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Ask Slashdot: Hungry Students, How Common?

Smallpond Re:not poor (389 comments)

Even assuming an electric stove (I've always used gas) the electricity cost is less than $100/year so I don't know where this comment is coming from.


3 days ago

Ask Slashdot: Hungry Students, How Common?

Smallpond Re:not poor (389 comments)

I could not afford a car until I had been working for a year after grad school. While in school I had a 3rd floor walk-up and a 10-speed bike. My Hungarian landlady taught me how to make Chicken Paprikash. Buying whole chickens, fresh vegetables, rice and flour in bulk is cheaper than prepared foods (except I still bought macaroni and cheese, of course). I worked as a dishwasher, graded exams, repaired equipment in the EE lab, ran statisical analysis for researchers, whatever I could get. It's not hard to get by if you can live simply and are willing to work. The city where I went to school, Pittsburgh, has great parks and museums and the best football team in the world.

4 days ago

Why No Executive Order To Stop NSA Metadata Collection?

Smallpond Re:Is it not obvious? They have dirt on him! (312 comments)

As I recall, when Obama was in the Senate he voted in favor of the Patriot Act extension and warrantless wiretaps. I don't know what you are basing your trust on.

about two weeks ago

Why Are We Made of Matter?

Smallpond Re:easy (393 comments)

Why do people think these simple questions are hard???

I agree. It's almost as if they don't read past the headline.

about two weeks ago

Why Are We Made of Matter?

Smallpond Re:Umm , thats unlikely to happen (393 comments)

If you used coal or nuclear energy to create all that anti-matter it would cause a great deal of pollution. Personally, I think we should go green and use solar energy powered death rays.

about two weeks ago

Why Are We Made of Matter?

Smallpond Re:civilizations' bottleneck (393 comments)

And that is why we do not hear any intelligent radio transmissions from other star systems.

But does it explain why there's apparently no intelligent postings on Slashdot?

There were originally equal amounts of facts and anti-facts. Computer Scientists are still trying to explain why anti-facts now make up 99.999% of the postings.

about two weeks ago

How the Internet Is Taking Away America's Religion

Smallpond Re:Knowledge (1037 comments)

Apparently you know a thing or two about the bible, maybe you can solve something that has puzzled me for a while now.

God punished Adam and Eve for eating from the tree when he forbade them. I.e. for breaking his law. So far, so good. But why did he put the trees in there in the first place? He's God. He's all mighty. He could have put the trees wherever he pleases. Especially since, being omniscient, he must have known that they will break his law. Being omniscient, he must have known that they will not heed his law. So he punished them for doing what he knew they would do, which he himself could easily have avoided.

You are missing the point of the story. Before eating the fruit, they didn't know what good and evil were, hence they didn't know that eating the fruit was wrong. It was a certainty that they would eat the fruit and learn right and wrong by committing wrong.

Like many ancient legends it is an explanation of something that people had observed and didn't understand. In this case, why do animals act in innocence and people act with knowledge of consequences? How did we become different from the other animals?

about two weeks ago

How the Internet Is Taking Away America's Religion

Smallpond Re:trees have branches (1037 comments)

Perhaps being an atheist requires blind faith as well. If you are an atheist you have a belief that all hell won't be applied to you for adopting your belief system.

No. You just have to believe that none of the 20 different afterlifes posited by religions is true, instead of believing that one of them is and the other 19 are false.

Even science itself rests upon articles of faith. For example assuming that the laws of physics are the same all over the universe is irrational and arbitrary.

No. Its just the simplest explanation in the absence of evidence to the contrary. Support for it comes from everything we observe of distant stars and galaxies, which seem similar to our own.

That being the case the entire cosmology presented by science becomes very fishy. Quantum mechanics hints that physical reality is not actual and quite an illusion in itself.

No, Quantum mechanics says that at the realm of the very tiny or the very fast, our everyday model of physical reality is not accurate.

We can postulate that all science does is falsely attempt to decode segments of the illusion. It suggests that a rabid, backwoods, Baptist, in a fever of religious excitement and an atheist are as far as logic goes equals.

