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Comments

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Scientists 3D-Printing Cartilage For Medical Implants

sandytaru Re:pardon, but (22 comments)

Seems like Harvard Apparatus uses bone marrow stem cells and not cartilage cells to seed the scaffolding. Extracting stem cells from bone marrow is incredibly time consuming and expensive. Cartilage, on the other hand, can be nicked off someone's ear.

12 hours ago
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Scientists 3D-Printing Cartilage For Medical Implants

sandytaru Re:Ah, no. (22 comments)

No, they are. It's a 3D printed trachea. They 3D print the plastic scaffolding, and then they 3D print some incubated cells on top of the scaffolding, which they then incubate some more until it's ready to implant. They have a whole paragraph devoted to the "bio ink" made from cartilage cells.

To me the most fascinating tidbit was that they build the parts for the incubator itself with the MakerBot, saving many thousands of dollars.

12 hours ago
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The iPad Is 5 Years Old This Week, But You Still Don't Need One

sandytaru Re:I prefer a tablet for some things to a smart ph (257 comments)

I'm still using my Kindle Fire original for much the same reason. The 7" size is not too much bigger than trade paperback size, and it's small enough to tuck into my purse. Amazon keeps my book appetite easily stuffed, too, and it's honestly a good deal for authors who publish via Amazon. A friend of mine who is a novelist said she cleared $40K in three months after the release of her last book. And the royalty checks keep coming regularly, unlike all her traditionally published books where she's lucky to get a check once a year.

yesterday
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FCC Prohibits Blocking of Personal Wi-Fi Hotspots

sandytaru Re:So what is an answer? (117 comments)

These days it's the opposite for me. Many hotels I stay in have removed their wired connections, and wireless is the only option.

yesterday
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UK Computing Teachers Concerned That Pupils Know More Than Them

sandytaru Re:IP Subnetting (388 comments)

Very few people know subnetting inside and out unless they're an old school network admin and have been dealing with it for decades.

about two weeks ago
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UK Computing Teachers Concerned That Pupils Know More Than Them

sandytaru Re:Any experienced teacher already deals with this (388 comments)

Summers off is a myth. Teachers are in classroom prep and training all through June and July. They might squeeze in the normal two weeks of vacation that other Americans will scatter throughout the year, if they're lucky.

about two weeks ago
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Obama Proposes 2 Years of Free Community College

sandytaru Re:Whats the point? (703 comments)

I'm assuming the community colleges would also include the local tech colleges. If that burger flipper goes on to become a plumber or an electrician, they'll probably make more than I do with less than half the schooling.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: High-Performance Laptop That Doesn't Overheat?

sandytaru Re:the only cool one (325 comments)

I was referring to one of Apple's slogans from the 2000s, which was "It just works." Which was the case for Apple during its heydey but as you have pointed out, not any more.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: High-Performance Laptop That Doesn't Overheat?

sandytaru Re:the only cool one (325 comments)

They can still develop hot spots, though. Mine tends to get noticeably hot right below the Z and X keys. I do love the G-series, though. Actually, I just like MSI. Things just work, like they took a cue from Apple.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: High-Performance Laptop That Doesn't Overheat?

sandytaru Re:These temperatures are Ok in the mobile world (325 comments)

That's the compromise I made with my gaming laptop. It's gonna get hot, so I just have a good cooler underneath it when I'm on the road.

about three weeks ago
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HOA Orders TARDIS Removed From In Front of Parrish Home

sandytaru Re:live by the sword (320 comments)

Usually the funding for the initial building is done by a real estate investment trust. So the "builder" in this case doesn't refer to the construction company, but to the folks that funded them. Neighborhoods with a HOA are supposed to come with some perks, too - community landscapers, a club house with a pool, that sort of thing. Someone still has to run those things long after the construction crew is gone.

about three weeks ago
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HOA Orders TARDIS Removed From In Front of Parrish Home

sandytaru Re:live by the sword (320 comments)

These days it's hard to find a new construction home that isn't part of a neighborhood that has a HOA.... unless you build yourself on one of the abandoned PVC farms from 2008. Our house was the show room foreclosed on such a property, and thus we got a new house while escaping the clutches of the HOA that never was.

about three weeks ago
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The Luxury of a Bottomless Bucket of Bandwidth For Georgia Schools

sandytaru Re:For what? Nobody can download that much pron... (117 comments)

Georgia Tech is part of the USG system, so they're already included in this grouping if I understand TFA correctly.

about three weeks ago
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The Luxury of a Bottomless Bucket of Bandwidth For Georgia Schools

sandytaru Re:In other words, it's a Utility. (117 comments)

Correct, all USG schools have a per semester technology fee. Sounds like they actually found a better use for it than new iPads for the mac labs, at least.

about three weeks ago
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The Luxury of a Bottomless Bucket of Bandwidth For Georgia Schools

sandytaru Re:They've finally built a 100% uptime cloud? (117 comments)

I would like to see that too. They're across the street from my office, funny enough. I wonder if I go knock on the door and ask, if anyone would talk to me?

