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The Feature Phone Is Dead: Long Live the 'Basic Smartphone'

pluther Re:The only features ... (243 comments)

Why even bother having a phone.

What other device can you carry around in your pocket that can do everything he lists?

For me, pretty much the same - texts, messaging, web browsing, and I'd also add playing audiobooks, music, and podcasts.

The voice calls aren't a feature I use often.

about 9 months ago

Eye Tracking Coming To Video Games

pluther Better for work than for play (102 comments)

I don't think I'd want this for most video games, for many of the reasons people have already been listing.

But man, would it ever be useful for real work. Simple things, like making whatever windown I'm focusing on become active.

A good eye-tracking system could replace a mouse, with maybe a pair of buttons right below the space bar on the keyboard or something.

I would think blink or wink tracking would be more annoying than useful, though...

1 year,27 days

TSA Screening Barely Working Better Than Chance

pluther Re:Fuck the TSA (337 comments)

I wish I had modpoints left.

But, this is an accurate assessment. it became obvious within days of the attacks that these two measures were about the only thing that would have made a difference. Every thing else is pure theater.

about a year ago

We're Safe From the Latest SARS-Like Disease...For the Moment

pluther Re:Healthcare Quality (106 comments)

Im thinking the death toll has more to do with the quality of healthcare in Saudi Arabia than to the severity of the disese.

Based on?

about a year ago

Obama Administration Refuses To Overturn Import Ban On Samsung Products

pluther Re:Proof that Obama is corrupt (298 comments)

I've got a coat that has a large tag inside that says, in very large letters, American Leather. The background of the tag is an American flag.

In small type, inside the bottom stripe of the flag, it says "Made in China".

about a year ago

Air Force Wants Technology That Will Let Drones Sense and Avoid Other Aircraft

pluther Wait a minute... (148 comments)

They "want" this technology?

You mean we currently have drones flying around, many of them outside of active warzones and over US cities, that *don't* currently have the availability to detect and avoid other aircraft??

about a year ago

Arrested Chinese Blogger "Confesses" On State TV, Praises Censorship

pluther Five fingers (349 comments)

He also said that the prompter was holding up five fingers.

I will never understand why they coerce these false confessions. There can't be more than a handful of people, especially in China where trust in their government is even lower than over here, who believes he changed his mind on his own.

about a year ago

Final Mars One Numbers Are In, Over 200,000 People Applied

pluther Re:Can't we just send them all? (176 comments)

And then there are those of us who are well aware of the risks, and have no illusions about how "exciting" it would be. And have signed up anyway.

I'm someone with close friends, good family, and active social life, a couple of different fulfilling hobbies, and a steady career that I'm 15 years into and 20 years from retirement from.

And I signed up.

I began my application by listing a myriad different ways the mission could fail, from exploding on launch, to losing air on the way there, to crashing into the planet, to starving to death on the surface, to the most likely: the project running out of money before ever leaving the ground. These are not 200,000 delusional people. These are not 200,000 people who think they're signing up for a quick trip on the Millennium Falcon Many, if not most, of these people know what they're getting into, as much as it can be known at this point. And we've signed up, to go to Mars.

The project will probably fail. Simply because most ambitious projects fail.But some succeed. The probability of failure is not a reason not to be ambitious.

But why go? I can't speak for everyone who signed up. But for myself, the answer is simple. We have to go. We have to expand beyond our planet. Here's somebody trying to do something about it. And I can't pass up the opportunity to be part of it. 47 years ago today the words "To boldly go where no man has gone before" were first uttered in public. And no, you don't need to point out that the show was fiction. But the words meant something.

There are always people willing to go new places. And people willing to go with them.

Columbus wasn't alone on his ship to America. Shackleton had to turn down almost 5000 volunteers for his South Pole expedition. Going to Mars is an even bigger deal. I'm not surprised they got 200,000 applicants. And it's OK that you can't imagine wanting to go. I can't imagine *not* wanting to go.

And yeah, the project will likely fail. But even if it does, something will be learned. Something new will be gained. And eventually, someone will use those lessons and succeed. And I'd be glad to be part of one step of that process. That's why I sent in my application.

about a year ago

Gore's Staff Says He Was Misquoted On Hexametric Hurricanes

pluther Re:The rest of the criticism remains valid (216 comments)

And putting an accurate thermometer on top of a building in the middle of a 20 acre blacktop parking lot will return skewed data... Many people tend to ignore the fact that cities have their own bubble of warmer temperatures.

I haven't actually looked at the data yet, but I suspect that the last 135 years of recorded temperature data were gathered by more than one guy in one location.

about a year and a half ago

How Deadbeat Facebook Friends and Using ALL-CAPS Can Lower Your Credit Score

pluther Re:Kind of a warning sign actually (362 comments)

... people with enough real life to not have time for facebook. . .

