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Antarctic Marine Wildlife Is Under Threat From Ocean Acidification, Study Finds

spinninggears Re:chem 101 (180 comments)

I don't the issue is how much carbon the oceans can sink. (Your giant test tube). I think the issue is whether ocean life can survive it. Besides Chem 101, there is also Biology 101.

about 2 years ago

Cisco Pricing Undercut By $100M In Big Cal State University Network Project

spinninggears Re:Maybe raising taxes isn't the only solution. (220 comments)

America is not like the rest of the world. First normalize the populations, then compare the averages.

about 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: What's Your Take On Stand-Up Desks?

spinninggears My solution (347 comments)

I use a motorized drafting table. On Ebay for 50 bucks, since everybody uses CAD now. Fully adjustable.

about 2 years ago

Censored Religious Debate Video Released After Public Outrage

spinninggears Re:One small victory for a man.. (717 comments)

Is this sarcasm, a Poe, or have you misunderstood your audience? Most here are quite familiar with ad hominem, straw men, categorical errors and false equivocation.

I prefer to win arguments by presenting and refuting objective evidence, but usually just get fallacy ridden rants such as the one you present. Are you trying to show how ridiculous Haught is in debates by example? If so, you have done an excellent job.

Apologies for the tone, but hey as one of Coyne's ilk, you called me clueless.

more than 2 years ago

Ron Paul Wants To End the Federal Student Loan Program

spinninggears So why hasn't UC Berkeley been getting cheaper? (1797 comments)

In California, since the 1970's, the state has subsidized less and less of the tuition for students, while student loan amounts have not been increased substantially, and yet the state universities have not gotten less expensive in the process.

Sometimes Ron Paul says things that are correct, but silly (like how we could lower health care costs by removing the requirement medical providers be licensed. Probably true, but....) Mostly though, he just says things that are incorrect and silly. His supporters piece together some sort of reality from this that makes sense to them, I guess.

more than 2 years ago

An Operating System For Cities

spinninggears Urban OS Marketing Dept: This is Engineering... (216 comments)

With due respect to the marketing folks behind Urban OS, it reality the engineering is actually going in the direction of passing useful information through the network to a variety of embedded computers who then make such decisions as granting priority to a firetruck.

I have been developing software such as this for quite a while, and it simply makes a lot more sense to tell, for instance, a traffic controller directly that a city bus is on the way than it does to tell a centralized system that a bus is on the way and have it command a traffic controller. The traffic controller is the "expert system", developed by people who know what it is supposed to be doing. It just needs data to do it's job.

On that last point, sensor failures are the reason most intelligent traffic controllers fail to do their job correctly, and the more sensors you have, the higher the percentage of failed sensors in the system. You need to solve that problem first, before you worry about what CPU the solution is running on.

more than 2 years ago

What Is the Most Influential Programming Book?

spinninggears Yes, this can be considered canonical (624 comments)

Somebody knows what they are talking about. I suspect an excellent education at MIT.

about 3 years ago

Measuring Broadband America Report Released

spinninggears Is the FCC unbiased in this whole process? (160 comments)

From the report: "The data in this Report is based on a statistically selected subsetof those consumers—approximately 6,800 individuals—and the measurements taken in their homes during March 2011."

Interestingly, after a year of complaining to my ISP, using the data from my SamKnows router, that I was not getting anywhere close to my advertised download speed, in March 2011 I suddenly started getting it ( an ~4x boost). I wonder if my speed will now start to degrade now that the report is out? Or is it just coincidence?

more than 3 years ago

Why Has Blu-ray Failed To Catch Hold?

spinninggears Just wait a few months .... (1162 comments)

I think that most people are just waiting for a price point/feature set to justify the switch. I finally purchased a blu-ray player when it dropped under $100 and included apps like Netflix streaming.

more than 3 years ago

Is Science Just a Matter of Faith?

spinninggears Re:No. (1486 comments)

If all scientists were engaged in some conspiracy to hide the truth, then you might have a point. But they don't -- one scientist corrects another, and at some point, I am assured of getting the correct information (or the most correct information that science can give).

This is not faith. This is the result of the scientific methodology.

more than 3 years ago

MythBuster Developing Light-Weight Vehicle Armor

spinninggears Re:What do you have to do to be called a "scientis (308 comments)

It takes a lot of things for people to seriously consider calling a person a scientist. I can think of a few:

-- Non-trivial investigations that build upon previous research
-- Objective measurements
-- Communicating results to peers in a format that allows conclusions to be verified
-- Advancement of knowledge
-- Funding by other scientific stakeholders

Does Mythbusters meet any/all of these? Maybe, but it would be a real stretch.

more than 3 years ago

MythBuster Developing Light-Weight Vehicle Armor

spinninggears Another example of the Dunning-Kruger Effect (308 comments)

Not knowing what you do not know often leads to an optimistic view about one's expertise in a subject. Mythbusters can be fun to watch, but only on television would one spend so much to demonstrate so little.

Education, n.: That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding.
-- Ambrose Bierce

more than 3 years ago

Blade Runner Sequels and Prequels Happening

spinninggears Re:This will not end well. (334 comments)

So Alcon was responsible for the remake of "The Wicker Man", huh? The original is a classic of the genre, the remake is endlessly mocked as one of the worst films ever. This is clearly not a group of people that should be entrusted with Bladerunner.

more than 3 years ago

Chrome OS Doesn't Trust Apps Or Users

spinninggears Where have I heard this before? (410 comments)

" Once users are banned from installing applications, or modifying the system security, usability, and more are improved, the Googlers claim."

For years I have fought IT staff who held the position that the computers should never actually be used by putting applications on them. They used the exact same logic shown here.

Google does not trust apps. The reason I got into open source was because I did not trust OS and library vendors.

The reason I have never used Apple products was their attitude of "It you want to do what we don't allow you to do, you are obviously wrong in wanting to do it".

I don't see this as progress.

more than 3 years ago

Should I Learn To Program iOS Or Android Devices?

spinninggears Maybe you should rethink your premise (403 comments)

I would recommend not thinking you can "revive" you skills and produce useful apps for a school district (or anyone for that matter). You will probably just produce a lot of non-maintainable code naively written. Based upon the background you described, your software experience is basically that of a CS undergrad (full respect for your 18 years as a hardware designer). Minimum knowledge for useful apps today: client/server, databases, web, AJAX, networking, threading or multi-tasking, efficient GUI, OS, etc, all which take years of knowledge building to master, before even thinking about SDK's and development environments or methodologies. Your idea is like a software developer with 18 years experience saying "I would like to start designing with integrated circuits and build useful devices (I took an electronics course once, long ago) and want to know which electronic CAD packages are best. Sorry, I just don't see this is a productive plan.

more than 3 years ago

First Human-Powered Ornithopter

spinninggears Re:Not that great... (250 comments)

I can't judge much at all from the videos, be it "wing twist" or whether this machines performs any better than an ordinary glider. Considering this is graduate student project at a major university, I was expecting real data and analysis not just videos. The U of T PR machine seems to be working quite well however.

more than 3 years ago

First Human-Powered Ornithopter

spinninggears Re:Ornithoglider (250 comments)

Put me in an ordinary glider, give me the same initial altitude and initial velocity, and I think I will go as far as this machine.

more than 3 years ago

First Human-Powered Ornithopter

spinninggears Re:Yes, the flapping is keeping it in the air (250 comments)

Can you really tell from the video you can determine how long and far he could have flown without the "flapping wings". I would like to see a comparison of this machine with an ordinary glider launched with the same altitude and speed.

more than 3 years ago


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