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Comment Re:Actually, it's Greedo who shoots first. Again. (Score 1) 419

Actually the visual fidelity of the originals really isn't that good by modern standards. A few years ago they released dvds with the original *unedited* and the remastered versions, and they originals look very fuzzy and kind of cheesy by comparison. It's the sort of thing you might not notice on an old CRT, but the LCD screen I had definitely revealed some limitations in the original film prints.

Comment Re:C-sharp (Score 1) 565

Can you suggest some tips on getting involved with ETL/data modeling work? I'm coming from an accounting background but have experience with Perl and VBA. Haven't messed around with Java too much, and my personal projects are too small to be useful for learning about back-end data flow.

Comment Propeller Chip (Score 1) 140

Another option is to use the Parallax Propeller microcontroller. It's got 8 cores, 80Mhz clock speed, and 32k of ram, and you can either program in its higher-level Spin language or get right down into assembler. The Arduino is fun to learn on and accessible to people who don't have a strong programming background, but working with the Propeller is like advancing to the varsity squad.

Comment Re:He is correct (Score 1) 364

"The perennial problem of IT: It's benefits are several degrees removed from its efforts, from the POV of an accountant." There is an easy way to fix this, as the article suggests: get to know a couple of your accountants, see what kind of work they do and how they use Excel, then write a quick macro to format their data, spread it across several tabs, or email their colleagues. This simple work makes a real impact, and they will quickly understand IT's benefits.

Sharp Rise In Jailing of Online Journalists; Iran May Just Kill Them 233

bckspc writes "The Committee to Protect Journalists has published their annual census of journalists in prison. Of the 136 reporters in prison around the world on December 1, 'At least 68 bloggers, Web-based reporters, and online editors are imprisoned, constituting half of all journalists now in jail.' Print was next with 51 cases. Also, 'Freelancers now make up nearly 45 percent of all journalists jailed worldwide, a dramatic recent increase that reflects the evolution of the global news business.' China, Iran, Cuba, Eritrea, and Burma were the top 5 jailers of journalists." rmdstudio writes, too, with word that after the last few days' protest there, largely organized online, the government of Iran is considering the death penalty for bloggers and webmasters whose reports offend it.

Comment Re:There's tickets? (Score 2, Insightful) 210

'spontaneously gathering' may work for a few thousand people for a couple years, but the cat's now out of the bag. if you want to throw technicalities at BLM, they can probably find a technicality to toss all the campers off the land. burning man gets away with it every year because it brings money into a depressed area, which requires coordination. if you want to relinquish all responsibility, you're opening yourself up to being controlled by other, outside influences. i think the tradeoff's worth it.

Comment Re:There's tickets? (Score 2, Informative) 210

There are serious logistical challenges to building a city in the desert. Organizers must secure permits, hire portapotty cleaners (who come every day), give out art grants, etc, and these things cost serious money. Burning Man isn't spontaneous and people have realized that for 50,000 people to live civilly with each other, there need to be some rules and a modicum of organization. (The "rules," IIRC, are mostly about adhering to the laws of federal park lands, which the playa is.) I've been twice and old timers always say it's not like it used to be...even people who have been there only three times. But they keep going back, because not-what-it-used-to-be is still better than anything-else-that's-going-on.

Comment Arduino (Score 1) 131

I think that for general purpose gadget-making, an Arduino board ( is more versatile. They're commonly used by artists for the straightforward input-output commands but I'm sure that someone clever enough could make some killer projects. Also, it's a helluva lot cheaper and fully open source.

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