top Why San Francisco Is the New Renaissance Florence
Yes, but I think the OP was referring to a very important difference. The rich in Florence were actively promoting the development of arts and culture. The rich in the Bay Area are simply collecting it. Sure, you are correct that much of it was private, but the architecture, and public buildings (and the paintings within them) were for everyone - or at least, so everyone could see how great they were. In that aspect I suppose they are similar, they both think/thought of themselves as the greatest city in the world.
But where Florence contained one of the most impressive public buildings in the entire world (the Duomo was a public building and an engineering marvel), San Francisco has comparatively weak museums compared to cities like New York, London, Paris, or even Florence. Sure 3 com park, and free concerts exist, but nearly every large city in the world has that. New York's Shakespeare in the Park, and the wealth of other free public art and music in that city is significantly more impressive. Even more importantly, as wealth has flowed into the Bay Area, the artists and culture creators of the city have simply been priced out.
That being said, the argument that software is our current society's art and that software developers are the Florentine Renaissance artists might have legs.
top The Japanese Mob Is Hiring Homeless People To Clean Up Fukushima
Life emulating anime? Now I'm just waiting for the wine bank break in.
top Egyptian President Overthrown, Constitution Suspended
Are people forgetting it took the US two tries to get it right? The articles of confederation weren't suspended by the military, even less effort was needed: they were simply ignored by all the states.
top Art School's Expensive Art History Textbook Contains No Actual Art
There is a huge misunderstanding in the summary about what is copyright (the art vs the images of the art), and the comments so far do poor job of explaining it, so I'll try. What the textbook maker does not want to pay for is licencing is photos of the works of art. If you wanted to take your own photo of any of these works of art you could (so long as the museum allowed photography), but without setting up, lighting or permission of the museum to use flash, a nice camera, or the proper angle your photo might look like shit. Especially on larger images in poorly lit churches with bars over the chapel in which a work of art is hung, getting your own photo is next to impossible. Museum and private collections take super high quality photos of their work and then licence out these images, using these fees to support the collection.
Why they would charge $180 for a book which is essential just text I don't understand. No one out side of these classes will buy the book at $180 if it has no images, so why not just cut the blank spots, and have an all text textbook that has footnotes or side-notes with links to the art the text is talking about? You'd save a number of pages of space from the new layout, and you no longer have to pay for glossy photo pages, you could even make it a paper back and reduce the price to $50 or $60 and probably make the same overall profit off the book, if not more.
about a year and a half ago
top Mark Zuckerberg's Big Facebook Mistake
This is very interesting, I knew he was draconian about control of the company before the IPO, but this seems to imply nothing has changed at all.
"As a stockholder, even a controlling stockholder, Mr.ÂZuckerberg is entitled to vote his shares, and shares over which he has voting control as a result of voting agreements, in his own interests, which may not always be in the interests of our stockholders generally."
That is pretty tyrannical wording right there, but I suppose you'd have to be stupid to expect him to give up control before he feels good and ready. Bill wasn't any different in many ways, he just had more partners to buy or cheat out. I understand the appeal of owning part of such a massive and influential company, but if you have no say, and can never have any say in it's direction no matter how much you own, that seems a bit odd.
about a year and a half ago
top CowboyNeal On
Dota 2, Modern Games, and Software Development
Strange that it has come to this isn't it?
Gaming has always been an investment, and early game consoles and games were relatively more expensive that they are today (see:
http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2010/10/an-inconvenient-truth-game-prices-have-come-down-with-time/ or http://www.1up.com/news/90s-game-price-comparison-charticle) and the truth is well developed games at reasonable prices simply aren't as safe an investment as a develop as you go/DLC-centric product. If you spend three years developing a title, and after the second year of development realize that play-testers and focus groups aren't responding well, or you've reached the realization that there is some technical (or other) limitation you can't overcome, you've lost at least those two years of development with no releasable product. If instead you try to cram the general mechanics into the game as rapidly as possible, and get the community play testing for you, and then monetize them to support continued development, not only do you take significantly less of an initial investment risk, but you also stand to profit off of your product for significantly longer than just the title's couple weeks or month at the top of the release charts.
