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Osvaldo Doederlein
Works at Google
Attended École des Mines de Nantes, FR
Lives in Nutley, NJ
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Osvaldo Doederlein

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Which colors do you see? Whatever is your answer, good news: it's the correct answer. Vision is a complex, largely cerebral function, that's why there are tons of optical illusions. If I pose the question more strictly, like what are the dominant light wavelengths emitted by this dress, the answer should consider the contributions from infrared and other "colors" beyond human perception. If I add ...considering only the visible spectrum, there's still some individual variation for that. Even if I'd pick the standard 390-700nm spectrum, our eyes are not perfect, even people with "normal color vision" will have small differences of sensitivity to each color component so the dress color question wouldn't have any human-but-objective answer if you demand a very specific answer instead of extremely approximate categories like "blue".
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Quick poll! What's the WORST bullshit in Lenovo's statement at http://news.lenovo.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=1929 ?
9 votes
Superfish "enhances user experience"
56%
No security concerns found, trust us!
33%
Users have a choice
11%
Preloading Superfish not motivated by $$
0%
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Voted #3 myself because it's the most deceptive argument–even if users uninstall Superfish, this won't uninstall the root certificate that's actually the worst part of it. Even most technical users wouldn't likely take the extra step to look at the installed certificates–I know that I wouldn't because, WTF, I'd never expect OEM bloatware to go that low.
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Osvaldo Doederlein

Star Trek: DS9  - 
 
I just finished DS9's S4... well, what the hell happened here?

I had already posted an update of my watching of DS9 on Nov 29, when I finished S1. That was passable, with some good stuff going already but it seems all Treks take a couple of seasons to find their way and DS9 is no exception. S2 was a little better, and S3 was better but not yet in the same level of the average TNG season or even the best VOY. (I won't compare any of the "new" series to TOS because the original series was a very different kind of production.)

Important note, the long history arches are well-developed since the first seasons, but this quality alone is no substitute for great individual episodes; not even when you're binge-watching seasons so the longer storyline is very noticeable. I wonder if the people who watched DS9 on TV in the 1990's got the best out of it, since it's hard to keep the whole story fresh in memory, at a pace of one new episode every two weeks in average.

Now, DS9's Season 4 makes a HUGE leap forward. The initial two-way story, The Way of the Warrior, is very good in itself but mostly concerned with setting up the season. So my amazemenent really starts in E3 / The Visitor, easily a top-5 episode among all Star Trek series. And then come along another exceptional episode, and another, and another... I'll be damned if the entire season has more than two or three episodes I'd rank only "good". It's easily the most consistently great season of any Star Trek series (so far; I still have the rest of DS9 to watch). Even TNG's best seasons had their share of really poor episodes–that we fans only put up with because by the second or third season, we're already so much in love with the crew that we could be entertained by watching Picard do his tax returns.

Is this the result of better writing, or the actors finally "finding" their characters, or what? BTW, S4 is also the season where I can see what niners say about Sisko. He's indeed a terrific captain. I didn't even like Avery Brooks's acting in most of S1, but this too improves dramatically along S2-3 already.

The thing I'm most loving in DS9 at this time (I hope it only gets better from here to the end!) is that it has NO silliness. All other Trek series have at least a few episodes where the attempt to deliver comedy, or some "lighter" stories, really spoils the experience of an otherwise serious SciFi/fantasy universe. For example, in TNG I disliked most of the episodes centered in Lwaxana Troi; but here in DS9 S4, her appearances – even still having a dose of humor – are all great. The Ferengi are the same: my least favorite alien species in TNG, and a sgnificant reason why I resisted watching DS9 (knowing that they'd have a much bigger role with the regular Quark character). The first couple seasons partially confirmed my previous opinions, but this changes already in S3, and in S4 the "Ferengi episodes" are firmly among the best.

