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Comments

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Facebook and Apple Now Pay For Female Employees To Freeze Their Eggs

RobinH Re:Because studies show ... (246 comments)

The 12 months includes the 6 weeks or whatever of pregnancy leave, as far as I recall. So the father can't take all 12 months, there is a minimum that the mother takes. However in almost all cases I've seen, the mother refuses to give up any of her 12 months. There are certainly lots of fathers taking some of the time, but it's still a minority. When I discussed with my (female) boss about taking 6 months of leave she looked literally horrified, and then proceeded to tell me a story about how she was back at work days after having her first kid. There's still a lot of pressure on professional men, in Canada, to avoid taking time off for this, unfortunately.

5 days ago
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Flight Attendants Want Stricter Gadget Rules Reinstated

RobinH Re:We're ignoring them... (404 comments)

I agree that most people have just seen the act before. However, your idea that it's all common sense isn't correct. No first-time traveler is going to assume the life vest is velcro'd under the seat, and the seat belts don't work the same as the ones in cars. Plus, have you ever read the safety features brochure? The instructions for opening a hatch and deploying the slide/raft is not 100% common sense either.

about a week ago
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Elon Musk: We Must Put a Million People On Mars To Safeguard Humanity

RobinH Re:Scratches Head (549 comments)

So who's going to reset the first circuit breaker that trips, huh? I kid, I kid... :)

about three weeks ago
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Miss a Payment? Your Car Stops Running

RobinH Could be improved (907 comments)

There should be a visible counter. "Vehicle payment overdue. Ignition will be disabled in 72 hours 00 minutes..." That would solve most of these problems and make it fair.

about three weeks ago
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Physicist Claims Black Holes Mathematically Don't Exist

RobinH Re:"into harmony" (356 comments)

Ok, thanks for making me refresh my memory. I went and browsed this again. Take a look at page 10, and "The Feynman-Wheeler Interaction Theory". While physicists initially renormalized the mass to get rid of the infinity, what Feynman-Wheeler did was confirm that there is no self-interaction of an electron's charge on itself, and that the observed radiation resistance could be accounted for by the interaction of an electron and its' future self. Cool stuff. So anyway, that got rid of the scary infinity from QED.

about a month ago
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Physicist Claims Black Holes Mathematically Don't Exist

RobinH Re:"into harmony" (356 comments)

QED provides answers that are confirmed very accurately by experiment. Also, that infinity you're talking about was, I believe, gotten rid of by dividing both sides of an equation by an equal term, even if it was growing to infinity. That's not completely crazy. We haven't directly observed black holes. If we had much better observations, we might be able to confirm relativity, but the prediction of a real physical infinite density should make us a little skeptical.

about a month ago
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Physicist Claims Black Holes Mathematically Don't Exist

RobinH Re:"into harmony" (356 comments)

We have two theories: quantum mechanics and relativity, and they disagree about what happens when really massive stars collapse (or relativity predicts a singularity and quantum mechanics doesn't have much to say about what happens at those energies). The relativity answer seems impossible because when you get infinity out of an answer in physics, your math is probably wrong. Quantum mechanics only covers the 3 other forces, not gravity. So really we know that we probably don't know what's going on with this phenomenon. The term "black hole" is a little bit like "dark matter". It's a placeholder for what we don't know. We have observed evidence that there are extremely heavy and dense objects affecting nearby stars, but we can't observe them directly. So, what we've observed is not necessarily exactly what relativity predicts is there. This paper is offering a different theory (which may or may not be more correct).

about a month ago
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Is the Tesla Model 3 Actually Going To Cost $50,000?

