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Comment Am I the only one then...? (Score 4, Interesting) 239

That read the first book and thought "Really?? This is what all the excitement is about?" I didn't care for Hunger Games at all. It was an engaging read admittedly. I kept turning the pages. But the foreshadowing of where things were headed seemed pretty shallow to me (no, I did not cheat and peek at the ending). My closing thoughts were "well, someone's hoping to cash in on a screenplay here" and a sort of dirty feeling. I felt like one feels when you slow down at the sight of a roadside accident to see if there's anything gory.

I read the next two books just to see if it would get any good.

I have this vague sense of irony about the whole thing. As I listen to people tell me why they just like this book so much, some times I feel like a big part of the reason they liked it was because everyone else seems to as well. It's cool, because if you're read it, you're in the club. And the club says it's good. Given that a major theme of the book is humanity's ability as a collective to ignore stuff that is wrong, this seems hugely ironic to me.

If you enjoyed it, no offense meant. I respect that. To each his own. I liked the Mistborn series and Terry Pratchett novels far better than this among recent reads, and maybe you don't care for those.

Am I the only person that didn't care for Hunger Games at all?

Comment Terrible Headline (Score 5, Insightful) 137

Slashdot headlines are getting pathetically lame. This kind of twisted deceptive word play is what I expect when I stand in line at the grocery store. Would it have been stooping so low to integrity to post

'IMAX Movie of Body' Allows Stanford Geneticist To See Type 2 Diabetes Progress Like Never Before

?

Comment Works Best When... (Score 4, Insightful) 230

...you enjoy your job and what you're currently doing. I've telecommuted with a team of 18+ other software engineers for the last 5+ years, and did a stint a while back. When you're engaged in what your doing, and believe in it, working at home is awesome. You focus, you maximize your efficiency by finding the optimal interlacing with the rest of your life. But when the company is jerking you around, or dumps crap work on you, working at home is really hard.

So my word to employers is if you believe in your product and your people, then this really is the best arrangement for you. Otherwise, get our the whips and put 'em in them thar cubies.

Comment Re:BLECK! (Score 3, Interesting) 647

I've done this thought experiment before, the "how many apps do I need at once" one, and thought the same.

The problem I have with it, is that it doesn't hold up in real life. When I work with a desktop, or a countertop, or a workbench top, or any sort of work surface, I don't allocate a single rectangular area, and then set up my cooking utensils, or books, or tools, or whatever to occupy those perfect proportions that you describe. I shuffle stuff around, I pile stuff on other stuff, I unearth things when I need them again. If I was really obsessive, maybe I could work my tool bench in the garage the way you describe, but reality is, I wouldn't.

I think one of the reasons the desktop metaphor has been so lasting, is that it *is* a metaphor for a real world experience. It may be suboptimal and innefficient compared to what I could accomplish if I'd just organize everything just so. But it is a method of work management that I gravitate to again and again. I seem to be able to work that way instinctively. And because it is so approachable, as disorganized as it might seem, it actually works well for a computer interface because I've optimized in a million subtle ways how to work that way.

Comment Re:Thus the proof that Apple is not about status (Score 1) 471

Our experiences differ I guess. I *am* an Apple user. Currently, no less than 11 Apple products are doing interesting things for my family. To the exclusion of any other for the most part (Apple doesn't make a high end SLR camera yet, do they?). I buy Apple equipment because as you say "it just works." And I've encouraged many others to do the same. The original question was not "why do people buy Apple stuff?" As you can see, we're on the same page there, in fact I may own more real estate of it than you. :)

But being the local go-to-guy in church and school communities about All Things Apple, I can very definitely attest that consumers would have loved it if the 4S looked slightly different than the 4. Same for the 3G and the 3GS. Human nature is human nature. The question was "why do people want to have it look different every time?"

Comment Re:why do we care about shape? (Score 3, Insightful) 471

Two Words: Social Status

In an increasingly narcissitic society, we look to the gadgets we wield to say something about our social status. The consumer wet dream is that the brand is distinct (I own an Apple, I own a Razr, etc), but that each new version is distinguishable from the previous version so that I can flaunt that "I have the 4S while you only have the 4."

Comment I Miss the Sci Fi Classics (Score 1) 210

I love scifi. But I don't read as much of it as I used to. I love the ABC (Asimov, Bradbury, Clarke) of SciFi. And some of the other notable greats. But I find it harder and harder to find good scifi now days. The truly thought provoking kind. And the kind that gives me some small hope. So much of it is smut/graphic/romp or so apocalyptic, that I find myself missing the stuff I grew up with. Vinge was refreshing. And I've tried, but I just don't really find Stephenson's stuff that compelling.

Comment Re:Dart? (Score 3, Insightful) 575

Interesting term. I can clear up the guesswork on why the type system is the way it is a little bit. Lars Back and Gilad Bracha, two of the primaries for Dart, came out of the Self group. Self was an interesting Sun funded experiment where they took the "pure objects all the time, all the way down" ideas behind Smalltalk and took them to a new level by throwing out the classes as well. One of the things pursued was a dynamic method dispatching system, that while dynamically typed (this is different than untyped), could get as much mileage as possible out of run time navel gazing to dynamically optimize the execution. There are some good papers describing how cool some of the stuff they did was/is. This group already liked the idea/value of dynamic languages, and have since been involved in various projects all built around this idea: take a dynamic typed system and make it go fast. Strongtalk was what followed. And then Sun bought them back and their work became the HotSpot VM. And Lars built an embedded Smalltalk along the same ideas in the meantime. While doing prison time with Java, Gilad began Newspeak (a module happy variant of Self/Smalltalk/etc). And Lars helped with the V8 JS engine that everyone knows well about. Along with all of this, all the way back to Strongtalk, they've always held that while a runtime system should be entirely dynamic (e.g. no hints required from a static type system), they see great value in being able to express types from a documentation/communication pov within the code. So the type systems, that any of these languages have had (which all share these similar values) have always been for expressiveness only. Personally I don't agree with this, but it's an interesting position that I've always tried to appreciate.

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