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NASA To Drastically Cut Mars Mission Funding

gregrah Re:Just follow Double Fine's footsteps (191 comments)

I know this is off topic, but... it is my opinion that altering some portion of a person or organization's name so as to give a negative connotation, as you have done with "CONgress" and "L-Mart", is the absolute lowest form of argument.

It's not particularly clever to have noticed that the word "con" can be found in "congress" - especially when you consider that you were by no means the first person to come to this realization, and have probably copied this from someone else.

It is most definitely some form of logical fallacy. Congress is spelled with the letters "con", and is therefore made up of a bunch of con-artists... is that your argument?

Even if the latter statement happens to be true, it by no means follows from the former. Furthermore, even if one were to accept that congress is entirely made up of corrupt con artists who are out to steal from the public, you don't present any justification for why you think that private business would be capable of directing funds more efficiently than government (what makes Elon Musk so special as to be beyond the reach of corruption?), or how it would be possible to "get private space to be honestly profitable" without public funds from congress.

And I can't even begin to dissect what your reasoning might be for referring to Lockheed Martin as "L-Mart". Anyone care to take a guess at what that means?

Again - I'm sorry to go off on a rant here like this, but I really hope that we can keep this sort of irrational style of "debate" off Slashdot. If you want to want to write crap like that there are any number of popular news websites out there that allow public comments and cater to a less-educated readership, like ABC News or Fox News, where I think you will find yourself in good company.

more than 2 years ago
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AT&T Threatening To Raise Rates After Merger Failure

gregrah Re:Ah, nothing like corporate greed (247 comments)

Pfft... having a $5 dollar phone is nothing to brag about. This guy, on the other hand, doesn't even own a tv!

more than 2 years ago
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AT&T Threatening To Raise Rates After Merger Failure

gregrah Re:Corporate greed??? (247 comments)

And that's one very good reason that you'll never be the CEO of a large company. One trait that you'll find across all CEO's is that they are Driven (with a capital "D") - by greed, vanity, etc. - much more than your typical person. I'm sure that Randall Stephenson had enough money to retire comfortably before he ever took over the position of CEO at AT&T - I don't think that's his motivation.

I do agree, though, that there are probably instances where outrageous CEO salaries have encouraged them to take risks that weren't really in the best interests of their employees or shareholders.

more than 2 years ago
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AT&T Threatening To Raise Rates After Merger Failure

gregrah Re:Corporate greed??? (247 comments)

I could have been CEO and made a measely $150,000 /yr and they'd be better off.

I don't know you personally, so this statement may not apply to you personally, but the notion that your average person could ever survive for a year as CEO of a $200B company is completely absurd.

A typical person would be torn apart by the stress of having to please their board, shareholders, creditors, clients, partners, and also the sheer torture of having to make huge decisions in the absence of perfect information. Personally, I wouldn't even consider taking on that sort of responsibility if the compensation were only $150K per year.

I agree that a total compensation of $27M is excessive (irrationally so), but the reality is that there are not a lot of people that have what it takes to be a CEO of a large publicly traded company, and therefore their large salaries are at least partially justified by the law of supply and demand.

more than 2 years ago
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Jerry Yang Resigns From Yahoo

gregrah Re:Kind of a bummer (123 comments)

Slashdot needs a -1 "TMI" mod option.

more than 2 years ago
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Intel-Powered Smartphones Arriving Soon

gregrah Re:Interesting for silent computing enthusiasts (182 comments)

Intel's recently announced Cedar Trail update to the Atom line of processors also includes some models that are meant to be run fan-less. I think you're more likely to see these Cedar Trail chips being brought to the market in silent PCs than Medfield chips.

Glad to see that there are others out there who value silence above all else!

more than 2 years ago
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Intel-Powered Smartphones Arriving Soon

gregrah Re:What compelling features does x86 have for Andr (182 comments)

I think you've got to look to the future to really understand why this is a good thing.

Intel has by far the largest R&D budget of any chip maker out there. They've done some amazing things in the desktop and server space recently with their "Core" line, to the point where pretty much no one can touch them at the moment on performance or power efficiency (at that performance level).

