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Comments

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Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

DudeTheMath Re:How is this remarkable? (466 comments)

This is pretty much what I was going to say. The other 44% apparently either can't live within their means or can't do the math of simple compound interest.

I'm not even a particularly well-paid developer, and my wife and I are about 80% of the way there (in our retirement accounts) after not quite twenty years of saving.

about a week ago
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U.S. Biomedical Research 'Unsustainable' Prominent Researchers Warn

DudeTheMath Re:No shit, Sherlock (135 comments)

Perhaps it is not just the scientists, but the university administrators and those (legislators, for state schools) who hold the purse strings, who believe that the only credible source of research funding must be the federal government. Then they look at the humanities faculty and ask, "Why aren't you paying for your own research with federal grants? It must not be of benefit to anyone."

about a week ago
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Do We Really Have a Shortage of STEM Workers?

DudeTheMath Re:The difference in the two numbers ... (491 comments)

My employer simply has a six-month training wage (with a 50% raise to "normal" after the training period). Either you get what we do in those six months, or you really never will, but he has absolutely no problem with on-the-job training.

about 2 months ago
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Do We Really Have a Shortage of STEM Workers?

DudeTheMath Re:Define "qualified" (491 comments)

This (no mod points today). I'm a dynamite C programmer, some small experience in JS & C#, and I know how to design an rdb schema and write a stored procedure, but I don't have "4 years experience with jdb and Netbeans". Whatevs: give me three weeks with actual stuff to do, and you probably couldn't tell the difference, but it's darned hard to get hired.

about 2 months ago
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Are Bankers Paid Too Much? Are Technology CEOs?

DudeTheMath Re:Fair v. Equitable: Who cares? (712 comments)

Note that the CEO is trying to get the most out of his (almost always "his") employer, too. Who's his employer? Why, the board, usually full of banking CEOs who love to negotiate their high salaries, bonuses, etc., from their boards. It's largely a big circle jerk.

about 2 months ago
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Who Is Liable When a Self-Driving Car Crashes?

DudeTheMath Re:laws change (937 comments)

Who could have envisioned, 50 years ago, that we would have cars that drove themselves?

Isaac Asimov, for one, and I'm sure he wasn't the only one, just the one that's been, y'know, all over the news this week.

about 3 months ago
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EV Owner Arrested Over 5 Cents Worth of Electricity From School's Outlet

DudeTheMath Re:Henchman (1010 comments)

Where does this happen? I had a weekly commute across southern Michigan on US 12. Every eight to ten miles, there was another town, and the road widened from two to four lanes, allowing easy passing of anyone I'd been "stuck" behind. I always calculated my time savings (miles to the next town, desired speed, current speed) from a pass before I even checked for oncoming traffic. It did wonders for my blood pressure. I saw way too many people trying over and over, and occasionally making a really risky choice, to pass someone who was doing 53 in a 55 when there were only a couple of miles to the next town. So I'm making this suggestion only that one think before acting. If you can pass safely, by all means, do so. I'm not going to hold you up.

Also, reflecting my status as a former math teacher, I adjusted the numbers to reflect freeway driving and to get a "nice" answer; I read once that the average freeway commute was about eight miles.

about 5 months ago
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EV Owner Arrested Over 5 Cents Worth of Electricity From School's Outlet

DudeTheMath Henchman (1010 comments)

He's obviously in the pocket of Big Oil.

about 5 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Are Tech Job Requirements So Specific?

DudeTheMath Re: To hire specific people (465 comments)

No he doesn't; the "You insensitive clod" is just a form of address (in Latin, we'd call it the vocative case), like "Dave, I thought I was a shoo-in for that job." His error was using "shoe-in" where he meant "shoo-in."

about 5 months ago
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In an arcade with only the following games ...

DudeTheMath Re:Where is Pac-Man? (283 comments)

JFK has friggin' Galaga on the concourse. Too bad I don't travel with cash, but next time, I'll know.

about 5 months ago
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How Safe Is Cycling?

DudeTheMath Re:Please (947 comments)

I wish I could cite the study where I learned the overtaking statistic (I probably found it on the WashCycle blog), but the results were certainly consistent with my own experience. I've been buzzed, and once been bumped by a panel truck that probably thought it had completed its pass (although I was barely bruised), but I've never been hit from behind. It's the left cross that gets me every time. I have stopped signaling right turns when there's oncoming traffic waiting to turn left into the same street, because it seems as soon as they see my signal, they think they can beat me (I'm assuming they see me at all, of course), and keeping both hands on the bars gives me more control whatever they do.

about 5 months ago
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How Safe Is Cycling?

DudeTheMath Re:Please (947 comments)

Thanks for the critical eye on this. And, as I said, overtaking is the kind of interaction I'm least worried about, so it has very little bearing on my decision to wear a helmet. The risk (chance of the helmet making a difference) may be very low, but the reward in those few cases so high, that it's worth the minimal cost. The only times I've regretted wearing a helmet were on sixty-mile-plus rides where I could hardly keep my head up by the end due to neck fatigue.

about 5 months ago
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How Safe Is Cycling?

DudeTheMath Re:Please (947 comments)

Slows them down? Really? They can dismount it for the crit, right?

We already do the bright colors (I got jerseys in fluorescent green, fluorescent orange, fluorescent yellow, snow-blind white, and BSOD blue), but it just never occurred to me to have a flag. How 'bout I spray-paint a raccoon tail traffic-cone orange? Awesome.

about 5 months ago
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How Safe Is Cycling?

