That's just freaky, I just finished re-reading "Cryptonomicon" by Neal Stephenson last night and this story pops up.
-- You're quite right though, there's no escaping the fact that he wasn't really Herbert's baron.
But when I saw the movie, Lynch's Dune, my reaction to Baron Harkonnen was visceral and emotional. Lynch did a fantastic job of communicating in just a few scenes how morally bankrupt and, not to put too fine a point on it, Eveeell, the Baron was. THAT was totally consistent with Herbert's books, the Harkonnen name was still a shorthand for degeneracy thousands of years later.
For me it was the movie and then the books. The tone and feeling of the books made it to the screen in Lynch's version. These were totally absent from the modern movie versions (I was so pissed at it, I started yelling at the screen after 5 minutes and had to stop watching after 10).
The sonic doo-hickey was a movie shorthand for Paul's (via his mother and superior trainers) martial skill. Plus, it looked good.
I don't fault Lynch, he did a good job of converting a very dense book to the screen and delivering enough emotional impact that I read the books and am still talking about them 25 years later.
Culture DOES vary from company to company, department to department. A culture is defined by a bunch of things: what behaviors are rewarded, relationship between employees and managers, relationship between employees, where is the focus (outside innovation and productivity or inside atmosphere and procedures?). There is no single 'correct' culture for developers, it really comes down to what kind of culture the developer wants to work in. Some developers want innovation and creativity to be the focus, some want to have structure and order. Some developers enjoy work because they like their coworkers, some are competitive and are in it for the recognition and rewards.
I work for a psychological test development company and we have done a lot of research on this very topic. Success is based on the "fit" between the person and the position. There is no one-size-fits-all position, just as there is no one type of developer.
Being faster? That's just cheating. On reading the headline, I thought they had developed an algorithm that predicted your next move, which would have been much more impressive. You DO get a ~40% improved chance of winning with this strategy:
When your opponent loses, his next move will be to beat whatever your move was on that round.
move 1) opp: rock you: paper # opponent loses to paper, so his next move will be to win over paper
move 2) opp: scissors you: rock # opponent loses to rock, so his next move will be to win over rock
move 3) opp: paper you: scissors # opponent loses to scissors, so his next move will be to win over scissors
It's self-reinforcing because after losing several throws in a row, opp becomes frustrated and less analytical, making it harder for them to see the pattern they are developing.
But that isn't absolute prediction, that's just playing on your opponent's human instinct. The robot hand isn't predicting anything.
Fiction comes to life?
In the Baroque Cycle, the background story is all about a special, heavy form of gold with magical powers.
Farmville is worth more than EA like AOL was worth more than Time-Warner.
. . . it's not.
This reads more like a commercial than an article for Slashdot.
What's up with that?
Or am I simply not seeing the big picture here?
i wonder what you plug into your computer....
o Sony Bloggie
o Nokia N96 - and it was able to connect to the internet through that phone with no additional installed anything in the Netherlands
o Wife's iPhone
o a drawer full of mp3/mp4 players and cameras
I didn't catch the repeated 'plug into' theme until after I had posted.
I prefer Linux to Windows and OS X. Everything I plug into my computer just works or the software to make it work is just a few clicks away. The interface is pretty and both my new laptop and older desktop are still snappy and reactive after years of service (Windows just tends to get slower and slower, even with a reinstall). The whole mac needs to be replaced seemingly every 6 months because Apple came out with a new whiz-bang piece of hardeware. I need to reboot the windows computers in my office often because they are constantly losing the thread and locking up or forgetting where the USB mouse is or flipping the keyboard layout setting to 'UK' for no apparent reason whenever a user's back is turned. The Macs do strange and mysterious things with files and are (I'll say it out loud) NOT intuitive at all.
In the last month in a relatively hertergenous environment, I have spent roughly 95% of my user support time on windows and mac issues. It's not because my users don't know what they are doing, it's just that the os they are using is failing them.
Even esoteric and weird things I plug into my laptop are recognized by Ubuntu. This isn't 'It just works'. This is 'It works really well and intuitively'.
The prospect of programming on an Ipad is laughable and while toting a netbook to a user convention is more reasonable that lugging around a laptop, I would go blind in a week and develop severe spinal injuries if I was forced to do actual work on one of them.
Laptops and desktops will go away when computers can read our minds. Until that happens, I will keep using and recommending Ubuntu, because it works really well and intuitively.
This was almost attempted in the early 70's. Look up the "Hartman Value Profile". It was shot down in flames, I guess the concept of Civil Rights has changed a bit since then . . .