This is only their first release for the smartphone market, and already they are releasing a chip that beats existing ARM processors while being competitive on power usage. Future iterations are going to get better, and by bringing to bear their enormous and R&D budget and advanced manufacturing processes they are going to push the smartphone industry forward.

You ask:

What's really the value proposition for x86 phones? Price? Performance? New applications? Faster wireless? Smaller / lighter?

By having Intel compete in the smartphone business, I think the answer is "yes" to all of the above. It's just going to take some time to see the results.

more than 2 years ago
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Intel-Powered Smartphones Arriving Soon

gregrah Re:You haven't entered the market (182 comments)

Agreed that Intel entering the smartphone market is not going to have the same impact on smartphone users as the announcement of a new or improved OS, for example. However, as consumers we are all likely to benefit from the competition.

As an Intel shareholder, though, I am very excited by this announcement.

more than 2 years ago
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World's Largest Passenger Plane May Be Unsafe, Some Say

gregrah Re:Harmless junk? Somehow I doubt it. (394 comments)

That's not to say we should just take Airbus at their word, though. An independent 3rd party should be brought in to investigate and ultimately make the decision.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Tech-Related Summer Camps For Teenagers?

gregrah Re:Spend the money on monitors and a nice desk (177 comments)

Wow - you didn't even read the first line of TFS. This isn't someone looking for a camp for their kid.

I am a teenager (aged 14, though turning 15 before summer), and I've recently been looking for summer camps in the USA

Also, your advice is completely worthless since this student specifically mentions they are less interested in learning to program than they are in learning about math and physics.

P.S. Do you happen to work in my IT department? Your writing style feels oddly familiar for some reason...

more than 2 years ago
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The Semantic Line Interface

gregrah Re:Worst article ever? (123 comments)

I completely respect the fact that it is difficult to write in a foreign language. If your point here is simply to say that it's not cool to hate on non-native English speakers, then I agree with you.

That being said, I don't think that it is unreasonable to request that the author have somebody proof read his article before submitting to Slashdot to be read by a large English-speaking audience. Or to include half-decent mockups/illustrations. Presentation is important when disseminating ideas.

I'm even willing to overlook poor grammar/presentation if the content is sufficiently interesting to justify the extra effort. But given that the best thing that you managed to say about this article is that it "makes some sense", compared with the negative attributes that you cite of being "incorrect" and (likely) unoriginal, I don't think we are in disagreement here that this article is a straight-up stinker.

more than 2 years ago
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The Semantic Line Interface

gregrah Worst article ever? (123 comments)

I had absolutely no idea what the summary was talking about, so I made a rookie slashdot error and went to read TFA. Here's the first paragraph:

Games matter for humans. Games simulate reality, which is unaccessible for us by some reason. Boys (grown-up and not quite) usually play with gadgets. Girls of any age like behavioral games. Touch interface combines features of both. That's why boys and girls are still playing with it. Paradox is touch interface still does not influence PC world.

The first paragraph is riddled with unfounded assumptions and grammatical mistakes - as is, I assume, the remainder of the article. While I stopped reading after the second paragraph, I did spend a few seconds to scroll down to the bottom of the page to the only screenshot of what Semantic Line Interface might look like:

Example of a Semantic Line Interface

Visionary.

more than 2 years ago
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How Doctors Die

gregrah Re:Ken Murray's blog (646 comments)

Citation needed:

there have been a number of studies showing the brains of "vegetative" patients can respond to speech in exactly the same way as normal conscious people

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Tools For Teaching High School Kids How To Make Games?

gregrah Re:Best suggestion is Kodu (237 comments)

Kodu looks to be a little too simplified for high school students. In my opinion, it would be a disservice to college-bound high school seniors who are interested in software development to teach a course like this without giving them some exposure to actual "code".

In my first year high school programming class we learned to program in BASIC by creating games. We started off simple with games like black jack and bingo, but by the end of the year some of the more advanced students had progressed to the point where they were creating some relatively complex games such as Tetris.

The games were simple and ugly looking but that didn't matter to us in the least. We were proud of our creations and proud of the fact that we had become "programmers".

