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Comment: Charles Babbage (Score 1) 81

by colonel spalding (#48397371) Attached to: Real Steampunk Computer Brought Back To Life
Although I don't think he had success due to the limits of engineering tech in the mid nineteenth century, I always thought Charles Babbage was considered the father of the computer, aka his analytical engine. Are there not blueprints to his failed machine available that can be worked on? BTW Bruce Sterling and William Gibson co-wrote a pretty interesting novel of how the world would could be circa late nineteenth century if the analytical engine had been successfuly built. Addiontally wasn't countess Ada Lovelace, a genius female mathematician of the same period the "father" or more realistically the mother of the 1st programming? Kudos still go to Alan Turings genius but we should give credit were due.

Comment: eminent domain issues (Score 1) 418

by colonel spalding (#48397273) Attached to: Japanese Maglev Train Hits 500kph
The problem in the US and this goes back to Jesse James or further is how much private land must be seized in order to build the corridor. Elon Musk, genius that he is has the right idea, underground. Its the only way. Its almost, if not silly that our corrupt right wing courts have allowed corporations to use eminent domain to take peoples homes to build what is now a vacant failed shopping mall but we can't take land for public transpo.

Comment: yep, pension pre-pay bs (Score 1) 338

by colonel spalding (#46890181) Attached to: How the USPS Killed Digital Mail
I wish people who blather the PO is losing money were aware how the Cheney-Bush admin did all they could to bankrupt it so they could blather "government doesn't work". However the PO works quite well and with cutbacks and other savings will do okay even with the attempt to kill it. Google digitizing all existing books so text could be searched for research. Digitizing mail completely ruins the experience. I have beaitifully photographed laminated cards I send people. Holding them in ones hand is not the same as viewing a digital copy. The people that don't get shouldn't be making the decisions.

Comment: its the cost (Score 1) 288

Besides that silly little issue that there is no safe way to store nuclear waste that has a half life that will probably outlive humanity, it has often proven to not be cost effective when you add up construction, INSURANCE and decomishining costs. Plants have a limited life and can't be refurbished as other energy producers. Very few sane people want to invest in such a sketchy investment.

Comment: 2 or 3 vs 30 million (Score 2) 786

by colonel spalding (#45270431) Attached to: Why Can't Big Government Launch a Website?
Occam answer? Putting TWO men on the moon is easier than insuring 30 MILLION people. Also maybe it would have been better if government actually had done the work. Instead in our mania to privatize EVERYTHING we privatized it out to a Canadian firm. Maybe if we had used our best computer and health people (as we used our best scientists and engineers for Apollo) it would have been better. Besides we need to look at the long view, not the 30 seconds of fame. A lot of people have died in the space program.

Comment: Just do it. (Score 1) 656

by colonel spalding (#43884319) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Important Is Advanced Math In a CS Degree?
I have a BS comp sci degree. I had to take 2 semesters of calc (differentiation and integration) as well as combinatorics, finite math, operating systems and yes ENGLISH, LOGIC, Art History. A 4 year degree isn't just a trade school degree. A lot of theoretical stuff that was very helpful in figuring stuff, making it easier to learn new ideas at jobs as well as making me a less boring person to work with. That piece of paper shows an employer that you are able to dedicate yourself to a long term task.

Comment: Gates never did get it (Score 1) 618

He was the master of leveraging monopolies and pushing crappy products on dimwitted comptuer users but he's never had a clue as to what people wanted and creative enough to put out great products. Check your history. Gates thought the internet was a passing fad. It was only thru his crappy windows that he embedded into Win* it forced people to use it. Anyone in their right mind now switches to Chrome or other better alternatives.

Comment: Seamless ease of use (Score 1) 587

by colonel spalding (#42850879) Attached to: Woz Says iPhone Features Are 'Behind'
Its not all about "features", bells and whistles which windows has always had tons of that crap. Its about ease of use, the gadget working with you, not against you. Facetime is a case in point. It is so simple (no setup required) to Star Trek call ones friends. When an Android users asks me to show them how to do the same I have to search for apps, learn their features...and then something like Skype is mentioned that requires setup and login, blah blah blah. It was the same on the Mac. I could just video chat with my 80 year old mom. I didn't have to ask her to download an app and set it up (like would ever happen). Unfortuantely most non apple users have no idea.

Comment: Scientific methodologies (Score 1) 866

by colonel spalding (#41696515) Attached to: Parent Questions Mandatory High School Chemistry
Perhaps if most of the yahoo climate change deniers out there had passed chemistry they would actually believe in what scientists say and not that scientist-brain surgeon (see Terri Schiavo) expert Sean Hannity. High Schools in general (yes there is BOCES) are not trade schools. We have enough boring, one dimensional people.

Comment: Idiotic (Score 1) 282

by colonel spalding (#41560035) Attached to: Gold Artifact To Orbit Earth In Hope of Alien Retrieval
This is an idiotic waste. Am I to believe an alien race that can span the light years to get here will scoop an artifact from orbit and then go home and not explore the planet? Even assuming in 3 billion years all traces of civilization on the planet have vanished, some orbiting disk of photos will tell all?

What the world *really* needs is a good Automatic Bicycle Sharpener.

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