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Comment The whole concept is wrong. (Score 1) 457

Disclaimer: I loved the first three movies when they first came out, and expected the prequels to be better story-wise (the effects much better of course). However, growing up you realize we like this movies because of the way the affected us when we were young, not because they are truly good.

Forget about Luke being Leia's sister as an add-on story in Episode VI after the other two have already developed. I hated that even then - bad storytelling. Episode I-III try to follow up on that story and get a better continuity, but still they are not good movies.

The whole Sith vs. Jedi concept is wrong in the practical sense. C'mon: 20+ jedis, Yoda included, were unable to notice Palpatine was the Sith Lord AND at the same time they treat Anakin as an asshole, which eventually makes him turn to the dark side. Their attitude is so moronic they DESERVED to be exterminated by only two siths (although it was just Sidious really, Anakin was too young).

In general, The Sith "business model" of having only two guys is very fragile: one dies and you do not have anybody to replace him with. When Darth Sidious lets Anakin kill Count Dooku to take his place is really stupid: You should keep both of them if both are good enough. This lets you do twice as much, or two things at the same time. Makes for bad stability of your empire. Who can you trust?

Another analysis lets you know the jedis should have won the war hands down, it not by sheer numbers, but they were unable to see the danger lurking in the dark side, even though having it right in front of them. This tells you the dark side is much much powerful, or again, they were truly dumb.

You see this same fragility in Ep VI. If Vader had not turned against Sidious, they could have ruled for some more time. Sidious was much too powerful for both Vader and Luke, but his "lack of vision" did not allow him to see that they were both family, or "sense" Vader might have turned against him, or whatever.

I could go on but you get the point. Fantastic movies when you're 13. I am not looking forward to more SW movies that don't have logic in their characters. However, Disney might do a better job than Lucas.

Comment Re:It's about time. (Score 1) 731

...what makes you think most people would notice there is a problem before the statement comes out showing $0 balance?...

Banks could send you an SMS and/or email for every transaction over a certain amount. Almost all banks in Mexico have that service. It allows you to be aware of transactions in ATMs or POS.

The US needs this badly. It is good news for consumers.


- All Mexican banks have chip technology besides mag-stripe, which transfers the burden of proof of fraudulent transactions to the merchant not reading the chip.

- Through Internet, most banks also use two-step verification using token technology, which makes doing fraudulent transactions online almost non-existent.

- Also, there is the interbanking transfer service, which allows any person with a bank account to transfer money to another account in a different bank immediately nationwide, and for a minimum fee of around USD $0.50. Wire transfers in the US cost tons of money ($10-20) to be used extensively by everyday people, who stick to checks which take a few days to clear, depending on location.

The banking system in Mexico is one of those things that works really well.

Comment Re:Barmy littlle twat, this Hawking fellow. (Score 1) 414

Then going elsewhere will just delay the inevitable. If we can't survive here, where it's still rather lush, then good luck where it's fucking bleak in comparison.. where just about everything we have there we will have brought from here, and where our current behaviour would end the adventure even quicker than it might on Earth.

"Endless growth" is the strategy of a virus, or of cancer; if you *need* endless growth to just survive, something is super fucked up. What is destroying our planet and our society is supposed to save us? Yeah, right.

I completely agree. We shouldn't be thinking on how to move to another place where life will be more difficult. Although hard, it would be easier to change the way people behave now.

Besides, who would go to the other planet when earth is devastated? The richest 2% who could afford it, who by the way are the ones who have heavily contributed to earth's pollution?

Where will they be going anyway? To a hospitable environment like Mars or Europa? Good luck with that.

Comment Re: How about this? (Score 1) 466

It might save money when starting after April. But DST should end BEFORE the Autumn equinox or else you save nothing. By today standards, we are turning back the clock by the end of October. That last month the sun is coming up at 8:00 or later. If we started DST a week after the Spring equinox (first week of april) and finish it a week before the Autumn equinox (second or third week of september) we might save some money, and headaches. As it stands now, it is just stupid.

Comment Star wars theme parks? (Score 1) 816

Now you will tell me there is going to be an attraction on Disneyland and Disney World that will fly you to Endor on a spaceship, and will sell you Star Wars souvenirs at its exit.

