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Comment: Re:MATLAB (Score 2) 465

by burdickjp (#45156129) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Language To Learn For Scientific Computing?
It's also not free, under any definition, and proprietary, meaning you're making your development dependent on the availability of MATLAB as a resource. Learning a free language, such as Python, would free you from the cost and availability restraint, and mean you are learning a more general, and thus more useful, language.

Comment: Re:Its hard to tell (Score 1) 440

by burdickjp (#43059699) Attached to: Bradley Manning Makes Statement
In our current world there is rather blatant and easy justification for war. I don't know what world you live in, but you sound like someone who's never stepped out of their own living room. Things can look relatively easy from a living room window. Here's the easy justification for war: there are people in this world who do not hold any reservations about using violence to get what they want. In many instances of this the offending party can be stopped without resorting to violence, but in cases which happen all to often the only way to stop them is by reciprocating the violence. There's similar justification for secrecy; there are many people in this world who hold no reservations about exploiting vulnerability. Do I believe this justifies the situation? No. I don't. But we can't change the past, or undo other people's wrongs. The situation is what it is. If you feel being there was an injustice, fine. Punish those involved, but with the situation given it would be equally wrong to leave a devastated state to be exploited. That would be at LEAST equally unjust, if not more so. There are many, many people who see the military as a direct way of helping the most vulnerable people defend themselves against the most violent. These people get to make a positive impact on others' lives which is on orders of magnitude greater than they could otherwise. So while I agree with you that there ought not be war, just like there ought not be violence, I don't foresee a future where there will be no war or violence.

Comment: a parallel view (Score 1) 125

by burdickjp (#43055451) Attached to: How Competing Companies Are Jointly Building WebKit
This is a great example of how a market can work together to achieve a goal. I think this kind of collaboration should be encouraged by the state. Here's a similar example of how and how not to: In cameras there is a consortium which promotes a lens mount standard called four-thirds. A few companies have made cameras and lenses to fit it. More recently they made a standard called micro four-thirds. This is for mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. Only Panasonic and Olympus have adopted it. Even so, a BUNCH of companies have now made similar cameras, all with different standards. Some companies have more than one standard for their MILCs! I understand each party has different goals, but some form of collaboration would be much better for the consumer, which is I guess my mistake. They don't care about consumers. They want you to buy their lenses and cameras and things.

Comment: six of one (Score 1) 180

by burdickjp (#42156925) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Tablets For Papers; Are We There Yet?
Right now he's reading things on a desktop...which likely has an LCD display. This would, in my book, nullify most arguments against LCD display tablets. No, they aren't perfect, but they're no worse than the alternative. Maybe the new wave of Win8 tablets would be good? Alot of them have active stylus inpt capabilities. I use a Dell Latitude ST for all of my ME classwork. All of my textbooks are on it. I use OneNote for assignments. It works very well, even with Windows 7, which is not a very touch-friendly OS.

FORTRAN rots the brain. -- John McQuillin

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