×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

Rooftop Solar Could Reach Price Parity In the US By 2016

Zobeid Re:don't tax alternative energy and transportation (516 comments)

Quote: "We have to transition to ~ 90% of the transport and energy in the economy to non-fossil, in a damn hurry (e.g. 2050)..."

You may believe that, and some others may believe that, but our society as a whole does not. If it did, we (globally) wouldn't still be planning and building brand new coal and gas fired power plants with an expected 40-year life span *after* they go into service.

about a week ago
top

In this year's US mid-term elections ...

Zobeid Let's boycott the two-party system! (551 comments)

I think next time around somebody should organize a boycott of the Republicrats. Vote for independents... libertarians... greens... cthulhu... whatever floats your boat as long as it's not a Republican or Democrat. It's the only way to get some real change.

http://zobeid.zapto.org/image/...

about three weeks ago
top

Landfill Copies of Atari's 'E.T.' End Up On eBay

Zobeid Slam dunk bet! (107 comments)

The E.T. game was a lesson in the folly of games based on movies. Sadly, it's a lesson many companies still haven't learned. There are still executives in the game industry who think the road to success is to license a big-name movie or other franchise and then sell a game based on it. And the key phrase there is "sell a game", without much thought given to actually creating the game, or what is going to make the game fun to play.

What makes a game fun and engaging is, primarily, the gameplay mechanism. Movies are non-interactive and have no gameplay mechanisms. Therefore, they have little of value to offer to a licensed game. Yes, you can take a generic, well-proven game mechanic and slap on a movie-colored coat of paint, but it means nothing. It may possibly turn out to be an OK game, but there's no reason to expect it to surpass games that were designed as their own properties from the outset. The reverse is more often true: a game concept originated by a game designers is more likely to produce a truly fun game, as compared with a movie concept that some programmers have been ordered to "turn into some kind of game that we can sell this Christmas".

about three weeks ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Where Do You Stand on Daylight Saving Time?

Zobeid Get rid of time changes and time zones! (613 comments)

I'd love to get rid of time changes and just have Standard Time all year, but we don't need to settle for that unimaginative answer. We now have the technology to do better.

When everybody's carrying around a smart phone -- effectively, a computer with a GPS -- then it should be easy to calculate the actual local time, solar time, any place on Earth. If you have local solar time, and you have GMT (Zulu time), then you have everything you need to coordinate the vast majority of human activity. Then time zones become redundant, and time changes would make even less sense than they already do now.

about three weeks ago
top

Vrvana's Totem HMD Puts a Camera Over Each Eye

Zobeid Re:Still not perfect (25 comments)

If you live long enough, your eyes will "unlearn" their focus behavior. That's why bifocals were invented. Maybe the old-timers will actually have an advantage with VR goggles.

about 2 months ago
top

The Almost Forgotten Story of the Amiga 2000

Zobeid SCSI madness (192 comments)

I had an A2000 which I soon put a used A2620 card into -- that was the 68020 accelerator which effectively quadrupled the speed of the system. (When was the last time you saw an upgrade card do that??) It was the same card Commodore used in the A2500. It was an amazing machine for its day, not only in terms of graphics and audio, but for sheer processing power.

The thing that always drove me up the wall was SCSI adaptors. They were always tricky to get working -- fiddling with dip switches and jumper pins on the drives, and terminating resistor packs -- and I never had one that worked for a long time. It seemed like there was a steady churn of companies putting an Amiga SCSI card on the market, then going out of business, then another company would take a whack at it. I think I burned through half a dozen completely different SCSI adapters.

about 4 months ago
top

Proposed SpaceX Spaceport Passes Its Final Federal Environmental Review

Zobeid Re:Wow, two whole cats. (40 comments)

Texas at one time had six native cat species: bobcat, mountain lion, ocelot, jaguar, jaguarundi and margay. Jaguars and margays have been gone for about a hundred years, and now ocelots and jaguarundis are rare, with just a few hanging on at the southern tip of the state. We'd really prefer not to give them up.

about 6 months ago
top

Fusion Power By 2020? Researchers Say Yes and Turn To Crowdfunding.

