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Comments

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Ask Slashdot: Switching From SAS To Python Or R For Data Analysis and Modeling?

students Re:R... (143 comments)

R always gets the analysis job done for me, but when I recommend it I feel a need to include a warning that its data typing is strange.

For example, there are about five types which are like arrays, but which are only sometimes compatible with each other.

about three weeks ago
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Did the Ignition Key Just Die?

students Re:Easier or harder to steal a car? (865 comments)

I think many thieves will continue to use traditional car stealing techniques such as towing on smart cars. There is no need to hack a car's starter if you are just going to take the car apart to sell the pieces.

We should worry about is the security of self driving cars instead. Not because people will steal them, but because some script kiddie will tell all the cars to drive to the chop shop, causing a massive traffic jam.

about 3 months ago
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Minerva CEO Details His High-Tech Plan To Disrupt Universities

students Re:It is not the timelyness, it is the format. (106 comments)

If you have trouble paying attention to lectures and learning from it, have you considered that, perhaps, you shouldn't be in college to begin with?

This is a discriminatory attitude. Disadvantaged students (for example, those from poor families) are less able to cope with ineffective teaching. Based on controlled experiments, good teaching benefits all students, but it has a bigger benefits for those who used to be considered "not college material".

You addressed your comments to me personally. Notice my user ID number. It has been some years since I passed all my lecture classes.

about 3 months ago
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Minerva CEO Details His High-Tech Plan To Disrupt Universities

students Re:It is not the timelyness, it is the format. (106 comments)

Based on physiological evidence, normal attention span is only a few minutes. I am not aware of any studies of how attention span is changing, but I doubt it is changing much. Great teachers of the past were great compared to their peers, not compared to modern techniques. And many of them did not lecture.

about 3 months ago
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Minerva CEO Details His High-Tech Plan To Disrupt Universities

students Re:It is not the timelyness, it is the format. (106 comments)

On the whole I agree with you - learning is hard work and expensive for both teacher and student. I have several times heard your argument that good lectures are interactive. It is equivalent to saying good lectures include things which are not lecture.

about 3 months ago
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Minerva CEO Details His High-Tech Plan To Disrupt Universities

students Re:It is not the timelyness, it is the format. (106 comments)

Perhaps you enjoyed them, but it is highly unlikely you remember them. Physiological measures of attention, such as heart rate, show students do not pay as much attention to lectures past the first few minutes.

about 3 months ago
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Minerva CEO Details His High-Tech Plan To Disrupt Universities

students It is not the timelyness, it is the format. (106 comments)

Lecturing is an ineffective way to teach because most people cannot pay attention to and retain a traditional lecture. Someone who has been giving the same lecture for 20 years was teaching sub-optimally 20 years ago and has not improved. You are correct that they may not have gotten worse either.

about 3 months ago
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Minerva CEO Details His High-Tech Plan To Disrupt Universities

students Technology does not improve education (106 comments)

Using a wide variety of teaching techniques and evaluating their quality improves education. This is essentially what Minerva is proposing. The video conferencing is incidental.

about 3 months ago
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Used IT Equipment Can Be Worth a Fortune (Video)

students Also a big problem in science labs. (79 comments)

Suppose a university scientist wins a grant to buy a million dollar instrument. Thirty years later, the scientist dies. Nobody knows what the instrument is anymore, or what it is worth. University policy does not allow the sale of excess property. Nobody knows what restrictions were placed on the sale of the equipment in the grant award. Nobody wants to pay money to figure any of these things out. So, the equipment is either ignored or landfilled.

In my experience this happens often.

about 3 months ago
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Anti-Polygraph Instructor Who Was Targeted By Feds Goes Public

students Re:Total Obedience is Required ! (197 comments)

Both China and Russia hold elections. They pretend to a degree.

about 6 months ago
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Is a Postdoc Worth it?

students Re:Be a Gentleman Scientist (233 comments)

You will never be in a position to realize your dream of doing interesting research or becoming a professor.

Lots of people (myself included) did interesting research while still an undergraduate. In my experience, professors do not do research, they write grants and manage researchers.

about 8 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Can You Trust Online Tax Software?

students Just use IRS.gov (237 comments)

figure out just how much they owe the country, without reading the tens of thousands of pages of IRS forms guidance.

I have never found it challenging to file my taxes using just the information from IRS.gov. IRS documents usually explain things very well.

about 8 months ago
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What Developers Can Learn From Healthcare.gov

students Amazon can't do it either. (267 comments)

The solution so far has been to put people into a queue, something that would get a site like Amazon laughed out of the marketplace. "I'm sorry, we're a little busy right now, try shopping later?!!"

