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Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech?

expatriot Writing (391 comments)

There are arts graduates in our technical writing department. It is about the same effort teaching an engineer to write as teaching a writer about engineering. In general SW or high-level HW design have been the best fit and low level integration the hardest.

3 days ago

Processors and the Limits of Physics

expatriot Re:Commenting on signal not crossing chip (168 comments)

Pipelining increases performance and instructions per cycle, but at the cost of power efficiency as branches cause a pipeline flush.

The problem is balancing area, performance, and performance.

There are obviously limits the the ability to make smaller circuits, even the ones described as 14nm are not really 14 in the same way 160 was 160. There is a lot of wasted space because of the LELE process and the need to minimise crosstalk and distortion.

The real limit however is not how much better X-ray exposure will shrink the size, but how much it costs to make circuits, 28nm is likely to be the most cost efficient size for some time to come. Many fabs are making chips in larger process sizes for fast turnaround and cheap masks.

about a month ago

Why Are the World's Scientists Continuing To Take Chances With Smallpox?

expatriot Re: The problem is... (190 comments)

But as it can be synthesised, that refutes the argument that "if we destroyed it, it would be gone forever"

about 2 months ago

The Disappearing Universe

expatriot Re: expansion of space and dark energy (358 comments)

Some theories for the end of the universe say that if the expansion of the universe keeps accelerating, eventually the expansion even between subatomic particles will be greater than the speed of light and everything will be ripped apart. This is long long after the skies are black because all objects and space have moved too far away.

about 3 months ago

The Disappearing Universe

expatriot Re:Fascinating, terrifying stuff is news (358 comments)

The time for light might be zero in its own frame of reference, but of course no object with rest mass could ever reach the speed of light.

about 3 months ago

Mutant Registration vs. Vaccine Registration

expatriot Re:Well... (493 comments)

This is one of those topics that attracts loonies like flies to honey. Of course in the comments below, each side thinks the other side crazy too much control or too irresponsible.

For me, I think everyone should be vaccinated for common and dangerous diseases. The uncommon ones you can chose to or not (as when traveling). People don't remember polio and smallpox or brain-damage caused by measles.

about 4 months ago

Microsoft Cheaper To Use Than Open Source Software, UK CIO Says

expatriot Re: Translation (589 comments)

There is too long, didn't read, and there is too long without paragraph breaks, didn't read.

you are not doing yourself any favors with your lack of formatting. Unless you are adding breaks and /. is removing them.

If using HTML, add
. If plain old text, carriage returns.

about 4 months ago

SCOTUS Ends Novell's Anti-Trust Cast Against Microsoft

expatriot Re:way to over simplify the issue win the summery (174 comments)

Then it was not "literally" but "figuratively" and only relative to newer companies was it "very old". Other than that your post was very accurate and literally filled with eels.

about 5 months ago

How Cochlear Implants Are Being Blamed For Killing Deaf Culture

expatriot Re:Good? (510 comments)

“I would not hurt you, little man,' he said.

'I think that I got the disorder in Mullingar,' I explained. I knew that I had gained his confidence and that the danger of violence was now passed. He then did something which took me by surprise. He pulled up his own ragged trouser and showed me his own left leg. It was smooth, shapely and fairly fat but it was made of wood also.

'That is a funny coincidence,' I said. I now perceived the reason for his sudden change of attitude.

'You are a sweet man,' he responded, 'and I would not lay a finger on your personality. I am the captain of all the one-legged men in the country. I knew them all up to now except one—your own self—and that one is now also my friend into the same bargain. If any man looks at you sideways, I will rip his belly.'

Flann O'Brien, The Third Policeman

about 5 months ago

USB Reversable Cable Images Emerge

expatriot Re:Serious omission (208 comments)

Perhaps the question is whether both ends of the cable is the same.
The 3.1 micro B shown in the figure has different ends, the C version is the same at both ends (and of course the plug on each end is reversible).

about 6 months ago

The Poor Neglected Gifted Child

expatriot Re:Higher SAT scores, etc (529 comments)

As also stated by other commenters, none of these are hypothetical.
Sure you can deal with it, but it is not an easy life if those things happen regularly.

BTW. I am very happy with what I have accomplished.

about 6 months ago

The Poor Neglected Gifted Child

expatriot Re:Higher SAT scores, etc (529 comments)

And then a question you answered in more detail is marked down because you included content not covered in class, or a question requires the exact quote from the lecture instead of the facts, or your teacher is just wrong about the facts and criticizes you for disagreeing, or you answer all the questions on a test and the rest of the class is given D's because the test is on the curve.

about 6 months ago

Meat Makes Our Planet Thirsty

expatriot Re:Id|ot|c article (545 comments)

Clean water from hundreds of miles away is contaminated and them it flows into salty ground (see Australia for an example of this.) Some of it evaporates and descends as snow or rain far away from you. A small amount is retained deeper in the ground which would be great for some plants, but not so good for tomatoes or grass.