Zobeid Re:Bad move (280 comments)

> "natural financing source would be venture capital" . . . "they failed to convince anyone relevant"

I suspect most of those "relevant" people remember the whole Cold Fusion flap and have had it drilled into their heads that Fusion Is Bogus. Also, every time I even raise the subject of fusion in conversation, somebody retorts with the well-traveled saying that, "Fusion power is forty years away -- and always will be!", as if that was the definitive, final word on the subject.

For venture capital, the decision not to invest in fusion research -- any fusion research, by anyone -- is easy to make.

about 6 months ago
top

Boeing Unveils Cabin Design For Commercial Spaceliner

Zobeid SNC Dream Chaser (74 comments)

The article has no mention of any competing ships. Odd omission, isn't it?

The 2001 reference is particularly off-target here, since Boing are developing a mere capsule while SNC are developing a proper spaceplane. Their Dream Chaser will subject its occupants to much less G-forces during reentry, will have greater cross-range landing capability, and even has hybrid rocket engines on board for on-orbit maneuvering and other uses (such as flying the ship away safely if there's a booster failure). Plus, the Dream Chaser actually looks like a spaceship. What does Boeing have to counter that? Interior decorating!

about 7 months ago
top

How Many People Does It Take To Colonize Another Star System?

Zobeid Stone Age Starships (392 comments)

Are we still talking about physically packing specimens of homo sapiens in some kind of gross physical vessel and somehow propelling it across interstellar space? Seriously?? This is the 21st Century, man! It's been obvious for a while now -- several decades at least -- that there are far, far more efficient ways to colonize the galaxy.

By the time interstellar travel becomes feasible, in terms of both technology and resources, surely our AI technology, our robotics technology, our molecular synthesis and manufacturing technology, and our understanding of biology and genetics should be easily advanced enough to ship a manufactory to the destination star system and then FAX across everything and everyone else that is needed there. The explorers and colonists are most likely to be AIs and robots -- although there's nothing to prevent transmitting and synthesizing human beings as well, if it makes any kind of sense to do so. (A human being off planet Earth is like a fish out of water, unless and until we win the cosmic lottery and stumble onto Earth 2.)

I just... I don't know what people are thinking when they trot out these star travel ideas that sound like something from the 1960s. Star travel is an idea about the future. Why do so many people look at this with their minds stuck in the past?

about 8 months ago
top

How Can Nintendo Recover?

Zobeid Re:Build a Steam Box and release 1P games to it! (559 comments)

That's thinking outside the box. I like it. Nintendo should do it. But they won't. I might even say they "can't". It's a plan diametrically opposed to their entire corporate culture, their history, their way of thinking. It's hard enough for an individual to do a U-turn like that, but for a publicly held corporation with several thousand employees... They just can't.

Sometimes the old empire just has to fall, and new ones rise.

about 10 months ago
top

How Can Nintendo Recover?

Zobeid Re:Minecraft on iPads (559 comments)

quote: "Apple crushed Nintendo by creating iOS devices and opening up it's platform to indie devs for a minimal fee."

The irony cuts deep. Nintendo first exploded into success by locking down the NES and keeping out all the crap games that had clogged the Atari VCS/2600 market. It's not easy for a company to turn against the strategy that made them. Why did it work so well then, but is backfiring now?

about 10 months ago
top

PC Makers Plan Rebellion Against Microsoft At CES

Zobeid Re:Yeah right. (564 comments)

quote: "One big problem with netbooks was that people assumed that could MS Word, and when they found out they couldn't they returned the computer."

Did this actually happen or is it just an urban myth? (or Microsoft/Intel FUD?)

