Re: The Facts..........
Um, possibly they wanted to prop their iMac ecosystem first, fast?
102 posts • joined 10 Feb 2007
There is this deflection technique that consists in having a spaceship travelling alongside the asteroid, so that its minuscule gravitational force pulls the celestial body off its original trajectory enough to avoid Earth. No bombs, no tricky landings, no fighting the asteroid spin, etc.: just having enough mass and advance time to do the trick.
"…who is perhaps best known for a 1985 coup in which he ousted Apple cofounder Steve Jobs…"
Er, no: actually, he survived Jobs' attempt at a coup, then relegated him to a corner by his underperformance, and finally let him get out to build NeXT and drive it to the ground while Apple went through a stage of splendor before its decline.
Lucas wanted them to build him some tools for audio and video editing (didn't they sell their tech to Avid later?), film scanning and printing. Once done, their goals didn't align too well, and I believe Lucas needed the cash at the time, so…
Arguably, NeXT and Pixar were the school where Steve Jobs learned to let go his most idiotic business practices and hone his kung-fu. Also, by then the universe finally aligned with his vision: the internet and AV turned computers into true consumer electronics, which is where his instincts excelled.
Well, perhaps because it'll allow others to better interoperate with Renderman, which ought to help Renderman sales. Perhaps its clientele demanded such a move. Or perhaps, simply, they felt like it, as subDs are kind of old news, no longer that significant in a feature list.
Also, this kind of thing is happening fairly often lately: see Alembic, EXR, Ptex and other 3D tech that have been opensourced and embraced by the industry.
The technique derives smoothly curved surfaces from simpler roughly curved (or not curved at all) ones. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subdivision_surface It's been pretty fundamental in 3D modeling and animation of organic objects and characters for the last few decades (although new more sculptey techniques have come to the forefront lately). Most commercial 3D apps provide with some form of SubDs.
Also, in this, Pixar is following this recent trend in the 3D and VFX industry of opensourcing code, formats specs and such. It's quite exciting, really.
The same guy who disparaged flash memory-based mp3 players, all-in-one computers with their innards inside the screen, and often discarded the old insanely great shiny for the new insanely great shiny despite sometimes being far better.
The Kindle and all the eBook readers around have demonstrated the 7" physical format as perfectly viable, and the UI issues are nonsense. That was Jobs playing FUD against a rival format with a serious portability advantage.
Far better long form PDF documents reading experience. Far better eBook reading experience (try reading an eBook in a portable for hours. Not fun). Just those two justify their existence, specially the lower-end of the spectrum.
As a computer: real no-buts instant on (which is crucial for casual computing), near-zero or simply zero maintenance, portrait-landscape modes. Far better couch potato-bility. Want a keyboard? There are plenty of solutions out there, many of them laptop-ish.
Mind you, I wouldn't abandon desktop computing (and my 24" monitor) ever, but I adquired the cheapest iPad available just for the eBook/web/movies thing (I had an eBook Reader already: it served me well, but the UI was a disaster and the hardware rather so-so), and it has proved to be a computing experience-changer.
Being Thunderbolt mostly an external PCIe bus thing, it will have to rely on bridge chips to be usable, so quite possibly the cheapest ones will be TB-eSATA and TB-USB 2.0/3.0.
(Does eSATA support USB-style drive mount-unmount without rebooting the host? If not so, the winner would be USB 3.0 for cheap external drives)
This VFX guru (2001, Close Encounters, Star Trek, Silent Running, Blade Runner, Brainstorm, etc.) investigated high fps for inmersive cinema, and found that, above a certain framerate, the brain perceived the image as "real". ShowScan was a 70 mm 60 fps process.
Now it can be done digitally and, seemingly, quite affordably. I can't wait!
Just to point out that the novelization of the game is out, by Peter Watts, a hard sci-fi writer with an attitude. It has an edge over the usual adaptation jobs. You can check a fifty page excerpt here: http://sf-fantasy.suvudu.com/2011/03/del-rey-spectra-50-page-fridays-peter-watts.html
Watts is real hardcore: he had a chance meeting with a flesh-eating bacteria a few weeks ago, and the guy can be seen in his blog minding his leg's innards without tranquilizers. Check his web: lots of Creative Commons-licensed short stories and long form novels, really thought-provoking. http://www.rifters.com/index.htm
The advantage would be that, even being a different area of the screen, it is always the same area, favoring "muscle memory" and tolerating far less precision of movement (just throw the pointer in the general direction: it will stop by itself upon meeting the top of the screen).
Not that your arguments are invalid (with current big screens there's a bigger visual disconnect between the top menu and an app's windows and palettes), but there are some advantages to the approach and several cons to Windows', too. The issue has been discussed in UI circles often enough.
And please stop the namecalling. Using Macs for a long while (since the SE/30 era) makes one specially sensible to UI issues. We ARE aware of things like that.
Seeing how Apple's Numbers offers an alternative virtual keyboard layout when entering cell data, I was wondering why those code editing apps don't do the same. Without a numerical upper row, cursor movement keys and a few extra characters around, having to use the .?123 all too often will result in intense expletivity and genocidal impulses.