Now if they could just make this service available to alumni, I'd be set. Heck, I'd pay them. My house isn't that far from campus, and their service clearly can't be any worse than AT&T or Charter.

about three weeks ago
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The Luxury of a Bottomless Bucket of Bandwidth For Georgia Schools

sandytaru Re:So who's taxes are paying for this? (117 comments)

'Twas $75 a year the last time I was a student in 2013. Good to know my money went to something awesome.

about three weeks ago
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Sony Thinks You'll Pay $1200 For a Digital Walkman

sandytaru Stupid, stupid, stupid (391 comments)

They also discontinued their $50 MP3 headphones with 2 GB of storage. (2GB is plenty if you're swapping in a fresh podcast once a week, after all.) These were also Walkman branded. You can still get the $99 4GB version, but the design is different and it's not as simple to use. Those $50 headphones had surprisingly good sound, they were water resistant, and they survived years of harsh treatment. Mine only finally kicked the bucket when they got stepped on. I was heartbroken.

about three weeks ago
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Anthropomorphism and Object Oriented Programming

sandytaru Re:Ya, Sure. (303 comments)

I think there is a layer there at which point it's useful, and one at which it's not. It's fine to anthropomorphize a program when explaining to an end user why it's broken, e.g. "The program doesn't know to check for the start date of a new lease when the old one expires, it just thinks it should activate it regardless." (Actual problem we're having to fix right now.) But of course the developer shouldn't think that the program is confused; it's doing exactly what we asked of it in a nightly stored procedure, and not bothering to check start dates because it wasn't programmed to do that in the first place!

about three weeks ago
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New Year's Resolution for 2015

sandytaru Re:A combination (214 comments)

A banana a day is usually enough to keep someone's potassium about right.

about a month ago
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New Year's Resolution for 2015

sandytaru Re:Choose the right diet (214 comments)

Basically, if you can pick it or kill it, it's good to eat. If you can't pick it or kill it, but you can perform the labor necessary to process it into something that is edible, perform the labor OR an equivalent exercise, and then eat it.

We should all be required to run a mile and then waiting an hour before eating a steak, if we really want to simulate paleo. And then spend a day grinding grains into flour for a single loaf of bread, using a hand held mortor and pestle.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Square Enix releases new website for revamped FFXIV

sandytaru sandytaru writes  |  more than 2 years ago

sandytaru (1158959) writes "Square Enix has released a new website and trailer for version 2.0 of its failed second flagship MMORPG, dubbed FFXIV: A Realm Reborn. The handful of players who still participate in the current version of the game say that the replacement director, Yoshi P, has done great things to improve gameplay and version 2.0 will be essentially a brand new MMO. But when an MMO failed so hard on initial release, will anyone be willing to give it a second chance?"
Link to Original Source
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MetroPC 4G Coverage extended, but at what cost?

sandytaru sandytaru writes  |  more than 3 years ago

sandytaru (1158959) writes "I glanced down at my Samsung Galaxy Indulge this morning and noticed my normal 1X data connection had been replaced by 4G. It seems that MetroPCS held true to the promise their salesman made to me back in September and have rolled out their 4G into the extended metro networks (at least in the Atlanta area, so far.) They hoped to have these networks all up and running by the year's end. However, MetroPCS had a disappointing third quarter due to churn, and the question is whether they're going to see a return on investment at all. "
Link to Original Source

Journals

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How to get me back in the movie theaters

sandytaru sandytaru writes  |  about 3 years ago

This evening when I was driving home from class, I passed a brand new movie theater that opened on highway 316 between Atlanta and Athens. There were beautiful spotlights dancing in the clouds in the night sky, and I know they've been hyping up this new theater for months.

