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Interviews: Ask Warren Ellis a Question

jstomel Adaptation (58 comments)

If you could pick any of your works for a movie of HBO series adaptation, which would you most like to see and who would you cast as the main character?

about a week ago
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Primary School Girl Told To Stop Photographing and Blogging School Meals

jstomel Re:Yum (472 comments)

Ah, you used poptarts for vitamin C. I used to steal ketchup packs from McDonalds to get mine. Other than that it was ramen, rice, and mac n' cheese.

more than 2 years ago
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World's Worst PR Guy Gives His Side

jstomel Re:That's pretty much what they did (576 comments)

I wonder if this Paul Cristoforo has pioneered a new PR strategy for startups though. . . hire him, or someone like him, to stir up a big pot of controversy, publicly fire him saying you had NO IDEA he was going to abuse his position, and release press releases talking about how great your products are for disabled people/kids/other sympathetic group, etc. Get the public to view your company as another victim of his abuse and try to get them to feel bad for you and good about your products, while transferring their rage to the "rogue employee/consultant".

Sort of Good Cop/Bad Cop for startups.

Well, if you read Machiavelli (or even Dune), that is exactly what is suggested. Invade a country, put a horrible despot in control of it. Let the despot kill the violent opposition and beat the populace into submission. Then, depose the despot, execute him publicly, say you had no idea what he was doing in your name, and lower taxes slightly. Even though taxes are still higher than they were before, people will still love you because you are better than the despot you deposed. Now, I don't think Christoforo the idiot is the Machiavellian genious who would come up with this plan, but wouldn't it be funny if he were?

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Ebook Reader for Scientific Papers?

jstomel Re:I have tried a lot of them (254 comments)

Another thing to consider is that the iPad has some very good apps designed specifically for scientific paper reading. "Papers" on the iPad is not only an excellent pdf reader with good coverflow options, it will sort and arrange your papers by author, year, and journal. It directly searches public repositories of articles like web of science and google scholar and will directly import both from the web and from dropbox, eliminating the need to deal with iTunes.

more than 3 years ago
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Doctors To Patients: First, Do No Yelp Harm

jstomel Re:Streisand Effect (581 comments)

I was under the impression that a contract cannot take away rights guaranteed by the constitution. Am I wrong?

First, IANAL. However, this is a common misconception. The constitution does not guarantee you free speech in all circumstances. It just guarantees that the Government itself will not make any laws that restrict your speech. Anyone else can restrict your speech in any way they see fit using whatever powers they may have. Your company can fire your if they don't like what they say. Your doctor can refuse to treat you. Your school can expel you (assuming it is a private school). Most especially, you are free to restrict your speech by voluntarily entering into a contract not to speak on certain issues. How else would NDAs work? To the best of my knowledge, the Bill of Rights (and most of the other amendments) limits only what actions the Government may take and does not inhibit the actions of individuals or groups such as corporations.

more than 3 years ago
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New Apple MacBook Pro Reviewed

jstomel Re:Uh oh (627 comments)

I'm not sure it's a troll exactly, though it probably wasn't phrased in a completely accurate manner. Since apple's move to Intel it has consistently taken longer to offer access to the newest processors than other hardware manufacturers. This is because apple has a philosophy of fewer hardware models that get refreshed on an anual basis, as opposed to Dell, HP, and the like which have no problem offering the newest chip the day after release. I think that TFS was simply commenting that it is interesting that good timing on the Macbook Pro refresh and an unintended supply chain error had conspired to make Apple the first out with the newest processor rather than having a delay of a few months which is more typical. If you read "new technology" to mean "new CPU technology" (I feel it is clear from context that they are talking about processor technology) then the statement is reasonably accurate. Admittedly, TFS could have been more clear. And yes, I know that "processor" and "CPU" are not necessarily synonymous, but I think the statement holds in either case.

more than 3 years ago
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Common Traits of the Veteran Unix Admin

jstomel Re:no Emacs really?? (592 comments)

Emacs is a beautiful and flexible piece of software capable of doing a great many things. And if you run vi from inside it it will be a good text editor.

more than 3 years ago
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Polynomial Time Code For 3-SAT Released, P==NP

jstomel Re:What, exactly, is 3-SAT? (700 comments)

I dunno. If CS people think that's what the big-O is then it explains a lot.

more than 3 years ago
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Flash Comes To the iPhone Via App

jstomel Re:Name one (182 comments)

The daily show and colbert report videos on comedy central require flash and are not on youtube in full. That's really the only thing i am waiting for.

about 4 years ago
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iPad Owners Are 'Selfish Elites'

jstomel Re:Not a troll (780 comments)

I have an ipad and I've never even used facebook. Or myspace or twitter or friendster or anything like that. The other ipad users I know (which is admittedly only two) either don't use facebook or use it only rarely. I'm not sure I understand where your generalization is coming from.

more than 4 years ago
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Why Windows 7 "Slate" Tablets Won't Happen

jstomel Re:Does anyone praising the iPad actualy have one? (467 comments)

And as the owner of a (free) iPod Touch, I've never found an easy way of transferring documents to or from it, unless I feel like jailbreaking it and putting an SSH client on it...

