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Your Favorite Technology That Didn't Come To Pass

Pantero Blanco Re:Computer Teacher? (317 comments)

That's more of a textbook than a teacher.

They're talking about the sci-fi version, which is basically a specialized AI that has access to all that information.

If you've read The Diamond Age, the Primer is a good example.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: What's the Most Depressing Sci-fi You've Ever Read?

Pantero Blanco Dogfight by Gibson and Swanwick (1365 comments)

The short story "Dogfight" from the Burning Chrome collection has a young street criminal discover that he has a talent that could bring him a legitimate source of income and friends.

Since it's my answer to the title question, you can guess that it doesn't end well. The whole story's online here and a couple of other places.

about 2 years ago
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School's In For Summer At Udacity

Pantero Blanco Re:I haven't read the article, but (105 comments)

I suspect some of the top people in the class went in with a full understanding of the subject matter, intending to test the class itself.

about 2 years ago
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Teachers Resist High-tech Push In Idaho Schools

Pantero Blanco Online Class Requirement (311 comments)

The plan requires high school students to take online courses for two of their 47 graduation credits.

This sounds like a cost-cutting measure. Online classes are for times when the alternative is not having the class. They're "better than nothing", not "better".

If a school wanted to offer students a course in programming but didn't have anyone capable, then it might make sense to arrange for them to take an online course offered by a third party (preferably a tech school or college in the same area). It doesn't sound like this is anything close to what they're doing.

more than 2 years ago
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Paypal Founder Helping Build Artificial Island Nations

Pantero Blanco Re:Only as "free" as your ability to defend it (692 comments)

This idea has been tried several times and it always ends the same way (with fail [wikipedia.org]).

Its neighbor could conquer it if the neighbor so desired, but that's true for many small nations.
It accepted aid offered by a neighbor during a disaster (the fire), but nations do that all the time.

It defeated an armed invasion by a group of mercenaries, and it has existed in a state of self-rule since 1967 (ignoring British firearm laws).

What would you consider a "success"?

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: CS Degree Without Gen-Ed Requirements?

Pantero Blanco Re:You underestimate the value (913 comments)

I'm not trying to be confrontational -- I'm genuinely curious. Both B.Sc. and B.A. have breadth requirements, partly to encourage inquiry outside of the student's chosen discipline. If you strip those away, you're no longer talking about a university education but a trade-school-style training.

No, trade school-style training would be learning how to perform the basic tasks expected in an industry, with little if any of the theory.

Taking a good school's CS or mathematics program, stripping out the requirements for intro-level soft-science classes, and replacing them with more relevant classes wouldn't turn it into a trade school program. It would just be a more specialized university degree.

more than 3 years ago
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The Rise of Filter Bubbles

Pantero Blanco Visible and Optional v Invisible and On-By-Default (408 comments)

Having these filters as an option is a good thing; that's just a tool you can use to refine a search.

Having them on by default and invisible (or obfuscated) is not. In this case, information is being hidden from searchers who may not even realize that filtering is taking place.

The TED page for the speech has a transcript for those who don't have sound, or just don't want to sit through a nine-minute video.

more than 3 years ago
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Creating the Software Art In Tron Legacy

Pantero Blanco Re:Fail at physics? (124 comments)

The more I think about it, the more likely it seems that you're right, seeing as he just wanted the illusion of fireworks and not a detailed (physics-wise) simulation. Applying an actual force and then calculating the velocity would have been a waste of time for him, so he probably just assigned a velocity at birth and (erroneously) called it a force in the article.

more than 3 years ago
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Creating the Software Art In Tron Legacy

Pantero Blanco Re:Fail at physics? (124 comments)

Upward force is applied to the object. Upward velocity is the result.

Problem?

more than 3 years ago
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Robert Bunsen, Open Source Pioneer?

Pantero Blanco Re:Dummont (127 comments)

Santos Dummont - inventor of the air plane

No, that's an attempt by Brazil to pump up a national hero.

The Wright brothers didn't use a catapult in the 1903 flight, and the claim you just made would be wrong even if they had.

more than 3 years ago
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China To Overtake US In Science In Two Years

Pantero Blanco Re:Opinion != Fact (362 comments)

His reading comprehension isn't at fault here.

the offensive attack the US had planned if they didn't use the bomb would have been far worse. And that is historical fact.

