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The best day of the week, generally:

DustCollector Morning Cartoons! (510 comments)

Saturday morning cartoons! This is the slashdot crowd, right?

more than 3 years ago

US Students Struggle With Understanding of the 'Equal' Sign

DustCollector What a stupid article... use a square box (1268 comments)

Did they try to use something else besides parens? Growing up, to solve math problems, I had to fill in a square box, or place the answer above an underscore. Parens actually have meaning in mathematical notation, so perhaps that is the real source of confusion, and not the equal sign.

more than 4 years ago

Thumbprints Used To Check Books Out of School Library

DustCollector Wait till swine flu appears again (355 comments)

I briefly worked at a company which used a hand scanner in lieu of a badge. It was unwisely put between your desk and the restroom. It's no secret not everyone washes their hands after relieving themselves, so I avoided eating lunch at my desk unless I had a bottle of hand sanitizer with me.

Now imagine 4 year olds, touching everything and sucking their thumb, and then checking out a book.

Technologically, scanners work well enough. Implementation, however, is done by the foolish.

more than 4 years ago

DECAF Was Just a Stunt, Now Over

DustCollector Re:Not open source, don't trust it. (206 comments)

What alerted me was "womanizing." Clearly, the DECAF author doesn't know the slash dot audience. :P

Regardless, I've learned with proselytizers, the problem is more within them, than with the people they try to convert (through lying and manipulation and fighting, of course).

more than 4 years ago

Intergalactic Race Shows That Einstein Still Rules

DustCollector Aliens certify Einstein? (227 comments)

Did anyone else read this headline about an intergalactic people verifying Einstein's theories?

more than 4 years ago

Is Working For the Gambling Industry a Black Mark?

DustCollector Not too different from Wall St. (467 comments)

I knew a co-worker who programmed lotto machines. He later joined a major stock exchange. Last I heard, he was happily coding for a hedge fund. What all the employers were keen on were his Linux skills -- which were pretty sharp. Maybe working in the gambling industry didn't hurt him because gambling and "investing" are not too different. :)

more than 4 years ago

Coders At Work

DustCollector Re:Andy Hertzfeld... (207 comments)

You'll find him in "Programmers At Work" by Susan Lammers. That book was published by Microsoft Press back in 1986.

about 5 years ago

Could a Meteor Have Brought Down Air France 447?

DustCollector Re: Bad Stats (884 comments)

Yes, the stats neglect to mention that safety is measured over miles. An airplane covers a lot more miles than a car, so of course it comes out safer on a per mile basis. A better metric would include take-offs and landings versus the number of trips one makes in a car.

more than 5 years ago

Breast Cancer Gene Lawsuit Argues Patents Invalid

DustCollector Re:I don't understand it. (294 comments)

Thanks for a thoughtful post. So the fine point is that the gene itself is not patented, but the process to access the gene is. In addition, no one else is allowed read access to the gene unless they pay a fee to Myriad.

That's like patenting fire. You discover it and patent the process of rubbing 2 sticks together. While I am free to use the sun and a magifying glass, I am not allowed to make a fire because of the cost you incurred discovering it.

I will have to check if Myriad gets government funding.

more than 5 years ago

UK Government To Monitor All Internet Use

DustCollector Re:1984 (446 comments)

Actually, according to our govt database, George Orwell turned over twice within an hour of this slashdot posting.

more than 5 years ago

XP Reprieve, Downgrade May Continue After Win7

DustCollector XP Introduced Cleartype, Remote Desktop access (392 comments)

Cleartype improved readability on LCD screens, although its sub-pixel rendering has been debated in tech circles.

For the corporate world, remote access was a boon and available in XP Pro.

Vista failed for many reasons -- buggy, limited driver support, marketing too many editions, etc.

I agree though that Microsoft Marketing tries to churn the market. Not sure what's in Windows 7 that will be of interest and value to customers.

more than 5 years ago

Walter Bright Ports D To the Mac

DustCollector Re:What? (404 comments)

ssh wasn't it. Walter was referring to hiding a beautiful Mac in the basement. Macs are meant to be seen as well as used.

more than 5 years ago

Making the "Free" Business Model Work In a Tough Economy

DustCollector Re:micropayments (188 comments)

With micropayments, won't people feel nickeled and dimed (or fractions thereof)?

I wouldn't want to pay fractions of a penny to read a blog post. But if the writer is any good and authors a book, I might buy the book. In the case of Joel Spolsky, I did exactly that.

Similarly, I wouldn't want to pay fractions of a penny each time I used a web app. But I have purchased shareware / donationware.

more than 5 years ago

Woman Claims Ubuntu Kept Her From Online Classes

DustCollector Re:Humor? Entertainment? (1654 comments)

She called the local news because Dell said it was too late for her to change from Ubuntu back to Windows. She wasn't asking for tech support from the news station; she was asking the news station to mediate the dispute, which is a pretty common request.

more than 4 years ago

If Programming Languages Were Religions

DustCollector Re:C, "restrictive"? (844 comments)

My thoughts exactly. ints can be chars, you can do pointer arithmetic, you can rotate and mask bits, drop to machine language, etc. And yes, it takes discipline to keep things neat and orderly.

Python can be a bit more restrictive than C in that space matters. But you don't need to declare specific types.

Oh well, the article was all in fun anyway.

more than 5 years ago

My top-level book organization is based on ...

DustCollector Re:Recycling not so easy (423 comments)

My information is from personal experience. I tried to donate, and they didn't even say thank you. I also personally know a libririan.

This is not to say your experience is wrong. No doubt, in your area, books and libraries aren't as abundant.

more than 5 years ago

My top-level book organization is based on ...

DustCollector Re:Recycling not so easy (423 comments)

Giving books to local schools or libraries isn't that easy. I know a librarian who said they get way too many donations.

When I donated some books to my local libary, the librarian didn't look particularly grateful. Her face seemed to say, "What are we? Your personal dumpster?"

Similarly, schools have too many newspapers because people (myself included) usually donate their dailies when they go on vacation.

Magazines have a chance at a second life in laundromats and, as you mentioned, hair dressers. A dentist or doctor's office, however, needs more recent titles.

more than 5 years ago

Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang To Step Down

DustCollector Re:Isn't it kind of sad (199 comments)

>>Yes, it's a dream for the shareholders. Ya know, the people the company exists to serve?

A more enlightened company exists to serve its *customers*. Customrs are best served by capable and satisfied employees. Shareholders would benefit as a side-effect.

Too often, "we do this for the sake of the shareholders" line is an excuse for doing something unsavory, immoral, or borderline illegal.

more than 5 years ago

Googling Security

DustCollector Re:Aspirin? (142 comments)

And aspirin is linked to reyes syndrome in children.

more than 5 years ago



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