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Positive Ebola Test In Second Texas Health Worker

werepants Re:Just tell me (463 comments)

It sounds like protective equipment was nonstandard and a bit haphazard, and the healthcare workers were improvising their own improvements. For instance, apparently some of the workers were using tape around the cuffs of sleeves, pants, etc, which seems like it provides a better seal, but in reality the most dangerous point in offering care is in removing your protective gear. Adding tape makes it harder to remove equipment without touching the outside of it, so that is one current suspicion for how these workers got infected.

The solution is standardized, proven equipment and well-trained personnel, along with a culture of rigorously following best practice, 100% of the time. A slip up in any of these areas could lead to infection. I do think it's a problem that we've got mainly private, for-profit institutions entrusted with this, because all of these things are costly from a business perspective and so there's a strong incentive to do the minimum you can get away with.

5 days ago
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AnandTech's Intro To Semiconductor Tech

werepants Re:A Harder Read than Advertised (21 comments)

I suppose it isn't really an "intro" then, but you always have to presume some level of knowledge in your audience - do they understand what processors are? Computers? Electrons? You can't cover everything.

Semiconductors are really where materials science meets electronics. Understanding whether something is a conductor or an insulator is 7th grade science - it does seem self-explanatory to me that a semiconductor is something that is "partially" conductive. As far as electron orbitals, that's where the material science is, and I don't think there's any good way to get around the fact that some basic chemistry knowledge is super helpful here. Including the chemistry topics can be confusing for some, but can really bring together some big-picture concepts for people that are familiar with it.

From reading the article, I'm happy he presented the band-gap paradigm, because that is new to me and interesting, but I think there's an easier way to think about it. Conductivity is about having electrons that are free to move around. Silicon is important here because it is situated in the middle of its row on the periodic table - Na, Mg, Al to the left, P, S, Cl, Ar to the right. Basically, elements on the far left want to give away an electron to form a strong bond, elements on the right (excluding the nobles) want to take an electron to form a strong bond, and silicon finds itself in a region where it could as easily give an electron as take one, and it isn't likely to form those strong bonds based on electron trades. This means that it is possible to vary the conductivity of it via electric fields and chemistry, and get some electrons to jump around the way you want them to.

Anyhow, it sounds like this is an intro to semiconductors, with the presumption that the reader has a background in a science or engineering-related field. If you want a good intro all around, Electronics for Earthlings by Amdahl is actually a pretty fun (if a little bit frenetic) intro that provides some really useful analogies.

about a week ago
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The Cult of Elon Musk Shines With Steve Jobs' Aura

werepants Re:Really? (181 comments)

I think you have your definitions twisted around. To innovate is to "make changes in something established, especially by introducing new methods, ideas, or products." Inventing something altogether or mostly new, like the hyperloop, is not innovation - it's invention. Innovation is more like what Apple did - taking something that already exists but packaging it and delivering it in a (hopefully) more successful form, by focusing on design and interface.

A visionary, I think, is someone like Arthur C. Clarke, who could foresee possible applications of technology far before practical considerations made them possible.

Musk is certainly an innovator (Tesla vehicles are a textbook example of innovation according to the definition above). He is also a visionary, in the sense that he conceives of and entertains possibilities that are far beyond what most people consider.

I think what makes Musk unique, though, is that it is rare to find someone with both the innovative business mindset (like Jobs) and the visionary foresight (like Clarke) combined with the technical ability and intuition to get difficult problems solved where others have failed (like the Wright brothers, for instance).

about a week ago
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AnandTech's Intro To Semiconductor Tech

werepants Re:Wrong site... (21 comments)

Maybe so... this kind of article won't generate much commentary most likely, but it is stuff like this that keeps me at slashdot. It would be interesting to know what the article view numbers are. I can't imagine that people in massive flamewars in the comments section are a high-value ad target, so I question whether posting that stuff is really all that lucrative.

about two weeks ago
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Living On a Carbon Budget: The End of Recreation As We Know It?

werepants Re:Conservation and smart practices (652 comments)

It's possible that GP is talking about house fans, which are often incorrectly called attic fans. I've got one and it works wonders, and costs a fraction of what an A/C unit would cost.

about two weeks ago
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Living On a Carbon Budget: The End of Recreation As We Know It?

werepants Re:Navel gazing (652 comments)

