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Searching For Ocean Life On Another World

qwak23 Re:Obligatory (49 comments)

100km of water is nothing for SONAR, especially since Europa probably lacks a lot of noise pollution sources that exist in earths oceans. Getting equipment and a power source capable of putting out enough dB would be difficult though. Also, that 20km of Ice would likely act as a mirror and just reflect any transmissions back downward. ELF SONAR as you mentioned might actually get through the ice, but probably with a large loss in signal strength.

Though putting a receiver below the ice and a transmitter deeper in the water, with a cable running up from the receiver may be feasible. You may be able to get away with relatively low dB levels for your transmitter that way. Really depends on the properties of the water body itself and ambient noise level.

about 2 months ago
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New Sensors Will Scoop Up "Big Data" On Chicago

qwak23 Re:New Features (64 comments)

We're actually holding out for a base 2 unit system.

about 2 months ago
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Computational Thinking: AP Computer Science Vs AP Statistics?

qwak23 Re:AP Stats is the easy AP math (155 comments)

I don't think it's necessary for everyone to be able to do statistics, but having enough of an understanding to evaluate testing methodologies, sample sizes, data collection methods and conclusions, at least a rudimentary level is extremely valuable and a college level stats course should be able to do at least that. In regards to intro college level stats courses I've taken my n = 1, so not the greatest data set, but I felt I got the above out of the class.

about 2 months ago
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Computational Thinking: AP Computer Science Vs AP Statistics?

qwak23 Re:AP Stats is the easy AP math (155 comments)

Anecdotal, but most people I know who've signed up for a stats class as a math based elective (working adults pursuing a college degree in their free time) have no clue what statistics actually is. The last one told me almost verbatim "It's just a bunch of percentages, how hard could that be?".

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Way to Learn C# For Game Programming?

qwak23 Re:Pick up a book and turn off the internet (254 comments)

Maybe they are just trolling?

Any question about programming on /. is bound to start several arguments about which languages do what and blah blah blah.

To the OP, if not trolling, Pick a language, any language and just try making simple 2d games for awhile. Try recreating classic games like pong (very simple) to space invaders and tetris. You don't need to worry about engines or anything so much as the graphics are simple and the games themselves are easy to tweak and experiment with. Then once you have a good feel for that you can always move on to something more complex and maybe consider using a game engine.

about 2 months ago
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Teaching Creationism As Science Now Banned In Britain's Schools

qwak23 Re:Yep. (649 comments)

Not necessarily. I briefly attended a public school which was a "free school". As the GP mentioned, the school was not required to adhere the state curriculum. The main difference I noticed (this was High School) was that the classes were named differently and the style of the exams were different. As an example, my original high school followed the state's program and labeled their math classes sequentially (math 1, 2, 3 and 4, along with honors versions of each) and students took a statewide examination in those courses. The "free school" offered algebra, geometry, trigonometry and pre-calc, no honors versions and did not participate in the statewide exams. The sequential courses mapped to the free school's equivalents though there were noticeably different standards between the honors versions offered at the non-free school and the versions offered at the free school (the free school's versions were less structured and far less challenging). I can't speak as to how the non honors track compared as I didn't take them.

Granted, this was around 20 years ago so things may be different now, but both schools were public schools.

about 2 months ago
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Robotics Engineers: "We Don't Want To Replace Humans. We Want To Enhance Humans.

qwak23 Re:It doesn't matter what Robotics Engineers want. (124 comments)

Robots for the poor!

Tired of your mundane, labor intensive job? Worried you might be replaced by a robot scab? Have we got a solution for you! RoboYou! RoboYou will go to your job for you, do your work for you, and your employer will still have to pay you! Always wanted to write the great novel? Been meaning to take care of the weeds growing in the backyard? Just want to spend your whole day drunk? RoboYou is for you! Need a second job? Why not 3 jobs? RoboYou doesn't need to sleep, doesn't need to eat, RoboYou doesn't even need a break!

Apply now! Government subsidized financing options available! Act now before all the jobs are gone!

about 2 months ago
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Microsoft Confirms Disconnecting Kinect Gives Devs 10% More GPU Horsepower

qwak23 Re:Why the hyperbole? (174 comments)

I am now tempted to get an Xbone and do this with my cat.

about 2 months ago
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Lego To Produce Three Box Sets Featuring Female Scientists

qwak23 Re:To me, this is a step backwards (208 comments)

I used to carry a pink, flowery screw driver around for just that reason.

about 2 months ago
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Microsoft Confirms Disconnecting Kinect Gives Devs 10% More GPU Horsepower

qwak23 Re:Poor experience for those that do have kinect (174 comments)

I was going to mention something about kilobytes, but at this point it's probably just as cliché as beating a dead horse.

about 2 months ago
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Strange New World Discovered: The "Mega Earth"

qwak23 Re:Science Writers: Stop Causing Us Intellectual P (147 comments)

Technically the volume expands at a rate of 4 pi r^2 with respect to the radius ( d/dr 4/3pi r^3 ). But yeah, should be obvious to people anyway based on 4/3 pi r^3 alone.

about 3 months ago
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Science Moneyball: The Secret to a Successful Academic Career

qwak23 Re:Success = going for... (42 comments)

So, how do you explain the explosion in scientifc aknowledge and technical prowess over the last 50yrs?