That must make the rabid, backwoods Baptists very happy.

about two weeks ago

WSJ: Prepare To Hang Up the Phone — Forever

Smallpond Re:What the fuck? (449 comments)


Yes, truly on their last leg. I believe a Verizon employee tried to wash my car windshield at light the other day. Or maybe he was going door to door selling FIOS because it is incredibly profitable for Verizon.

about three weeks ago

Daylight Saving Time ...

Smallpond Re:Are we not advanced enough to use UTC Time? (310 comments)

I think we should standardize on UTC time everywhere. Forget timezones and 'Savings Time'. One time for all - would it really bother us if we had to wake up at 03:00 and it was daylight?

We have standardized on UTC. We are just following the principle of separating View from Logic.

about a month and a half ago

Hackers Steal Law Enforcement Documents From Microsoft

Smallpond Re:Ahh... (53 comments)

When I was an engineering student I was required to take an ethics course, so yes, you can teach values.

about 3 months ago

Lawsuits Seek To Turn Chimpanzees Into Legal Persons

Smallpond Re:The Vote (641 comments)

Conspiracy to commit murder isn't treated much differently than murder. Besides, the chimp might rat you out in exchange for a deal.

about 5 months ago

Ask Slashdot: How Do You Protect Your Privacy When It's Out of Your Control?

Smallpond Re:When it's out of your control (174 comments)

Here ya go It's been on the books since 1974. The Federal government is prohibited from collecting personally identifiable on you without notifying you, etc. How's that working out?

about 5 months ago

Ask Slashdot: How Do You Protect Your Privacy When It's Out of Your Control?

Smallpond Re:Not privacy (174 comments)

The problem is that the phone companies believe that those call records are made on their systems and belong to them. The credit card companies own the transaction records between you and some merchants. Just because your name is in it, they don't believe that it is your information or that you have any control over it. Copyright does not apply to facts and its tough to draw a line anywhere over what should be private.

about 5 months ago

With Burning Teslas In the News Ford Recalls Almost 140,000 Escapes

Smallpond Re:The peril of new technology (293 comments)

You've clearly never worked on consumer electronics if you believe a dollar in cost is insignificant. Switches are cheaper than pots.

about 5 months ago

The Dismantling of POTS: Bold Move Or Grave Error?

Smallpond Re:Communication isn't stupid. Telephones are. (582 comments)

I was going to argue then I remembered exchanging 4 emails with someone sitting two cubes away last week for just the reasons you mentioned. It leaves a record and its a better way to communicate technical information.

about 5 months ago

Ask Slashdot: DIY Computational Neuroscience?

Smallpond Re:Study and practice this in private. (90 comments)

Ignore the naysayers. Do what you love. As for programming, professionals have created more security nightmares than amateurs.

Model of Consciousness seems a bit ambitious. Something easy to measure and readily available is how to hit a baseball. A fastball is moving faster than your eyes can track it, so you have to create an internal model of where it's going and swing a mechanical system (your arm and the bat) at the right time and place to knock it into the stands. It would be interesting to determine what inputs the brain uses and model the control system.

about 5 months ago

With Burning Teslas In the News Ford Recalls Almost 140,000 Escapes

Smallpond Re:Missing the point (293 comments)

Ford is doing a recall on an event that occurred at roughly 8 times less rate than Teslas fires. They didn't gloss over it and say everything is perfect. They analyzed the costs of the lawsuits vs the recall and came to the conclusion that the recall would be less expensive. It's a voluntary recall.


about 5 months ago


Smallpond hasn't submitted any stories.



Smallpond Smallpond writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Which is your favorite Pittsburgh movie?

  • Dawn of the dead - Your blood pressure: 0.0
  • Innocent Blood - "Where ze hell is Shadyside?"
  • The Deer Hunter - Does anyone else find Christopher Walken kind of
  • Dogma - I bet they got them "Buddy Christs" at the Giant Eagle.
  • Robocop - Because filming in Detroit was a little TOO scary.
  • Flashdance - I worked in a mill and never saw a welder that looked
          like Jennifer Beals.
  • The Silence of the Lambs - Forget Chianti, I'll have an Iron City
          with that.
  • Groundhog Day - Most days feel the same as yesterday.

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