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Duke: No Mercy For CS 201 Cheaters Who Don't Turn Selves In By Wednesday

Jon_S Re:Or just practicing for an actual job (320 comments)

Exactly. The purpose of the assignment wasn't to get some code to work. It was to learn how to develop an algorithm.

I'm not a CS person, but rather a chemical engineer. When I was in college, we learned, and had to do, all sorts of distillation designs using McCabe-Theil diagrams and other hand and graphical calculations. Would we ever do this at our job? No, there are all sorts of computer programs that figure these things out. However, going through the process of doing the work the hard way, and more importantly redoing the work that other people have already done, makes us understand the principles behind the logic. It also helps for giving insight if and when we want to extend the thinking to some new area.

Talking about how things are reused in one's job is completely missing the mark.

about two weeks ago
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Worcester Mass. City Council Votes To Keep Comcast From Entering the Area

Jon_S Re: Awesome quote (232 comments)

Who said each company would be limited to 1/20 of the wire's bandwidth. This is capitalism. If a company can provide internet service for a low price with great uptime, people will flock to them and they will use more of the wire. Since there is a low barrier to entry, some other firm who may be able to figure out an event cheaper, more reliable way to supply yuo with your bits, then they are going to be the one sending most of the bits down the wire.

And in case you haven't heard, with cable internet, your bandwidth is already being limited by your neighbor's usage. It wouldn't matter whether "centurylink" or "comcast" was sending those bits down the wire.

about a month ago
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Worcester Mass. City Council Votes To Keep Comcast From Entering the Area

Jon_S Re: Awesome quote (232 comments)

That's not true. The wire still handles the same number of bits. It is just different suppliers feeding them into the upstream end of the pipe.

Slashdot just had a story on how this works wonders in Sweden. And if you don't want to click, I'll provide the spoiler: it's not socialist/communist. The internet suppliers are all private companies. It's only the last mile that is owned by city.

http://tech.slashdot.org/story...

about a month ago
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Grooveshark Found Guilty of Massive Copyright Infringement

Jon_S Re:Google Books (171 comments)

Google books is different. The content provided by google books is specifically just a portion of each book. That way they are covered by "fair use" by only showing parts of the book. If they scanned and uploaded the entire book, then it would be copyright infringement.

about 2 months ago
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Forest Service Wants To Require Permits For Photography

Jon_S Re: Forest Circus. (299 comments)

This is a dumb regulation, but if you RTFA, it is not a permit for "taking pictures". It is a permit for doing news reporting, including photography/viedography, within wilderness areas.

The average hiker taking photos is subject to this regulation. So for example, the comments about Ansel Adams above don't apply.

But still a stupid regulation.

about 2 months ago
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Net Neutrality Is 'Marxist,' According To a Koch-Backed Astroturf Group

Jon_S Re: What's so American (531 comments)

Well, what if they pass a law saying that Redpill82 has to pay one million dollars in taxes a year? The government could pass allowing what you fear whether or not net neutrality exists. So I fail to see how your fear is an argument against net neutrality.

about 3 months ago
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Net Neutrality Is 'Marxist,' According To a Koch-Backed Astroturf Group

Jon_S Re: What's so American (531 comments)

And what's to stop the government from "leveling the playing field," giving additional network resources to failing energy companies, state education systems in favor of Common Core, public companies who need to better compete against private ones etc. ?

Um, net neutrality perhaps? That's what net neutrality is about. Not giving any one content provider preference over another is the definition of net neutrality.

about 3 months ago
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Idiot Leaves Driver's Seat In Self-Driving Infiniti, On the Highway

Jon_S Re:Huh? (406 comments)

I think the more salient point is this: Maybe we do get that last 1%. *When it is new!*. I keep my cars for 8 years or so. Most people keep their cars for a long time. After a while they start breaking down. While you can fix the breakdowns, you don't know when they will break down. Sure there are annual inspections, but currently they don't cover the effectiveness of autonomous systems, and probably won't for a while. And even if they do, the systems could fail the week after the inspection.

So do you only allow the system to work for, say one year, and then you have to turn it off? Do you have to have the manufacturer check and rebuild it on a regular basis to keep it valid (sort of like they do with jet engines if I understand correctly)?

I tend to stay away from new fancy stuff on cars. That sort of stuff is always the first thing to break down.

about 4 months ago
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Elon Musk's Solar City Is Ramping Up Solar Panel Production

Jon_S Re:Why Silevo didn't aim to be biggest? (262 comments)

Specific electric power doesn't go anywhere. Electricity is a voltage potential difference between sources and end users and flows through a grid. This is why you can't just buy, say, wind or solar power.

Both Huntley and the NYPA Niagara Falls hydro plant send power into the grid. You can't distinguish what power comes from where. Because Niagara Falls generates more power than Huntley, I would say that almost certainly this big solar panel factory will be powered principally with power generated by hydro.

