Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:PARC monument (Score 1) 117

by mbkennel (#48207311) Attached to: Xerox Alto Source Code Released To Public
| If the original Macintosh had shipped with a Smalltalk interpreter in ROM, the world would be a hugely different place.

It would have been 2x as expensive and 5x as slow, and a flop.

All the original Mac programs were exceptionally hand-optimized 68000 assembly.

On his NeXT project, Jobs had Objective-C built in, whose object model is nearly Smalltalk, at a time when C++ was the overwhelmingly dominant object-oriented language. And so NeXT had the first major commercial operating system with a serious object-oriented API---and in 1989, programming and using the NeXT was so far ahead of everybody else other than the commercially irrelevant Lisp machines.

So I don't think Jobs was as ignorant as one imagines---he surely heard from people who knew the deep details.

Comment: "general market" computers (Score 1) 117

by mbkennel (#48207193) Attached to: Xerox Alto Source Code Released To Public
meaning that they would be competitive and useful to the commercial and scientific markets simultaneously. IBM was thinking in the monetary sense, which makes sense as a business.

A small embedded CPU in a radiation-hardened box is a 'general purpose computer' by the theoretical definition but nobody would buy one to play games and do the wide variety of tasks a PC does today.

Comment: Re:A better link for the story (Score 1) 565

by mbkennel (#48152845) Attached to: Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project

"Overall, McGuire says the Lockheed design “takes the good parts of a lot of designs.” It includes the high beta configuration, the use of magnetic field lines arranged into linear ring “cusps” to confine the plasma and “the engineering simplicity of an axisymmetric mirror,” he says. The “axisymmetric mirror” is created by positioning zones of high magnetic field near each end of the vessel so that they reflect a significant fraction of plasma particles escaping along the axis of the CFR. “We also have a recirculation that is very similar to a Polywell concept,” he adds, referring to another promising avenue of fusion power research. A Polywell fusion reactor uses electromagnets to generate a magnetic field that traps electrons, creating a negative voltage, which then attract positive ions. The resulting acceleration of the ions toward the negative center results in a collision and fusion. "

The axisymmetric mirrors are obviously the traditional fusion mirror part of it, but there's some other recirculation technology which is the secret sauce.

The Wikipedia page on Polywell reactors describes a difference between "magnetic mirror" and "cusp confinement" mechanisms.

Comment: Re:wow (Score 1) 565

by mbkennel (#48152575) Attached to: Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project

Humans, the species, will biologically survive. That's not an issue.

Human technological civilization, supporting 10 billion people, could collapse with a 98% die-off. That's a big enough catastrophe for me and there's still 200 million left. (Far, far, more than the gorillas.)

And yes, large scale global warming (we are straight on 'worst case scenario') and nuclear war are the most likely potential catastrophes. Fighting over dwindling oil and cool could do it.

Many crops die with excessive night time temperatures.

Comment: It is serious but also concerning (Score 1) 565

by mbkennel (#48152227) Attached to: Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project

It is now asking for partners.

"McGuire said the company had several patents pending for the work and was looking for partners in academia, industry and among government laboratories to advance the work.

Lockheed said it had shown it could complete a design, build and test it in as little as a year, which should produce an operational reactor in 10 years, McGuire said. A small reactor could power a U.S. Navy warship, and eliminate the need for other fuel sources that pose logistical challenges."

If it had something really excellent, they would't be looking for partners. The original deal for Lockheed was to make a reactor to sell to the Navy.

Comment: Re:what if there was a better monetary incentive (Score 1) 144

| For fuck's sake, you can make near $200k by writing shitty PHP right now.

No you can't. My employer hires in what is supposed to be the hottest, and hardest to hire, part of technology, now called "data scientist".

Entry level is about $85-90K in California. And this entry level means, PhD in hard science from a good university, and often a couple of years of postdoc at a major lab. No relocation paid either, local hires only. And there's never been a problem finding a pipeline of very good to brilliant hires.

Comment: the biggest underrepresented group (Score 1) 227


programmers over age 40.

Now the companies have no easy excuse about the 'education pipeline' or any such nonsense, when there are plenty of applicants with both experience, knowledge, and a strong intent and interest.

And yet.....

Somehow this discrimination, which is overt and very deep, doesn't ever matter.

Comment: exactly the problem (Score 1) 352

by mbkennel (#47884963) Attached to: Microsoft Killing Off Windows Phone Brand Name In Favor of Just Windows


Microsoft should be doing everything in its power to make the one brand that people like to be the powerful, single name.

Nokia Lumia Windows Phone 930 ------------> the Nokia.

  "Let me Google it(*) on my Nokia". Metro/Modern/Surface/WinPhone -> NokiaOS. There are NO WINDOWS on the interface!

The next brand down they have is Skype.

Comment: next version of windows (Score 1) 352

by mbkennel (#47884887) Attached to: Microsoft Killing Off Windows Phone Brand Name In Favor of Just Windows
The next version of Windows should be called Windows and actually be Windows and actually improved, and not Surface. That stream will just keep going but nobody likes it.

"Windows" shouldn't be going on phones, tablets, surfaces, anything else that doesn't need to be.

MacOS was hardly as tainted as Windows but Apple didn't say the iPhone was a Mac when it wasn't.

Comment: Abject brand mismanagement (Score 5, Insightful) 352

by mbkennel (#47884149) Attached to: Microsoft Killing Off Windows Phone Brand Name In Favor of Just Windows

Microsoft has not ever understood one thing.

People ***HATE*** "Windows". Windows is associated with work, pain, crazy difficulties, nerds and viruses. The brand name has negative value.

So what does Microsoft do? They double and triple down on fucking *Windows*. They had the opportunity with the Metro to finally make people see Microsoft as going beyond Windows. "No this isn't Windows any more, it's not supposed to be Windows, and that's OK. We're more than Windows, so try it on its own terms".

And now with phones they kill the one name, Nokia, which people did have a good association with, in favor of a nothingburger which might as well be a suppository name.

Comment: Re:Science creates understanding of a real world. (Score 2) 770

by mbkennel (#47854227) Attached to: How Scientific Consensus Has Gotten a Bad Reputation
Here's a great example. It's just denialism.

| The problem with the AGW consensus is that prediction has yet to coincide with observed reality. The Solar cycles hypothesis do coincide.

That's simply empirically false.

http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/

| Once folks start actually (or accidentally) start "performing" science and investigate all possible theories instead of FOTM (or FOT decade) we might get greater clarity. As soon as we start to remove lies from reports, get equal peer review time and otherwise move away from irrational religious science and get back to hard science we will be much better off.

You imagine hard science hasn't been going on and there are "lies from reports". It's just not true. Many physical drivers, including solar influence (which IS included in every serious analysis).

This has been a field of serious study for 50 years. Roger Revelle wrote in a report to Lyndon Johnson about various environmental issues that he estimated the effect from increased greenhouse gases would be visible by 2000.

Comment: Re:Science creates understanding of a real world. (Score 1) 770

by mbkennel (#47854165) Attached to: How Scientific Consensus Has Gotten a Bad Reputation
| But that too is reviled but the same advocates of AGW.

Firstly, scientists are an 'advocate' for global warming the way a physician is an 'advocate' for cancer.

Secondly, the intersection between actual scientists on global warming and "anti-nuclear activists" is far from 100%.

What' happening in Germany is a crime. For a supposedly mature and intelligent country, what they're doing is making solar and wind compete with nuclear. The empirical result is that coal burning & CO2 is staying the same or increasing, and expensively nuclear is going down and solar up.

Serving coffee on aircraft causes turbulence.

Working...