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Comment: Re:Failed CEO and Gubernatorial Candidate (Score 1) 540

by ewhac (#49617379) Attached to: Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Announces Bid For White House
Uh, no. Fiorina ran for US Senate. You're thinking of Meg Whitman, who tried to click "Buy It Now" on the California Governorship ($150 million campaign). But your confusion is understandable, since they're both from the tech sector, and they both spout buzzword-bingo gibberish.

Whitman lost to Jerry Brown, BTW, thus earning Brown the singular distinction of having to clean up the mess left by a B-grade movie actor twice.

Comment: Re:How I manage these calls (Score 3, Insightful) 226

by ewhac (#49598375) Attached to: Want 30 Job Offers a Month? It's Not As Great As You Think
Sounds like my algorithm.

Very very occasionally, if the description sounds interesting, I'll paste the description/requirements into Google. Most of these spamming third-party recruiters just copy-paste from public job postings, so Google can usually find the original posting on the employer's Web site.

Comment: Re:Ten seconds? (Score 5, Informative) 591

You weren't breathing pure helium. You were breathing "balloon gas," which is a mixture of helium and normal, breathable room air. The oxygen in the mixture was keeping you conscious.

Helium is an expensive substance and you don't need pure helium in a balloon to give it lift. By cutting the helium with air, the balloon outfit is able to make their expensive resource last much longer.

Comment: Re:Still Waiting for The Other Shoe (Score 1) 322

by ewhac (#49288631) Attached to: Microsoft Offers Pirates Amnesty and Free Windows 10 Upgrades

They've clarified this many times.

No, they haven't. All the "clarifications" I can find are simply regurgitations of the same ambiguous phrasing.

When you realize that Microsoft have been openly discussing a subscription-based version of Windows, then the phrase, "Free for the first year," takes on an entirely different meaning, now doesn't it? Microsoft has not clarified this, even to discredit it.

And even if MS isn't planning on a subscription-based flavor of Windows, they still have been abundantly less than clear exactly which version of Windows 10 you'll be receiving for free. Will it be a kind-for-kind trade (Home version for Home version, "Pro" version for "Pro" version, etc.), or will everyone get the lowest tier SKU available, probably with Bing plastered everywhere?

It would be nice if I were wrong about this. But Microsoft's history demands that I be very suspicious of Gateses bearing gifts.

Comment: Still Waiting for The Other Shoe (Score 0) 322

by ewhac (#49285595) Attached to: Microsoft Offers Pirates Amnesty and Free Windows 10 Upgrades
A few week ago we heard that upgrades from Win7 and Win8 to Windows 10 would be "free for the first year," a deliberately ambiguous phrasing that they have yet to clarify. Now they're offering "free" Win10 upgrades from unsanctioned copies of Win[78] as well.

All of which makes me deeply suspicious of what this "free" version of Windows actually is. We clearly haven't been told the whole story yet.

Comment: Re:you can do osx and ios in c++ (Score 1) 407

by rjh (#49177343) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Which Classic OOP Compiled Language: Objective-C Or C++?

Cfront worked by translating C++ into C, which was then run through a C compiler. As such, cfront had to be abandoned in the early 90s because there were certain syntactic structures that simply couldn't be expressed in a reasonable amount of C source code.

The original poster is (mostly) correct. Cfront was a compiler only in the sense that it did a transform of one language (C++) into another (C). It was not a compiler to any extent beyond that; compiling to native code was left up to the system C compiler.

Where the original poster is wrong is calling C++ a "preprocessor for C". That's a reasonably-correct way to describe one early implementation of a C++ compilation system, but it's not an accurate way to describe the language itself.

Comment: Parody is protected (Score 3, Informative) 255

by rjh (#49173757) Attached to: Gritty 'Power Rangers' Short Is Not Fair Use

Parody is protected; satire is not. Parody uses the objects of an artistic creation to criticize, lampoon, or make fun of the original creation. Satire uses the objects of one artistic creation to criticize, lampoon, or make fun of other creations. Using A to mock A is fair game in copyright law. Using A to mock B is seen as a violation of the copyright holder of A's rights.

