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Improving 3-D Printing By Copying Nature

Dogbertius Re:"Natural" manufacturing is material-limited (128 comments)

Silicone is used to make fake boobs, it's not a semiconductor.

Perhaps he/she is producing a fembot (with minimal intelligence), you insensitive clod.

about a year ago
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German IT Firm Seeks Autistic Workers

Dogbertius Re:Great! (172 comments)

There are too many details missing from the article for it to be of any use. One of my family members works with young people with autism every day, working towards teaching them to communicate, express one's self, and, if they are lucky, to be able to integrate into mainstream society as independent adults rather than being dependent on aid workers or being a burden of the state. The ability to maintain a steady job, a relationship, and a career in general, is, in my opinion, a very significant pursuit, and worth the investment.

Are these individuals diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome? How far along the ASD spectum are they? Once you are so far along, the ability to talk and interact with external information sources is gone. I doubt SAP will be hiring people that are completely mute and unable to communicate with other humans via computers or sign language of any sort.

Also, in the EU, you can have nine doctors diagnose you as free of autism, but a tenth says you have autism, that final diagnosis sticks. A lot of parents take advantage of this in North America as autism is one of the few behavior-affecting conditions that is funded by the government for subsidized care, teaching, etc. It's fairly common for parents of "hyper active" kids to intentionally seek out an ASD diagnosis just for the funding. It's pretty shameful, actually.

For all we know, SAP's idea of "autistic" could be little more than very mild Asperger's syndrome or even as little as being slightly eccentric and being misdiagnosed.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Do You Sell an Algorithm To Venture Capitalists?

Dogbertius Re:"Enhance, zoom in!" (205 comments)

Don't forget features like uncrop, infinite data due to impossible upsampling, and reflect off anything. Gotta love the "enhance" button: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/EnhanceButton

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUFkb0d1kbU

A decade ago I would have laughed at this. These days, it just makes me sad how many people cannot explain why this is impossible, when I already figured it would never be possible, even when I was a kid.

about a year ago
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IRS Spent $60,000 Producing Star Trek Parody

Dogbertius Re:60 K is so small it isn't even roundoff error (280 comments)

Normally I'd let this go, but when using the literal "e" as a symbol, it is generally only accepted as anything other than the base of the natural logarithm when expressing a sequence of handheld calculator commands. I work with a lot of DSP and physics gurus, and 3.5e12/100 would be frowned upon, as it actually means 3.5 * exp(12) / 100. The statement 3.5E12/100 would be barely acceptable, and even a lengthier equation, like (3.5)*(10^12)/(100) would be preferable.

step one 3.5e12/100 = 3.5e10 step one 5689.3 = 22003.6 (FAIL)

about a year and a half ago
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As Music Streaming Grows, Royalties Slow To a Trickle

Dogbertius Re:There is no income guarantee for anyone (665 comments)

Wish I had mod points to spend. If you want to make a decent living, one has no entitlement to earn it through a single arbitrary career of his/her own choosing. Go where the money is, or learn to live with the constraints you've forced upon the situation.

about a year and a half ago
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Apple Claims Ignorance of Jury Foreman's Previous Tangle With Samsung

Dogbertius Re:Jury wasn't the problem (186 comments)

I usually avoid posts with several ALL CAPS sentences (so I must ignore my own post after committing in :) ), but you make a good point. I've personally gone through hundreds of patents for my own entrepreneurial work, and can't believe the sheer number of patents that are "XYZ, which has been around for 20+ years, but now on a phone/mobile_device/tablet".

I was actually surprised Nokia won that patent suit against RIM. Wifi on a mobile device? The first thing I said to myself when Wifi came out was "Man, imagine this on a phone. Cheap calls and zero data plan overcharges". That was, of course, until telcos and ISPs decided that rather than innovate or improve infrastructure, they would just litigate against tech that benefits the customer (ie: anti net neutrality, fees for tethering your phone even though it costs the carrier nothing, likewise with SMS messages, which have been around for 20 years apparently, potentially forcing a voice plan on you if you are just using a data plan with Skype).

Regardless of how this affects my business personally, it seems the absurdity with patents and monopolistic practices amongst ISPs (whose money was used to lay the cable in the first place anyway?), there is a constant war on the consumer. I really wish the layperson (ie: 75%+ of voting individuals) would at least realize this so we could effect change. No wonder critical thinking isn't taught until university (if at all) and one can go through his or her whole life without a single course on formal logic, fallacies, and statistics.

about 2 years ago
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Dual Interface Mobile Devices To Address BYOD Issue

Dogbertius Re:Once again RIM leads the way (116 comments)

It's already available.