My point here is that if time is limited, the students would be better served by reducing the complexity of the end goal (to something as simple as Tetris) rather than abstracting away the nuts and bolts of real programming.

more than 2 years ago
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Scientists Cryo-Freeze Coral Reef

gregrah Re:Too late :( (130 comments)

For the record let me just say that I went scuba diving at the great barrier reef back in 2005.

It was a wonderful experience that I'll never forget, and it is a great shame that climate change is causing the coral to become bleached and die off. However, everything that I saw - including the fish, which to the best of my knowledge do not suffer the same effects of bleaching that coral does - was without question much less colorful than what is shown in the travel brochures.

Again - I'm not disputing that bleaching occurs or that the reef is in danger... just pointing out that the specific example of a tourist complaining about less-vivid-than-expected-colors doesn't really qualify as solid evidence or give a good idea as to the scope of the problem. It's the equivalent of me saying "I heard several tourists complaining about the heat while visiting the grand canyon this summer - it's a crying shame that global warming is ruining peoples' enjoyment of this natural wonder".

more than 2 years ago
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Scientists Cryo-Freeze Coral Reef

gregrah Re:Too late :( (130 comments)

Another possible explanation for why the reef isn't as colorful as in the brochures: cheating on the part of the photographers.

The longer wavelengths of sunlight (such as red or orange) are absorbed quickly by the surrounding water, so even to the naked eye everything appears blue-green in color. The loss of color not only increases vertically through the water column, but also horizontally, so subjects further away from the camera will also appear colorless and indistinct. This effect is true even in apparently clear water, such as that found around tropical coral reefs.

Underwater photographers solve this problem by combining two techniques. The first is to get the camera as close to the photographic subject as possible, minimizing the horizontal loss of color. Wide-angle lenses allow very close focus, or macro lenses, where the subject is often only inches away from the camera. Many serious underwater photographers consider any more than about 3 ft/1 m of water between camera and subject to be unacceptable. The second technique is the use of flash to restore any color lost vertically through the water column. Fill flash, used effectively, will "paint" in any missing colors by providing full-spectrum visible light to the overall exposure.

more than 2 years ago
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Muslim Medical Students Boycott Darwin Lectures

gregrah Re:Define "an increasing number" (1319 comments)

This is about keeping the muzzle firmly aimed at the Christian head and not letting that be diluted by equivalencies with Islam or anything else.

Is that what the voices tell you?

more than 2 years ago
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Muslim Medical Students Boycott Darwin Lectures

gregrah Re:Another view . . . (1319 comments)

Unless sound scientific evidence is discovered that suggests that "there is a God who has an active role in the guidance of evolution", then there is absolutely no reason to discuss such a concept in a science class.

P.S. you deserve to get modded as a troll for using the phrase "Slashdot groupthink".

more than 2 years ago
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Muslim Medical Students Boycott Darwin Lectures

gregrah Define "an increasing number" (1319 comments)

While I find radical religious fundamentalism just as distasteful as any other atheist, I would also hesitate to launch into Muslim bashing just because one professor has noticed "an increasing number" of Muslim students boycotting his lectures. For all we know, it may be a small number of students boycotting that do not represent a larger trend, and there may be more to the story than reported here (what if, for example, the professor made offensive remarks about Islam and its followers during a lecture, a la Richard Dawkins).

In regards to whether or not these students should be allowed to graduate and become doctors, I'm a little torn. On the one hand, I don't see how someone's stance on evolution is going to have any demonstrable impact on their ability to perform surgery, for example. On the other hand, if a doctor doesn't believe in evolution, they might also not believe that over-prescribing antibiotics can bread new strains of drug resistant bacteria, which could lead to genuine threat to public health.

I guess I'd say that if evolutionary biology is a requirement for the major, then they should be required to pass the course in order to graduate. They don't need to attend the lectures, and they don't need to believe that it's true - but in the same way that we force future doctors to suffer through organic chemistry (often against their will), these students should be required to pass the final exam in order to demonstrate that they are at least capable of understanding the material.

more than 2 years ago

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