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An Instructo-Geek Reviews The 4-Hour Chef

Tekfactory Re:Reviewer FAIL - That's not what cookbooks are f (204 comments)

First I used Pasture fed Beef shanks from my Farmer's market, they were gamey and I didn't want to give up on the recipe on my first try. I had another set of beef shanks from Wegmans which were less gamey, but still not great. I then decided to get some actual lamb at the markey next time I was there and wonder of wonders it still sucked.

Folks saying the reviewer didn't pick the right recipe, Osso Buko is the first recipe in the book and they are supposed to build up in difficulty from there, each recipe building on techniques learned in previous recipes.

about 2 years ago

World's First Linux Powered Rifle Announced

Tekfactory Re:Do Not Want! (272 comments)

I keep thinking the next progression here are going to be electrode nets in your helmet to let the rifle know when the brain thinks it has the shot. They've done so much research on flashing images in front of your eyes, and the brain deciding before the conscious mind knows. In shooting real targets and in playing FPS there are many moments when everything lined up and as I went to pull the trigger they went back out of alignment ot in FPS the target went back behind cover. I'd always love to have those moments back, but in theory a sensor on my brain letting the gun fire at something I'm already actively targeting and letting the gun decide when it has the best shot would be a win. And yes the spotter's job is over if any of this stuff takes off.

about 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: The Search For the Ultimate Engineer's Pen

Tekfactory Re:Pilot V5 (712 comments)

I take 4-5 of these on every plane trip I take and I lose one out of every ten to the leaking problem.

I was a mechanical draftsman for a number of years, loved the rapidiographs, and have penmanship that makes people stare in a good way, I use the Pilot V5 for everything.

I am left handed and I push the pen from left to right, meaning the side of my hand passes over and comes to rest on things I have already written. The fast drying ink of the Pilot V5 keeps my hand from turning black.

I love the Pentel 205, its a .5mm mechanical pencil that got me through high school and college. They are getting harder to find, I have found Asian knock offs called Morning Glory, but my new favorite mechancal pencil is a ProMecha


more than 2 years ago

The Problems With Online Math Classes

Tekfactory Re:I had the exact opposite experience (285 comments)

The other thing I like about linking timing in the videos to concepts is that when you get hungup on a concept the computer can show you all of the concepts that lead up to that concept.

If you are trying to learn something that depends on differential equations, and you are getting hung up, one of the prior concepts listed will be differential equations. Ultimately there will be a link to a course or tutorial on differential equations so you can learn to do them or brush up one them.

more than 2 years ago

The Problems With Online Math Classes

Tekfactory Re:I had the exact opposite experience (285 comments)

In the system as I envision it, you'd be free to call a tutor/teacher for help with a concept at any time. In the interest of lowering barriers to entry for self-studiers I want there to BE free layers of help available.

Yes the crowdsourcing layer depends on some technology and some heroes, but I also think that would help us refine the courses. We could probably also mine the question classifications from tutor requests. Again sucessfully linking it to the concept that hung you up in the first place would be best.

As far as teaching the test, what I'd be working towards is a test environement where the questions could almost be infinitely randomizeable per student so rote memorization wouldn't help.

There is actually some research that shows making the questions harder makes you remember the answer more, so the questions are deliberately written in a way that makes them more difficult. This concept bugs me a little because I want the classes to be exactly as hard as they need to be, and no harder, however if the data proves this helps people retain longer (we can randomly test people later maybe offer them free tutor minutes for answering) then its in.

Everything about the program will be as data driven as possible towards refining the education product to the best student experience/outcome.

Initially I'd like to attack the corner cases where Big Education isn't established. Right now colleges are spending a lot of time teaching High School Math and English, so classes that were the equivalent of High School Math and English that brought up your scores before you took the placement test in school would save you thousands of dollars.

There are a lot of training classes for jobs skills that are only taught by the vendor that makes the equipment, whether this is assembly line robot programming, or greenhouse irrigation equipment I'd like to get involved in the space.

According to Cornell there is nowhere you can get a 4 year degree in Controlled Environment Agriculture (Greenhouses, Hydroponics, Aquaponics) so the standard in the industry when opening a new greehouse is to poach someone elses foreman or make a lot of mistakes learning on your own.

