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Comment: Re:So... (Score 1) 100

by TheRaven64 (#48671595) Attached to: App Gives You Free Ebooks of Your Paperbacks When You Take a "Shelfie"
They only give you the free copy for the photo of the cover for public domain books. If you want to read these, install FBReader (which has a nice search interface for various online collections) and don't waste time with this app. To get copies of in-copyright books, you need to deface the copyright page. If you can do that in a book shop without having to buy the book, then you live somewhere with very tolerant shopkeepers...

Comment: Re:I'm the app's developer. Happy to answer questi (Score 2) 100

by TheRaven64 (#48671583) Attached to: App Gives You Free Ebooks of Your Paperbacks When You Take a "Shelfie"
I already have an app that catalogues the books I own by reading the bar code (which contains the ISBN in most cases). It takes a couple of seconds on my cheap phone (Moto G) to scan each bar code - it takes longer to look them up in a DB. Why would I want to use an app that relies on being able to recognise a cover, which is both more computationally expensive and less reliable (several of the books I own have had a dozen or so different covers for different printings - try looking at all of the covers an Agatha Christie novel has had over the years sometime)?

To claim an eligible title you have to take a picture of your name written onto the book's copyright page

Ah, so I have to deface my books and take two pictures (one of the copyright page, one of the cover)? No thanks.

Comment: Re:*sips pabst* (Score 1) 329

by TheRaven64 (#48667379) Attached to: Ars: Final Hobbit Movie Is 'Soulless End' To 'Flawed' Trilogy

What crucial plot point did Tom Bombodil advance

He emphasised how parochial the Hobbits' world view was and he gave them the weapons that they'd carry for the rest of the book. The choice of the weapons and his explanation helped establish the individual characters of the hobbits.

I agreed with his decision to trim unnecessary storyline fat, and focus more on action.

In the first movie, the storyline is basically 'run, fight, run fight, run fight'. Anything that might be considered character development is cut. The novels have a lot of description and this is turned in the films into very slow shots of impressive visuals, which could equally be backdrop while things that actually advance the plot take place. Instead, Jackson focusses on impressive scenes of New Zealand and long tech demos for the Massive Engine. Plot takes very much a back seat.

Comment: Re:Anonymity on the Internet - Really Necessary? (Score 1) 87

by TheRaven64 (#48666263) Attached to: TripAdvisor Fined In Italy For Fake Reviews
Pseudonymity would be enough. You don't need to know what the identity of the reviewer is, you just need to know what other reviews he or she has written and how accurate those were. Reputation needs to be linked to an identity, but there's no problem with an individual having multiple identities.

Comment: Re:Devil's Advocate says... (Score 2) 87

by TheRaven64 (#48666249) Attached to: TripAdvisor Fined In Italy For Fake Reviews
Does TripAdvisor have any kind of reputation system? I want to see reviews by people that have written other reviews that people have found helpful and confirmed by their own experiences in preference to reviews that someone who just created an account specifically to write a shill review wrote.

Comment: Re:As always, looking at this wrong. (Score 2) 208

by TheRaven64 (#48665815) Attached to: Tech's Gender Gap Started At Stanford

I'm responsible for computer science admissions at an all-women college in Cambridge. I don't yet gave the figures for this year, but in the most recent year that I do have statistics for male computer science applicants had around a 15% acceptance rate, female applicants had around a 20% acceptance rate over the entire university. In spite of this, only 14% of our total admissions for CompSci were women. You can see the whole figures here. The women that we admit are not clustered anywhere particularly on the bell curve, so we're not bumping up the ratio by letting in inferior female candidates - we're just not seeing many women apply.

These numbers are even worse if you discount international students. The vast majority of women who make it to the interview stage are from outside of the UK. If you only count international students, then the gender ratios are more equal. To me, this means that there's something cultural in the UK (and, from what I've seen, the US) that isn't happening elsewhere, which puts women off computer science before they even get to university applications.

In some countries, the pressure is in the opposite direction. If you work in any computing-related discipline, you've probably worked with some extremely competent Iranian women (unless you work at a company like Google that refuses to hire anyone from Iran). If Iranian women want to pursue further education, they have a choice of engineering or medicine, but medicine in a country with a strong patriarchal ethos doesn't lead to many career paths (no one trusts a woman doctor), so they go to engineering. Within engineering, they have the choice of computer science or something that involves working in a factory, so most of them go into computer science. And then they graduate and realise that the job market looks much better abroad and that they have marketable skills, so they leave.

It's not something that has a quick fix, but it really needs to start in primary schools. It's easy to put young children off a career path very early on and very hard to fix it later.

Comment: Re:*sips pabst* (Score 1) 329

by TheRaven64 (#48665761) Attached to: Ars: Final Hobbit Movie Is 'Soulless End' To 'Flawed' Trilogy

Jackson had already shown quite a lot of restraint and faithfulness in his acclaimed LotR adaptation

Really? Because the review comments in TFS pretty much sum up how I felt about his LotR. The second part was the only film where I have ever fallen asleep in the cinema: During one of the big battles, where he was once again showing off what the Massive Engine can do, and not bothering to tell a story. After that, his complete recharacterisation of Farimir as being just like Boromir (rather than as the person that Boromir should have been) meant that I didn't even bother watching the third part. He could easily have cut some of the effects extravaganzas and kept Tom Bombodil in the first one, but he decided that he really wanted to show massive battles and skip on the plot (but introduce subplots that were not in the novel and didn't add anything to the story).

I have never seen anything fill up a vacuum so fast and still suck. -- Rob Pike, on X.