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Ask Slashdot: What Smartwatch Apps Could You See Yourself Using?

zoffdino Re:It's apparently not ready yet (471 comments)

The iPhone went on sale 5 months after it was introduced by Steve Jobs. No specific date either. Yeah, that phone was a failure!!!

5 days ago

Ask Slashdot: What Smartwatch Apps Could You See Yourself Using?

zoffdino Smart pass (471 comments)

If it contains electronic copies of my various cards, I would buy one in the bat of an eye. Replace my monthly transit pass, office entry card, credit card (already happen with the Apple Watch), various loyalty cards, etc. Also: add a bar code scanner to it so I can check out the price of anything at Walmart / Home Depot, etc

5 days ago

Chinese Man Sues State-Owned Cell Phone Company For Blocking Google

zoffdino Jail time await the litigator (78 comments)

He is suing from Shenzen, mainland China. It would have been different if he sues from Hong Kong, which has a more independent judicial system. My guess is that he will be counter-sued by the state for obstructing the government, disturbing the peace and spreading anti-government messages. The lawsuit has no change of success, meanwhile, the litigator has a pretty big chance of having some phony charges pressed against him, and may end up in jail.

about a week ago

Robots Will Pave the Way To Mars

zoffdino Get our act together (95 comments)

The appropriate way to get our act together is for the President to set a goal, give money and step the fuck away from NASA. We went to the moon with slide rules. In the era where a smartphone has more computing power than an entire Lunar Module, times 10, we are paying the Russians to send us to Low Earth Orbit. I'm not a proponent of human mission to Mars. The trip means little other than felling-good-about-my-country and flag planting. Send a robot there and we don't have to worry about a return trip, always harder than departure.

about 4 months ago

$7 USB Stick Aims To Bring Thousands of Poor People Online

zoffdino Sometimes, no computer is needed (201 comments)

These people don't need computer, they need food. The project founders seem to assume a lot: that there's electricity in the slums, that they can pay for it, that the computers won't be taken apart for the little scrape metal they hold, that the slums won't turn into a new dump for e-waste, that people are literate enough to use a computer or do anything useful with one (reading local news, for e.g.), etc.

$7 is almost 4 days of work for those poor people. I would rather see charities spend it on food than computers and training.

about 4 months ago

The Rescue Plan That Could Have Saved Space Shuttle Columbia

zoffdino Re:Other options? (247 comments)

The difference with Apollo 13 is the worst case cost did not involve the loss of a second screw. They worked the heck out of the engineers on Earth to try bringing back that Moon capsule. No one had to claim on a second spaceship and hook a tow line to get it back. For Atlantis, you are risking a second vessel to save the first, with no guarantee that either will return successfully. The stake is much higher.

about 7 months ago

Copyright Ruling On Publishing Calculated Results: Common Sense Breaks Out

zoffdino Re:Bad news for Wolfram alpha (54 comments)

The difference is Wolfram hasn't sued anybody about that (yet). You can't copyright simple fact like "what's the 2nd derivative of sin(x)". I think they include that claim more to cover their asses than to assert it in the court of law.

about 7 months ago

Canadian Spy Agency Snooped Travelers With Airport Wi-Fi

zoffdino Re:Et tu, Canada? (159 comments)

"Geography made us neighbours, NSA made you my slave".

about 7 months ago

Global-Warming Skepticism Hits 6-Year High

zoffdino Re:Which shows that people don't understand (846 comments)

One third of us still deny evolution as a fact. A smaller percentage want "Creation Science" to be taught in school (well, there's no creation, nor the subject scientific to begin with). When people can deny 4 billion years worth of evidence for a natural process, what do you think make them better at understanding something with only 100 years of evidence. God bless the stupidity of Americans.

about 8 months ago

Doomsday Clock Remains at Five Minutes to Midnight

zoffdino What clock does this run on? (222 comments)

The US and Russia have had nukes for 70 years now. I don't know the exact numbers but IIRC a Tom Clancy's novel says Russia / Soviet Union has 27,000 nukes alone. India and China have possessed them for the better part of the last half-century. North Korea can always go nut, but their nuke is more is a gerrymandering device than a serious global threat. They may hit Seoul... if they aim at Tokyo.

Climate change take years to become a major problem for homo sapiens. The dinosaurs took 100,000 years to go extinct from the impacts of the K-T event. And that's considered a very rapid extinction.

If the 24-hour clock is the age of the Earth, human only existed in the last minute. 5 minutes to catastrophe is plenty of time.

about 8 months ago

Ulbricht Admits Seized Bitcoins Are His and Wants Them Back

zoffdino Unequal treatment (243 comments)

I find it funny that downloading a song mean $22,000 fine. That software are only "licensed", not sold to you so you can't do everything you want to with. That importing books you legally acquired from a different country is a violation of copyright, and needs the Supreme Court to clarify that it's not. Meanwhile, the police can reason that seizing $700K in Bitcoins is just copying a file.

