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The Simultaneous Rise and Decline of Battlefield

OSULugan Been "Battlefield Free" since Battlefield 2 (208 comments)

I spent countless hours playing Battlefield 1942 and its expansions. That game was a favorite at many LAN parties back 10+ years ago, and for good reason. I found Battlefield: Vietnam a little less engaging, but quite interesting for the time period and the addition of Helicopters to the fray.

I pre-ordered Battlefield 2, but when I installed it, I found that the game wouldn't run longer than 5 minutes without freezing my system. I never returned to the franchise.

about 2 months ago
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Average HS Student Given Little Chance of AP CS Success

OSULugan Re:Average SD article containing TM unclear ABR in (293 comments)

allowing it (and its tuition) to be skipped

LOL, oh you're serious, let me laugh harder. If you think skipped courses due to AP credits reduce the number of hours needed to graduate at the vast, vast majority of schools you're mistaken. No, it will just let you skip an intro course and fill the hours requirement for your major for something a little less dull.

When I went to college orientation (about 15 years ago), while all of the other incoming freshmen were taking placement exams, I was listening to the school's pitch to the parents. Why? Because I had to take absolutely 0 placement exams.

Based on my AP test scores I skipped:
2 quarters of Chemistry (both required for my major, meaning I did not have to take any chemistry at college) - AP Chemistry 5
2 quarters of Calculus (going straight into the 3rd of the 4 quarter Calculus cycle required for my major) - AP Calculus BC 5
1 quarter of English (required for my major, I had to take 1 English composition course) - AP English 4
1 quarter of Physics (required for my major, I had to take 1 additional Physics course) AP Physics - 4
2 quarters of American Social Studies (required for a General Elective category for my major) - AP US History 5, AP US Government 4

Essentially, these credits saved 2 quarters of real college work toward my degree.

I also received in addition to the above:
5 credit hours Math (the "intro" class to prep you for the calculus series)
15 credit hours Spanish - AP Spanish 3 (I didn't even take the AP class, just the test)
10 credit hours low-level Comp Sci - AP Computer Science AB 5

These additional credits meant that, following my 1st quarter at college, I had enough earned credits to be considered a Junior as far as class rank went, which was nice for having advantages for priority in class enrollment, football season ticket, dorm selection, etc.

Oh, and by the way, this was for an Electrical Engineering degree.

about 2 months ago
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US Agency Aims To Regulate Map Aids In Vehicles

OSULugan Re:always exceptions (216 comments)

There will likely always be an exception. The car doesn't know that you are the only person in the car, and there is no reason that a passenger can't input nav data while the vehicle is in motion.

This will make for some great action movies though. Imagive the hero doesn't know where he needs to be, but can't stop the vehicle for GPS to work because there is a carload of mafia terrorists chasing him.

If you have any experience with Toyota's in-dash Nav solution, then you would know that this system is already in existence. With Toyota's system, you can choose preset destinations whenever, but you can't enter an address or do more advanced searches.

I wondered why the system doesn't use the passenger-side airbag detector to figure out that there's a passenger in the car to allow these options. But, sadly, they didn't implement it that way. There have been a few times we've had to pull into a nearby parking lot for me to place the car in "Park" to allow access to the functionality.

about 2 months ago
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Artificial Pancreas Shows Promise In Diabetes Test

OSULugan This will need better advances in CGM Technology (75 comments)

To be successful, this kind of a device will need substantial improvements in Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) devices. I used one of these 2 to 3 years ago, and it required a finger-stick reading to "calibrate" it at a minimum once every 12 hours, but recommended 4 times a day. Even with this calibration, the algorithm in their software didn't adjust to this as truth data, and would continue to read quite different values. Many times this was in the 60-80 point (mg/dL) range. When you're trying to control blood glucose into a range of 80-120 mg/dL, having an error so great is a significant challenge. Granted, this was likely 1 generation old technology, but from what my endocrinologist (who's also a pump wearing diabetic) tells me, the newest generation isn't much better.

I can't imagine what the device would do when you factor this error in along with the algorithm trying to account for situations such as eating, without having additional input from the user.

Oh, and one last hurdle: A newly placed sensor for the CGM devices generally take a period of 1 to 2 hours to acclimate, then need a "calibration", before the data is useful. What does a diabetic do during this time period (which needs to occur once every 3 days)?

about 3 months ago
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Botched Executions Put Lethal Injections Under New Scrutiny

OSULugan Stop messing around (483 comments)

If we're going to do executions, then the whole "pain-free" premise should go right out the door. We're killing the criminal in retaliation for a crime. Why does it need to be so painless? I mean, don't torture the criminal by starvation or dehydration or anything like that. But hanging, guillotine, firing squad, etc. are all effective means. You could even give some local to ease the pain on some of these methods.

Otherwise, all you're really doing is admitting that execution isn't right, but trying to get away with it anyway.

about 3 months ago
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Interviews: Ask Jennifer Granick What You Will

OSULugan Reconcile wisdom vs. technological savviness (58 comments)

Slashdot has had a lot of discussion recently with regard to the (perception of the) Supreme Court justices (apparent) lack of technological savviness due to their age. This is pervasive throughout all of our government, from federal to local and throughout all three branches. Classically, this was desirable for the wisdom that comes with age, the prevention of coercion for the independent Supreme Court and/or the perks that could come from having a representative with seniority.

How do you see evolution of our government in a future where technological advances come at an ever increasing pace?

I.e., how does our government reconcile the need for wisdom in governance with the need for an understanding of the technology in the modern world, and the application of laws against it?

about 3 months ago
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The Lithuanian Mob Was Smuggling Cigarettes Into Russia With a Drone

OSULugan Re:Since the 1970s (81 comments)

Much different. You need skill to operate an RC airplane. These drones pretty much fly themselves, so are much easier for criminals (and the rest of us) to use.

Just like fly-by-wire technology has made planes pretty much fly themselves! No skill necessary to operate them anymore either.

about 4 months ago
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Could High Bay-Area Prices Make Sacramento the Next Big Startup Hub?

OSULugan Sacramento is nice and all, but it's still... (190 comments)

in California. Which means outrageous tax-rates, high fuel prices, etc. The houses might be cheaper (my wife and I noticed some nice ones on a recent visit, and I was surprised by the affordability of the house pricing), but all of the other "cost of living" factors make it not much more attractive then established bases in California.

about 4 months ago
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Adjusting GPAs: A Statistician's Effort To Tackle Grade Inflation

OSULugan Re:The whole system needs to change (264 comments)

"The purpose of school isn't to differentiate between who are the elite and who are the median, but whether to certify that you learned whatever it was they were supposed to be learning."

And, grading helps to determine that. The problem is that classes have become so easy that the median are gaining an "A". This means that classes aren't being pushed hard enough. Instead, they teach to the lowest common denominator, or they make the grades less about mastering the material, and more about how easily one can push through loads of homework, or how quickly one can look up the right answer when given ample time. The curve grading system sucks, if enforced in retrospect. Instead, the curve should be a tool that feeds back into the school, and tells the school whether the classes are too hard, too easy, or just right.

about 7 months ago

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