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Ask Slashdot: Linux Support In Universities?

yancey University of North Texas (432 comments)

Yes, UNT supports connecting any OS to Wi-Fi. The help desk staff is mostly familiar with Windows, Mac OS X, and mobile devices (iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile), but we can find someone to help you with other devices and operating systems.

more than 3 years ago
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Why WikiLeaks Is Unlike the Pentagon Papers

yancey Re:Hypocrites (696 comments)

I am of the opinion that only about five percent of the population has a broad enough understanding of how everything in our lives is interrelated (let's call it wisdom) to govern well. Unfortunately, we don't always elect our government from that group.

more than 3 years ago
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OS I'd Most Like To See Make a Comeback

yancey Taligent (763 comments)

Taligent, or something along those lines. I would like to see a more object-oriented operating system. I got a small taste of such during some brief exposure to OS/400 years ago and wonder what it would be like to apply more OO concepts to other systems. Mac OS today has some very nice OO frameworks for application development, but I do think more operating systems could benefit from OO concepts as well. I enjoy the efficiency of UNIX-like systems, but always hope for something better.

more than 3 years ago
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US Students Struggle With Understanding of the 'Equal' Sign

yancey Re:Confusing symbols (1268 comments)

I have seen this several times in the public schools. I have also seen them use blanks in the problems. There is an assumption by those who develop the curriculum that students cannot understand the abstract concept of variables until they are older (typically beginning at 8th or 9th grade, when they take Algebra). I have also tutored middle-aged adults who could not grasp the concept of a negative number, yet were working at a high-tech business (think computer chip manufacturer, formerly involved in the U.S. defense sector). Life is a bit scary at times.

more than 4 years ago
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US Students Struggle With Understanding of the 'Equal' Sign

yancey Re:Calculators (1268 comments)

This could very well be part of the problem. I had not considered it before, but think your assertion is correct. The "=" symbol on the calculator simply means evaluate what I've typed so far. In that context, entering "4+3+2=" into a calculator would result in "9". Then the "+2" at the end of the problem is confusing. Students are then left to guess at the final answer.

more than 4 years ago
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New Google Search Index 50% Fresher With Caffeine

yancey Re:Caffeine?! (216 comments)

I think the way Apple sees it is that, by providing the hardware, software, and services together, they offer a complete package in a way that Microsoft and Dell just can't. They consider it a premium product which is worth the higher price, just as a Porsche costs more than a Ford. So they are not interested in lowering the price points or breaking up the product into separate parts.

more than 4 years ago
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Oracle Wants Proof That Open Source Is Profitable

yancey Just Drop It (393 comments)

Oracle wants to determine the value of OpenSolaris? Let them drop it completely within one year. They should be able to determine the value within three years. It's really the only way to be sure.

more than 4 years ago
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iPad Review

yancey Re:Location (750 comments)

If he doesn't want the location prompts, then disable location services in the preferences.

more than 4 years ago
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CERN Physicist Warns About Uranium Shortage

yancey Sounds Good to Me (581 comments)

It seems to me that when we run out of uranium, it becomes difficult to create more nuclear weapons. I'm OK with that. Besides, there are better power production technologies in the pipeline. It seems that fusion will become a viable option by around 2013 (if we move quickly and provide sufficient funding). I'm thinking specifically of Dr. Richard Nebel's research with IEC fusion. There are other promising fusion research projects as well. However, from what I've seen, the ITER project should be shut down and its funding distributed to other projects.

more than 4 years ago
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Are There Affordable Low-DPI Large-Screen LCD Monitors?

yancey Fresnel Lens (549 comments)

Just put a Fresnel lens in front of the display. It worked for WALL-E.

more than 4 years ago
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Carbon Nanotube Solar Cells On the Horizon

yancey Re:Ooh, ooh (150 comments)

This didn't sound "just around the corner" because it's pretty basic research and we still need good ways to mass produce the nanotubes. Still, the science there is now proven and it's "just" an engineering problem. Someone fund this... please!

about 5 years ago
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Trapped Girls Call For Help On Facebook

yancey Re:Teenagers? (380 comments)

Girls mature faster than boys. :-)

more than 5 years ago
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The Case For Mandatory Touch-Typing In High School

yancey Re:Schools dont change (705 comments)

Perhaps schools are reluctant to change because people say we should "add a class," which would only take time away from existing subjects. Instead of compartmentalizing each minor skill into its own class, let us instead integrate typing and other minor skills into existing classes. Let's integrate typing into language classes, thus teaching computers and word processing together to write in that language (English or otherwise). Let's also integrate mathematics into more classes. The biggest complaint I hear about math is, "I'll never use it." Let's show them where it's used by (surprise!) using it in classes other than math class. From what I hear, the kids are often texting each other in class anyway. They can obviously multitask and apparently need more to keep them busy in the classroom.

more than 5 years ago
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Australia, UK To Test Vehicle Speed-Limiting Devices

yancey Re:That's strange.. (859 comments)

The article says speed is a factor in fatal accidents (not accidents in total). The proposal seeks to reduce the number of fatalities. It would probably not reduce the total number of accidents by any significant amount.

more than 5 years ago
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Shouldn't Every Developer Understand English?

yancey Language Problems (1077 comments)

Having multiple spoken languages on this planet causes a great deal of confusion and often hinders successful communication. There should be only one spoken language (not necessarily English) to make global communication more efficient. As computers are tools used for specific tasks, having multiple symbol sets for specific problems seems appropriate. In other words, multiple computer languages are OK by me. Think about math symbols for a different take on a task-specific language.

more than 5 years ago
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Face Recognition — Clever Or Just Plain Creepy?

yancey Re:So Google... (187 comments)

Google itself, and other companies, may have the best of intentions and never willingly violate your privacy. At the same time, the NSA, tapped into the major Internet routers as they are already and probably with unlimited access to services like ChoicePoint, could be watching everything we do on Google, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, SMS texting, mobile location, AIM, Yahoo, QQ, and every other significant networking system, as well as banking and debit/credit transactions. The companies themselves do not need to help those who would desire to spy on us. We WILL be watched, just as people out on the street or local grocery watch you as you pass by and many cameras record you every day. The question becomes when has it all gone too far. What we have to do is be vigilant, keep an eye on the courts, and make sure the legislators are protecting our privacy with appropriate laws.

more than 5 years ago
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Miscalculation Invalidates LHC Safety Assurances

yancey Re:Meh.... not really a problem (684 comments)

Perhaps, but statistically one of those must eventually make a mistake and actually get past that level of technology.

more than 5 years ago
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Miscalculation Invalidates LHC Safety Assurances

yancey Re:Voodoo Science (684 comments)

Isn't this exactly the sort of physics that the LHC machine was designed to investigate? Higgs boson and particle mass, to be sure. That's what we always hear about, but it's more than that. The LHC will be brought up to full power gradually, over a series of incremental tests and experiments, over months and years, looking for anything unusual in the data, something we haven't anticipated. The data from those experiments can be examined for signs of black hole formation. If they do appear anywhere below LHC maximum energy, then that data can be analyzed before taking the next step, and so on. We feared the sound barrier, feared fusion weapons, feared nuclear power reactors, feared space, and so on. With each of those, we expermimented, we learned, and we came to accept each in time.

more than 5 years ago

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