top Snapchat Will Introduce Ads, Attempt To Keep Them Other Than Creepy
I just don't understand how people that are a little bit tech savvy cope with ads. The first things I do on a new computer (mine or a relative/friend)is:
- install Adblock Plus on all the browsers that support it;
- tweak the host file to block know ads/malware domains I haven't seen an ad in years, the web feels so quiet when you browse like that, without popups, flashes, animations, everyone crying for your attention... Android? Rooted smartphone/tablet? No problem! Here is AdAway, basically tweaking the hosts file on the Android Linux, the same way that you do on a Windows PC. Apple still eludes me, as my only iOS device, an iPad2 is not jailbroken, so I don't really know what's out there for it, so I still see lots of ads when browsing with it... Maybe that's the reason it's the device I do the least browsing with..
top Living On a Carbon Budget: The End of Recreation As We Know It?
As an example we have the Indian mission to Mars, which cost just a fraction of what NASA would have to spend.
top The Minecraft Parent
You can simplify that sentence and make it "Anything regarding your children involve a little bit of effort on the parents part." Yes, that's the true, folks, having kids is hard work, for the rest of your life.
More on the topic, my own 8 yo daughter never payed much attention to PC games (she loves to play on the iPad), but when she saw me playing Minecraft, she got interested. She likes to watch, and sometimes play a bit, she is still getting the hang of the keyboard+mouse controls.
Part of the appeal is the feeling of having a "sandbox world" where you can build almost everything, and let your imagination run free. Discovering the several combinations between items and the "rules" of the world is also very rewarding.
The whole retro look is spot on, and it might be part of the appeal to kids, with its simplified blocks, colours and sounds (my daughter loves the bunnies, curiously there is no merchandise with the minecraft bunnies). Also, she doesn't like it when I kill any of the peaceful mobs (pigs, cows, sheep, etc) and she's grown fond of the Enderman for some reason. The music is also great, and to my big surprise, she commented on it before I did.
Also, the fact that Minecraft it's conceptually the equivalent of a Lego kit (where you have a bunch of "resources" and some loose rules, and you run with it, building whatever you imagine), might also contribute to the appeal of Minecraft, to both kids and grown-ups.
top Massive Study Searching For Genes Behind Intelligence Finds Little
And as we know, the hardware is only half the battle. The "software", or in case of intelligence, the actual processes and the way the brain actually works and develops during the life time, is still mostly unknown to us. It's a bit like studying the processor chips from any give age, and trying to "sort" them, or find a way to "classify" them by performance, without actually knowing how or what software then can run.
As with some other things in life, the genes might give you a "framework", or a starting playfield but the rest of the environment plays a huge part in how things will turn out. I believe it makes much more sense, in terms of evolution, that intelligence is something more "organic", adaptable, than a simple, specific gene (or group of genes) that are vulnerable to mutation, etc. Look at the way we are programing AI. Instead of giving it billions and billions of rules and instructions to make it "super smart", we instead try to program it in a way that it can learn by themselves. More or less the way we also learn and develop as we grow up.
about a month and a half ago
top 3 Decades Later, Finnair Pilots Report Dramatic Close Encounter With a Missile
I wonder how many "UFO" close encounters reported through the years might be something like this: something very rare, and almost unthinkable to the common people (a passenger jet as target practice for missiles?!), but totally explainable.
about a month and a half ago
top iPad Fever Is Officially Cooling
For around 2 years I've been using an iPad 2. The experience has been great, it does it's job pretty well, it's a great way to consume content (web surfing, youtubing, social media, light gaming), etc, etc. Yes, it's a walled garden, yes, I can't "drop to the command line and get under the hood". But the fact is that my "tableting needs" are rather basic, and haven't changed much, the apps are inherited limited, and I don't use it for heavy graphic or gaming, so I don't see the need to "upgrade" to a newer version, not now and not on the next couple of years, or even swap it for a Android tablet (my smartphone is a low-cost asian THL W100, btw).
The only gripe that would make me switch my iPad 2 is the internal storage (only 16 GB without expansion). But it would be most likely and cost efective for me to replace it with an iPad 2 without 3G and with 64 GB of storage, than to get a newer, more expensive iPad "4" or "5" or whatever.
I think that the iPad "matured" so rapidly that the need to keep churning new models and for the people to upgrade every 1 or 2 years is pretty much gone.
top Meet the Diehards Who Refuse To Move On From Windows XP
These examples aren't really very illustrative of the still remaining XP users. I believe that most will be completely oblivious to "end of support" or whatnot (mostly the parents and grandparents population) that know what "Windows" is ("it's the computer!"), and think that "Internet Explorer" is the Internet. A lot of then will be part of a small business where the IT literacy is low, and nobody really cares about the computers, as long as they work.
Something that worries me in all this is the quote "I am worried about security threats, but I'd rather have my identity stolen than put up with Windows 8.". Well, if you don't mind having your identity stolen, then you are not worried about security threats at all. Replace "have my identity stolen" with "became a part of a botnet" and the users starts to look a bit fundamentalist. A good analogy would be someone saying "I am pro-life but I'm fine with kill doctors that perform abortions". Dude, if you are pro-life / security concerned, you *mind* about killing another human being / having your identity stolen.
top It's Time To Bring Pseudoscience Into the Science Classroom
It's a real religion with real practitioners.
So as "true" and "trustworthy" as all the other religions then...
top An SSD for Your Current Computer May Save the Cost of a New One (Video)
In 2010, I bought a 120 GB SSD for my aging Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 desktop "gaming machine". 120 GB is well enough for Windows, and even a couple of games (I have a separate RAID5 for everything else and the kitchen sink), and although I can't play recent games in super-duper-high resolutions (I would need a total upgrade for that), the fact is that I've postponed my 4-year-cyle-full-desktop upgrade indefinitely. I don't game as much as I used to, and the computer feels extremely responsive, specially for a 6 year old machine.
