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Comment: Re:Good news (Score 1) 422

by ndykman (#48887157) Attached to: Disney Turned Down George Lucas's Star Wars Scripts

All too human? What? Nope, not even. They were cookie cutter flat characters that were completely devoid of any emotional reality. I've seen more chemistry between two rocks in a photo than Anakin and Padme in the movies. And there are so many examples of "WTF, people don't do that" "Hey, the person I'm supposed to marry later on and really cares about me, I just killed a entire village because my mom." The reaction wasn't: "Okay" (slowly walks away) "Hello, Jedi hotline, um, yea, one of your students just went completely bat shit serial killer. Please come fix it." No, it's "I get it". Nope, not even close.

Don't watch this, Obi Wan, it'll be hard to watch. Nope. The correct answer: Holy shit this is, kill this @#$@%$% we must.

I'm going to arrest you after you tried to kill me repeatedly to cover a plot to destroy our government? Nope. You are a solider, is why you have a sword, you enter battle, two come in, one comes out.

Okay, the person that tried to assert that guy died, but we have another shot. What do you do? Stride into the room and have a bullshit conversation? Nope. You go Leon, the Professional, cut the lights, drop out of the ceiling and kill that guy with piano wire. Why, because you are an organization that is tasked with keeping this Force thing from going ape-shit nuts, you don't get to play the moral high ground all the time. You learn to kick ass and you have to do it.

Again, the prequels sucked. The original movies aren't great, but they are a cultural artifact that impacted a lot of people. But, Lucas isn't not a good script writer. Period. Sorry.

Comment: Hum.... (Score 1) 570

by ndykman (#48867713) Attached to: Microsoft Reveals Windows 10 Will Be a Free Upgrade

I wonder if the days of selling Windows are over. Sure, at the worst, it could be a subscription service, but it could be that Microsoft realizes that on the consumer side, people just get the OS on their PC. Or, they are hoping enough people will get back on board with Windows and they can sell Windows 11 when it comes out.

On the enterprise side, businesses already have licensing, so they are already on the subscription model.

Anyway, I'm more interested in what you can turn off and opt out of. For example. Cortana is built into Windows 10. I have no interest in talking to my computer. But, Cortana has a typing mode (this is great). However, some people will want to opt out of the tracking and data that it does.

However, looking at the live event, Windows 10 finally looks completely sane. The "break it, fix it" pattern that they established with Vista seems to be in place here too.

And HoloLens? That's just some geeky bling right there.

Comment: Re:Paradox (Score 1) 200

So, equip them. Provide incentives to bring faculty in at competitive rates. I'd be thrilled to teach at community college. I have extensive experience and an advanced degree, but there's little room for growth right now.

Of course, you are correct in that the industry wants nothing to do with developing talent, so we would have a problem that even people with good fundamentals can't get work.

However, it'd be great if computing was a minor or an AA degree that people used as a starting point for other degrees. Imagine if the people you worked with all had a basic understanding of coding and software development. It'd be a boon to projects. Also, the logical thinking skills do just have value on their own.

Comment: Re:This tired old saw again. (Score 1) 755

by ndykman (#48701193) Attached to: Science Cannot Prove the Existence of God

Um, there's quite a bit of evidence that Jesus did exist. Some recent archeological finds found some additional Roman correspondence that mentions him and his followers. Alongside the early gospels and other evidence, historians widely accept that he was a historical figure. Of course, what he actually did, we can't know, and there's plenty of explanation of some of the stories. For example, there is more evidence freeing people being crucified was actually more common than believed (families pooling resources to free and relocate them).

Comment: Re:Why bother? (Score 1) 421

by ndykman (#48644969) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is an Open Source<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.NET Up To the Job?

Performance is a tricky issue, but .Net does the same options as Java does in terms of dynamic optimizations. Also, the platform allows for pre-compilation of assemblies, which can really add to performance if used correctly (again, startup and memory performance). And .Net Native seems to be promising in some cases (potential for POGO based optimization), but it's in preview, so we have to see how it really plays out.

It's true that the Ruby and Python versions that run onto of .Net have stalled. There is a version of Scheme that runs on it. Basically, both the CLR and the JVM are fine virtual machines.

