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Comment: Re:Astronomy club? (Score 1) 234

by Astrobirdr (#47939267) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Pick Up Astronomy and Physics As an Adult?
I second this. I was in the same position a few years ago, and went to my local astronomy club, found a gifted person that I got along with well, and was willing to teach me. After several "star-hopping" observation sessions I found that I was really beginning to know and understand the night sky. Eventually I learned enough from him, Sky & Telescope and Astronomy Magazine and books from my local library that I was asked to teach the Intro to Astronomy class at the local university--that activity forced me to learn even more! I even went on to be active with other, more advanced clubs in the state, which helped push my knowledge.

I'd also recommend looking into week-long activities like the one at University of Arizona. I've been to both the beginning and advanced Adult camps and they were great fun.

As for Physics, I'll leave that as an exercise for other posters ;-).

Comment: Re:Beards and suspenders. (Score 1) 637

by Astrobirdr (#47617031) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: "Real" Computer Scientists vs. Modern Curriculum?

. . . but just did the sorts of things in C they already knew how to do in Java (except awkwardly in C), and didn't understand the point of the class (and perhaps the class was pointless). . . .

But isn't the real question whether the class was actually pointER-less? ;-) :-) :-).

Comment: Additional Questions (Score 3, Insightful) 211

by Astrobirdr (#30038670) Attached to: How Do You Evaluate a Data Center?
I'd also ask:

Number of years in business.
Involvement of the owner in the current business.
Number of years the current owner has been in this business.
Also do a check with the Better Business Bureau to see what, if any, complaints had been filed.

And, as always, Google is your friend -- definitely do a search for the business you are considering along with the word(s) problem, issue, complaint, praise, etc!
The Courts

+ - Excess copyright damages may get to Sup Ct->

Submitted by
NewYorkCountryLawyer
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "In a copyright infringement case involving karaokes, a number of important copyright issues may get thrashed out by the U.S. Supreme Court, including several of the most troubling these days, (1) whether teaching is a fair use, and (2) whether the content companies' demands for large statutory damages awards, where they can't prove any damages, are unconstitutional. A petition for Supreme Court review has been filed in Zomba v. Panorama, from a decision of the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, which left standing an award of damages 44 times the actual damages sustained. The brief (pdf) made reference, at page 32, to the RIAA, MPAA, and NMPA's "flooding the courts with statutory damages cases", and to the $222,000 award, based on $23.76 worth of song files, obtained by the RIAA in Capitol v. Thomas."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:ST:VOY (Score 3, Funny) 926

by Astrobirdr (#21254841) Attached to: Best Trek

7/9 (and her character's perspective, not her rack)

The general consensus is that her rack is the single biggest contribution to Voyager. (ba-dum-pshhhhh, thank you, thank you, I'll be here all week)

Umm, wouldn't that be the TWO biggest contributions?? :-)
Graphics

+ - Boost video performance of aging AGP system

Submitted by jmke
jmke (776334) writes "While most manufacturers have forsaken AGP and are no longer bringing out new products for this platform, there are still a few left who cater to the budget minded end user. The ATI X1950 Pro chipset carries the top mid-range title in its PCI Express incarnation, the people from HIS Digital have brought it over to AGP in hopes that'll it will give a performance boost for older systems too, their X1950 Pro IceQ3 comes overclocked and with custom cooling to keep things running cool and quiet. Worth a look for those who like to play the latest games on their AGP system."
Programming

+ - Poll: where do you put the curly braces?

Submitted by
raner
raner writes "Where do you put the curly braces:
* opening brace at end of line, closing brace at beginning
* both braces at the beginning of their own lines
* option 1, with some exceptions
* option 2, with some exceptions
* wherever I see fit
* I'm a COBOL programmer"
Software

+ - What is the best bug-as-a-feature?

Submitted by Bat Country
Bat Country (829565) writes "The workflow system at the department I develop for was hand-coded by my predecessor in a rather short amount of time, resulting in somewhat unreadable code with a number of interesting "features."

