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NYT Working On 'Magic Mirror' For Bathroom Surfing

cvd6262 OT, but true story (138 comments)

I once house-sat for a wealthy family in my parents' neighborhood. One of their bathrooms was all mirrors: Every vertical surface was a mirror.

"Hey, this is cool, I thought."

Yeah, then I used the bathroom once and realized that wherever I looked I got a eyefull of myself. I used the other bathroom the rest of the week.

more than 2 years ago

Copyright Law Is Killing Science

cvd6262 Re:Patents as well (323 comments)

Government work should be public domain and PHD thesis I think are required to be.

That's news to me. My PhD dissertation is copyright by me, although I granted my university and my country's national library the right to distribute it.

One of my colleagues saw his dissertation popup on a fee-based site. He couldn't do anything about it because, technically, his degree-granting institution (University of Kentucky) owned the work and they sold the distribution to the site.

So when I passed my defense and formatted my document, I included a (CC)-By-SA notice on the second page.

more than 3 years ago

Super Mario Bros. 3 Level Design Lessons

cvd6262 Reminds me of the movies (95 comments)

Them: "I can't believe you didn't like [big movie]!"
Us: "Um, didn't you fall asleep in 2001?"
Them: "Yeah."

more than 3 years ago

Super Mario Bros. 3 Level Design Lessons

cvd6262 Ooops filter too high. (95 comments)

Sry. Portal has been mentioned.

more than 3 years ago

Super Mario Bros. 3 Level Design Lessons

cvd6262 Five comments and nothing on Portal (95 comments)

My what a short memory we have.

If you haven't played through Portal with the commentary, you haven't grasp half the greatness of that game.

more than 3 years ago

Super Mario Bros. 3 Level Design Lessons

cvd6262 True, but... (95 comments)

DKCR could take some lessons on "introducing slowly." There are too many segments where trial and death are the only way to figure out how to pass a level. When I first came upon a giant-hippo-on-a-stick, I actually stopped to think about WTF I was supposed to do. There is no indication that you can bounce on it, there is no warning that doing so will lower the hippo, etc.

The level designers also seem to have spent a lot of time planning pitfalls so the only way to pass many levels is rote memorization. That may be classic, but it's not fun.

The spider hoard race is a rare exception.

more than 3 years ago

Should Colleges Ban Classroom Laptop Use?

cvd6262 I agree - for large lectures (804 comments)

I had that same idea when I was an undergrad (in the USA). The course outcome should be important, and if I can gain the skills/knowledge without attending, then why require me to attend? When I started teaching underclassmen as a grad student, I even instituted an attendance-optional policy.

But then I became a professor and had the luxury of teaching small upper-level and graduate courses. My belief that the instructor was not the source of all knowledge was reinforced, but so was the understanding that *real* learning happened between students. When a student did not attend our discussions, they deprived us all of their point of view.

So, for large lectures, I agree with you. Use the Western Governors University model (sell assessment and certification/accreditation, not instruction). But for small, meaningful classes, I still require attendance.

more than 3 years ago

Saturn's Rings Formed From Large Moon Destruction

cvd6262 ACC was right! (115 comments)

In 2001, ACC pointed out the odd coincidence between the ring of Saturn being only 4 million years old, and the time when the Monolith appeared on Earth. Hmmmmmm.

BTW - The book has the large monolith at Saturn, not Jupiter. Kubrick was worried about the FX it would take to portray the rings on film, so they changed it to Jupiter.

more than 3 years ago

HDR Video a Reality

cvd6262 Watching the video (287 comments)

Especially the part with the guy talking, made me think...

So someone's found a way to make real life look life Half-Life 2 Episode 2?

more than 3 years ago

The Push For Colbert's "Restoring Truthiness" Rally

cvd6262 Re:Count me in (703 comments)

The Best Thing Ever was when some Bush-administration lackey took Colbert seriously enough to invite him to speak at the 2006 White House Correspondents' dinner.

That speech made Colbert forever one of my personal heroes.

You might want to brush up on the history of the White House Correspondents' Association's dinner:'_Association . Yakov Smirnoff was the speaker in 1988.

The content of Colbert's speech may have surprised some, but taking him "seriously" would have disqualified him from being considered as the speaker.

more than 3 years ago

Fire and Explosion At Hydrogen Station Near Rochester Airport

cvd6262 Re:Geeze (357 comments)

Local news: Hydrogen fueling facility explodes on [street]. No word yet on damage or casualties. In other news, please tune in to the end of our broadcast to find out how [common household product] could be KILLING YOUR FAMILY.

I live in Rochester, you insensitive clod...