Pretty much. Wasn't this feature announced months ago? I see it posted as far back as August on some sites. This isn't even news.

about 2 years ago
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O'Reilly Discounts Every eBook By 50%

Dogbertius That's nice... (108 comments)

Why not also discount the hard copies as well? The cost of distribution, printing, and so on is only a small fraction of the cover price. I like to keep a personal library of technical books that won't expire or become useless when the auth-server goes down for good. When I'm done with them, I can either donate them to local libraries, give em to a friend's kid who is in post-secondary, or recycle them if they are truly outdated and irrelevant.

I have been burned by small time eBook publishers, M$'s music store, etc. If you deal in virtual goods, you have no rights, no bargaining power, and you can't even reverse the charges on your credit card due to implicitly signing into an asymmetric legal contract by purchasing them.

about 2 years ago
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Young Students Hiding Academic Talent To Avoid Bullying

Dogbertius Re:Both sides of the coin (684 comments)

This is the reason why in my family, we were taught advanced math and science along with military martial arts at a very early age. Think of the "300" movie, but academic studies were held paramount. Also, the legal notion of self defense and "never strike first" reinforced these teachings.

Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, picks on the muscular brainiac who broke the school bulley(s) arm(s). I am really surprised more academics don't make an effort to excel in every facet of life (ie: build up the body, mind, travel and gain some culture and critical thinking abilities, etc).

about 2 years ago
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Indian School Textbook Says Meat-Eaters Lie and Commit Sex Crimes

Dogbertius You are a KNAVE... (409 comments)

Who else would lie like that?

... and I am a KNIGHT.

Knights never lie, and knaves always lie!

about 2 years ago
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How Do You Spot a Genius?

Dogbertius Autism != Genuis Savant (385 comments)

The problem with these articles is that they suggest that in order to be a brilliant savant (ie: can do difficult arithmetic mentally without a calculator, or can play chess at an expert level with minimal tutoring), one must be autistic. This is not the case. One may be autistic, and not brilliant, just as well someone could be a brilliant savant, but not be on the autism spectrum. The two cases are effectively statistically independent of each other.

Another issue is that autistic savants often get much more attention than their typical (ie: non-autistic) counterparts due to being able to carry out an apparently amazing mental feat despite suffering from a crippling set of mental limitations and/or deficiencies. Someone not suffering from such a condition is just generally thought of as very smart, and being an educated savant is not such a crowd pleaser, especially in an age where anti-intellectualism is on the rise. Everybody likes a hero story, but few people are comfortable accepting the notion that there are much smarter people out in the world.

If parents are lucky enough to have the funding to send their kids to private schools with a Behavioral Interventionist (BI), then the strengths of the child are usually discovered early on, and it can make the kid's life a lot easier. If the parents don't have the cash though, the kid likely won't enjoy that benefit.

On a side note, one should consider noticing talent amongst the non-autistic population in a school. How does one filter on this criteria when kids are not challenged? I turned out to be a math whiz in school, and was doing calculus by the time I was entering high school. If it weren't for my parents, I would've had to endure 5 years of boredom in high school math, as most of the teachers just came with a hangover, passed the daily readings out, and sat at their desks playing minesweeper. Thanks to my parents, I was allowed to fly ahead in math, and use my spare time for more shop and science courses. If the teachers don't care in the first place, the odds of them helping out their brightest students is minimal.

Background: Been debating this topic with a colleague who has 10 years experience in this field for years over lunch.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Dedicating Code?

Dogbertius Probably Not (186 comments)

Sorry to seem harsh, but this is probably not the best idea. If it's fun little web app, then you could pull it off. Anything that will deployed in a professional environment should not have something like this present. I think the only time I've ever seen this in practice was in the "Help -> About" section of a proprietary DB app used in automotive shops. I think it was addressed to the office pet (a golden lab) for the small office of coders that wrote the app.

Why do you feel compelled to draw attention to the loss of your grandmother? My condolences for this loss, but there are probably more appropriate ways to commemorate her memory. Pay for a spot in the obituary in the local paper, so that the people in closest proximity (and are likely the largest demographic which may have been affected by her actions) would know. It's always a shock for people to learn years after the fact that a local pillar of the community or old friend has passed away. It might do some good to make sure all the people that knew her are aware of this.

