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!



GameStop Offers $50 Certificate For Coupon Fiasco

richdun Corporate humility at its best (147 comments)

Please humbly accept our apologies. To make this better, we'd like to offer you the chance to buy more stuff from us.

about 3 years ago

Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda Resigns From Slashdot

richdun Re:Oh no! (1521 comments)

I share your cautious pessimism. The Internet has changed a lot, some for the good, some for the bad, but it's important to remember and even maintain the "founding" institutions just so we can always come back and remember where we've come from.

Remember when news blogs became popular, posting stories every few hours or minutes or seconds, not daily like newspaper sites in those days? Slashdot was doing that long before.

Remember when user comments on stories became popular, so anyone (unfortunately/fortunately) could add their 2 local lowest denomination of currency about the important happenings of the world? Slashdot was doing that long before.

Remember when your online persona and reputation became an important identifier of which user submitted content would be more widely read and even accepted by the community. Slashdot has prior art on +1 and "like," but used much more interesting variations on "like," such as "funny" and "off topic" and "troll." (What's that? Those last two give -1? Oops.)

Slashdot set a lot of foundations for news and user interaction on the wild wild web, even while changing only slightly over all this time. Change can be great and inevitable, but change because of what's now shouldn't cloud what is or was. (I, for one, still kinda like the pre-Michigan UI better...)

TPTB would do well to let those that work with Taco keep /. the way it is.

about 3 years ago

DARPA Building Futuristic Space Exploration Group

richdun Requirements (141 comments)

Said organization must comply with the following requirements: - Uniforms should be brightly colored, vaguely indicating role, and adaptable to look good while allowing for command-level officers to engage in hand-to-hand combat on a regular basis. - All senior officers should be skilled in everything. Yes, everything. We'll decide who does what based on who's standing around at the moment, not based on some specialized set of skills or designated responsibilities. - The organization should construct a fleet of vessels, with one vessel getting all the priority assignments while the rest of the fleet does Sudoku until needed for a well-intentioned but otherwise ineffective show of support. - The organization should be composed of scientists and explorers who just so happen to run around with the most powerful weapons currently available. Asteroids can hurt, right?

more than 3 years ago

NASA Wants Revolutionary Radiation Shielding Tech

richdun Re:Deflectors to full? (160 comments)

I'd think one of the key interests in new active shielding techniques is weight. As you said, some things as we know them now just require more mass or relatively light material in rather thick shielding. Assuming this tech doesn't come with a revolutionary mining of asteroids or a revolutionary construction in space, we still have to get the stuff up there. Maybe impossible, but if some kind of generator(s) could replace a few inches of metal / ceramic, that could mean big savings in launch costs and the ability to use more fuel for extraplanetary maneuvers.

more than 3 years ago

NASA Wants Revolutionary Radiation Shielding Tech

richdun Deflectors to full? (160 comments)

Active shielding could lead to some neat side techs, as with most NASA tech. But, this being what it is, I'll summarize the next few dozen comments: (insert comment here about not wasting money on NASA when we could use their budget to take care of some rounding errors in the national debt) (insert irrelevant reference to Fukushima here) (insert comment that all NASA craft would now be indestructible with the addition of something for which the polarity could be reversed and / or to which all auxiliary power could be diverted)

more than 3 years ago

200 Students Admit Cheating After Professor's Online Rant

richdun Re:Ethics aside... How? (693 comments)

He mentions a question bank in the video. The publishers of many textbooks will often publish a set of test questions that professors can sample to use on their exams. Of course, it's common knowledge that these question banks are out there and available with enough digging / a single Google search, but many professors continue to use them. So whether the exam was proctored or not, the students allegedly had access to the questions and answers before the exam. Maybe they didn't know exactly which questions would be asked, and they would still have had to memorize the answers (assuming they didn't bring the Q & A sheets in with them to use during the exam), but that's still cheating.

more than 3 years ago

NASA Announces Discovery of 30-Year-Old Black Hole

richdun Because everyone else will say it too... (195 comments)

It's not a 30 year old black hole unless it's merely 30 LY from us... and I'm pretty sure we'd have (not?) seen / felt it by now if that were the case.

more than 3 years ago

Fifty Meter Asteroid Might Hit Earth In 2098

richdun Re:Kinda slow (295 comments)

Well, I'm guessing it isn't on a direct course for Earth, and is traveling through the solar system on some eccentric orbit around the Sun. Also, once it gets here (if it gets here), it will accelerate both as it gets closer to the Sun's gravity well and as it gets closer to Earth's gravity well (the latter especially as it enters the atmosphere).

If it is headed directly for Earth, though, like "They're on a direct course for Sector 001," we're in trouble.

more than 3 years ago

Xbox Head Proclaims Blu-ray Dead

richdun Re:Confusing logic is confusing. (547 comments)

And I would think most movie watchers (whether also "gamers" or not) would fall mostly in line with the console gamers, with the exception that mobile devices make the convenience factor of digital copies that much more convenient (and the lock-in for the "single store" model that much more of a con).