This was a strange comparison. Amazon often loads very slow for me, and pages fail to load completely on a regular basis.

irs.gov used to be a good example of a fast site. It is not as fast as it used to be, but still about 3x faster than Amazon, probably due to a static design with few images.

about 10 months ago
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How One Programmer Is Coding Faster By Voice Than Keyboard

students This is awesome and will change peoples' lives. (214 comments)

I am seeing lots of negative and off topic comments, many of which show people only watched part of the video. I thought it was totally amazing. When I was a teenager I had to change the course of my career away from computational science towards experimental science because of RSI-like problems. If I had his tools when I was 14 and had known I needed to use them, my career would be totally different and possibly much better since my programming talents would actually have been used.

Today, I can't really afford to spend several months learning to replicate his work, but hopefully soon it will be easier to learn. This will never be for everyone - some people can't use modal programs - and maybe it will never work in every context (Can it talk to my 20 year old Tektronix oscilloscope over GPIB?) but the video showed it can work. I hope good documentation, native linux support, and support for latex will be forthcoming so it can help me do science.

about a year ago
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What Keeps You On (or Off) Windows in 2013?

students Re:because desktop linux is a toy and novelty (1215 comments)

Yeah, in science, it's usually rare to have serious development done on Windows, except for the occasional data acquisition station or for some control computer attached to a commercial lab apparatus.

Unfortunately windows based data acquisition stations with proprietary software for commercial lab apparatus are far from rare.

Every lab apparatus I have used that had computer control was windows (or MS-DOS, on a really bad day) only, except the most expensive one. The $10 million JEOL electron beam lithography system ran a very old Solaris.

I just replaced my MS-DOS based instrument. It had a proprietary RISC co-processor that could not talk to any modern computer.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: What's the Best Way To Work On Projects While Traveling?

students Re:depends where you are. (273 comments)

That works in many parts of American universities too (though usually not potentially hazardous locations such as machine shops).

In fact, I was recently needed a new faculty ID (not saying where). It turns out you can just walk in and get one of those too. They only asked for my name.

about a year ago
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NSF Audit Finds Numerous Cases of Alleged Plagiarism

students Re:I'm just surprised it's that low (44 comments)

Republishing your old work or resubmitting old proposals is scientific misconduct because it wastes resources by forcing other scientists to perform duplicate reviews.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Advice For Summer Before Ph.D. Program?

students Re:Start working on your dissertation (228 comments)

Ideally, you should have 1, 3, and 4 picked out before you apply to graduate school. People who state 1, 3, and 4, with backup plans, will look better prepared to an admissions committee. Of course you can change your mind later.

Funding supplies is the advisor's job, at least in theory.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Advice For Summer Before Ph.D. Program?

students Start working on your dissertation (228 comments)

The sooner you start, the sooner you will finish and get a job that pays better or is more prestigious.

about a year ago

Submissions

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Safecast Crowdsources Radiation Detection

students students writes  |  more than 3 years ago

students (763488) writes "Safecast is seeking donations and volunteer citizen scientists to link a network of home built open source and government radiation monitors to a Google map. They claim to meet "our collective need for trusted information." But unlike the National Weather Service or Tsunami Warning Centers, they do not provide any expert interpretation. Could radiation data misunderstood by the press or public cause an unnecessary panic? The public needs context, not raw data, censorship, or geiger counter bans."
Link to Original Source

Journals

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How do you reach Slashdot staff?

students students writes  |  more than 10 years ago Apparently, CowboyNeal no longer reads his email. I wanted to request a new slashbox... no answer. If you have a ligitimate request (even one of major financial/legal importance) there seems to be no way to reach slashdot staff to let them know about it. Maybe they should hire a few secritaries? If you know how to reach slashdot staff, let me know!

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Journals

students students writes  |  more than 10 years ago Interesting. No one else writes in their journal. I wish more people would look at mine and make comments, even though it is not very interesting. I'm going to programming camp in a few weeks! Wish me luck.

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I'm starting to understand...

students students writes  |  more than 10 years ago How some people get irritated with this place. There's too much random content. Of course, people's irritation just makes them more random. I give up... for a random period.

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New Account

students students writes  |  more than 10 years ago Hi. I just created this account. I used to be Nicklaszlo. I created this account because now the link my user name points to when I write a story will promote my web site, cesdep.org.

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