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Bill Gates Seeking Patent To Make Shakespeare Less Boring

Michael_gr What makes this less boring, exactly? (338 comments)

So, there's some boring textbook, and you scan a line, and some shitty algorithm (probably based on Bing search technology) generates some sort of vaguely-related video. How does that make the book any less boring? Videos are not inherently interesting - they are only interesting if they are made interesting by a human creator. This invention would just add a boring video to the boring text. What little interest can be extracted from this will be derived from the process's failures and unintended hilarious misinterpretations. They might as well try to patent "doodling on the margins" for all the good this is going to do.

about a year ago

New Flying Car Design Unveiled

Michael_gr A marketing ploy for their current offering? (233 comments)

If you visit the Terrafugia website, there are more details of the craft. To my untrained eye (aerospace buff, but not an engineer), it doesn't look feasible - not enough wing surface. Anyway, they are saying that when they begin accepting pre-orders, they will give precedence to owners of their current roadable aircraft, the Terrafugia Transition. So it might be legit or it might be vaporware concocted to help their sales department.

about a year ago

The Book of GIMP

Michael_gr Re:GIMP vs. Ps (197 comments)

A while ago the Gimp team decided to work on a product vision that will define what Gimp is supposed to be and what its target audience was. They decided that Gimp was meant to be a high end tool used by pros. I believe it was the wrong decision - but this was their decision to make, and having made it, they put Gimp in direct comparison with the only other high end Graphics manipulation tool out there, namely Photoshop.

about a year and a half ago

The Book of GIMP

Michael_gr Re:Gahnew (197 comments)

When people say that Gimp can be compared to Photoshop, it's like saying your Toyota Yaris compares with a Bugatti Veyron - when all you do is drive to the store around the corner. Photoshop is an amazing tools with multiple pro-level features that Gimp can only dream about having at some far point in the future. Heck, Gimp doesn't even have some rather important features that Photoshop had 12 years ago. By the way, to a Photoshop user, the interface is intuitive and simple and similar enough to Photoshop that it takes very little time to figure out that so many features are completely lacking. I can even go as far as saying that in a couple of tools, it surpasses Photoshop in usability. But only a couple.

about a year and a half ago

FAA Permits American Airlines To Use iPads In Cockpit "In All Phases of Flight"

Michael_gr Only now? unbelievable. (372 comments)

I worked for a startup that designed a tablet-style device to hold flight manuals and maps for airliners. That was back in 1996. The device was bulkier than an ipad but did not weight 16Kg, and had a respectable 800X600 color display. I'm pretty sure tablets and/or laptops have been used since then in the cockpit - so the news here is proabably that the FAA approving yet another device.

about 2 years ago

Former Xerox PARC Researcher: Windows 8 Is a Cognitive Burden

Michael_gr Same Problem as Unity (404 comments)

Tablets and other small devices are hot now? let's tailor our new OS to fit them, make every icon and control oversized, every window maximized, and throw customization out the window. Professionals and other people with PCs and large screens? screw them!

about 2 years ago

Teenager Arrested In England For Criticizing Olympic Athlete On Twitter

Michael_gr Both title and content of this post are wrong. (639 comments)

The guy was arrested but not for said tweet - he was arrested for those other tweets in which he threatened Daley and several other tweeters with murder. Making death threats is NOT free speech whether you are using Tweeter or cut-out letters from a newspaper. The article does mention that and says that "the law doesn't require threats of violence for an arrest to be made". Perhaps that's true but in *this* case he *was* arrested because of the death threats, not because of the abusive nature of his first tweet. The poster is clearly attempting to obfuscate the truth here.

The one thing that's puzzling is that according to the article the same tweeter first made a disparaging comment, then apologized, then backtracked and threatened Daley and was abusive to others. That's some odd behavior. Was he high? Is he suffering from bipolar disorder? perhaps someone hacked his account? I don't know

more than 2 years ago

The Hivemind Singularity

Michael_gr You only have to look at some FOSS projects (277 comments)

...that lack a strong leadership / vision, to know this idea is doomed to fail. Think how debilitating it would be to first ask a soldier to form an opinion on a certain course of action and vote on it (thereby forcing him to make an emotional investment in his choice). Let's say the majority chooses otherwise, rejecting said soldier's strategy. Now tell him to follow through with whatever the majority chose - that would create a negative effect on morale, much worse than asking soldiers to follow commands blindly and not form any opinion in the first place.

more than 2 years ago

'Inventor of Email' Gets Support of Noam Chomsky

Michael_gr email or "email"? (288 comments)

Remember Alice in wonderland? ...`Or else it doesn't, you know. The name of the song is called "Haddocks' Eyes."' `Oh, that's the name of the song, is it?' Alice said, trying to feel interested. `No, you don't understand,' the Knight said, looking a little vexed. `That's what the name is called. The name really is "The Aged Aged Man."' `Then I ought to have said "That's what the song is called"?' Alice corrected herself. `No, you oughtn't: that's quite another thing! The song is called "Ways and Means": but that's only what it's called, you know!' `Well, what is the song, then?' said Alice, who was by this time completely bewildered. Mr. Ayyadurai is the inventor of "email" ( a computer program) and may be the inventor of "email" (the word used today to describe electronic massages) but he is not the inventor of email (the concept and protocol of sending electronic messages). Mr Ayyadurai does not explicitely claim to have invented it, I believe, but he is guilty of making his claim murky enough so that people will THINK this is what he is claiming.

