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No, the Tesla Model S Doesn't Pollute More Than an SUV

servognome Re:Fancy Number Fakery - Lying with Statistics (559 comments)

You don't have to choose one over the other. You can have more efficient combustion engines and more efficient electric cars replacing everyday vehicles. The purpose of the story is to disprove the myth that the car in your garage pollutes less than an electric vehicle. For decades there have been concept cars that are far more efficient than vehicles we have today, but they remain idealized concepts, and not something that will end up in the hands of consumers. There is no like vs like yet, I'm sure there will be soon though.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Important Is Advanced Math In a CS Degree?

servognome Re:"Computer Science" vs. "Software Engineering" (656 comments)

Pretty much any 400 level class is interesting. Reading through the course catalog, there's some really cool stuff in philosophy, English, and humanities, that actually have some level of translation to computer science (epistemology, linguistics, human machine interaction, etc). Not to mention engineering where you actually do cool stuff and not just analyze circuits to death.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Important Is Advanced Math In a CS Degree?

servognome Re:I think we need more apprenticeship like system (656 comments)

I agree, not just at the college level, but at the high school level as well. Sometimes you need to get your hands dirty, you need a mentor there to help you when you inevitably make a mistake Not all high school kids are college bound, and it is incredibly useful for both networking and experience so they can gain meaningful employment. It also helps the employer, because if they know you'll do a good job, they will fight HR on your behalf to get you hired.

I did an 8 month co-op with IBM and it was an incredible experience. It went beyond the 2 month summer internship doing menial work.
I learned from an amazing mentor, and because of the length of time I was there I was able to take ownership of experiments and tools and actually contribute.
Best of all was when the college job fair came. Everybody all dressed up waiting in line to give their resume, the recruiter scans it and puts it on a pile. But because of the length of time I spent as a co-op with tangible accomplishments, my resume didn't go on the pile. I would have conversations with recruiters about what I did, and was offered interviews on the spot. From the vantage point of the recruiter you're just going through the same routine, but anybody with experience and interesting stories will catch their attention.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Important Is Advanced Math In a CS Degree?

servognome Re:Really, who cares? (656 comments)

To be precise, your College diploma will not prepare you in the slightest for any of the multitude of skills you actually need in the job market nor is it designed to do so.

That's a bit short-sighted. Yes there are theory heavy classes that don't translate, but there are many classes that teach you essential skills that are necessary in the real world.
For example finding vanadium contamination, you'd know from a metallurgy class one of its uses is to harden steel so it narrows down areas to look at. Knowing how to modify reflow temperatures to get the desired grain structure is essential in many applications to get the necessary bulk properties. As is realizing a component of one chemical you are using is interacting with another and damaging what you are trying to do.
You may not always need those things, but they are part of your intellectual toolbox and are essential when you find yourself trying to solve real world problems. Especially when time is of the essence and you don't have time to learn these things on the fly.
It doesn't even have to be something that you were directly taught in class, but having the background can help you make intelligent assumptions to further investigate and design experiments to determine the solution.

You also never know what is relevant to your interests. I never cared about world politics or contract law, but when you're put on a project where you're negotiating business deals, participating in a symposium on RoHS, or trying to understand the political implications of conflict metals, the world becomes larger and more complex.
As I said before there's a lot of things I never used, like knowing the switching speed of GaAs is faster because of the smaller band gap and lower effective mass of an electron. But you never know when an esoteric concept comes up and it's helpful to have a well rounded background, especially if it's in the field your diploma says you're an expert at.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Important Is Advanced Math In a CS Degree?

servognome Re:Advice from a math hater (656 comments)

I too hated math, but it is essential to understand the fundamentals of science.
Though I wish I spent more focus on statistics because it translates best into real world scenarios. In a university lab I can get a chem experiment working, in the real world I have to be able to reproduce that experiment hundreds of times (depending on the required defect density), plus I had to understand the limitations of my metrology, tool, part, and person variation. Heck I even needed to use stats to understand why an experiment that worked in the US didn't work over in Germany.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Important Is Advanced Math In a CS Degree?

servognome Re:Differential equations is not advanced math. (656 comments)

"Advanced math" is basically learning techniques to manipulate equations into more understandable forms. Most of which have specific applications, discrete math for CS, laplace transforms for EE, stats for analyzing something that is repeated, vector calc for motion, etc.
First figure out what field you want to go into, then choose the math best translates into it.

about a year ago
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No, the Tesla Model S Doesn't Pollute More Than an SUV

servognome Re:Fancy Number Fakery - Lying with Statistics (559 comments)

Depends on the distribution of vehicles. If there's on gas powered car that gets 100mpg and 1M average vehicles, then comparing an electric vehicle to the best gas powered car doesn't really translate to real world usage. If the electric car is aimed to replace the median gasoline consuming car, then the comparison makes sense.
On the positive side you get an arms race of gasoline powered car manufacturers and electric car manufacturers improving their designs so that the average keeps improving.

about a year ago
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Avatars Help Schizophrenics Gain Control of Voices In Their Heads

servognome Hope to God the Avatar isn't a WoW freak (138 comments)

"Odd groups left... even groups got right... get away from the head... whelps left side, many whelps... WTF was that shit..." That'd definitely make me want to murder somebody

about a year ago
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450 Million Lines of Code Can't Be Wrong: How Open Source Stacks Up

servognome Re:WTF does this have to do with "Homeland Securit (209 comments)