So here's my apology to Niners, you were right, and other people who didn't sympathize with DS9 should give it a chance. The religion / spirituality stuff is another non-issue, it only seems overwhelming in the first episodes that are busy introducing the whole setup of the series.
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Not a fan of worf i think adding him too the cast took time away from the rest of the cast plus i didnt like that jadzia ended up with him i thought she would have been better with bashir.
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Meet the new Pope, same as all previous Popes.
Pope Francis has said there are limits to the freedom of expression - and that anyone who swears at his mother deserves a punch.
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Before you watch Into The Woods, beware that it's a musical. And FUCK YOU DISNEY for the trailer that doesn't show that–most of the trailer shows normally-spoken scenes, and only a single musical part that's sung by Meryl Streep, so you'll be fooled to believe it's a mostly-normal movie with some musical scenes (common with many Disney productions). The reality is that the movie is ~95% sung. It's a miserable experience for people who hate musicals, such as my wife. Into the Woods is adapted from a Broadway musical but I didn't know that–I live near NYC but never cared to watch any musical, so I'm certainly not a fan of the genre. But I'm not a hater either, and I could appreciate the movie which is otherwise great; my 5yo and 8yo kids liked it too... they just needed no less than three pee breaks, because it's very long for small kids (124min + 30min of ads and trailers, hey AMC Theaters you also suck ass). Verdict: go watch this if you can at least tolerate musicals; if you love the genre and you'd hate to lose even a minute, go without kids.
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Ingrates.
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We love to nitpick on science-fantasy failures of mostly-serious SF like Star Trek; for example, as a software engineer I'm continuously appalled by the depiction of computers from centuries in the future. (TOS could get a pass for pathetic plot details involving computers, because it was written in the sixties when that stuff was primitive and its future a complete unknown; but not TNG or any later series.) But I understand the need of some extra "creative freedom", for dramatic purposes, and remarkably for the variety: when you have to produce a full TV series with close to a couple hundred episodes, I suppose you can't discard many ideas just because their science might be utter bollocks. Authors of books or feature movies can afford to be much more selective.

On the other hand... dramatic need or not, the thing I really can't stand is major screw-up in the NON-sciencey part of plots. For example—just a random example because I've watched it recently, not picking on any particular series—in DS9's S2E4: Invasive Procedures, Quark sells out to criminals, enabling them to take over the station's crew. And they find what happened, but it's like Quark had committed some children's prank!... and not a treason that should get him court-martialled. Next episode he's still on DS9 like nothing had happened, it feels even insulting.

Anyone remembers other major examples of this kind of plot failure?
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And I completely agree with you. It's not hard sci-fi--it's space opera. And I agree it would be nice if the writers had tried a little harder.
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Another reason (perhaps the best) why Star Trek > Star Wars. ;-)

One of the core differences between Star Wars and Star Trek lies in how those two franchises treat the question of civilization. In the cosmos of George Lucas, not a single institution is shown functioning or doing its job. Once. At all. Ever. In contrast, Trek always loved to chew on questions like when and how the social compact might work, or fail, or need adjustment, or call for flexibility, or be handled differently by alien minds. Civilization — along with its laws and codes and contradictions — is often a major character in each show. A participant, subject to scrutiny, skepticism, but also sometimes praise. But of course, Star Trek always was an exception to every rule.
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The medium is certainly important, for one thing I don't judge TV/movie SF by the standards of literary SF. But the distance between TV and movies is much shorter. You will find lots of movies (even some SF) that have strong stories, excellent character development etc.; and you'll find lots of TV series that are completely episodic, or rely too much in special effects / action / etc. When TOS appeared it could be compared to other sci-fi TV series such as Flash Gordon, Lost in Space... none comes even close to Star Trek's outlook. We really have to give Trek some kudos.... ;-)

Agreed of course that Star Wars is a very different kind of story like +Sue H comments. But that's not an excuse; a "hero journey story" or a "SciFi-with-some-magic story" doesn't necessarily need to be individualist and dystopic. Brin's blog explains that hero stories are not necessarily individualist, I could add to his examples, for example Lord of the Rings. What +Christopher Butler says about Brin may be true, I'm not really familiar with his writings (never read any of his books for one thing) but I certainly agree with this individual blog.
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Osvaldo Doederlein

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Assinado. Enquanto isso, confira o golpe do governo contra a Lava-Jato: http://www.oantagonista.com/posts/luis-inacio-corre-para-salvar-luiz-inacio
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Para acabar com a corrupção, desvio de dinheiro público, sucateamento da saúde, das estradas, da educação, segurança pública e outros
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Osvaldo Doederlein

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Both Duke Nukem Forever and Harper Lee's second novel have beaten Knuth's completion of TAOCP. What's next in line, Jesus's second coming?
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ahahaha
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Osvaldo Doederlein

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"But I think the most sensible way forward would be to synthesize this effect with drugs. I am not sure fasting is the best idea. People are better eating on a regular basis." – And that's what's wrong with modern health culture, including many professionals in medicine. You find a perfectly natural method to improve your health, and what's the first thing some doctors say (and most patients certainly want?) "Screw that, let's synthesize a drug that produces the same benefit!" That way big pharma gets to sell more expensive drugs; doctors get to prescribe these drugs so they have much lower liability for any problems (compared to instructing a patient to fast for three days); and lazy bastards [90% of all people when it comes to their own health] get to easily "buy health", instead of doing anything that requires will-power, discipline and effort. Everybody wins!