TF2 is of course the king of this, and the long lifespan of it probably reflects valve's business acumen. If I was a game developer, and you told me I could not only sell my title, but then, as sales began to drop of re-monetize the user-base through micro-payments literally YEARS after the game's release, why wouldn't I say yes? Especially after the considerable (and probably costly) development that went into the original release (many years. and more than one total overhaul), and the subsequent updates before you could buy things for the game. The Mann-conomy update (introducing micro-payments) went live on September 30th, 2010 but there had been 11 major content updates, and two addition community content updates since TF2's release nearly 3 years earlier (October 10th 2007).
top US Regains Supercomputing Crown, Besting China and Japan
Except, for the most part, its not. This is an Intel based super computer, and only one of Intel's eleven wafer fabs is in China (one is in Israel, one is in Ireland, and the rest in the US), and only two of its seven assembly plants (one in Vietnam, one is Costa Rica, and the rest in Malaysia). Further, the fab in China produces chipsets, not microprocessors. Sure, other parts like wiring, or the racks may be manufactured in China, but the most important (and by far most expensive) part of a parallel focused supercomputer like this is the cost of so many processors. Processors which were probably produced in Hillsboro, OR or Chandler, AZ.
top It's Baaack! XB-37B Finally Lands
While the craft itself operates unmanned, it could be easily adapted for human cargo in a not so ridiculous way. In fact, 2 seconds of searching revealed the plan to used a modified (scaled up) version of this design to transport astronauts into space.
top Flame Malware Authors Hit Self-Destruct
Have you bothered to read other articles on Flame? It's ability to record and gather information and transmit it back to C&C servers means that it's an excellent tool not just to do large government espionage, but also to listen in on individual conversations. As a tool in a fight against domestic terrorism, and counter espionage. I imagine it would be very effective, it's like a wiretap, without having to ask a judge for a wiretap. Infections in Israel/Palestine aren't broken down by Israel vs Palestine anywhere I've seen, which may mean that the vast majority are in Palestine. If that's true, it is another pretty large piece of evidence in favor of Israeli authorship.
top Anonymous Claims To Have Defaced Hundreds of Chinese Government Sites
Except that by generating headlines, the repositories of those headlines (like
/. here) will store the articles concerning those events. The only way their message (albeit not a very productive one in my opinion) will disappear forever will be if the articles covering it do too, and when that happens you can bet your comment on it will disappear as well.
top Texting On the Rise In the US
How in the hell would you have have time to do anything besides send 200 texts a day?
top Stanford Robot Car Capable of Slide Parking
New Toyota accelerates uncontrollably into perfect sliding parallel parking job
top World's Fastest Robot Versus the Wiimote
this just in: Car beat human in 500m dash
top Timmy O'Riley By L. Hadron and the Colliders
top Mars Robot May Destroy Life It Was Sent To Find
top Who Protects the Internet?
This is a really weird analogy, but this reminds me of snow crash - individual areas secured by their owners, and huge unprotected wastes and everything in between.
Too far fetched a nerd reference?
top How to Deal With an Aging Brain?
I actually have the same problem - I simply can't remember lyrics. Oddly enough however I'm actually quite good at memorizing lines for plays and things of that nature. Although I know you meant it partly as a rhetorical question, I find that if you memorize meaning and not how it "sounds," it's a lot easier to remember. I know some people who can memorize songs after listening to them just once, and they memorize completely by sound, they can sing it back to me, but they don't actually know what any of it is, and if they misheard a lyric don't correct it in their recitation, even if the mistaken lyric now makes no sense what so ever.
top The Importance of Procedural Content Generation In Games
Also I think the procedural content in Farcry 2 managed to avoid being hideous, but as just mentioned, you could tell what was, and what wasn't. The sky did turn out nice though.
I played Oblivion extensively, and while it was very pretty when you got the huge 4GB texture packs - what was pretty was the landscape, the massive vistas, mountains and valleys. In Oblivion the farther you could see the prettier it was. Almost every random spot in the woods looked exactly like every other random spot in the woods, the only exception being the swampy area in the south, which all looked exactly the same once you got in it.
The Introversion City game is the first piece of procedurally generated content that I've seen that looks amazing. It looks like a legitimate city is being planned out before you. the final result is just like a real city's layout, both planned out, and chaotic. The cities in the tech videos reminded me of Paris.
top The Importance of Procedural Content Generation In Games
I often find that while procedurally generated content allows for hugely larger worlds, handcrafted ones are almost always more rewarding, even if they are smaller.
Also procedurally generated content rarely creates "stunning" visuals, simply lots of visuals.
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