It doesn't matter if it's proprietary or open source, the danger is in any system that is compromised.
Homeland security needs to protect infrastructure and other interests that can impact that state of the nation. Something as benign as somebody hacking the AP twitter feed and posting that a bomb injured the president cost the market over $100B. A series of hacking attacks can result in economic or social destabilization.
Software is also built in layers, so some parts are proprietary, others are open, but a vulnerability in either one can cause issues with all parts of the system.

about a year ago
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Internet Explorer 0-day Attacks On US Nuke Workers Hit 9 Other Sites

servognome Re:How about a nice game of chess? (157 comments)

Given the current political climate I'd prefer to try out "Theaterwide Biotoxic and Chemical Warfare"

about a year ago
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Intel Announces Brian Krzanich As Its Sixth-Ever CEO

servognome Re: What were Brian Krzanich's previous roles at (43 comments)

I would say the Atom line is being beaten by tablets, the mainstream Core series CPUs are not (yet). There's a lot of growth in ARM, but they are still playing catch-up in the desktop market. Tablets and phones tend to be compliments to traditional desktops. There are major input(mouse&keyboard), storage (1TB+) and output (24"+ screens) that ARM hasn't penetrated. Most people who use a tablet, have a desktop.
Growth is in portable computing, but standalone home computers aren't going away anytime soon.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Teach IT To Senior Management?

servognome My experience (hardware side to be honest) (159 comments)

Any change is very complex. When creating a design agreement, there are inputs from many different groups (not just engineers). You have to take into account legacy systems which interact with the system. One of the biggest eye-openers, was because the old software we used was great at data acquisition, other groups started to usurp that data for their own business groups. Suddenly any change as much as it makes sense breaks those kludged systems and management started pushing a roll back because the headcount and training no longer made it commercially viable

about a year ago
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Intel Announces Brian Krzanich As Its Sixth-Ever CEO

servognome Re:What were Brian Krzanich's previous roles at In (43 comments)

Intel has done will in the iOS department. The problem is they are still playing catch up with ARM in terms of cell, tablets, and other low power designs.
Intel's business is heavily focused on gross margins. Just look at how the stock tanks when it dips below 60%.
At Intel many of the foundry type applications are done when certain technology processes are being warmed down (machines have been fully amortized, processes have been stable and capable for years, and there aren't any breakthroughs needed to get the product built. They aren't getting the absolute best technical solutions, they are getting the lines, engineers, and equipment that are on their way out. That is unless Intel dealing with really expensive high margin product. Things along the lines of ultra-expensive corporate mega servers with huge die, innovative design requirements, or entirely new form factors (since Intel can provide both processor and motherboard solutions..

In fact some business units within Intel (think low cost consumer applications) have outside fabs manufacture their designs because it's more cost effective than tying up internal resources working on the more profitably next gen Core processors. Remember Xscale, Intel based designs based on ARM projects which were often externally manufactured.
Fact is most outside companies looking for a foundry, are willing to use TSMC or other lower cost (not necessarily low quality) fabs because their designs don't need the manufacturing complexity. Plus with the heavy commitments to internal customers (who represent billions of dollars in revenue), many external customers don't want to see their designs placed at the back of the queue.

about a year ago
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Intel Announces Brian Krzanich As Its Sixth-Ever CEO

servognome Re:What were Brian Krzanich's previous roles at In (43 comments)

Not necessarily, some of the big wins Intel pulled off were marketing driven, for example Intel Inside and Centrino. End users didn't understand what they were getting, they just knew they wanted it.
While there is a major technical side to processors, a lot of it is not to make them better in benchmarks. Architecture drives benchmarks, manufacturing improvements can contribute, but usually they are more about the bottom line. Die shrinks more die per wafer and better yields = profit.
That said my post was mostly tongue-in-cheek. Krzanich's background I think is excellent. Not just from the hands-on engineering side which many on Slashdot focus on, but his background in supply chain management when he was a VP in ATTD. The constant turn over of processes puts a stress not only on the company but its suppliers. One chemical vital to photolithography may need a sharp ramp up in one year, with a ramp down 2 years later.

about a year ago
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Repeal of Louisiana Science Education Act Rejected

servognome Re:Why? (318 comments)

I'd prefer Adamsian creationism - "The universe was sneezed out of the nose of a being called the Great Green Arkleseizure"

about a year ago
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Florida Teen Expelled and Arrested For Science Experiment

servognome Re:Not about race or science (1078 comments)

Even on school campus they shouldn't prosecute. The Florida law concerning zero tolerance states: "The Legislature finds that zero-tolerance policies are not intended to be rigorously applied to petty acts of misconduct and misdemeanors, including, but not limited to, minor fights or disturbances."

about a year ago
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Florida Teen Expelled and Arrested For Science Experiment

servognome Re:America has become pussy nation (1078 comments)

Something like this happened in my Chem class. Students wanted to see if they could launch a 5-gallon water bottle across the room using IPA as a propellant. Instead of going across the room, it exploded. We all had a laugh, life went on.

about a year ago
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Florida Teen Expelled and Arrested For Science Experiment

servognome Re:Playing the race card again (1078 comments)

You left out that one was on a school campus where there are zero tolerance laws. Law > common sense.

about a year ago
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Intel Announces Brian Krzanich As Its Sixth-Ever CEO

servognome Re:What were Brian Krzanich's previous roles at In (43 comments)

That's insanity. A manufacturing company hiring somebody with hands on engineering experience at all levels. Everybody knows that to succeed you need an MBA who is great at marketing.

about a year ago

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