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Vrvana's Totem HMD Puts a Camera Over Each Eye

Scholasticus Snow Crash (25 comments)

Gargoyles represent the embarrassing side of the Central Intelligence Corporation. Instead of using laptops, they wear their computers on their bodies, broken up into separate modules that hang on the waist, on the back, on the headset. They serve as human surveillance devices, recording everything that happens around them. Nothing looks stupider; these getups are the modern-day equivalent of the slide-rule scabbard or the calculator pouch on the belt, marking the user as belonging to a class that is at once above and far below human society. They are a boon to Hiro because they embody the worst stereotype of the CIC stringer. They draw all the attention. The payoff for this self-imposed ostracism is that you can be in the Metaverse all the time, and gather intelligence all the time.


Linus Torvalds Suspends Key Linux Developer

Scholasticus Re:informal poll (641 comments)

Okay, I'm going to assume that you mean Linux + GNU + + GNOME/KDE/Xfce/LXDE or whatever. I do. It's all I use. I have Windows XP and Windows 7 in VirtualBox because occasionally a friend or family member will call me and ask me something like, "How do I ... whatever whatever."

about 6 months ago

Death of Printed Books May Have Been Exaggerated

Scholasticus I hope he's right ... (465 comments)

If I buy a copy of a paper book then I own that copy. On an e-reader or a tablet I buy a license that lets me have a copy on a device. Unless I back up my copy, the seller can take it away from me without even asking. Also, there's something about a nice solid bound book that you don't get from an electronic copy. Personally I prefer electronic formats for more ephemeral things (news, computer books that are out of date before they're published, etc.) and bound paper copies for longer lasting things, e.g. Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. I suppose we'll see how things turn out.

about a year and a half ago

NASA Prepares For Space Surgery and Zero Gravity Blood

Scholasticus Niven solved it. (158 comments)

Just put 'em in the autodoc.

about 2 years ago

Cisco Pushing 'Cloud Connect' Router Firmware, Allows Web History Tracking

Scholasticus Re:Boycott Cisco (351 comments)

All right, I'm in. Just on principle, I'm not buying any more Linksys/Cisco hardware until this gets reversed. On the slightly brighter side, this looks like multiple class action lawsuits waiting to happen.

more than 2 years ago

MIT Fiber Points To Woven Glasses-Free 3D Displays

Scholasticus Obligatory (52 comments)

Okay, let's roll: "General Kenobi, years ago you served my father in the Clone Wars. Now he begs you to help him in his struggle against the Empire ..."

more than 2 years ago

Deathmatch On Mars: an Interview With Warren Ellis

Scholasticus Re:Nobody's ever gonna stand on Mars (94 comments)

Never is a really long time. And who said anything about "infinite progress?" That your dreams haven't been fulfilled, and probably won't be in your lifetime, doesn't mean anything about what will or won't happen in the future. Maybe we'll destroy ourselves. Maybe we'll build nuclear pulse propulsion ships (probably not a good idea, but ...), maybe a lot of things. You don't actually know, and so you say "never."

more than 2 years ago

New Research Shows Cognitive Decline Begins At 45

Scholasticus New Scientist is worthless (295 comments)

Of all the sources of science reporting that are available in English, New Scientist is close to the bottom of the pile in terms of accuracy. Quite a few times I've read something they've reported, thought "that can't be right," then gone to the original study or press release and found that in fact, no, what they reported was not correct.

more than 2 years ago

Barnes & Noble Names Microsoft's Disputed Android Patents

Scholasticus Good for them! (386 comments)

I have a Nook. I mostly use it for reference stuff and for when I'm traveling (I generally prefer paper books, but well, the world changes). I like it, and I like Barnes & Noble. Now I'm really rooting for B&N. As a side note ... there was a thread a few days ago about "what's keeping you on Windows?" This is one of the reasons I don't use Windows. I know Windows 7 works well, probably better than any previous version. But I won't buy a product from a company that does stuff like this, i.e. abusing the patent system.

more than 2 years ago

Startup Testing Mobile Farmbots

Scholasticus I should contact them. (243 comments)

What I really need is one that understands the binary language of moisture vaporators. I wonder if they have any plans to make one.

more than 2 years ago

Linux Mint: the New Ubuntu?

