Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!



Major Backlash Looms For Apple's New Maps App

joelsanda 65% of the world's population? (466 comments)

Apple is risking upsetting 65% of the world's population, seemingly without much greater purpose than speeding the removal of their rival Google from iOS

What? Sixty-five percent of the world's population will be upset by the map application? Does 65% of the world's population have an iOS device or rely on one?

about 2 years ago

Warp Drive Might Be Less Impossible Than Previously Thought

joelsanda Re:I'll believe it when I see... (867 comments)

I'll believe it when I see time travelers from the future who have used their warp drives and FTL travel to come backward in time to tell us about it. (According to special relativity, the ability to travel faster than light is equivalent to the ability to travel backwards in time.)

Or a Delorean.

about 2 years ago

iPhone 5 GeekBench Results

joelsanda Re:Oh samsung... (470 comments)

I don't think Samsung are "deathly afraid of Apple". Not then they're currently the leaders in market share, and actually supply the hardware to Apple, to make their phones/tablets/laptops. It's kind of a win-win...

I wonder how much profit Apple makes per phone compared to Samsung? I'd say Apple is probably more profitable because they have one new phone model in two colors every what, 12 - 18 months? One model, two colors. Samsung models may not be that different, but having one is cheaper than two or many.

about 2 years ago

Can Nintendo Court the Casuals Again?

joelsanda I miss my Atari 2600 (132 comments)

We had the Wii - managed to score one the weekend it came out. But after about 18 months it became apparent this was going to have some real dumbed-down titles. A few stick out in my mind, most notably the Endless Ocean and Endless Ocean 2 games. I miss those enough I've been thinking of picking up a Wii after the Wii U comes out to replay them, when the price drops.

As for the Atari 2600 I had as a kid - I recall that having a greater variety of games that were almost more challenging. I don't miss it enough to buy the controller/ROM combination, but I distinctly remember titles we traded with friends and played for years. Maybe some of that is nostalgia for long summers and the lack of overall console variety then, but I was distinctly unimpressed with the Wii; with the notable exception the two titles I mentioned above.

When our Wii gave up the ghost I relented and bought an XBox for my son and that's been a great console - a good variety of games and ab online game store worth dropping some dough on. There will have to be something extraordinary for my generally Nintendo-friendly family to even consider by a Wii U. They lost us with the terribly poor game selection on the Wii and DS systems.

about 2 years ago

Firefox OS: Disruptive By Aiming Low

joelsanda Re:people who can't afford the iPhone/Android mode (286 comments)

Agreed. Cell phones are cheap as fuck. It's the service that beats you down. I have never owned a smart phone, because while I'm fine paying a couple hundred bucks every two or three yeras for a phone, I'm *not* fine paying a couple hundred bucks a *month* for a plan.

I don't think the three of us on the family plan with iPhones pay that on AT&T. That comes with the super cool unlimited 3G that is suddenly limited at 4GB per month, but the day I hit is the day something is really wrong in the universe. But a couple hundred a month for the plan - did it come with a person?

about 2 years ago

YouTube Refuses To Remove Anti-Islamic Film Clip

joelsanda Re:Great Response... (622 comments)

Restrict the video only in places where they can't handle the freedom of speech without maniacal violence. Google got it right for the first time in a while.

That would make for a mighty small internet in most places.

about 2 years ago

Fragmentation Comes To iOS

joelsanda Re:Fragmentation = Consumer Choice (244 comments)

Well put. I like choice - in RAM, screen size, and so on. I have a MacBook Air precisely because I've always enjoyed a minimalist computer setup. The thing is a dream for me because it runs the four applications I use all the time. It was the same thing with the Acer Linux netbook I had for about two years - no hard drive but just enough for Mozilla, Thunderbird, Angband and a text editor.

about 2 years ago

Europe Sets Sights On Asteroid Tracking Radars

joelsanda I read this as "steroids" (44 comments)

"Europe Sets Sights on Steroid Tracking Radars"

about 2 years ago

Converting RSS Feeds To a Dynamic 3D Scene In 120 Lines of Code

joelsanda Can Apple ... (73 comments)

... return RSS to their Mail application in 10.8 with 120 lines of code?

about 2 years ago

Space Vs. Poverty Debate In India

joelsanda I find this a disingenuous debate (315 comments)

These debates have always bothered me. Does a nation/society/culture/state/collective do nothing with its resources if there are some with less than others? Seriously ... this debate seems a red herring because it can never be concluded.

  • - Don't build that table because the Johnson's down the road don't have enough wood for the winter
  • - Don't spend resources researching reconstructive surgery when there are people on the organ transplant list

My sig paints a picture of my general mindset around 'progress' - I kind of find space exploration a silly idea but what the hell does it matter what I think? It's not like I set national budgets or anything like that. Nevertheless, can't we ask that question of every resource expenditure of ourselves and others? What business did I have buying my kid an XBox 360 when I don't have 100% of his expected college expenses saved?

about 2 years ago

How the Pirate Bay Can Be an Asset To Game Developers

joelsanda Re:It's called donationware. (107 comments)

It's called donationware, a variant of shareware, and its an old way of getting paid for your work. I think I saw the first example of it back in the mid 80's on the BBS scene.