Other places where I'd like to get involved are colleges that don't have their own online program yet and don't have the cash for one of the established providers, and not enough tech savvy to make an open source solution work.

more than 2 years ago

The Problems With Online Math Classes

Tekfactory Re:I had the exact opposite experience (285 comments)

One of these days I am going to start a kickstarter for exactly what you describe.

Anyone that argues online classes are going to replace teachers has missed the point.

Schools are losing their budgets, online classes will be part of the new normal. Right now many schools use online classes to offer instruction for the 2-3 students that want to learn Latin or something equally niche. It's either online Latin, or no Latin, if you are the Latin teacher you're getting replaced.

Possibly in the future online classes can parallel track a students classroom education providing quizzes and extra problems to provide practice and or feedback about the student's mastery.

Tutors should be available (at the lowest cost possible), but for self study I really want web forum (crowdsourcing) as a first line of defense, when you pause the video lecture there should be FAQs tied to the last concept mentioned before you hit pause. There should be questions voted up by the students, and like Stackoverflow answers voted up by the students with explanations why they are the best or most complete answer. There need to be Teachers or TAs as moderators to ensure the popular answers are in fact true. A moderation system should exist to ferret out trolls voting up nonsense.

Line 2, for free should be an expert system that knows the courses, questions and answers. Something like a Watson that you can access over something skype like.

Line 3, actual tutors rated by students and paid for by students. Like all other kinds of customer service, calls will be monitored to ensure ratings are fair. Labor rates will be set by the tutors, there need to be enough tutors in the pool that the rates remain competitive and quality remains high.

Content will be modular and easily modified, if 30 seconds of tape has a bad example that is causing a lot of confusion/questions on the forums, new tape should be shot with a better explanation and integrated into the course.

The same would happen with the content of the textbooks of course, eratta would be available online.

more than 2 years ago

NASA Working on Mars Menu

Tekfactory Re:Not hard to do. (220 comments)

Ok, I did a lot of reading recently on the water pruifications system on the ISS. Astronauts need about 9 pounds of water a day. ~3 pounds gets reclaimed in urine, ~5 pounds from their breathing and sweat with a recovery rate of 97% overall.

They lose 3% of the water budget to solid waste, NASA said that they'd need a bigger system to make reclaiming the solid wastes practical.

If this is a near term project I'd take the proven system from the ISS, so take your astronauts x 9 pounds a day to get your water daily budget, then add AT LEAST 3% daily replenishment on top of that to make up for your 3 years worth of system losses.

You can take 2 machines along in case one breaks you have a spare, the total system is the size of a 2 full height server racks.

As for other posters comments on insanity, I'd drop a robot with arms and a couple ready to assemble habitat modules first and ensure there was an atmosphere, power supply (solar) and maybe a hydroponic greenhouse going before I sent people.

more than 2 years ago

Social Robots May Gain Legal Rights, Says MIT Researcher

Tekfactory So I'll be buying non-social robots (288 comments)

I don't want to have to respect the rights and feelings of my vacum cleaner, trash disposal, meal preparer, or grocery shopper. If these devices are designed and built for a purpose they should make my life easier.

If I specifically want a butler type robot that caters to my needs and needs higher level functions, maybe I'll be ok with social robotics, so long as he keeps the secret that I'm batman.

What about the robot you keep around that sits on your couch and loses at madden/halo/callofduty to make you feel better?

Robot Girlfriend?

more than 2 years ago

Stanford's Self Driving Car Tops 120mph On Racetrack

Tekfactory Re:Reasonable and prudent (97 comments)

I was in Montana on a networking gig in 97, we did 90 everywhere on the highway. Never saw a police car on the interstate they were all in town responding to real crimes. Story I heard was there was a dealership in Colorado letting folks test drive the fast cars over in Montana. Also heard that if you did get pulled over real tickets started at $300.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Most Underappreciated Sci-Fi Writer?

Tekfactory Lots of Simak on Kindle for Free (1130 comments)

Look him up on Amazon and then look at the price for the Kindle Editions, most of them are free.

more than 2 years ago

NASA's Bolden Speaks On Future Mars Mission, Chinese Moon Landing

Tekfactory Re:React positively? (154 comments)

We also use He-3 for medical imaging, today despite its insanely high ($40k a kilo) cost.

more than 2 years ago

Wireless Car Charger Test Starts In London

Tekfactory Flying Cars not Frying Cats (118 comments)

Qualcomm clearly didn't understand my voice mail.

more than 2 years ago

US Regaining Manufacturing Might With Robots and 3D Printing

Tekfactory Robots like Cam-performers (475 comments)

With all these advances in 3D printing, Robotics and AI, would it be possible or even profitable to have a web enabled service where you submit a 3D model to a service like Shapeways, you see your 3D object printed, picked up by the robot and packed in a box to be shipped to you?

