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Comment: Vegetables can "learn" too, so why surprising? (Score 2, Interesting) 159

by kahizonaki (#29498613) Attached to: Vegetative Patients Can Still Learn
Considering that even networks comprising little more than a motor neuron, a sensory neuron, and an excitatory interneuron (a la Aplysia) can `learn', why is this surprising/interesting?

Now, if you want to talk about the maintenance of actual `human-like behaviour' being reason to rethink the position of veggie-people, I'll be willing to talk. But a vegetable is a vegetable--there's a reason we don't treat vegetables like we do humans.

Comment: Re:Been there, done that, too banal. (Score 1) 52

by Animats (#29498415) Attached to: #twatch Open Hardware Networked LCD Screen

You'll need a proper desk to display that teletype.

Now that it's working, the plan is to build a case of brass and glass, with lights inside, to show off the mechanism and make it look Victorian-era. The California Steampunk Exhibition is on for spring 2010 (2009 was canceled due to the recession), and I want to have it there.

The software for this is on SourceForge, if anybody else has a Baudot teletype machine. It not only does RSS feeds, but you can send SMS messages from the Teletype. The idea is to support modern communications with very retro technology.

Comment: Re:Who is Brian Eno? (Score 1) 196

by EastCoastSurfer (#29498003) Attached to: Brian Eno Releases Second iPhone App

I wouldn't say AS is a roach motel of a book. The story is pretty good, and you don't have to buy into her entire philosophy to get some positive take aways from the book (don't mooch off other peoples hard work, work hard yourself, be responsible for yourself, stick to your ideals and don't sell out etc...).

That said, her dialog is lacking at times and she can get quite wordy. Some of the monologues in the book are so extremely long that I wonder if her editor actually edited anything.

I found The Fountainhead to be a much better story though and while it still had dialog issues, she did much less beating you over the head with the long monologues about her personal philosophy.

Comment: Re:Its the usual castle gate mentality (Score 1) 463

by cbhacking (#29497509) Attached to: TI vs Calculator Hackers

How is the 89 suited to taking notes? I mean, sure it's posible, but I thought even the 83 had an Alpha key... I used to keep handy formulas (notes, I guess) on my 86 in the form of "scripts" that didn't do anything.

Only the TI-9x calculators actually had a Qwerty keyboard, which was definitely suited to note-taking.

Comment: Re:Java the new COBOL? (Score 1) 277

by BikeHelmet (#29497467) Attached to: COBOL Celebrates 50 Years

2) The thing is, Java can be debugged/developed on a Windows box and deployed on a Linux box, without any further testing.

I mean, you'd be nuts to actually do it without testing, but if your coders are smart and multi-OS aware there won't be any problems.

I myself wrote a calendar app for personal use, on Windows 2000. One day I tried it on Ubuntu, and everything worked fine - although it looked like shit because Gnome skinning didn't work. Not the same category as a business app, but it didn't even need a recompile. When you can write something java in 2002, and it runs flawlessly on a 2009 OS that didn't exist when it was created, without a recompile... you have to factor that in as a feature.

3) Python? :P

Java's VM is impressive. When flipping from C-based to JVM-based, Python gets about a 2-5x speedup. At this point, Java is "the wheel", for a lot of non-business apps. Re-inventing the wheel in other languages is pointless - just build on top of it.

4) I agree with you here. Although Java encourages readable syntax, it's certainly not the best language available for it.

5) Java running in Server mode is effectively compiled. That's why it starts so slow. Java running in Desktop mode is quasi-compiled. Quasi-compiled works okay, because the Java interpreter is very fast, and it lets Java apps start quicker than C# apps.

6) Python and C/C++ are more popular for front-end apps - probably because there are more front-end apps than back-end apps. Java is extremely popular for DB stuff that connects with webservers. There seems to be a lot of government, banking, and business sites running on Apache Tomcat - but because of the nature of the JVM, each site is running its own unique applications.

"Marriage is low down, but you spend the rest of your life paying for it." -- Baskins