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Ask Slashdot: What Essays and Short Stories Should Be In a Course On Futurism?

jnmontario Ready Player One: E. Cline (293 comments)

Great story of the not-so-distant-future. While it's a lot lighter than most of the listings above, it's a glimpse of a possible future ruled by megacorporations and greed. Wait - isn't that now?

about 9 months ago
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Feds Deploy National System of Microphones Capable of Recording Conversations

jnmontario Echoing? (2 comments)

I'd love to know how they're working in things like echos in determining shot-location in a downtown core where sounds can reverberate off monolithic buildings. Out in 'the burbs' I can see it being a LOT more useful, but downtown in the concrete jungle I'd be shocked if it were as accurate as the "few yards" that they're claiming. Then again, spatter enough of these in an area and I guess it's just a matter of computation.

1 year,11 days
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The Battle For the Game Industry's Soul

jnmontario Re:Film Industry (272 comments)

My major beef with your ?defense?commentary? of the game industry is that I hear it constantly and it becomes a self-serving bias for execs. The more we accept "Hollywood-model" games and buy the next "$380B in development Rock'emSock'em XVII", or whatever, the more industry types that didn't come from a game-dev background feel like they should not innovate and make new games, but rather pour good money after bad with blockbuster prequel/sequel games. I guess what I'm trying to say is that MBA's sniffing after money appear to have transitioned from the film business to the game business and I think that's REALLY bad for the future of gaming.

about a year ago
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Hulu "Kicking Back Into Action" Says CEO, Adding New Content

jnmontario And yet they still missed the boat (169 comments)

When they first came out I wanted to support them, but I'm in Canada - geoblocked. Strike 1. A year or two later I finally got a VPN, stopped my satellite subscription, modded my ATV2 and started watching. Shortly thereafter most of the content creators pulled their content from Hulu to try and create their own empires. Most of the shows I WOULD watch got pulled and placed onto their crappy services. Strike 2. In this digital age I want to watch what I want, when I want, and I don't want the limitation of having to try to remember to squeeze in that episode of X before the show expires on Hulu. I missed the season finale of Grimm by 3-4 days because of this expiration model for the show. Strike 3. Netflix, you get my money. Hulu/NBC etc... you don't, and I still watch the stuff that could have been on your site making you revenue, but I do it through other sources.

about a year ago
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Only One US City Makes "Top Ten Internet Cities Worldwide" List

jnmontario Re:American priorities (240 comments)

Not if Verison comes to Canada. I'm sure profit will completely fall away and they'll all just break even..... (inside Canadian joke, wait no - our telecom industry is the horrendously oligarchic joke).

about a year ago
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Digg Hints Its Replacement For Google Reader Will Include Social Media Content

jnmontario Wait - wasn't that the place... (78 comments)

Wasn't Digg that site I used to visit as often as ./ before they whored themselves to advertisers to allow funded content to overtly make it to the front page instead of ACTUAL user submitted content? BTW: yes - I'm aware lots of users were themselves industry shills, but at least it had the pretense of being a community-driven website.

about a year and a half ago
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Chinese Government Suspected of Unleashing Astroturfers Against Apple

jnmontario Transnationals do the same thing (194 comments)

Frankly, nothing China does surprises me anymore. Rather, I think the surprising thing is that people don't want to accept massive manipulation of product presence online by transnationals and major corporations that do exactly what China is being accused of here.

about a year and a half ago
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Linux and Android MMO Launches Kickstarter To Support Gameplay Expansion

jnmontario Re:Hmm (25 comments)

I understand your rationale, but with respect - that may work for some crappy ipod app game, but not something like an MMO*. I think it'd be naive to think any truly modern game could be developed w/out substantial investment. There's just way too much overhead in terms of time/effort spent on things that need to be paid for (hardware/graphic designers/audio engineers). Sure you could try taking your life's savings and do it that way, but costs would, I imagine, be so large you couldn't feasibly do that. Kickstarter's just making public the process of gaining VC that has existed since forever (think of the trip to the Americas from Europe as Spanish-funded VC when no other nation in Europe thought Columbus was sane). I think Kickstarter is a fabulous idea, it brings VC out of the hands of the privileged few and to the masses. In a way it democratizes VC making sure that ANY idea gets a chance to get off the ground, not just the ones that make it through the screeners at VC firms. *Minecraft is the only example I can think of....but then again, look at its graphics/sounds. *shudder*

about 2 years ago
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BP and Three Executives Facing Criminal Charges Over Oil Spill

jnmontario Re:Not really (238 comments)

They don't need to worry - they have juicy contracts set up in Canada now to search for, and drill, oil off the coast of one of the most active fisheries in the world (CDN/US Atlantic coast). What could go wrong?!

about 2 years ago
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House Subcommittee Holds Hearing On TSA's "Scanner Shuffle"

jnmontario To avoid the backscatter Xray (134 comments)