I watched some stuff getting 3D printed at the DC hackerspace and its really slow right now. So maybe they can time lapse that part of the job.

Also who has a $500-600 3D printer kit, I never seem to find these, always $900 or more.

more than 2 years ago

Asking Slashdot: Converting an SUV Into an Hybrid Diesel-Electric?

Tekfactory No more traditional SUVs (543 comments)

I often think about an SUV conversion project, my 2004 TrailBlazer was a very popular model as was the blazer before it with many still on the roads today. These body on frame Trucks are a dangerous safety hazard.


I can't find it now, but there was a pretty famous article about SUVs how users wanted to be up high, and have plenty of metal around them, as well as lots of cupholders. The height invites rollovers, the metal makes them terrible at avoiding crashes, and the owners died or were maimed hundreds of times more often than minivan owners. The models compared were the Ford Explorer and Aerostar minivan.

For a long time body on frame SUVs were not tested for safety, unlike the minivans.

So you're better off from a safety perspective with a Crossover SUV or a minivan.

Meanwhile we'd all be safer and more efficient if all the body on frame SUVs dissappeared tomorrow, so making them more efficient keeps us all worried about getting crashed into by an SUVs so people don't opt for the smaller cars in any great numbers.

I had my crossover Equinox in the shop for 2 weeks and the delaership loaned me an HHR, a boxy little minivan-car sorta thing. It felt remarkably like my Equinox in so far as size, seating, cargo and modest comfort, but it was lower to the ground, had way less materials the doors sounded hollow when you shut them. It also seemed peppier, it got around town great and accellerated much faster than my Equinox or Trailblazer both of which have larger 6 cylinder engines. I drove the thing for 2 weeks normal commuting and errands on 7 gallons of gas as opposed to 14 gallons in my Equinox, couldn't guess on my Trailblazer we try not to use it outside of commuting to public transportation and big truck jobs.

So from a safety perspective you should be looking to refit a crossover or unibody style SUV, but from an efficiency perspective you should rethink the idea of an SUV that's towing an extra ton of vehicle it doesn't really need.

more than 2 years ago

General Motors: "Facebook Ads Aren't Worth It"

Tekfactory Have you tried videos? (400 comments)

I've seen a lot of the college acapella groups where folks have posted videos to YouTube, have you tried to record your groups singing and posted it to Facebook?

more than 2 years ago

New .secure Internet Domain On Tap

Tekfactory Clearly they should have used .sucr (129 comments)

I mean there it is, just another plan to extort money, which then gets added to the product, which we pay for and somebody else is chipping off a little bit for themselves.

more than 2 years ago

How Would Driver-less Cars Change Motoring?

Tekfactory Yes it will, no more Phantom Traffic Jams (648 comments)

There are problems with people noticing brake lights, stopping and then resuming flow that computers will not have. MOST of the traffic problems are with people stopping, starting and not knowing how to merge with traffic and other drivers not letting them merge. All of these things will go away and while the actual capacity of the road won't change, it will seem like it has increased because people will get off the roads quicker and the capacity is used more efficiently.

Phantom traffic jams can last for hours, you seem hopelessly stuck going 5 mph or less and then over one hill and its back up to highway speed for no reason, these are Phantom trafic jams, the original source of the problem has been gone for hours, but the backup caused by the backup has caused more backup its like a zombie process for humans, only computers won't have it.

more than 2 years ago

Tidal Heating Shrinks Goldilocks Zone Around Red Dwarfs

Tekfactory Headline is wrong, looking in the wrong places (70 comments)

In TFA they say that people looking for Exo-planets are looking for ones with close orbits. They believe now that because of tidal forces those planets would have hotter temps and not be candidates for a Earth-like planet.

Looking for close orbit planets is a fine way to find exoplanets.

What they should say is that looking for close orbit planets is not a good way to find earthlike planets with liquid water.

Now take in your head the originally believed habitable zone, you are going to have to shorten that on the side closer to the star. One would not necessarily extend that zone an equal distance away from the star as planets not in close orbits won't get the extra heating.

more than 2 years ago


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