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Scientists Determine New Way To Untangle Proteins By Unboiling an Egg

AJWM Re:Boiled at 90C? (154 comments)

But "0" being "absolute 0" is what sets it apart.

Well, sort of. There's also the Rankine scale. On it, 0 is also the absolute lowest temperature (0K = 0R), but the units are the same size as Fahrenheit degrees.

The only place I've seen it used is in old rocket propulsion texts and similar non-SI thermodynamics stuff.

yesterday
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Why Coding Is Not the New Literacy

AJWM code monkeys vs architects (199 comments)

Sure, (almost) anyone can code, just like (almost) anyone can string words together on a page. That's a bit different from being able to write a readable story (let alone novel), or construct a useful program.

I wouldn't trust an architect who didn't know how to lay bricks, but even less would I trust a bricklayer to design a house.

That said, to paraphrase Heinlein, everyone should know how to lay a brick, hammer a nail, write a paragraph and code a program; specialization is for insects.

yesterday
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US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

AJWM Re:More proof (666 comments)

I'd be more interested if my food didn't contain DNA.

Yeah, I suppose highly-refined sugar or equivalents might not have any DNA, but I'm not sure I'd call that food, more of a chemical.

about a week ago
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Intuit Charges More For Previously Offered TurboTax Features, Users Livid

AJWM Re:Just hire a CPA (450 comments)

Most run of the mill CPA's are pretty much like the H&R Block guy you'll see at Sears this time of year. They take your data and input it into tax software (like TurboTax!), and ask you some very basic questions.

Well no, I'm pretty sure the H&R Block guys are using H&R Block software ... which is available retail and which I switched to years ago. (TurboTax dropped support for whatever OS version I was still running at the time. Win2K I think, on a PC I only ever booted up at tax time.) Never looked back.

about two weeks ago
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New Paper Claims Neutrino Is Likely a Faster-Than-Light Particle

AJWM Re:Sigh.. (142 comments)

nothing postulated in the search for atomic energy violated the laws of physics "cough"

Isaac Newton would beg to differ.

about 1 month ago
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Dish Pulls Fox News, Fox Business Network As Talks Break Down

AJWM Re:Broadcast TV viewer here (275 comments)

You've got that backwards (or I'm missing the sarcasm).

Dish has to pay Fox News to retransmit Fox's content (copyrights!), Fox wanted to increase the price and/or require Dish to carry additional Fox-owned channels as part of the same contract.

When Fox (or any other network in negotiations) claims that "Dish pulled the channel", they're stretching the truth. What they really mean is "the contract expired, and Dish cravenly stopped retransmitting our copyrighted content so we couldn't sue them for infringement."

about a month ago
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Dish Pulls Fox News, Fox Business Network As Talks Break Down

AJWM Re:Dish Customer Here (275 comments)

This.

Also, Dish can't retransmit what it doesn't have a contract for, and the contract expired. The disagreement is over the terms of a new contract.

Apparently the various network heads haven't learned, despite plenty of opportunities to, that Charlie Ergen doesn't bluff.

about a month ago
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3D Printer?

AJWM Re:Hot Glue Guns (175 comments)

The "hot glue gun" is just a tiny part, namely the extruder hot end. Add to that a precision (computer-controlled) feed mechanism for the "glue", temperature regulation to work optimally with different feed rates and "glue" types, and a precision, high-speed, XYZ positioning mechanism for that "glue gun" (and optionally, additional "glue guns" so you can switch materials in mid print), together with a computer and firmware to drive all, and you're approaching what even the lowest-end consumer 3D printer does.

"Glorified"? Yes, and it is glorious. Perfect? Of course not, not any more than a cheap consumer Epson or Brother printer is compared to an Espresso Book Machine.

about a month and a half ago
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3D Printer?

AJWM Re:Missing option: CNC Router (175 comments)

If your southern California car dashboard is hitting the 200+ Celsius temperatures needed to melt typical printer filament materials, I'd say you probably have worse things to worry about.

But sure, for some things you need material properties that just don't work well with fused filament deposition.

about a month and a half ago
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3D Printer?

AJWM Re:subtractive technology (175 comments)

The PLA (polylactic acid) filament used in many printers is actually made from cornstarch, not petrochemicals. It prints at a slightly lower temperature and doesn't need a heated bed the way ABS* does.

