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Montana Lawmakers Propose 85 Mph Speed Limit On Interstates

davids-world.com Relative speeds and training (525 comments)

I've driven thousands of kilometers on the German Autobahn. The safety issue is not so much the speed relative to the ground, but the speed relative to other drivers. If you're going 170kph in the left lane in your BMW, and grandma in her 1990 Volkswagen swerves left to overtake a truck, you've got pretty limited distance to slow down (at high speed). German autobahns are sensibly limited to 130kph in urban areas, for windy stretches of road, or two-lane portions.

French interstates work quite well in that respect. Everyone does about 130kph (that's 81mph), and this speed limit is strictly enforced. Relaxed driving, really.

The other thing to take into account is driver training. The kind of tail-gating I'm seeing here in the states rarely happens in Germany. Yes, you get the angry BMW driver flashing his lights at you when you're in "his" lane (road rage is universal), but that's typically over in a few seconds. Drivers wisely keep their distance.

about three weeks ago
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fMRI Data Reveals How Many Parallel Processes Run In the Brain

davids-world.com Re:It doesn't work like that... (91 comments)

That was my view as well until learned a few things about this "continuous, analog computer". We know that it is neither analog (neurons can have threshold functions) nor continuous (some important, central processes are quantized - e.g., about 50ms per "decision" in a structure called "basal ganglia").

As for this paper, you seem to neglect that even the supposedly continuous, analog computer will have sub-processes that run in parallel, but are correlated and make a distinguishable contribution to the task the global system is concerned with. If you like to picture a network of neurons, then its structure with will one of many separate clusters (a "small world" network, for instance) rather than a random graph.

about a month ago
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fMRI Data Reveals How Many Parallel Processes Run In the Brain

davids-world.com Re:Brodmann Areas (91 comments)

It's certainly interesting that the PCA-like analysis in the cited paper comes up with a similar number of subsystems, although I wonder if they ended up matching the Brodmann areas. And importantly, any set of areas is more like a subsystem, in which, if my quick look over the paper serves me well, activations make a unique contribution to task solving.

The question is, does this bring us closer to a computational understanding of how the overall processes work? Localization of function alone doesn't, IMHO. DTI (neuroscience) and cognitive modeling based on architectures (cognitive science) may make better progress.

about a month ago
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GNU Emacs 24.4 Released Today

davids-world.com Re:Lost me because of Java (156 comments)

These distributions exist... (shameless plug: Aquamacs 3.1 was released today, based on Emacs 24.4). You're right in that its Java support is sub-par. Packages like JDEE exist, and CEDET has recently been included in Emacs, but you won't get out-of-the-box code completion, nice visual debugging, inline compile error messages and so on.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Finding a Job After Completing Computer Science Ph.D?

davids-world.com A PhD degree won't make you a better programmer (479 comments)

The PhD is not a degree designed to increase your chances on the market for jobs that do not require a PhD. I think that's the underlying misunderstanding. (I'm an assistant professor at a research university, I have a group of PhD students. Careerism, especially for undergrad degrees, is a common perspective-shift at US universities.)

A PhD really prepares you for a career in research/science, academia. You sound like you're looking to be a programmer (again). Did the reasons go away for which you chose to do a PhD?

Try the big players: Google, Apple, Intel, Microsoft, and so on. They hire PhDs quite happily, and you can apply what you've learned.

about 3 months ago
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Artificial Spleen Removes Ebola, HIV Viruses and Toxins From Blood Using Magnets

davids-world.com How is this different from filtering? (106 comments)

Could someone who works in that field explain how this would is different from the filters that CytoSorbents has been developing for a while now? (See: http://www.cytosorbents.com/te... ). These are already on the market.

It looks to me like their technology is very different (and quite cool: nanobeads? magnetic? proteins?). One issue with the CytoSorbents product is that efficacy has only been proven in terms of reducing cytokines and preventing "cytokine storm", but not in terms of lowering actual mortality.

