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Comments

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The Sci-Fi Myth of Robotic Competence

Serenissima Re:Measuring Competence (255 comments)

I see what you're saying. My takeaway was that he wasn't saying robots weren't more competent at specific things (in fact, he commented on how they can do very specific things much better than humans) but that they're not competent in replacing all human tasks. In the example he gave, he said a car-welding robot could weld faster and better than a human, but if asked to install upholstery in the car, it'd probably destroy it.

As part of that, cars are looking like they're going to be robots that are significantly more competent at driving than we'll ever be - but they'd make horrible robots to help an old lady go the bathroom in a nursing home, or any number of tasks not related to driving.

They're not competent in their ability to be "Bishop" from Aliens, but they are/will be plenty competent in driving. :)

about 2 months ago
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You've Got Male: Amazon's Growth Impacting Seattle Dating Scene

Serenissima Re:0.0002% are H1B (315 comments)

I have to agree. When I was there, it was easily 40% H1B workers in my department. Walking around the halls and cafes, I could see even more. I never actually sat down and counted anyone, but I would say that 40-50% of the people were H1Bs, easy.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Stewart Brand About Protecting Resources and Reviving Extinct Species

Serenissima Potential Risks of Invasive Species (59 comments)

If particular species have gone extinct, then I would assume their environment could no longer support them. If we manage to bring back those species, and introduce them into environments that could support them, it seems that we have the potential to unbalance that ecosystem by introducing an invasive species which has no natural predator there. How would you manage this risk?

about 3 months ago
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Apache OpenOffice Reaches 100 Million Downloads. Now What?

Serenissima Re:What now? 1 billion! (285 comments)

Because, unfortunately in some regards, (almost) everyone uses Excel for EVERYTHING. Most people outside of Slashdot could probably name one Database program (Microsoft Access) that they've heard of, and I'm willing to bet most of them don't know how to use it.

about 3 months ago
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Nokia Had a Production-Ready Web Tablet 13 Years Ago

Serenissima Re:Innovation (272 comments)

Because this is Slashdot. Anytime there's ANY post (positive or negative) about Apple, Microsoft, or any other large technology company, there will always be an inane, anti-"whichever company is being discussed" comment from the person who says, "You still use [product/software/operating system] from [company]?? The only true way to use a computer is by using the command line on [random Linux distro] running off of a Beowulf Cluster of Raspberry Pi's - Just like I have setup!!! If you use anything else, you're a loser!"

And there's always that guy somewhere. It's uncanny.

about 3 months ago
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Stephen Colbert To Be Letterman's Successor

Serenissima Re:WTF? (193 comments)

I see what you did there :)

about 3 months ago
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A New Robo-Soldier Will Test Chemical Warfare Suits

Serenissima Re:British phone box in Summary? (29 comments)

I'm pretty sure that the Phone Booth is the International Symbol for Britain.

about 4 months ago
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Time Dilation Drug Could Let Heinous Criminals Serve 1,000 Year Sentences

Serenissima Re: Ridiculous. (914 comments)

Well.. technically... wouldn't they need LESS recreation time if they're living in a time-dilated frame of reference? They'd only need minutes per day. If you gave them hours, it'd be like a week-long vacation from prison!

about 4 months ago
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The Poor Neglected Gifted Child

Serenissima Re:Reality in the USA.... (529 comments)

I was in the Geology department and I also ran the Geology 100 "Rocks for Jocks" lab ;). There were a lot of athletes (not just football players) who took that class. We had to have them measure something on a Map for a lab in millimeters, and then convert that measurement into Kilometers. I wish I was joking, but multiple came up and asked us for new rulers. When asked why, they said (and I have to reiterate, this was MULTIPLE people, not just one person) that the instructions said to measure in Millimeters and their rulers only had Inches and Centimeters on them. At first, we thought they were having fun, but we realized they really didn't know the dashes between the centimeters were millimeters. Again, in a COLLEGE-level class, we had to write on the board, "1 Centimeter = 10 Millimeters".

about 4 months ago
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The Poor Neglected Gifted Child

Serenissima Re:Reality in the USA.... (529 comments)

If you were in the honors program AND you played football, that's awesome! I have nothing but respect for you. However, I remember my roommate in college who played football. He took a Bio 100 class and one of his assignments was to cut apart paper bonds and tape them together to form paper molecules. In COLLEGE. And he told me how the coaches would give the football players lists of classes and which professors to take because they were easier to pass. You must realize you're an exception to the rule? And I'm not saying that all football players are dumb - I've listened to and learned about some pro-players and they're incredibly intelligent. But while you were studying and making honor roll, think about the majority of your teammates. Looking back, do you think we should still we should still put such a significant amount of money into football instead of investing that in education? Intelligent people can enjoy football, but do you really believe that football (or most sports) encourages the development of an intelligent society when a large amount of people don't have to be intelligent to play it?

about 4 months ago
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How DRM Won

Serenissima It depends on the type of content (221 comments)

And it depends on your tastes. I used to have a remote job traveling around the country. I have several hundred DVD's that I purchased and have since ripped onto a hard drive. I have instant access to hundreds of movies and dozens of TV shows that I legally paid for. But honestly, I watch Netflix and Hulu more than any of the giant library I have because...well, I've already seen my movies and TV Shows. At this point in my life, I don't have a burning desire to watch every video I have again. So, I have a giant video library that gets used rarely. Streaming content is significantly better in this area for me because I don't have time/want to watch video again after I see it once.