You broke it down right. This is 2 separate gaming markets, plus the movie market. Unlike the CD/DVD era, there's a compelling argument that convergence is not required this time around, just as there wasn't in the tape / floppy / cartridge era.

more than 3 years ago

Xbox Head Proclaims Blu-ray Dead

richdun Confusing logic is confusing. (547 comments)

Let me see if I can lay this out:

1) An Xbox exec claims that Blu-ray will be "passed over" as an HD format.
2) Author notes that Apple seems to agree, pushing consumers to use the iTunes store rather than make OEM Blu-ray drives available on Macs - even though the majority of iTunes-connected devices are not Macs, and most would agree Blu-ray for iPod Nano or even iPad would be odd.
3) ???
4) Argument in 1) is refuted by claims that gamers still like physical media, despite recent stats showing more PC gamers are buying downloads rather than physical copies of games.

What does the growth of downloaded games, games which are available only on CD / DVD in physical form, have to do with Blu-ray not succeeding as an HD format?

more than 3 years ago

Will Android Flavors Spoil the Platform?

richdun Re:The "choice is bad" argument (405 comments)

If you like choice though - if you prefer a less expensive phone or one with all the bells and whistles, or larger or smaller or whatever, Android is an obvious choice. If you like to choose the phone network based on pricing or features, quality of network, or how badly they restrict the phone's features to maximize your bill, again Android is a clear winner.

Yet none of these things (hardware and network) have anything to do with Android (software).

Regardless of what us the technically inclined think, most users don't care about choice or technical ability or "free open source" or any of that. They have one requirement - "How can I make my gadget do a particular thing?" And if my gadget, which is supposed to be the same kind of gadget as my friend's gadget, has a completely different set of things it can / can't do, I'll just want my friend's gadget.

The only thing keeping this debate open is that in the US, where most of these arguments are made, carrier lock-ins make true direct comparison impossible for most consumers. Make every device available on every network and we'll get an answer.

about 4 years ago

Lo-Fi Phones and the Future

richdun Vent conference calls? (228 comments)

Sorry Taco, I disagree - I've yet to be told during a conference calls to go handle "many whelps."

about 4 years ago

Where Does Dell Go After Losing 3Par?

richdun Re:how about out of business? (169 comments)

Hmm, where have I heard that one before?

Maybe they'll get lucky and invent the next great... um... portable music player? No, that didn't work... PDA? No, that worked, but the market disappeared into smartphones... Smartphone? No, beat to the punch 4 or 5 times over... Printers? Tablets? TVs? No, no, and no.

Dell's problem isn't that competitors beat it into branching out. Dell's tried branching out tons of times. Dell's problem is its founding business model - mass-assemble PCs using standardization and volume to bring costs down - doesn't work on any of the new electronics markets. And even the things that went well were crippled by bad design, bad materials, or just blame bad timing. (For instance, their multi-function displays are nice... but who wants to carry around a multi-function display with their laptop?)

about 4 years ago

Does the GOP Pay Friendly Bloggers?

richdun Re:In other news... (759 comments)

and astroturf is green

Poor Boise State, even a preseason #3 can't get them the recognition they deserve.

about 4 years ago

Steam Prompts OS X Graphics Update

richdun Re:How about more hardware choice? and a mid tower (313 comments)

You're not going to see a mid-range tower out of Apple any time soon (or ever). Their focus is in the mobile / "lifestyle" space now, with a fleeting lip-service to HPC. That's why the new Mini has an HDMI port (might as well call it what it is - Apple TV Pro), why the displays are going to laptop-companion status, and why the Mac Pro is getting ridiculous numbers of cores at each update.

about 4 years ago

Happy 17th Birthday, Debian!

richdun Re:Debian or IE to last? (225 comments)

Depends on what you mean by "last."

Debian will probably be kicking around on someone's toy web server or overly complex but overly awesome home file server for as long as there is someone either willing to get the kernel working on whatever hardware is available or rig up a network protocol to talk to our future brain/computer overlords.

IE will probably remain commercially relevant longer, sadly, for as long as there are corporations, there will be that one piece of mission critical software written X years ago that runs only on IE 6.0.

more than 4 years ago

The Great Typo Hunt

richdun Re:jamie writes... (416 comments)

No, jaime plagiarizes.

If it says, "jaimee writes", then it's attributed to jaimee, and is plagiarism.

I need an irony check on aisle 3.

more than 4 years ago

How Star Trek Artists Imagined the iPad... 23 Years Later

richdun Re:Errors in the article. (324 comments)

Good catch, but bad catch. The point of the caption is to poke fun at modern predictive text systems. Aphasia and letting your iPad/iPhone/Nokia Nxxx/whatever fill in the words for you based on the first few letters it thinks you pressed have about the same result.

So they call it an "early PADD" as a joke on how we are very early in our development of tablet computing and predictive text, but of course EVERYONE knows that DS9 came during / after TNG, so early PADDs could only be from TNG.

more than 4 years ago

The 'Net Generation' Isn't

richdun Re:Tech is still Tech, yucko! (435 comments)

Seconded, both of you.

And it's only getting "worse" - continuing your gaming reference, many kids just coming in now don't even "click and install." They "insert disc and put on headset."

more than 4 years ago


richdun hasn't submitted any stories.


richdun 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>