I don't know what Ulbricht's connection to Silk Road is, but the Crown must be prove that this asset is acquired through illegal activities to seize it.

about 9 months ago

Massive Android Mobile Botnet Hijacking SMS Data

zoffdino Re:And the moral here is (117 comments)

It's the biggest challenge in software design. There are lots of dumb or technically-inept people. 20% of the cars are stolen each year when the drivers left their vehicles ' engines on, with keys still in ignition. If people don't have common sense like that, how do you expect them know that a flash light app doesn't need access to SMS, photos, emails and contacts?

about 9 months ago

Standardized Laptop Charger Approved By IEC

zoffdino Re:I was hoping for MagSafe (289 comments)

As I recall, Apple is also unwilling to license that patent at all.

You have the right to refuse to rent out your home. You have the right to deny a hitchhiker a ride. Their property, their choice to license it or not.

Someone had to do it first. Unfortunately for us, it was apple.

Fortunately for us, they are the one who dared. The others are too cost-conscious, too cheap to look at the lowly power adapter.

about 9 months ago

Standardized Laptop Charger Approved By IEC

zoffdino I was hoping for MagSafe (289 comments)

Everyone here chides Apple for putting a deep fryer plug on a laptop and get a patent for it. Truth is, if they don't, someone else will and sue the heck out of them for it. If it was so obvious, why haven't anyone thought about it before Apple?

It's better if they can convince Apple to put up the MagSafe patent as FRAND. It'll be a bad joke if Apple has to include a MagSafe-to-whatever adapter with their MacBooks

about 9 months ago

CBS 60 Minutes: NSA Speaks Out On Snowden, Spying

zoffdino Crocodile's tears (504 comments)

The NSA is only targeting the communications, as opposed to metadata, of less than 60 Americans

Note the multiple qualifiers here: communications, of Americans. They capture metadata for every other Americans, and voice data for the rest of the world.

Snowden's activity caught the notice of other System Administrators

And they did nothing about it until Snowden has fled to Hong Kong. Good to see my tax dollars being spent on those government employees with full pensions and top secret clearance.

NSA considered the possibility that Snowden left malicious software behind and removed every computer and cable that Snowden had access to from its classified network, costing tens of millions of dollars

Sometimes when watching their foes (or more likely, their fellow citizens), they forgot to look out for their own kind. Expenses well deserved.

The NSA's work is driven by requests for information by other parts of the government

How can we know that this is true? There are multiple gag orders preventing companies from disclosing those requests, and the NSA has not been forthcoming in those either. Say what you want, NSA, I'll choose to believe it when I see the evidence of it.

about 8 months ago

China's First Lunar Lander To Launch Today; Manned Mission Planned By 2030

zoffdino Re:I am afraid tech lines are being narrowed... (137 comments)

The fact that China holds a large portion of US debt highlight their weakness: if they declare war with the US, what stop Congress from passing a constitutional amendment that nullify this holding? They will find their pocket short 1 trillion coins or so. Militarily, China is no match for US. Nobody has invested as heavily in military technologies as the US since World War 2. The Soviet Union went bankrupt trying to keep up. Their own version of the Vietnam War—the Afghan War, drained their treasury much worse than the Vietnam War on the US.

China sees itself as the center of the world. Their very name translates to "the elite center". If anything, they are becoming the Japan of the early 20th century, invading (in this case, claiming exclusive rights to) nearby resources.

about 10 months ago

Getting Evolution In Science Textbooks For Texas Schools

zoffdino Re:ya know... (710 comments)

No, he outsources it to India. Look, they are already overtaking the advancing His creations -- North America women don't bear children as much anymore.

about 10 months ago

NYT: Project Chaos Due Partly To Unorthodox Database Choice

zoffdino Re:follow the money (334 comments)

Nah, TL; DR; I used to work as a system analyst (I'm a project manager now), and hate complicated diagrams. Other than developers, any diagram that takes me more than 60 seconds to read is too much. They could have made it simple if viewed from a purely SOA architecture: a health exchange module (with potentially 50 interfaces), and plan comparison module (just define a standard and make all insurance companies use it), a self-server portal, etc. It's not simple, but having clear distinct make it less of a mess than the clusterfuck that is now.

about 10 months ago

China Creates Air Defence Zone Over Japan-Controlled Islands, Issues War Threat

zoffdino Greedy China (519 comments)

China is claiming sea waters from southern Japan to northern Philippines, some where 1200 miles south of their southern-most point. China is fast becoming the bully in the Far East, much like, ironically, Japan itself 100 years ago. Both countries were under dictatorships, recently enjoyed massive economic growths, hence more thirst for resources. Left uncheck, China will begin another world war in the Far East.

about 10 months ago

The Surprising Second Life of the PlayStation Vita

zoffdino Just one hit (161 comments)

All the PS Vita needs is one big indie hit, and then it will become a cult device with a loyal following. Sales will never be brisk though, the handheld game market is being eaten alive by the smartphones.

about 10 months ago


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