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The 2014 Hugo Awards

Tx Re:Informative winners list (170 comments)

I agree about the winners in recent years, although I usually peruse the best novel nominees, quite a few of my favourite books have been "losing" Hugo or Nebula nominees.


Microsoft Research Brings Kinect-Style Depth Perception to Ordinary Cameras

Tx Re:Leapmotion anyone? (31 comments)

It is apples and pears on one hand, however the fact that the camera needs a modification, however small, means that you will still be buying a special bit of hardware to make your gesture control work, so in that sense it is in the same boat as the Leap. Except of course that the piece of hardware in question should be a lot cheaper, and could easily be included in laptops/tablets/monitors at minimal extra cost, if it really works that well and the idea takes off.

about two weeks ago

Cosmologists Show Negative Mass Could Exist In Our Universe

Tx Re:This kind of thing confuses me (214 comments)

Glad I came back to look for later replies, thanks for that.

about a month ago

Cosmologists Show Negative Mass Could Exist In Our Universe

Tx This kind of thing confuses me (214 comments)

This kind of subject always leads to a cascade of stupid questions in my head that I can't answer, leaving me feeling even dumber than usual. Does negative mass necessarily imply negative weight? What about momentum and kinetic energy? If a lump of matter with negative mass hit something, would it actually absorb energy from it rather than imparting energy to it? Would a negative-mass planet have an anti-gravity field? Is it even meaningful to talk about matter with negative mass, or is some physicist going to pop up and explain to me that negative mass is a property of some sort of field, and not something that could actually be expressed by anything that I would recognise as matter?

about a month ago

Child Thought To Be Cured of HIV Relapses, Tests Positive Again

Tx Re:News? (126 comments)

Umm, they couldn't find any trace of the HIV virus, or specific antibodies to it. It seems reasonable to hope that someone is cured of a disease if you can't find any trace of said disease in their body. And it's not like they jumped the gun on it, she was supposed to be on anti-viral drugs because they weren't sure the virus was gone.

about a month and a half ago

US Supreme Court Invalidates Patent For Being Software Patent

Tx Re:Oh please please please (220 comments)

I wonder if this ought to invalidate crap like the infamous Amazon one-click patent. After all it was also just a generic software implementation of a long-established system, namely storing someone's payment and address details for use with future purchases.

about 2 months ago

Toyota Investigating Hovercars

Tx Re:aka (186 comments)

The trouble with those car-sized hovercraft is the turning and braking profile, which is nowhere near good enough for public roads designed for cars. Now a design something like the Aero-X hoverbike might be able to improve on that - by hovering a bit higher and tilting the entire craft, you could effectively vector a large proportion of the lift airflow for turning force, as opposed to redirecting a bit of the horizontal thrust only with a fin as with conventional hovercraft. Aerofex don't seem to make any such claims about their design though, they seem to be targeting off-road use only, and I guess turning that way might present problems for other road users/pedestrians getting hit by the airflow.

about 2 months ago

To distress my enemies, I'd force on them ...

Tx Re:Overthinking it. (199 comments)

I used to disable adblock on slashdot, and not use that disable ads option either; I've even clicked the odd ad on rare occasions. I have no problem with reasonably sized static ads. But they started having those stupid ads expanding at the bottom of the screen when your mouse went near them; those were the final straw, adblock enabled again. As far as I'm concerned, ads that pop up or expand or move or anything like that are too annoying.

about 3 months ago

4K Displays Ready For Prime Time

Tx Re:Where's The Content? (207 comments)

"Hmm, I just thought of something that I heard about a good while back but haven't seen any movement on - "peripheral vision" TVs. I seem to recall reading years ago about a type of TV that used lights around the edges to dimly shine the peripheral colors on the TV image around the room parallel to the TV, giving the illusion to your peripheral vision of an expansive screen."

Philips Ambilight.

about 3 months ago

The Man Behind Munich's Migration of 15,000 PCs From Windows To Linux

Tx Re:GNU/Linux (264 comments)

I think you're just trolling. Seriously? You're annoyed that common usage of a term has diverged from its original correct usage? Better rip out about 90% of your dictionary and burn it then. So operating systems using the Linux kernel have become known as Linux in common parlance; how infuriating. I tell you, I am completely fascinated to know what other earth-threatening evils are giving you ulcers right now.

about 3 months ago

Microsoft Continues To Lose Money With Each Surface Tablet It Sells

Tx Re:Slow follower (179 comments)

It's a shame TFA didn't provide a breakdown of device types, I would have been interested in the percentage of Surface versus Surface Pro devices, but also I would like to know if they included convertible ultrabooks as tablets. I find it a bit unlikely that Windows tablets could hit 6% without convertibles, but they really aren't part of the "tablet market" IMHO.

about 4 months ago

43,000-Year-Old Woolly Mammoth Remains Offer Strong Chance of Cloning

Tx Re:"LONG extinct"? Hah. (187 comments)

Yeah, considering how many species humans have (directly or indirectly) wiped out, developing the skills to bring some of them back might be prudent.

" We already extinguished them once, without even the help of gunpowder."

