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Ask Slashdot: Best Science-Fiction/Fantasy For Kids?

jockeys Norby! (726 comments)

Written by Asimov and his wife, Norby the Mixed Up Robot (and many sequels) are awesome. Loved them as a kid. Family friendly (no sex, clean language, minimal violence) but entertaining enough for adults.

more than 2 years ago

California City May Tax Sugary Drinks Like Cigarettes

jockeys Re:Soda and the poor? (842 comments)

Walmart shows a 24ct case of .5 liter water for $3.48 online.

or from, you know, the tap, for almost nothing. (I realize it's not free, but even living in a drought-ridden state I am paying well under $10/1000gal which means a gallon of water is under $0.01)

more than 2 years ago

Designing the World's Tiniest Manned Suborbital Vehicle

jockeys Re:2001 (153 comments)

you'd better hope your spaceship knows which way to go...

more than 2 years ago

How Much Of Your Day Is Dedicated Video Games?

jockeys Old burned-out gamer chiming in (308 comments)

Background: fairly serious gamer in the UT/Q3 era, was moderately competitive with FPS games then. Played around 8-10 hours a week. (which is what it took to build and maintain twitch reflexes) One of my frat brothers was much better, and ranked during Frag3 (I think that's what the big quake thing was called back then) and it took him 15-20 hours a week to maintain that level of skill.

Current situation: professional software engineer. Spend ~10 hrs. a day in front of a computer. Have absolutely no desire to sit in front of one when I get home. Frat bro is in the same situation, we actually worked at the same company right out of school. We both stopped playing the same week. A year later, we played some Q3 for giggles during lunch break and got depressed about how bad we sucked.

Conclusion: (this only applies to FPS, which is where >90% of my gaming experience lies) if you don't use it, you lose it. Online play has gotten sufficiently competitive that unless you have the resources and inclination to keep your skills up, signing on to a random server once a week for a few rounds is a completely demoralizing experience.

more than 2 years ago

The correct number of shoes to own:

jockeys Trying to think what's in my closet... (502 comments)

sport specific:
1 pair scuba booties
1 pair deck shoes
3 pairs teva sandals in varying models for different hiking/running conditions
1 pair mountaineering boots
1 pair light hiking boots
1 pair Newton running shoes
1 pair Vibram five fingers for tempo work
1 pair cycling shoes with SPD cleats
1 pair golf spikes

general purpose
1 pair presentable tennis shoes
1 pair destroyed tennis shoes for painting, etc
1 pair black dress shoes
1 pair cordovan dress shoes
1 pair suede boots
1 pair brown dress shoes
1 pair tan dress shoes
3 pairs Chucks, in varying colors
1 pair combat boots, shiny
1 pair combat boots, destroyed, for mowing lawn
1 pair work boots
1 pair ridiculous pastel shoes for Easter bought on a dare
1 pair flip flops
1 pair wooden geta

so, 27. Maybe another pair I'm forgetting about. All of those have been used in the last 12 months, most many times. I haven't bought a pair of shoes in several years, except the Newtons as they wear out every 400 miles or so. The mountaineering boots are on their third soles and I've had them for 15+ years. I'm lucky to have feet that didn't grow in college, so I've been wearing the same shoes size HS, when I bought the boots. I generally buy a pair of new tennis shoes every other year, as they old ones get rotated to the trash and the newer ones get relegated to messy chores as they become unpresentable. Not planning on buying any new shoes for several years, either, unless I move away from SPD pedals on my road bike and need to get new shoes to support whatever platform I go with. I polish all my shiny leather shoes every time I wear them, which keeps them supple and in good shape. My oldest pair of dress shoes is 15+ years old, on it's second set of soles, so maintenance matters. All the hiking boots get re-waterproofed and conditioned every other year. My oldest pair of Tevas is 13-14 years, they have hundreds of miles of hiking on them and look great, Teva builds solid stuff.

