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Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 127

lenses that can achieve a narrower field of focus are the more expensive ones, so there is established artistic value.

I'm not really taking issue with your conclusion, but a decent quality 50mm lens (widely known as a portrait lens because of its shallow depth of field) can be got new for about $200. And I got a beautiful 1984-vintage 105mm prime lens for $250 a few years back. It's an exception to the rule, yes, but sometimes the glass is less expensive than the camera body. That said, if you've got good lenses, they can make up for a lot of shortcomings in the camera body.

My own feeling about algorithms such as this is that they'd be better off chasing the ideal of perfect focus for everything - or better yet, for pseudo-3D renderings - those would be more desirable goals, IMO. I suppose it's possible to get the same effect as really good glass, but something tells me the laws of physics (well, optics) will always win over computed logic.

Comment Re:FLYOVER (Score 1) 336

>Nope, articles like this are just the dying gasps of the marketing company hired to try and attract new business to a sinking ship. They desperately need tax payers and at this point are willing to do ANYTHING (including outright lying) to attract them. DON'T go, it's a trap.

If you're interested in high tech manufacturing with a skilled workforce, it would be hard to find a better place than the automation alley counties. What you'll spend in wages will be more than made up in productivity. And you won't be spending a fortune in recruiting costs. If you build a factory your staffing problem won't be finding qualified workers, engineers or tradesmen, but getting a big enough HR department to hire them.

Comment Re:FLYOVER (Score 2) 336

Let's not forget the world class symphony, an excellent opera company, a first rate art museum, three major sports teams, nearby excellent college teams (some people may have heard of Michigan and Michigan State), and amazing outdoor recreation opportunities. Some of the best kayaking in the midwest is a quarter mile from my back door. You can also forget wasting money on Carribean beach vacations: if you want beautiful beaches, there's nothing in the Carribean that can touch the beaches on Lake Michigan.

Comment As bad ideas go... (Score 3, Insightful) 188

This notion ranks right up there. Manufacturer was told. Everybody else was then told. That's how it's supposed to work. This notion of "let's just tell our close friends and leave everybody else in the dark" is silly. You'd only wind up leaving most people open to exploit, because if you think your secret squirrel society of researchers doesn't have leaks, you're deluding yourself.

Comment Fine Woodworking, Popular Woodworking (Score 1) 285

Woodworking is just as geeky as the computer field, just with different materials. Both of those magazines publish an excellent print edition, combined with print ads that are still relevant and generally not annoying. In both cases they have also done an excellent job of melding their print operation with the Internet. They feature relevant columnists online who can go into greater detail about subjects in the print magazine, including a lot of excellent how-to video.

Comment Re:CouchBase (Score 2) 272

CouchBase/CouchDB is probably the easiest and most available one out there. It's particularly well suited for app backends too, as both the backend and mobile apps can talk to the same database, in theory eliminating the need for the backend to handle data syncing.

Those are good reasons, and it's also true that CouchDB will use a lot less resource overhead than a full-bore RDBMS under load. Depending on the use case, it might also prove decidedly easier to scale.

But the place where NoSQL really shines is storing amorphous or heterogeneous data. Because you have no constraints about what goes into a given record, you can record more or less name/value pairs at your whim. As with Perl, though, freedom comes at the cost of potential disorder.

But honestly, with the tiny amount of detail provided, it seems like it's really six of one and half a dozen of the other. If it's just call data being recorded, and the same call data every time, it won't make a huge difference if you use a full-blown RDBMS or a NoSQL database. Either one has its costs (individual PUTs and POSTs in CouchDB for example, can be expensive, whereas queuing and write contention might cause headaches at extreme scales in PostGres or Oracle).

Both an RDBMS and a NoSQL database will deal with replication fairly well, though my personal inclination is to prefer the simplicity of replication in CouchDB right up until the noise level gets out of hand.

Comment Re:Snowden has jumped the shark (Score 5, Interesting) 230

And French intelligence bombed the Rainbow Warrior.

To their detriment. It's telling that the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior was the event that triggered so much outrage among Pacific island nations that the practice of atmospheric testing was finally stopped. It also wounded relations between New Zealand and France for over a decade, and resulted in a long period of Labour (i.e. left wing) rule. The Tahitian independence movement also made hay from the event.

It was, in short, a complete fiasco for the French intelligence service, and for the government of France, an unmitigated failure.

If for no other reason than realpolitik, governments need to learn to tread more lightly when it comes to abrogating the freedoms that make their societies as peaceful and prosperous as they are.

Precisely what is so surprising about the NSA spying on political radicals?

When you call Amnesty International politically radical, you debase the discussion. Amnesty uses non-violent tactics - mostly media relations - to shame governments into releasing political prisoners. If agitating against the imprisonment of your political opponents is radical to you, then perhaps you should revise your opinion on freedom and human rights.

Comment State Schools (Score 1) 370

Apply to a local state funded university. Talk with an admissions counselor about your goals and how well your associates will transfer (10 years old, the answer is usually Not At All). State schools provide the best bang for the buck. It also helps that their programs tend to be quite good. You also have to accept the fact that this isn't going to be convenient or easy. If it was easy to get a degree worth the paper it was printed on, everybody would have one.

If you just want to throw money at the problem and don't care about the quality of the degree, find the online program with the biggest advertising budget. Ideally somebody who can advertise on broadcast channels during prime time. The degree won't be well respected, but if you're doing this as a checkbox item it hardly matters. Just avoid taking on debt to do it. The private programs are expensive, and have a terrible track record for defaults on student loans (probably because of the expense).

Comment Re:Go after em Nate (Score 5, Insightful) 335

Its sad to see these scientists cry fowl, controversy, and blasphemy at dissenters . Isn't science supposed to have opposing views, with fact-based research on multiple view points using the "scientific method" for cross-checking each-others work?

First off: Let's leave the chickens out of this, shall we?

Second: No, it's not sad at all. This is exactly the kind of debate we want - one where people disagree about specific and detailed issues, and respond to one another on points of fact. Yes, it's heated and the antagonism is distressful to some, but the plain fact is that this is real, healthy debate.

I don't see propaganda, mis- and disinformation from 'high priests'; I see a bunch of pencil-liner geeks getting furious with one another over data. And I like it.

The only thing that saddens me in all this is that people think disagreement is equivalent to enmity these days.

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