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Comment Re:The difference... (Score 1) 97

This isn't a PC, it's a device, you can use it to make things. This is about the pleasure of soldering, gluing, painting and programming a little Python to make something cool.

Tiny, very cheap, very powerful (relatively) things like this make all kinds of projects trivial. For example, with my kids I put a motion sensor and a loudspeaker on an old r-pi, put it in a chinese takeaway box, painted it like a robot head, and installed it in the downstairs toilet. Now bogbot says disrespectful things to visitors in a Stephen Hawking voice when they are on the job. Very childish, but great fun, and my kids have (mostly) written the code for it.

Comment Re:Is this the un"adjusted" raw data? (Score 1) 310

I don't think that's true. There are rewards for following the crowd, but there are much greater rewards for coming up with something new.

This is how academic careers are made: 1) bright young thing comes up with a clever new idea (plus supporting evidence, of course) that cuts off their teacher's work at the knees, 2) gets it in a good journal (journals are eager to be the first to publish an exciting new idea, though also wary of looking foolish, hence the need for evidence), 3) is offered a post at a research institute to push their idea, 4) attracts a group of co-researchers, pulls in grant money ... 5) successful academic. This is not uncommon, this is how every head of department in every field got their job. Medical research (my field) operates exactly like this and, judging by the state of modern medicine, more or less works.

AGW has been talked about for 120 years and has been a topic of serious research for more than 50. In all that time, not one bright young thing has been able to come up with a serious alternative explanation for our observed rising CO2 and observed rising temperatures.

Science is never finally settled, of course, but it's looking like AGW has, like tobacco-cancer, tipped over from a likely hypothesis to as-good-as-proved.

I understand many people have a very strong dislike of things like carbon taxes. But attacking the science is probably a dead-end --- in my opinion, opponents would do better to shift their focus to the political question of whether carbon taxes would be effective or even necessary. Leave the hard-working scientists alone.

Comment Re:c++? (Score 2) 407

I'm not sure that's really fair to Obj-C. Another way to explain the differences would be to say that Obj-C comes from the Smalltalk family of OO languages and C++ comes from Simula.

Smalltalk-family languages (eg. also Ruby, Swift, etc.) have late binding: you can join up things at runtime. This is great for GUIs, many common patterns become far easier. Simula-family languages are much more rigid. Almost everything is known at compile-time, so it's safer, but the rigidity makes some things harder to implement.

Writing a GUI in plain C++ is very painful, so all toolkits (that I can think of) add a late binding mechanism. Qt, for example, has signals and slots. Seen from this angle, Obj-C is something like Qt, but with the signal/slot mechanism made part of the core language and syntax.

Comment Re:just want I wanted! (Score 2) 307

The r-pi has an accelerated desktop now, thank goodness. It was all software on a dumb frame buffer at launch, but those days are far behind us.

Who knows, maybe Wayland support will come soon, we can hope.

a href="http://www.raspberrypi.org/preview-the-upcoming-maynard-desktop/">http://www.raspberrypi.org/preview-the-upcoming-maynard-desktop/

Comment Lawrence Lessig on this (Score 3, Informative) 495

Pre-2000, the US had "open access", meaning that cable owners had to sell use of their infrastructure. This made it relatively easy for startup ISPs to enter the market: every time you sign up a customer, you just need to buy time on the extra bit of cable you need to serve that person. Almost every country in the world uses this regulatory model.

Under intense pressure from lobbyists the US changed to a closed model in 2000. Now cable owners are also ISPs and have exclusive rights to the bits of wire they own. There are only a few ISPs, it's very, very expensive for anyone else to enter the market, and they can charge what they like, not only to customers, but upstream as well, as we're now seeing.

tl;dr: this is a failure of regulation.

Lessig talking about this:

http://blip.tv/lessig/america-s-broadband-policy-3505079

Comment It's lightfield, it is holography (sorta) (Score 4, Informative) 171

It's not using simple stereo screens, they have lightfield projectors:

Project HoloLens is built, fittingly enough, around a set of holographic lenses. Each lens has three layers of glassâ"in blue, green, and redâ"full of microthin corrugated grooves that diffract light. There are multiple cameras at the front and sides of the device that do everything from head tracking to video capture. And it can see far and wide: The field of view spans 120 degrees by 120 degrees, significantly bigger than that of the Kinect camera. A âoelight engineâ above the lenses projects light into the glasses, where it hits the grating and then volleys between the layers of glass millions of times. That process, along with input from the device's myriad sensors, tricks the eye into perceiving the image as existing in the world beyond the lenses.

http://www.wired.com/2015/01/microsoft-nadella/

They track eye movement and adjust for that as well. I think you need the lightfield stuff so that the eye if forced to adapt focus for different distances, it's a depth cue that Oculus don't have.

It'll be interesting to see what frame rate and latency they achieve. It sounds like they have a lot of hardware in the headset, so it could be quite good. Plus they only need to render the bit right in the centre of the field of view at high quality.

Comment Re:Why don't they ever try to "link" good stuff? (Score 2) 222

The temperature graph in that article is not very useful. It ends in 1850, before most of the modern warming, and in any case it's only the temperature for Greenland, it's not global temperature.

The Wikipedia page on Paleoclimatology is probably better:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleoclimatology

They have this graph for the global temperature for the last 10,000 years:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleoclimatology#mediaviewer/File:Holocene_Temperature_Variations.png

Comment Re:Too weak because humans are not the cause (Score 1) 145

I think all the solar activity graphs look like that, they are based on the same satellite data. For example:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0d/Solar-cycle-data.png

How can increased solar activity be causing global warming if solar activity is not increasing? Isn't it more likely that the huge increase in CO2, a strongly-warming gas, is the cause?

Comment Re:Too weak because humans are not the cause (Score 1) 145

HadCRUT goes back a little further, 1850:

http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/HadCRUT4.pdf

There aren't sufficient historical records to go back much further with direct measurement. You have to start relying on proxies, like tree measurements and ice cores.

"The identical is equal to itself, since it is different." -- Franco Spisani

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