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Comment Length of courses more important than content (Score 2) 70

In some cases, I'm guessing when a college or a state writes a contract for creating these courses, the length of time of the video content must be the most important clause in the contract. My son signed up for Texas' online high school physics class last summer in order to avoid taking it during the school year. It was very clear that the objective of the course materials was to consume required amount of time and not really to teach physics. It was more like a remedial drivers ed class one takes as punishment for speeding than anything that resembled a real class. I imagine that quite a few online classes come into being based on this "time content" model.

Comment LTG Flynn deserves respect (Score 1) 895

Lets not forget that LTG Flynn is the type of man who has risked his life at times to answer a Priority Information Request (PIR). In many ways this takes more nerve and commitment than straight up combat. I suspect that part of the problem is that he may not have considered Pence to be in his chain of command as the vice president is not normally delegated roles in the way Trump was delegating things to Pence.

Comment Rinse repeat? (Score 1) 213

GVFS feels like a philosophical disconnect with GIT and a software tool created to work around a lack of software architecture. It probably would be a better idea to fix the software architecture problem.

Polytron's tool chain supported partial local builds back in the 80's. We used Polymake and PVCS to build Comshare's EIS. If you changed just one C file, that was all that compiled on your system. Polymake basically had two paths it looked at for all dependencies and their lib command had a nice replace-module command. Fixing the architecture and having a better make seems like a better solution than monkeying with the source code control system.

Comment Re:Too Late (Score 1) 101

Its pretty easy in Microsoft land, for instance: https://www.sqlservercentral.c... and I have done similar things in bash to restore Oracle and Sybase DBs many years ago. Of course you have to have transaction logs to replay transaction logs and writing transactions logs is optional in MySQL and even if they are written, they are by default placed in the same data directory as the database.

Comment Prematurely Optimistic? (Score 2) 334

There are a number of issues with this paper: https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/pa... . The first is that the achieved pressure beyond 335 GPa are seat-of-the-pants estimates. The second is that they did not publish the mass of the "grain of ruby" and they did not account for what happened to this grain of ruby during the experiment. A one-atom layer of Al and Cr from the Al2:O3:Cr Ruby on the outside of their compressed 30 micron in diameter mass could account for their physical observations. My largest issue with the paper is they did not describe the depressurizing process. Metastability is a key indicator of metallic hydrogen and yet the paper omits any good or bad observations related to metastability. What happened at the end of the experiment? Why wasn't this reported?

Comment Redirects look different than search responses (Score 2) 87

Egypt doesn't have to block www.google.com, they only have to discern which internal IPs are attempting to communicate securely and blacklist those IPs from performing out-bound connections. As long as Egypt's firewall can tell the difference between a redirect and a normal search response they can do this. Google would have to start padding redirect responses to make it harder to tell the difference between these response types.

Comment Taking supplements insufficient (Score 2) 216

Blood draws are required to measure efficacy. For instance, most vitamin D supplements did not improve my wife's vitamin D levels. Science requires measurement and the science people should care the most about is the science of their own health. Doctors telling patients to take supplements without follow up are poor practitioners of medicine.

Comment We paid for Russian Info Op (Score 1) 335

The three biggest intel orgs in the world have very different philosophies of how you get the job done. The U.S. likes to go after big coups -- turning a general, etc. The Chinese like ops that require enormous resources and cast a wide net, like trying to compromise every visiting student and helping them with their careers in the hopes that one of them winds up somewhere useful someday. The Russians seek to the control the story and believe that they can shape history and they do this with a massive propaganda arm along with controlling the press, etc. Do not make the assumption that your opponents think the same way you do. A company with a superior product that doesn't understand that its competition has superior marketing can still lose in the marketplace.

The Russians have been probing our responses to social media for years. (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... ) and our scientists such as Gilad Lotan have helpfully informed them of how to succeed where this hoax is considered to have been a failure. By the time the 2016 election came around they not only knew how to successfully plant fake news but exactly what its shelf life was and had a good idea how to build up to the current election. My guess is they also made money doing it via "clicks". So the gullible US population funded Russia's information operation against itself. Genius.

Russia was not the only genesis of the fake news. I am sure Brad Parscale understood and drove a lot of this and we know Steve Bannon made money promoting fake news. A key element in fake news though is producing as many supporting cross-links as possible. In my mind the effectiveness of Russia's contribution is the outstanding question, not whether or not it happened. Since many of the documentable origins are fake social media accounts and evaporated shell companies it will be very hard to assess who contributed what to the process. I believe there will be a tendency to over-blame "nefarious" Russia in the aftermath.

Comment They made my life easier (Score 1) 137

For almost 4 years I was the director of what I like to refer to as a "software sweat shop" on the campus of a major university. Because of our generated revenue, my disliked boss was guaranteed tenure with the only requirement being that we publish six papers during those 3 years. We didn't have much to publish on other than case studies of end users and prognostications of the future of computers in ecology. If it weren't for lame journals I would have had to have devoted much more effort to getting our needed papers published rather than spending my time designing software and working with graduate students to meet our releases. My boss certainly wasn't going to write the papers though he did an excellent job of providing outlines, ideas and a paper writing methodology. I'm pretty sure we had 10 published papers by the time the 3 years was up, some being near repeats in different journals. My boss figured (rightly I'm sure) that we if just had 6 in the bag, that they might look for reasons to kick one or two out. But they weren't going to stoop to disqualifying half of our papers during the tenure review.

Comment Getty now a known perjurer (Score 4, Interesting) 99

Hopefully defense attorneys will use this effectively going forward. Getty won't be able to claim anything and should have to prove everything. Signed document ... no good, we want to depose the signers, etc. That employee doesn't work for you anymore? ... too bad. Normally a judge would not considered these requests reasonable, but they are reasonable in the face of a corporation that has knowingly misrepresented their ownership of copyrights in court.

Comment Re:2 Time Zones (Score 1) 598

You missed the "defacto". I know there are 4 time zones in the U.S. The point is that we really behave as if there are two. Central time gets lumped with Eastern and Mountain gets the same schedules as Pacific. Office hours are not 3 hours different between NY and CA, the real difference is less than 2 hours on average. The other point is that if we want to codify this reality and create two official time zones for the US, the time to do it is now since one of the drivers is becoming irrelevant.

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