In general, a good pair of shoes should last nearly forever if you take care of them and keep resoling them. The exception is most athletic shoes as the soles are non-replaceable. I have experimented, with limited success, on extending the life of my athletic shoes (mainly the Newtons as they cost so much) by buying Vibram soling sheets and teaching myself cobbling, but it's messy and the shoe never feels or looks the same.

more than 2 years ago

Optimizing Your Caffeine Intake With an App

jockeys Re:Unfortunately it got bad ratings (134 comments)

it's unusable. attempting to enter anything other than coffee or tea (no soda, really?) causes the app to crash on my unjailbroken phone.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Dividing Digital Assets In Divorce?

jockeys Re:Blegh (458 comments)

Pre-nups are stupid; it's like saying "I love you dear, but I expect we'll get divorced someday".

Not necessarily. It's just being prepared for something you hope doesn't happen. I don't EXPECT my house to catch fire, but there are smoke detectors and fire extinguishers anyway. I don't EXPECT to wreck my car, but there's a seatbelt cutter and first aid kit in the glove box anyway. I don't EXPECT to suddenly die, but I have life insurance anyway. The list goes on. A pre-nup is just marriage insurance.

more than 2 years ago

FBI File Notes Steve Jobs' Reality Distortion Field

jockeys Re:Hacks (337 comments)

We have all grown up in a world ruled by salesmen, thugs, and psychopaths, but that's not the world I'd like to leave to my kids. I'd like them to live in a world led by artists, engineers, scientists, and humanitarians.

Artists, engineers, scientists and humanitarians do not have an unquenchable, innate thirst for power.

Salesmen, thugs and psychopaths do. So they work hard to gather, consolidate and maintain power while decent people don't. It's that simple.

more than 2 years ago

Building the Bionic Man

jockeys Re:Not very impressive pictures (129 comments)

agreed. those look about like 25# bags (~11-12kg) so 75# total. most teenagers with a strong back can easily haul that around, having a full grown man in an exosuit doing it is ridiculous. while the suit might not be able to handle cars, you'd think he'd at least be toting the bodyweight of a grown man.

about 3 years ago

Chromium-Based Spinoffs Worth Trying

jockeys Been happy with Iron (185 comments)

Switched the same day I installed Chrome, after reading the license and promptly uninstalling it. Never switched back. Love how it runs off a flash drive.

about 3 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Best Open Source Answer to Dreamweaver?

jockeys Re:KompoZer (300 comments)

I've used it and like it, too. The split-view is helpful.

about 3 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Which Candidates For Geek Issues?

jockeys choosing between 2 parties (792 comments)

When asked to choose: "R or D?" it's sort of akin to a polite rapist asking you: "Which hole?"

about 3 years ago

Earthscraper Takes Sustainable Design Underground

jockeys Re:geofront? (269 comments)

Damn, you beat me to it. This is entirely a geofront. all the need are buildings that slide up and down.

more than 3 years ago

Real Life Super Hero Arrested

jockeys Re:Who watches the watchmen? (590 comments)

exactly. but with violence and harm instead of name-calling and dickotry.

more than 3 years ago

Real Life Super Hero Arrested

jockeys Who watches the watchmen? (590 comments)

Where is the line between hero and vigilante? I want to believe that people like this are a good idea, but having seen human nature, I simply cannot.

Human nature + anonymity + enough time = unpardonable act of vigilante "justice"
Watch and wait.

more than 3 years ago

Robot To Slowly Run Ironman Triathlon Course

jockeys From a triathlete's perspective (71 comments)

This is interesting. It's not surprising that the triathlon boards are on fire about this today, mostly with triathletes (on average, very type-A and way too competitive) concerned about the robot breaking a variety of rules:

1. it doesn't wear a helmet out of T1 and continuing into T2. Result: DQ
2. it doesn't have a chinstrap to keep buckled. Result: DQ on the bike, time penalty in T1 or T2
3. it will be receiving outside assistance from people other than sanctioned volunteers or medics. Result: time penalty
4. if it has any open tubing it is potentially violating the no open bar-end rule. Result: time penalty
5. if it drafts off anyone on the bike leg, it will be penalized and called out on internet forums as a cheater and a sissy
6. headphones and personal audio devices are banned, if this thing can play an MP3, it's not allowed on the course
7. depending on water temperature, it may not be allowed to wear a wetsuit
8. if it drops batteries or parts on the course it is guilty of equipment abandonment. Result: time penalty
9. if it doesn't finish in 17 hours, it absolutely doesn't count.
10. finally, it must have a valid USAT license or risk being banned from the sport.

