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Comments

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Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech?

Quirkz Re:Dual degrees (391 comments)

Geographically you're close: Oberlin, which is also in Ohio.

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech?

Quirkz Re:Dual degrees (391 comments)

A lot of my players needed to go on diets?

Also, when's the last time you've heard anyone refer to an MO or an MORPG and not just go ahead and put that first M in there?

3 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech?

Quirkz Re:Dual degrees (391 comments)

I majored in physics, but at a very liberal-arts-focused school. So, I guess I've got both. I think it's served me well in the field: I've built web sites, been in tech support, run my own indie MMO, done a lot of random programming, and I'm currently a server admin.

Believe it or not, the most helpful classes may have been art history. Journalism and philosophy didn't hurt, especially Symbolic Logic, which was a philosophy class.

3 days ago
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Court: Car Dealers Can't Stop Tesla From Selling In Massachusetts

Quirkz Re:hahaha (154 comments)

I'd mod you up if I had points. Total money out of pocket is the most important factor, and focusing on monthly payment is either going at it bass ackwards, or risks allowing some shenanigans to slip in.

3 days ago
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The Growing Illusion of Single Player Gaming

Quirkz Re:Cheaters, griefers, trolls, and children (291 comments)

Yep, that sums it up pretty well. Also: I have two kids under 3. If I can't pause, I'm not going to even try to play the game. Yes, even after they're in bed, a consistent chunk of playing time is unreliable.

3 days ago
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Universal Big Bang Lithium Deficit Confirmed

Quirkz Re:Quite accurately? (170 comments)

For explaining the lithium's disappearance, maybe, but we do need something to explain the relative proportions.

My default assumption was as a light element Li would be one of the top numbers. If, say (and these numbers are way off), you were expecting the universe to be 50% hydrogen, 25% helium, 12% lithium, 13% other, and you only had 4% lithium, then that missing 8% would have to be reflected somewhere, and you'd be seeing 54% hydrogen in the universe, for instance.

Except as I look it up, lithium is very rare to begin with, so maybe two thirds of a very small number isn't enough to throw off the calculations for the other elements. In reality it's 74% hydrogen, 24% helium, and less than 2% for everything else. Li is some exceptionally tiny fraction of a percent, so even if it is off, that's not going to shift the relative percentages of other elements enough to be noticeable, I don't think.

about a week ago
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Universal Big Bang Lithium Deficit Confirmed

Quirkz Re:Quite accurately? (170 comments)

There are two things that confuse me with this news.

1. With a BA in physics (mid-90's), I was taught about the Big Bang and elements calculation multiple times. In every single instance I was shown the calculated and observed percentages, and they were always given as a good match, as part of the proof. I'm really confused that now it's been known for decades that they *don't* match. Were my books lying to me? Was this observation adjusted the year I graduated college, and I just missed the controversy?

2. I'm also really curious to hear which elements have a *higher* concentration, to make up for the missing lithium. If we were just short a bunch of lithium, all of the other elements would be higher, percentage wise, and thus all of them would be off. Since the others are spot-on, I've got to think there's at least one element out there that's disproportionately high to balance it out.

about a week ago
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Microsoft Takes Down Slideshow-Building Tool After Getty Images Lawsuit

Quirkz Re: So a company (81 comments)

Oh, I wasn't even actively trying to sell. I just had some art on my web site that I'd done for fun and wanted to show off. I only got a small handful of contacts, but all of them were looking for free. One of them was even a "conference," which seemed like it ought to have *some* funds. Though it was also South Korea in the early 2000's, so I'm not sure what things were like then.

I appreciate your taking the time to make the suggestion, though.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Takes Down Slideshow-Building Tool After Getty Images Lawsuit

Quirkz Re: So a company (81 comments)

Maybe I'm lucky, and I find a site with contact information. I call up the photographer, and he's willing to negotiate. There's a back-and-forth exchange where I offer some amount of money, and he wants a hundred times that. Forget it.

Heh, I wish just once someone who contacted me about using my images had any money at all. The only requests I've ever gotten were from people looking for entirely free use. I would have gladly taken $20 just to be able to say I'd once sold something.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Are the Strangest Features of Various Programming Languages?

Quirkz Re:question colon (729 comments)

Sadly, ternary doesn't actually start with "tri."

