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Google Funds San Francisco Bus Rides For Poor

lachlan76 Re:"Unfair"? (362 comments)

The problem as I understand it is that when prices go up, so do property taxes, and that people on low incomes get forced out of the area.

about 7 months ago

A MathML Progress Report: More Light Than Shadow

lachlan76 Re:Only smells funny? (84 comments)

Things are changing a little bit. Elsevier offer HTML+MathJax at least for the journals that I've used. MathJax (a JS library) makes things quite a bit easier in that you can use LaTeX and have it automatically rendered to MathML, picking up \begin{align}\end{align}s and such in your HTML.

about a year ago

Google Sparking Interest To Quantum Mechanics With Minecraft

lachlan76 Re:can "do quantum mechanics" at school (71 comments)

One runs the experiment in the dark with a photographic film or movable photomultiplier behind the slits, allowing the observation of single photons. The density of the photons exhibits an interference pattern.

I've not done this experiment myself, but remember being told that it was possible using film during high school.

about a year ago

Valve Announces Steam Controller

lachlan76 Re:Steam Family Sharing (317 comments)

It doesn't work, because you can only share the library in its entirety. It therefore makes no difference if you would otherwise share passwords.

about a year ago

CCC Says Apple iPhone 5S TouchID Broken

lachlan76 Re:Easy! (481 comments)

IIRC, toner has graphite in it, which is probably what makes this work.

about a year ago

Conflict Minerals and Cell Phones

lachlan76 Re:Uses of tantalum? (136 comments)

The main problem with tantalum capacitors is that they tend to be low-voltage and will catch fire if you put a reverse voltage on them.

1 year,1 day

Yahoo and Facebook Join Google In FISC Petition After Government Talks Fail

lachlan76 Re:No redactions, so why the scanned PDF? (114 comments)

I recall reading at one point that many law firms will print and scan documents to make sure that nothing else is in the file unintentionally (undo data, etc.).

1 year,12 days

Obama Seeks New System For Rating Colleges

lachlan76 Re:The obvious reasons... (302 comments)

Small world---I'm a postgrad at Adelaide.

As far as I know, most Commonwealth countries will run their universities that way. If you spend time on other things, you get a separate degree. I studied EEE and pure maths, which turned it into a five-year degree as in the US. I was originally unsure as to whether you meant that or that the education was more practical than theoretical.

The need for residential accommodation in the US is always going to be there because of the population distribution. Things are a bit different here in that most of the population live in the capital cities; I've only known one person who has done an undergraduate degree outside of Adelaide.

1 year,29 days

Obama Seeks New System For Rating Colleges

lachlan76 Re:The obvious reasons... (302 comments)

A degree here is nominally three years, but honours requires an extra year and a substantial project, which most people take up (this might not be the case outside of maths). Engineering is always four years; essentially one has to do the same work whether or not they receive honours.

I can't speak for the trade-oriented claim, as I study in a research-heavy university. However, one isn't forced to take courses unrelated to their degree as in the US, which might be what you allude to. There isn't anything stopping you from spending an extra year to get a second degree mixed in, though.

Personally, I like the fact that our system is more egalitarian---unless one chooses to move interstate and so cannot live at home, cost is not a factor. The reality is that everyone puts the top universities in their state first, so the better universities can pick off the top students. But then again, in the US those at the very top will end up in a big university with large amounts of funding, so one might argue either way.

1 year,30 days

Wikileaks Party Making Questionable Deals In Attempt To Win Senate Seat

lachlan76 Re:Lets be clear about preferences (162 comments)

You can, however, mark both above and below the line, the former being used if you get the latter wrong.

about a year ago

Amazon Forbids Crossing State Lines With Rented Textbooks

lachlan76 Re:What about a federal VAT on internet sales? (125 comments)

With the GST in Australia, you receive a tax credit for GST paid by your suppliers. Thus the "Value Added" part of the name---the business is only taxed on its portion of the product's value, coughing up 10% of the difference between what they bought their supplies for and what they sold their product for. In the end it all adds up to 10% of the total price.

about a year ago

Aussie Public Servant Criticises Gov't On Twitter, Gets Sacked

lachlan76 Re:there goes that (151 comments)

The point of the exercise is to keep the public service apolitical, so I doubt that it will bother that many people. Members of the electoral commission cannot join political parties either, for instance. I'm not sure about the rest of the public service.

about a year ago

Blackberry 10 Sends Full Email Account Credentials To RIM

lachlan76 Re:Wow ... (191 comments)

It's so that they can push to the device from servers that don't support that functionality. This is how my previous (Nokia E71) phone did push email, for instance. But in that case you provided your login details through their website and then connected the phone to your Nokia Mail account, so it was clear what was going on.

about a year ago

D-Wave Large-Scale Quantum Chip Validated, Says USC Team

lachlan76 Re:I don't get it. (141 comments)

They are quite similar, though the Nature paper has been substantially edited (it is 30% shorter).

about a year ago

NSA Releases Secret Pre-History of Computers

lachlan76 Re:It is a good read... (167 comments)

Shor's algorithm allows factorisation in polynomial time---there are fundamentally-quantum algorithms that can give a greater speedup.

about a year ago

Interpreting Global Flight Maps

lachlan76 Re:Eurocentric (93 comments)

Coming from Australia, almost every world map that I have ever seen is centred upon the prime meridian like this one.

about a year ago


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