I can't speak to the ethical objections. For me personally, the technology works and Microsoft is not the same company it was in terms of power. Frankly, Microsoft at its worst in the day never bothered me as much as Apple and even Google now. I can still put together a great computer out of parts, and like it or not, Microsoft did play a role in making that market. It's good that Linux, etc came along and provided choices, but if the Apple model had prevailed, I think technology would not be as far along. But it's impossible to say what if.

Comment: Because it works... (Score 1) 217

by ndykman (#48620353) Attached to: What Will Microsoft's "Embrace" of Open Source Actually Achieve?

It's not hard. They want .Net to gain more traction as a development platform. There's enough people that are contributing to things like ASP .Net MVC and Entity Framework to make it useful for them. Also, there were open source projects that have helped them a ton (NuGet) and they realize that it works for them in some cases. Also, I think they sense that there is an opportunity for .Net to become the "goto" enterprise development platform. Oracle's handling of Java is creating a space for a new player to come along. Oh, and all that .Net stuff will run great on Azure.

Azure is the big thing internally, and they know they have to run open source platforms on it. There is a shift in the Enterprise group to get away from a "captive" market to just trying to compete on features and to make a compelling platform, which Windows Server, .Net, etc. really is becoming.

Now, there's some things that just don't make sense to do. Open source Office makes little sense, as I doubt there'd be any real interest in contributing to that code base. Same with Windows. So, of course, it's a self-serving, pragmatic approach versus an ideological change on how software should be created and supported.

Comment: It is an end of a era... (Score 4, Interesting) 156

by ndykman (#48613001) Attached to: Dr. Dobb's 38-Year Run Comes To an End

Can't think of any one source that had the breadth and depth of Dr. Dobb's. Always look forward to when it came in the mail back in the day, because I knew that I'd always would learn something.

Seriously, I hope they can find funding or start a project to ensure their archive exists and is available to all. It'd be a unique contribution to computing history.

Comment: Re:Is it true... (Score 1) 355

by ndykman (#48509991) Attached to: James Watson's Nobel Prize Goes On Auction This Week
It's funny, but the very source you point to notes that the best explanation of those gaps are factors like poverty and environment. Surprise, people that are hungry, suffering from disease and have no access to modern education tend to do worse on standardized tests of intelligence. There's plenty of research in the area, but it all revolves around environmental factors. From a genetic standpoint, the variances in "races" is so small that it's impact on something as complex as a intelligence as Spearman's g is just noise. Also, there is a much better explanation of the gap in performance between races. Stereotype threat. It can be reproduced in any population, and study show that it can account for all the gap in performance in standardized tests. It's simple to do. Create a reminder that a group is expected to do worse on a test, and they will do worse because their are trying to compensate. The book Choke: What the Secrets of the Brain Reveal About Getting It Right When You Have To is a great summary of the work in this area.

Comment: Oh, look at me, I'm such a great manager... (Score 1) 74

by ndykman (#48500069) Attached to: How the FCC CIO Plans To Modernize 207 Legacy IT Systems

I can apply buzzwords and promote synergies by empowering individuals to maximize their unique contributions. My team even volunteered overtime during the holiday season, because they were so positive about our project. It wasn't because they were afraid they would be pushed out of their jobs by a CIO whose eager to ship everything he can out of house.

I guess he did okay at the CDC and hey, if it saves money, great, but who cares. Just do your job already. I'm sure the pay scale isn't that bad and the benefits are pretty awesome.

Comment: Re:the skeptic is ... who? (Score 1) 29

by ndykman (#48468891) Attached to: NSF Commits $16M To Build Cloud-Based and Data-Intensive Supercomputers

When compared to the broad consensus of science, yes. Belief doesn't enter into it, the research is done. Global warming is an established fact. And not just by one paper, but by repeated, peer reviewed research. Even early skeptics in climate modeling have come to the same conclusions.

I hesitate to call him or others skeptical, as it suggests there is really any room for doubt. There really isn't. The core findings about global warming are established. Covering our ears and shouting "it's not true" won't change a thing.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve immortality through not dying. -- Woody Allen