Now music, on the other hand, is completely different. If there's music that I like, I go out and actually by the CD's and rip the music myself. Music IS something I consume repeatedly and it is very worth the money for me to have a big library of my own music. Pandora has its uses, I've found several artists I like through it!

Streaming isn't destroying anything and as long as there are people somewhere who are willing to pay to watch or listen to something as many times as they want, other people will sell it that way. If there is a demand, there will be a supply. And demand is generated by your tastes. It's kind of silly to think of a future where EVERYTHING is ONLY streaming ALL THE TIME because that won't happen as long as there is money to be made!

1 year,13 days
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iOS 6.1 Leads To Battery Life Drain, Overheating For iPhone Users

Serenissima Re:No problem here (266 comments)

You have no idea. If there's anything wrong with your iPhone software, there's no other recourse but to wipe it. Like I said, I was never a tech, but I frequently helped them check in people when it was busy. I would say at least 70% of mobile appointments ended the customer restoring the phone, or leaving to do a backup to come back and have the techs do it. It's also hard to believe how few people actually back up their mobile devices.

about a year and a half ago
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iOS 6.1 Leads To Battery Life Drain, Overheating For iPhone Users

Serenissima Re:No problem here (266 comments)

I doubt it, there's probably some weird reason, but I couldn't tell you exactly why. I personally have a mac mini connected to my TV with iTunes open all the time. I have it set to auto download any purchases I make and my phone is set to wirelessly sync with it when its charging. All of that is to make sure the library on my computer always has all my files. That way, if I ever NEED it, I can always re-sync. It has come in handy for the few apps I have that are no longer on the App Store!

about a year and a half ago
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iOS 6.1 Leads To Battery Life Drain, Overheating For iPhone Users

Serenissima Re:No problem here (266 comments)

I used to work at an Apple Store. I was never a tech, so take this with a grain of salt. It's PROBABLY not related to the system update but more than likely something bad on the phone itself. If you see the usage and standby meters the same like you do, you're right, something is hung up in the background. The best thing to do is to make sure you have a backup and restore the phone. If there's something hanging in the background for a while, you'll start to notice your phone acting funny. Like the battery life problem. Left alone for long enough and you'll start getting corrupted data into the phone because of it which will make your phone act really strange. Apps constantly crashing to the point of unusability, it can become unresponsive on certain parts of the screen, etc. And that corrupted data can eventually get copied into the backup file - meaning that any restore from the backup will bring that problem right back.

To Back Up - First copy all photos and videos from the phone to the computer. They will fill up your iCloud space really fast. Then look for Apps that hold documents. Most apps are really just portals to websites so they contain little to no data. However, for apps that contain files, make sure you have those files backed up somewhere. Then backup the phone to either iCloud or by plugging it into iTunes. Plug it into iTunes in either case and also right-click on the phone and hit Transfer Purchases. That will transfer any apps, music, movies, etc that are not currently on the computer from the phone.

So easiest to hardest steps after backing up all data:
1: Reset All Settings: Go to Settings>General>Reset All Content and Settings. Then restore from backup. This can kill a lot of problems and takes maybe 15 minutes. However, if the problem is deep in the system...
2: Restore from Backup: Plug the phone into iTunes and do a System Restore. This will do a clean install and will clear a lot more problems. Then restore from backup. Now, if the problem persists, your backup is more than likely corrupted so...
3: Restore the Phone: Do the same process as above but do not restore from the backup. You can re-sync to iCloud for contacts and re-sync apps from the computer (or re-download them). Essentially you're starting with a fresh system and just copying the apps back over. You'll lose your app data, so maybe some high scores in some games, nothing too bad. However, if the problem persists even after doing this...
4: DFU Restore: Look up how to do this online. If none of the above have fixed it, there's some bad juju on your phone. A DFU will reinstall the system AND the firmware. Just to be on the safe side, I would advise not restoring from backup. If your phone was borked enough that it needed a DFU restore, don't take the chance of putting stuff back on there. Just copy the apps back.