RobinH Re:More importantly (393 comments)

Hey I'm skeptical too, but batteries are recycled, not just thrown in the trash heap. Plus, given the expected lifetime of a car, you'd only expect to replace the batteries once. It's not that crazy. After that the other components will be wearing out too.

about a month ago
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Using Wearable Tech To Track Gun Use

RobinH Re:Why just guns? (264 comments)

I don't follow this logic: in countries that ban guns, violent offenders use knives? Doesn't that prove that it works? The total damage inflicted by a deranged lunatic with a knife has to be, on average, a lot less than a deranged lunatic with a firearm. That chinese guy who went berzerk with a sword on the same day as the elementary school shooting a little while back... didn't it end up that nobody actually died from that?

about a month ago
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Text While Driving In Long Island and Have Your Phone Disabled

RobinH Has too many problems (364 comments)

First of all, it can't determine if you're a driver or passenger, so it will then disable your phone if you're a passenger. Not a huge deal if this is just a punishment, I guess. However it's still easily defeated by getting another phone. The right solution is to take away their driver's license for a period of time (2 weeks to start, and increasing amounts after that). Use your phone all you want, but don't drive.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Robotics or Electronic Kits For Wounded Veterans?

RobinH SnapCircuits and RobotShop (115 comments)

I don't know if this is too beginner level, but I think it's worth a mention: Snap Circuits. It's kind of like those old learn electronics kits with the spring connectors, but in this case they snap together with magnets. I would think if you went through all the kits you would learn all the basics pretty quickly, and then you'll be more comfortable moving on to the arduinos, etc.

Also checkout RobotShop for more advanced stuff.

about a month and a half ago
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Could Tech Have Stopped ISIS From Using Our Own Heavy Weapons Against Us?

RobinH The kill switch already exists (448 comments)

The US already used its rather effective kill switch technology: precision guided bombs. Simple, effective, and just like any other solution you can dream up for this problem, expensive.

about a month and a half ago
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Climate Damage 'Irreversible' According Leaked Climate Report

RobinH Re:Delayed action (708 comments)

Obviously I mean voluntarily.

about 2 months ago
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Anita Sarkeesian, Creator of "Tropes vs. Women," Driven From Home By Trolls

RobinH Re:Slashdot comments indicative of the problem (1262 comments)

Um, it doesn't matter. It may not be appropriate for a woman to stand there fully naked in the middle of the street, but that still doesn't make it OK for anyone to do anything to her (other than ask if she needs assistance or call the police to deal with the situation).

about 2 months ago
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Climate Damage 'Irreversible' According Leaked Climate Report

RobinH Re:Delayed action (708 comments)

That would actually be illogical for an individual to do if they're mostly interested in themselves and their offspring (and people do it which shows how generous some people are, sacrificing themselves for the greater good). A single person giving up 1/8 of their income for the benefit of everyone instead of themselves is just putting themselves at an economic disadvantage. Those are resources that can't be put towards better education for their kids, buying bigger/newer (i.e. safer for themselves) vehicles, etc. This kind of stuff will only work if we agree as a society that everyone has to play along by the new rules, for the benefit of everyone as a whole. A lot of people are completely against this idea (government intrusion on freedom, etc.) but that's the only way we've ever solved problems based on the "tragedy of the commons". If there's a common resource that people have an incentive to exploit, with no limit, for essentially free (e.g. the atmosphere) then they will do it. Sure, we all breath, but there's little/no incentive to breath "more". We can, however, use more energy by burning inexpensive fuel which consumes O2 and releases CO2 into the atmosphere, and we don't, as individuals or as companies, have to pay for that "externality". Therefore we will *never* stop doing it until we all agree as a society to regulate CO2 emissions.

about 2 months ago
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HP Recalls 6 Million Power Cables Over Fire Hazard

RobinH Re:Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (137 comments)

I had one of those cheap 12V switching power supplies (came with a 3D printer kit actually) and the power cord that came with it was getting very hot. I looked at the cord itself and it had 10A stamped on the plug end. That should have been more than enough current capacity, so something was definitely wrong with the cord. I took an old PC cord out of my junk box and noted that it also said 10A, then cut the PC end off of it and compared the wire gauge between the two. The faulty one's wire was much, much thinner than the one from my junk drawer. I wired it in and voila, the new cord ran cool as a cucumber. I believe the 10A stamped on the plug only referred to the actual 3-prong plug, and not to the wire itself. In the end this is just bad quality control from some knock-off supplier in China, so it's not surprising. I assume this HP mess is a similar problem. Just a bad batch of wires on the market, either because the original manufacturer screwed up in buying the wire, or maybe something more nefarious.

about 2 months ago
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$75K Prosthetic Arm Is Bricked When Paired iPod Is Stolen