Extraterrestrial social experiment?

about 3 months ago
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Strange New World Discovered: The "Mega Earth"

qwak23 Re:pffff.. (147 comments)

So in summary, you are saying that it is a scientist's job to refine and develop theories as opposed to just knowing and accepting theories as handed down from uhm... I don't know?

about 3 months ago
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Strange New World Discovered: The "Mega Earth"

qwak23 Re:Science Writers: Stop Causing Us Intellectual P (147 comments)

One could argue that your error is not actually an error.

I am a native English speaker, and I know that there are multiple accepted spellings to many words depending on which region you are in, what slang has recently been adopted as common usage, if it's an advertisement or whether or not the writer likes pictures of cats.

So no, in English you cannot always tell how to spell a word by how it is written.

about 3 months ago
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Solar Roadways Project Beats $1M Goal, Should Enter Production

qwak23 Re:Deja vu (311 comments)

If this tech is ever adopted, I doubt every single road would be replaced with them. Even now, not all of our roads are paved with asphalt, some are concrete, we still have some old brick ones, we even have roads that are just dirt. If this tech proves reliable, it will get installed in places where it makes the most sense from a cost/benefit perspective.

about 3 months ago
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Solar Roadways Project Beats $1M Goal, Should Enter Production

qwak23 Re:Not this again (311 comments)

My free time is valuable. I may not be actively earning money, but that doesn't mean it lacks value.

Granted, thanks to modern technology I can spend my time stuck in traffic in the exact same way I'd spend it at home, reading and posting silly comments on Slashdot.

about 3 months ago
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HR Chief: Google Sexual, Racial Diversity "Not Where We Want to Be"

qwak23 Re:Equally Important Question (593 comments)

Asia is a fairly large and diverse region. India is considered part of Asia as is most of the middle east. The vast majority of Russia is also considered part of Asia.

Using "Asian" as a racial identifier is ultimately silly given that the concept of race is primarily driven by physical descriptions, which vary by a lot throughout Asia.

about 3 months ago
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HR Chief: Google Sexual, Racial Diversity "Not Where We Want to Be"

qwak23 Re:Asians != Diverse (593 comments)

Diversity is not synonymous with Affirmative action. Hiring a woman just to say you hired a woman is Affirmative Action. Hiring a woman to gain the experiences and perspectives that she has is diversity. This doesn't necessarily apply to the obvious physical indicators such as black, woman, asian, etc. I'm a white male, but I can guarantee you that I have more in common with a black male from upstate New York than I do with a white male from Mississippi, and that black male from upstate New York has even less in common with a black male from Africa than he does with myself and the white male from Mississippi. Diversity is about recognizing this and using it to build a stronger team. The downside is that in promoting diversity people often focus on physical characteristics as being the only aspect of diversity, when those are really only indicators. I once asked a group of new employees if they felt they were a diverse group, and they said "no" because there was only one black person in the group (and all were male). Yet each one had a different religion, some had no religion, they were all from different parts of the country and each one had a different professional experience level. Granted, a racist, sexist or other bigot could probably twist the above to justify only hiring from their preferred demographic, others will recognize that pushing for greater diversity in the workplace, especially for companies which serve areas larger than a small town, can strengthen their business. A diverse marketing team will do a better job of marketing to a variety of markets than a homogenous one would. A diverse design team can leverage their cultural differences in the appearance and interface of their products. Similar statements could be made for engineering teams, sales teams, research teams, etc.

As has been said elsewhere, if your companies demographics don't match the general population that doesn't necessarily mean your workplace isn't diverse, though it may indicate social problems somewhere in the chain between hiring and grade school. Maybe your hiring practices are biased. Maybe the demographics of your applicant pool don't match that of the general population. Maybe that is because universities are biased, maybe only a certain demographic is actually applying to those university programs. Maybe that is because of problems in high schools or earlier, are teachers pushing students based on their race/gender/preference/etc? Are parents? Is the media? Is income a factor?

Just because the dialogue surrounding a topic is politically charged doesn't mean there isn't value to it.

about 3 months ago

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