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Geomapping Racism With Twitter

The Wooden Badger Re:Actually Measured (409 comments)

My first thought upon reading the summary was how in the world did they control for hip-hop/rap's use of the "n-word"?

about 2 years ago

Apple's Secret Plan To Join iPhones With Airport Security

The Wooden Badger Re:A 1984 device ? (232 comments)

I think they were inspired by the "It just works" campaign, and thought just having an iDevice on hand will make security "just work".

about 2 years ago

Why You Should Be More Interested In Mars Than the Olympics

The Wooden Badger I like both, thank you. (409 comments)

I reject the premise of the article.

First, as has been said in a couple other posts, being interested in the Mars story and the Olympics are not mutually exclusive. I like space exploration stories, and I like sports. There is no reason to have to pick one over the other unless we are talking career choices. Recreational level interest is a completely different story.

Second, the sports guy in me (exercise physiology degree, and I've coached a college sport) doesn't buy the idea that the accuracy or endurance is more important or impressive in the Mars mission. More impressive endurance based on raw miles is just silly. There wasn't constant acceleration during the whole voyage. Shooting from the hip, I would imagine it was a whole lot more like a lot of initial acceleration and then months of coasting. Similarly the accuracy comparison is almost laughable. Sure, if you just look at the amount of significant digits on what bearing you're hitting a golf ball the comparison is appropriate, but the Mars mission wasn't exactly launched by someone manually adjusting angles with the same amount of fine tuning as someone with sausage fingers playing Angry Birds on an iPhone. Never mind that the Mars mission wasn't likely to have any unexpected external forces altering its trajectory, and it most likely had some means of course correcting in transit.

Beyond those absurdities, it is the standard media treatment of space exploration stories. It's a brief mention of what is happening that leaves more questions about technical details than it answers. Please leave the unnecessary comparison and competition of two noncompeting, unrelated events. Now, if you want to talk about the technological dark ages the NBC executives call home...

more than 2 years ago

Chicken Vaccines Combine To Produce Deadly Virus

The Wooden Badger Re:in 3..2..1 (178 comments)

Especially beware of vaccine makers who have a financial interest in everyone being injected with their vaccine.

So the makers of a product (that is a once in a lifetime purchase) is automatically not trustworthy because they have a financial interest in everyone using their product?

more than 2 years ago

Battle Brewing Over Labeling of Genetically Modified Food

The Wooden Badger GMO debate a symptom of a broken patent system? (334 comments)

This subject came up on facebook when my sister-in-law (who is convinced that vaccines caused autism in her sons, and kooky untested therapies can cure it) posted some image with some anti-GMO food propaganda pasted on. A discussion (and I use that term lightly) ensued about how bad GMO foods are. I broke the complaints down into three basic categories.

First there is the anti-GMO FUD that points out the sparse, sometimes solitary studies of how bad GMO foods are for human consumption. In true FUD fashion there were half-truths, distortions, and flat out lies. One notable comment brought up how the organism that makes the BT toxin is closely related to the organism that causes anthrax, so why would you want to eat corn that might be that dangerous. The second category was basically not being comfortable with the idea of GMO foods. I can't really complain about that. I'm not really comfortable with the idea of eating raw fish. Not a big deal. Not like I'm going to use that as the foundation for legislation, and it shouldn't be used for GMO foods. The third category was that Monsanto is evil. I'm not going to say they have nothing to be ashamed of, but I see their behavior as more of a symptom of what is wrong with patent law. They are defending their patent portfolio. They aren't necessarily doing things illegally, but they are doing a lot of douchebag things.

I would rather see some good patent reform take place than food labeling legislation. Putting a patent on a variant of corn with one gene thrown in to kill pests/reduce the need of pesticides makes about as much sense as software patents. The fact that patents are granted is, in my opinion, the real problem here, or at least in how it is being implemented. I can see something like the prescription drug model where the innovating company can sell the seed exclusively for a set amount of time before other companies can start selling generics. I can even see a licensing fee for the generics, but the draconian exclusivity and the silly don't save seeds contracts are the symptom (ranks up there with the RIAA's philosopy), the patents and how patent law is being interpreted are the sickness.

more than 2 years ago

Researchers Identify Genetic Systems Disrupted In Autistic Brain

The Wooden Badger Re:Something to ponder (167 comments)

I wonder if some of this is that there are so many therapies that are not well researched. My sister-in-law has multiple kids with ASD from mild/middle of the road Aspergers Syndrome to full blown can't speak Autism. She is one of the "vaccine caused" types and goes for all kinds of kooky therapies that I can completely understand not being covered. The therapies that are most researched and tested are ones she doesn't want, but are understandably covered therapies in her insurance. She would rather pay 100% out of pocket for stuff that she is convinced will help her kids, but won't use stuff her insurance will cover.

