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Comment: Re:2013 Mac Pro -- All the trimmings (Score 1) 558 558

Yeah, that's the problem with that description. I could give mine as:
Mac Pro
2 2.66GHz 2 Core CPUs
1.3TB Storage
10 GB RAM
NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT

And at quick look it would seem like I'm not far behind the OP. But that's a 2008 Mac Pro, and that storage is distributed across three internal disks, only one of which is an SSD. (I'm not counting the external.) I'm stuck with 10.7 as my os. I'd love to upgrade, but I don't have the money.

(Note that the box is fairly heavily upgraded from when new - I've added about 6GB of RAM, and replaced all the disks since I've bought it. This is also the third graphics card I've had in it. But all those updates were done a while ago, when I had a job. On the other hand, it's still faster than my parent's much newer MacBooks and iMac, because I've upgraded intelligently. If it wasn't for the 32-Bit BIOS it would still be a decent computer for 95% of current software.)

Comment: Re:Plan to "license more outside brands"? (Score 5, Interesting) 369 369

No, they've learned a few things:

1: People care about what brands of coffee they drink.
2: Limiting choices there makes them look like the bad guy.

They think (and may well be right...) that by making this apology and opening up the choices on what coffee people make using their coffeemakers, that people won't notice that they're still limiting their choices on coffeemakers.

They've learned to pick their battles and manipulate opinion.

Comment: Re:Is this Google's fault? (Score 3, Interesting) 434 434

True, but on the other hand many, if not most, OEMs never update their Android phones. A delay while OEMs work out details and stuff would be acceptable, if not ideal. But in practice the updates just don't exist unless you buy a new device - and then only if you buy a phone with a more recent version of the OS. (And a lot of phones are shipped with an out of date OS!)

It has gotten a bit better - especially for 'flagship' devices - but it's still not good. I thought the 'Google One' edition phones were a good push towards trying to solve the problem (if only by shaming the OEMs), but they've died off.

Comment: Re:Is this Google's fault? (Score 3, Insightful) 434 434

But Apple does at least have a fairly dependable support schedule: The most recent 2 generations of devices in a line are supported, possibly with some loss of functionality. (Typically functionality that depends on new hardware.) Past that is occasionally supported, but don't count on it. (Admittedly this support schedule is not official - it's just what has happened in practice for the life of iOS.)

Your iPhone 4 just misses that cut (6 is the current, 5s one gen back, 5 is two), and your iPad is about 4 generations past that cut. Each did get updates regularly during it's product life cycle - it's just that you've continued to use them past that life cycle. That contrasts dramatically with Android OS phones which often ship with out of date versions of their software, and are usually never updated.

Comment: Re:What do you expect? (Score 4, Insightful) 252 252

I'd argue that the solution to a problem is a lot easier to understand if you're given a context where the solution is needed FIRST. Starting with a degenerate problem that reduces to a trivial application serves to obscure the 'point' of the solution method.

This isn't the teaching materials. This is a test question. Yes, the teacher should teach the concept with a better example and explain it fully - but the question is enough to show if the student understands the concept and can apply it correctly. It's also quick to explain and short to answer, both good things for a test question.

This isn't the starting point - this is an ending point. (The end of the class.) The question is enough for that.

Comment: Re:and they make big bonfires, too (Score 1) 250 250

One of the big advantages of pallets over boxes or containers is that they are cheap enough that shipping them back isn't something you need to worry about in many cases. Yes, if there's a load (or a regular truck) going back to where they need to be loaded it's often better to ship back and re-use, but if they are delivering something and there's no load going back any time soon, they are cheap and easy enough to take apart that they can be discarded and used for other purposes.

Comment: Re:Suit gains a plaintiff (Score 1) 71 71

Just because we think the suit should continue to it's end doesn't mean we support DRM. Or even that we think the plaintiff should win. There is precedent to be set in this case, and continuing the suit to set it may well be a better outcome then getting it dismissed on a technicality.

Comment: Re:It boils down to energy storage costs (Score 2) 652 652

The second is a fair point: the main problem with coal and other fossil fuels is the external cost exported to society at large. (CO2 and other emissions.) If you could factor in that cost - and make the generators pay it - the cost of electricity from fossil fuels would go way up. (And, if they can afford to pay it - actually clean up their emissions to the point where they aren't harmful to the environment - then we don't actually have a problem with fossil fuels, except for the limited supply.)

Comment: Re:Hope it's better than the movies (Score 1) 242 242

I actually think the 'I Robot' movie is anti-Asimov. One of the reasons the 'I Robot' stories are so famous is because Asimov treated robots as machines: They generally work as designed, but break or have flaws in their design that need to be fixed, and can be. They are complex machines, so they have complex flaws, but the flaws are the same types of flaws that you have in other complex machines, and the robots do not become monsters because of those flaws. Robot stories before him (and many after him, and nearly all in Hollywood...) tend to either treat robots as monsters, just waiting to get lose from their creators, or gods, able to fix all problems. The movie 'I Robot' is a prime example of the 'monster' archetype.

(People tend to bring up a couple of later stories he wrote when I bring up this argument - stories where his robots do start to evolve into fitting the god archetype. But: 1 - it's 'evolve', they were machines that were being perfected, not instant fixes, and 2 - they were later stories, where Asimov was subverting expectations about his own writing.)

Comment: Re:Yes! (Score 3, Informative) 242 242

Depends on which books, and where in his career he was. He got fairly blatant around mid-career, although rarely actually explicit. When they say 'Foundation Series' it's open to interpretation on which books are likely meant - The original three were early in his career, and didn't really have much sex in them. The later two (mid-career) at the end have sex as a major plot driver/enabler, and the two prequels (end-career) feature it without making it a huge point. So it depends somewhat on where they start. I'm betting they'll start with the prequels - they have a strong central character, and can lead into the rest without much issue even after he dies. (And a fair amount of sex if they want it.)

The other point I'd be worried about is violence - the Foundation Series is about the fall of an empire and the rise of a new one, but actual fighting doesn't occur often. There are several places where it looks like it's about to, but then the forces of history make it unnecessary. (Or the populace gets mind-controlled, in one case...) It'd be very tempting for a director of a drama series to ramp up the violence, but it would change a large part of the point of the stories.

Oh, and in response to a couple levels up: They didn't use robots for sex in the stories. They didn't use robots for anything, in fact. There was a complete ban on higher-level AIs and on humanoid machines, to the level of taboo. (Although there were a few characters who where extremely humanoid robots in the prequels and sequels - and were basically the reason for the bans.)

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