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The Quest for an Ad-Free Inbox

SanguineV More spam is less? (2 comments)

To save on spam you are sending back a canned message asking them to send you more messages... Wouldn't a far better solution to be to hack your spam filter to delete the bit you dislike? Then you don't see it, you don't generate more traffic, and the people trying to send you messages can do it.

more than 4 years ago
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Jaron Lanier Rants Against the World of Web 2.0

SanguineV Re:Can someone summarize this? (231 comments)

This is /., you don't need a bot to tell you they don't match.

more than 4 years ago
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New Antifreeze Molecule Isolated In Alaskan Beetle

SanguineV Re:YES! (108 comments)

Most people carry a repository of warm water (plus other stuff) in their bladder for just such an occasion! And if you can't aim well enough then ask a friend to help.

more than 4 years ago
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Former Congressman Learns About Streisand Effect

SanguineV Re:Wait, slow this train down (527 comments)

You cannot copyright a legal name. I.e., if a word or phrase is your official identifier it cannot be copyrighted.

So if I legally change my name to the encoding of $latest_film in $some_format then that version of the film/format cannot be copyrighted and can be distributed freely?

more than 4 years ago
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Former Congressman Learns About Streisand Effect

SanguineV Re:Fair Use? (527 comments)

Way to ignore the other half of the original poster's statement, I believe it was "deterrence or containment".

I would like to add that rehabilitation should also be considered in sentencing and is a better goal than containment and far better than retribution.

more than 4 years ago
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UK Government Seeks New Web Censorship Powers

SanguineV Re:I love transparency! (187 comments)

But while you are listening to them rant about saving the children from paedophile-terrorist-aliens the nice men in white coats can circle around behind them and catch them more easily!

More seriously though: they should be listened to because then you can point out the flaws in their position. I have spoken to a number of "[c]ensorship advocates" who simply didn't understand the implications and were more than happy to change their position when spoken to reasonably. Of course some will be beyond reason or be pushing some other agenda, but not all are beyond hope and if you refuse to engage them, isolate them and let them only hear the extreme perspective you lose any chance to convert them... In a democratic system this is a losing strategy as you need to convince/convert the majority to your view.

more than 4 years ago
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UK Government Seeks New Web Censorship Powers

SanguineV Re:Democracy ? (187 comments)

Sadly it takes more than rote memorisation. You would need "every citizen" (or a decent majority) to understand their rights AND be willing to keep them in mind day-to-day AND be willing to act to protect them.

more than 4 years ago
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Russia Confirms Failed Missile Launch Caused Norway's Light Show

SanguineV Re:Bad fuel mix (236 comments)

I believe the spiral pattern is a result of vodka fueled rocket scientists.

more than 4 years ago
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Self-Destructing Bacteria Create Better Biofuels

SanguineV Obligatory (139 comments)

I for one welcome our new exploding combustible bacterial overlords.

more than 4 years ago
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Microsoft's Top Devs Don't Seem To Like Own Tools

SanguineV Re:pros and cons (496 comments)

You still have time to define what kind of "spoon" and "feeding" is being done!

more than 4 years ago
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Australia's CSIRO To Launch CPU-GPU Supercomputer

SanguineV Re:Can someone explain... (82 comments)

Can someone explain exactly what the benefits/drawbacks of using GPUs for processing?

GPUs are massively parallel handling hundreds of cores and tens of thousands of threads. The drawbacks are they have limited instruction sets and don't support a lot of the arbitrary jumping, memory loading, etc. that CPUs do.

It would also be nice if someone could give a quick run down of what sort of applications GPUs are good at.

Anything that is massively parallelisable and processing intensive. The usual bottle neck with GPU programming in normal computers is the overhead of loading from RAM to GPU-RAM. Remove this bottleneck in a custom system and you can have enormous speed ups in parallel applications once you compile the code down to GPU instructions.

Greater detail I will leave to the experts...

more than 3 years ago
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Tracking the World's Great Unsolved Math Mysteries

SanguineV Re:Check out the Collatz Conjecture... (221 comments)

A python version that returns the cycle length is available here. Of course it can be optimised by storing known concluding cycles and terminating immediately if you hit one. But the code works for stupidly large numbers without any issues (can't paste example as the filter complains)

more than 4 years ago
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AU Senator Calls Scientology a "Criminal Organization"

SanguineV Re:Makes me GLAD (511 comments)

I am sure there are plenty. The difference is in Australia these politicians are occasionally voted into office.

more than 4 years ago
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AU Senator Calls Scientology a "Criminal Organization"

SanguineV Re:Hmm (511 comments)

You don't need to be forced to pay for it to be a scam. Having the same philosophy as a scam doesn't make the scam legitimate.