As an example: Demolition Man used commercial jingles and Taco Bell to satirize modern American life and where it was headed, but they weren't really holding up the Oscar-Meyer Company or Taco Bell up for ridicule. The laughs were aimed elsewhere. As a result, they had to get permission from the Oscar-Meyer company to use the Oscar-Meyer wiener jingle, and permission from Taco Bell to use the Taco Bell logo. That's satire.

The Power Rangers fan film is pretty much straight-up parody. They're not scoring points about anything outside the Power Rangers franchise: they're just holding it up for brutal mocking. That's parody, and that means the people who made it were A-OK.

Comment: Re:Mostly right. (Score 1) 681

by rjh (#49130731) Attached to: Bill Nye Disses "Regular" Software Writers' Science Knowledge

I'm not rejecting Noether's theorem -- I'm rejecting temporal invariance. Spacetime is dynamical, therefore not invariant, etc., etc.

You can definitely torture the definitions of words until you reach a kind of invariance, but I feel this creates more problems than it solves. Better to just say, "conservation of energy only holds true for static backgrounds."

See Sean Carroll's "Energy Is Not Conserved" blogpost for a more detailed explanation. He convinced me to stop talking about the energy of the gravitational field as the escape hatch for conservation. :)

Comment: Your own humanity (Score 1) 698

by rjh (#49130349) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Terminally Ill - What Wisdom Should I Pass On To My Geek Daughter?

It's commendable that you want to pass on wisdom. But I suspect your daughter isn't going to miss your wisdom anywhere near as much as she's going to miss you. What is it that makes you so uniquely you?

For example: I have some really strong memories associated with science fiction, particularly Poul Anderson's Tau Zero. So I might record myself reading Tau Zero, and whenever I reached a passage that really resonated with me I might go into a long digression about why it resonated with me, and things in my life and history that also strike that same thematic note. By the end of it, she would know not only that I loved Tau Zero, but she'd know a lot more about me and why I loved it and why it spoke to me and why, with only six good months left, I'd choose to spend six hours of it recording it for her.

Wisdom is overrated. It really, truly is. It's valuable but it's not the best thing out there. And I say that as the son of a father who has the keenest mind I've ever known, a guy who has enormous life experience and wisdom and has shared it with me freely throughout my life. If-and-when he goes, I'll miss his wisdom a lot. But I'll miss him more.

The most important gift you have to pass on to your daughter isn't your wisdom. It's you.

Comment: The 3DO Deal that Never Happened (Score 1) 153

by ewhac (#49115139) Attached to: Is Sega the Next Atari?
It was never widely known that Sega of Japan was, for a time, negotiating to merge with/acquire The 3DO Company. Unfortunately, best available information suggests that Trip Hawkins, 3DO's chairman and CEO, wanted too much, and the deal fell through.

As it happens, about three years ago I started doing an irregular series of Let's Play/Drown Out videos on YouTube with my colleage, GammaDev. Both of us are former employees of 3DO, and we covered The Deal that Never Happened in a video about two years ago (seek to 25:12).

Comment: Re:Mostly right. (Score 1) 681

by rjh (#49114401) Attached to: Bill Nye Disses "Regular" Software Writers' Science Knowledge

So where are the perpetual motion machines?

This is a great question. Let me rephrase it: "How can we collect dark energy and convert it into something useful?"

Nobody knows. Nobody knows if it's possible, for that matter. But yes, energy is constantly being pumped into spacetime; that's what's causing the expansion of spacetime. The nature of that energy and its origin (is it produced ex nihilo? Is it leaking in from another universe?) are currently hotly debated within physics.

But again, it's a great question. I wish we had an answer for it! :)

Comment: Re:Mostly right. (Score 1) 681

by rjh (#49114341) Attached to: Bill Nye Disses "Regular" Software Writers' Science Knowledge

Try high-school level details. The basic principles of relativity ("no preferred reference frames; time and space are relative; the speed of light is constant") are taught in high school physics, as are such things as barycenters (although they usually call it the "center of gravity"). The bit about the Uncertainty Principle is college-level physics, but the rest is straight-up high school physics -- and not AP Physics, either.

And if you say the earth goes 'round the sun, you're every bit as wrong as if you say the sun goes 'round the earth. The reason why you're just as wrong is because you're making the same fundamental mistake: you're assuming the existence of a preferred reference frame.

So, in a sense, thanks for proving my points.

You can't have everything... where would you put it? -- Steven Wright