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Comment: What about the Turing Award winners? (Score 4, Interesting) 109

by tgeller (#47942153) Attached to: Microsoft Lays Off 2,100, Axes Silicon Valley Research
Microsoft's Pear Street office across the street houses at least two ACM A.M. Turing Award winners: Leslie Lamport and Chuck Thacker (http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/news/features/lamport-031814.aspx). I wonder what the company will do with them, if anything....

(I had the honor of interviewing Dr. Lamport when he won: See http://vimeo.com/95177539 . Nice guy!)

Comment: Some people *do* pay for jobs, and quite rightly (Score 1, Interesting) 183

by tgeller (#47932107) Attached to: Use of Forced Labor "Systemic" In Malaysian IT Manufacturing
I'm disappointed by the many people (all Americans, as far as I can tell) who post here to say, "fuck no! I'd never be so stupid!!!". This, I think, shows an extremely narrow understanding of the world. Because:

a) America is not the world. There are *many* places where you're expected to pay for your job, in one way or another. Sometimes it's above-board, sometimes not. I don't know about Malaysia, but wouldn't be surprised at all if that was the custom there.

b) Oh, wait, we have this in America, too! I paid LOTS of money to my managing broker when I was a real-estate agent. These are standard fees: Everyone at every agency pays them. And let's not forget the *MINIMUM WAGE* workers forced to pay for their uniforms and so forth.

So stop with the high-and-mighty. You're speaking from ignorance, not strength.

Comment: Could you do it yourself? (Score 4, Informative) 130

by tgeller (#47846287) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Service To Digitize VHS Home Movies?
I converted a few tapes with a a $40 gadget (Diamond One Touch Video Capture VC500MAC) and was happy with the results.

By comparison, the one service I checked out charges $12 each tape, plus shipping etc. -- and takes three weeks!

If you have more than a half dozen tapes to convert, you may do well buying a converter. You could let it run at night, then pay somebody $15/hour to do the finishing work (conversion to ProRes or whatever).

(I realize that this doesn't directly answer your question... but is an option worth considering.)

Comment: I wrote this article, and am available for comment (Score 1) 329

by tgeller (#47751797) Attached to: ACM Blames the PC For Driving Women Away From Computer Science
Wow, how could I have missed this Slashdotting? Nobody tells me nuthin'.

Anyway. I'm the author of this article -- my list of recent work, which includes it, is http://tomgeller.com/portfolio.

I haven't read the comments yet, and am about to (with trepidation).

One quick note: I take exception with the headline. "ACM" didn't blame anybody for anything. Interview subject Valerie Barr "believes the retreat was caused partly by the growth of personal computers". I've asked for it to be changed.

Comment: Re:Perfectly appropriate action for the FAA to tak (Score 2) 199

by tgeller (#47437897) Attached to: FAA Pressures Coldwell, Other Realtors To Stop Using Drone Footage
"Something isn't more or less safe if money changes hands."

No, but:

a) Other factors come into play when money changes hands -- issues of liability, scale, entitlements, conversion of public benefits....

b) Commercial exceptions are well-established in U.S. law.. If you want to argue they shouldn't be, you'll have to go back something like a hundred years. These restrictions have been very good for the country, though, so you'd have an uphill battle.

Comment: Perfectly appropriate action for the FAA to take (Score 4, Insightful) 199

by tgeller (#47437767) Attached to: FAA Pressures Coldwell, Other Realtors To Stop Using Drone Footage
From the post:

"This is a troubling development in an ongoing saga over the FAA's rules which punish the safe commercial use of drones."

Nope. It's a completely appropriate action according to the FAA's mandate and charter. It's their exact *job*.

Whether it's an appropriate restriction is to be debated.

Comment: Re:Registration != ownership (Score 1) 264

Apples and oragnes.

The Nike swoosh and McDonalds yellow M are very specific geometric depictions. Anyone can use a swoosh logo, as a Google image search for "swoosh logo -nike" shows.

Further, each of these examples represents (at least) hundreds of thousands of dollars of development, and hundreds of millions of dollars in direct investment to reinforce through advertising.

Comment: Re:Huh? (Score 1) 362

by tgeller (#46383735) Attached to: Google Funds San Francisco Bus Rides For Poor
Malls? MALLS? I'm guessing you don't actually live in San Francisco. ;)

But seriously. If Google had easy access to such private spaces, and they were convenient to their employees (in the crowded Haight, Mission, etc.), I'm sure they'd use those options. But convenient stops big enough for a bus to pull into are quite rare there.

Comment: Real Estate and Construction (Score 1) 49

by tgeller (#46306587) Attached to: Google's Project Tango Seeks To Map a 3D World
There are two potentially huge markets. I, for one, would like to be able to take a few (360-degree) photos of my house and have SketchUp (formerly owned by Google) deliver a 3D version that prospective buyers could "walk around in" via their browsers. Similarly, construction works spend a lot of effort making site measurements to create estimates, order materials, etc.. If that could be automatically produced via 3D renderings, all the better.

Uncertain fortune is thoroughly mastered by the equity of the calculation. - Blaise Pascal

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