more than 2 years ago

Robot Controls Person's Arm To Manipulate Objects

Michael_gr Can this robot do my workout for me? (77 comments)

I wonder if it's possible to get this system to do your workout for you. Like, you program it to do a hundred bench presses and then lift weights for an hour. All the while you could, I dunno, watch TV on LCD goggles or something. Or, even better - suppose you could get this system to work on your arm muscles while you play video games using one of those brain-control interfaces. I would love to have a system like this.

about 2 years ago

Microsoft's Office365 Limits Emails To 500 Recipients

Michael_gr And if there wasn't a limit... (183 comments)

...I'm sure you'd be publishing an alarmist article about how Office365 could easily be used for spam. 500 distinct recipients per day sound pretty decent to me, and far above anything a normal human being would need. If you need more you are either: 1. sending to a mailing list, in which case, boo-hoo, just use another product 2. a spammer.

more than 2 years ago

Real 3D Display; 3 Years Out?

Michael_gr I think this is how it works: (191 comments)

I googled some phrases from the article and it seems this is not a freestanding hologram but a table-shpaed block of material that can display volumetric images inside itself. Imagine layering a number of transparent LCD screens on top of each other and displaying cross sections of something to get the entire obejct - this is how this probably works. The resulting images are transparent and not photorealistic: this will be useful for presenting data - medical or geographical - but not for gaming, movies or (damn!) porn.

more than 2 years ago

A Congressman and an Astronaut Propose a New Plan For NASA

Michael_gr There's no plan there... (221 comments)

Only a call to create a plan. The article is wrongfully disdainful of private rocket companies. Nine years ago, SpaceX started developing their launch systems. They started from scratch. They Spent maybe 10% of the equivalent NASA budget for Constellation. And they have something to show for it - several successful launches, a space capsule that has successfully returned form orbit and is being fitted for a manned launch, and a heavy launch vehicle in the works. NASA, in the mean time, was creating a *derived* system and yet ran into technological problems and have yet to produce a single piece of hardware that can do anything. Obama is diverting funds from a slow-moving, conservative, wasteful government agency and cancelled an under-performing, over-budget, technologically conservative (and yet riddled with problems) program. The money was diverted to the free market. And yet, all the space-loving republicans who touted the free market's ability to compete with NASA are now howling and complaining. Why? cause it's OBAMA, that's why.

more than 3 years ago

Alaska Airlines Jettisons Paper Manuals For iPads

Michael_gr So late? (220 comments)

I was working for a company that developed a tablet-like device for airline pilots back in 1996! Sure, it didn't have touch and it was 486 based and it was thicker, but it's really nothing new. What do pilots from other countries use? I won't be surprised to hear that the US is very conservative in this area.

more than 3 years ago

StunRay Incapacitates With a Flash of Light

Michael_gr Three days too late... (431 comments)

The date on the article is April 1st.

more than 3 years ago

Geocentrists Convene To Discuss How Galileo Was Wrong

Michael_gr Re:So I'm wondering... (1027 comments)

Actually, 137% of Americans believe the total percentage of Americans in America is 300%, not 100%.

about 4 years ago

Facebook Says It Owns 'Book'

Michael_gr I work for a company that produces "AirBook", (483 comments)

A training platform with e-learning, collaboration, student management and virtual community tools. Its first version came out in 1998. Wonder if they'll go back in time and sue us.

about 4 years ago

Local Newspapers Use F/OSS For a Day

Michael_gr Gimp is not as good as PS was a decade ago (460 comments)

Let me see, here's the list of stuf gimp is still missing: Native CMYK work and output - crucial for print ability to add spot channels (again, for print - used for special dyes and lamination) native 16 bit per channel support - crucial fro digital imaging and some esoteric tasks Clipping layers - use one layer to mask another vector masks on raster layers Layer groups - introduced in latest beta Layer effects - shadow, glow, storke - that change in real time according to layer data vector layers (not paths - layers with vector data filled with color/pattern/gradient) adjustment layers - layers that do non-destructive editing smart objects - add external files as layers, scale them while keeping the original data single, do-it-all transform tool strong text tools (being addressed currently in gimp) automatic layer boundary management that's just off the top of my head, and I'm not even talking about interface, just functionality! I know both gimp and photoshop inside and out, know where every command is on both - Photoshop is so much ahead of Gimp it's absurd to even discuss both in the same article. Comparing Gimp and PS on simple tasks such as overlaying a couple of images is like taking a Lamborghini Gallardo out to the local corner store and back at 25mph and then claiming it performs just as well as your used Toyota Yaris.

more than 4 years ago


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