Really? Hmm... I don't have an iPod Touch, but I do have an ipad and I have several apps that allow me to move almost any file I want on to it wirelessly. There are several methods, but my preferred one is to start the app on the ipad and then point the browser of the computer with the media files on it at a supplied IP address. Then you just select the files you want to transfer and push "upload" and boom, they are transfered. Transferring files from it is more difficult. Best solution is usually either to email them (for small files) or use one of several apps that allow you to mount your ipad as an external hard drive and grab the files off.

more than 4 years ago
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Google Chrome Extensions Are Now Available

jstomel Re:Take on AdBlock? (291 comments)

Honestly I rather wish people would just put their valuable content behind a paywall. If you think your stuff is so valuable then let's see what you can get for it on it in the open market. There will always be plenty of free content because people like creating and sharing content. They do it for free all the time. Most bloggers are not paid to do it and do not require add support. Ditto wikipedia. You might consider such content inferior, I don't. Lets find out what the market says. Google, of course, is add supported. However, their adds are unobtrusive and relevant. I might also note that most addblockers do not block google adds because they are inserted directly into the html of the page google returns on a search result and not echoed from an addserver. If everyone advertised like google does, I don't think there would be a problem.

So to all content providers out there who complain about addblockers. Please, take your ball and bat and go home. Let's see who decides to play with you.

more than 4 years ago
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Yale Researchers Find New RNA Structures

jstomel Re:From the original Nature article... (90 comments)

"Very large" compared to other non-coding non-ribosomal functional RNAs. As a biologist I would generally classify the ribosomal RNAs as huge. At 1000 nucleotides it's bigger than most protein complexes.

more than 4 years ago
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RadioShack To Rebrand As "The Shack"?

jstomel finally (629 comments)

I just had to relay this anecdote. I like to listen to the radio on my bike ride home and a few years ago my pocket radio broke. I went to radioshack to get a new one. They only had one radio in the entire store. It was the size of a paperback book and had an antenna for fuck's sake. When I pointed out that for a place called radioshack they sure don't have very many radios, they offered to sell me a cell phone that played MP3s.

more than 5 years ago
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The Dilemma of Level vs. Skill In MMOs

jstomel Re:and baking is just knowing the recipe (463 comments)

Nope. Chess is about moves to mate. Once you start memorizing all the board layouts that lead to checkmate you can beat anyone who doesn't have them memorized. Chess is only a game of skill at novice and grandmaster levels. Novices don't bother learning board layouts and grandmasters know them all and only play against other people who know them all and how to avoid them. In the middle realm it's all about memorization. I still remember the first time I played against someone and about six moves in they told me "It's mate in 10 moves". Sure enough, they were right.

more than 5 years ago
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MS Word 2010 Takes On TeX

jstomel Re:Low (674 comments)

Interesting. I am a graduate student in molecular biology at a research one university and I have seen very, very, few people use linux. In fact, me and one other guy are the only ones I know of. The ratio I see seems to be about 65% windows, 35% OSX. Much to my annoyance, Word is already the editor of choice of all of my academic peers and collaborators. So much so that I have been forced to get a copy. Possibly there is a split between the the CS/Math/electrical engineering departments and chem/biochem/biology (with which I am more familiar).

more than 5 years ago
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Biologist (Almost) Creates Artificial Life

jstomel Re:Says nothing about creationism (539 comments)

Honestly, I saw him talk a couple of months ago at a conference and my adviser studied under him, so I'm probably more up to date on his research than the published work. His most recent nature paper is a good start (I can get the pdf, but it won't be available publicly for a number of months (goddam closed access journals). Is there a way I can post the pdf here?). I guess the important thing is that while we have not yet completely and totally bridged the gap you speak of, every year we make more and more progress towards providing a complete story. Jack hopes to have a completely functional protocell sometime in the next 20 years. The one he has now only replicates two of the four bases and requires a fairly rigid set of laboratory conditions. He believes (and I believe he can do it, he's already done the most difficult part) that he can turn this into a fully functional freely living synthetic cell in 15 to 20 years (such is the pace of science). At which point he will most likely win the nobel, if not before. Not that that is why he does this, he is one of the most humble and truly devoted people I have met in science and it was and honor and a pleasure to meet him. At any rate, watch this space closely for the next few years and hopefully your questions will be answered. An end is in sight now and that which seemed impossible to reduce has a game plan laid out to finally solve it. These are exciting times.

more than 6 years ago

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