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Futuristic Biplane Design Eliminates Sonic Boom

oldwindways Re:The problem. (140 comments)

Actually its even older than that, according to the article:
"Wang credits German engineer Adolf Busemann for the original concept. In the 1950s, Busemann came up with a biplane design that essentially eliminates shock waves at supersonic speeds."

The real breakthrough is in minor modifications to the wing design that cut down drastically in drag, reducing necessary fuel burn. While it may not be a field-able concept yet, they are gradually breaking down the barriers to a more efficient supersonic transport design.

more than 2 years ago

Google Unifies Media, Apps Into Google Play

oldwindways Re:Here's an idea (146 comments)

Hey, someone needs to protect American jobs with tariffs, because that worked so well in the 1930's.

more than 2 years ago

MIT Moves Away From Massive Lecture Halls

oldwindways Re:remote learning (317 comments)

Is this going towards a future where students do not need to be physical present on the campus?

Actually, the TEAL approach that replaced the large freshman physics lectures at MIT places a heavier emphasis on attendance. In a traditional lecture the professor doesn't know most of the students, and doesn't really care if 50% of them stop showing up after the first week. With TEAL there are interactive portions of the class (such as answering multiple choice questions with a personal remote) which are tracked and factored into the student's grade. In other words, if you don't show up, you can't get an A (no matter how well you have mastered the material).

Personally I don't think this is the best approach, but it certainly isn't forgiving of a student's absence from class.

As a side note, when I was a freshman, many of my classmates did not find the TEAL lectures to be terribly effective in teaching the material. Frequently they would go back into the video archive after class and watch recordings of the "traditional" lectures from years past to actually learn what was being taught. They just went to the TEAL lectures because they didn't want to loose their participation credit.

about 6 years ago

Facial Hair and Computer Languages

oldwindways Oh the memories (199 comments)

This reminds me of one of my third grade teachers. His class motto was "people with beards are great".

I can't help but think that he was on to something.

Actually, it also brings to mind a theme from Cryptonomicon, where programmers are referred to as Dwarves, "stout, taciturn, vaguely magical characters who spent a lot of time in the dark hammering out beautiful things." I don't think its a coincidence that beards go along with the territory.

more than 6 years ago



Gaming & Justice

oldwindways oldwindways writes  |  about 6 years ago

oldwindways writes "An Ohio teen was found guilty of murdering his Mother and shooting his Father in the head after they took away his copy of Halo 3. One has to wonder if this is going to have any effect on the games industry. Clearly the AP thought they could stir up something controversial by asking the IP owner for a statement:
Microsoft, which owns the intellectual property for the game, declined to comment beyond a statement saying: "We are aware of the situation and it is a tragic case."
I suppose the good news is they did not accept his insanity plea, so no one can claim that Halo 3 drove him insane. Even so, I don't think anything good can come out of this for gamers."

oldwindways oldwindways writes  |  more than 7 years ago

oldwindways writes "The New York Times reports that a recent study suggests copyrighted material is a lot less popular on YouTube than most people assume. This could potentially put Google in a much stronger position with regards to the Viacom suit. Then again, experts are already pointing out potential flaws in the study."

oldwindways oldwindways writes  |  more than 7 years ago

oldwindways writes "The BBC reports that in developing nations where its prohibitively expensive to install the infrastructure for wired internet connections, drive by wireless updates are becoming a popular solution to the demand for internet access. This sounds great for checking news updates, sports scores, and visiting your regular websites, but somewhat limited if you are trying to do basic research and don't know exactly where your search will take you. It is certainly an innovative solution to some of the problems encountered in tackling the digital divide, but what longterm effects might this model have one the development of the communications infrastructure?"

oldwindways oldwindways writes  |  more than 7 years ago

oldwindways writes "According to the BBC, the UK patent office, along with the creator of Wallace and Gromit, is launching a campaign to promote inventiveness and patent awareness in primary school students. The article deals mostly with animator Nick Park, but it also talks about the experience of growing up wanting to be an inventor. Young minds have a way of tackling complex problems with a unique simplicity that lends itself to coming up with useful inventions. Should children be learning about patents and the intellectual property rights that go along with inventions at an earlier age?"

oldwindways oldwindways writes  |  more than 7 years ago

oldwindways writes "Something about this article was just amusing. I don't know if it was the fact that they put the gold in a safe, but didn't lock it, or the mental image of three ninjas lugging a gold bar down the back stairs."

oldwindways oldwindways writes  |  more than 7 years ago

oldwindways writes "Zephyr, a New Zealand company, has apparently revealed field ready biosensors incorporated into clothing. They already have a deal with the United States Department of Defense to equip Special Forces units with their products, and they foresee a market for medical applications as well as casual and competitive athletes."

oldwindways oldwindways writes  |  more than 7 years ago

oldwindways writes "The BBC reports that leading climate researchers are concerned that the tone of speculation surrounding many reports (scientific as well as in the media) could be making it more difficult for legitimate science to make a case for the future. Is Hollywood to blame? Have we "cried wolf" too many times with global warming? Or is this just a case of some researchers who are not ready to face the truth?

Either way, it raises the interesting question of how greater public awareness of Global Warming might be affecting the course of research and vice versa. Not to mention what happens when public awareness is shaped by factors other than scientific findings."



I feel so misquoted...

oldwindways oldwindways writes  |  more than 7 years ago Just for the record, I wanted to let it be know that the article summary I submitted yesterday was not posted exactly as I had written it. One of the key topics of discussion that resulted from the post was the suggestion that the summary was guilty of the very flaw it was intended to point out. The final sentence of the summary which prompted this debate had been added by the editors, and read as follows:

This is especially troubling during what some are calling the warmest US winter in years."

While the editors raised an interesting related piece of information, it was not my original intent try and guide discussion in that direction. My biggest concern, aside from not being quoted 100% accurately, is that this may have distracted people from reading the source article. Then again this is Slashdot, so the chances of most people going beyond the summary are slim to begin with.


A little bit about me...

oldwindways oldwindways writes  |  more than 9 years ago So I have been wondering quietly in the back of my mind what exactly to post here in my journal, and then it hit me. What better way to start off my /. journal than with an excerpt from an email I sent earlier today.

So before I leave I would like to reflect on my lack of sleep, and how it has made me into a sort of walking corpse. A zombie you might say. In a business suit (a damn sexy business suit too). A sort of day walking corporate zombie. The kind who doesn't really eat your brains, but rather stands there and talks on, and on, and on, and on about things that are rather unimportant and meaningless to you. Yeah, that's the kind of zombie I have become. That and sexy, yeah, a sexy zombie. God help me and my zombie soul.
PS do zombies even have souls? what about sexy corporate zombies?

So there's that...

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