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Comment Turned Out Fine for My University (Score 1) 363

While I can understand the argument that a common textbook makes it easier to teach the same material to multiple sections, it's not necessary if the teacher or professor covers all the necessary material.

While I was enrolled as an engineer, one math professor decided he didn't like the textbook being used to teach the course. It was wordy, confusing, and generally not well-written. So, he embarked to write his own book that would be much easier to utilize while teaching calculus courses. He wrote up all of his lecture notes in textbook-like form for easy compilation later, and passed them out to his students for free with each lecture. His notes were very easy to comprehend and matched up with his classes very well. Everyone enjoyed having him as a professor because he actually cared that his students understood the material better.

In his case, sure there was some future financial gain in it for him. (After he found a way to get everything published.) But, it was more about his ability to teach the students effectively. Other professors didn't care that he used his own teaching method or didn't use the standard textbook for his courses. And we all turned out just fine because he still taught all of the material, just in his own way.
BR I guess my point is this: let the teachers choose their own methods, as long as they teach the students the required material. Oftentimes, this can result in greater effectiveness, as it's more comfortable for the person doing the teaching. And that, in turn, usually translates into better learning of the material by the persons being taught. Don't just railroad everyone into doing the same thing. That's how we get all of this common core and standardized testing BS that doesn't really do anything for the teachers or the students.

Comment Re:Do you know how far bullets fly? (Score 1) 620

That may be true if you're actually shooting at something within range. But, buckshot will not be terribly dangerous when shot upward. A round pellet will lose speed due to air resistance and simply fall to the ground. It might hurt, but shouldn't be lethal. A handgun or rifle round, however, utilizes aerodynamics with a pointy nose and spins for stabilization as it flies in a parabolic arc thanks to rifling in the barrel. It will hold its lethality far longer than buckshot, and will usually still come down nose first.

Comment Re:FCC Prevue (Score 1) 56

With all of the news lately about car manufacturers cheating on emissions testing, it wouldn't surprise me in the least if ISPs were doing something similar here.

What's to stop them from coding in some type of recognition for requests made to FCC servers as part of this SamKnows testing to avoid throttling or giving them priority?

/Note: I'm not in IT, IS, CS, etc. So, my knowledge of this is pretty limited.

Comment This is why... (Score 1) 162

...not everything needs to be a smart device. The only secure devices are those not connected to the internet at all. The more devices people keep inventing that connect to everything else, including the internet, the less secure everything becomes.

STOP adding wi-fi to everything! It's not necessary for things like this. If you're too lazy to boil some water you've got bigger issues to worry about.

Comment Re:WTF (Score 1) 394

+1 to this!

I don't understand why people think it's sooooo difficult to live in today's society without social media. Maybe if they'd get off of it to begin with, they'd understand how unnecessary it really is. I have Google+ and LinkedIn accounts, but I created those a long time ago and don't really bother with them. I'll update LinkedIn when I'm looking for a job, but that's about it.

I agree with posters who say that any company that won't hire me because I don't have a social media account (or won't share it with them) are places I don't want to work anyway.

Comment Who's liable then? (Score 1) 800

So, who's liable when an autonomous car hits another vehicle and causes injuries and/or deaths? Since the owner doesn't necessarily have (full) control of the situation, is the programmer liable? Is the auto maker liable? If the car is fully autonomous, it wouldn't even be an owner's decision. Can you hold them liable? (I suppose, even the choice to BUY a car like this could be considered as accepting liability..?)

It seems to me that the best course of action would be to have separate areas for autonomous vehicles, at least at first. Kind of like express lanes on a highway. Without as much danger from human error, it should prove a much safer way to travel. If the driver needs to exit or drive into a non-designated area, they can then take control of the car and drive manually, as everyone else does.

Comment Jammer..? (Score 4, Interesting) 1374

Can anyone say "RFID jammer"..?

Not only will the pro-gun crowd say that a jammer could be used by government agencies to disable their weapons, but the bad guys could easily build a jammer for their own use to ensure their safety during commission of a crime. Imagine cops closing in with "smart guns". The bad guys flip on the jammer and cops can't do anything about it. Throw in the bad guys having traditional guns, and the cops have a serious problem on their hands. Same goes for home invasions.

I understand the idea behind smart guns, but this is a horrible idea. And as a gun owner, I'll never guy a smart gun. I've heard of fingerprint scanners being easily bypassed, as well. Unless you can tie it to DNA or something, I see no good way to produce a gun like this. And even then, it could likely be bypassed without much difficulty.

