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Ask Slashdot: Tablets For Papers; Are We There Yet?

adenied iPad with GoodReader (180 comments)

My wife is finishing up her PhD in a biological science field. A couple years ago she was carrying like 70+ printed out papers around with her so she could reference them when writing at home or at a coffee shop. She got an original iPad and started using GoodReader and said it changed the game completely for her. She's on an iPad 3 now but the effect is the same.

I got her old iPad when she upgraded and I loaded literally a couple thousand papers and other documents I've saved over the years (mostly IEEE and ACM papers and a ton of standards documents I reference for work), luckily all already organized. GoodReader will let you load things and keep whatever directory/folder organization you have. It's great!

about 2 years ago
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Faculty To Grad Students: Go Work 80-Hour Weeks!

adenied It's true (454 comments)

My wife is finishing grad school with a PhD and getting the hell out of Dodge. She's already found a job related to science/academia in her field that pays more and has better benefits than anything she could expect as a post-doc or assistant professor. It's a stable job where she can see clear career advancement over the coming years. This as opposed to an academic career where she wouldn't have much say in what part of the country she ended up and would have to work like crazy (publish or perish is so true) in an attempt to maybe get tenure 15+ years down the road.

Not to mention that more than a few of her advisers and colleagues have been having serious funding issues. She's in a field where lots of funding comes from the NIH and they're cutting back like crazy. It's not a very good climate right now.

more than 2 years ago
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Facebook Faces High-Level Staff Exodus

adenied Good thing? (346 comments)

If the design manager was the one who has made some of the UI decisions for Facebook over the last year or two maybe it's best he departs. Facebook is convenient for me for keeping in touch with a lot of people I know but I haven't heard anyone say anything good about their user interface design in a very long time. I don't really have any ill will towards anyone at Facebook (I have a number of friends who work there) but perhaps this is a good thing.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Resources For Identifying Telecom Right-of-Way Locations?

adenied Re:Not that I'm aware of, and I've tried. (107 comments)

You're asking the wrong questions. Ask for DLRs: Design Layout Records. I have a number of metro area rings in a few large cities around the country and we have street level maps of the paths including where they are aerial vs buried. Be persistent.

more than 2 years ago
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X-ray Generator Fits In the Palm of Your Hand

adenied How common are electron microscopes? (32 comments)

So just how common are electron microscopes these days? I don't work in the sciences so in my head they're still room sized beasts that I read about as a child in the 1980s. I haven't really thought about it until now but I suppose the technology must have improved, like technology does. Are there desktop sized ones now that can be had for relatively low cost?

more than 2 years ago
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B&N Pulls Linux Format Magazine Over Feature On 'Hacking'

adenied 2600 Magazine? (301 comments)

I used to go to Barnes and Noble to buy 2600 Magazine because it was the only place in town that carried it. This was in the Midwestern US in the mid-1990s. I guess times have changed (OK I know times have changed).

more than 2 years ago
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150 Gigapixel Sky Image Contains 1 Billion Stars

adenied A sense of scale (126 comments)

A billion stars seems like a lot but general consensus is that the Milky Way alone has 300 +/- 100 billion stars. So at best this is like 0.5% of the galaxy. I just read about the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey looking at 300,000 galaxies and planning on hitting 1,000,000 eventually. The number of stars out there is truly mind blowing for us puny humans. It's really impressive if you stop to think about it.

more than 2 years ago
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Bing Now Nearly As Good As Google — Says Microsoft

adenied Works for me (405 comments)

I switched over to Bing in protest of some Google hijinks that I can't even remember a while back and I haven't gone back. Bing works quite well for me for pretty much everything. On occasion I won't be able to find what I'm looking for and I'll go try the search on Google and it's very rare that the results are any better.

Also the fact that it doesn't show me a bunch of pointless posts from Facebook every time I search for something is a major plus.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Who Has Been Sued By the RIAA?

adenied Re:Not RIAA but New Sensations (407 comments)

This has been going on for a long time. I have a friend who had some nice three letter domains back in the late 1990s. A largish company decided that the Internet was cool and they wanted them. They had some trademarks that were remotely related to the domain names but my friend (and a simple whois check) had records indicating he had the domains well before they even existed as a company.

