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Comment Irony (Score 2) 319

The article ends with:
“The Mercator projection showed the spread and power of Christianity and is standard,” she said. “But it is not the real world at all. What the Boston public schools are doing is extremely important and should be adopted across the whole of the US and beyond.”
Beyond the US even! Perhaps beyond the US other maps have already been adopted for this reason? I know that when I was in high school decades ago, our world map was not a Mercator projection for exactly this reason.
If those educators had been looking over the border they would have implemented this around the turn of this century.

Comment Re:Its not cheating (Score 1) 406

It probably happens all the time, people having a "lucky" set of cards, bringing talismans, having "lucky rituals," and so on. The casino will be more than happy to comply as it just increases their profits.

In this case they probably brought in a fresh pack of cards, perhaps even bought from the Casino store with the stickers on them and still in the cellophane wrapper. Even on close inspection no tampering would be revealed because there was no tampering.

Yes, the cards were marked, but by design, not by something the dealer would have been looking for. It's a bit of a grey area, and everyone loves to see the Casino get reamed. If it weren't a casino but the local church trying to earn a buck for charity, public opinion would not be on the player's side. But it is a casino, a money greedy institution that will do everything to get your money into their pocket, so there we are.

One wonders to what extend they'll go out of their way to reimburse players who were a victim (by losing money to cheating players) of such "faulty material."

Comment Re:It's not silly. (Score 1) 540

I work in shipping. At least for the sea-side of transport, cost is neglible. Landside transportation is more expensive, but it's still not a "major" component. Maybe 5% of the retail price for most articles found in stores, usually far, far less. After all, if transport was a major cost component, we'd be manufacturing locally, and not get it from all over the world. Case in point: consumer goods that have the highest transport costs are cars. Even then, a lot of them are manufactured overseas. And we don't manufacture domestic cars in several plants all over the country, close to where they are being sold; we manufacture them in a few large plants, and usually not in areas where the majority of the population (westcoast, n/e coast) lives. Transportation & Logistics is a major form of employment, and certainly those jobs are being threatened. But that has more to do with the side effects of automation (24/7, less liability, no strikes, etc) than with the actual cost itself.

Comment Re:1976 Copyright Act (Score 1) 178

Well speaking of Mickey Mouse, it will never leave copyright in the US, as it was published after Mickey hit the market. It's rather naive to think that it will be released to the public domain in 2042, as before that time the copyright act will be changed (as it is every 25 years) to extend copyright to 100 years after publication.

After all, we can't have any of Disney's movies enter into the public domain!

Submission + - HP-15C, HP-16C & HP-41CX Reborn!!! The world's smallest programmable RPN cal 2

mikesters writes: SwissMicros produces clones of the famous HP calculators from the 1980's: the HP-11C, HP-12C, HP-15C, HP-16C and also of the HP-41CX.

More than ten years ago an online petition was started to Bring Back the HP-15C. Tens of thousands signed that petition, but HP still won't bring it back into general production.

In 2011 SwissMicros started production of a credit-card sized clone of the HP-15C and some of the other models.

Now in 2015 SwissMicros has released a full-sized clone of the HP-15C and HP-16C as well as of the HP-41CX, fully functional, with real buttons just like the HP calculators and even more features, with high quality materials and finishing.

The calcualtors emulate the original HP ROMs, but alternative ROMs with extended memory capabilities can be user-installed using an USB cable.

Could be the perfect Christmas gift for the nerd who has everything! Go to https://www.swissmicros.com/

Comment Re:Details? (Score 1) 157

I'm going to take a few guesses here, because the article forces us to do so.
  • The article (especially the French source) seems biased in favor of the residents
  • Nowhere in the article does it list what the permit entails, information that would surely be easy to find for a half-competent journalist
  • The article does nowhere say that the site is in flagrant violation of the permit
  • As such, it is not inconceivable that the permit does mention diesel generators (that seem to be listed as a backup for grid power and are not running 24/7), Datacenter, and large tanks for diesel fuel.
  • Because if the company was violating the permit that would surely be mentioned. Instead it mentioned the public notice was hard to understand

So I'm guessing the company got all the paperwork done, nobody in the neighborhood bothered to read the notice and didn't protest when they had the chance. Company builds datacenter, now residents figure out first hand what the impact is.
I would think the company will file a lawsuit against the town for reimbursement—they did their due diligence on the paperwork after all—although this being France, chances are they'll be sent home with €0 and a zut alors.

Comment It's in the image (Score 5, Interesting) 187

Movies tend to be shot around 1/50" shutter speed, and that creates motion blur. The motion blur actually helps us see the animation as smooth, even at "only" 24 fps. Games on the other hand are razor sharp and will hence look much more like a staccato sequence of images than as an animation.

Or so I was told by a moviemaker

Comment Blame the tool... (Score 2) 422

My father was a wise man, and a solid programmer. He liked Basic, because it was simple, and readable (in his environment the alternatives were mainly Assembler, Cobol, and RPG). Whenever people made fun of his love for Basic, and how it resulted in bad code, he always replied “there are no bad languages, just bad programmers.

The problem isn't the spreadsheet. The problem is people building ugly models in it. Do they seriously think that if those models were written in C, Java or Perl they would have been magnitudes better? I doubt it; you're just transplanting bad habits onto a different platform.

Of course, if he'd used trained professionals to build his models in whatever language of choice the models would be better. If he'd used trained professionals to build his spreadsheet models they would have been better as well.

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