I think it comes from old Norwegian, based on a decision-making process akin to flipping a coin, except it was throwing rocks at birds, and the decision was determined by which arctic tern was hit first.

about two weeks ago
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Taking the Ice Bucket Challenge With Liquid Nitrogen

Quirkz Re:it tingles (182 comments)

I think we had the same physics book, because this article brought back memories of the story. In my memory he cracked one rear molar and not *all* of his teeth, but it's otherwise similar.

about two weeks ago
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Dell's New Alienware Case Goes to Extremes To Prevent Overheating

Quirkz Re:How much? (149 comments)

And ad blocking. Don't even get me started. So many ad blockers are so proud of what they do, like it's some badge of honor to block. If everyone blocked ads, many quality web sites would likely cease to exist, including Slashdot.

I'm not "proud" of adblocking any more than I'm proud of locking my door at night. It's just basic personal security. It's a shame that my security needs conflict with the site's business model. But frankly, I'm not going to click on any ads anyway. I've clicked on maybe two in the past decade, and both were by accident. Mostly I'm not interested. Even if I *am* interested, I'm going go to the source web site directly, because I can't trust some random ad to be genuine.

about two weeks ago
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Hackers Behind Biggest-Ever Password Theft Begin Attacks

Quirkz Re:many sites still dumb (107 comments)

One version of PHPBB had a bug where it trimmed the special characters (or at least the @) from a password when you *created* it, but not later on when you tried logging in. I had to reinstall a couple of times before I somehow figured out what was going on. Not sure if this bug still exists, as it was many years ago.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?

Quirkz Re:Windows XP (635 comments)

I still miss the speed with which Mac OS 9 opened windows. (I don't still use it, mind you, I just miss it.) When they came out with OS X there was a tremendous, noticeable drag on the window-opening animation/process. I think they did slowly improve things over subsequent versions and with improving hardware, but I'm pretty sure I could still drill down through 8 folders faster on OS 9 using 90's-era hardware than I could through the same folders on a modern Mac.

I know, I'm probably not supposed to keep things in folders and drill down like that anymore, but instead throw it all in one big pot and search or something, but that's not how I learned to think about my computer files, and I still haven't really adjusted to it.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?

Quirkz Re:Rock. (635 comments)

Yes, rock is handy, but keep in mind it's useless against paper.

about two weeks ago
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Drought Inspires a Boom In Pseudoscience, From Rain Machines To 'Water Witches'

Quirkz Re: A fool and their money (266 comments)

Sure, that's why no individual bothers to do it, but if the world at large wanted to demonstrate if there was any merit at all to dowsing, that's the kind of thing they ought to test.

You'd think somewhere there'd be one wealthy investor willing to spend a few tens of thousands to scientifically analyze this.

about three weeks ago
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Drought Inspires a Boom In Pseudoscience, From Rain Machines To 'Water Witches'

Quirkz Re: A fool and their money (266 comments)

As a start, I'd say: pick 3 spots that feel right, pick 3 spots that feel wrong, and pick 3 spots via some randomization method. Then drill all 9. Repeat over a few thousand plots of land. Compare results.

about three weeks ago
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DoT Proposes Mandating Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communications

Quirkz Re:Motorcyclists rejoice! (261 comments)

Bah, the pithier version of this is, "Two wrongs won't make a right, but three lefts do."

about three weeks ago
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DoT Proposes Mandating Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communications

Quirkz Re:Oh, really? (261 comments)

His real crime was ending his sentence with a preposition.

Hey, look, you just ended a sentence with "a preposition."

about three weeks ago
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Uber Has a Playbook For Sabotaging Lyft, Says Report

Quirkz Re:Rinse, Repeat (182 comments)

Those who cannot remember the aphorism are doomed to, er, how does that go again?

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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Running your own ghost investigation?

Quirkz Quirkz writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Quirkz (1206400) writes "I am a skeptic, but have friends and family who swear by their ghost stories. I have access to a supposedly haunted house and been tempted to run a proper scientific investigation. My first question is what sorts of tools or measurements would make for sensible metrics to test during a hunt? Temperature change seems to be a common one, but the other devices you'll see ghost hunters use seem pretty random. The second question is what kinds of results would it take to be "interesting"? Baseline readings at several presumably non-haunted locations seem to be obvious requirements for comparison. Once you have those, what kinds of results would it take to convince a skeptic there's something unusual going on, or demonstrate that there's not? I don't have much hope of changing the minds of those who believe, but it would be satisfying to at least be scientific about it."

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