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Comment Re:Penmenship matters (Score 1) 857

No. Touch screens have come and gone. They have applications in niche environments, but for the most part, gorilla-arm syndrome is a problem that depends on physiology and not a technological issue. Anything requiring more than a highly menu-driven environment can be physically exhausting because it requires unnatural postures and shoulder/elbow/wrist tension. That's why the only major application in touchscreens has been point-of-sales clients; the touchscreen runs almost completely off the menu, until you need to punch in custom pricing on a screen-based numpad.

All that said, penmanship doesn't matter. When it comes to it, legibility is what matters, and when the ergonomics of cursive became irrelevant, so did the script. Unless your work involves transcribing mass tracts of text by hand, then there's simply no reason for it when it degrades legibility for comfort. Given that people can type insanely faster than they handwrite (I've yet to see someone scrawl out a passage at 80wpm, much less 100wpm), this is a fairly redundant exercise. It's simply not practical anymore, and given general literacy rates, if anything had to be hand-printed. Playing the apocalyptic endgame, wouldn't you want your hand-written notes resembling printed books for compatibility's sake, or are you fine with authoring another Voynich manuscript?

Let's face it; cursive was convenient for the transcriber. It's less legibile than blockprint and has fewer applications. It's been an unstated principle since the Gutenberg press. The only real reason for Luddism is obstinacy or ignorance; I can appreciate having the general knowledge still available, but if it isn't practical when better methods exist then there's no reason to keep beating your head into the wall over it.

Comment Re:Or maybe... (Score 1) 487

Waxing a rail or curb doesn't prevent damage, except maybe a little bit on your board. And the fact you don't clean the shit off afterward leaves black crap everywhere.

Your joke aside, if skaters would actually look toward establishing skate parks, I think people would have less a problem with it. Same thing with graffiti: I'm sure there are plenty of people who'd commission a tagger to do a full-wall mural, but since no one asks permission and treats private property like a public resource, there's a good bit of contempt.

Comment Re:Crazy people (Score 1) 515

the high-pitched squeal that comes from any CRT being multiplied by a couple dozen.

Tell me about it. As one of the many idjits who didn't take proper advice in his youth and use proper ear protection when enjoying his music, I've developed a fairly decent case of tinnitus. Suffice it to say, being dragged in front of any CRT for longer than 5 minutes will leave a nasty ringing that won't go away for at least an hour. I can almost certainly guarantee that's what's going on here with Mr. DJ and many other of the supposed EM hypersensitive types.

Comment Re:Let's Put Belgium To Sleep (Score 1) 267

Given the voter turnout in recent elections, supporting Vlaams Belang, it might not be such a simplistic view. Then again, stating that there isn't some point of cultural conflict between Flanders and Wallonia, for some of the aforementioned reasons, would be remiss as well.

But then again, this is /., where it's easier to spout hyperbole than come up with a fully rationalized POV.

Comment Re:Tyson (Score 1) 799

An even greater loudmouth, I'm looking at a little-known Greek named Diogenes for my kids.

Forget science. Anyone who can make generations question his brilliance or lunacy by taking a dump in a public forum, while saying "Hercules reminded me of this!" gets a +5 Troll in my book. If that can't make them question *everything* and put every experience to the microfiche, I don't know what will.

Comment A little joy for the dance music community. (Score 3, Informative) 253

Warning: I work with EDM-variety music producers.

This is actually fantastic news. When we provide ala carte downloads for our tracks, they usually get shunned and our systems spend hours each month uploading to Rhapsody and the like... for $6 royalty statements.

The net result?

An hour block of unadvertised, "live mix" content wherein the latest music gets performed and no one pays a red cent to Harry Fox. It works thusly:

1. DJ in our roster wishes to promote.
2. Under US tax code, any music said DJ has paid for is a business expense as an appropriation of requisite tools to perform said job.
3. DJ plays promotional mix set, commercial free, and it's released to the blogs under fair use.
5. Profit. DJ sees more bookings as a result for live-performance gigs. The hottest tracks have already been promoted to BBC Radio One and artists see more BDS numbers as a result. People buy more hardcopies as a result of extended exposure.
6. You missed there wasn't a step 4, and there is no "... Profit?" meme.

