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Comment: Re:been there, done that (Score 3, Informative) 279

by Nethead (#48614073) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Should a Liberal Arts Major Get Into STEM?

I work for an aerospace cabin integrator and we're always looking for good TechPubs people. My company offers fully paid classes within our field. The great thing is that the TechPubs folks work hand in hand with the engineers. You can talk with them and figure what type of engineering work you want to do, stress, electrical, structures, flam, systems, furniture... and we just touch the inside of an airliner.

Email me if you live in the Puget Sound area.

Comment: Re:Don't forget batteries for storage (Score 2) 280

by Nethead (#48561305) Attached to: Utilities Face Billions In Losses From Distributed Renewables

Off-topic side note about WalMart. I've done data cable work at more than a few and found that they do one really neat trick when they build: For their main electrical room they haul in a 40' container (before the walls are up) and set it in the back of the store. All the electrical mains come in there through a wall. All the main breakers and the telco demarcation point is in there so if they catch fire the rest of the store has a chance. Off-topic but kind of cool if you're into that thing, which I am.

Comment: Re:Very cool. (Score 1) 127

by Nethead (#48550079) Attached to: Samsung SSD 850 EVO 32-Layer 3D V-NAND-Based SSD Tested

Good solution. I do like my pure 480GB SSD in my work laptop for the battery savings. I get 6 hours out of an i5 laptop now. It's an HP Elitebook 840 if you're interested. For pure storage I have a 2TB USB3 drive that holds things like music, software packages and all the found Doctor Who episodes, just in case, ya know.

Comment: Re:.50 WHAT? (Score 1) 127

by Nethead (#48550033) Attached to: Samsung SSD 850 EVO 32-Layer 3D V-NAND-Based SSD Tested

Blame ASCII. There is no standard (7-bit) ASCII symbol for cents. Back in my day we use to just type a c and then backspace and type a / to make the US cents symbol. Of course, back then most typewriters didn't have a numeral 1 and we just used a lower case L for that.

The lack of cent and degree symbols always bothered me when it comes to the ASCII set. Before all you internationalists get upset about including a US centric symbol, remember that the A in ASCII stands for American.

Now why the author of the article decided to use a useless trailing zero...

Comment: Physical games (Score 1) 171

by metlin (#48543965) Attached to: Preferred Type of Game?

I enjoy rock and ice climbing, sailing, and flying. And they are all done outside in the real world.

There's a certain satisfaction that comes from physical exertion that is not accomplished in a board game or a video game.

Although I have seen some people go crazy over flight sims. While they are good learning tools for some planes where it's hard (and expensive) to rack up hours, they're definitely no substitute for the real thing. That feeling of g's when you master an acrobatic maneuver or the joys of landing blind.

Comment: Re:What to wonder about? (Score 2) 197

by Nethead (#48538519) Attached to: Orion Capsule Safely Recovered, Complete With 12-Year-Old Computer Guts

That being said it should be mentioned that a variant of TFTP (35years old) is the standard for Loading SW onto parts in Planes.

I've had to buy up old Win95 Toughbooks for our engineers so they can load the cabin lighting into a Boeing 747. There's a place in the plane that takes a 3.5" floppy with the settings. The only program that writes that disk needs to run on Win98 or below and won't work with a USB floppy. Just bought three more that came out of cop cars in Iowa.

Comment: Re:You missed an important part of the quote (Score 1) 1007

by metlin (#48247723) Attached to: Creationism Conference at Michigan State University Stirs Unease

You are conflating no answer with no value in having an education on the subject.

A mathematician may not have a solution to the Riemann hypothesis, but is certainly more informed than a layman.

Similarly, people who have studied politics, philosophy, or ethics may not have a definitive answer on a particular topic; however, to argue that a layman's answer is of equal value to that of an educated expert's answer in that domain is disingenuous. Furthermore, there are certainly quantitative elements to both political science and international relations.

Yes, there are some subjects that are qualitative, with no definite answers -- however, that does not mean that all answers are equal.

However, you cannot conflate faith with these other subjects, not even theology. Indeed, theology is different from faith because it is the study of religions. It is not the same as "belief", which has no grounding in any reality.

That is not to say that faith is any less valuable -- merely that it is not in the same league as any of the other subjects that you mentioned.

Comment: Re:So they got their reservation using deception? (Score 1) 1007

by metlin (#48244551) Attached to: Creationism Conference at Michigan State University Stirs Unease

I hope you enjoyed the rest of the post. I have taken a few classes under Professor Nichols, and he is a hoot. I really enjoy reading the rest of his blog as well, mostly because he has a very non-partisan yet informed worldview on a variety of topics.

Comment: Re:So they got their reservation using deception? (Score 5, Insightful) 1007

by metlin (#48243789) Attached to: Creationism Conference at Michigan State University Stirs Unease

Professor Tom Nichols, who teaches at Harvard and the Naval War College, has a great piece called the "Death of Expertise."

I quote:

Indeed, to a certain segment of the American public, the idea that one person knows more than another person is an appalling thought, and perhaps even a not-too-subtle attempt to put down one's fellow citizen. It's certainly thought to be rude: to judge from social media and op-eds, the claim of expertise -- and especially any claim that expertise should guide the outcome of a disagreement -- is now considered by many people to be worse than a direct personal insult.

This is a very bad thing. Yes, it's true that experts can make mistakes, as disasters from thalidomide to the Challenger explosion tragically remind us. But mostly, experts have a pretty good batting average compared to laymen: doctors, whatever their errors, seem to do better with most illnesses than faith healers or your Aunt Ginny and her special chicken gut poultice. To reject the notion of expertise, and to replace it with a sanctimonious insistence that every person has a right to his or her own opinion, is just plain silly.

Worse, it's dangerous. The death of expertise is a rejection not only of knowledge, but of the ways in which we gain knowledge and learn about things. It's a rejection of science. It's a rejection, really, of the foundation of Western civilization: yes, that paternalistic, racist, ethnocentric approach to knowledge that created the nuclear bomb, the Edsel, and New Coke, but which also keeps diabetics alive, lands mammoth airliners in the dark, and writes documents like the Charter of the United Nations.

Comment: Re: Why? (Score 2) 109

by metlin (#48193003) Attached to: China Staging a Nationwide Attack On iCloud and Microsoft Accounts

Spying on their citizens - Check

The difference here is that we the people still have the right to question the government, and organizations like the EFF continue to fight for it.

Economic stagnation - Check

You must be joking. American economy is anything but stagnant. Between 2009-2013, the U.S. GDP growth 1.9%, which is pretty good compared to most other OECD countries.

It may be "stagnant" when you compare it to a country like China at 7.7%, but that is simply not sustainable, not without artificial currency manipulation.

Riots - Check

A few days of media blitz over a police shootout is not the same as protesters fighting for democracy.

High unemployment - Check

What on earth are you talking about? The U.S. unemployment is at 5.9% as of September 2014 and China's is estimated at ~4.5%.

If a 6600 used paper tape instead of core memory, it would use up tape at about 30 miles/second. -- Grishman, Assembly Language Programming