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Comment: Re:He's right - Android is eating iOS's lunch (Score 0) 692

by mblase (#44555951) Attached to: Larry Ellison Believes Apple Is Doomed

OK, I'll bite. Without using brand names, please tell me what you can do (e.g., use cases) with an iOS device that you can't do with an Android device of equal or lessor price?

I can give an iPod or iPhone to my kids and trust that they're not going to download any malware or spyware or SMS-overcharging trojans onto it.

All other things being equal, the inherent security of the iOS ecosystem is leaps and bounds better than anything Android is even capable of coming up with.

Comment: Re:sick of windows at work (Score 2) 251

by mblase (#44437281) Attached to: Early Surface Sales Pitiful

OSX isn't competing with Surface, per se, and OSX may be a POSIX compliant system, but why does Apple do things like make Safari non-compliant with regard to standards like the W3? One web site I worked on had the worst rendering with Safari. I mean, almost useless W3 non-comliance. We had to develop a plug-in to deal with some of our stuff. Firefox, IE? No issues. We could use the stock browser components.

What website would that be? I prefer to do my testing in WebKit browsers, personally.

Comment: Hate the artist, love the art (Score 1) 1448

by mblase (#44237217) Attached to: Orson Scott Card Pleads 'Tolerance' For <em>Ender's Game</em> Movie

My mom is a huge opera fan, and my brother goes along with her often when he can. It's not my thing, but I respect the history of the art form and I don't hate the music.

As a German-American family, perhaps, they're especially fond of the Ring Cycle. When they get a chance, they buy tickets to all four productions and go see them one after the other.

This is despite the fact that everybody who knows anything about opera knows that Wagner was a *huge* anti-Semite.

They both know this, and reject his point of view. But that doesn't stop the music from being great.

Now, it's a bit different when the artist is still alive and making money off his work, I'll grant you. But all the same, I have a hard time judging Card's work based on his personal points of view.

Yes, his Mormon-influenced views about people marrying young and as virgins and then having at least three to five children are a prominent influence on his plots. But I don't remember seeing anything anti-gay in his stories, either. He seems to keep that in a separate compartment from his creative life.

I'll go to see the movie, and judge it based on its own merits.

Comment: Re:Hypocrite (Score 1) 447

by mblase (#44164941) Attached to: Edward Snowden Files For Political Asylum In Russia

But it's not a hypocritical act to sacrifice yourself so that others may have greater freedom.

If he was sacrificing himself, he would have stayed in the USA after distributing all the documents he'd stolen and proudly stood trial for what he'd done.

Instead, he ran for it. And now he's having to deal with the unfortunate reality that most countries aren't going to stick their neck out to protect him from the United States if there's nothing to be gained.

Comment: "Everyone has the right..." (Score 1) 447

by mblase (#44164903) Attached to: Edward Snowden Files For Political Asylum In Russia

"Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution." That's not the same as saying that other countries are obligated to grant you asylum.

Also, I'm personally not sure if this is a "case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes". Theft of classified government data does not, in my opinion, qualify as a political crime.

Comment: Re:It wont do much, but at least register interest (Score 1) 955

by mblase (#43960457) Attached to: USA Calling For the Extradition of Snowden

That would be actually reasonably smooth move by Obama if he wishes to temper the wrath of his own party. But it's completely absurd to imagine that it's the petition that would make him change his mind. Still, if you're into such things...

I liked it better when the trolls were subtle.

Comment: Re:Oh dear (Score 5, Insightful) 656

by mblase (#43875099) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Important Is Advanced Math In a CS Degree?

"Good at computers" ?

you should put that on your résumé.

That was about my reaction.

Long bio short: I was *great* in math in high school, pretty good at calculus, but differential equations and their non-algorithmic problem solving methods just confused the heck out of me. (In hindsight, I should have asked my teachers for more help.) At the end of my freshman year I was introduced to NCSA Mosaic and then Netscape 0.9, started teaching myself HTML and, later, JavaScript, and got a job coding web sites. I still do that.

I took to programming so well, I wished I'd tried it sooner. Turns out that programs and math proofs use the same sort of abstract logic -- get from point A to point B using these pieces.

I always liked computers, but I don't suppose I'd describe myself as "good with computers." That means USING software, not WRITING it. Writing software requires judicious applications of logic and optimization, with varying levels of analysis and computation sprinkled in.

And the further you get in programming, the more advanced math you need. Graphics? Uses trigonometry. Animation? Matrix algebra. You probably won't need calculus or differential equations unless you're actually doing engineering, but how do you know at this point that you won't?

Heck, my state university wouldn't even let me get a CompSci minor without passing a class in circuit design, and you'd better believe I needed to know algebra when designing a binary multiplier.

My point is this: computer science IS math, just with a different vocabulary. Being a CS major because you're "good with computers" is like being an auto mechanic because you're "good at driving".

Math isn't about numbers, it's about logic and problem solving, and computer science is even more so. If you can't even find something to enjoy about simple algebra, then with all due respect, you're in the wrong field.

Comment: B5 learning experience? (Score 3, Interesting) 215

by mblase (#43403685) Attached to: Interviews: Ask J. Michael Straczynski What You Will

What would you say are the most valuable things you took away from your experience as creator/head writer of "Babylon 5"? In particular, the effort to create a single, long-running storyline over five seasons? Do you think you could have done things differently to avoid the issues with actors leaving mid-show and the network threatening to cancel the final season?

To err is human -- to blame it on a computer is even more so.