It would take a bit of renegade work, but there isn't any reason why bands can't be promoted in the same way. It's more on the radio DJ's taking the responsibility for ownership instead of the studio for the tracks performed, but that would effectively shut down payola in most cases. With the advent of the Internet, it means these streams can be put out royalty-free and can survive for public enjoyment, while increasing artist exposure and cutting the middleman out. How would the site maintain itself? Through rabid fans. Just look at DogsOnAcid for an example.

Comment Re:No... not buying this at all (Score 1) 295

Now does my little white cat have Buddha nature?

Nope. And for the same reasons we don't.

IANA AI researcher (but I did focus my major on it, and I slept in a Holiday Inn Express). You can reasonably emulate a child's mind with a Kohonen network. We're born with innate traits (instinct) that can be overridden with experience (readjustments of the path-weight values on the graph). If you consider every opinion you've had to be a directed acyclic graph that feeds its end output to a minimum spanning tree of "results vs. consequences," you soon see that you are the sum total of every experience you've had adding into the final decision you make.

Take each opinion you have, feed it into a luckiewicz logic machine, find the tangent and appropriate weights from the baseline. Whichever's greater is ultimately the answer to your binary question.

We're all born with innate desires to survive and propagate, but it's our experiences that shape us, and as we get older and more critical, new experiences affect our opinions less and less outside of a traumatic experience. The more inputs we have been through, the less new experiences can shift our perspective. That's why an 8-year-old can accept that there is no Santa, but a 30+-year-old can't accept there is no Jesus, when both claims are on equal footing in the fiction department.

When CogSci and CompSci truly meet will be the death of philosophy. The only thing keeping the supernatural alive is that we don't understand our own organic computers the same way we understand our silicon counterparts.

Comment Re:Please Drop the Us V Them Mentality (Score 1) 424

Indeed. Had this been Garfield Park, Englewood, or Fuller Park, this might have been cause for concern, but dicking around out by the West Loop/Logan Square area isn't cause for concern. For the most part, you're pretty spot on. Cool, the MobileMe service worked, but it's not nearly as dramatic as people are making it out to be. I don't get the submission myself, but then again, I'm just another jaagov slumming around in the Kedzie industrial corridor who can keep his phone in his pocket when he's had a beer or three.

Comment Re:In all seriousness (Score 1) 215

echo "set et ts=4 sw=4" >> ~/.vimrc

You'll thank me in the morning.

I'm still a diehard C coder at heart, but I'll admit that braces as a syntactic measure are just plain bad (unless you're in a Lisp-variant, where a paren _is_ the whitespace, ffs). It's why reference-counting is insufficient for being a singular GC mechanism, and why, if compilers were built like garbage collectors, work efficiency would plummet.

Seriously, a decent editor that can swap out tab commands for a N-length block of spaces will alleviate your indentation worries. If you're worried about bytecode and compile-time efficiency (aka, the mythical "zomg whitespace==compile inefficiency!" fallacy), you wouldn't be using an interpreted language in the first, and you'd also know that Python+Psyco won't ever get you the same hardware optimizations as a true compiled language.

At that point, you're indenting for readability and maintainability anyway. Braces add nothing to syntax and actually add in avenues for compile-time error. I usually see this sort of issue as being with someone who isn't using Emacs of Vi properly [I'm a Vim user, but I hear tell that (setq default-tab-width) achieves the same thing in your emacs conf]. If you aren't using a capable editor, that's a fault of your editor, not of the language design principle.

It's been ages since I took compilers or checked out a copy of the G++ source, but IIRC, preamble whitespace is insignificant if you use a line terminator (aka, ";" for most C-lang expressions). Once the tokenizer kicks in, that whitespace becomes irrelevant to the expression because you know where expression and block delineations are. However, if you're typing that way in your CVS check-ins for maintenance sake anyway, why not lose the terminators and make the whitespace relevant? It all compiles the same and makes it easier for jyumang beans to read.

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