This new filter seems to remove the primary pathogens (according to the Nature article), as opposed to cytokines (as the submission here suggests).

about 3 months ago
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iPhone 6 Sales Crush Means Late-Night Waits For Some Early Adopters

davids-world.com Verzion had problems, too (222 comments)

Woke up at 3am, and it took me 45 mins to place my order. The website was slow and produced some sort of error, which I later found out had to do with me having an employer discount (that makes zero difference for the purchase).

If they actually ship Friday next week, I'd be surprised/delighted.

about 3 months ago
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Indiana University Researchers Get $1 Million Grant To Study Memes

davids-world.com That was in 2011 (126 comments)

This was in 2011, if you look at NSF's award page. And just to put things in perspective.. This sort of money is enough to pay for four graduate students (50% effort), some very limited summer time of two professors over the course of four years, and a modest amount of travel to conferences. It's a very good grant from a great source that allows you to get some good work done, but it doesn't go as far as the uninitiated might think.

about 4 months ago
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New EU Rules Will Limit Vacuum Cleaners To 1600W

davids-world.com Re:Do the math (338 comments)

Same here. My Miele is awesome (as far as vacuum cleaners go anyway)

about 4 months ago
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Where are the Flying Cars? (Video; Part Two of Two)

davids-world.com Lunch with a Terrafugia guy (66 comments)

OK, so at Oshkosh a couple weeks ago, I had lunch (by chance) with a guy from Terrafugia. The food was poor, but the stories were good.

They flew in their prototype at last year's AirVenture. The video looks good. What you're going to get is a roadster/plane with foldable wings. I'm saying roadster, because it's going to have two seats - not because it's going to drive like a sports car. This will make it qualify as a Light Sports Aircraft, which means that pilots won't need a medical (important for many). Licensing is a little simpler, too, although everyone I know goes for their full PPL.

As an airplane, it's not particularly fast (93kts cruise - slower than your typical Cessna 172 Skyhawk), and it maxes out at 460lbs payload (full fuel, I guess), if the specs I have are correct. It drinks 100LL or premium motor gas (which is cheaper), and goes some 400+nm, though I'm not sure if that is with reserves (you need 30min day VFR, 45 at night, and typically you want more).

The person working on this at Terrafugia advertised it as a plane that's great for a business trip, because it will get you home most of the time: if the weather is bad, you just land and drive around the weather. That's a neat concept.

The price? At Oshkosh, they were saying around $270k. I asked about insurance, and it sounds like there will be separate insurance policies for road/air use, and it seems that the road policy more expensive than a car insurance (they said 3% of hull value), because of the added utility (more miles driven/flown). I'm not sure if I follow that reasoning.

For comparison, you can buy a used Bonanza for much much less, and you'll get a lot more airplane for your money. You will also get a new Cirrus SR20 around that price point (but that's a plane, and as such not as practical). In the long run, as prices come down, I get see how this is going to be practical for a lot of people that need to travel for work (or can afford to go places for fun).

about 4 months ago
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Connected Collar Lets Your Cat Do the War-Driving

davids-world.com Re:Cats should be left indoors (110 comments)

Mine mostly kills chipmunks when she can be bothered. And we have enough of those for sure. (And I got an easter bunny, right on easter.)

about 4 months ago
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Connected Collar Lets Your Cat Do the War-Driving

davids-world.com Where cats go (110 comments)

I'd be much more interested in what my cat does all day out there. Where does she go? Are there any GPS collars out there? Thought about using a Spot, but their recording intervals are too long (because they signal straight to a satellite). It's too big as well. There are some studies on this. Most (pet) cats don't seem to wander off too far from their reliable source of food. An eagle might be a better vehicle for a war-flying device!

