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Comment Re:Every 2 seconds? (Score 2, Informative) 79

Speaking w/ 30+ years of experience in holography, this is going to be really miserable to make practical. The computation involved is hideous for realistic scenes and the bandwidth is insane. If you want to get real time and something better than sick figures you have to heavily constrain the wavefront reconstruction.

A true hologram reconstructs the entire wavefront emanating from a scene, which gives it it's unique nature. Cut back the bandwidth and the realism or the viewing angle go to hell.

Comment Re:Python is the Lisp of the 21st century (Score 1) 330

Amen! Python is elegant, trivial to install, trivial to use, but insanely powerful. Even on a windows machine, installing a very comprehensive toolchain involves installing Python(x,y) and PyGame

What freaks me out is the mystification of programming and hardware. Having grown up on Ahl's "Basic Games" I always thought computer literacy would increase. Instead we have bunches of fanbois who boast of how ignorant of the hardware and software they use. I mean, when did superuser become an honorific?

Comment Re:Students will complain (Score 1) 419

"This put Dan in a dilemma. He had to help her—but if he lent her his computer, she might read his books. Aside from the fact that you could go to prison for many years for letting someone else read your books, the very idea shocked him at first. Like everyone, he had been taught since elementary school that sharing books was nasty and wrong—something that only pirates would do. ...

Of course, Lissa did not necessarily intend to read his books. She might want the computer only to write her midterm. But Dan knew she came from a middle-class family and could hardly afford the tuition, let alone her reading fees. Reading his books might be the only way she could graduate. He understood this situation; he himself had had to borrow to pay for all the research papers he read. (Ten percent of those fees went to the researchers who wrote the papers; since Dan aimed for an academic career, he could hope that his own research papers, if frequently referenced, would bring in enough to repay this loan.)"

  From The Right to Read by Richard Stallman

Comment Re:Not a netbook? What? (Score 2, Interesting) 348

Quite true, I've been using a EEE 1000HAB ($179 off of woot) with the memory upped to 2GB hooked to a 23" monitor w/ a USB key as my sole "Windows Box" to write a 40 Page proposal which had to be in a ".doc" format. I ended up doing all the illustrations using Poser, DIA and GIMP. It worked fine for this role, perhaps a tad less snappy than a full out computer but perfectly fine for my purposes. It's thin enough and light enough to toss in my big bag or a netbook bag. In fact I prefer just tossing it in my bag rather than a USB drive so I can make any mods to the documents onsite. My I note that my other 1000 HAB runs Ubuntu 10.10 UNR.

All that at 17.9% of the cost of a MBA

Comment Think about learning as a distro (Score 1) 1345

Knowledge has a series of dependencies. You can't really do quantum mechanics w/o calculus and other higher math, and you can't do higher math w/o algebra, and so on. The problem is that uploading, and validating these dependencies can take many years. In theory conventional education is like the Linux Standard Base, a set of common packages which minimize the amount of dependencies that have to be loaded. Thus, in theory, a high school graduate should be able to handle most forms of non specialized knowledge. College majors and prerequisites are similar in this regard.

Autodidacts are like folks who load every program they use without a package manager. A difficult task which not everybody can do. Also such systems are prone to crashes (massive holes in experience/training)

The problem w/ much of mainstream education is that the 'IT department' is doing things by rote and doesn't really understand packages.

What would be interesting is an educational overlay on wikipedia or the equivalent which would explicitly identify and specify these dependencies.

Comment Re:Minimum mass of a Petabyte (Score 5, Informative) 495

That was my dissertation topic, conventional systems require ~kT per bit (k is the Boltzmann constant = 1.3806503 Ã-- 10-23 m2 kg s-2 K-1 and T is the temperature of the gate in Kelvin) for each read. Quantum systems can access well below that by various trickery (single photon optical computers can reduce this by a thousandfold). In theory a individual photon can hold huge amounts of data in it's state vector before collapse. The trick is making a measurement on enough of these photons to extract the info you need while overcoming shot noise.

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