They made him a cash offer that was in the low five figures. He wanted to keep the domains. They said take the money or we'll sue you for copyright infringement. He talked to a lawyer and was basically told, look, you actually have a strong case here. You could litigate this and you might actually win. But it's going to end up costing you about what they're offering for the domains and a lot of time. If they're worth that much to you might as well just sell them and be done with it.

At this point my friend took the cash.

more than 2 years ago
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San Francisco Enlists Bus Cameras For Traffic Law Enforcement

adenied Re:Points on your license? (151 comments)

What, are you expecting buses to be faster than driving?

No, not at all. I hate buses. If I can take an underground train I will go for that every time. I think part of my problem is I come across a lot of people who live in SF who think that they're the greatest thing in the world. Go somewhere like NYC or London and you'll see that mass transit really can work, can be faster than driving, and is a lot nicer. It's an attitude issue here.

Also, I don't know the specifics of your Dallas issues, but dude, that city is huge. 340.5 sq. miles according to Wikipedia. SF is less than 50. It's literally a 7 mile by 7 mile square. And when I'm talking about a trip taking 45 minutes on buses, that's to go about 3.5 miles if I drove directly. That's horrible by any measure.

more than 2 years ago
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San Francisco Enlists Bus Cameras For Traffic Law Enforcement

adenied Re:Peterbilt parking (151 comments)

I forgot to close my HTML italic tag. Oh well.

more than 2 years ago
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San Francisco Enlists Bus Cameras For Traffic Law Enforcement

adenied Re:Peterbilt parking (151 comments)

Take transit 4 days a week and drive on the day you commute to Campbell?

It'll actually be work from home 3-4 days a week and drive to Campbell the other days. But yeah that's looking like the most viable option. To the point of the OP though, that would be difficult if I couldn't have my car in the city.

Although maybe a better idea would be for the cities on the Peninsula to become livable enough so that people don't feel a need to live in SF and commute an hour to two hours a day.

I lived in Cupertino for a long time, but my wife is a graduate student at Berkeley. When we decided to move in together after we got engaged Cupertino was right out. And Berkeley was a pretty bad solution for me. So our options were basically Fremont or San Francisco. We're both young and relatively social so the idea of living in Fremont was pretty repugnant to both of us.

more than 2 years ago
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San Francisco Enlists Bus Cameras For Traffic Law Enforcement

adenied Re:Peterbilt parking (151 comments)

With what funding though? They'd be more likely to vote cars back in than raise the necessary tax revenue fund the amount of change that would be necessary in San Francisco alone. That and if it was underground stuff being built it would take forever. They're building a two mile or so extension to the underground trains that will be done in like 2018 or something. And I still have no idea who's actually going to use it.

And look at the BART extension around the bay that was funded. I have no idea when that will be done. 2030?

You could add more surface transportation but you still need access for trucks and other commercial vehicles so it would still be horrible.

The Muni Metro trains that run underground are using control software from the early 1990s that only allows them to run two car trains when the system was designed for three car trains. This is all pathetic compared to NYC's subway. All of the transit agencies are strapped for cash. I don't see banning cars to make people want to fund it more a really viable solution.

more than 2 years ago
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San Francisco Enlists Bus Cameras For Traffic Law Enforcement

adenied Re:Points on your license? (151 comments)

I live in SF and this is true for a very small portion of the city. If you want to get many places be prepared for a 45 minute bus ride for something that would take half as long or better to drive. I'm sure it's better than Grand Rapids. But Grand Rapids is about the same land area as SF with about 1/8 the population. For things as spread out as that mass transit is difficult.