If all libertarians were like you I would sign right up. Unfortunately I've found most libertarians to be extreme Republicans by another name.

about two weeks ago
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Living On a Carbon Budget: The End of Recreation As We Know It?

werepants Re:Lots of cheap carbon stuff (652 comments)

I wouldn't be surprised if a new fridge had an additional impact because you no longer had to cool air that was heated up by an old, inefficient appliance. It's nice when it works that way.

about two weeks ago
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NASA Asks Boeing, SpaceX To Stop Work On Next-Gen Space Taxi

werepants Re:Ridiculous (139 comments)

I'd say a real flight article tested in part of the flight regime is infinitely more than Boeing who has no flight article, tested in no part of the flight regime, and even in preliminary subsystem tests is having huge technical problems. You're a fucking shill.

about two weeks ago
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NASA Asks Boeing, SpaceX To Stop Work On Next-Gen Space Taxi

werepants Re:Ridiculous (139 comments)

The point is that Boeing has nothing but mockups, powerpoints, and disastrous wind tunnel tests, so Sierra Nevada doesn't have to do much to have more technical merit. But go ahead and keep pretending that Boeing won based on the "technical merit" of a less tested, less developed, less capable, and more expensive system.

about two weeks ago
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NASA Asks Boeing, SpaceX To Stop Work On Next-Gen Space Taxi

werepants Re:Ridiculous (139 comments)

Boeing's system is the least developed, and has possibly show-stopping problems in the wind tunnel tests with their capsule so far. In no way are they technically superior to Sierra Nevada, who has already done flight tests of a real, live test article and has a launch in the near future.

about two weeks ago
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NASA Asks Boeing, SpaceX To Stop Work On Next-Gen Space Taxi

werepants Re:Ridiculous (139 comments)

How the hell did this get modded insightful? Bunch of Boeing shills, I'm guessing.

about two weeks ago
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Fortune.com: Blame Tech Diversity On Culture, Not Pipeline

werepants Re:Low pay? (342 comments)

True, but most are hardly better. My wife taught for several years and was paid ~32k at a public school, with her master's . The point still stands - low paid teachers are not at all "a myth".

about two weeks ago
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Fortune.com: Blame Tech Diversity On Culture, Not Pipeline

werepants Re:Bullshit. (342 comments)

You are full of shit. I worked as a teacher and encountered precisely zero of that - maybe you are a creepy asshole and that's why people think you are a pedophile or a misogynist. I also have numerous teaching friends that have had no problems like what you describe.

about two weeks ago
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Fortune.com: Blame Tech Diversity On Culture, Not Pipeline

werepants Re:Low pay? (342 comments)

Not where I'm from. I worked for exactly one year as a teacher, at a charter school where the entry pay was $28k. I was making that without a degree in IT, and left teaching to take an engineering job making almost twice as much.

The low-paid teacher thing is reality, especially if you look at people with 4-year degrees, which are required for teaching. The situation is even worse in STEM, where the teachers could be making much, much more in industry, and probably working less hours.

about two weeks ago
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Fortune.com: Blame Tech Diversity On Culture, Not Pipeline

werepants Re:Not where *I* work. (342 comments)

How about if we're being sold the idea of a misogynistic nerd culture because those doing the selling feel that as nerds, we'll be more likely to accept that idea than the completely un-self-aware and unapologetic "bro" type?

This is a bit too tinfoil hat for me - you honestly believe there's some secret committee somewhere coming up with these schemes, and constructing elaborate narratives to propagate their agenda? Occam's Razor says it is more likely that the simple claims are true, and that many women do in fact get driven out of tech for the reasons they reported.

I've personally seen several (relatively benign) examples of workplace misogyny firsthand. It's no surprise to me that many women would choose to seek work where they are more welcome.

about two weeks ago
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The $1,200 DIY Gunsmithing Machine

werepants Re:the solution: (651 comments)

We aren't discussing whether guns have an impact on crime. That has nothing at all to do with the second amendment, and you perfectly demonstrate my point, which is that NRA types use lots of rhetoric that has nothing to do with the Bill of Rights to justify gun ownership.

What we are discussing is whether guns are "necessary to the security of a free state", that being the actual justification for gun ownership in the text of the law. My example of Australia is perfectly valid - nothing is threatening the security of Australia, as a free state , after the ban of firearms there.