DudeTheMath Re:Please (947 comments)

One study has shown that cars overtaking and passing leave more room for cyclists not wearing helmets. However, being struck from behind is about the least likely kind of car-bike interaction (cars turning across a cyclist's path vastly predominates those statistics).

My wife is (likely) alive today due to her helmet (that is, she is alive, but likely wouldn't be but for the helmet). She left a helmet-shaped hole in the windshield of a driver who t-boned her while illegally driving in the shoulder.

I may never need my helmet, but I always wear it (well, almost; when I borrow hotel bikes in Europe, I don't bother).

about 5 months ago
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Are Shuttered Gov't Sites Actually Saving Money?

DudeTheMath Re:"Financial Sense" (668 comments)

Mod parent up!

Thank you. I knew there had to be a reason that was just escaping me (I'm in development, not IT) why, for example, the Library of Congress bibliographic database was offline.

about 7 months ago
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True Size of the Shadow Banking System Revealed (Spoiler: Humongous)

DudeTheMath Re:Because of FED (387 comments)

I deliberately chose the CPI, which does include food and energy prices, rather than the so-called "core inflation rate," which excludes these (as they are more volatile). The core inflation rate is currently 1.8%, a bit higher than CPI, since gas prices have actually been dropping (and would have realized a lower real interest rate of 1%).

about 7 months ago
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True Size of the Shadow Banking System Revealed (Spoiler: Humongous)

DudeTheMath Re:Because of FED (387 comments)

I don't believe I assumed that; one can deliberately put one's thumb in one's ass and leave it there. I do contend they refuse to learn math (my pre-teen, similarly, is wont to say, "Stop explaining! I don't want to learn!").

about 7 months ago
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True Size of the Shadow Banking System Revealed (Spoiler: Humongous)

DudeTheMath Re:Because of FED (387 comments)

Keep in mind the real interest rate. Currently, the U.S. 10-year T-bill yields 2.8%, while inflation is 1.5%; that means the current real interest rate is a paltry 1.3%. Agreed, feeding money out to the banks via the Fed just feeds the banks. If, instead, the government actually used that same money to pay people to do stuff, a lot of stuff could get done, people could be put to useful work (repairing infrastructure, teaching kids, researching non-petroleum energy), increasing GDP, increasing tax receipts, and making it even easier to pay back those T-bills in the future.

However, that means the government (mainly Congress) needs to take its thumb out of its collective ass, learn some math, and commit to spending some money until we've got something more like full employment, with the economy running at or near potential. Right now, even with all the money the Fed pushes, very little private investment is happening (except in that casino we call the stock exchange and the shadow banking system); with returns this low, there's no crowding out. Resources are underutilized by private corporations (although, via the Tea Party in the House, the Chamber of Commerce screams, "Hey, I was gonna use that!" about any attempt to spend government money).

I'm only afraid that we've lost the best opportunity: It wasn't more than a year ago that the real interest rate was negative, expected to cost less to pay back than the money was worth at the moment (my wife bought a new car at an effective negative interest rate in May 2012), not even taking into account the increase in GDP and tax receipts.

about 7 months ago
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Study Shows Professors With Tenure Are Worse Teachers

DudeTheMath Re:Yes, but... (273 comments)

Northwestern actually has a cadre of professional instructors, non-tenure-track, but not adjunct, either: These faculty are hired on a three- to five-year contract, with some benefits, and have no duties besides teaching. If they do that well, they can usually expect to have their contracts renewed. For many who love teaching and have less of an interest in (or, perhaps, little flair for) research, it's not a bad gig. Adjuncts, on the other hand, are the press gang of academia, paid by the credit hour, with no benefits and no security (as I mentioned in another response, a tenure-track faculty member might have an upper level class cancelled due to low enrollment and find him- or herself abruptly assigned to a "STAFF" intro course, and, hey, there go some adjunct's expected three credit hours that were supposed to pay the cable bill this fall).

about 7 months ago
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Study Shows Professors With Tenure Are Worse Teachers

DudeTheMath Re:No way! (273 comments)

This. Notice that one of the authors of the study is the president of Northwestern?

about 7 months ago

Submissions

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Fruit Flies are Better Than You at Calculus

DudeTheMath DudeTheMath writes  |  about a month ago

DudeTheMath (522264) writes "Cornell University scientists studied how fruit flies respond to flight disturbances (instead of wind gusts, they used carefully controlled magnetic pulses) and found that the flies recover in as little as three wing beats (at 250 per second) by doing some kind of calculus in a little "integrated circuit" of neurons that control the wings directly. The pitch and yaw results are already published, and the roll study is forthcoming. (NYT, partial paywall, autoplay of fly that starts with a car ad.)"
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Home testing for solar roof coverage?

DudeTheMath DudeTheMath writes  |  about 2 years ago

DudeTheMath (522264) writes "Here in the Sunshine State (FL), solar should be a no-brainer. However, large oaks that require permits to trim partially shade my roof. I'd like to (inexpensively) "pre-qualify" my roof for effective panel area. Googling for "home solar testing" gets me equipment for checking the efficiency of an existing PV installation.

Do any makers know what I can do on my own in terms of placing a few individual cells and, over a year, measuring and recording their output, so I can get an idea whether solar would be cost-effective for me?"

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