[With the obvious caveats: this potentially major discovery is still pending confirmation; a synthetic drug would be preferable for the minority of patients who are too weak for fasting.]
A person's entire immune system can be rejuvenated by fasting for as little as three days as it triggers the body to start producing new white blood cells, a study suggests
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So my immune system have been regenerated at every week. Good to know that.
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Osvaldo Doederlein

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To all people claiming that Sony's The Interview movie is poor taste, nobody would accept if it was about killing Obama or any other president, etc.: Bullshit. First, there's a lot of precedent with movies involving assassination of some nation's president or other leader (including American presidents). Coincidentally I have just recently re-watched one of these movies, The Dead Zone. What about Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds, which is a fantasy about murdering Hitler. That was an awesome movie! I also remember The Jackal, where Bruce Willis is trying to kill the First Lady, and OF COURSE I watched that rooting for the assassin, because I always root for Bruce Willis!

It's true that these are good movies, and Sony's movie is apparently a steaming pile of poo (judging from the trailer). But "good taste" is a subjective judgment that should have zero weight in maters of freedom of expression.
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+Rafael Torres Saddam is also featured in the South Park movie; he not only goes to hell but he fucks Satan, 'nuff said... :)
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Now as a follow-up to my last post, here's my Top Pet Peeve with ALL of Star Trek's science fiction ideas. :-)

"Space-time anomalies".

Yeah, the concept that some region if interstellar space may suddenly become anomalous: the laws of physics stop working, fantastic kinds of radiation appear, gates open to another dimension, "storms" happen that can destroy ships, or throw them into another quadrant or to another time, and so on and so forth.

Very few SF ideas are unique to Trek, even those that have become signatures such as teletransporters. But space-time anomalies may be the rare case, something original to Trek and mostly unique to it (I don't remember any other SF book or movie using this, though they may exist). Black holes or wormholes are not in the same category even though they share some properties, e.g. the ability to destroy ships or [in fiction] transport them somewhere/sometime else.

Trek is fantasy-SF and I'm OK with the eventual abuses of known science or even reasonable speculation; what bothers me in Trek's space anomalies is that this thing is used way too often. I haven't counted, but I'm sure the number of occurrences of this event (either as a critical part of the plot, or just as "background" detail) should amount to more than a hundred, all series counted. 

The other factor that makes this plot device irritating is that it's such poor SF. Unfortunately, actual interstellar space is immensely empty and immensely boring. But in Star Trek, space is something full of natural accidents: the equivalent of earthquakes, volcanos, hurricanes, maelstroms, thunderstorms, wildfires, clouds of locusts, minefields, quicksands, the four horsemen of the apocalypse, etc.

Indeed it seems every time the writers were out of ideas, somebody jumps with the tired "what if a space-time anomaly appeared just next to ou ship/space station, and..." (insert random crazy idea). This is well-known as a "_Deus Ex Machina_", a mechanism that allows anybody to start (or solve) a story, with little effort or talent.

Enough ranting! Let's play a game: invent your own Star Trek episode plot. Write your own as a reply, +1 those you like. I'm starting with four entries.
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Space-time anamoly subjects those around it to a true and unfiltered sense of one's true importance in the universe. Crews and ships are lost to madness. The Enterprise/Defiant/Voyager is sent to investigate and close the anamoly where they discover it is caused by a sentient force exploring our universe.

And of course it is heading to Earth.
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Software Engineer, Google Ad Exchange
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  • Google
    Software Engineer, 2012 - present
    Making RTB easy!
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    Consultant at Citi, NYSE, 2010 - 2011
    First gigs in the US, financial services.
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    Software Architect, 1997 - 2010
    Tons of stuff... thanks for all the fish.
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Software engineer at Google. Husband, Father. Stereotypical geek who loves sci-fi, etc. Powerlifter without much power, can bench-press eight TAOCP collections!
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I am a Googler but this is a personal account, the opinions expressed here represent my own and not necessarily those of my employer, past or present.
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  • École des Mines de Nantes, FR
    MSc Object Oriented Software Engineering, 1999 - 2000
  • PUC/PR, BR
    BSc Computer Science, 1992 - 1995
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I've taken my car to D&L for inspection last month, failed because I had had a recent battery discharge that wiped the OBD. But since they only found that by the end of the work, I had to pay for the full service. So after putting some miles in the car I took the car again for inspection, now it passed with flying colors and for my surprise the re-inspection was courtesy, I was only billed for the sticker. Fast and courteous service too.
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