Scholasticus Wait ... (685 comments)

But ... but ... I just learned in another thread that all versions of Linux were totally worthless and unusable and that anybody with any sense used Windows 7. Now I'm confused, somebody tell me what to think! :-(

more than 2 years ago

Installing Linux On a 386 Laptop

Scholasticus This is nothing! (260 comments)

I installed Linux on a vellum codex! I even included X11, but went with Xfce instead of GNOME 3. It's sweet, man ... very illuminated.

more than 3 years ago

World Wide Web Turns 20 Today

Scholasticus Required Simpsons Reference (169 comments)

Yes, I know this was some years later ... Comic Book Guy: "Oh, Captain Janeway. Lace: The Final Brassiere.Oh hurry up, I'm a busy man. Ugh, this high-speed modem is intolerably slow."

more than 3 years ago

White iPhone 4 Coming Today

Scholasticus There's a reason why this is considered important. (195 comments)

This is news because a lot of people pay attention to every tiny little thing Apple does, and so they want to know about it. The objective importance of this is about the same as potato chips in a new flavor, or a new McSomething at McDonalds. That there's so much hype about those things because the companies involved market the hype. What's not news is that Apple is doing the same thing that every other company that sells products to consumers does, i.e. gets people to believe that unimportant things are important.

more than 3 years ago

Forget Space Travel, It's Just a Dream

Scholasticus Forget it? I don't think so! (542 comments)

Remember, any kind of space travel was thought impossible at one time ... until the multi-stage rocket was invented. We need more creative thinking and less of this overly pessimistic nay-saying.

more than 3 years ago

Richard Stallman: Cell Phones Are 'Stalin's Dream'

Scholasticus Re:Some developers have families to feed (792 comments)

First, you seem to have forgotten the difference between "free as in free of charge" and "free as in freedom." Richard Stallman isn't saying that all software should be free of charge, but that morally you have a right to use the software you have in the way that you want; in practical terms that means access to the source code. Stallman never said that you can't sell it, or sell support for it.

Second, having a family to feed is irrelevant to this discussion if Stallman is right about the moral status of non-free software. His contention has always been that it is morally wrong to distribute non-free (as in freedom) software. If you had other alternatives, would it be okay for you to pick someone's pocket so that you can feed your family?

Third, your point about open source not being the savior of humanity or bringing world peace is a classic straw-man argument. Nobody is saying that "open source" is going to do those things. You may not like or agree with Stallman's positions or his arguments for them, but you should at least respond to what he's actually saying, and not some other thing which he didn't say.

more than 3 years ago

The Time Travel Paradoxes of Back To the Future

Scholasticus Re:The one they always overlook (454 comments)

What I don't understand is that people like you aren't intelligent enough to realize that a man like Doc Brown, who's smart and skilled enough to build an actual working time machine wouldn't be smart enough to compensate for the spatial displacement.

more than 3 years ago

Desktop Linux Is Dead

Scholasticus Re:wrong OS? (1348 comments)

Of course Canonical did everything right just as you said. There's one thing they haven't done, though, which is absolutely necessary for widespread adoption of any OS: pre-installation. If you could easily buy a PC with Ubuntu on it (say, as easily as you can buy a Mac), adoption would go up a lot. I have no idea by how much, but look at how well Android is doing. Android uses a Linux kernel, and lots of people who have Android phones have never heard of Linux. This is how MS Windows became #1 - you didn't have to install it. You could just walk into a computer shop and buy a Windows machine, take it home and have it up and running in less than half an hour. If you could do that with a Linux machine (they should probably give it some nice but generic name, e.g. "Diamond Computer") in the same way, lots more people would be using them.

more than 3 years ago

Oracle Asks OpenOffice Community Members To Leave

Scholasticus Re:MS throws chairs, Oracle throws yachts (589 comments)

Pretty much. I would add that any F/LOSS which depends on the good will of a large corporation should be ready at any time to cut and run. Nothing against big business (at least regarding this question) but the goal of a corporation is ultimately to make money. The goals of people who write free/open source software are many, though profit for it's own sake isn't usually at the top of the list. For Linus, it was at least originally "just for fun," for Stallman it's always been about the right to freedom - and you could make a long list of other reasons. Some people in the Linux and BSD communities of developers like to write software in an environment where making a mistake won't get them fired from their paying job. has been the flagship productivity suite for Linux for a while now. Since the acquisition of Sun by Oracle, it's only been a matter of time before some kind of split. I'm rooting for the fork, whatever they end up calling it, not because I don't like Oracle (I don't like Oracle, but that's not really the issue here), but because a truly independent office suite would be good to have. I hope that at least some of the devs who have been with this project for a long time continue to work on Libre Office.

more than 3 years ago


Scholasticus hasn't submitted any stories.



Scholasticus Scholasticus writes  |  more than 11 years ago I've been considering joining FreeNet. The one thin g that's holding me back is that anything, even child pornography, is considered "protected speech." I draw the line at anything which exploits children. Even if it were a document advocating the legalization of child porn, that I could live with.


Scholasticus Scholasticus writes  |  more than 11 years ago I'm thinking about resetting my preferences on /. In the past I've often found "offtopic" posts interesting, so that made it worth putting up with the trolls. I didn't even mind the FP!/Frost Pist/Frosty Piss Pie/Fist Proust etc. all that much. Now, however, this GNAA thing has gotten out of control.

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