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Comments

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E.T. Found In New Mexico Landfill

Sebastopol Notice the landfill? (179 comments)

30 years later and nothing has really happened inside that landfill, just a pile of toxic shit in a gigantic hole. One of tens of thousands.

THAT is the real tragedy here. We just throw shit in holes and move on.

about 4 months ago
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The Ultimate Hopes For the New Cosmos Series

Sebastopol Re:Big shoes to fill this one has (183 comments)

I didn't state my original point clearly enough. If you edited Cosmos to take out Dr. Sagan's lengthy and yawn-inducing monologues about our insignificance in the cosmos, you end up with The Mechanical Universe, which is paced at the speed of top-tier college lecture.

I also don't think it is a problem to match the pace of the lecture with what today's you are accustomed to. When sound was added to cinema in the early 20th century, purists claimed it would ruin the art form. The same thing happened when people actually began to edit with an artistic eye and shots reduced in time from 30-60 seconds to 5-10 (with the advent of new technology). In fact, there was even resistance to technicolor by the French auteurs!

I wouldn't be quick to claim the way I learned, or the way engineers in the 1950's (or 1850's!) learned, or the way you learned is "the one true way." If youth are accustomed to fast-paced editing, then use that form. If you personally don't like it, open a book and learn at your own pace, or launch a Kickstarter. :)

about 6 months ago
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The Ultimate Hopes For the New Cosmos Series

Sebastopol Re:Big shoes to fill this one has (183 comments)

When is the last time you watched the original Cosmos? There are a lot--and I mean A LOT--of scenes featuring Carl sitting on a beach or in a meadow looking off into the distance with pontificating voice-overs that kinda ramble. Believe me, I'm 42 and I grew up on that series, but having re-watched it recently, I was surprised at the large spans of near bloviation that adorn the show. I absolutely adore the series, I just think it could have used some tightening up during editing.

Also, I graduated from COSMOS to The Mechanical Universe, which--aside from the haircuts of the classroom--would still feel modern by today's standards.

about 6 months ago
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The Whole Story Behind Low AP CS Exam Stats

Sebastopol Missing the point (325 comments)

Obvious Men's Rights Activist is obvious.

Sure, if there is a problem where people who want to take the CS AP exam and cannot, it should be addressed.

So start a campaign about it, its a great idea.

But when you position it AGAINST studies citing under-representation of minorities in a field that has long been hostile to them, especially women, you're trying to cover it up and become part of the problem.

So yes, please start a campaign to increase CS AP coverage, and please stop trying to marginalize / cover up another legitimate problem in the process. Both need addressing, it is not either / or.

about 7 months ago
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You're Only As Hirable As Your Google+ Circles

Sebastopol is twitter next (195 comments)

because if cool people follow you that means your cool too.

about 10 months ago
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Book Review: Stay Awhile and Listen

Sebastopol where's the research (66 comments)

I realize this is a history of Blizzard, but I find it disappointing when authors write histories of video games and stop at 1990. Diablo didn't set the standard. Wizardry, Ultima, and Might and Magic set the standards for RPGs. Diablo successfully "Michael Bay"d them with 3D and 'splosions and the most robust, practically uncrashable game engines ever seen.

about 10 months ago
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Man Creates ATLAS Detector From Lego Bricks

Sebastopol Nonfunctional... duh (54 comments)

The whole time I'm reading the article I'm saying to myself, "WTF? How did this guy build a functional ATLAS detector so small and out of legos?"

Functional?

duh... //facedesk

about a year ago
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How Did You Learn How To Program?

Sebastopol Byte and National Computer Camps (623 comments)

I started programming Commodore PETs in 1982, in 5th grade. My teachers had ordered a box full of cassette games and I asked me to evaluate all of them and write a paragraph explaining each game. I wanted to know how the games worked so I started reading the BASIC source code. BASIC is so readable that I was writing my own games in about a month. In 6th grade we had a C64 and I started taking a self directed class for BASIC. My parents bought me an Apple //e (a HUGE fight ensued over the cost). That summer I went to National Computer Camps in Connecticut (back then it was at Westminster Prep School) and learned to program 6502 assembly language.

The rest is history. All of my learning was self-directed. There were no programming classes anywhere in my elementary school or the nearby highschool.

I have fond memories of the sound that a Commodore PET makes when you turn it on... *chink chink chink... bzzzzzzt ... POP*

about a year ago
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3-D Printable Food Gets Funding From NASA

Sebastopol starving kids in africa and cambodia... (242 comments)

...don't care about palatable! i've seen children in cambodia eat bread crusts that are moldy, dirty, and soggy. quite sad, especially when 5U$D can buy enough bags of food to feed 30 kids for a day.

about a year ago
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Ask Neil Gaiman and Amber Benson About Their Kickstarter Vampire Movie

Sebastopol Yay! (103 comments)

...ANOTHER vampire film / franchise!!!

