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Comment Re:insert PKD joke here (Score 1) 138

Torn between "Do androids dream of electric sheep" joke and a "we'll remember it for you wholesale" one.

I was thinking more about tweaking the summary to read:

"Researchers recruited 27 men and women to spend several nights in a sleep lab, located on Elm Street. Each night, the surviving volunteers were plunged into REM sleep..."

Comment Re:A good sign (Score 1) 177

not when you start to have too many tools.

part of your value is being experienced in a language. you can't do that if you are spread thin amongst too many.

As a 50-year-old, I'm inclined to agree with the statement that there is such a thing as too many tools, but not for the same reason. Expertise and experience are important, no question about that. But both are often easily transferred from one language or framework to the next. For my part, I'm quite enjoying working with NodeJS, Angular, NoSQL and a bunch of things that take significantly different approaches to problems I've been solving my entire career.

But a problem I face quite often these days is trying to apply the toolkit approach with newer software. On any decent POSIX-supporting platform, you can generally leverage libraries and modules for just about anything and still expect at least a modicum of consistency. Each tool has its own quirks and foibles and strengths, all of which need to be understood, but with a bit of time and perseverance, these can be coped with.

But the application I'm working on right now requires the integration of an Angular framework with UI elements derived from JQuery, D3 and Bootstrap as well as one or two products of the inspiration of some young developers who are clever but sadly too confident in their own abilities. Trying to reconcile them all has resulted in a LOT of time spent pondering, refactoring and coping with bugs that inevitably result from using the tool in a way that wasn't foreseen by enthusiastic but inexperienced developers.

So far, the benefits have outweighed the costs, but there's a fine line between saving time by appropriating others' tools and wasting time shaving a very big, hairy yak.

I like many of the new technologies I'm using, and I love learning new tricks, notwithstanding the few grey hairs remaining on my shining dome. But yes, there is such a thing as too many tools. And many young developers these days are going to have to learn that the hard way.

Comment Re:alternative to (C) that protects freedoms? (Score 2) 394

2) Publisher B wants a cut of the profits and so makes a run of the books with their own cover art. However, they put the author's name on the cover. They don't sign a deal with the author or give him any money.

This (specifically #2) is what originally spawned copyright.

Not to take away from your argument, but that statement is incorrect. The very first copyright law was "An Act for preventing the frequent Abuses in printing seditious treasonable and unlicensed Bookes and Pamphlets and for regulating of Printing and Printing Presses."

In other words, its original motivation was to limit the ability of people to print whatever they liked - in other words, an engine of censorship.

The US Constitution framed the rationale for copyright differently, as did French copyright law, which introduced the concept of 'droits d'auteur', or authors' rights.

Comment Re:I don't think, they worry about non-US users (Score 1) 259

Why, when Hulu detects a visitor arriving from a country other than the United States, does it not refer the user to the licensee doing business in that particular country?

Because for the majority of the world's population, there simply is no legal way to obtain this stuff. I live in a country where the majority of the population cannot get a credit card, and for whom internet is a luxury beyond the means of most. But even for people like me who have full-time access, the prospect of actually paying for things is a daunting one. Many companies simply won't accept my credit card; virtually none of them ship to my country, and a number of software makers (I'm looking at you, Apple & Adobe) don't even admit that my country exists.

Someone who goes to the lengths required to maintain a VPN presence and a subscription should be welcomed by the industry, not cast out. But instead they drive us back to our shonky screeners purchased for a buck at the local Chinese store.

Comment Fashion (Score 1) 302

What a home printer can print out the latest fashions, then it will take off. Like a designer's new suit? Pay the designer directly, download, print and now you've got the latest fashion. If I can print the suit for what it costs me to go to a tailor, or a little more, this is a viable model for home adoption, and you'll see the fashion conscious adopt it early, and fairly quick trickle down to the rest of the population.

Comment Kids These Days (Score 2) 180

See, when I was a kid, we had this thing called the postal service. It was great. If you had a piece of paper, a writing implement, and a stamp, you could communicate without even needing a computer, let alone a phone or internet. It was even possible to encrypt your communication using a variety of methods so that even if intercepted it wouldn't be obvious that it was some form of secure communication, let alone actually be read by the man in the middle. There were even good methods of detecting if communication had been intercepted, which this new-fangled method lacks. And yeah, there were even people who played chess via this method.

If these kids are gonna reinvent the wheel, they should at least make it work as well as the old wheel.

Comment Reduce Complexity (Score 1) 169

The first step would be to reduce the number of separate passwords that have to be used. That means minimizing/eliminating the use of outside vendors that interact with your users via the web. If there's some vital human resource service that is needed (testing, training, employee reviews, whatever), bring it in house rather than contracting it out to an outside vendor. Because every single outside vendor you use means another set of credentials to be maintained.

The second step would be to eliminate password expiration. This may mean eliminating people in your organizatoin who think that password expiration is necessary. Depending on that person's position within the company, that might be as simple as telling them to knock it off, or might involve a complicated scheme to convince another company to recruit them away. When all else fails, compromising photographs are always effective.

But as the situation stands, I have to maintain half a dozen passwords, many of which I only use once or twice a year. So they are written on a post it note in my desk drawer. Sure, that pisses off the data security people. But before they steal that they'll nip the $200 backup drive sitting on my desk.

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.

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