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Study Estimates 100 Billion Planets In the Milky Way Galaxy

swx2 Re:Remember when there was just the one... (101 comments)

You mean you were a kid before they discovered the planets in the solar system? O_o

about a year and a half ago

2013 FIRST Robotics Competition Kicks Off

swx2 You don't need NASA... (64 comments)

Having participated in FIRST myself during my high school years, our team was lead by a local University, 2 engineers from a locally based (but still large enough to be middling on the Fortune 500 list...) company, and in my first year, we won the championship in the early 2000s, and have since then won a few more times after I left.
It's an amazingly fun experience, and besides, as a HS student, this should be more of a learning experience for you. It's great to see the whole engineering process, from problem definition to solution implementation... including some of the work-place drama that goes on >_>

about a year and a half ago

New DRM-Free Label Announced

swx2 Re:That will last about five minutes (90 comments)

Going to have to call bullshit on that. Potatoes arrived in Europe from the "New World", then planted in the US from plants brought over from Europe. Irish potato famine destroyed one breed, but not others. If they were genetically identical, no species would've been safe, but that's obviously not the case.

more than 2 years ago

U.S. Students Struggle With Reasoning Skills

swx2 Re:Let the public education (488 comments)

Other than your sarcasm not entirely helping your argument, I don't really disagree with you on most of your points, except maybe this one:

Here's a hint: to do your job. If you believed that placement in a special education classroom was necessary, then your job was to demonstrate that that placement is necessary, not to railroad the parents. If the placement was necessary, it could surely survive some scrutiny from "a lawyer" during an assessment or IEP meeting. Rumor has it that school districts and Departments of Education even employ their own laywers versed in IDEA.

How would you go about demonstrating that the placement was necessary? And do you really believe that just because you've provided evidence of such necessity, the parent's won't threaten to sue regardless, wasting massive amounts of money? From what I can gather in Loughla's post, he/she teaches in a small community, and so their school department may not have the funds to mount a proper legal defense, especially seeing how the autistic student's parents were willing to spend the money to hire a lawyer from quite far away. The whole point of these legal threats may just be to say "i can waste a lot of your money", as to dissuade any real action, even if the reason was legitimate... because let's face it, frivolous law suites are not at all rare in this country.

more than 2 years ago

Committee Lowers Nobel Prize Award

swx2 Yes, because the Nobel prize is only for... (178 comments)

... Peace, and Economics. Forget that what most people look for when they announce the prizes is to see who/what topic won the Physics and Chemistry prizes.

more than 2 years ago

Maryland Teen Wins World's Largest Science Fair

swx2 Re:Who did the work? (193 comments)

Quoting from the winning project's abstract:
"Optimal layering was determined using a scanning electron microscope."

Ok what? How does a high school student get access to one of those? I highly doubt most HS in this country has one of those for their students to use...

about 2 years ago

Only 22% of California 8th Graders Pass National Science Test

swx2 Re:Makes no sense (580 comments)

While i'm from MA, and I'm quite happy that my state is tied for first... but... 44%????? Only 44% of the kids tested passed the test, and it somehow tie for FIRST among the nation? If this was a test, then all 50 people (state) in the class (country) have failed. This is not good news :/

more than 2 years ago

US Metaphor-Recognizing Software System Starts Humming

swx2 Re:First Post Metaphor (But this isn't First Post) (105 comments)

Well, i don't think just building a repository will be too hard. The AI doesn't have to understand it, it just has to be there stored somewhere. Maybe you can get something like reCaptcha for the analysis part?

more than 2 years ago

The Rise of Chemophobia In the News

swx2 Re:On the flip side (463 comments)

There was this brief clip i caught on TV years ago that made this exact point. It was something about steroids, and one of the guys that was promoting its use said "Don't worry, the stuff's all natural", to which another guy replied "So what? Heroin is all natural!"

more than 2 years ago

Jars of Irradiated Russian Animals Find a New Purpose

swx2 Re:I wonder... (86 comments)

part of me is going: wtf? Why?
and another part of me is going: that's fucking awesome.

I must have played too many video games... >_>

more than 2 years ago

Jars of Irradiated Russian Animals Find a New Purpose

swx2 I wonder... (86 comments)

Did the US do similar studies? It seems like it would have been a pretty good idea to study those effects during the cold war.

more than 2 years ago

Philips Releases 100W-Equivalent LED Bulb, Runs On Just 23 Watts

swx2 Re:Warranty? (529 comments)

Equivalent in terms of light output, not current tolerance. if you used a product outside of its design specs, and complained when it failed, no one would listen to you.

But then again, I guess the American legal system has seen sillier things...

more than 2 years ago

Philips Releases 100W-Equivalent LED Bulb, Runs On Just 23 Watts

swx2 Re:Warranty? (529 comments)

Well... if you've got some fixtures that seems to burn through light bulbs faster than normal, then maybe it's not the light bulb's fault? And if that is any indication of an average household's (electrical) current stability, maybe the lack of a 5 year warranty is somewhat justified. Seriously, you can't fault the manufacturer of the product if you're providing bad running conditions.

more than 2 years ago

Windows 8 Won't Play DVDs Unless You Pay For the Media Center Pack

swx2 Re:The way the market has gone (734 comments)

Yeah this is really true. I was just thinking about when was the last time I actually watched a DVD movie on my computer... and realized... i don't remember. Netflix/youtube/torrented stuff has basically replaced DVDs for all intents and purposes. While initially this move by MS sounded a little annoying, it's actually pretty reasonable.

more than 2 years ago


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