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US Navy Strategists Have a Long History of Finding the Lost

cmr-denver MAD (145 comments)

Why is it that we can track submarines based on their metal content using MAD (Magnetic Anomaly Detection), but we can't find a similarly-sized aircraft?

about 4 months ago
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Are Shuttered Gov't Sites Actually Saving Money?

cmr-denver Re:the shutdown is stupid (668 comments)

when can we hold elections to replace those that have caused this shutdown?

Uh, we did...in 2012, 2010, and every other (even) year before then. And yet, we've never had less than an 85% re-election rate (http://www.opensecrets.org/bigpicture/reelect.php). So unless you're in the significant minority that actually voted, and moreso, voted against the incumbent(s), you can find the first person to blame in the mirror. But you'll have another chance in 2014. Use it wisely.

about 10 months ago
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No US College In Top 10 For ACM International Programming Contest 2013

cmr-denver Jobs - Students - Good Students - Winners (199 comments)

Interesting that all of the places that seem to be at the top of this competition are places that the US has been outsourcing programming to for the last decade or two. When there are lots of (relatively well-paying) jobs available in an industry, more people want to get into that industry. And when more people want to get into an industry (that is pretty specialized and having an education is almost a pre-requisite), they go to school to ensure that they can get into that industry. And when more people go to school, you tend to get more good students. And when you have more good students, you tend to do well in these kinds of competitions.

The corollary to that is that when you don't have jobs (because you're sending them all to countries with a cheaper cost of labor), then you don't have people who want to get into the industry. And when you don't have people who want to get into the industry, they don't go to school for that specialization. And when you have fewer people going to school, you have fewer good students, which means that you don't do as well in those competitions anymore. And that leads to a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth about "How can we get young people interested in working in our industry?"

1 year,16 days
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Who Will Teach U.S. Kids To Code? Rupert Murdoch

cmr-denver Re:Hey kids! Learn to train your H1B replacement! (138 comments)

+1 We've spent the last 20 years shipping those development jobs to India, China, and other countries where the cost of labor is cheaper, and then wonder why nobody is leaping into the industry anymore.

1 year,22 days
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Ask Slashdot: Rectifying Nerd Arrogance?

cmr-denver And that's why I didn't go to MIT (823 comments)

I was introduced to my first computer at age 7 (1975) and thought it was the most amazing thing ever. Pretty much from that point on, I knew that's what I wanted to do with my life, and because of that I wanted to go to MIT. I spent the next ~10 years with that goal in mind, got good grades, great test scores, AP classes, etc. And because of that, I was invited to a special event that MIT held in the D.C. area to recruit the top students, and they had many of their current students from the area attending. It was the most excruciating couple of hours I had spent--they were the most arrogant, conceited individuals I'd ever spent time with. I couldn't possibly see spending the next 4 years of my life like that. And that ended any thought I had of going to MIT. I ended up at the next best dual-degree program I could find (Washington University). Interestingly, my best friend had the same experience as I did--ended up going to Georgia Tech. I've been up to Cambridge a few times, and sometimes really think it might have been a great place...if it weren't for that attitude.

about 2 years ago
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Space Shuttle Items For Sale Soon VIa GSA Auction

cmr-denver Re:I know what I want (59 comments)

While you can't get an RS-25, you can get some X-34s. From http://gsaxcess.gov/NASAWel.htm: Prescreening Period 14: Start Date - 9/4/2012; Internal prescreening ends - 9/25/2012; External prescreening ends - 10/16/2012 (Includes items from Shuttle, Hubble, and other programs along with X-34 engine nozzles, early Space Shuttle prototype models, X3 solar mirrors, and various Space Shuttle components) New!

about 2 years ago
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Tennessee "Teaching the Controversy" Bill Becomes Law

cmr-denver Re:Theory or fact? (672 comments)

So the only facts are those that are historical in nature ("a thing done"). So math is not a fact--just because 1 + 1 has equalled two in the past doesn't mean that it will continue to do so in the future. Anything predictive, no matter how many time it has been shown as accurate, is not "fact". That sound you just heard while making those pedantic observations about those definitions, as opposed to the concept of "scientific theory," was the sound of thousands of years of scientific progress sailing out the window.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Which Multiple Desktop Tool For Windows 7?

cmr-denver Re:thanks (359 comments)

I second DeskPins. It even works for popups that you want to ensure always show up on top of everything else.

more than 2 years ago
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Fracture Putty Can Heal a Broken Bone In Days

cmr-denver Re:NOW they develop this... (236 comments)

Yes, if it has an image of [insert holy figure here]> magically appearing on it! Likewise for grilled cheese

more than 2 years ago
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Demystifying UEFI, the Overdue BIOS Replacement

cmr-denver Re:So how do you pronounce it? (379 comments)

I think it's you-EFF-i (or you-EFF-eye) and since you already know who the I and the you (in this case, HW manufacturers and M$) are, I'm sure you can imagine what the F stands for...

more than 2 years ago
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New Twitter-Based Hedge Fund Beats the Stock Market

cmr-denver Re:Just throw darts (209 comments)

But the correlation is only useful if some attribute of twitter can be shown to lead the market.