But for someone like me, there's just no incentive to go see movies. Roger Ebert did a nice piece on getting people back into theaters that was posted a while back on Slashdot, but I've never been a movie person to begin with.

So, movie producers and theater companies alike, here's how to attract a semi-yuppie who hates movies into your hallowed halls:

1. Turn the volume down. The number one reason I avoid movie theaters is because I like my hearing, and your too loud Dolby speakers are determined to destroy it. One out of five Americans has experienced some form of hearing loss, but I am not one of them. If you market a theater as a "quiet" theater with volume carefully tuned to proper levels for the equipment (and better yet, get some audiophile sound in there), I might be more willing to part with my money to spend time in your establishment.

2. Stop trying to be so family friendly. In the aforementioned "quiet" theater please ban all children under the age of 13. The only thing more likely to give me a migraine than a subwoofer set to "jet engine" is a screaming baby.

3. Have a full bar. Let's up that age to 21 and over only and let me get a giant 60 oz beer instead of a 60 oz soda.

4. Have shit I want to watch. I drove over an hour away to watch the Trigun movie in Atlanta, gladly paying $10 for an hour of subtitled Japanese cartoons. When the last ten good movies made were either a numbered Harry Potter installment or something from Disney/Pixar, it speaks volumes of the sorry sorry state of the industry.

5. Stop serving popcorn. The smell makes me want to vomit.

6. Stop with the 3D already. Everyone hates it. We're not going to love it. Just stop.

7. Reduce the prices. If you implement the full bar and 21 and only "quiet" theater as a niche market, you can totally charge a premium on the drinks and simply call the fee to watch the movie a bar "Cover charge." Ten bucks or lower is still my price point, since that's what the DVD will cost me in a month.

8. Advertisements for other movies are okay. Advertisements for non-movie products are commercials. If I wanted to watch commercials, I'd be watching television. (Except I don't watch television either.)

9. Going back to "show shit I want to see" - make movies I'd pay to watch. I'm a science fiction and fantasy fan, and I've been jonesin' for the purported Uglies movie that's been in vaporware land for the last two years. I want to watch it. Show it to me. If you make it, they might actually come...

10. Hire better writers. Good god, really? Also hire better actors. Pretty faces do not good actors make.

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Micromanagement

sandytaru sandytaru writes  |  more than 3 years ago

So one of my former managers just posted this onto Facebook via her Blackberry: "I really love how any instruction people don't like is considered 'micromanagement.' "

The company that former manager works at is IT marketing, and while they are very good at what they do, they are tremendously guilty of micromanagement. In retrospect, I was miserable there, and it was a good thing I quit when I did. They never utilized my true talents, and now I hope they regret pushing me away by not promoting me. I'm much happier in my current position, where I can write to my heart's content.

So what is micromanagement? It's having WinVNC installed on every terminal so that you can spy on employees. I'm still terrified of that little white tray icon turning black. Micromanagement is demanding 150 phone calls in a single day. It's expecting the impossible of employees and them punishing them when they fail to deliver.

It's also forcing employees into identical roles and expecting maximum performance. That just doesn't happen. People can achieve the same goal through different ways, and as long as they are meeting the goal, why demand that they change the way they are doing things to suit your viewpoint?

I really liked my former manager. She was a sweet lady and I don't mean to bash her. She has a thankless job dealing with less than stellar employees (because all the smart ones quit for greener pastures, like I did.) But she seems to have bought into the corporate lie - that the "best practices" are the only way to do things. What I've learned is that in the real world, "best practices" don't account for budgets, customers, and human nature.

One of our clients has a dying server. Totally dying. We're keeping it alive by pointing an actual fan - yes, a literal fan on it. We have told them many times that they need to replace the damn thing already. The client says no, they don't have the funds for it. We reminded them that we told them last year that the end of life cycle was coming up and they'd need to start budgeting for a replacement. They won't be moved. One of these days, the server is going to die for good, and I just hope their backups managed to catch correctly the day before.

This ties into my last job because it was marketing - convincing those stubborn people to move. Unfortunately, if the actual IT department can't convince the client to buy new servers, then marketing isn't going to help. And yet, the old company expects these sort of miracles on a daily basis.

Management in general needs to realize that equipment is not something you buy once, but that you buy and then feed continually and then eventually replace. That's the "best practice." And former manager specifically needs to remember that the management in general doesn't think rationally, doesn't budget, and certainly doesn't want to fork over another $5,000 for a fresh server deployment.

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