It's not new, and it's not news.

I really miss those days. Being able to download something and use it for a week or so before deciding to get the full deal or pay the shareware fee. A few game companies do this, like Spiderweb Software - you can play a huge chunk of the game before it stops and requires payment. By the time the demo is over you're pretty sure it will run on your computer and there's no question about liking it or not.

about 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: How Would You Fix the Linux Desktop?

joelsanda Linux should work for me because ... (1154 comments)

... I use a surprisingly small number of applications. In the last decade the types of applications I always run on my computer are one each of the following:

  • Photo software to grab from camera/phone and put into albums on my computer
  • Text editor to update my homepage
  • Interactive fiction authoring and interpreter software
  • Some kind of office suite - usually not Microsoft Office and I'm happy
  • Music management software to store my files and copy them to my phone
  • Calendar and contact manager that syncs to my phone
  • Email, RSS, Web, FTP, Jabber software

Having tried this with Windows, Linux, and MacOS I can say the solution that works out-of-the box for me is MacOS. I'd rather use open source software because I like donating money to software I use rather than paying for a silly license that puts a smile on the face of an attorney somewhere.

When I tried this with Linux I have to do a lot research to make sure the phone works with the OS and the software available for the OS. I've tried using Songbird and Lightning/Sunbird as well as the full suite of Mozilla-based applications. Inevitably something I use a computer for is not available in a single Linux distribution. If the phone works the calendar is crappy or Songbird doesn't sync with that phone.

So for me it does boil down not just to the software that's available but to device compatibility. I'm sure it's possible but computers are less hobby and more appliance for me. On an odd notes I was able to do all of this on an older MacBook I didn't know what to use for. So with the exception of the OS, obviously, I had all my music in open source applications: OpenOffice, Songbird, Thunderbird, Instantbird, Inform 7, Sunbird and a small handful of text editors. I couldn't find the right Linux counterparts.

about 2 years ago

Chinese Students Say They Are Being Forced To Build Your Next iPhone

joelsanda Re:Well, I was forced to serve them hamburgers (481 comments)

I am proud in knowing that the % of profits from my phone are minimal and did not come from slave labor.

How can you possibly know that? Does anyone know what percent of the profits of the phone the company gets and how the labor fares?

about 2 years ago

AT&T Promises To Expand LTE To More US Markets

joelsanda Re:How about percentage of the LAND AREA? (105 comments)

Because it's stupid to have cell coverage in vast swathes of uninhabited areas?

What does habitation have to do with anything? Some uninhabited areas have lots of travelers. Airports probably have a population of zero, yet those travellers I'll bet use a lot of the provided cell coverage. Same goes for the endless stretches of Interstate in places like Wyoming and Montana. Population zero but lots of people using the road.

about 2 years ago

Do We Need a Longer School Year?

joelsanda Re:Don't under-estimate this (729 comments)

In Denver, CO the school system adjusted stop/start dates because the older schools don't have air conditioning and the summers are hotter.

about 2 years ago

Do We Need a Longer School Year?

joelsanda Re:I might be a hardass, but (729 comments)

You could be scarring him for life you know. If he doesn't have an aptitude for math, this will not help him.

I agree. Education is more about discovering yourself than learning geometry or calculus - two things that directly benefit few people; but obviously their work is to the benefit of the rest of us. Presumably when a kid leaves high school they have an idea of what they want to do next - study to become a writer or mathematician, for example. Forcing Hemingway to do math problems in the summer would have wrecked his writing ;-)

about 2 years ago

Do We Need a Longer School Year?

joelsanda Re:Suggested by someone who has forgotten (729 comments)

That's a good point. My son is in school for seven hours a day. Minus one hour for lunch leaves six. That's six periods each 50 minutes, for a total of five hours of scheduled instruction. When you factor in roll call for attendance, the normal hustle and bustle of teenage kids it's probably closer to four hours of actual instruction, on a good day.

We have friends who home schooled their kids. They completed (and exceeded) minimum curriculum in our state in four hours a day. And she educated two very smart and confident kids.

about 2 years ago

Do We Need a Longer School Year?

joelsanda Re:Sure-- better training to be slaves (729 comments)

People do not have to work this hard to survive. When you work your entire life away- unless you love working- you basically didn't live. They took your entire life from you.

I wish had a mod point. But I'd make one correction: "People do not have to work this hard to thrive, let alone survive.

about 2 years ago

Do We Need a Longer School Year?

joelsanda In my son's 9th grade algebra class .... (729 comments)

One of the students did not know 8 x 4 is "32". He did know 8 x 2 but, according to my son, could not double "16" to get to "32".

I don't think he forgot that over the summer - he never learned it. This high school is a popular public school in my city many students "choice" in if they are not in the school's immediate vicinity. Even the silly statewide proficiency tests let this kid fall through the cracks.

He wasn't failed by summer but by a school system that allows a fourteen year old boy to enter high school not knowing 8 x 4.

There is noting wrong with summer than a year-round school will fix.

about 2 years ago


joelsanda hasn't submitted any stories.


joelsanda has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>