There's a big question underlying this discussion, and whether we are a democracy or constitutional republic isn't pertinent. You are choosing tangents to try to distract from the main issue. The fundamental question is "why does the Bill of Rights contain the amendments that it does?" If you had to choose an underlying theme for why these specific rights were chosen as the most fundamental human rights that the government must preserve, you would choose the ones that would seem to ensure that the principles and intent of the founders could not be violated within the bounds of the law. That is, democratic rule (whether through elected representatives or direct democracy is not pertinent) is a critical value within the founding documents of the U.S. and many of the rights delineated within the Bill of Rights seem to exist expressly for the purpose of ensuring that the will of the people is always enacted, regardless of the corruption that exists within the nation's leadership.

This is important because the second amendment has never been used to preserve rights or otherwise defend liberty as part of the political process. Since it has never been used and there are also so many examples of secure and free states existing without it, it seems like an amendment that is unnecessary, according to its initial justification.

Please note: any appeals about how guns somehow reduce crime or violence or how you see a need to defend your home are irrelevant - those are emotional appeals that have nothing to do with the second amendment. Neither does the difference between a direct democracy and a constitutional republic - both are ultimately forms of democratic government. Also, foreign entities taking over using military power isn't relevant either - nobody is suggesting disarming the military, so the common defense is still provided for without the second amendment. Finally, the Nazis rose to power by popularity and they were elected - an armed populace wouldn't have done shit because they voted that party in in the first place. By the time Hitler became a dictator and got more strict about gun control, all sorts of other rights were already gone.

So, my point stands - the NRA (and you) rely on emotional appeals to promote gun ownership rather than arguing strictly constitutionally, and cannot demonstrate that the second amendment is "necessary to the security of a free state". If you have an argument that is actually relevant and not another attempt at misdirection, I'd love to hear it.

about three weeks ago
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The $1,200 DIY Gunsmithing Machine

werepants Re:the solution: (651 comments)

The counter-point I'm making is that if you take away that right, shit will change and fast.

That doesn't explain Australia. And every other modern democracy that doesn't have a version of the second amendment (which is most of them). Somehow democracy seems to do just fine without the citizenry possessing small arms.

about three weeks ago
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The $1,200 DIY Gunsmithing Machine

werepants Re:the solution: (651 comments)

The revolutionary war seems to me to be qualitatively different from something like the civil rights movement. The amendments generally exist to ensure that any threat to democracy can be adequately addressed from within by citizens - they specify how the government ought to operate such that the will of the people will be enacted, one way or the other.

So fundamentally the revolution against the British isn't an appropriate example because it wasn't enabled by the Bill of Rights, and it also wasn't preserving democracy and liberty so much as it was creating a new nation. And the point still stands, ever since our rights have been enshrined, it seems as though the 2nd amendment has not needed to be exercised, and we've got no indication that it ever would be needed because we see other rights being sufficient in our country and elsewhere.

about three weeks ago
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The $1,200 DIY Gunsmithing Machine

werepants Re:the solution: (651 comments)

Forgot about that documentary. Touche.

about three weeks ago
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The $1,200 DIY Gunsmithing Machine

werepants Re:the solution: (651 comments)

That's neither an example of the 2nd amendment being used to preserve freedom, nor is it specific. For the freedom of the press, look at watergate, for instance. Right to assemble, look at the civil rights movement. The fourth, fifth, and sixth amendments have been critical for any sort of political imprisonment or any individual who stands against the government.

The point I'm making is that the 2nd Amendment doesn't in fact seem to be all that useful or important to maintain freedom and democracy, unlike other amendments that are continually exercised to that end. It isn't as though Australia has become a totalitarian dystopia since banning firearms. All I'm asking for is an example, in the US, of the 2nd amendment being used to protect our liberties.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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$99 iPad rival NoteSlate

werepants werepants writes  |  more than 3 years ago

werepants (1912634) writes "NoteSlate — a digital drawing pad, or at least the idea of one — is burning a hole in the blogosphere. A few weeks ago, descriptions and mockups appeared online at NoteSlate.com. Since then, hundreds of technology news and gossip sites around the globe have written about it in at least half a dozen languages, heralding the imminent arrival of a $99 e-ink digital tablet that mimics the simplicity of old-fashioned pen and paper."
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