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Life Beyond the WRT54G Series?

davids-world.com Netgear R6300 (427 comments)

I've been running the R6300 for a year, initially with OpenWRT, and now I'm back to stock firmware. It works, but I wouldn't say it's living up to expectations given its high price. It could not use a Mac OS Extended formatted harddrive for NAS and share via AFP. OpenWRT installation was a mess, and I had to unbrick it by hooking up a USB/serial interface to its internal ports. OpenWRT support is limited to the builds created by some individuals, and I was unable to upgrade it to the latest version. The stock firmware works, but doesn't give me features like VPN. So far I'm just living out my sunk-cost bias, because it works OK as a router. Do I get more out of it than you do with your old Linksys? No, indeed not. (and I keep that sort of Linksys around for emergencies.)

about 4 months ago
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The Least They Could Do: Amazon Charges 1 Cent To Meet French Free Shipping Ban

davids-world.com Re:Not France vs US (309 comments)

Funny that it was France that pioneered huge supermarkets outside of the cities a long time ago. Hell, they invented the "hypermarché" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypermarket )! Of course that's killing the small retailers in the inner cities.

about 5 months ago
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FAA's Ruling On Smartphones During Takeoff Has Had Little Impact

davids-world.com Re:Maybe the FAA should inform the stewardesses (128 comments)

What airline is that? There are Standard Operating Procedures. They make their own rule.

As far as I know, the FAR's basically say that it is up to the operator (the airline) to decide which devices are OK to use [1491.21, and, for typical airline operations: 121.306].

about 6 months ago
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WebODF: JavaScript Open Document Format Editor Deemed Stable

davids-world.com Re:zotero (91 comments)

Generally, something like Dropbox and LaTeX work fine - unless you have two people editing the same file at the same time. Then, any VCS or something like Dropbox fail miserably. I have tried https://www.writelatex.com/, but of course I'd like to keep using my local Aquamacs instead of a web-based solution. Maybe I'll write a synchronization tool for Emacs. The issue is then that we need to integrate people who don't use Emacs...

about 6 months ago
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WebODF: JavaScript Open Document Format Editor Deemed Stable

davids-world.com Re:Wow! (91 comments)

No "track changes", as it seems. :-(

about 6 months ago
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WebODF: JavaScript Open Document Format Editor Deemed Stable

davids-world.com Wow! (91 comments)

This is fast and responsive. Does it avoid long-standing Word problems, such as figures that jump away from captions, paragraphs that adopt the adjacent style just because you're moving them around, and the like? For professional writing, I'll stick to LaTeX for now. For collaborative writing, something like this could be nice (and improve on half-baked solutions like the editor in OneDrive (very slow) or Google Doc (not word-compatible). So, I think this would have to be able to export / import Word docs seamlessly, due to business pressure everywhere...

about 6 months ago
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Microsoft Wants You To Trade Your MacBook Air In For a Surface Pro 3

davids-world.com Air hardware falling behind... (365 comments)

If it wasn't for the operating system, the Air would be losing quickly this year against its competitors. It's about time that Apple released a Retina version, or an "Air" style version of the MBP.

about 6 months ago

Submissions

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davids-world.com davids-world.com writes  |  more than 7 years ago

davids-world.com writes "Craig's List's CEO Jim Buckmaster runs the largest ad site in the world, and he does pretty much everything differently from global e-commerce power-houses like eBay. In a recent Q&A session, Buckmaster recently revealed a few details about the world's largest publisher of ads, online or offline. With it's chain of centrally run, but locally-themed Craig's List sites, the company has success like only streamlined and tightly managed commercial operations — yet their methods are completely different. Putting up private ads is free, and the site relies on personal meets and the local social network to establish trusts rather than getting users to assign each other virtual brownie points. While the company operates globally, Buckmaster's mantra is still to stick to local affairs: a global search across all local Craig's Lists is not available. Surprisingly, one trick to keep costs down is to not seek maximum revenue and save on the sales people. They still have only a small team and listen to users, not marketers, to drive website development."
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davids-world.com davids-world.com writes  |  more than 7 years ago

davids-world.com writes "Richard Stallman is planning to step down as head maintainer of the GNU Emacs project. In an e-mail to fellow Emacs developers, he today asked for candidates to succeed him. RMS wrote the first extensible Emacs text editor in 1975 at MIT's AI Lab. Seen by many as the founder and chief advocate of the free software movement, Stallman has also been actively involved in Emacs' development. GNU Emacs 22, due soon, will be the first major release of the editor since 2001."

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