Disclaimer: this is a bizarre inside joke for triathletes, don't take it seriously.

more than 3 years ago

Wicked Lasers Introduces Handheld One-Watt Green Laser

jockeys Re:Not a gunsight laser... (404 comments)

Because you can inadvertently blind yourself (temporarily or otherwise) if the beam reflects? Even with very bright weapon mounted lights (think a little flashlight that puts out 100+ lumens) this is a risk, you can easily reduce your night vision or disorient yourself (moreso with the ones that flash, e.g. some SureFire models) if the light sweeps a window or a mirror.

more than 3 years ago

Digital Generation Rediscovers Analog Wristwatches

jockeys Re:Don't buy the macho routine with straight razor (505 comments)

A razor blade is only as good as it is sharp.

Absolutely true. Perhaps I should have said, a straight razor gives a better shave WHEN it has been maintained meticulously and your technique is perfect and you are willing to spend 30-45 minutes doing the prep work and shaving.

I fully agree that using a straight is WAY more hassle than dragging a disposable across your face, but if done correctly, I have found it to give a better shave.

more than 3 years ago



Too Few Women In Tech? Stop Blaming The Men.

jockeys jockeys writes  |  more than 4 years ago

jockeys (753885) writes ""Success in Silicon Valley, most would agree, is more merit driven than almost any other place in the world. It doesn't matter how old you are, what sex you are, what politics you support or what color you are."

So why aren't there more women in the field? Some would say male jackassery keeps them away, others would blame lifestyle restrictions. This article offers up the idea that it is men's risk taking that leads them to success."

Link to Original Source

BMW Builds Morphing Cloth Car

jockeys jockeys writes  |  more than 6 years ago

jockeys (753885) writes "BMW has announced GINA, a novel prototype car that can change shape. The Lycra skin will bend and stretch over a changeable wireframe structure. Traditional chassis underneath for safety and stability.

Would this ever actually be useful in the aerodynamic sense, or would people just use it to drive silly and/or menacingly shaped cars about?"

Link to Original Source



jockeys jockeys writes  |  more than 5 years ago Galactic Federation (Star Trek)
Benevolent socialists with insane tech explore space and spend all their time playing interstellar boy scouts.
Given the current state of human nature? Not really. Plus many laws of physics will have to be revoked.

Sullen Dystopia (Blade Runner)
Society continues along the downward spiral, picking up a few new techs along the way.
Honestly, this one is easier to believe than most. The tech is way less ludicrous, and humanity is just as bad as ever.

Interstellar Frontier (Firefly)
Civil War in Space! Trade your kepis for spacesuits. Lovable southerners with amazing tech tangle with despicable yankees who have even more amazing tech.
Eh. It'd be amusing, but we've already been thru all that nonsense before, and I could do without a repeat.

Technological Utopia (Gattaca)
The sinister forces of minimalist art take over the world somehow, and impose their terrifying aesthetic on all. Overtones of fascism make it juicier.
Very low-tech for the future, most attainable yet. Ridiculous fascist view of genetics gets easier to believe every day.

Charred Wasteland (Terminator 2)
Robots done blowed everything up! AI experiment gone wrong decides to put naughty humanity in the corner... permanently.
LISP is cool but this is just plain silly. Every other aspect of tech (except time travel) somewhat believable.

Crazy Space New York (Fifth Element)
NYC's noise, color, citizens and grime survive, modified but generally unmolested, into the 25th century.
Tech somewhat overdone, but so likeable you want to believe it.

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