That said, you can charge people different rates. NYPA, as a NY State Authority (thanks Robert Moses for creating monsters like this), can cut deals with downstate users for cheaper power. However, a certain amount of power has to be distributed at low cost prices to Western New York businesses. This is part of the NYPA licensing process. It is commonly referred to as low cost hydropower, but again, a voltage potential is a voltage potential - it doesn't matter to the grid who generated the potential.

I did get a chuckle reading the Buffalo News this morning (yes, I devour the dead trees version every day - it's a great paper) that they are expanding this previously announced solar plant due to the availability of a low cost power allocation from NYPA. Irony indeed.

Still, as Obama says, you have to pursue "all of the above" so I am glad they are ramping up production.

about 5 months ago
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Four Weeks Without Soap Or Shampoo

Jon_S Re:So? (250 comments)

But the article wasn't specifically about not showering. Yes, that was part of it, but the main thing was the application to the skin of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria on a regular basis. It is not as if people just stopped showering. We all know how that turns out. But that's not what this is about.

about 6 months ago
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US Officials Cut Estimate of Recoverable Monterey Shale Oil By 96%

Jon_S Re:Good. (411 comments)

Especially since oil has been produced from this area for many decades now. It is already a very established industry in this area.

about 6 months ago
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Charter Challenges Comcast/Time Warner Merger

Jon_S "they don't compete" is the reason for rejecting (90 comments)

When are people and regulators going to wake up and realize that the "well, they don't compete against each other an any areas" is *not* a reason to say this merger is OK, but is a reason why it should be rejected!

The problem with broadband access in the US is that we don't have competition in most places. Some places have DSL (slow) or Fios/U-verse, but most don't. And no, satellite or 2 GB-capped cell service doesn't count as competition.

The very statement that they don't compete anywhere is the problem. Things need to be changed so that they compete against each other. That will not happen if they merge.

about 8 months ago
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White House Responds To Net Neutrality Petition

Jon_S Re:The President must follow Congress' laws... (245 comments)

How do you explain this then:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02...

Sounds like they are trying again after getting blocked by the courts last time.

It did say "The commission will not seek to immediately reclassify Internet service as a utility. Mr. Wheeler said that the commission will retain the right to do so, however, if its new rules are approved and appear not to be working adequately." but this makes sense. Declaring ISPs common carriers has some side effects that may or may not be readily apparent.

about 9 months ago
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These Are the Companies the FAA Has Sent notices To For Using Drones

Jon_S Re:Checking out the beta.. (136 comments)

The comment box isn't a wysiwyg editor. Can't I just highlight text and hit control-B and make it bold? C'mon, this is 2014, we had this functionality 20 years ago.

Absolutely not! This is news for nerds (until the beta takes over. Fuck the Beta!). You have to prove your nerd cred by typing HTML tags. Anyone can hit ctrl-B.

about 10 months ago
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Atlanta Gambled With Winter Storm and Lost

Jon_S Re:Pffft (723 comments)

Because there is another car immediately in front of them stopped because everyone left work at exactly the same time creating the world's biggest traffic jam. Then everything got covered in ice and no salt trucks could treat the road because see above.

That's why.

about 10 months ago
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HP Brings Back Windows 7 'By Popular Demand' As Buyers Shun Windows 8

Jon_S Re:New MS business plan (513 comments)

Windows 8.1 is actually a really nice interface if you have a tablet or a notebook with a touch screen.

In my 20+ years of computing, I just about tackle anyone who is about to put their finger on my screen to show me which spreadsheet cell they are talking about, etc. I don't want to be staring at smudges all day.

So why would I now go out and buy a system that is *designed* to be smudge up my screen with fingerprints?

Yes, I touch the screen on my phone all the time. But I'm not staring at that screen all day.

about 10 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Do You Convince an ISP To Bury Cable In Your Neighborhood?

Jon_S Re:The basics... (324 comments)

Wow, that's amazing. I was going to post something basically bashing the choice to live in a HOA-controlled area in the first place.

I am not aware of hardly any HOAs in my neck of the woods (although I am sure there are some), and I live in a fairly large metro area. What kind of place only has HOAs?

HOAs are evil in my book.

about 10 months ago
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Apple, Amazon, Microsoft & More Settle Lawsuits With Boston University

Jon_S Re:more is coming (129 comments)

BU cancelled their football program in 1997 because it cost too much.

about 10 months ago
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Harvard Bomb Hoax Perpetrator Caught Despite Tor Use

Jon_S Re:So he didn't get caught from the e-mail... (547 comments)

"savvy enough to wipe his drive" = "dumb enough to risk an obstruction of justice charge in addition to the false bomb scare charge"

Obstruction of justice often comes with penalties at least as great as for the crime.

about a year ago

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