"That" refers to the preceding statement. The quote claims that a hypothetical outcome is a historical fact.

the offensive attack the US had planned (and that is historical fact) if they didn't use the bomb would have been far worse.

This is what you meant (and yes, it is most likely true).

more than 3 years ago
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The Simpsons Reviewed For Unsuitable Nuclear Jokes

Pantero Blanco I do not "appreciate the concern". (374 comments)

Editing out scenes that had the old WTC was stupid, and so is this.

Stop being oversensitive nutless wonders and expecting others to be the same.

more than 3 years ago
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ISP's War On BitTorrent Hits World of Warcraft

Pantero Blanco Re:Did some digging (252 comments)

We have determined that the problem occurs only when our customers are simultaneously using peer-to-peer file sharing applications and running the game. Therefore we recommend turning off the peer-to-peer setting in the World of Warcraft game and ensuring that no peer-to-peer applications are running on any connected computer. Rogers will engage our customers to ensure they are aware of these recommendations, while continuing to work on a longer term solution.

Are they missing the point or just playing dumb?

For one, their "advice" isn't going to accomplish anything. That's like fixing a broken limb by amputating it.

Secondly, Rogers is the one that's breaking things, so it's their responsibility, not the responsibility of their users. Whether a workaround exists is irrelevant, because they shouldn't be breaking things in the first place.

more than 3 years ago
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China Mandates Parental Controls For Online Games

Pantero Blanco Re:nanny state (68 comments)

It's not giving the parents any legal power that they didn't already have. It's forcing the companies to jump through useless hoops in order to show the Ministry's disapproval of an activity.

The project will require online game companies to set up a web page, enquiry hotline and other special channels for parental supervision of their children.

Of course, next to a lot of other crap China has in place, this is pretty much inconsequential. I doubt the expenses are going to drive anyone to bankruptcy. Sure, it's part of the way things are normally done there. It's still a nanny state action.

more than 3 years ago
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Rubik's Cube Now Solvable in 20 Moves

Pantero Blanco Re:Thank God! (309 comments)

Thank God! And cancer? Still unsolved. I'll bet computer time could be used for that too. (sorry, bullsh*t like this hits very close to home for me recently. Nothing like having people dying, and then hearing how we are using resources for utter crap)

I don't think the limiting factor in cancer research is lack of computer time. If it were something so simple, getting the resources wouldn't be a problem.

Your raging is pointless.

more than 3 years ago
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First Self-Replicating Creature Spawned In Conway's Game of Life

Pantero Blanco Re:I thought someone had a glider gun... (241 comments)

I wasn't offering the breeder pattern as an example of self-replication, just as an example of a "glider gun gun". As for Wade's pattern... Well, I've been running the simulation for over an hour and it's barely past generation 10M (and the actual replication isn't supposed to be complete until almost 40M). Perhaps the construction outpaces the destruction in such a way that we do have two full copies of the original pattern, eventually.

Wolfram did seem impressed by Wade's pattern; he just said that the interviewer was trying to apply it to the wrong field:

Rather than contributing to our understanding of life, Wolfram says Wade's discovery could help devise ways to build a molecular-scale computer, starting from tiny components like the cells in Life.

more than 4 years ago
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First Self-Replicating Creature Spawned In Conway's Game of Life

Pantero Blanco Re:I thought someone had a glider gun... (241 comments)

You would need a glider gun that shoots out more glider guns.

Which would be hella fun, actually.

There is a breeder pattern that uses a set of ships to produce a stream of glider guns, but (being regular Gosper Glider Guns) they don't move once they've been created.

The applet on Paul Callahan's page has it stored as one of the example patterns.

more than 4 years ago
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European Parliament Declaring War Against ACTA

Pantero Blanco Re:Americans and Europeans (307 comments)

They just choose to ignore a different set of civil liberties.

more than 4 years ago
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New Riddick Movie Made Possible By Games?

Pantero Blanco This would be "Riddick 4". (160 comments)

The Chronicles of Riddick WAS "Riddick 3".

1. Pitch Black
2. Dark Fury
3. Chronicles of Riddick

more than 4 years ago
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A History of Media Technology Scares

Pantero Blanco Roles (119 comments)

Isn't this just different age groups acting out their normal roles?

The young take the world as they see it and learn from it, adults try to use it productively, and elders warn people about observed and potential dangers.

more than 4 years ago

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