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The Muppets' 1967 IBM Sales Films 63

harrymcc writes "Forty-three years ago, before most people had ever heard of the Muppets, IBM contracted with Jim Henson for a series of short films that it used to educate and entertain its sales staff. These little-known movies — some of which feature cutting-edge office automation equipment such as very early word-processing systems — remain fresh, funny, and surprisingly irreverent. And one of them features the first appearance of the Cookie Monster, who got his big break on Sesame Street a couple of years later."

Comment Re:History (Score 1) 251

I use both Xaml and Xhtml+Css. In fact, I write more Xaml than Xhtml+Css at the moment - but there's no doubt in my mind that in particular Css is a very very well designed abstraction, it's much easier than Xaml styling.

Xaml's more powerful; granted - but xaml's styling is inherently imperative, and that means that it exposes way more odd corner cases, exceptions, etc.

By contrast, I like xaml's semantic structure more than Xhtml; but Xaml styling is too fragile (and too slow) for my tastes.

Comment Re:clue for the non-iphone-user (Score 1) 268

Reviews at iphoneappreviews.net : 493
Apps at App Store: 30 000

It's a buck. A cup of coffee. A quarter of a beer at a sporting event. Stop whining about it.

Sure, one app. If you have to buy three or four of the same type 'till you find a good one, and you need ten apps, that's 20-30$ wasted. Publishers have an alternative: provide trials. It's a piece of cake to make a trial version, so they don't have any reason not do so besides greed, exploiting the people who try to follow the rules. Fuck them.

Comment Re:Someone please explain (Score 2, Informative) 402

Kind of. To be pedantic (and I hope I remember my Latin correctly), campi is plural of campus, but only in certain cases.
In the original sentence he said "in college campuses (campi?)". "In" triggers the ablative case ("ablative of place"), and plural the plural version of this is "-is" [1][2]. So the correct form would be "in college campis".

So in my opinion he could argue "campus" was now an English word and use say "campuses" in the English fashion, or go Latin all the way.
Not all Latin words ending with -us is -i in plural. All 4th declination nouns have -us in plural as well. E.g. manus /hand.

[1] Ablative: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ablative_case#Latin
[2] Campus is second declination: http://www.archives.nd.edu/cgi-bin/words.exe?campus

Comment Local monopolies (Score 1) 439

I don't recall who. I do recall they annoyed me and I didn't care for their product; I'd buy from their competitors if I did.

Patronizing an advertiser's competitors isn't always practical because not every market is competitive. For example, if an energy company advertises in such an annoying manner, and that company provides electricity or natural gas to your city, where will you get your energy? If both the local cable company and the local phone company advertise in such an annoying manner, how do you plan to get Internet access?

Comment Balls (Score 1) 232

So, lets see. We have an organ, arguably the most critical organ in the male part of the species. Problem: it requires a temperature a couple of degrees cooler than core in order to function.

Option 1: Rework the design so it can function a couple of degrees warmer. Encase it safely (like the heart).

Option 2: Create a simple cooling system within the core whereby the organ, safely ensconced, can function properly.

Option 3: Stick the critical organ in a sack on the outside with a bunch of pain receptors. Thanks, Darwin!

Comment Re:Interesting, but... (Score 1) 598

At the very least, we know the brain obeys the laws of physics. A computer can simulate the laws of physics. Therefore, a computer can simulate the brain.

A computer can estimate the progression of physical systems, but cannot solve for all but a trifling few. (think three body problem). In some cases, we can estimate to an arbitrary degree of closeness, but in many cases we cannot (or at least cannot know that we are). This is the norm for complicated differential equations. An estimate which seems to be arbitrarily close to a solution might in fact be very far away. And these inaccuracies can compound and cascade in a massively parallel system like the brain.

Until we know more about just what aspects of the brain are relevant for the mind, we will have no idea of how limited the prospects are for a computer simulation. The problem may not be one of computing resources, but of fundamental limitations in the mathematics of computation.


Facebook Lets Advertisers Use Pictures Without Permission 260

Krokz sends in an LA Times piece that begins "A warning is bouncing through cyberspace today, landing on the Facebook statuses of many of the social networking site's users. The message: 'Facebook has agreed to let third party advertisers use your posted pictures without your permission.' It continues with a prescription of how you can protect your photos." The attention-grabbing incident in this furor involved a married woman, whose photo appeared in an ad for a dating service that was presented to her husband to view. Fortunately, both husband and wife had a sense of humor about it.

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