Actually, you're dead on. The 10 o'clock news said the explosion was near Scott St., and then proceeded with (I kid you not) a story about a four-year-old who wore too many Silly Bands for too long and had sore skin because of it.

more than 3 years ago

Union Boycotts LA Times Over Teacher Evaluation Disclosure

cvd6262 Re:Depends who you thnk teachers work for (629 comments)

Thanks for the explanation. I see the point, and I think the misunderstanding is contextual. I assure you in many schools of ed, replacing home, family, and parents is not an accusation; it is believed that those institutions may impede social progress.

more than 2 years ago

Union Boycotts LA Times Over Teacher Evaluation Disclosure

cvd6262 Re:Depends who you thnk teachers work for (629 comments)

Interesting. I'm not sure what you mean, or how you could label me as someone "who [wants] to impress toxic social morals on their kids" from three bland sentences.

more than 3 years ago

Union Boycotts LA Times Over Teacher Evaluation Disclosure

cvd6262 Re:Depends who you thnk teachers work for (629 comments)

It would be nice to hope that this was the first step in recognising that (indirectly) real people pay for and therefore employ teachers. These real people would like to think the primary role of teachers is to impart knowledge, skills and abilities to the children in their charge.

I'm a prof in a school of ed, but my background is in psych, not ed. I've noticed that many teachers (and those teachers who go on to become profs of education) do not feel that imparting "knowledge, skills and abilities" is their major goal. Rather, as I see it, they envision teachers as replacing the home, family, and parents as the conduit of social morals.

more than 3 years ago

Union Boycotts LA Times Over Teacher Evaluation Disclosure

cvd6262 Re:RTFA before commenting (629 comments)

Standardized tests are one measurement, but not the only or best one... just the cheapest and the easiest for politicians and lazy reporters to spout about.

"Best" would imply some set of criteria, right? If inexpensive, consistent, apparently-easy-to-understand, and status-quo are part of your criteria, then couldn't standardized tests be the "best"? While the states place far too much confidence in the results (e.g. they do not even report the students' scores in error bands), they may be justified in their selection of standardized tests as a method of assessment.

Many (most) states use tests that are far below industry standards. But we shouldn't besmirch all standardized tests because the state chooses poorly.

more than 3 years ago

Union Boycotts LA Times Over Teacher Evaluation Disclosure

cvd6262 Re:I say test the teachers (629 comments)

Test the teachers on the material they are teaching.

James Popham, a prof. ameritus at UCLA, wrote that if we want to know something about someone, we measure that something in that someone. To measure something in the students and then draw a conclusion about the teacher is "a second-step inference." He pointed out that current psychometric theory (see the AERa, APA, NCME 1999 Standards for psychological and educational testing) only deal with first-step inferences.

Note that the LA Time analysis used value-added methods, which have not been fully vetted in the psychometric literature. Especially, the degree to which measurement error (which is operationalized slightly differently in psychometrics than in other fields) interacted with value-added methods has not been established. Given that the false-result rate on New York State's tests are around 5% (which is probably close to CA's), I doubt you can rely on them as much as this analysis has.

more than 3 years ago

The Creativity Crisis

cvd6262 Re:Validity (571 comments)

I'm a research psychologist who specializes in testing and assessment, and asking "is this test valid?" is exactly the right response to this article.

I hope you're referring to the test being valid as a shorthand way of communicating with non-psychologists. The latest Standards for Psychological and Educational Testing (AERA, APA, NCME, 1999), Chapter 1, explain quite clearly that tests are not valid or invalid, nor are the test's results. It is the inferences we draw from test results that can be more-or-less valid. This, of course, follows from Messick's (1995) work and is a derivation (or, rather an evolution) of classical validity, which was overseen by Cronbach.

about 4 years ago

Urine Test For Autism

cvd6262 Re:Labeling (228 comments)

Also, right now, ASD clumps together symptoms even though they may have different etiologies. Having a biological test for a trait correlated with autism may help tease out the degree to which different conditions result in the same symptoms. When children test negative, but still exhibit ASD, we know there is another pathway to the condition that may be better served through different treatment.

This could be HUGE.

more than 4 years ago



cvd6262 cvd6262 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

cvd6262 (180823) writes "A while ago, it was reported here on Slashdot that Disney World was using fingerprint scanners to record the "shape" of visitors fingers. Now, they've expanded the system to record the prints (instead of just the shape), though they deny it.
"We are not collecting fingerprints," Disney representative Kim Prunty said. [...] "The system takes an image, it identifies points on that image and measures the distance between those points and immediately creates a numerical value on the blink of an eye," Prunty said. "And it's the numerical value that's stored in our system and recalled when a guest reenters our turn styles using their Magic Your Way tickets."
Sounds like capturing fingerprints to me."


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