In our case, we have a son who is so mild a case of Aspergers Syndrome that it almost isn't worth mentioning. The amount of anecdotal support for a genetic link to ASD is so ubiquitous in our families that it is amazing she still hangs on to the vaccine "link".

more than 2 years ago

LulzSec Posts First Secret Document Dump

The Wooden Badger Re:AZ isn't anti-immigrant (835 comments)

All you've done is talk in circles around the fact that the law requires investigation of residency status in cases where it is entirely legal to not have any sort of ID.

How on Earth can a foreign national be a legal resident without any sort of ID? If they are here legally there is going to be a passport. If they are not a foreign national, they are going to have a driver's license. Apart from minors under 16 there isn't a reasonable example of someone who would be a legal resident without any sort of ID.

more than 3 years ago

The Rise of Filter Bubbles

The Wooden Badger Am I missing something here? (408 comments)

I always thought the point of a search engine is that I want to find something in particular. Filtering helps me get what I want, and this is degrading my experience somehow?

I hit up google to find information. I tend toward raw data, so I don't want any opposing viewpoints there. When my "vaccines caused my child's autism" sister-in-law spouts off some new claim, I look for stuff from studies. I don't really want to know what the opposing view is; my sister-in-law already let me know.

more than 3 years ago

The Rules of Thumb For Tech Purchasing

The Wooden Badger Re:That is really it right there (401 comments)

Just to someone in the building industry, I can tell you that home inspectors suck ass; the market doesn't support a real quality inspection, plus the real estate agent doesn't have a whole lot of incentive to hire a home inspector who _will_ find all the problems, because damn near any home has something worth mentioning to the trained eye.

Also worth noting is that in a sense the real estate agent works for the seller. The realtor's commission is based on selling price. The higher the sale price, the higher the commission.

more than 3 years ago

Former Senator Wants to Mine The Moon

The Wooden Badger Re:Why is this notable? (351 comments)

The Chinese could do it in 10? I hope that doesn't turn out like their high speed trains.

more than 3 years ago

Hotel Tracks Towels With RFID Chips

The Wooden Badger Saves $16,000 per month... (173 comments)

But how much did it cost to implement this plan in the first place?

more than 3 years ago

Why Does the US Cling To Imperial Measurements?

The Wooden Badger Re:No! It is really, really bad. (2288 comments)

Go to a supermarket and look at the magazines near the registers. They talk all about *cough* local fluctuations in g.

more than 3 years ago

Why Does the US Cling To Imperial Measurements?

The Wooden Badger Re:No! It is really, really bad. (2288 comments)

That is all well and good, but to the vast majority of Americans (or any other nationality on the planet for that matter) the only thing that matters is units of distance, temperature, weight, and volume. If they have a sense of how far away their destination, how much gas they need, how it will feel when they get there, and how much more they will weigh, they are golden. They don't do anything else with their measures. The scientists crave the elegance of the metric system, but they layman doesn't really care. They don't want their status quo changed, and don't see any compelling reason to do so. They also have a lot of voting power due to their numbers. It should absolutely happen, but there is going to be a whole lot of resistance if the idea gets any serious consideration. I can only imagine how the AARP might fight this. They don't want the seniors to get confused by all the changes, and they are a very powerful lobbying group.

more than 3 years ago

'Pruned' Microchips Twice As Fast and Efficient

The Wooden Badger Re:It's the Analogy, Stupid... (127 comments)

Take my road bike, for example. At top gear, I have roughly a 5:1 gear ratio. The manufacturer's comparable mountain bike has roughly a 4:1 gear ratio. The bikes' weights aren't that far off, and I would imagine the weight would really come into play on very long and/or stage races. A bike of comparable weight is still going to be hamstrung by the gear ratio. Even in the unlikely event that I get the commuter bike lighter than the competetion's racing bikes, they are going to have a more favorable selection of gear ratios. I'll be at top gear and have to spin faster to go the same speed. To a point the faster cadence is going to be favorable for energy systems used, but after that point I'm hitting my lactate threshold and its bonk city.

more than 3 years ago

'Pruned' Microchips Twice As Fast and Efficient

The Wooden Badger It's the Analogy, Stupid... (127 comments)

If I had to use a commuter bike that I could modify on a race, I'd be thinking about changing the gear ratio before dropping a marginal amount of weight.

more than 3 years ago

Microsoft Shows Off Radical New UI, Could Be Used In Windows 8

The Wooden Badger Re:bubbles? (403 comments)

Funny, I was thinking the brainstorming went something like this:

The iPhone interface is kind of cool.
We should do something like that.
If we do squares people will realize we are just copying Apple.
Let's do circles instead.
Let's do it!

more than 3 years ago

Verizon Finally Unveils Apple iPhone

The Wooden Badger Re:Yes it does... (480 comments)

If you'd bothered to RTFA, you'd see that it's a network limitation, not a phone one. Verizon's CDMA can't do voice and data at the same time.