The way I remember things, there was a lot of buzz about a wave of ARM+Linux netbooks that were supposedly coming soon, and I wanted one, and none of them ever actually made it to market.

about a year ago
top

8 US States Pushing For 3.3 Million Electric Cars

Zobeid Re:Zero emission electric car (327 comments)

You can hate that term all you want, but it's been widely used for decades, and the rest of us aren't going to change our terminology because you posted a comment on Slashdot. Better get used to it.

As for the whole "long tailpipe" argument against EVs, that's so ten years ago. Come back when you get caught up with the debate.

about a year ago
top

8 US States Pushing For 3.3 Million Electric Cars

Zobeid Re:This can't work (327 comments)

I don't understand your maths. The article says they are aiming for 3.3 million vehicles. How did you arrive at 100 million?? That would be roughly a third of the cars in the USA! Nobody is expecting EVs to be adopted on that scale within that time frame.

As for the strain on the electrical grid... It may lead to some regional problems as the usage patterns change, but electric cars should not drastically increase the total national demand for electricity. Gasoline consumption will be reduced, and it takes a lot of electrical power to refine gasoline (especially as more low-grade crude continues to come onto the market).

about a year ago
top

8 US States Pushing For 3.3 Million Electric Cars

Zobeid Re:There is no Magic Energy Fairy (327 comments)

The first six items in your list also apply to the huge amounts of electricity consumed by oil refineries in the production of gasoline!

about a year ago
top

8 US States Pushing For 3.3 Million Electric Cars

Zobeid Re:If a consumer didn't pay a premium for electric (327 comments)

You're totally right, and I think the industry is keenly aware of this, and they are working on how to address it.

Gasoline cars have been mass-produced and cost-reduced for decades. It's really quite amazing to look at the cost of an internal combustion engine and see just how cheap they are, considering the materials, parts and tolerances that they require to produce them. The same can and should happen to electric cars, but it just doesn't happen overnight, and it won't ever happen without them being in active production.

The Tesla Model S is Tesla's second car, and it's a huge advance over the Roadster. The Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf are first-generation products. We're just at the beginning of this change, so be patient!

about a year ago
top

8 US States Pushing For 3.3 Million Electric Cars

Zobeid Re:There is no Magic Energy Fairy (327 comments)

Couple of points to make...

Coal is already on the decline in the USA, being squeezed out by cheaper (and much cleaner) natural gas. The Chinese, on the other hand, are building coal plants like crazy.

Many people don't realize that those magic oil refineries are most likely connected to coal burning plants too. Oil refineries use enormous amounts of electricity. I've seen an estimate that refining a gallon of gasoline requires as much electrical power as you need to move an electric car the same distance, given typical efficiencies.

about a year ago
top

8 US States Pushing For 3.3 Million Electric Cars

Zobeid Re:still doesn't compute (327 comments)

IF you have your car in a garage and charge it overnight, then you may rarely ever need to charge it away from home -- only for road trips, really. Depending on your driving habits, you may go months without visiting a charging station.

Even then, if you have a Model S and stop at a Supercharger station, you'll have the option of paying for a battery swap, which can get you back on the road in about two minutes.

Finally... Remember that even 3 million cars is only about 1% of the cars in the USA. Today's electric car technology can't meet everyone's needs, but I don't think it's much of a stretch to imagine it meeting the needs of 1% of the population. Things can grow from there as the technology continues to improve.

about a year ago
top

4K Ultra HD Likely To Repeat the Failure of 3D Television

Zobeid Put a fork in it, it's done! (559 comments)

We had a long journey to get where we are now, with HDTV and large, flat screens, and surround sound in the "home theater". It was a worthwhile journey, because now we can watch the entire back catalog of movies, going back many decades, pretty close to the way they were meant to be seen. That was the destination, and we've finally arrived, and there's really nowhere else to go from here. The technology is a solved problem. 3D and 4K are answers in search of a problem.

From now on, it should all be about the content. Movie making, as an art, was largely perfected by the 1970s -- and yet, somehow a lot of bad movies (to say nothing of TV shows) still get produced. Putting them out in 3D or 4K won't make them good.

about a year ago

Submissions

Zobeid hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

Zobeid has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?