Water is not destroyed, but you have to pay for more for the next irrigation cycle.

It might as well be destroyed. If this were not true there would not be such a debate on the volume water extraction from rivers and aquifers.

about 6 months ago

First Look At the Animals of the New Hebrides Trench

expatriot Re:Atmospheric pressure (40 comments)

The pressure inside equals the pressure outside (which is true for us also). They are not hollow glass spheres.

The pressure does change chemistry as reactions are affected by temperature and pressure.

about 7 months ago

3D Maps Reveal a Lead-Laced Ocean

expatriot Re:Not everything observed... (266 comments)

I agree with rational wiki and others:

"While Spencer has become an ID PRATT machine, he hasn't contributed any new cards to the creationists' deck. He mostly just parrots the greatest hits like "no transitional fossils" and "microevolution not macroevolution." He also flogs the "secular religion" trope even harder when it comes to evolution than he does for global warming."

Evolution denier is even looper than doubting isotope dating. Yep, religious agenda. From his comments on "The Evolution Crisis":

"To examine the relationship between science and the Bible, a good place to start is with the origin of the universe. Science presents us with the laws of thermodynamics, the first of which states that the total amount of matter and energy in existence is constant. If this were the only natural law to be satisfied, it would be possible to believe that the universe has existed forever. Indeed, that was the prevailing view back in Darwin's day. However, the second law of thermodynamics states the overall amount of useable energy is constantly decreasing – it is being degraded into a less useful form. In other words, the universe is dying. If the universe were eternal it would by now have experienced what astronomers call a 'heat death' – a state of total equilibrium in which entropy would be infinite. This, among other factors, has led a majority of astronomers to agree that the universe had a beginning. Several thousand years of scientific endeavour has brought the majority of scientists in line with the first verse of the Bible which states, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Well, the first three words of the verse anyway! If there is no God, who or what caused the universe to begin? There really are only two basic options – it created itself out of nothing or it was created by something greater than itself! If everything that begins to exist has a cause, and the universe began to exist, the universe must have had a cause."

"A second issue is the origin of life. There is a vast gulf between the most complex non-living compound such as a crystal and the simplest form of life such as a bacterium. The gap is much larger than the gap between a bacterium and a human being. Science, despite expending enormous amounts of time, is actually further away from an explanation as to how non-living chemicals can accidentally and spontaneously come alive than it has ever been. All the evidence on hand, both in nature and in the laboratory, points to the fact that life only ever comes from life. The Bible credits the origin of life to the power and design of a 'living' creator God."

about 7 months ago

3D Maps Reveal a Lead-Laced Ocean

expatriot Re:Not everything observed... (266 comments)

Why would you give credibility to some superfluous wrong interpretation by a non-expert and not to the tons of data and studies made by people who actually knew what they were doing?

Because he has some sort of agenda (probably a religious one)

about 7 months ago

Sochi Drones Are Shooting the Olympics, Not Terrorists

expatriot Re:No Brainer (108 comments)

The roots of drone are the male bee, then to unproductive parasite (not making honey), then to the sound that these bees made.

there are two paths to the modern usage: drone as parasite, and the drone sound of a plane.

A target drone would be a mix of the two being non-productive as a war ship and sounding like a plane.

As the drone targets were at least partially on auto pilot, the drones that were "productive" as war ships kept the same name.

about 7 months ago

Financing College With a Tax On All Graduates

expatriot Re:Government is not a fee for service business (597 comments)

The French system is good in this regard that everyone can go to university for one year with almost no restrictions. They have to pass to continue. The costs increase after the first year, but probably less than US schools.

about 7 months ago

Financing College With a Tax On All Graduates

expatriot Re:Some issues I see (597 comments)

In the UK at least there are charges to attend university (IIRC around £6000 per year) plus living costs. Some of the university cost can be covered by taxes or (rarely) direct grants, but most people now take out student loans to cover both the tuition and living costs.

about 7 months ago

Bletchley Park's Bitter Dispute Over Its Future

expatriot Re:History is historic (99 comments)

Leaving aside the meme that anything besides typing cryptic alphabetic strings into a command line interface is dumbing down, the world needs multiple perspectives.

Some of the things that non-nerds would like (at the version several years ago) were short movies showing the history, huts with photos or recreations of what was happening then, the Polish story (forgotten by most), or the shop with interesting toys. Not everyone cares about a shift register/accumulator made of ferrite cores.

The bigger issue here does not seem to be dumbing down however, it seems to be a power grab to displace the magnificient volunteers who really care about computing (and were only mildly chiding when we went into a closed section to look at some computers of our youth, was it so long ago I worked on a Univac or a 1401?). Bletchley was as much as anything a story about computing.

about 8 months ago


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