There are many times where Muni buses only show up every 30 minutes or so and many cases where you need to take two buses or a bus and a Muni Metro train where you're going to wait 15+ minutes at the transfer. I try and use mass transit as much as I can and I'm luck to live near the Castro so I have a lot of options. But in many cases I'll just say screw it and drive because it'll be so much faster.

more than 2 years ago
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San Francisco Enlists Bus Cameras For Traffic Law Enforcement

adenied Re:Peterbilt parking (151 comments)

Not having a car in SF is great if you live near the Market St. tunnel and need to get somewhere on that stretch of the city. Otherwise it's pretty horrible. Sure there's buses and Muni Metro trains that will get you most places, but due to the layout of the city it will generally take you 3x longer to get somewhere via mass transit than driving. As long as this is the case people will keep their cars, even when there's horrible traffic.

That and in many cases Muni buses will be extremely late or bunched up. It's not rare to see Nextbus saying 30+ minutes and this during what are peak travel times. For me it's often faster to walk if the distance is less than 2 miles. This is not an option for a lot of people unfortunately.

Also, what do you do if you live in SF but regularly leave the city? Mass transit is OK for specific things, but Caltrain and BART can only get you so far. I work in Mountain View but will soon need to commute to Campbell a day or two a week. To take mass transit I'd have to take multiple Muni buses or trains or take one and walk a mile, take Caltrain, and then get on VTA somewhere in South Bay. At best my commute will be 2 hours one way and if there's any hiccup and I miss the 5 minute transfer window between Caltrain and VTA it's closer to 2 1/2 to 3 hours. When I can drive down 280 in an hour or so this becomes unacceptable as much as I would prefer to be on a train.

As long as the transit options in the Bay Area are as poor as they are cars will be a necessity for many people. SF would be awesome without them but I just don't see it as feasible. Makes me envy everyone I know who lives in London and NYC.

If we had transit like NYC or London then I'd be all about getting rid of cars.

more than 2 years ago
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China To Cancel College Majors That Don't Pay

adenied I have a history degree (463 comments)

I have a history degree and I make pretty good bank as a network architect.

Funny story, I worked for my university's computer science department while I was in school building out their network. My grades in compsci were poor so I switched to history, mainly to graduate since I'd already put in a few years. Stayed working for the department, had experience with almost every type of equipment you could imagine and most networking protocols circa 10 years ago.

As I'm nearing graduation time I start interviewing for permanent jobs. One interview is with, aw hell, it's been a long time, Proctor and Gamble. So I'm meeting with a first line interviewer about a entry level network engineer position. Guy's looking over my resume which is full of networking projects I've worked on, all kinds of fun stuff for 1999 or so, and he the first thing out of his mouth "So.. history major? How do you think you'll apply that to this job?" Wut. I came up with some bullshit answer and decided immediately that I had no desire to work for them. He asked me some random other things about networking and I was on my way.

I then interviewed with a number of start ups in California none of which even mentioned the history degree thing. The only thing that the place I ended up going to ever asked about school was "When are you done so you can start working?" Totally different cultures.

more than 2 years ago
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NH Supreme Court To Rule On Bigfoot Video Shoot In Public Park

adenied Re:This is huge. (166 comments)

Except that most jurisdictions do require a permit to film for commercial purposes.

more than 3 years ago
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The best computer upgrade I've ever done was:

adenied Modem (522 comments)

Upgrading from a crappy Boca 2400 bps modem to a 28.8 kbps US Robotics Courier in like 1994 was about the coolest thing ever.

more than 3 years ago
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Groupon Loses COO, Drastically Cuts Reported Revenue

adenied Never used Groupon (131 comments)

I've never used Groupon. But I've used Gilt and a few of the other ones. No judgement here, but I think it's sort of interesting that they get so much press. Maybe I'm an outlier.

Also I'm sort of torn on this stuff... I've used these discount websites maybe 10 times over the last couple years. 75% of the time I feel like I got a good deal (though I bet the vendor doesn't) but the other 25% of the time services aren't really what was advertised and I leave sort of feeling like a sucker. Not that I was ripped off, but that my expectations were too high.

more than 3 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Ebook Reader for Scientific Papers?

adenied My wife uses her iPad (254 comments)

My wife is writing her PhD dissertation and uses her iPad for this. She loves it. The screen is nice, it renders the PDFs very nicely, and she doesn't have to carry around a stack of 80 odd journal articles when she's writing.

YMMV of course, but she says it's made her life a lot easier.

more than 3 years ago

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