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Comment: Re:This is great and all... (Score 1) 175

Also, in case you hadn't noticed, congress does pretty much whatever it wants of late. Interstate commerce? nah... Intrastate commerce is so much more fun to regulate. Warrants to search? nah... so much more fun to just search as is convenient. Property rights? nah... they'll take your land for commercial reuse, it's potentially much more profitable. Ex post facto law? nah... sometimes, that's just the thing. Shall make no law? Oh HELL no. Rights that shall not be infringed? Oh, ho ho ho, isn't that quaint.

"Jurisdiction" ... what a funny old word. :)

Comment: Re:This is great and all... (Score 1) 175

...but it should also be pointed out that when you bring said mined assets back into the USA, congress does have jurisdiction, and that's what this law primarily addresses, although it may also have direct implications for how US government crewed spacecraft will treat US citizen or corporation owned spacecraft carrying cargo.

Comment: What I am going to buy (Score 1) 486

I am about to buy an external audio device. To my knowledge, this is the best device you can get for a similar amount of money... you can spend a lot more money to get something about as good, or spend less money and get something worse.

The device is called an O2 amplifier plus ODAC. It was designed by someone who went by the name of "NwAvGuy".

http://spectrum.ieee.org/geek-life/profiles/nwavguy-the-audio-genius-who-vanished

The O2 is a really clean analog amplifier, and is actually open source hardware. You can get the parts list, order the parts yourself, solder everything together, and have your own O2. You can pair it with any DAC, but NwAvGuy also designed a DAC called the ODAC. He(?) said that he would have liked to make the DAC open source as well, but it wasn't practical.

I will buy mine from a company called JDS Labs. They sell a single nice integrated device with O2 and ODAC in one enclosure.

http://www.jdslabs.com/products/48/o2-odac-combo/

There are audiophiles who sneer at the O2 because it doesn't cost enough. At my previous job I spent hours listening to music on an O2 with Sennheiser 650 headphones, and I want to be able to listen to music with that level of quality again. I am willing to spend my own money to do it.

I thought about buying a really nice DAC but I always hesitated to spend the money because it can be hard to figure out what is worth the extra money, and what is just extra expense. I am friends with a world-class audio geek, and he agrees that this is a good quality audio device. If you want top quality and you are spending your own money, get or make an O2.

Comment: Re:Download vs indexing (Score 2) 86

by MozeeToby (#47417689) Attached to: A Brain Implant For Synthetic Memory

Instead, they would have to laboriously spend hours thinking about every single german word, and eventually teach themselves german, from the memories they had installed.

This could still result in learning German in a matter of days vs months. Perfect is the enemy of good, even if everything you say is 100% accurate (and I doubt there's any convincing evidence that the brain works like an indexed database) you could still see orders of magnitude improvement in the time it takes to learn new things.

Comment: De river, she is deep (Score 2) 586

by fyngyrz (#47417253) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

"Complex" is not for laymen. There is only so much that you can do with any "appliance". Beyond that, you actually have to know what you are doing. This "problem" has nothing to do with programming.

This. Thinking about the web apps I've written, most of them required fairly deep knowledge in the area of the app -- auroras, photography, specialized group management, history, genealogy, measuring instruments, Chinese, retail procedure -- all areas an interested party could potentially bring to the table.

But the tools to instantiate, manipulate and present those ideas? Those simply don't exist in "amateur" form -- I had to create them. And in doing so, I used knowledge starting with HTML and CGI and CSS, but which extended well into Python, (replaced Perl), C, SQL, a fair bit about the underlying structure of the host OS(s), knowledge of how to structure an application in the first place, and to wrap it all together, a fairly deep knowledge of what's efficient and what isn't.

Now I will admit that I am particularly resistant to Other People's Code, partially because I am unwilling to be subject to other people's bug fix schedules (or lack thereof), and permissions (or lack thereof) and functinonal choices (or lack thereof); and partially because the more stuff I write, the more handy tools of my own I have to bring to bear on the next problem that depend on no one but myself and the host language(s) -- which frankly is quite enough dependency for me anyway. Plus it's been writing all this stuff that's made me a decent programmer in the first place. So even if there *were* a library out there to generate general purpose readout dials, I wouldn't have used it; the result would have been the same. All my own code. Not the least bit reluctant to reinvent the wheel.

Still, the idea of making all that stuff both available and trivially usable (and that's what we're talking about here, because a non-programmer will have to hit this at a trivial level) seems to me to have been tried multiple times in multiple venues, and to have failed every time. Personally, I think it's because as programmers, we underestimate the complexity because we've internalized so much; we can't see the actual level of difficulty very well, because it starts out relative to our own skills. This has resulted in quite a few attempts to "make it easy", and none of them have hit any serious stride. The best any of these can boast is a small following making very limited applications, if you really want to stretch what "application" means.

I don't think the idea is ready to fly. The only context I can visualize this actually working is where you have some *very* smart software that can take an abstract description and write code *for* you. That software would have to be (a) very damned smart and (b) conversant with an enormous range of general human knowledge. Right now, as far as I know, that's the precise description of a competent applications programmer. And nothing else.

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