If you look at the post, that's exactly what SuperKendall was saying.

more than 3 years ago

Scientifically, You Are Likely In the Slowest Line

The Wooden Badger Re:Costco (464 comments)

You're right: a single line is much more efficient. More people go through the hole, faster.

But I don't give a shit about that. I want to get in and out fast, so I'll walk all the lanes and quickly pick the one that looks like it's got an effective cashier with non-fat people in line. End result: I'm almost always out of the grocery lines in a couple minutes.

And if they have self checkout, it's even faster, because those never have a line.

And that is the appeal, to many: sure, it may be overall less efficient, but self determination and half a brain allows me to get through faster than the queuing method would, so it's preferential to me. My time is worth a hell of a lot more than other people's time - to me. If they felt similarly, maybe they'd move faster.

That's pretty much my MO as well. I try to find what will be the fastest line and get in it. Cashier speed is usually the biggest factor. I've seen cashiers that regular shoppers avoid at all costs, sometimes even when they don't have a line. I've seen others that a long line at their register is still faster than a short line at another. If I have a good handle on who the fastest cashiers are, I won't want a single line/multiple register approach. Otherwise I would welcome it.

more than 3 years ago

MPAA Dismisses COICA Free Speech Concerns

The Wooden Badger Re:Bloodsucker (300 comments)

Stick with vampires. Twilight vampires. No one (worth listening to) will complain about comparing the RIAA and MPAA to Twilight vampires.

more than 3 years ago


The Wooden Badger hasn't submitted any stories.



Friend and Foe just doesn't cut it.

The Wooden Badger The Wooden Badger writes  |  more than 8 years ago We need the additional option of "This guy cracks me up, but I'd never call him a friend". There are times I come across some user that I like reading the posts, but there's no way I mark them a friend. If we get the extra option then it makes it a whole load easier to find their posts.


Homebrew AC discussion thoughts

The Wooden Badger The Wooden Badger writes  |  more than 9 years ago After skimming through the comments on the Canadian student making a homebrew AC unit - from some copper tubing, clear tubing, zip ties, hose clamps, fan, garbage can, water (frozen and liquid), and the ability to siphon - I have to say that most of the posts I saw were overthinking the whole thing. That and I would have done it very differently. There were all manner of posts pointing out how the freezer generates heat and even the fan motor generates heat. While that is true, it can be asumed and it probably is the case that the freezer and the fan are already running. That being the case, the guy that made the thing isn't significantly adding to the heat of the room by running this unit. Using this setup is not too bad of a solution in this application.

There were posts mentioning that small AC units can be purchased for 50-100 dollars that would be better/more efficient. I say hats off to the guy for coming up with a solution that can be done for less than that. He doesn't need an AC for a dorm room cooling solution. What he did was about perfect. Not too much money and it did the job adequately. If I only need AC for a brief period of time then I'd rather pay a little for something that doesn't really alter anything else I'm doing than pay around a 100 bucks for something that is going to sit idle for long periods of time. Not only that but when I graduate and get a job I will probably move into a house or apartment that doesn't need any more AC.

I was thinking how for my situation a homebrew AC would be better than a regular AC. If I a regular unit I would use it even when I don't need to. Most of the time the ceiling fans we have are adequate. The times that they are not I would much rather pull out the homebrew rig and cool things off every once in a while as needed. That got me thinking what I would do differently...

For starters I would have the fan blowing on to what I would use to exchange heat. The one in the article was pulling air across it. The second thing I would do is get a cheap heater core from an auto parts store or junkyard instead of copper tube. This way there is more heat exchange. Third I would get a pump and recirculate. I'd keep a water resevoir in an old cooler that I rarely use. Turn the system on and put another tray of icecubes in every once in a while. It would do a better job than the one in the article, it wouldn't be a whole lot more expensive if you get the right heater core and water pump, or get them somewhere cheap, like ebay. I'm already running the fan and the freezer, so I'm only adding the cost to run the pump as needed. Not too bad.

I don't think it's a bad idea. I might do it. If I end up not liking it or not needing it later on, I can always use it for a water cooling set up. Now when I talk to one of my friends about it he mentions that he has an extra Honda CRX radiator. Time to get to work.


Musings on Anonymous Coward

The Wooden Badger The Wooden Badger writes  |  more than 9 years ago I was just thinking how ironic it is to use the option of posting anonymously. How many Slashdot dweebs out there use their real name as their handle/screen-name/account? We're all just anonymous cowards. There really is no point in posting anonymously. I guess the practice makes you a double coward. Unless of course someone does know who you are based on your cryptic screen-name and you don't want them to know it was you that made some sophmoric comment. That would just make you a pathetic loser.

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