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The Dead Sea Scrolls and Information Paranoia

fossa Re:Why has it taken 50 years? (585 comments)

"even if you appeared before me in the flesh, I would call it an hallucination"

And yet, the author does just the opposite of what he claimed he would do... I agree with the pre-heart-attack author. Can he ever be sure he isn't insane? Can I ever be sure I am not insane?

"Being a philosopher and not a poseur, I put the matter to an empirical test."

A truly awful test that could only ever gather anecdotal evidence. You earn a "D-" in science.

Maybe I missed it, but did his vision lead him to Roman Catholicism? Greek Orthodox? Anglicanism? Russian Orthodox? Episcopalian? Lutheran? Mormonism? Jehova's Witnesses?

more than 3 years ago
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Negroponte vs Intel

fossa Re:Intel and MS (283 comments)

The display is color. In the lowest brightness setting, it reverts to black and white and remains mostly visible in sunlight (it's visible in sunlight at all brightness settings, but the colors don't come out well so there's little point in wasting battery and not turning the brightness all the way down).

You're right about the keyboard and general lack of resources. I purchased one for myself and am finding it very difficult but possible to touch type, but I do enjoy the placement of the Control key (to the left of the A; there is no caps-lock). I had to do quite a bit of work to get everything set up with "normal" window manager, xterm with readable fonts, browser, etc (note that the default sugar interface includes all of these, just in a different form than any Linux distro); I'm planning on using it as a conveniently portable development (often via ssh) workstation. (I've heard similar complaints about the Asus EeePC keyboard, but that is not exactly built for children so presumably its keyboard is slightly larger.)

I've seen many Give-One-Get-One participants say they purchased it as a gift for their own child or niece. This is the obvious market for the OLPC in its current form were it to be sold in retail stores. The question is, does it make a good laptop for children in wealthy areas who probably already have access to a computer and Internet? It certainly includes a lot of neat software, but is somewhat sluggish. I don't know any young chilren, and I've no idea if the laptop makes a good gift or not.

more than 6 years ago

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Slashdot Firehose Rainbow Scale Informationally Lacking

fossa fossa writes  |  more than 7 years ago

The Slashdot Firehose where readers screen submissions has a rainbow color scale with red meaning "popular" and violet fading to black meaning "unpopular". Rainbow color schemes are a chore to read because there is no natural mapping between colors and level of popularity. One must memorize which colors mean what or refer back to the legend. An alternate color scheme such as an intensity gradient from white to grey to black naturally maps intensity to popularity; its meaning is quickly learned by readers. See the discussion at Ask Edward Tufte and the Color Brewer for thoughts and help on generating appropriate colors.

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