I flew out of Minneapolis a few weeks ago and while on the way down I didn't have to go through the scanner (in Canada we use millimeter wave and always have), they had the backscatter in the airport. I simply, and politely, asked to have my kids go through the metal detector along-side the backscatter instead since I didn't want them to get a blast of xrays. "No problem" said the TSA person (who BTW was incredibly nice and reasonable about the whole thing). In fact, the whole fam. got processed through the metal detector instead. They DID confiscate the ~3 oz. of my kids' toothpaste however. Security theater.

about 2 years ago
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Google Develops Context-Aware Voice Search For TV

jnmontario Until the networks all decide to join in... (48 comments)

Sadly, until the major networks stop blocking GoogleTV access to their broadcasts/content who cares if Google TV can contextually search shows.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Would Real Space Combat Look Like?

jnmontario Jack Campbell novels worth reading (892 comments)

It's interesting you posted this. Back in the early 90's when my friend and I were in school we both took a pile of astrophysics courses (thank you The Next Generation for making me a space-whore for life). We created all the basics for a space combat game. Down to stats, movement rates etc... all based on 'real physics'. I completely agree with one of the posters above - it was too boring to ever code as such since it involved horrendous wait times, punctuated by sheer madness over the period of a minute or two, then a lot of death. Jack Campbell has written a FABULOUS set of books (the Lost Fleet), with a serious dose of reality (with the exception of FTL travel). Iirc, he's a former Navy Captain or some-such, so the feeling of combat is very real, more importantly, he's spent some time researching relativistics so there's a lot of that in the novels as well. Well worth the read. Space weapons are largely missiles and particle weapons, both of which we have in today's age - so it's only engines/travel that are slightly futuristic. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lost_Fleet

more than 2 years ago
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TIME Names Mark Zuckerberg Person of Year

jnmontario Re:Julian Assange (317 comments)

I can see Assange being next year (if the mag has the balls to actually publish his name) - after this shakes down a bit further. Assange's story is ongoing. As for Zuckerdouche - you have to respect him as a serious contender in that his product is used by millions of people and is used as a way for drunken college kids to post pics of girls kissing girls on a dance floor. All joking aside, FB is a serious societal consensus-shaping tool - think of the activism that has been orchestrated via. FB.

more than 3 years ago
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Statistical Analysis of Terrorism

jnmontario Seems obvious to me (265 comments)

Interesting article. I however have a beef with the thought that "“This gives you hope that terrorism is understandable from a scientific perspective.” " Furthermore, I have a problem with his thought that patterns of probability can be seen to develop over time, while not explicitly stating _when_ an attack will happen. To me, that's akin to stating that the San Andreas fault-system will trigger with a mounting probability over the years. Of course it will - as tension builds at some point it's inevitable that the fault will release. When world governments have bad foreign policy (which most seem to have at least some time, if not most of the time), of course you're going to create disenfranchised members of the world community - and when you arm and train them like Al Quaeda & Taliban were when the west wanted them to fight the Soviets they will turn on you. It's not a matter of if, but when. Stating that over time the likelihood of an attack increases seems to not scientific, but rather obvious as somebody (or some group) is almost guaranteed to slip through the security net in place to detect/predict such actions. My $0.02

more than 3 years ago
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GM Loses Money On Every Volt Built

jnmontario Re:That's fine... (471 comments)

You market it to the same people that have a Lexus, Saab, Infinity etc... The interior of the Volt is just as luxurious as any of the aforementioned vehicles afaik from looking at the website. You see a metric crap-ton of ads for Lexus' on TV, I haven't seen ONE for the Volt yet. I stand by my case, with proper advertising, the Volt would sell just like any large production model would, it's curious as to why Volt isn't really being advertised.

more than 3 years ago
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GM Loses Money On Every Volt Built

jnmontario Re:That's fine... (471 comments)

Problem is, if they follow the same approach as the EV-1, then they don't want the volume and intend to tank the line. I don't want to seem like a tinfoil hat conspiracist, but I don't see any real marketing on the Volt - not like they did on the Saturn line, or really any other GM-made vehicle. It smells suspiciously like intended failure at this point. 1) Let's claim gross loss-per-vehicle. We won't make it obvious it was somebody from the company saying it, but we'll allude to it. 2) Let's not market-the-hell out of it like we do our other cars 3) Let's pull the vehicle once we get sympathy for our losses once our lobbyists have softened up congress.

more than 3 years ago
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How should a non-techie learn programming?

jnmontario Gold! (2 comments)

I was trying to figure out what programming language to introduce to my sophmores this fall - so this article was well timed. I realize that once you learn the concept of syntax/logic then you can learn any language but I was tired of the language I've been using as an intro. for the last few years. I toyed with the concept of using XNA, but figure that's still too advanced for most grade 10 students. Python - here we come!

more than 4 years ago
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Martian Microbe Fossils, Not So Debunked Anymore

jnmontario Cannot prove (306 comments)

You cannot PROVE that life existed, you can only fail to disprove it exists (or existed). Very interesting nonetheless, I'd thought they disproved it a while back.

more than 4 years ago
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FCC Lets Radar Company See Through Walls

jnmontario What are the chances (179 comments)

Any guesses that clients of this company include the NSA, FBI....

more than 4 years ago

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