When I took over maintenance of the code base, I started patching bugs and cleaning up the code in preparation for a new set of features.

When I was done however, I got a pile of complaints about features which disappeared which turned out to be caused by the bugs in the code.
So that leads me to ask, what is your favorite bug that you either can't live without or makes your life easier?"
Microsoft

+ - Why Microsoft Should Fear Apple

Submitted by jcatcw
jcatcw (1000875) writes "Computerworld's Scot Finnie says that MS should be afraid because Apple has gotten smarter about how it competes. He says that it's the Parallels Desktop software that has been truly transformational for the Mac. Finnie did a simple three-month trial of the Mac last in the fall and realized four months later that he wasn't going back. Since then he's received hundreds of messages from readers who've also made the switch."
United States

+ - New report finds H-1Bs accelerating outsourcing

Submitted by chris_be
chris_be (1081217) writes "The Economic Policy Institute's latest Briefing Paper, Outsourcing America's technology and knowledge jobs: High-skill guest worker visas are currently hurting rather than helping keep jobs at home, comes as Congress once again considers changes to U.S. high-skill immigration policy. This report disproves claims that, because of a shortage of U.S. scientists and engineers, our H-1B visa program has to expand so that employers are not forced to hire foreign workers in their home countries. The report also finds the H-1B program instead accelerates the outsourcing of high-wage, high-skill jobs to low-cost countries. In fact, the visa program's largest users are offshore outsourcing firms who sponsor very few of their workers for long-term green cards. The report also points out three major fundamental flaws in the program design. First, firms do not have to ensure that there isn't a U.S. worker who could fill the job before hiring a foreign worker. Second, the visa program's prevailing wage guidelines are riddled with loopholes, so that firms can easily pay foreign workers below-market wages that then depress the wages of U.S. workers. Third, the program has little oversight."
Sony

+ - World's first full review of the Sony NW-A800

Submitted by softmint
softmint (666) writes "CNET has reviewed the soon to be released video walkman from Sony, the 8GB model in the A800 series.

The Sony NW-A808 is the most stunning flash MP3 player we've seen since the iPod nano — if anything, it's better in many significant areas. It's one of the only MP3 players around to make music sound great out of the box — plus video clips look lush and the battery life is superb.

The only drawbacks are the SonicStage software, as ever, and the relatively high recommended price. You'll have to learn to live with the awkward software, but the nice people at Advanced MP3 Players tell us they're planning to sell the NW-A808 for less than the price of a nano — if this happens, it's well worth snapping up.

There's also a video review on the same site."
IBM

IBM Doubles CPU Cooling With Simple Change 208

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the things-overclockers-have-known-for-years dept.
Ars Technica is reporting that IBM has discovered a new cooling breakthrough that, unlike several other recent announcements, should be relatively easy and cost-effective to implement. "IBM's find addresses how thermal paste is typically spread between the face of a chip and the heat spreader that sits directly over the core. Overclockers already know how crucial it is to apply thermal paste the right way: too much, and it causes heat buildup. Too little, and it causes heat buildup. It has to be "just right," which is why IBM looked to find the best way to get the gooey stuff where it needs to be and in the right amount, and to make it significantly more efficient in the process."
Security

+ - Can a MacBook Pro Survive the Hacker Jungle?

Submitted by b0mp
b0mp (666) writes "At this year's CanSecWest 2007 conference in Vancouver, BC, a "PWN to OWN" contest will pit security researchers against a MacBook Pro in an experiment to see how well a default Mac OS X install can survive hacker scrutiny. The contest is the brainchild of CanSecWest organizer Dragos Ruiu, who was motivated in part by Apple's general anti-disclosure stance and the Mac commercials that trivializes security to the masses with humor. From the article: Ruiu plans to set up two loaded MacBook Pro machines on this own access point with default installs and with the latest security updates applied. "[Hackers] will be able to walk up to it and connect to the AP ethernet or go in over WiFi. If you exploit it, you get to go home with it," Ruiu said."

"Now this is a totally brain damaged algorithm. Gag me with a smurfette." -- P. Buhr, Computer Science 354

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