I love how people keep claiming they have a life and therefore don't use social networks... on Slashdot.

about a year and a half ago

Illuminating Window-Less Houses With a Plastic Bottle

pluther Re:Lighting on ships... (240 comments)

Same with Portland (The one in Oregon). They're all over downtown sidewalks.

about a year and a half ago

Former Director of the ISS Division At NASA Talks About Science Behind 'Elysium'

pluther Too expensive? (366 comments)

$190.8 billion in 1975 dollars (the equivalent of $828.11 billion today). Looks like the ultra-rich are stuck on Earth for the time being.

You realize this is almost the exact amount (only a few tens of billions of dollars off) that the ultra-rich in the United States alone gave themselves from our tax money just over five years ago?

The only thing lacking in building such a space station is vision, not resources.

about a year and a half ago

Richard Stallman Speaks About Back Doors After NSA Documents Leak

pluther Re:Abandoning the cloud ? (332 comments)

Hmmm. The geotags for this set of beach pictures show that they weren't too far from this daycare center run by a couple whose mother-in-law is from Lebanon.


Not to mention that if the couple both have the same mother-in-law then someone's broken a law somewhere...

about a year and a half ago

Florida DOT Cuts Yellow Light Delay Ignoring Federal Guidelines, Citations Soar

pluther Re:Citations? They need to be sued heavily (507 comments)

Then move back to a safe distance again.


You've never driven inside a city, have you?

about a year and a half ago

Florida DOT Cuts Yellow Light Delay Ignoring Federal Guidelines, Citations Soar

pluther Re:Citations? They need to be sued heavily (507 comments)

I don't think he was suggesting the baseball bat be used against the cameras...

about a year and a half ago

What Modern Militaries Can Learn From Battlestar Galactica

pluther Re: what? (272 comments)

Same thing happened in Tienanmen Square. The Chinese government cut the phone lines and tried to jam radios, but the students were still coordinating by bicycle and motorcycle messengers.

about a year and a half ago

Iceman Had Bad Teeth

pluther Re:Paleo diet (130 comments)

Not entirely correct.

One of the problems with claiming what "the" paleo diet consisted of is that it varied hugely from time to time and place to place.

Unsurprisingly, the world before "the" invention of agriculture was not a giant homogeneous culture with the same diet everywhere.

For the most part, diets in the winter vs summer were remarkably different, even for the same people. There are many exceptions, though, where the diet didn't vary much year round.

Even the diets from places as close together as, say, western Oregon and Utah from 13,000 years ago were hugely different. The Pleistocene Oregon diet consisted of large amounts of seafood, rabbits, tubers, and, yes, lots of wild grains. In Utah there was significantly more larger game, more meat, including more fat, different berries, more grains and less tubers.

And, yes, even without lots of grains, throughout the archaeological record, people frequently had bad teeth. Worn flat by sand and bits of dirt in their food the was rule, not the exception, and cavities and abscesses were more common than not throughout the Americas. I imagine it would be similar to Europe and Africa.

about 2 years ago

Ancient Teeth Bacteria Record Disease Evolution

pluther Re:Paleotrash (97 comments)

Paleo and primal diets work.

Any diet will "work", in as much as it forces you to pay attention to what you're eating.

Whether you're just counting calories, avoiding bread or all carbs, or trying to recreate some mythical "pre-historic" diet doesn't really matter. The important part is limiting junk food, not over-eating. Basically, pay constant attention to what you're intaking and you'll be healthier and likely to lose weight.

about 2 years ago

Giant Squid Filmed In Natural Habitat For the First Time

pluther Re:The question that's itching to be asked.. (98 comments)

Pretty horrible, most likely.

From what I've heard, giant squids have large amounts of ammonia in their bloodstreams. It acts as a natural anti-freeze (the water is damn cold deep in the Pacific, it's only the immense pressure that keeps it from freezing).

The ammonia would permeate the whole thing, completely ruining the taste.

about 2 years ago

Want a Job At Google? Better Know Microsoft Office!

pluther Re:LibreOffice? (243 comments)

MS Word can also do formatting that both LibreOffice and OpenOffice lack.

For example, in MS, I could set it up so that when I typed "rrr " it would replace it with "REBECCA" centered on the page, followed by two newlines, then set the format for single-spaced Times New Roman with 1.5" margins left and right. It could keep that format until I started a paragraph with "st[tab]" at which point it would skip down another newline and give me italicized text with .5" margins for the next paragraph, then automatically switch back.

Oh, yeah, and if that previous paragraph when over a page break, it could automatically insert "REBECCA (cont)" centered at the top.

May sound trivial to an engineer who's just writing up some simple procedure document, but when I'm writing a play, with dozens of lines of dialog and stage directions on every page, being able to put things automatically into the right format as I go is invaluable.

And that's the thing, sure, most users won't use every bit of specialized formatting, macros, or functions on each app. But enough people do that for most companies it's worth getting MS Office rather than trying to evaluate the potential needs of each individual user.

more than 2 years ago


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