All in all, they're very easy steps to do and when all is said and done, you can have your phone back up and running in about 30 min with any of the above steps. Hope it helps, Cheers!

about a year and a half ago
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Preliminary ITC Ruling: Motorola Not In Violation of Apple's Patents

Serenissima Do you think Apple gives a shi*? (106 comments)

Apple (and other big companies) are inundated with ridiculous patent trolling lawsuits weekly. By all of these companies filing frivolous lawsuits, doesn't the precedence set by the rulings both for and against them mean that it makes it that much harder for patent trolls to win? Do you think a multi-billion dollar company like Apple could give two shits about whether or not it wins some dumb lawsuit as long as it can say to a judge "Well, the case of this patent troll currently suing us doesn't hold water because the rulings on this case, this case, and this case all show his point is invalid."?

more than 2 years ago
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Google Releases Geothermal Potential Map of the US

Serenissima Re:Drill baby drill (401 comments)

Oil well depths vary greatly from field to field. It's not uncommon to see 12,000ft wells in most places around the country. Some areas in Wyoming are even hitting 25,000ft wells deep into the Madison Formation. It really depends on the formations and the field.

more than 2 years ago
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Medical Billing Codes For Injury Via Turtle Among Thousands Created by New Law

Serenissima Make it simple (380 comments)

Tag 1: They got hurt because they did something stupid and/or reckless Tag 2: They got hurt because someone around them did something stupid and/or reckless That should cover most things.

more than 2 years ago
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Why PCs Trump iPads For User Innovation

Serenissima Re:I guess tablets can't be an app server client (523 comments)

If you only knew how the people I've heard called guru's learned to use a spreadsheet or other app you'd ask 'and why were they called guru's?'.

I wish I had mod points for this quote here. I was the Excel "guru" at my last job. All I did was Google things I wanted to learn. Apparently, that's something no one else in the office could figure out.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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How do you keep your media library safe from a 4-Year Old?

Serenissima Serenissima writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Serenissima (1210562) writes "I've spent many hours building my Media Library in XBMC and scraping all the DVD Covers and Fanart. And I love it, I can pull up movies on any computer or device in the house. I played a movie for my son the other day so I could get some cleaning done without him being underfoot. I noticed shortly after that the sound coming from the other room was from a DIFFERENT movie than I played for him. I snuck up and watched for a few minutes and saw him use a trackpad to navigate to the stop and play buttons of different movies in his folder. I know it's only a matter of time before he realizes he can see all of the movies. I don't want him to have nightmares because he saw the T-1000 stab someone in the face. The quickest solution I can think is a screen saver with a password. It's mildly inconvenient to me, but would stop him from accessing anything. However, I remember how much more I knew about computers than my parents when I was a kid, and I have a feeling he's going to surprise me one day. There's a lot of ways out there to stop it, the way we do it now is to not let him watch anything unless we're there (but there are only so many times I can watch the same kid's movie). How do YOU guys find yourself dealing with the convenience of running your own server while keeping your media safe from prying eyes?"
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IT Certification without an IT Background?

Serenissima Serenissima writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Serenissima (1210562) writes "I come from a Geology background where I was a manager of geologists with my company for several years. I was doing logistical scheduling and managing dozens of concurrent projects using software like Primavera and Sharepoint. I was so good at keeping track of everything, my company asked me to do the same job nationally instead of regionally. Then later, they laid off my entire department. I found that I really enjoyed and excelled at project management, however when looking for a new job, I've found that — by and large — Project Management is an IT profession. I figured now is as good a time as any to switch professions and while I don't have enough money or time to go back to school for several years to get a CS degree, with my severance I can take some certification classes at a local IT Training School/Business. They gave me a list of certifications they can provide and since I'm new to IT, I was wondering what your (you in the IT workplace) opinions are on whether or not this is something that can start a career in IT or if it's a colossal waste of money because no one would hire me with only these certifications?



CompTIA Certified Professional — A+; CompTIA Certified Professional — Network +; Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician — MCDST; Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist — MCTS Windows 7 Configuration; Project Management for Professionals — PMP"
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Bad Driving May Have Genetic Basis

Serenissima Serenissima writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Serenissima (1210562) writes "Bad drivers may in part have their genes to blame, suggests a new study by UC Irvine neuroscientists.People with a particular gene variant performed more than 20 percent worse on a driving test than people without it — and a follow-up test a few days later yielded similar results. About 30 percent of Americans have the variant.

"These people make more errors from the get-go, and they forget more of what they learned after time away," said Dr. Steven Cramer, neurology associate professor and senior author of the study published recently in the journal Cerebral Cortex."

Link to Original Source
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Bacteria Used To Make Radioactive Metals Inert

Serenissima Serenissima writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Serenissima (1210562) writes "Researcher Judy Wall is experimenting with bacteria that can cleanse the radioactivity from toxic areas by rendering the heavy metals into non-toxic, inert versions. The technology is not without it's flaws (the bacteria can't exist in an oxygenated environment yet), but it does have the potential to cleanse some of the world's hazardous sites.

From the article:

The bacteria Wall is studying are bio-corrosives and can change the solubility of heavy metals. They can take uranium and convert it to uraninite, a nearly insoluble substance

"

Link to Original Source

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