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Blood For Extra Credit Points Offer Raises Eyebrows In Test-Mad China

jtara Re:Maybe not so silly (89 comments)

| Your point is absurd. How does a parent giving blood assess the capability of a child in a way comparable to an academic test?

It demonstrates supportive parents. This probably correlates with the student future success in school. It demonstrates a willingness and desire to advance.

| It's entirely possible that one child of a family will be Harvard-worthy, and the other totally useless. Not to mention that a hard-working individual from an unambitious family absolutely shouldn't be held back by that.

That's great if you have a wealthy educational system as we have (or had) in the U.S.

A hard-working individual from an unambitious family will likely have other opportunities to get a little extra credit. Or, at least, one would hope so.

2 days ago

Medical Records Worth More To Hackers Than Credit Cards

jtara Re:Relevant news - interesting timing... (78 comments)

Oh, while it isn't clear from the article I linked, a local TV news story this morning said that they were apparently targeting medical research data.

And (as was mentioned in the article) the attack apparently came from China via hacked systems in S. Korea.

2 days ago

Medical Records Worth More To Hackers Than Credit Cards

jtara Relevant news - interesting timing... (78 comments)

This goes back 2 years, but just hit the news wires today:

LA JOLLA — UC San Diego has been targeted by a series of cyber attackers seeking access to sensitive research and other data since 2012 and officials say the so-called advanced persistent threat has prompted the campus to take steps to bolster its security.

The initial security breach, detected in June 2012, involved the use of stolen passwords by hackers targeting computer servers. University information technology security director John Denune said that no work was lost and no critical research data was accessed.

2 days ago

Medical Records Worth More To Hackers Than Credit Cards

jtara Re:Calls from Credit Cards on "Suspicious Activity (78 comments)

I actually got a letter from a dentist saying that their office was broken into and medical records taken. I believe that's a HIPAA requirement.

2 days ago

Blood For Extra Credit Points Offer Raises Eyebrows In Test-Mad China

jtara Maybe not so silly (89 comments)

It's easy to poke fun at this, but maybe it's not so silly.

How much is a "point" worth? (What is the point scale?) If it's a 100-point scale, this might push somebody over the line by a half-grade (in our typical U.S. grading system).

If the parent gives blood as a result, it might mean that they are a good citizen looking out for the welfare of everyone, and that they are concerned about their child's future. This would seem positive for the child's education. If a child is teetering on the edge of some grade category or entrance requirement, then who's to say this isn't as valid as knowledge testing.

Well, it IS an entrance requirement, and so the intent must be to predict future results. So, it seems to have some relevance to me. Sure, it's a bit arbitrary and clearly tied to some unrelated state goal. But might be predictive of future results. The family goes along with the system and pitches-in to help, and so the child will likely do better in school.

It's not much different than considering non-grade aspects for entrance. Yes, the very idea of an entrance requirement for high school (other than making an appearance for n years) is foreign to westerners. But we also do have some tradition of giving some little "extra credit" or recognition for community participation - e.g. clubs and activities, etc. for entrance to college, or to some selective schools, etc. How is this that much different? Yea, it's about the parent, not the child, but I think it is seen as more of a family unit.

2 days ago

Piracy Police Chief Calls For State Interference To Stop Internet "Anarchy"

jtara It could be worse (298 comments)

At least they didn't hire Barney.

2 days ago

Mystery Gamer Makes Millions Moving Markets In Japan

jtara Re:What's good about 4 out of 10 times wrong? (113 comments)

It's nice if you're right.

It's even nicer if you can make money even if you are wrong.

And better still if you can make money while being wrong most of the time.

You are mistaken if you think making money trading equities has anything to do with being right.

While I am out of the game (partner who was responsible for all expenses wouldn't spend on infrastructure improvements - my mistake was not kicking in from my own share of profits... he did not understand simple physics, and could not convince him it was a war of escalation) I did high-frequency trading from 1999 to 2003. When you are holding for milliseconds, you don't care about right or wrong. You care that your winners out-run your losers. We did thousands of trades every day, and made money nearly every day. Probably a handful of days when we had a loss and don't think we ever sustained a weekly loss. Certainly never a monthly one. We had no opinion on direction of the market or direction of the stock. All we cared is that our opening position (long or short) had some advantage.

