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Comments

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Does Learning To Code Outweigh a Degree In Computer Science?

RackinFrackin Re:Probably not. (546 comments)

Look! De Morgan's Theorem just let me reduce those 5 lines of code to 2.

So what? The 5 lines probably represent the set of logical questions that makes sense to a human. Once it's been manipulated by De Morgan's laws, the connection to the problem is lost. (If it was maintained, you wouldn't have needed De Morgan to optimise them.) You have fewer logic operations, but less legible code.

What a silly argument. Optimize the code and use a comment to explain what's happening.

about three weeks ago
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"MythBusters" Drops Kari Byron, Grant Imahara, Tory Belleci

RackinFrackin Re:Prediction (364 comments)

Or better yet, they go to PBS and do a reboot of 3-2-1 Contact! But who would play be the bloodhound gang?

about a month ago
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Fixing the Humanities Ph.D.

RackinFrackin Re:perhaps more importantly, they are easier to FI (325 comments)

You are being flippant here. Hiring someone into a tenure track position is a lot more work than hiring someone into a temporary position. Someone in a temporary position is usually just going to teach classes and that's it. All you need to know is if they are knowledgable and can run a classroom. Credentials give you a ballpark idea of the first, and references give you an idea of the second. Budget-wise you only need a commitment from above for one year's salary, which is a lot easier to secure than a continuing salary. You don't have to worry about their research compatibility, long-term career plans, or their ability to get tenure.

And if you screw up and hire a person who isn't up to the job, you don't renew them. So true, they are easier to fire, but that's a very small part of the story.

about 4 months ago
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Americans Hate TV and Internet Providers More Than Other Industries

RackinFrackin worst websites around (255 comments)

My only experience is with charter. Their service itself is usually pretty good, but I hate their website. You can't find straightforward information on what individual services cost, and even finding a channel listing is difficult. On more than one occasion I've searched for services available at my house--where they make me enter my exact address--and their website tells me that they do not service my area.

It really frustrates me that the companies that run the internet don't care enough or aren't required to make basic information about their services available.

about 4 months ago
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Harold Ramis Dies At 69

RackinFrackin Re:RIP in Peace (136 comments)

Am I the only one who's been waiting for years to nail someone who "corrects" me for saying "pdf file"?

about 7 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Cheap Second Calculators For Tests?

RackinFrackin Re:Casio fx-115ES Plus (328 comments)

This is a very capable calculator for under 20 USD. The two things that really impressed me about is are that (1) it can do arithmetic with and simplify square roots, and (2) it can do numerical integration and in some cases give exact answers. The numerical integration can be painfully slow, but it can recognize that, for instance int_{-1}^1 \sqrt{1-x^2} = \pi/2.

about 10 months ago
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NASA Astronaut Talks "Gravity," Spacewalking, ISS

RackinFrackin Space Camp 2? (97 comments)

They have to get to the ISS because they are running out of oxygen. Sounds a lot like Space Camp.

about a year ago
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Will Robots Replace Rent-a-Cops?

RackinFrackin Chopping Mall (157 comments)

This reminds me of the movie Chopping Mall, where security robots patrol a mall, and (big surprise) a bunch of teenagers get stuck in there overnight.

1 year,22 days
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Facebook "Trusted Contacts" Lets You Pester Friends To Recover Account Access

RackinFrackin Re:It's not about YOU stupid. (114 comments)

you get nothing in return

FB users get a significant amount of utility out of Facebook, and of course it comes at a cost. It looks extremely lop-sided because there's only one facebook and there are a billion or so users, but saying that users get nothing from it is just as stupid as saying that it costs users nothing.

about a year ago
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Interviews: Ask Freeman Dyson What You Will

RackinFrackin Re:Sim Universe (181 comments)

Here's a good visual of that concept.

about a year and a half ago
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Microbes Likely Abundant Hundreds of Meters Below Sea Floor

RackinFrackin Deep Hot Biosphere (68 comments)

Thomas Gold wrote a book that seems very pertinent to this.

about a year and a half ago
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Smartphone Screen Real Estate: How Big Is Big Enough?

RackinFrackin Re:without looking (320 comments)

You can with an iPhone 4. The voice commands work well and don't send anything to Apple.

about a year and a half ago
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New Largest Known Prime Number: 2^57,885,161-1

RackinFrackin Re:Uhhh... (254 comments)

You are correct, except that the parent was talking about the definition of Mersenne numbers, not Mersenne primes.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: The Search For the Ultimate Engineer's Pen

RackinFrackin Re:Uni-ball Signo Bit 0.18mm, 0.28mm, 0.38mm (712 comments)

I'll second the .28 mm uni-ball signo. It's the best thin-line pen I've ever used. It's great for doing neat, precision writing, but I can't write very fast with it. In my opinion the .18 is a little too small. I haven't tried the .38 version.

I've also tried the Pentel Slicci .25 mm pens, as mentioned by other posters, but I don't like them as well.

For a thicker-writing pen, I highly recommend the Uni-ball vision elite micro.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Mathematical Fiction?

RackinFrackin Re:anti-recommendation (278 comments)

Rucker's "the fourth dimension: toward a geometry of higher reality" is a very good read, or at least i really enjoyed it when i was in high school. Much of the book is about Flatland, with a lot of commentary and additional ideas about A. Square. I'd recommend it.

about 2 years ago
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Brown Signs California Bill For Free Textbooks

RackinFrackin Re:Dumb (201 comments)

Download it while you're at the university.

about 2 years ago
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Revisiting the Macintosh ROM Easter Egg

RackinFrackin scrambled channels? (98 comments)

That first picture reminds me of watching cinemax when I was a teenager, minus the naked women.

about 2 years ago

Submissions

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e-Reserves under fire from publishers

RackinFrackin RackinFrackin writes  |  more than 4 years ago

RackinFrackin (152232) writes "Publisher's Weekly has a story about a copyright lawsuit lodged against several faculty members and a librarian at Georgia State University. The case Cambridge University Press, et al. v. Patton et al. involvese-reserves, a practice of making electronic copies of articles available to students. From the article, "a court in Atlanta could yet deliver something that publishers expressly chose to avoid in their settlement with Google: a fair use ruling.""
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