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Major Brain Pathway Rediscovered After Century-old Confusion, Controversy

St.Creed Re:reflexes? (114 comments)

I used to have no depth perspective from age 12 to about 20 because my lens was removed due to glaucoma. While playing baseball was something of a nightmare for me (try catching a ball without depth perspective - my main goal was to try and avoid the ball altogether), driving was never a problem. You just need to maintain a good distance from things, which is sensible advice for most drivers anyway.

about a week ago
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Japanese Maglev Train Hits 500kph

St.Creed Re:Please wait here. (418 comments)

Aha... so they made sure to select lucky people only. I understand. It's a good idea for a trial run :)

about two weeks ago
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The Largest Kuiper Belt Object Isn't Pluto Or Eris, But Triton

St.Creed Re:Does the rock run Linux? (61 comments)

I personally think "weywot" is an abbreviated version of "wait... what?" - the astronomers exclamation upon discovering the object. It's currently my favorite Kuyper belt object name :)

about three weeks ago
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Too Many Kids Quit Science Because They Don't Think They're Smart

St.Creed Re:This. (273 comments)

Your initial point is fine: people rise to the expectations others have of them. Low expectations give lower results.

Your conclusion is flawed, however. My conclusions would be that we need to have higher expectations of kids, and if they fail, no problem - but they need to work at achieving the expected outcome (a good grade). I always tell my son that I know he's smart, but that it just means that for him, the lowest expectation for his grade is an A. If it doesn't work out that way, we look at what went wrong and learn from that. It's never "because you're dumb" but always "maybe you didn't start early enough with learning this?".

You can build up a good self-image in several ways, one of them is what I just described.

Unfortunately, another is to lower the bar for everyone so everyone thinks he's great: praise them for meaningless results, give out A's like candy. It's the easiest way for a teacher. But also the most insidious, vicious and harmful way for children - you're setting them up for failure later in life and then their self-esteem will take a great hit.

about three weeks ago
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Too Many Kids Quit Science Because They Don't Think They're Smart

St.Creed Re:They're probably correct (273 comments)

You had to build the feature set yourself. Quite a difference from a smartphone, designed for easy consumption of pre-packaged goods.

I remember building my own reset-button on the back of the harddisk, or looking at the joystick cabling from a failed joystick and trying to build something where you could press buttons to move things on the screen. And creating my own games because we didn't have downloads yet.

If you wanted to load tapes on the zx spectrum, you had to be ready with a screwdriver to adjust the tapeheads for every tape. Some of my highschool friends learnt soldering specifically to expand their spectrums.

Connecting to a BBS for a download later on, wasn't easy either. I had a teacher at university who wanted to demonstrate this new thing called "usenet". He spent half the lecture trying to get a connection, fiddling with the hundreds of options for each protocol that had to be set exactly right.

Yeah, a smartphone is so much harder... lol.

about three weeks ago
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It's Time To Revive Hypercard

St.Creed Re:No, context matters. (299 comments)

It all depends on what they learnt and how they apply it. But I will take any of my former co-students as a programmer, over any self-taught programmer, when I can't judge their work in advance.

The difference between someone who understands invariants and pre/post conditions for formal correctness verification, even without using it, and someone who has never even heard of the concepts involved, is huge. There are order of magnitude differences in algorithms for certain tasks, and if you don't even know that you can determine that sort of thing (and how) you're a lost case. Datamodelling is another area. Everytime I see programmers abusing the logical model, I cringe. Code first is a bad idea and with formal training you can avoid things like that.

And I mean, the halting problem. Turing machines. If you don't know Turing machines, you won't understand the implication that at a fundamental level, all computer languages are the same. If you don't know lambda calculus, understanding what Linq does, is much harder.

Etc. etc.

Ofcourse, you can have brilliant self-taught people in the field, as in any field. It's just so very rare to encounter competent ones.

about three weeks ago
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Skilled Foreign Workers Treated as Indentured Servants

St.Creed Re:Time for Solidarity? (284 comments)

Guilds aren't unions. I won't enter into the details of the whole discussion between the IWW and the AFL-CIO around the turn of the century, but suffice it to say that you can organize around owning a pet as well. And it's probably worthwile, for some. But unions are about organizing the interests of the workers as they work. Guilds are about protecting your own interests *against* other workers.