However I believe the current thinking is that mammoths are not amongst our victims, and were wiped out by natural climate change instead.

about 5 months ago

Major Wikipedia Donors Caught Editing Their Own Articles

Tx Re:Where is the big problem? (125 comments)

"Editing your own article on Wikipedia is not prohibited as long as you disclose your conflict of interest and follow the rules[...]"

That's just the point though, they are not following the rules. FTA; "While the research behind the 144 named donors who gave more than $5,000 to the WMF is not yet complete, it is already clear that several dozen of them are not widely notable enough to have a Wikipedia article associated with them", "While a few have adequately disclosed their conflict of interest, most have not."

"[...]so I have trouble seeing how this submission is anything other than yet more manufactured controversy and/or anti-Wikipedia astroturfing."

If they are getting away with not following the rules because they are donors, then that is different from people who don't obey the rules for other reasons.

about 5 months ago

Gmail's 'Unsubscribe' Tool Comes Out of the Weeds

Tx Re:AWESOME (129 comments)

It's not as bad as it used to be, I don't think. I recently went through the exercise of unsubscribing every spam mail that came in to the accounts of two former employees at the company I work for, and the spam level dropped almost to zero, around one spam mail per day rather than 30-50. Granted, the kind of spam you get on the work account of a reasonably sensible employee is probably going to be from more reputable sources on average than most personal accounts, but they weren't all reputable-looking. For sure I always do a little checking up on the source before I click that "unsubscribe" link on my own mail.

about 6 months ago

Apple Reportedly Testing Inductive, Solar and Motion Charging For Its Smartwatch

Tx Re:Duh? (219 comments)

Apple didn't make a success of the iPhone by being first to market with a smartphone, they did it by getting it right. I'm no Apple fanboy, and I own no Apple products, but current smartwatches are a joke, and if anyone is going to take the concept beyond niche/gimmick level, it wouldn't entirely surprise me if it was Apple.

about 7 months ago

Short Notice: LogMeIn To Discontinue Free Access

Tx Re:Chrome Remote Desktop (408 comments)

I use logmein for the same purpose, and I must say I might have considered signing up for pro, but the zero-notice cancellation of the free account has left a major bad taste in my mouth. It's a pretty blatant attempt to rush people into signing up for the paid program, because hey, give people a month's notice to evaluate alternatives and the might find something else they like. For that reason, there is zero chance I'll sign up for logmein pro.

about 7 months ago

Bennett Haselton: Google+ To Gmail Controversy Missing the Point

Tx Re:alternatives? (244 comments)

Don't be a cheapskate, pay for FastMail or other decent pay-for email provider. Sign up for a personal domain, most services throw in email accounts for free with a domain, or forward to your FastMail account. Then you are completely independent of the vagaries of the free providers, and you can keep your email addresses regardless of whatever provider or ISP you use, and it will cost very little (~$30/year depending on your choice of domain).

If you insist on free, well, you get what you pay for.

about 7 months ago

Tech Companies Set To Appeal 2012 Oracle Vs. Google Ruling

Tx Re:If they get this reversed, it will shut them do (198 comments)

No. Big companies buy up huge defensive patent portfolios, then when they end up infringing each other's IP, they just work out cross-licensing deals with each other; as long as a company has a big enough portfolio of relevant IP, they are pretty safe. It's all very cosy.

Who isn't safe is any new player trying to enter the market, who might as well give up, or at best hope to be bought by one of the established players rather than sued into oblivion.

about 9 months ago

UK Town To Get Driverless 'Pods' Mixing With Pedestrians

Tx Re:Just be done with it. (111 comments)

According to the chart on this page (direct link to chart), we (UK) are in third place behind the USA and Mexico. It is a big jump up to US levels though, but we're working on it.

about 9 months ago

French Court Orders Google To Block Pictures of Ex-F1 Chief Mosley

Tx Re:Fine. (180 comments)

Nah. Google should just redirect French users to Bing if they search for Max Mosley pics.

about 9 months ago


Tx hasn't submitted any stories.



Mandriva 2007 Spring

Tx Tx writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Well, I gave up on Ubuntu 7.04. Spent a fair few hours trying to fix the various problems I had with it, but IMHO some things should work out-of-the-box, and an old WNIC and CD-RW (that both worked out-of-the-box with Ubuntu 6.10) are definitely in that category. So, having played with Mandrake back when it was still called Mandrake, and rather liked it, I decided to see what that's like these days.

I have to say, first impressions are that it's very civilized. Ndiswrapper is installed by default, and the network manager has a built in graphical interface to it. So no messing about trying to get a working net connection up so I can download ndiswrapper, then faffing around trying to configure it to get my ZyXel USB adapter working. Just put in the Windows driver CD for the ZyXel, select the .inf file, et voila - works great. Given that driver support is a recognized major issue for Linux, every distro really ought to do it this way.

There seems to be a lot of hype around Ubuntu, and it does seem to have a great community using it (seems to be much harder to find info/help on Mandriva), but I have to say right now, it ain't my favourite distro. I'll see how Mandriva goes for a while.

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