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Comment: digital can still be SLOWER (Score 1) 261

it seems like for most people, digital reading is fine when it's just "straight ahead" fiction reading. you're approaching the material linearly and with the exception of a couple of flip backs every now and again, you're just going from start to finish one page at a time. i read almost all my novels like this.

it's really different if you're reading a textbook or manual where you might have to access information in a wide variety of places at any moment. in such cases, books tend to be better and faster because you can go immediately to any page that you've dog eared or even by pure muscle memory remember about where it is relative to the thickness of the book. and page flips are instant. try flipping 25 pages with a book looking for information and then doing the same on a kindle. screen refresh on e-paper is still VASTLY inferior to a moist thumb. even in this day, there's all kinds of inexplicable delays in just going to page 124 on digital vs on paper. paper really is superior for instantly going to any page and the interface for doing that is faaaaaaaar better with paper.

there are ways to get close to this speed on a pc or a laptop but only by really changing up the paradigm of how one searches a book for information - i.e. not flipping pages looking but explicitly using the search function. and in any case where you would be looking through the glossary, digital would be better and faster.

not to mention that taking notes on the book pages itself is better and faster in analog. lots of apps where you CAN do this... but none of them are as fast as hiliter and pen in hand.

for learning things like programming, or a graphics program or even the dungeon master's guide, if i could choose only one medium, i prefer paper books with pens and sticky notes and hiliters. ideally though, i'd have both.

Comment: i would love it if it were true (Score 1) 212

by jinchoung (#48911285) Attached to: Why Coding Is Not the New Literacy

i really wish reading and writing code were like literacy.

i've been circling coding for a looooong time and i can do some scripting in maya mel but even there, it's on the order of copying and pasting and writing some connective tissue to make things work.

the problem that i've found is that it's not like literacy where you pick a language and you learn the syntax. that would be GREAT if that were true. but in modern programming, it's also like you have to start learning neurology, biology and psychology at the same time. there is just a tremendous amount of infrastructure whether it's libraries, APIs or different OSs and there's a whole host of just simple questions that would illuminate the "lay of the land" that remain mysteries to me.

it feels like it's something that would have been within grasp back in the c64 days but nowadays, it feels like there's simply too many layers.

perhaps i can get good enough to write programs that input and output to the console....

Comment: Re:Not so fast, Thermodynamic laws are pesky thing (Score 1) 174

by jinchoung (#46776977) Attached to: 'Thermoelectrics' Could One Day Power Cars

why is waste heat "garbage"?

are you denying that there is such a thing? that we are currently actively cooling parts and attaching heat sinks and radiators for merely decorative purposes?

and if waste heat is an actual phenomenon... why NOT harvest energy from it? complexity is low with no moving parts. price is currently high but as with most things, that can come down with research.

so waste heat exists. power can be harvested.

i don't see what the point of your tirade is.

Comment: with real internet, you don't GO anywhere (Score 1) 38

by jinchoung (#46432819) Attached to: New VR Game Makes You a "Hollywood Hacker"

i think this is the most misleading thing about cyberpunk and hollywood hacking tropes... that there is a cyberspace that actually exists in some allegorical way and that a user's avatar can actually "travel" from point to point looking upon and travel to floating pyramids of information. that analogy is totally wrong.

the far more accurate analogy is simply making telephone calls. if you are anywhere at all, you are right smack dab, ass down in chair in front of your computer. and your computer itself doesn't ever travel anywhere. all it is doing is sending and receiving messages. sure, you're getting messages from different nodes but that's just like receiving lots of phone calls from different people.

you can surreptitiously send messages that cause unexpected behavior or make a call under an assumed identity... but ultimately, all hacking is about sending and receiving messages...

and it's amusing how far hollywood and narrative fiction has to go to make that seem dramatically interesting.

Comment: bitcoin is not independent and that's a problem (Score 1) 631

by jinchoung (#46352863) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Do You Still Trust Bitcoin?

its value is pegged to "real" money.

if it never or rarely converted to government backed cash, then it is viable. goods and services for bitcoins. that's a closed loop system that can be completely independent of all the players its purporting to avoid.

but since people are buying into and cashing out and even SPECULATING with real currency, then you have an achilles heel.

the point at which conversion happens IS regulated and guarded by government players and is actually and IDEAL place for governments to actually sabotage the entire endeavor if they wanted to.

so until bitcoins slash any and all ties with real currencies and certainly until it loses all DEPENDENCE on them, they are just a new forex player that is highly unstable and insecure.

Comment: re: birthday problem (Score 1) 166

by jinchoung (#46274341) Attached to: Why Improbable Things Really Aren't

one thing to remember about the birthday problem is that in a given classroom or other populated gathering, it's very likely that two people will have the same birthday... BUT... it says nothing about the possibility of any two people having any PARTICULAR birthday. so as long as you don't care what the date is, yes, two people will more than likely have one in common. but the odds that anyone will have a particular one or one that is the same as yours - those are still pretty big odds against.

Comment: happily, this is almost as true of govs & spy (Score 1) 299

by jinchoung (#46207477) Attached to: Online, You're Being Watched At All Times; Act Accordingly.

thanks to the likes of snowden and wikileaks...

actually, it's long been historically understood that secrets have a short shelf life and have a tendency to proliferate sooner or later. moreso in the internetted era.

ellsberg wasn't the first and snowden won't be the last. govs have their asses blowing in the wind too and that provides a nice little incentive to keep their goddamn motherfucking noses clean. it's nice that they've been recently reminded of that.

the fact of gov activity as well as the work product is more or less guaranteed to be wide-banded at some point can serve as a protection where civil rights fail us. as in the cold war, the thing that keeps us safe is MAD... mutually assured destruction... sure you COULD use the breadth and depth to spy on kate upton's auto erotic escapades but that just means that at some point, that fact and the titillating surveillance itself will fall into the public some day. if you have a system composed of human beings, you're gonna have leaks.

eventually, it will be that stalemate that saves us... the fact that gov or private citizen, anyone can spy on anyone else but the fact that all activity and all resulting data will be public information at some point will enforce restraint.

actually, i think that MAD is the only thing that really works in this world. mexican stand-offs for all. because human beings are fucking dicks and the only thing keeping us from ass raping others is a gigantic, barbed wired cock poise at our own back doors.


Comment: mystifying... why? (Score 4, Insightful) 249

by jinchoung (#46181263) Attached to: Wozniak To Apple: Consider Building an Android Phone

android provides two things:

- free, ready to go OS
- app ecosystem

apple already has both. using their existing OS incurs no additional cost. and it is a framework that they already know how to work around.

even if they wanted to make a dirt cheap phone based off of an iphone 3gs, it would be a matter of making hardware that would fit the bill as secondary market product. they ALREADY HAVE the os and ecosystem.

so WHY... in the WORLD... would apple do that? why in the world would woz say that?

and i come at this as a pc user with an android phone... this is truly mystifying.

The decision doesn't have to be logical; it was unanimous.