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Comment: What makes this less boring, exactly? (Score 1) 338

by Michael_gr (#44564327) Attached to: Bill Gates Seeking Patent To Make Shakespeare Less Boring
So, there's some boring textbook, and you scan a line, and some shitty algorithm (probably based on Bing search technology) generates some sort of vaguely-related video. How does that make the book any less boring? Videos are not inherently interesting - they are only interesting if they are made interesting by a human creator. This invention would just add a boring video to the boring text. What little interest can be extracted from this will be derived from the process's failures and unintended hilarious misinterpretations. They might as well try to patent "doodling on the margins" for all the good this is going to do.

Comment: A marketing ploy for their current offering? (Score 1) 233

by Michael_gr (#43646403) Attached to: New Flying Car Design Unveiled
If you visit the Terrafugia website, there are more details of the craft. To my untrained eye (aerospace buff, but not an engineer), it doesn't look feasible - not enough wing surface. Anyway, they are saying that when they begin accepting pre-orders, they will give precedence to owners of their current roadable aircraft, the Terrafugia Transition. So it might be legit or it might be vaporware concocted to help their sales department.

Comment: Re:GIMP vs. Ps (Score 1) 197

by Michael_gr (#42827195) Attached to: The Book of GIMP
A while ago the Gimp team decided to work on a product vision that will define what Gimp is supposed to be and what its target audience was. They decided that Gimp was meant to be a high end tool used by pros. I believe it was the wrong decision - but this was their decision to make, and having made it, they put Gimp in direct comparison with the only other high end Graphics manipulation tool out there, namely Photoshop.

Comment: Re:Gahnew (Score 1) 197

by Michael_gr (#42827119) Attached to: The Book of GIMP
When people say that Gimp can be compared to Photoshop, it's like saying your Toyota Yaris compares with a Bugatti Veyron - when all you do is drive to the store around the corner. Photoshop is an amazing tools with multiple pro-level features that Gimp can only dream about having at some far point in the future. Heck, Gimp doesn't even have some rather important features that Photoshop had 12 years ago. By the way, to a Photoshop user, the interface is intuitive and simple and similar enough to Photoshop that it takes very little time to figure out that so many features are completely lacking. I can even go as far as saying that in a couple of tools, it surpasses Photoshop in usability. But only a couple.

Comment: Only now? unbelievable. (Score 4, Informative) 372

I worked for a startup that designed a tablet-style device to hold flight manuals and maps for airliners. That was back in 1996. The device was bulkier than an ipad but did not weight 16Kg, and had a respectable 800X600 color display. I'm pretty sure tablets and/or laptops have been used since then in the cockpit - so the news here is proabably that the FAA approving yet another device.

Comment: Both title and content of this post are wrong. (Score 3, Informative) 639

The guy was arrested but not for said tweet - he was arrested for those other tweets in which he threatened Daley and several other tweeters with murder. Making death threats is NOT free speech whether you are using Tweeter or cut-out letters from a newspaper. The article does mention that and says that "the law doesn't require threats of violence for an arrest to be made". Perhaps that's true but in *this* case he *was* arrested because of the death threats, not because of the abusive nature of his first tweet. The poster is clearly attempting to obfuscate the truth here.

The one thing that's puzzling is that according to the article the same tweeter first made a disparaging comment, then apologized, then backtracked and threatened Daley and was abusive to others. That's some odd behavior. Was he high? Is he suffering from bipolar disorder? perhaps someone hacked his account? I don't know

Comment: You only have to look at some FOSS projects (Score 1) 277

by Michael_gr (#40670707) Attached to: The Hivemind Singularity
...that lack a strong leadership / vision, to know this idea is doomed to fail. Think how debilitating it would be to first ask a soldier to form an opinion on a certain course of action and vote on it (thereby forcing him to make an emotional investment in his choice). Let's say the majority chooses otherwise, rejecting said soldier's strategy. Now tell him to follow through with whatever the majority chose - that would create a negative effect on morale, much worse than asking soldiers to follow commands blindly and not form any opinion in the first place.