I've been evangelizing everyone about the "magical powers" of SSDs ever since, and I firmly believe that it is the single component that will cause the greatest impact on the machine performance, hands down. So if you still have any doubts about the 120 GB SSD making any difference on a "old" machine, rest assured, it will make a *lot* of difference.
top Ask "The Fat Man" George Sanger About Music and Computer Games
Uau, can't believe nobody mentioned the 7th Guest and 11th Hour soundtracks, some of my all time favourite game music
Anyway, my question to Mr. Sanger is this: how was it to be part of some of the first "digital media" titles? To live in the middle of the hype and be part of some ground breaking works of art?
top Google Announces Smart Contact Lens Project For Diabetics
This is amazing news... I believe we might not be far from some sort of sensor that will monitor our main "health checks" (sugar level in blood, cholesterol, blood pressure, heart rate, etc) and give us an accurate, real time report, in a non-intrusive / painful way...
top Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, Yahoo Form Alliance Against NSA
Maybe they should have thought about an alliance *before* the NSA came knocking at their door...
top Valve Announces Hardware Beta Test For 'Steam Machine'
Yes. We also had tablets before the iPad, they were also "PCs". The gamechanging aspect in both situations is to pack the hardware in a conveninent, atractive and easy package to gain traction. Before the iPad, nobody would give a damn about the "PC tablets". Now everyone wants a cut of a market that was pratically non-existing.
In the present case with the SteamBox and SteamOS, we have both an OS custom tailored to be used with Steam, and a (predictable) large number of hardware alternatives to use that OS, and the Steam service. Instead of jumping the hops to build a "living room PC", lots of people will apreciate the convenience. This might indeed be a gamechanger.
top North Korean Missile Raised To Firing Position, Says US Official
No, no, no! Preemptive strikes are only used against enemies that can't retaliate and that hold valuable goods inside their boundaries.
Oh, no, scratch that, I meant enemies that have "OMD" (real or otherwise)...
It is not very clear yet if NK is a real threat or not (perhaps when they actually fire something at someone, somebody might think about doing a "pre-emptiy")...
about a year and a half ago
top How Power Failures Corrupt Flash SSD Data
My ex-boss had to deal with this problem. Short version: power issues are potentially worse to SSD than to hard disks.
I got an SSD one and half year ago, for my home desktop rig, and "teased" my then-boss into getting one for his work laptop. My SSD is up and running nicelly (with stable current, very rare power outs), always shutdown, no hibernates or something like that. My ex-boss had to RMA 3 or 4 diferent SSDs, because he uses hibernate on his laptop and a couple of times after resuming, the SSD simply "reverted" to a previous "disc state". For example, after installing Windows 7, and the software and data, the SSD would "reset" back to the point right after installing Windows. Also, one of the times he completely formatted the SSD and after a reboot, it went back to the time it had Windows and everything else! Really odd and freakish, and usually an hibernate or even a normal shutdown was done before the SSD broke / bricked / froze... The laptop was not very recent (was probably 2 or 3 years old by the time he got the SSD), so some SATA driver issue combined with different power requirements or improvement over those years might explain such an unlucky streak... My SSD is still running nice and good, my ex-boss meanwhile replaced his laptop and SSD. about a year and a half ago
top North Korea Conducts Third Nuclear Test
... to see some countries still stuck in the "cold war" mindset. Worse, to see some countries trapped in the "middle ages" mindset...
about a year and a half ago
top Ask Slashdot: Programming / IT Jobs For Older, Retrained Workers?
Just abstracting a bit from the age factor (as I believe some other "comenteers" will address that in much competent ways than I), I would advice you to get your hands on virtualization. It's starting to become ubiquitous in all sorts of companies (big and small) and there is much to be done in terms of management, best practices, designing, troubleshooting, etc.
Your "outside" view on IT can be a good thing, as sometimes the skewed view on this-or-that-operating-system can hinder a bit the work on virtualization. Besides, as anything related to infrastructures (both IT and non-IT), it looks easy to do, but it's hard to master. With IT, as you might know, the constant wish to learn and evolve is a must. As long as you have it in you, and you keep it during your (hopefully) successful career, you will be fine :) Good luck! about a year and a half ago
top Amazon Patents 'Maintaining Scarcity' of Goods
You have a choice: do your business somewhere else. That's part of the "free market" you talk about. The freedom to do business with whoever you choose. Nobody is forcing you to buy with Amazon. Just "vote with your wallet". You are part of the free market too.
about a year and a half ago
top Can a New GPU Rejuvenate a 5 Year Old Gaming PC?
I used to have a 4-year upgrade cycle on my gaming desktop. Last time I've upgraded it was in 2008, with a Core 2 Duo E8400 and mid range GPU (6600GTS).
However, things have changed a bit, and I'm not planing on upgrading my whole system for the near future. I've bought a 128GB SSD a year or so ago, and this was amazing for the overall performance of the system, but as my games are not installed on the SSD itself, it didn't do much for them.
So I'm considering a new GPU, in the 200 € range, to improve my gaming experience, but without breaking the bank... Any ideas?
:) about a year and a half ago
top Valve Starts Promoting Steam For Linux To Windows Users
Any word on having the Half Life / Portal / Left 4 Dead games working on Linux? These are part of my "must have installed" games, that I go back to from time to time, so I'll need them working on Linux as well, thank you