It already does in normal tasks.
The funny thing is, i remember all too well how people boasted about their N-this or N-that phones years before and after the iPhone launch. Apple's advantage is having a single product brand name instead of a miriad of names and letters+numbers codenames. It makes for a better monotheism.
Actually, the war in Iraq has produced such a situation (zealots blowing themselves, repression on women, etc.) ex novo. Instead of reducing Saddam to an administrative insignificance and so letting the iraqi live under a Westish regime, we westerners manage to destroy it and then let it rot in the worst mishandling of a postwar situation ever seen. How many dead up to now? 106.000? And it was all about furthering the "American Century" goals as the neocons were shamelessly boasting at the time.
One thing is defending human rights and so, another one is defending only our human rights and f*ck everyone else's.
About Afghanistan: the wikileak was all about uncovering the lies about the state of play and the reasoning behind past and current strategy, because it is really questionable and is producing deaths in both civilians and soldiers, and until now nobody had any means to know about it and steer things to saner courses of action. However one considers it, this is a triumph over a policy of undemocratic obscurity and lies.
If the disclosure produces allied civilians' deaths, of course it is reprehensible. Until now there seems to be no proof of that, so we'll see.
I'd be mightily interested in you people covering the iPad as it applies to the elderly, to people with disabilities and the computer-illiterate. The iPad seems to be right now one of the best devices out there for them. I've ordered one to see if my mum can take advantage of it (she has quite bad eyesight so she cannot read regular books and newspapers' font sizes. Also, she is not computer-knowledgeable at all).
If we ever develop antimatter-based rockets, then:
-We will be abe to build relativistic missiles able to snuff whole biospheres.
-These engines will produce unmistakable radiation signatures.
If we don't happen to civilizationally fritz ourselves, building those engines is mostly a given. For us and for any other technological race out there. So then you have several players, us included, able now or in the future to get the means to exterminate each other. Would we risk it, or would we hit first? Would they risk it, or would they hit us first?
Warp drive doesn't isolate the ship from surrounding space (it isn't really an Alcubierre-type drive but a "grab a wet soap bar and press until it shoots out your grip" drive, with extra apparent mass reduction effects), so the deflector beam must be active while at warp, as the warp bubble is permeable to external matter.
Shields are gravity-based instead of magnetic.
I love nerding.
The "Star Trek The Next Generation" guys, when doing the series' bible and the "science" behind the show, certainly did a good job at spotting the most obvious issues and formulating adequate treknobabble. That ST:TNG Technical Manual is a delight for science fiction aficionados.
One problem with any scientist or science journalist that tries to har har at the series is that the people doing it had some scientific knowledge or knew who to consult. Of course, Trek's science is pants, mostly, but they acknowledge its problems even if just by plugging the holes with some dandy buzzword.
So, anyway, there we go: the show's version of Warp Drive implies that the "subspace" bubble that propulsively distorts spacetime and also lowers the apparent mass of the ship to avoid a relativistic snafu is permeable to external particles in the way. So the navigational deflector pushes them out of the way or, if too big, the ship alters course and avoids them. That has been so since the original series.
About the Bussard Ramscoops: they are there to collect interestellar hydrogen but they are not Bussard Ramjet engines at all. The idea is to collect matter and feed part of it into a matter-to-antimatter converter. Its efficiency is terrible, but as a M/AM reaction is the only means to feed the warp engines, the ramscoops are the only way to collect fuel if you run out of antihydrogen and have not enough hidrogen left to convert (one can imagine lots of nitpicks here, but…).
I think they have never been used as intended in the show, really, but they have been featured here and there as some means to escape some tricky situations.
I love technology-fiction, and I collect spacedrives as others do coins or stamps. I also happen to not have a life, sad anorak that I am.
Go visit any artistic forum (2D, 3D, music, etc.) and check their Mac vs. PC statistivs: you'll see people producing incredible art without a Mac and without problems.
And, anyway, the iPad isn't a Mac and lacks its flexibility.
(after a couple of decades being a Mac user and owner, one develops RDF inmunity. Frustrations are a great vaccine)
"…because 64-bit operation is the default modus operandi under Snow Leopard…"
What do you mean by that, exactly? As far as I know, Snow Leopard behaves just like Leopard, supporting 32bit and 64bit apps. Also, for now it defaults to booting in 32bit kernel mode.
Our current Leftoid government is a master at throwing this kind of moral outrage silliness targets to its Rightish opposition, so that it does its usual foaming mouth act and gets both distracted and painted as retrograde. Abortion law reform, euthanasia, etc., now this. Please don't see it as another idiotic act from government: the dosage is too precisely measured. You could argue good reasons behind every initiative of those, but they usually are all too well designed to push the Right's right buttons. It doesn't help that the Right has too many of those, plus its eagerness to froth at the mouth whatever the real level of offense.
Yes, being a Spaniard IS fun these days.
The manual, by the way, is a simple sexuality Q&A guide covering everything from masturbation to peer pressure, A bit disorganized and faux-hip, but nothing to worry about.
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