Wait... did that happen already? No way!

Well, then maybe this is their opportunity to create a SW theme park. We'll have Leia and Chewbacca characters walking around the park, R2D2 wastebaskets, you name it.

Comment Re:Oh Yahoo... (Score 1) 192

Android with Swype + Touchdown beats BlackBerry, physical keyboard or not.

Having to devote full time attention to a touch screen to make a phone call is superior to 4 button calling for basically any contact? (phone - first initial - last initial - phone)? An utter lack of any keyboard shortcuts or physical button remapping is somehow better than what blackberry has? No full contact search, terrible phone extension support in contacts (only supports semicolon, when most programs use "###-###-#### x###"), no hardware call start and end buttons (great when the UI lags and you cant answer your call), terrible text editing (touch screen is vastly inferior to trackpad for precision)....

As for swype, Ill bet that anyone reasonably familiar with a Blackberry could be competitive without having to look down at the keyboard or screen; Id like to see you do ANYTHING on your android without looking at it.

I've had a Samsung Galaxy S II for about a year now and love most of it. However, from a phone and email functionality standpoint I miss my Blackberry keyboard, one-key memory dialing, key-remapping, and several other features you can only do with a physical keyboard.

If BB ever makes the Wifi-hotspot functionality available, I'm switching back without a second thought. I would then get a wifi pad for maps, flipboard and the like (Nexus 7 or Transformer Prime. I would even consider an iPad...). A phone should remain a phone, smart or not.

If BB never offers wifi sharing, I'll probably get a Motorola or Samsung Android phone with a physical qwerty keyboard. Wifi sharing is a must.

Comment Re:Dissonance (Score 1) 149

I agree there should be software patents, but not on the algorithm or process itself but on the code. That is, the specific code that somebody when into a hard time to develop should be allowed to get a patent. However, I can develop a similar functionality with another completely different process and/or language, it should not be considered a patent violation. The issue here is allowing a company to patent the process itself. It is absurd. In this case, a swipe to unlock or a pinch-zoom funcionality. It is only natural to use that way. Innovative, yes. Then the company (Apple in this case) gets the benefit of selling a lot of iphones for being the first to market such a device. But this is very different that to allow a company to hold the rights to use that functionality they just came up with. The process should not be allowed a patent. I find it similar to patenting the process of utilizing a shoe sole from heel to toe, describing in detail how to do it and then patenting it. I could sue all shoe manufacturers for making people use the shoe that way. Or, if somebody patents the way to turn a wheel in a car with both hands: it would give somebody rights to every single car in the world. It is not only absurd. It is moronic.

Comment Re:What we do/don't need in Calculus. (Score 1) 1153

Teaching math isn't about teaching a specific skill that everyone will use, it's about teaching how to approach problems quantitatively. ... but the reason to learn it is that learning different topics that require critical and logical thinking will arm students with better methods to approach problems with.

I agree with your post. However I believe it goes beyond only the actual math skills. Math and physics force us to think beyond the obvious, and help develop the growing brain of a teenager, precisely when it is needed. Studies show that although no more neurons are grown during the teenage years, connections are still being made, and a pruning process takes place, which removes those skills not being used. Math exercises those connections and creates new ones, helping the person acquire capacities which may be more difficult to get afterward.

Comment Re:translation hard to understand... (Score 1) 442

How the hell is Powerpoint the killer app?

I participated in a very big government migration in Mexico. In the office apps, the killer app was powerpoint vs. OpenOffice Impress, basically because of compatibility issues. Excel vs. Calc was not such a big deal, probably aside from macros. However, anything related to presentations that would include tables would need a little tweaking.

At the end, user perception is all that matters. It stops a project in its tracks. It is not the OOo apps are difficult to use, or that incompatibility is that extensive. It all boils down to change management. Our project is not moving forward as expected because of the speed of the deployment: we purchased 40,000 new PCs with OpenOffice preinstalled (instead of MS Office). Try to handle a help-desk service for that volume. Even if only 5% of the users call to request assistance, absolute numbers play out against you and everything smells like failure (project-wise).

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