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Comment: Re:It Costs Money (Score 1) 213

by ConceptJunkie (#47608953) Attached to: Vint Cerf on Why Programmers Don't Join the ACM

You can keep getting your snippets of VB code from the internet, and I'll keep reading latest research on AI and email the actual researcher with questions.

1998 called and would like its internet back.

If you need access to the latest AI research, etc., then it sounds like ACM is a good deal, but don't pretend there isn't a lot of good info outside its paywall. No one gropes for code snippets when is available.

Comment: Re:Sensationalism at its worst (Score 1) 201

by ConceptJunkie (#47582211) Attached to: NASA Tests Microwave Space Drive

If the thing works, it's not that it violates conservation of momentum, it's that it's doing something we don't understand, which appears to violate the conservation of momentum because we don't know how it works.

I'm sure many people would love to see this turn out to work because it would be a really cool real-world effect based on some of the the really bizarre and incredibly abstract physics going on these days. Like many people here I'm sure, I'm fascinated by the advances in modern physics in the last century, but a lot of it, especially in the past 30-40 years, seems to bear no connection to the world we see and experience. I know it explains how matter and energy work, but I'm talking about allowing us to do things we couldn't do before.

Plus, who isn't looking at this and wondering if it couldn't be the basis, assuming it can be improved umpty orders of magnitude, to Jetsons-style anti-gravity devices. Let a nerd dream...

Comment: Re:From the pdf... (Score 2) 201

by ConceptJunkie (#47582125) Attached to: NASA Tests Microwave Space Drive

which is currently from a physics stand point pure gobbledygook

Dr. Alcubierre would beg to differ.

The warp drive in Star Trek was based an earlier incarnation of this theory, which is based on results from Einstein. Warp drive FTL travel might not be possible, but the idea is definitely not "pure gobbledygook".

Comment: Re:Considering his history... (Score 1) 144

Google "slit scan". It was an amazing process used to create the Stargate sequence, especially amazing because of the crazy amounts of manual work it took. Another iconic example of slit scan filming is the old opening sequence for "Doctor Who".

This forensic reconstruction of the original gels used in "2001" is a fascinating bit of movie archaeology:

Comment: Re:Considering his history... (Score 1) 144

I'm not one of these purists who thinks only practical effects are good, but "Blade Runner" is one of those movies that shows you don't need CGI to make a visually stunning movie. The only good CGI is CGI that doesn't look like CGI, or when you say, "I only know this is CGI because that can't be done in real life."

I just remembered that "District 9" was a good recent SF movie, and I thought the effects in that movie were excellent. Just enough to make it believable, not enough to look like you're watching someone playing a video game.

Comment: Re:Considering his history... (Score 1) 144

Yeah, I think the terms are used interchangeably these days.

There was, for all intents and purposes, no CGI in 1981. Computer effects at the time of Blade Runner were negligible and amounted mostly to wireframe 3D in computer displays. I mean "Tron" was was watershed of computer effects, and 95% its effects were hand-drawn animation and a crazy amount of compositing. It was an amazing triumph of visual effects, but it owes much more to the ground-breaking art direction than to the actual use of computers.

It's a shame the same can't be said of the sequel, which minus a couple of short scenes had absolutely nothing of interest to look at. OK, Olivia Wilde and absolutely nothing of interest to look at. In my house, we joke that the Futurama spoof of "Tron: Legacy" had better effects than the movie, and we're only half joking. It seems Big Hollywood has reached the limit of what can be done with CGI, not the limit of what can actually be done, but what their narrow tunnel vision and arrested creativity can provide.

Comment: Re:Radicalization (Score 1) 868

by ConceptJunkie (#47559055) Attached to: Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

If you consider this a disproportionate response, consider two things. First, one side is deliberately targeting civilians. The other side does everything it can to use its own civilians as shields. The fact that there is any debate about this after 70 years of this nonsense goes to show how effective it is to callously sacrifice the lives of your own people for the purposes of propaganda.

If no rockets had been launched in the first place then those 1000 Palestinians would still be alive. Period.

Comment: Re:Radicalization (Score 3, Interesting) 868

by ConceptJunkie (#47559003) Attached to: Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

Your rhetoric would carry a little more weight if there hadn't been a systematic attempt to destroy Israel since the year it was formed by the UN.

If your neighbor is constantly firing rockets into your country, targeting civilians, you might see things a little differently. If the Palestinians didn't have weapons, there would be peace. If Israel didn't have weapons, there would be no Israel. The "annexed" territory was land captured as the result of war of aggression started against Israel. In any other situation, people would recognize this, but it seems that anti-semitism is still deeply ingrained in the popular consciousness, especially on the Left.

Regardless of whether they sometimes go over the line in defending themselves, there's no denying that this situation was not started by and is not perpetuated by Israel. The "Palestinian" problem would disappear overnight if one of the many Muslim countries in the area would allow them to relocate. Israel didn't create itself. It was created by the UN, one of the very few useful things the UN ever did, and has fought several wars initiated by neighbors to defend its territory. But no one ever seems to care that the country is surrounded by a large number of people who are dedicated to its annihilation and the world seems to put people with this intent on the same moral level as a people who are simply trying to maintain their security. It's kind of hard to negotiate in good faith with people whose charter declares that their goal is to drive you into the sea.

The real "Palestinian" problem is that the Palestinians are pawns in a propaganda war against the Jewish people, and the world has been falling for this transparent trick for 70 years.

It is clear that the individual who persecutes a man, his brother, because he is not of the same opinion, is a monster. - Voltaire