Setting: Jacob finally gets to sleep at 5:15 this morning after 22 hours of uptime leading up to April Fools' Day at ThinkGeek HQ. Two hours later, his company phone starts making its "alert" sound.
SUPEREGO: Uh-oh! Somewhere, a server's in trouble!
JACOB opens eyes, looks at phone
ID: I don't hear anything.
ID sings tonelessly: lalalala
I'm sorry that today isn't April 1st. I remember signing a petition to get the Sci-Fi channel carried by our local cable operator way back in the early 1990s. It's sad that they don't want to stick with us geeks who helped get them started.
Abandoning their niche isn't the way to gain ground, they should be bettering their niche instead. With the budget they currently spend on the CG equivalent of rubber monster movies, they could hire real SF writers to create high-quality Science Fiction -- less frequently than the crap, sure, but it would build an audience. Imagine two BSG series and no weekly monster movie. I think that's a win-win.
Seems like it's too late now. The old Sci-Fi is dead. Long live the new Sci-Fi (pass the petition, willya?).
Like all true believers, we ThinkGeek code monkeys have our own holy scripture: Perl Best Practices. But if we had a bible, its first chapter might go something like this...
To show solidarity with IBMers who are being given a choice between a layoff and moving to India, ThinkGeek has announced that its coders will be required to eat Indian food today.
I do think Stephenson "gets it" but Cryptonomicon is less technically impressive after you notice how much of it was a fictionalization of David Kahn's excellent non-fiction work, The Codebreakers. Read them one after the other and you'll see what I mean.
Stephenson's one of my favorite authors; I've felt a compulsion to read passages from his books aloud to friends and family on many occasions. He has some bad habits, like the way his last chapters tend to splice all the loose ends together (no matter how insignificant) in the last chapter in a usually unsatisfying meltdown. FWIW, Anathem's ending is better than that -- and if you're interested in words and their origins, you shouldn't listen to the detractors, the vocabulary is part of the fun.
Uh, Israel has large minorities of non-Jews. It's not a pure culture, and it doesn't herd people (though it does keep them out). Compare with the Muslim theocracies nearby (most of which *used* to have minority populations, especially of Zoroastrians and Jews in Persia (Iran)). See who you think is really doing the ethnic cleansing.
Well, I know that by posting this I officially brand myself as a corporate shill, but here's a device that runs Linux, has a touch screen, has an open API, and already exists and can be yours for $239:
And you can use it as a picture frame out of the box. =)
Here in Fairfax, Virginia, where I worked as an election officer, we had some older touch-screen machines (most of which failed at some point during the day) and a new paper-based fill-in-the-bubble ballot that used a scanner that was virtually invisible; as you slid the ballot into the box, a computer built into the lid of the ballot box scanned it. Very slick; the precinct gets an instant count, the ballots are re-countable, and voting can go on even if the computer bit fails. Plus, since people didn't have to have a computer in front of them to work on (or stare dumbly at) a ballot, many more people could vote at the same time.
We have a equal opportunity Calculus class -- it's fully integrated.