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3 Former Astronauts: Earth-Asteroid Collisions Are a Real But Preventable Danger

jpellino Re:Astronouts are experts? (70 comments)

I think when your life can end without warning from one of these the size of a pea, you have at least a bit more insight and concern than the average citizen. As Chris Hadfield has quipped, you spend your time as an astronaut with at least a bit of your brain constantly reviewing "What's the next thing that can kill me.?"

4 days ago

Americans Uncomfortable With Possibility of Ubiquitous Drones, Designer Babies

jpellino Better not ask them... (155 comments)

... about replacing the baby-delivering storks with drones.

about a week ago

How Cochlear Implants Are Being Blamed For Killing Deaf Culture

jpellino Horse culture is dead? (510 comments)

Where exactly do you live?

Tell that to FFA, 4-H, and anyone who eats beef. Trust me, cows without horses would just stand there and be cows. As nice as they are, they're not exactly self-starters.

about two weeks ago

Rover Curiosity Discovers Australia-Shaped Rock On Mars

jpellino This likely... (99 comments)

...explains more about Australia than it does about Mars.

about two weeks ago

Linux Developers Consider On-Screen QR Codes For Kernel Panics

jpellino Re:You get the prize of dumbest comment on slashdo (175 comments)

Yes, I do. http://i.imgur.com/zMyvT.jpg

I think having the option to scan the QR code with a simple message to do so is one more way to get the info needed.
Aiming a smartphone at the screen is easier than framing a screen with your phone's camera and hoping for a solid shot without a flash before it does something even stranger.

They're used on beer ads, chain pizza ads, breakfast cereal and at Disney parks.
So yes, I think the average end user has a shot at this.

I'm thinking of Windows in particular, that usually ends up with anywhere from one to a dozen lines of codes to reference.
Linked to a database, it has all the info you need.

It's pretty reliable stuff: http://datagenetics.com/blog/n...

Which is likely why people would rather scan QR codes than take pictures of every magazine ad they see.

about three weeks ago

Linux Developers Consider On-Screen QR Codes For Kernel Panics

jpellino Wish other OSs did this... (175 comments)

Anything's an improvement over:
"My computer froze."
"What happened?"
"It put some message on the screen."
"What did it say?"
"Something about an error."
"What error?"
"I dunno. It had some numbers and letters and stuff."

about three weeks ago

An Engineer's Eureka Moment With a GM Flaw

jpellino Re:Isn't it a standard part? (357 comments)

Who was the comedian who said he drove an Escort - the problem was that when he drove down the street people would flash their porch lights cuz they thought he was the pizza guy and missed their house.

Mercifully, there are only three 1988 Escorts for sale in the US on cars.com and 357 of any vintage.

about three weeks ago

What Apple's iWatch Can Learn From Pebble

jpellino Smartwatches have *1* purpose: (97 comments)

To keep you connected to that company's other things. Let's face it - a smartwatch is way too small to actually do any useful work on - heck, most smartphones are a poor excuse for a full screen experience, productive work, etc. They mostly guide you to where you do the actual work. The smartwatch will be the next link further up that chain - to point you to the phone. Companies want you to have that thing on your wrist tie you to the rest of their product line. No surprise there. The only thing that may be attractive to people is that you don't need to keep looking at your phone, you just need to keep looking at your watch - which is still just about as offensive.

about three weeks ago

In the Unverified Digital World, Are Journalists and Bloggers Equal?

jpellino No. (156 comments)

Not all writers are journalists.

Those we know as journalists have editors, one-time or current peers, more experienced, who can tell them when they're running afoul of what good journalism is.

Those we know as bloggers have nothing more than their own judgement to guide them, which is why journalists grew editors.

Perhaps someday the two will merge, hopefully by bloggers stepping up, and not by journalists stepping down.

Kinda like in science, where you don't get to just throw up any old idea and call it science. You need to test it against replicable observations.

The 9th circuit was mostly making sure people could get press passes and there would not be an army of bloggers filing federal lawsuits.

Case in point? A million ideas about how flight 370 went down. Two weeks of egalitarian, drive-by speculation, and in the end, only one verifiable answer.

about 1 month ago

EU Project Aims To Switch Data Centers To Second Hand Car Batteries

jpellino Let Frank Gehry design the boxes... (87 comments)

... and I'm all for it. Slap another Bilbao Guggenheim-ish case on a few hundred thousand batteries and you solve two problems. You house the batteries in something better looking than a warehouse, and you give even the most culture-phobic something to look at and say "Golly, that's pretty and practical!"

about a month ago

The Poor Neglected Gifted Child

jpellino Problem is... (529 comments)

... many of these programs are extra-school (informal ed) and are too often disconnected from the everyday classroom experience. So instead of infusing students' experience with worthwhile programs (science fair, history day, OM, FIRST, etc...) they become glorified dog bones in the case of too many teachers and administrators. Compacting, accelerating, articulating... these are relatively speaking stone-age tools in education and your average teacher has barely heard of them.