2 days ago

Nixie Wearable Drone Camera Flies Off Your Wrist

jtara Sure, this is doable (63 comments)

It's only a concept, but, sure, this is doable.

You could probably do it with a Parrot ar.drone. In fact, I presume it's already been done.

I won an ar.drone 2.0 in a hackathon. I have to be honest, and say that, really, I won an ar.drone 2.0 by wandering down to a hackathon in my hotel seeking pizza and aspirin, found them, and then stuck around for a while. I showed somebody which API call to make to save an image in the Rhodes mobile platform, and got a drone as a contributor to the "honorable mention" Motorola team entry. (The Motorola employees weren't eligible for a prize, and they had a LOT of drones to give away...)

Anyway, I haven't played with it much yet. I was remarking to a friend how limited it is by the WiFi range, and they remarked that it would still be ideal for having the drone follow you around. The ar.drone seems to have everything it would need to do that.

Of course, it won't fit on your wrist.

The device in the video is a very similar configuration in smaller packaging.

2 days ago

Mystery Gamer Makes Millions Moving Markets In Japan

jtara What's good about 4 out of 10 times wrong? (113 comments)

| CIS says he bets wrong four out of 10 times.

That's not at all impressive.

Good trading strategies can return positive results if you bet wrong more than half the time. I'd be impressed if he can bet wrong 9 times out of 10, and still make a profit.

2 days ago

Browser To Facilitate Text Browsing In Emergencies

jtara But what is the future of SMS? (40 comments)

SMS is a part of GSM circuit-switched technology (and retrofitted into CDMA). Carriers would like to eventually drop GSM altogether. In LTE, is't SMS supposed to eventually just be a virtual circuit, along with voice?

Then SMS isn't so simple, and loses a lot of it's robustness. An awful lot of stuff has to work vs the simplicity of SMS over GSM.

I wonder how reliable SMS will be when it is nothing more than just another packet, which may have somewhat higher priority over other packets?

about two weeks ago

Reno Selected For Tesla Motors Battery Factory

jtara Yawn (157 comments)

You mean that place where they've been building the big factory? That place? The place where work has been ongoing for months?

What a surprise.

about a month ago

California May Waive Environmental Rules For Tesla

jtara Too late! (327 comments)

If rumors are to be believed, the plant is already under construction.

I find it hard to believe that California state officials are not aware of this. Therefore, they must have some other agenda beyond Tesla. Tesla is a red herring.

about a month and a half ago

Planes Can Be Hacked Via Inflight Wi-fi, Says Researcher

jtara Through interconnect or re-program a radio (151 comments)

The article is short on details, but, in all fairness, the paper is to be presented on Thursday and presumably the details will be forthcoming.

My guess is that there are are two possibilities here:

1. The avionics and entertainment systems are connected on the same local network, and thus if one can gain control of the entertainment system(s) on might then hack into the avionics.

Q. Why might the avionics and entertainment systems be connected? One reason I can think of is so that the entertainment system can be told to shut down or partly shut down during takeoff/landing etc. Just a guess. Plus, it's just very convenient. ;) There is probably some overall "aircraft management" system that would want to be connected to everything.

2. The entertainment systems have one or more satellite communication systems themselves. The entertainment system might use SDR (Software Defined Radio) techniques, and might be re-programmed to interfere with critical onboard communication equipment.

about 2 months ago

Comparison: Linux Text Editors

jtara Re:I used to teach Linux. (402 comments)

If the graphics subsystem fails, or I have to go to single-user mode, I have nano.

WordStar rules!

about 2 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Preparing an Android Tablet For Resale?

jtara Re:Hammer Time! (113 comments)

NSA's British equivalent observed this procedure being done by employees of The Guardian.

Sometimes they stuff you have.