I know, "But this is Neil Gaiman!!!" /facepalm

about a year ago
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NTSB Recommends Lower Drunk Driving Threshold Nationwide: 0.05 BAC

Sebastopol Re:Mythbusters show just how impaired you are at . (996 comments)

but interkin3tic "ASSURED" you.

his/her assurance is enough to convince me! /chugs an entire keg like bender, jumps behind the wheel, assured that i'll stay alert/

about a year ago
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NTSB Recommends Lower Drunk Driving Threshold Nationwide: 0.05 BAC

Sebastopol Re:Why not just 0? (996 comments)

Your long list of examples omit something important: data. Those examples simply don't have enough impact to trigger laws. You might not like them, but laws like this aren't written to accommodate your dislikes, laws like this are based on data. If putting on make-up was a significant source of accidents, above DWI or cell-phone usage, it would be on the list. It isn't arbitrary that alcohol and cell phone usage are restricted, they cause the most accidents.

about a year ago
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Biometric Database Plans Hidden In Immigration Bill

Sebastopol Why don't we have this already? (365 comments)

I assumed that once I received my Driver's License (in 1986, heh), I was already IN a giant database like this? Why DON'T we have this? Seems like a pretty obvious thing that I would want if I was issuing photo IDs and SS#s. I'd fire any employee who introduced photo ID's and forgot the database part.

And for those banging the Big Brother drum, Given the shit people spill to social networks, this seems completely benign.

about a year ago
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How Netflix Eats the Internet

Sebastopol Re:You know... (303 comments)

non peak time? if/when netflix goes global there will be no such thing.

about a year ago
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Ender's Game Trailer Released

Sebastopol Re: every time i see "Ender's Game" (470 comments)

Brief strawman, because I know it is coming: At some point on this thread, someone is going to claim "but nothing is REALLY new." That is utter bullshit. Burroughs, Matthews, Glass, O'Nolan, Queneau, Danielewski, etc. have all pushed the envelope far beyond this cliche and invented very new topologies for the "novel" format as recent as the 20th century (granted, some of their experiments aren't particularly accessible, but they are inventing).

Of course, it is a matter of preference and personal taste. But...

I assert that OSC didn't lift a finger to push the genre, he just barfed up the SAME story with the SAME tropes without any new direction, IMHO (sub par by Asimov or Heinlein standards... and how many stories did Heinlein write that emphasized the protagonist's wang?). For a fan to claim it is a masterpiece work of art in general, when they've read maybe 10 books in their life (or 100 sci fi pulp novels) is naive since their POV is so limited.

So I don't have a problem with anyone liking the book, we all like different stuff and I'd be a troll to judge, I DO object to huge praise for something that is really "just average" ... IMHO it leads to a race to the bottom everywhere in society.

Rant done.

Now, If you'll excuse me, someone over on Reddit just said that "Thor 2 is going to be the best sci-fi film EVAR!" ... i have my evening cut out for me.

about a year ago
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Ender's Game Trailer Released

Sebastopol Re:every time i see "Ender's Game" (470 comments)

FTFY:

Ender's game = hunger games for 13 year old boys

Yes I read the book, I thought it was garbage pulp fantasy for those of limited breadth and imagination.

about a year ago
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Why Your New Car's Technology Is Four Years Old

Sebastopol ...why? (455 comments)

I'm in the market for a new car and it is nigh impossible to buy one without a fuckton of useless digital crap.

It is effing stupid because to me the technology is crap, the GUIs are crap, and the functionality is totally unnecessary.

It sucks that every new car appears to be marketed to 15 year olds with ADHD.

So who gives a fuck if the tech is four years old? How about NO years old, just jettison the shit and give me 5 analog dials and a stereo that at least doesn't have a screen saver (and that crashes once a week because the firmware was written by C-minus programmers). /endrant/

about a year ago
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So What If Yahoo's New Dads Get Less Leave Than Moms?

Sebastopol Re:Equal rights (832 comments)

"And if you for an instant believe that women need less than a week to recover from a birth, you clearly do not understand the process."

This is /.

I surmise >90% straight teen male, mostly white ... maybe a little more mature than the reddit demographic, but barely.

Of course they don't understand.

about a year ago
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My most frequent OS migration path?

Sebastopol Re:Apple to Windows (413 comments)

Urm, the //c was kinda after the fact. The //e is what took the 80's by storm. Consumer Reports had a PC issue in the early '84 and the //e and C64 were neck and neck. I know, because that's when my parents were shopping for one for me. For a long time //e and C64 dominated, but they were kind 'spensive so your TIs, Atari 800s and Tandys were in there too. The //c was definitely a latecomer to the boom.

about a year ago

Submissions

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Tinfoil Hats Amplify Signals

Sebastopol Sebastopol writes  |  about 3 years ago

Sebastopol (189276) writes "Among a fringe community of paranoids, aluminum helmets serve as the protective measure of choice against invasive radio signals. We investigate the efficacy of three aluminum helmet designs on a sample group of four individuals. Using a $250,000 network analyser, we find that although on average all helmets attenuate invasive radio frequencies in either directions (either emanating from an outside source, or emanating from the cranium of the subject), certain frequencies are in fact greatly amplified. These amplified frequencies coincide with radio bands reserved for government use according to the Federal Communication Commission (FCC). Statistical evidence suggests the use of helmets may in fact enhance the government's invasive abilities. We speculate that the government may in fact have started the helmet craze for this reason."
Link to Original Source
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Alpha Quitters

Sebastopol Sebastopol writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Sebastopol (189276) writes "The opposite of early adopters, alpha quitters, despise new technology before it's even had a chance to hit the mainstream. FTA: "I felt a bit smug because I had an early invite — but just as I was about to accept, I noticed a post by a tech blogger explaining why he had just quit Google+. That's right, while the rest of us were clamoring to be Early Adopters, this guy was so far ahead of the curve that he had already abandoned the new new thing. He was an Alpha Quitter.""
Link to Original Source

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