more than 4 years ago
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Less Than Free

SanguineV Re:most users aren't aware of how much google know (330 comments)

I believe the FireGPG plugin in Firefox may do this (also requires GPG). Of course then you need your keys on the system you use to access your (g)mail, but I guess a USB drive, portable apps, etc. solves most of that.

more than 4 years ago
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Public School Teachers Selling Lesson Plans Online

SanguineV Re:Put lesson plans on TurnItIn.com (590 comments)

Begging your pardon for a moment, but is it not the point of university education and student teaching to provide exactly what a teacher needs to be able to do their job, and to adhere to lesson plan guidelines from state agencies and national standards? This is what I remember essentially being the case.

My view is that in an utopian teaching institution this may be the case. In my experience a teacher is provided some guidelines of what their students must learn, some teaching resources from previous classes and expected to know what to do. The details of lesson plans are usually not included, the teaching methodology (and reason for its use) is always omitted. Generally the teacher is expected to bring a lot of their own experience and skills to "make do" with the minimal resources provided.

As for teaching to standards, this is its own thorny issue. Too often I have seen standards based upon some very limited set of knowledge that students must demonstrate - the result being teaching that and only that in a manner that does not facilitate learning in depth. The "better" standards are those that are externally examined, such as engineering degrees (they are regularly checked to ensure the graduating students are suitably qualified to become an engineer... at least around here).

The other area of standards is in teaching standards. Here the (lack of) availability of good teachers and lack of reward for good teaching can very quickly drive standards down. Here in Australia I see three major problems in this area. First, school teachers are almost impossible to fire, even when they actively refuse to teach. Second, universities hire teaching staff on the basis of their research history, not on any ability to actually teach. Third, in tertiary education there is no requirement to have done any formal teaching qualifications, it is assumed that domain specific knowledge makes you a good teacher.

Again, I must reiterate: for-profit education reduces incentive to widely disseminate information. We frequently talk about open source software models being profitable not because of the content but because of the necessary services to implement it in practice. Why not the lesson plans too?

My comments are not particularly for or against for-profit generation of teaching resources. In a sense I am happy for teachers to create a market and see what comes of it. Personally, I share my views, reflections, experiences, successes and failures with other teachers around me and try to learn from theirs. If I charge anything for this it is the price of a coffee to consume while we chat.

more than 4 years ago
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Public School Teachers Selling Lesson Plans Online

SanguineV Re:Put lesson plans on TurnItIn.com (590 comments)

Disclaimer: I lecture and tutor at university.

I think your approach misses the key point of teaching: the teacher. A good lesson plan is like a good document template or assignment specification: it assists the user to do their job. However, I would strongly doubt that a lesson plan alone is sufficient to make a bad teacher a good one.

To that end I see little point in requiring unique lesson plans, unique lecture slides or unique text books. All of these are simply tools used by the teacher to assist in aiding the students' education. While it may be lazy to simply copy another lesson plan (or other teaching aid) without adapting it to your own unique class, if there is no individualisation to the situation then it will not be as effective. So I would encourage teachers to find lesson plans from other sources as well as adapting their own, the bad teachers might just learn something new, and the good teachers will take the best of the different approaches to compliment their style. Taking this away would only hamper teachers in doing their job.

more than 4 years ago
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Public School Teachers Selling Lesson Plans Online

SanguineV Re:Higher taxes needed (590 comments)

You assume that all "eugenics advocates" only want to stabilise/reduce the population of "people they don't like" and decry them for it. Yet you also think it is fine to make such a broad assumption about them?

more than 4 years ago
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Attack of the PowerPoint-Wielding Professors

SanguineV Re:Actually (467 comments)

So you are claiming slides should be designed for a small subset of a class even if it is to the detriment of the majority? Perhaps I should lecture to my students in English with Chinese on the slides, after all a significant minority of my classes read Chinese.

Good slides support the lecturer/teacher and illustrate the key points. This is only one of many ways information is conveyed during a subject/course. In addition to the lectures there are text books, homework, tutorials, readings, laboratories, assignments, discussion boards, exams, and of course approaching the teaching staff to discuss. Unless classes are very small (and I haven't seen many of those in a while!) then you have to teach in a style that can reach a broad cross-section of people and let them balance the lecture (and slides) with other learning methods as required.

more than 4 years ago
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Attack of the PowerPoint-Wielding Professors

SanguineV Re:Most professors guilty? (467 comments)

You seem to assume that all (powerpoint) slides are bad and contain a lot of chaff in with the key points. Good slides only contain the key points, they are up there to remind you and focus your attention while the speaker expands on the detail/examples/discussion.

more than 4 years ago

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