Sometimes they don't want anyone else to have stuff you have...

about 2 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Preparing an Android Tablet For Resale?

jtara Re:Hammer Time! (113 comments)

Sometimes you can get the NSA to help you with this...

about 2 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Preparing an Android Tablet For Resale?

jtara Hammer Time! (113 comments)

The subject says it all.

Find the flash chip soldered to the board. Smash it. Smash it good!

about 2 months ago

Greenpeace: Amazon Fire Burns More Coal and Gas Than It Should

jtara Ironic product name hurts Amazon rain forrest... (288 comments)

Calling this product "Amazon Fire" was just wrong, IMO. They were asking for it.

There's an unintended secondary consequence of the name itself, aside from any issues related to the production of the product. The product buzz, has, unfortunately, hijacked the search term "Amazon fire", which may result in lower awareness of and difficultly getting information about, wait for it....

      Amazon fires

This will get just information about the phone.

You know, fires in the Amazon rain forrest. A major problem. Now you have to search for:

"fires in the Amazon"

about 2 months ago

Nathan Myhrvold's Recipe For a Better Oven

jtara Re:the real question is... (228 comments)

I am familiar with Sous-vide, but don't like the texture it produces. Unless it is Filet Mignon, then that jelly like texture is desirable...

If it's jelly it's been cooked too long.

I cook ribs, flank steak, lamb shanks, 48-72 hours. Time should be reduced if marinated or other techniques have been used to break-down proteins.

Chicken typically no more than 4 hours, preferably no more than 2. Fine steaks no more than 4. (I cook a thick prime aged ribeye 4 hours, because of the lack of moisture. Wet-aged should not cook as long.)

Fish typically no more than 1/2 hour. You cannot cook fish Sous Vide' to food safety standards unless you like it flakey. But I do it anyway at 117f. (If you would eat it raw, try it sous vide').

BTW, simple temperature-based food-safety standards are extremely dumbed-down. They are designed to provide safety with almost no cooking time at the indicated temperature. Sous vide' typically uses (FDA-approved) time/temperature curves for pasteurization. (Sous vide' is not a great choice for cooking meat immune-compromised individuals, but, then again, neither is *any* cooking technique - you are just going to over-cook the meat in order the sterilize. OTOH, vegetable cooking temperatures are much higher and would be fine (180F or so.) but not as often used for vegetables.

I generally use a slow indirect heat to get to the desired done-ness, then hit it with high heat.

Pretty much the same idea. Sous Vide' just takes it to an extreme. "doneness" is controlled by temperature. If you limit temp to the doneness temperature, you cannot mess up doneness - it is impossible. (But you can cook it down to jelly... a perfect, medium-rate (or, your choice) jelly...) You are cooking at the desired terminal temperature.

Some things are impossible. You can't cook an extremely thick piece of fish, for example. The outside would turn to mush before the inside is cooked. And the microbes would be having a field-day.

about 3 months ago

Nathan Myhrvold's Recipe For a Better Oven

jtara Re:Utter drivel (228 comments)

Sous vide is done in a precision-controlled water bath, you numpty. Not an oven.

Pretty sure he knows that, given the featured technique of his pricey multi-volume Modernist Cuisine (purportedly the most financially-successful cookbook ever - and at $500 it should be!) is Sous Vide'... Lots of pretty pictures of bags hanging in water tanks. (There's a more-affordable "at Home" version, which I own.)

Think they didn't show the pretty pictures to Nathan?

SRSLY, that set is probably one of the major drivers behind the popularization of Sous Vide'. (Along with Thomas Keller's book.) And it really is sweeping the world of cooking by storm. Restaurants don't necessarily like to publicize it. (Some are proud of it, others would rather you didn't know.) Popular restaurants that now use Sous Vide':

- Chipoltle (barbacoa, carnitas)
- Panera (steaks, turkey, salmon)

At the higher end, this list is nothing to sneeze at!

Myrhvold has set-out to change how we cook. Apparently, one appliance at a time.

about 2 months ago


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