And only if you can eliminate all random events from the world. eg. What if there's an earthquake tomorrow? The CEO is discovered having an affair? Some granny goes on TV saying her car accelerated suddenly...?

Uh, no. If Twitter continues to lead the markets (i.e. people tweet their sentiment first, and act second), and that time period is long enough to act on, then this will be wildly successful, especially because of random events. Granny shows up on TV, many people tweet "Foo Motors tries to kill old people", then unload their stock. If this company can figure that out fast enough, and short sells the stock before the mass unload causes the stock to tank, they'll make a killing.

more than 2 years ago
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Spam Text Prematurely Blows Up Suicide Bomber

cmr-denver Re:Poor Engineering As A Plus: (573 comments)

Uh, actually you cited unnamed sources, which is usually considered about as reliable as personal anecdote.

more than 2 years ago
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Kuwait Bans DSLR Cameras Use For Non-Journalists

cmr-denver Re:funny and ironic (446 comments)

Probably because gun crime tends to be more fatal than knife crime, due in part to the increased range.

more than 3 years ago
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What To Do With Old USB Keys, Low-Capacity Hard Drives?

cmr-denver Re:Chuck'em out (546 comments)

In a lot of ways, that might have been the BEST possible way for him to teach that class! Since anything you're taught about computers is mostly obsolete in a few years, learning how to learn on your own is THE most critical skill in the industry, IMHO. Second is learning how to troubleshoot/debug...

more than 5 years ago
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Calif. Politican Thinks Blurred Online Maps Would Deter Terrorists

cmr-denver Re:Why stop online? (597 comments)

That mentality existed through the fall of the Iron Curtain. When I lived in Europe in the 80's, a friend of the family worked in military intelligence (an oxymoron, I know). He couldn't give a lot of details, but one of the classic stories he'd tell was about Soviet military training exercises--back in those days, they wouldn't even tell a convoy where they were going. Their standard operational procedure was that only the commander would know, and he'd be in the first vehicle in a convoy. Any time they needed to turn, they'd drop off a soldier at the intersection, and he'd then direct everyone else and get back into the last vehicle of the convoy. This would be repeated over and over until they reached their destination.

Now, when the intelligence guys wanted to find out what was going on, we'd simply ask the guy at the intersection. He, predictably, would say that he couldn't tell them, and they'd reply that of course they knew they weren't allowed to follow the convoy, and that to ensure they didn't, they had to know which way the convoy was going, so they could go a different direction and not get into trouble with their superiors.

With that impeccable logic, the soldier would generally point out where the convoy was headed, allowing the intelligence guys to speed off in that direction...

more than 5 years ago
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Software Piracy At the Beijing Branch Office?

cmr-denver Re:He's Right (614 comments)

Enforcing by fiat from several thousand miles away.... geeze I wonder how that's going to look to the Chinese staff.

Having been there, my guess is that it won't be nearly as poorly perceived as you think. The Chinese have had several thousand years to get accustomed to that idea. It's quite ingrained by now.

more than 5 years ago
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LED Lighting As Cheap As CFLs Invented

cmr-denver Re:If they are still not dimmable they still suck (553 comments)

I'm sure this is a stupid question, but since most of these LED "bulbs" are just an amalgamation of several individual LEDs, wouldn't just turning off some percentage of them be better than trying to do PWM?

more than 5 years ago
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Online Carpooling Service Fined In Canada

cmr-denver Re:No sense... (541 comments)

Actually, the entire premise of using tax law to promote or discourage ANY behavior is patently absurd. It is why our US tax code is completely incomprehensible, and can never be changed. Since we have an exemption for mortgage interest, that effectively gets factored into the price of a house (i.e. you're willing to pay more for the house since you'll be able to deduct the interest--which, for most people, is a very large fraction of your mortgage). Which means if you take that away, housing values instantly drop by about 15%. And once you leave one deduction in place...

In fact, right now is about the only possible time that it could change (since we're already dealing with the effects of a sudden large drop in housing values), but I don't see it happening.

more than 5 years ago

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