A guild would complain about H1B visa because they are "taking American jobs from American workers". A union would protest against H1B visa because employers are paying them horrible wages under bad conditions, that will eventually become the standard for ALL workers in the industry.

about a month ago
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Rosetta Probe Reveals What a Comet Smells Like

St.Creed So, perfume? (53 comments)

Sounds like a list of ingredients for perfume. Rosetta perfume, anyone?

about a month ago
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Computer Scientist Parachutes From 135,908 Feet, Breaking Record

St.Creed Re:Being a computer scientist (175 comments)

Ah. I see you wanted to share the very definition of "prejudice" with us by providing a clear example. Thank you.

about a month ago
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Researcher Finds Tor Exit Node Adding Malware To Downloads

St.Creed Re:Checksums (126 comments)

I only start to get it after at least 4 exclamation marks.

about a month ago
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FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

St.Creed Re:The good news (700 comments)

Must be proven. That's the hard part.

about a month ago
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The Correct Response To Photo Hack Victim-Blamers

St.Creed Re:Straw Man (622 comments)

Ofcourse there are risks. But my pictures are in a drawer. Too bad if a burglar gets them, but that's what it takes. The problem is that many people still consider the pictures to be some sort of physical asset, rather than virtual assets that will be stored in literally dozens of places. And that's where the problem comes in. Because snapping a polaroid and physically giving that to her boyfriend would have been the same thing, but much safer (unless you have a nasty break-up). So there is a difference there that is very hard for people to grasp, apparently.

about a month and a half ago
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Too Much Privacy: Finnish Police Want Big Euro Notes Taken Out of Circulation

St.Creed Re:Not only in Finland. (314 comments)

Well, I'll bet *she* was stacked :)

about a month and a half ago
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Too Much Privacy: Finnish Police Want Big Euro Notes Taken Out of Circulation

St.Creed Re:Not only in Finland. (314 comments)

Wow. That's certainly a surefire way to get very close personal attention from nearly all anti-money laundering departments in my country.

about a month and a half ago
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Too Much Privacy: Finnish Police Want Big Euro Notes Taken Out of Circulation

St.Creed Re:Not only in Finland. (314 comments)

Don't worry - we're only looking at the bankers.

about a month and a half ago
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Too Much Privacy: Finnish Police Want Big Euro Notes Taken Out of Circulation

St.Creed Re:if you ban cash (314 comments)

If I lived in Finland I'd probably want to get out too. You know how little daylight they have there? I'd rather be in prison in Spain at this time of year :)

about a month and a half ago
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Too Much Privacy: Finnish Police Want Big Euro Notes Taken Out of Circulation

St.Creed Re: if you ban cash (314 comments)

You may laugh. But last week I got a serious request from an acquintance to verify whether 2000 Kg. of unsorted Euro coins were real or fake. Pretty weird. So I did some research.

In 2012 in Germany, some folks managed to trade in 29 tonnes of coins at the Central Bank of Germany. Must have been quite a counting machine :) But they got 6 million euro in return (in notes) so I guess the trunk full of unmarked quarters was a pretty good deal. However, they weren't legit.

In 2013 some entrepreneurs tried it again with a container full of "old metal" that turned into Euro coins after customs, which they tried to trade in at the Central Bank of Belgium. Having been forewarned by the Germans, they had the enterprising Chinese arrested.

So I declined the opportunity to trade in 2000 Kg. of coins :)

about a month and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Can't Google Block Spam In Gmail?

St.Creed Re:WTF? (265 comments)

The free version has a promotions folder. It just doesn't really work well with an IMAP configuration.

about a month and a half ago
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The Correct Response To Photo Hack Victim-Blamers

St.Creed Re:Straw Man (622 comments)

What was once a relatively safe act (idling a car unattended to warm it up/cool it off) is now the most probable way to have it stolen

Well, that's nice. Even the car thieves encourage you to "go green".

about a month and a half ago

Submissions

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Is our universe a quantum cellular automaton?

St.Creed St.Creed writes  |  about 3 months ago

St.Creed (853824) writes "Noble-prize winner Gerard van 't Hooft is best known for the work that enabled physicists to predict the mass of the top quark, w-boson and z-boson. But he has long been known for his rather "idiosyncratic" ideas on the nature of the universe as well. His theory on the holographic universe is by now fairly well known. However, he has taken it a step further in a 202-page article (or book) on Arxiv.org, where he claims that there may well be a system with classical properties underlying quantum mechanics.

Our models suggest that Einstein may still have been right, when he objected against the conclusions drawn by Bohr and Heisenberg. It may well be that, at its most basic level, there is no randomness in nature, no fundamentally statistical aspect to the laws of [quantum] evolution.

The ideas presented in the introduction are quite interesting to read even for non-physicists."
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