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Comments

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Video Games As Propaganda

GabrielF Admitted under duress to Iranian captors (251 comments)

Hekmati "admitted" this while he was in Iranian custody - as reported by the Tehran Times. Given the history of the Iranian regime (they seem to arrest people for spying for Israel or the US every couple of weeks) I think we should take this with a grain of salt. Considering that making video games and infiltrating a foreign country require completely different skill sets, I find it hard to believe that the CIA would send their video game developer deep into Iranian territory. (According to the NY Times, he was visiting his Iranian grandparents.)

more than 2 years ago
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Are Engineers Natural Libertarians Or Technocrats?

GabrielF there's a lot more to it than engineering (727 comments)

My grandfather was an aerospace engineer and a lifelong New Deal Democrat. He grew up poor in the depression, worked in the tobacco fields when he was about 13, put himself through college by selling blood, etc. He understood that government had helped him and a lot of people of his generation to become middle class.

On the other hand I know a lot of engineers who grew up under Soviet communism and are super right-wing. They had a very bad experience with government persecution and they tend to view all government activity through the lens of restricting their rights.

more than 2 years ago
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Philip K. Dick's 'Ubik' To Be Filmed

GabrielF Re:almost impossible to film (225 comments)

Out. The running joke was that the main character never had enough money to leave his apartment.

more than 6 years ago

Submissions

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Joseph Weizenbaum, creator of Eliza, dies

GabrielF GabrielF writes  |  more than 6 years ago

GabrielF writes "Artificial Intelligence pioneer Joseph Weizenbaum, who created the first chatbot Eliza in the 1960s, died last Thursday at the age of 85. The New York times has an obituary. Weizenbaum designed Eliza so that a user's interaction with the program would approximate the conversation a patient might have with a Rogerian therapist. Although the realism of the interaction was limited, Weizenbaum noted that many users became deeply attached to the program, sharing their deepest secrets with it. This observation contributed to Weizenbaum's later ambivalence about computer technology and worry about the potential implications of artificial intelligence."
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Apple: NBC wanted to double price of TV shows

GabrielF GabrielF writes  |  more than 6 years ago

GabrielF (636907) writes "In a press release today, Apple confirmed that NBC TV shows will no longer be sold on iTunes. According to Apple, NBC, which accounted for 30% of Apple's TV sales, wanted to double the wholesale price of each episode, resulting in a new retail price of $4.99 an episode instead of $1.99. The other four networks, as well as more than 50 cable channels, will be selling their next season's shows on iTunes for $1.99 an episode."
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GabrielF GabrielF writes  |  more than 7 years ago

GabrielF writes "Steve Jobs has followed up on the success of his Thoughts on Music editorial by publishing a new piece on Apple's website aimed at responding to a different set of critics. In A Greener Apple , Steve acknowledges that Apple has been a frequent target of environmental groups such as Greenpeace for building products that "contain hazardous substances that other companies have abandoned." Jobs describes Apple's current use of a variety of toxic chemicals, contrasts his company with others in the industry and outlines ambitious plans for the future, for example, eliminating the use of arsenic in displays, and PVC plastics in all products by 2008 and expanding its recycling program to 19 million pounds per year by 2010, or 30% of the product weight Apple sold 7 years earlier. By comparison, Apple, Dell and HP each currently recycle about 10% of the product weight they sold seven years ago. How will this new piece be received by environmentalists? Will it help kick-start industry-wide changes like Thoughts on Music?"
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GabrielF GabrielF writes  |  more than 7 years ago

GabrielF writes "As we learn more about the victims of yesterday's massacre at Virginia Tech it is becoming clear that the international community has been dealt a significant blow. Thus far, the identities of three murdered professors have been announced. They are:
  • Kevin Granata — Described as one of the top 5 biomechanics researchers in the US
  • Liviu Librescu — 76, a Romanian-born Israeli Holocaust survivor "recognized internationally for his research in aeronautical engineering". He reportedly saved the lives of his students by throwing himself in front of the shooter when the man tried to enter the classroom
  • G. V. Loganathan — 51, an Indian-born civil engineering professor
"
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GabrielF GabrielF writes  |  more than 6 years ago

GabrielF writes "What could cause more speculation than a brief announcement involving two of Slashdot's most beloved companies: Apple and Google? Well, today, Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google joined Apple's already high-powered board of directors. Schmidt joins Al Gore and the CEOs of Intuit, J. Crew and Genentech on Apple's board. Does this move signal the start of a closer relationship between Apple and Google or is it just an irrelevant insider deal?"

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