I'm tired of going through the textbook to prove what a couple of prizewinning engineering students "really did". It's getting worse in the sense of decoupling from school - just got through judging our state science fair, where a larger than ever number of kids apparently walked into a professional research center, the door closed behind them, and they did something with a handful of profs or RAs and in some cases their research paper was a published journal article. When your state science fair poster has a line that includes "Support for this project was provided by NIH grant XYZ123456789" (I spit you not - I can show you the pics) then we have to go the next level on thinking about this. I'm all for students achieving as high as they can but two things need to happen: (1) they need to put these students in a separate class of "runners" so they don't mop the floor with the student who did good science on a shoestring or within the school lab* and (2) we need to weave the classroom experience and flow of content and process in every subject area to these ISE experiences.

*: yes, I see the loophole - just start hiring research-savvy PhDs to teach at your school and stock it with NMR and PCR and LRF and then it's a race to the top of personnel and experience within the school. THAT'S GOOD - past a certain level, a real writer should be teaching our kids writing, a real musician should be teaching our kids music, a real scientist should be teaching our kids science.

about a month ago

Gates Warns of Software Replacing People; Greenspan Says H-1Bs Fix Inequity

jpellino Mr. Gates: Unless and until... (516 comments)

...humans spontaneously turn blue and go blank requiring they be poked in three places simultaneously to get them working again, your version of computing will never replace them.

about a month ago

Genome Pioneer, X Prize Founder Tackle Aging

jpellino Telomeres, baby. (130 comments)

Start there. Go for it.
My training in genetics was late 70s/ early 80s.
Infinitely fascinating, and as with lotsa things in science, it turned out to be the simplified version.
And now the world has expanded once again, telomeres, epigenetics, etc.
A foot and a half away from me is a copy of "The Joy Of Finding Things Out."
Man, this is a blast.

about a month and a half ago

The Next Keurig Will Make Your Coffee With a Dash of "DRM"

jpellino Pour-over or french press or moka. (769 comments)

I've found only one suitable pre-made Keurig pod for me, Dark Magic Decaf.
Meanwhile, I still have opposable thumbs and can operate a french press or a Chemex or a porcelain cone or a Bialetti.
Choose your level of messiness (none horrible), but get much better coffee at at least half the price.
Yes, it can take up to ten minutes to get it, but there's something to be said for not making everything in life about pushing one button.
I can do them all with any heat source, from electric main to the trusty SnowPeak.

about 2 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Essays and Short Stories Should Be In a Course On Futurism?

jpellino Looking back at the rollout of the future... (293 comments)

James Burke's "Connections" and perhaps "The Day The Universe Changed". How small incidents can create massive changes - Napoleon's near defeat at Marengo starts the path to refrigeration, how a botched souvenir production run and an grousing cleric leads to a revolution in printing and religion. Etc. Also "The Second Self" by Sherry Turkle - to see how an emerging thread in technology can have implications elsewhere. Yes, many sc-ifi books have done this predictively, but again it's valuable to see how this plays out as it plays out with a historical record.

about 2 months ago

Major Scientific Journal Publisher Requires Public Access To Data

jpellino Fantastic. (136 comments)

Will cut a lot of nonsense out of reading stuff into the results.

about a month ago

Google's Project Tango Seeks To Map a 3D World

jpellino Still waiting... (49 comments)

...for the shop that has the lumbars to name their next 3D printer "Slarti Jr."

about 2 months ago

Google's Project Tango Seeks To Map a 3D World

jpellino Meh. (49 comments)

Jack Bauer and his pals already have 3D maps and schematics of every power plant, office building, warehouse, outhouse and chicken shack. Not to mention full control of the power, network and hot and cold water taps in each of them. And all in the time it takes Chloe to recalibrate the beam forming firewall protocols against the binary-coded output logs. Or something.

about 2 months ago

Adobe's New Ebook DRM Will Leave Existing Users Out In the Cold Come July

jpellino Digital Editions has been a nightmare. (304 comments)

Heck, even following their rules results in abandoned purchases. Early-adopter the user end of Adobe Digital Editions. Freak show. Bloated install? Check. Mobo swap? DRM dies. HD upgrade? DRM dies. Resolving this? Days of back and forth proving who I was, explaining why I needed a larger hard drive... Tried it again this past year, thinking sure a large company like Adobe had learned their lesson from tolerable eBook implementations (Kindle, iBooks...) Nope. $100 worth of purchased books are still dead.

about 3 months ago


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