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Comment: Green with Envy (Score 5, Funny) 164

by CaptainOfSpray (#48818249) Attached to: The Mainframe Is Dead! Long Live the Mainframe!
I found this in the Overview of the Announcement Letter

"The name change serves to signal ... the role of the mainframe in the new digital era of IT."

Us old farts are envious of the new digital mainframes - we were seriously handicapped back then, working on all those old analog mainframes.

It isn't that mainframes are eternal, it's that marketing wonks who write this sort of stuff are allowed to breed...

Comment: Cake PHP Framework - easy and fast (Score 1) 264

by CaptainOfSpray (#48805131) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Linux Database GUI Application Development?
Cake PHP will generate an app extremely quickly if all you want is Create-Read-Update-Delete (CRUD) of records, in a Model-View-Controller structure.

1. Define the database in MySQL
2. Run the delightful commands "./cake bake model all", "./cake bake.controller all", "./cake bake view all"
3. And you are done, 20 minutes after you started. Cake exploits naming conventions to give you auto generation of code, auto lookup of encoded values, etc etc. I have not yet discovered all it can do.

And best of all, you don't need to write any interface code, that is what a browser is for.

Comment: Eben Upton: Raspberry Pi, its community, and more. (Score 1) 299

by CaptainOfSpray (#48703365) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: The Beanies Return; Who Deserves Recognition for 2014?
1. For the Raspberry Pi, for thinking up the idea, for getting people and companies engaged to make it happen
2. For the community around the R-Pi that formed after the launch, dirven by both Eben and Liz Upton (she deserves credit for the Blog on the R-Pi Foundation website, which has been an inspiration to many)
3. For the metric fuck-ton of creativity that the R-Pi releases. Almost evrybody who plays with it gets a wild idea and goes off and implements it. God only knows what it is that makes that happen, but that flow of white-hot creativity is what drives the whole R-Pi phenomenon.

Comment: Witness Statement (Score 1) 415

In my career, I have seen Microsoft try 4 times to get a subscription model for Office working. Failed miserably every time. No-one wants to buy software that locks you into paying forever.

So if Microsoft go down the subscription route for the operating system, they will kill themselves stone cold dead.

Comment: Dear Sony, I am delighted! (Score 4, Insightful) 155

by CaptainOfSpray (#48456343) Attached to: Sony Pictures Computer Sytems Shut Down After Ransomware Hack
Couldn't happen to a "nicer" bunch.

Would I be right to believe the Sony Pictures, being part of the Sony conglomerate, are infected with the same high-handed corporate arrogance that we have seen at Sony Music? "cough" root kit "cough"

I shall be wearing the smile today, all day.

Comment: Really Excellent Professional Resources (Score 2) 107

Raspberry Pi Foundation has loads of stuff - see under Resources, Teach and Learn and Make http://www.raspberrypi.org/ - all intended for young people (and its on Creative Commons licences). The "Teach" stuff is written by Carrie-Ann Philbin, who is a professional teacher - she has quite a few videos of good stuff on Youtube.

The Mag-Pi, a magazine free to download (28 issues already) , has tutorials for games in both Scratch and Python, and Minecraft - anfd there's plenty of stuff in there that might fire YOU up! http://www.themagpi.com/

Comment: Re:analog computer (Score 1) 91

by YttriumOxide (#48342521) Attached to: fMRI Data Reveals How Many Parallel Processes Run In the Brain

What interests me the most are the levels of subconscious/consciousness and where all this combines to create our singular, waking awareness.

Based on evidence of the effects of dissociative drugs, psychedelic drugs, and general anaesthetics, it seems likely that our 'singular, waking awareness' is primarily an effect of the information transfer between various brain regions through the posterior cingulate cortex.

Of course, knowing that doesn't make it any less of a head-fuck to contemplate how strange it is to be anything at all.

Comment: Re:Oh Please Edge Detection and Motion Detection (Score 1) 91

by YttriumOxide (#48342459) Attached to: fMRI Data Reveals How Many Parallel Processes Run In the Brain

While you're not wrong, I do think that from the perspective of the article, it's also not really so relevant.

'This means that, in theory, an artificial equivalent of a brain-like cognitive structure may not require a massively parallel architecture at the level of single neurons, but rather a properly designed set of limited processes that run in parallel on a much lower scale'

Basically from my understanding, he's saying here that if we handle the sub-systems in a more traditional manner - as in, existing edge detection and motion detection algorithms in standard computing systems - that with ~50 parallel threads, we could have something brain-like.

It's also worth considering though that this is far less cool than it sounds at first blush simply by fact that the sub-systems would not be brain-like in the slightest.

Comment: Re:analog computer (Score 1) 91

by YttriumOxide (#48342449) Attached to: fMRI Data Reveals How Many Parallel Processes Run In the Brain

While it may seem analogue, I'd definitely call the brain digital from a functional perspective.

The amount of neurotransmitters, strength of electrical activity, and so on are definitely analogue inputs; but due to the way that action potentials fire in cells, you're either "firing them" or "not firing them" (analogy: magnetic data on a disc is also analogue, but we only really care about the on/off state of it). Most information appears to be transferred based on the rate of firing them, and is not encoded in any special aspect of the spikes themselves. Furthermore, you might then assume that the rate timing of the spikes may be considered analogue data - again though, it's not really. There is a refractory period that limits the maximal firing rate of a single neuron, and downstream effects of this basically mean that the firing rates themselves could also in theory be quantised in a digital manner (although it'd be a massively complex problem to actually figure that all out).

While the whole system is quite fundamentally different from our current digital computers, it is nevertheless something that could also be a digital system.

Comment: Personal Experience (Score 5, Insightful) 131

by CaptainOfSpray (#48311721) Attached to: Shift Work Dulls Brain Performance
Three-and-half years of shift work (interesting, well-paid work for a good employer and decent working conditions) did me physical harm that did not wear off for many years after the experience. I felt listless, short on energy and intitative and thinking power, slightly better while on days, but very bad while on nights. That listlessness was still with me for years afterwards.

During those years, I experienced three different shift patterns. Rotating once a week (day, evening, night) was worst - pretty hellish. Rotating once a month was bearable. I once did 4 months straight on nights - to my surprise, that worked OK (physically). At the end, I was back on weekly rotation and couldn't wait to get out.

Shift work wrecks your social life. Your friends never know where you're at, so they don't include you in their plans, and you don't have the energy yourself to organize anything.

"Pull the wool over your own eyes!" -- J.R. "Bob" Dobbs