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NASA Successfully Tests 'Flying Saucer' Craft, New Parachute

Smirker Funny coincidence that... (49 comments)

We're progressing to the stage where we'll be landing flying saucers on foreign planets. Disclaimer: I'm a complete sceptic.

about 3 months ago
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Fusion Reactor Breaks Even

Smirker We almost did it! BTW we need more money. (429 comments)

The conspiracist in me tells me that this is not new at all, and the significance of the progress has been inflated to satisfy investors.

about a year ago
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Using Laptop To Take Notes Lowers Grades

Smirker "Then" / "Student" (313 comments)

Who needs conjunctions and plurals when you make submissions using your laptop!

about a year ago
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First Ever Public Tasting of Lab-Grown Cultured Beef Burger

Smirker Surely wouldn't be very fresh (303 comments)

I've been following this story for what seems forever now. I'd like to know how he's kept his beef fresh all this time. Did he lace it with preservatives? Freeze it? Cure it?

about a year ago
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California Sends a Cease and Desist Order To the Bitcoin Foundation

Smirker Re:Uh (396 comments)

The Department of Financial Institutions clearly doesn't use AdBlock. (last page cease and desist letter)

about a year ago
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Samsung Launches 3200x1800 Pixel ATIV Book 9 Plus Laptop

Smirker Re:Resolution (397 comments)

When you increase the DPI so you can actually read the content, some poorly designed programs struggle. You can see this for yourself by going into Display settings and increasing DPI from Smaller (100%) to Medium or Larger (125/150%). Windows doesn't "zoom" the content, but more or less forces changes in positioning and sizing of elements and font sizes. This screws with many apps that have positioning defined that is incompatible with this type of resizing. Honestly though, the problems encountered are minimal.

One basic example: iTunes (Updater) in Windows has a Label element with text such as "...blah blah blah, for more information, click this URL: ". To the right of the "URL" text is a Hyperlink control that is independent of that Label control containing the hyperlink. It is positioned explicitly so it fits the flow of text (at normal DPI). When you change the DPI in Windows, the text in the label changes position relative to the Hyperlink control, and the text overlaps.

So sure, if you left DPI at the normal setting, everything would work fine, but you probably couldn't read very much comfortably. You would want to increase DPI at such a high relative resolution, but as described, there are some shortfalls.

about a year ago
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Why We Should Build a Supercomputer Replica of the Human Brain

Smirker Re:As a developer... (393 comments)

My cat responds fairly predictably to my vacuum cleaner. Hides under the bed for hours.

about a year ago
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"Winnti" Attacks On Online Gaming Servers Dissected

Smirker Re:Stealing on-line gold? (24 comments)

You suggest a limited number of gold coins to reflect Bitcoin? I don't think you know how Bitcoin works. Also, money creation is an actual THING in real life - and it doesn't have to be done by a central bank. Crazy huh?

about a year and a half ago
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Bees Communicate With Electric Fields

Smirker Re:I am shocked (133 comments)

^ This guy.

about a year and a half ago
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Google Blogger: Vietnamese HS Students Excelling At CS

Smirker Re:Not blocking, just ignoring (291 comments)

If performance pay is properly designed, I think you can avoid both problems. In Queensland, every quarter each school sends representatives for each subject to a district "teacher's meeting," and as a component of this, the teachers must assess each other, from test content to top students. I'm not sure of the exact details, but I know it was designed to ensure each school was testing their students equally. I remember that my physics teacher was made to make the final question in our final physics test relatively complicated in order to justify giving certain students top grades.

There is also a state-wide curriculum (or is it national now?), which in my opinion is quite broad, and teachers are made to test many aspects of it.

On top of this district-based system, there is a state-wide test which gives a weighting factor to the grades of students in each school and also to the students within each subject within each school. If a teacher in one school was to somehow bypass the district-based system and give students easier tests, one would assume the students would perform worse in this national test, which would then impact their overall grade regardless. The opposite it also true.

As an interesting side-note, because of the implications bad students have on good students as a result of this weighting system, some schools pressure underperformers (e.g. weed smokers, kids who always skip class, etc) to leave and find work. I'm sure there are varied opinions about whether this is good or bad.

Anyway, to conclude, if performance pay took into consideration the systems that are designed to make assessment fair, then I think it would have a better chance at benefiting students. As with most systems, design is important.

about a year and a half ago
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Google Blogger: Vietnamese HS Students Excelling At CS

Smirker Re:Not blocking, just ignoring (291 comments)

In my public high school in Australia, students were split into different classes based on their intelligence (however defined or measured). It was an unspoken thing. Kids in the A,B,C class were the smartest, D,E,F next, and so on. Movement between classes did occur, but was rare. It worked excellently.

about a year and a half ago
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Seagate's New SSHD Hybrids Have Dual-Mode Flash Caches

Smirker Re:Sure of course (141 comments)

Then you would be smart enough not to buy this drive.

about a year and a half ago
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Facebook Patents Pokes-Per-Minute Limits

Smirker "Poke Suggestions" (143 comments)

As the subject implies. Thank Facebook for the existence of this concept.

about 2 years ago
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Woman Successfully Grows Ear From Arm

Smirker That's right. (74 comments)

She was left without an ear and without a left ear.

about 2 years ago
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Next Mars Mission Selected For Funding

Smirker "Heart-stopping" (61 comments)

From TFA, "heart-stopping" is the perfect way to describe the sky-crane. It was all over so fast and left a great sense of awe.

more than 2 years ago
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BTJunkie No More?

Smirker Source code and database? (328 comments)

Publish one last torrent please? I'm sure someone would love to bring it back to life.

more than 2 years ago
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Company Unveils Personalized Anime Robot Girl

Smirker Siri (240 comments)

Throw in Siri and I'm hers.

more than 2 years ago

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