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Comment The power of AI... (Score 1) 182

For a while, It seemed certain that Google would be the first to reach the goal of "organizing the world's information". But maybe IBM will get there first. And if you think about it, considering all that Google does, it DOES seem quite absurd that they don't have a powerful consumer-level A.I. system on offer. Even a very rudimentary system could grow to become enormously helpful, especially given the wealth of data they have.

The day Watson ever hits less than $5000 or so as a consumer offer (even a simplified home computer you can talk to, like Computer in Star Trek), is the day I'll admit The Future Has Come.

Comment Gold is cheaper than phosphor powder? (Score 1) 348

According to the article: "However, phosphor powder is highly toxic and its price is expensive. As a result, Dr. Yen-Hsun Wu had the idea to discover a method that is less toxic to replace phosphor powder. This is a major motivation for him to engage in the research at the first place."

Is gold really cheaper than phosphor powder? Chemists care to chime in? Is it the powder part that increases the price?

Comment Re:Only Apple (Score 1) 624

I mostly agree with you: ownership should mean total control, so I should have total freedom to do whatever I want with my physical property.

The part where I disagree with you, I nevertheless actually agree in spirit: the DMCA is bullshit. It's bullshit because it prohibits too much. IIRC, it makes tinkering with devices illegal, and that's just ridiculous.

The part where I disagree with you is that I think reasonable copyright laws are good. What if I wrote some songs or something, someone else stole the music, and became rich and famous by claiming my stuff as their original? That's just plain wrong, so I think reasonable copyright has it's place.

Unfortunately, the DMCA is not reasonable copyright.

Comment Re:Only Apple (Score 1) 624

It's not exactly great, but it's not all THAT bad. After all, it comes with a webcam and USB ports. Either one of those minor features alone add a huge boost in use value (I'd love to videochat while chilling on my couch with someone, then bring the tablet over to the kitchen and prop it up while I do dishes and keep talking! and the value of even a single USB port is pretty much self-evident!). Having both of these features for less price than an iPad is not something you can honestly ignore or dismiss.

Basically, it's 2 different products from totally different origins entering the same space: both are entering the above-smartphone-yet-under-netbook space. Both iPad and Eee are both awesome in their own way.

tldr: competition = yay!

Comment Why did it fail? (Score 1) 203

Nice article that made me very curious about one thing: why did the Newton fail? It seems like an amazingly useful and cutting-edge device that should have been snatched up by everybody.

Maybe it was just a little bit TOO new, so didn't fit well enough into people's existing workflows?

Comment Re:Translation: Massive Union Vote Buying Program (Score 2, Insightful) 801

Culture is both a cause and a consequence. Parents might magically wake up and start talking to their children about the wonders of science. Or they might not. But culture can also be another tool in the government toolkit (e.g. religion).

Your fantasy of an evil controlling nanny state versus the rebellious freedom-fighter parents is just that: a fantasy. Sometimes the government is doing something that should be done, and sometimes not; sometimes parents are doing what should be done, and sometimes not. I think everyone recognizes by now that most people don't spend time exciting their kids about science, and so the ability to reason and think clearly is declining. Hence, it's forward-thinking for someone with the power and responsibility of the President of the US to increase science and mathematics education. I don't see how any clear-thinking person could be against this.

Simplified models beget simplified thinking.

Comment Re:Jonathan Ive (Score 1) 454

I agree with you Jonathan Ives is just as responsible as Jobs has been for Apple's financial (and especially cultural) resurgence.

However, do we really know whether he's qualified to run a large global business? Aesthetic vision is quite different from industry and business vision. I have no idea what he's like, but I could imagine him being a brilliant artistic recluse who myopically pursues excellence in his own aesthetic world.

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