Of course you could probably make a case about the amount of petrochemicals (fuel, fertilizer, pesticide) typically used in growing the corn in the first place.

*And some of the more exotic (for now) filaments like polycarbonate or nylon, which require even higher temperatures.

about a month and a half ago
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3D Printer?

AJWM Re:Missing Option (175 comments)

My local library system (Arapahoe County, Colorado) has 3D printers in each (or most) of its branch libraries for patron use.

about a month and a half ago
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Fraud Bots Cost Advertisers $6 Billion

AJWM Re:Not sure who to cheer for (190 comments)

Yep, ditto for third-party javascript.

If you simply must have the latest javascript widget on your website, host it on your own damn server, don't link to a third party. I might trust you, but how the hell do I know I can trust them? (noscript ftw).

about a month and a half ago
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Fraud Bots Cost Advertisers $6 Billion

AJWM Re:Not sure who to cheer for (190 comments)

So in order for a website to remain free for the users use, they will need to post more advertisements to make up for it.

I think you've got that backwards.

It isn't costing the websites money, it's costing the advertisers who are paying for clicks without any potential sales from those clicks. In theory this just helps the websites.

How the guys running the fraud bots get anything out of the deal is a bit mysterious, unless they're in cahoots with the website owners. But then the mechanics of online advertising is way, way down on my interest list -- most ad-servers resolve to localhost on my system.

about a month and a half ago
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FBI Seizes Los Angeles Schools' iPad Documents

AJWM Re:IPad is an insult to technology (229 comments)

An iPad is a more power computer than any I had access to all through school

Yep, if you're talking about the innards.

It's also a more capable general-purpose computer than those Apple II-series computers and early MacOS 6/7/8 machines

Nope.

An iPad is an appliance for running apps, not a general-purpose computer. Go ahead, just try to program on it, or hook it up to manipulate some random gizmo.

Sure, it can be done -- by someone with the right development tools (which wont run on the iPad) and skills. A far cry from what school kids could teach themselves to do with Apple Basic or Hypercard.

about 2 months ago
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Taxi Medallion Prices Plummet Under Pressure From Uber

AJWM Re: And In Other News... (329 comments)

Per year makes no sense. At a million dollars a year, a taxi operating 24/7 (with no breaks for fueling or maintenance) would have to make (above other operating expenses) just over $114.15 per hour just to pay for the medallion.

about 2 months ago
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Behind Apple's Sapphire Screen Debacle

AJWM Re: haven't been following... (189 comments)

Not the same stuff. Carborundum is silicon carbide, corundum is aluminum oxide. They're both of similar hardness and both can be produced artificially, with SiC being produced for over a century.

Things of similar hardness will scratch each other.

about a month ago
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Uber's Android App Caught Reporting Data Back Without Permission

AJWM Re:It DOES have permission (234 comments)

Most people can tell that Happy Fluffy Kitty Screensaver doesn't really need to send SMS messages, know your location, or access the Internet.

Why does a phone even need a screensaver?

about 2 months ago
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Uber's Android App Caught Reporting Data Back Without Permission

AJWM Re:So, in essence, Uber's app is malware (234 comments)

This -- although I don't even need your phone.

These days smartphones might as well just be GPS house-arrest bracelets with better PR.

about 2 months ago
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Longtime Debian Developer Tollef Fog Heen Resigns From Systemd Maintainer Team

AJWM Re:Not resigning from Debian (550 comments)

It's Sunday. The usual read-slashdot-at-work crowd is offline.

about 2 months ago
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The Strangeness of the Mars One Project

AJWM Re:It's a scam (246 comments)

Hi Chuck, long time no see.

Mars does not have a geomagnetic sphere to protect it from solar outbursts. People will die if they are on the surface when one of those things happens

People will die if they're out on the surface of Earth unprotected, for large parts of Earth (deserts, arctic, oceans, etc). We manage ... and sometimes we lose a few.

. It is going to take a good bit of learning, though.

Of course it's going to take a good bit of learning. Fortunately that's something we humans tend to be good at (with a few obvious exceptions). We conquered the deserts, the arctic and the oceans with pretty much neolithic technology, after all.

about 3 months ago

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