am sure.

about 2 months ago
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A New Form of Online Tracking: Canvas Fingerprinting

Puff_Of_Hot_Air Re:Why does this work (194 comments)

Different drivers, OS's, web browsers, GPU's etc all have slight effects when asked to render something onto the canvas. The trick is that the raw resultant bits can then be captured trivially using getImageData() and then sent back to the tracker site (after hashing or what have you to reduce the size). It'll render the same way every time on your machine, but will differ to someone else's. (Showing my age here), kind of like how you could easily see the difference between the old Voodoo and TNT2 graphics card by how they rendered.

about 2 months ago
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Peer Review Ring Broken - 60 Articles Retracted

Puff_Of_Hot_Air Someone mod this up (178 comments)

An insightful post, I'd love to hear if you had an ideas on how the system could be improved?

about 2 months ago
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Scientists Propose Collider That Could Turn Light Into Matter

Puff_Of_Hot_Air Mod up! (223 comments)

Please mod this up and GP down. +5 Ignorant.

about 4 months ago
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Scientists Propose Collider That Could Turn Light Into Matter

Puff_Of_Hot_Air Re:Energy-matter synthesis (223 comments)

This is a good point. If we ever get to the point of being able to efficiently convert matter into energy with negligible loses, then science fiction becomes far more believable. The "scarcity" of resources equation hard wired into our biology would be irrelevant. The physics is simple, but the engineering is a real bugger.

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Should Every Programmer Read?

Puff_Of_Hot_Air One more thing (352 comments)

Don't be put off by the "C++" in the title. Most of the concepts are applicable to any language. It's about the engineering behind large scale software development.

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Should Every Programmer Read?

Puff_Of_Hot_Air Large-Scale C++ Software Design by John Lakos (352 comments)

If every university simply taught this book, software development would be called software engineering. Written in 1996, and still we have not learned the lessons. Flawed. Wordy. Partially out of date. And yet, if you understand and apply the concepts in this book, you will design applications and systems of the standard that everyone actually expects software to be at (rather than where it is).

about 4 months ago
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Why Scientists Are Still Using FORTRAN in 2014

Puff_Of_Hot_Air Re:Q: Why Are Scientists Still Using FORTRAN in 20 (634 comments)

To be fair, you basically set this kid up for failure. What you describe is a significant engineering challenge, and you gave it to a computer science graduate, with no experience. If you gave this to someone with 10 years under their belt, I'm sure they could create a lovely maintainable package; but as it is, you should start over. You may as well have asked him/her to design the Golden Gate Bridge. Computer science does not teach engineering, there is no way this kid could have had the necessary skills.

about 4 months ago
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Paper Microscope Magnifies Objects 2100 Times and Costs Less Than $1

Puff_Of_Hot_Air Re:No, this is not what the developing world needs (89 comments)

The whole point of this, the whole point, is to make specialized idiot-proof diagnostic tools. Did you watch the Ted talk? It's short and informative. If you see the vid, you'll see that many of these places have a fancy microscope already that no one can use. With this thing they can create a specialized single use malaria detector for example. Very little training is required to insert slide, look at image, malaria? Yes/No. That's the point of this, that's what they are trying to achieve. It's a good idea, and it could transform diagnosis in the third world.

about 5 months ago
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Isolated Tribes Die Shortly After We Meet Them

Puff_Of_Hot_Air Re:farming vs. hunter gatherer (351 comments)

It seems to me that you delight in being wrong. Australian aboriginals worked, on average, 6 hours per day. Australian history is quite recent, this statement is not in dispute. I'm not trying to suggest that this was the case for any other hunter-gatherer society (I'm quite ignorant outside of this area), but the idea that Australian aboriginals had a relatively easy life is neither minority view nor controversial.

On the "life span" topic, you seem to indicate that people are uniformly dropping off in their 30's, which was simply not the case. You were quite likely to die in childhood (particularly infancy), but if you got through that, quite likely to creek on past 50. Why present this as if people are dying in their 30's, ground down by poor diet and harsh conditions? Simple nonsense.

about 5 months ago
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Isolated Tribes Die Shortly After We Meet Them

Puff_Of_Hot_Air Re:farming vs. hunter gatherer (351 comments)

More ignorance. Life spans were not in the "low 30's" for indigenous or Europeans. Average life expectancy was predominantly impacted by infant mortality rates. Once out of childhood, you could reasonably expect to hit late 50's or 60 odd. Leisure time is again something you are simply wrong about. From all evidence, including first person accounts from early explorers; life was easy. In fact, there is a reasonable argument to be made that this is why such little advancement was made over 40000 years. If life is easy and food is plentiful, why do anything different? But continue on, I'm interested in what other sweeping statements you will make inspite of all evidence to the contrary.

about 5 months ago
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Isolated Tribes Die Shortly After We Meet Them

Puff_Of_Hot_Air Re:farming vs. hunter gatherer (351 comments)

How and when people died in pre-contact populations is pretty well established, and we can determine it from skeletons.

Ignoring your ridiculous attempts to paint me with various motivations or political leanings, this is about the only comment you have made that is not completely wrong. If you can be bothered to find the studies, you'll find that the life expectancy and general health of Australian aboriginals prior to colonization was better than that of the average European at the time. But never let bothersome facts get in the way of good uninformed diatribe.

about 5 months ago
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Isolated Tribes Die Shortly After We Meet Them

Puff_Of_Hot_Air Re:farming vs. hunter gatherer (351 comments)

Your response is uninformed nonsense. Yes Aboriginals today have a shorter and rougher life on aggregate, but this was simply not the case prior to colonization. Go read a little history before you spout such drivel.

about 5 months ago
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Isolated Tribes Die Shortly After We Meet Them

Puff_Of_Hot_Air Re:farming vs. hunter gatherer (351 comments)

Under ideal conditions that is true: a stable habitat with abundant resources and low population densities. But under such conditions, populations grow and people get pushed out into more and more marginal habitats.

Not true! Or at least, not universally true. Take the Australian Aboriginals as example; nice stable culture for 30000 years. Practised birth control via a combination of penile splitting and other methods I'll allow you to look up. The point is that humans have long understood how increased population causes problems; and have sometimes found ways around the issue.

about 5 months ago

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