RobinH Re:Hmmm ... (194 comments)

Well, sorry, that's not so bad design, but the really bad design is if the default password is in the downloadable manual and is active all the time, or doesn't require you to change it on first login. Still, I think my point is the same.

about 2 months ago
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$75K Prosthetic Arm Is Bricked When Paired iPod Is Stolen

RobinH Re:Hmmm ... (194 comments)

Except the terribly bad design we typically see in embedded design is normally to provide a back-door way to prevent just this kind of problem. "Oh, you lost your password? No problem, hold down these three buttons and cycle power and it'll reset everything to factory defaults, and then you can login with this default password."

about 2 months ago
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Dramatic Shifts In Manufacturing Costs Are Driving Companies To US, Mexico

RobinH Re:The Real question then is... (233 comments)

Manufacturing has returned (slowly) but it's been in the form of automation, not jobs.

about a month ago
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Researchers Find Security Flaws In Backscatter X-ray Scanners

RobinH What devices *don't* have security flaws? (146 comments)

At this point nobody's going to be surprised if any device tested has blatant security flaws. The only interesting story would be if someone found a device with no actual flaws. That would be news.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Ask Slashdot: Should I fight against online voting in our municipality?

RobinH RobinH writes  |  about 3 months ago

RobinH (124750) writes "Our small-ish municipality (between 10,000 to 15,000 in population) has recently decided to switch to online voting. I should note that they were previously doing voting-by-mail. I have significant reservations about online voting, particularly the possibility of vote-selling and the general lack of voter secrecy, not to mention the possible lack of computer security. However, it's only a municipal election, and apparently a lot of municipalities around here are already doing online voting. I'm not sure if the rank and file citizens care, or if they would listen to my concerns. Should I bother speaking up, or should I ignore it since municipal elections are not that important anyway?"
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The New Battle Over Community Q&A Sites

RobinH RobinH writes  |  more than 4 years ago

RobinH writes "Just as Fog Creek Software is about to launch their new "Community Knowledge Exchange" Q&A software product called StackExchange, an open source clone of the service called Shapado has popped up, and the kicker is that Shapado is free. That's a lot cheaper than the $129/month that the StackExchange service will cost, and to top it off, Shapado is going to offer a database import format that's compatible with the StackExchange export format. Fog Creek's developers posted an optimistic rebuttal."
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Slashdot - You have a major flaw in your submissio

RobinH RobinH writes  |  about 5 years ago

RobinH writes "On your submission page it says Submitted by and it has my user name. If you don't know to look, you don't realize that instead of linking to your user page on slashdot (like every other instance of your user name on slashdot), it links to your email address! And right beside the box where it asks you to enter your email address on the profile page, there's a little question mark box that says it's "never given out to anybody". That should be the default! You shouldn't default to posting someone's email address on a really public website. I now have an email address that I'd successfully kept spam free for 9 years, and I have a ton of spam coming in. Please fix your submission page so you don't trick other submitters into publishing their email address."
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StackOverflow For Any Topic

RobinH RobinH writes  |  about 5 years ago

RobinH writes "The successful question and answer website for programmers, StackOverflow, is now over a year old, and the top user, Jon Skeet has just passed 100,000 reputation points. Now it looks like one of the creators of StackOverflow, Joel Spolsky, and his company Fog Creek, are developing a software as a service form of the StackOverflow engine called StackExchange to support any topic you want. The software is currently in private beta, but the first of the beta sites have surfaced. Topics include Business Travel, the Home, Parenthood, the Environment, Finance, and iPhone Game Development."
Link to Original Source
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How do you take memos on the go?

RobinH RobinH writes  |  more than 5 years ago

RobinH (124750) writes "I'm frequently driving home when I remember something important that I need to do when I get back to my computer. I know if I don't record it I'm likely to forget. Writing is dangerous while driving. My cell phone has a voice recorder, but I have to find it in the menu, and I have to remember to check it later, which defeats the purpose. What I want is a device that I can pull out with one hand, hold down a button, say a memo, then put it back. Then with no other action on my part, the recording shows up in my email inbox the next time I check my email. This shouldn't be hard. Is there such a device?"

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