Comment: email or "email"? (Score 1) 288

by Michael_gr (#40299009) Attached to: 'Inventor of Email' Gets Support of Noam Chomsky
Remember Alice in wonderland? ...`Or else it doesn't, you know. The name of the song is called "Haddocks' Eyes."' `Oh, that's the name of the song, is it?' Alice said, trying to feel interested. `No, you don't understand,' the Knight said, looking a little vexed. `That's what the name is called. The name really is "The Aged Aged Man."' `Then I ought to have said "That's what the song is called"?' Alice corrected herself. `No, you oughtn't: that's quite another thing! The song is called "Ways and Means": but that's only what it's called, you know!' `Well, what is the song, then?' said Alice, who was by this time completely bewildered. Mr. Ayyadurai is the inventor of "email" ( a computer program) and may be the inventor of "email" (the word used today to describe electronic massages) but he is not the inventor of email (the concept and protocol of sending electronic messages). Mr Ayyadurai does not explicitely claim to have invented it, I believe, but he is guilty of making his claim murky enough so that people will THINK this is what he is claiming.

Comment: Can this robot do my workout for me? (Score 1) 77

by Michael_gr (#38075546) Attached to: Robot Controls Person's Arm To Manipulate Objects
I wonder if it's possible to get this system to do your workout for you. Like, you program it to do a hundred bench presses and then lift weights for an hour. All the while you could, I dunno, watch TV on LCD goggles or something. Or, even better - suppose you could get this system to work on your arm muscles while you play video games using one of those brain-control interfaces. I would love to have a system like this.

Comment: And if there wasn't a limit... (Score 1) 183

by Michael_gr (#37805934) Attached to: Microsoft's Office365 Limits Emails To 500 Recipients
...I'm sure you'd be publishing an alarmist article about how Office365 could easily be used for spam. 500 distinct recipients per day sound pretty decent to me, and far above anything a normal human being would need. If you need more you are either: 1. sending to a mailing list, in which case, boo-hoo, just use another product 2. a spammer.

Comment: I think this is how it works: (Score 1) 191

by Michael_gr (#37753826) Attached to: Real 3D Display; 3 Years Out?
I googled some phrases from the article and it seems this is not a freestanding hologram but a table-shpaed block of material that can display volumetric images inside itself. Imagine layering a number of transparent LCD screens on top of each other and displaying cross sections of something to get the entire obejct - this is how this probably works. The resulting images are transparent and not photorealistic: this will be useful for presenting data - medical or geographical - but not for gaming, movies or (damn!) porn.

Comment: There's no plan there... (Score 5, Insightful) 221

by Michael_gr (#36868668) Attached to: A Congressman and an Astronaut Propose a New Plan For NASA
Only a call to create a plan. The article is wrongfully disdainful of private rocket companies. Nine years ago, SpaceX started developing their launch systems. They started from scratch. They Spent maybe 10% of the equivalent NASA budget for Constellation. And they have something to show for it - several successful launches, a space capsule that has successfully returned form orbit and is being fitted for a manned launch, and a heavy launch vehicle in the works. NASA, in the mean time, was creating a *derived* system and yet ran into technological problems and have yet to produce a single piece of hardware that can do anything. Obama is diverting funds from a slow-moving, conservative, wasteful government agency and cancelled an under-performing, over-budget, technologically conservative (and yet riddled with problems) program. The money was diverted to the free market. And yet, all the space-loving republicans who touted the free market's ability to compete with NASA are now howling and complaining. Why? cause it's OBAMA, that's why.

Comment: So late? (Score 1) 220

by Michael_gr (#36274408) Attached to: Alaska Airlines Jettisons Paper Manuals For iPads
I was working for a company that developed a tablet-like device for airline pilots back in 1996! Sure, it didn't have touch and it was 486 based and it was thicker, but it's really nothing new. What do pilots from other countries use? I won't be surprised to hear that the US is very conservative in this area.

A committee is a life form with six or more legs and no brain. -- Lazarus Long, "Time Enough For Love"

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