I hope this helps.

about 2 years ago
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Hallowe'en is coming. Trick-or-Treaters who visit ...

Dogbertius Re:Paintballs. (437 comments)

I would wear a cup and body armor (ie: from martial arts), then put on baggy clothes and stuff my clothing with newspaper and straw so I look like those makeshift "scary" people props a lot of people leave out in the burbs. I think have the candy bowl not too far away. Kids will debate if it's a person or not. Some little shits even kicked me HARD a couple times (hence the cup). When they are convinced I'm not alive, I wait until they are just close enough, then JUMP at the lot. I've even had parents running away faster than their kids. Funny as hell. One one occasion some 15-year old ass tried to boot me in the head. Caught his foot and screamed obscenities. Boy did he cry!

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Equipment and Furniture For an Electronics Hardware Lab?

Dogbertius Re:There's a great Australian with the answer (208 comments)

This is how I have mine set up. It's pretty sweet, especially if you like doing board and circuit design from scratch:

  • Heavy bench with vice press
  • Large desk-mounted magnifying glass with built-in lighting (for assembling small parts)
  • Soldering bench area with a multi-arm alligator clip apparatus
  • Fume hood
  • Acid etching tank
  • Drill press (I use a set that converts a Dremel tool into a press, fun fun)
  • Dremel tool (even if you have a "proper" drill press, the cutting and sanding attachments are helpful; don't forget various sizes of collets or just get a chuck)
  • Mini beer fridge
  • Emergency sink
  • Concrete floor (the garage/basement area is ideal so you can install a drain in the floor)
  • Tool set (wire strippers, tweezers, cutters)

This setup lets me basically mass produce home-made circuit boards in a safe and comfortable setting. I also have a really old TV (think it's from the 80's) which I keep on life support and have a TON of adapters connected to it so that it gets cable. Just kind of like that retro radioactive glare :)

about 2 years ago
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New Study Links Caffeinated Coffee To Vision Loss

Dogbertius Re:OK... Next question: (203 comments)

So, does this mean it's time to start evaluating a possible reason?

I ask because I love my coffee. Seriously, I'm stupid for it... But the last thing I need is another activity that supposedly makes me go blind...

Then stop! Not only does it make you go blind, but gawd kills a kitten every time you do it too!

about 2 years ago
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Study Attempts To Predict Scientists' Career Success

Dogbertius NO! (64 comments)

No, sir/mme, you are dead WRONG!

If the student takes a sincere interest in the subject matter, and came from a background where he/she knows that working hard will help avoid:
1) A low paying career
2) A meaningless job
3) A lifetime of misery

Then that student either forces his or her own self to either show a committed interest in the field, or finds one where he or she can naturally develop such an interest.

You seem to be of the impression that lectures should instill a DESIRE in students. My background is that excellent teachers challenge students, and expect them to know the practical aspects of a career instead of just the theoretical and the simple facts needed to pass a test. Real profs provide students that know more than the rest. Sadly, in North America, no child left behind means no child gets ahead.

Background info: I've been pulling in $100k+ per year since 24, but went into my undergrad on a basic scholarship from poverty. Now working with my biomed/computer B.Eng. and M.Eng. systems engineering degrees, and making more than my profs since I was IN my undergrad. So no marketing/handout/BS comments are applicable here.

about 2 years ago
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Is a Computer Science Degree Worth Getting Anymore?

Dogbertius Re:Engineering was always a better bet.. (630 comments)

I'm still surprised that there are /.'ers cannot distinguish between the degree/career mappings that be. At least in Canada and the USA

IT:
-Learn: Active directory, Windows or UNIX servers, user management, e-mail server management, virus removal, setting up routers and VPN
-Jobs: IT help desk, corporate IT, call centres


Comp Sci:
-Learn: Discrete math, basic programming, databases and DB theory, algorithm design, basic physics,
-Jobs: University/academia, entry-level programming jobs


Engineering (Electrical and Computer):
-Learn: Calculus, discrete math, electrical circuits, electronics, materials, advanced physics, chemistry, economics
-Jobs: advanced programming/development jobs, embedded dev, chip fabrication, academia


Most IT programs in Canada are 2-year full-time/accelerated programs, while CS is a full-time 4 year program, and engineering is a 4-5 year double-full-time program. I still laugh when people are surprised that comp-sci majors know shit about removing viruses from PCs, while the engineering and IT students have been removing and even MAKING viruses since elementary school (ie: before they were 13 years old).

about 2 years ago

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