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Oculus Rift Developer Kit 2 Ready For Pre-Order Today

xtal What about us four-eyes? (100 comments)

Does this prototype work for those who need glasses?

about a month ago

Hackers Allege Mt. Gox Still Controls "Stolen" Bitcoins

xtal It happened before.. (228 comments)

This happened a few years ago and is why I have nothing to do with Bitcoin - I lost quite a few coins, then decided it was too risky to be involved with until the exchange problem was figured out.

I am not sure why this is not more widely known, but there you go. I am not sure there is a solution to this problem.. without the involvement of traditional government.

about a month ago

Deadly Avian Flu Strain Penetrates Biosecurity Defenses In Seoul

xtal Re:Life finds a way.... (49 comments)

1918. Less than 100 years ago. 3-5% of total world population died.

People forget. History repeats. :(

about a month ago

MtGox Sets Up Call Center For Worried Bitcoiners

xtal This is the second, not first MtGox incident (240 comments)

I had.. a few Bitcoins a very long time ago.

I stopped being interested the first time the exchange went screwy and f--ked over people. I think it was a database hack of some type or DDOS.

It's unregulated, and the problem is you need a exchange to turn Bitcoins into Cash, and Cash into Bitcoins. That means somewhere you have to trust someone.

Call me when a nation state is backing a cryptocurrency. That will change everything. Until then it is a crap shoot.

about a month and a half ago

Amazon Coins and How the Definition of 'Crypto-Currency' Is Getting Too Loose

xtal Xtal's rule of money (115 comments)

Can you buy an ounce of blow with it?

If yes, it's currency.

If no, it ain't.

Pretty simple. It also sums up why governments have issue, and will inevitably crack down.

A crypto currency backed by a nation-state would be a very interesting thing indeed.

about 2 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Anti-Camera Device For Use In a Small Bus?

xtal Rocco (478 comments)

Rocco is effective at deterring people from taking pictures in strip clubs.

Answer: Have Rocco ride shotgun.

about 2 months ago

Apple Rumored To Be Exploring Medical Devices, Electric Cars To Reignite Growth

xtal Re: Take medicine away from the wizards (255 comments)

This isn't about products. It's about access to your health data when you can trivially generate good quality long term trends.

A number of people don't think you should be able to access your own blood chemistry reports, DNA, MRI, charts, and other medical data.

Those are inputs into expert systems sometimes that very may reveal trends that could save your life. They are also inputs that can be analyzed offshore at very low cost - in different regulatory environments.

This isn't about snake tonic. This is about data - your data - and who will own it.

I welcome Apple coming to that party.

about 2 months ago

Apple Rumored To Be Exploring Medical Devices, Electric Cars To Reignite Growth

xtal Take medicine away from the wizards (255 comments)

Apple could be in a position to leverage advances in sensing technology to make medicine cheaper and much more accessible.

They're also big enough to beat down the FDA and Wizard lobby (aka Doctors).

THz imaging is another wildcard in the non intrusive sensing market that nobody is talking about. Making this technology small and cheap is something a lot of very smart people are working on.

All this data fed into the cloud in real time and analyzed for problems? What's not to like?

about 2 months ago

US Secretary of State Calls Climate Change 'Weapon of Mass Destruction'

xtal Re:Alright already (401 comments)

That's the comedic joke. There are no real options.

The only one I can see really having any effect is a mass deployment of existing nuclear technologies, focusing the entire resources of the western world on solving the fusion problem, and a massive research project to develop super-capacitor or other high density electrical energy storage technology.

People can shout about other alternatives, wind, solar, whatever, but none of the people shouting have training in thermodynamics. I've crunched the numbers for myself. They tell me one thing: We're fucked, and nothing has the energy density to replace oil.

Sadly, none of the things that will make a difference are going to happen, and all the politicians spout is hot air, and lustily dream about taxing carbon - because see my original point, there are no real options.

The leadership isn't there because we don't have an energy crisis yet. The climate will change and populations will adjust.

In the mean time, I am investing heavily in fossil fuels. Teach your kids math and physics. Lack of both in the schools has us in this mess.

about 2 months ago

Boom Or Bust: The Lowdown On Code Academies

xtal Waste.. (130 comments)

The rise of the code academies is people trying to profit. Nothing more. Same thing happened 15 years ago.

There's so much information out there for free now - tutorials, books, references, open source, computers (damn near free), operating systems - the types of personalities that will excel have the tools available.

The money would be vastly better spent in providing access to maker spaces, and programming spaces with fat connections and coffee so people can network and work on ideas. Find a way to mix in some entrepreneurial types and you've got something.

Buy iPads? Why not buy them all a copy of the art of computer programming instead. Even if you don't understand it, it sets a stage. I remember getting my hands on a copy when I was very young, but I didn't understand it very well. Not understanding it bothered me the same way not understanding how the radios I took apart worked. 20 years later I know how both things.

about 2 months ago

Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

xtal Re:Resurrecting Technocrat.net (2219 comments)

Been here a long time. Only come back for the discussions.

If they go ahead with the Beta, they'll have killed the site.

I agree; not so much providing an alternative as providing a place to go. There will be a vacuum created by the marketing droids and designers destroying this community.

Seriously, how much infrastructure could you possibly need to run a site like this in 2014, anyway?

about 2 months ago

Asus Announces Small Form Factor 'Chromebox' PCs

xtal FU Microsoft (125 comments)

"Thanks for Windows 8!"

Heh heh.

Cheap hardware. No MS tax. Noms.

about 2 months ago

Kansas To Nix Expansion of Google Fiber and Municipal Broadband

xtal Fiber optic cables are direct analogs to roads (430 comments)

What's so hard to understand?

Municipalities should own infrastructure.

We have a situation where the roads of the future are privately owned, gated, and tolled. The rest of the world is preparing to steamroller over you.

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

about 2 months ago

30 Minutes Inside Valve's Prototype Virtual Reality Headset

xtal Re:Shut up and take my money (59 comments)

They're being cheap.There are high-end HMDs already.

I'd drop serious coin on one but what they are promising is integration with games. That's what's always been missing.

They should take some of my money and make it less expensive.. in revision 2.

about 3 months ago

30 Minutes Inside Valve's Prototype Virtual Reality Headset

xtal Re:Shut up and take my money (59 comments)

Technologies exist and are available to fix the latency issue.. ship something..

about 3 months ago

30 Minutes Inside Valve's Prototype Virtual Reality Headset

xtal Shut up and take my money (59 comments)

Someone needs to get these on the market; it's been two decades since the promise was there; now we have photo realistic rendering and very high DPI screens, and dirt cheap high accuracy sensing.

I'm not sure exactly what the holdup is - but someone, be it Valve, or Occulus - release one of these already?

about 3 months ago

Facebook Is a Plague That'll Burn Out In a Few Years, Says Study

xtal Re:Mom rule (338 comments)

Still listens to music (CDs), eats butter, and yes, has an electric bed warmer. (Canada, it's cold here)

about 3 months ago

Facebook Is a Plague That'll Burn Out In a Few Years, Says Study

xtal Mom rule (338 comments)

My 70 year old mother uses Facebook.

Once a technology reaches that level of integration into society, it, or at least the core product benefit, will be with us forever.

about 3 months ago

Solar Lull Could Cause Colder Winters In Europe

xtal For the investment minded (320 comments)

Good chance to make some money on rising energy costs. ...cause nobody wants to build nuclear plants, but nobody likes being cold, either.

about 3 months ago


xtal hasn't submitted any stories.


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