Comment Re:It's the perception... (Score 1) 405

I admire great golfers and the shots they can make. The courses look beautiful. But I can't really get into golf for the following reasons:

1) I still see it as a "snobs" game. 2) The fees are quite expensive, as well as the equipment. 3) It takes a lot of practice to get good at it. A lot. 4) The amount of space, and water, needed to create and maintain a golf course just seems wasteful to me.

Compare golf to tennis. To play tennis all you need is a racket, good shoes, and a couple of tennis balls. Most of the public courses are free. If you want to get really good you can take lessons but even the untrained can figure it out well enough to bat the ball around and have some fun at it. It's better exercise than golf.

As an aside, when I was a kid I worked briefly as a caddie at a local golf course. It was a private course and very exclusive. I left with the impression that those pricks were the cheapest SOB's on the face of a planet. The cars some of them were driving were worth more than my parent's house. Yet they were lousy tippers.

To address your concerns:

1. That's fine. But with nearly 29 million people playing the game in the US alone, I hardly call it a game for snobs. I see guys in t-shirts and cargo shorts on municipal courses all the time.

2. Municipal courses have modest fees, sometimes under $20. Sure there are courses that are extremely expensive (Pebble Beach, Whistling Straits, etc.), but that's not exactly the norm. And you can easily pick up a good, older set of used clubs for under $100. The new equipment is expensive, but look at anything that's brand-new. Any technology that's cutting-edge will be pricey. But those $400 drivers will be $50 in a few years.

3. You're citing tennis as an easier sport? I played tennis competitively in my teens, and it takes a lot of practice to play tennis well. Sure you can just lob the ball over the net, but that's hardly playing real tennis. You may as well play badminton. Take a few golf lessons and practice. You'll improve quickly, then plateau a bit. Then repeat. Lessons. Practice.

4. This I can't really refute. Courses use a ton of water and chemicals. I know many are looking for more eco-friendly fertilizers and such, but they'll still be an issue.

In any case, I keep seeing comments stating how golf is a game for rich white folks. That's entirely untrue. People from all walks of life play golf, watch golf, and enjoy golf. If you find it boring, that's fine. No game is fun for everyone. But don't make golf sound like an elitist's sport, when it really is available for everyone.

Comment Re:Nothing to do with hole size (Score 1) 405

I've been curious about the exercise that one gets from playing golf. Believe it or not, an average round of golf played with a cart will burn around 800 calories. And walking while carrying your bag will burn closer to 1,500 calories. So, those old guys are probably getting more exercise than an average American these days.

Personally, I prefer to walk/carry. To me, that's part of what makes it a sport. It's not just the skill in hitting a ball into a little cup. If you couple that with the physical exertion of walking, the weather (heat, rain etc.), and the mental focus required to play well, it really is a difficult game. Anyone who says golf isn't a sport either hasn't played it, just sees people riding in carts and thinks they're sissies, or is just pissed because they can't play for crap.

Comment Re:Well, maybe not wrist... (Score 1) 86

Except what you did -- using the water-cooling setup -- had a constant cooling effect. The Wired article specifically states that you get used to this cool feeling after a while. So, they're alternating warm and cool sensations to trick your mind into thinking you feel cooler than you actually are. (I'm sure there's a pun in there somewhere...) So, it's not just about cooling your body temperature, which is what most people think about doing. It's about psychology and mental trickery, which is considerably different than what you were doing.

Comment Re:Autodesk is as bad as they get (Score 1) 89

Firstly, if you don't see any use to updating each year, why bother? Then you can avoid the licensing hassles, while you're at it. The main benefit for being on subscription is the technical support from Autodesk. Though, I wonder how many people realize they get that benefit. For most people, there aren't many really useful updates to AutoCAD each release. I will agree that there aren't many new updates to AutoCAD worth mentioning in the past few releases of the program. They've focused on areas that the generic AutoCAD program really shouldn't be pushed into. Things like point clouds, 3D solids, etc. Use the right tool for the job. Don't make a generic system like AutoCAD, that was designed for 2D work, do something it isn't designed to do. And with a (mostly) 2D tool like AutoCAD, there's only so much you can continue to do to keep the product new and fresh each release.

To add to the other comment about LMTOOLS, this software is actually a customizable 3rd-party network licensing product that's adapted for product-specific licensing by many companies out there, not just Autodesk. I believe most players in the CAD market use it, including Dassault (which also includes SolidWorks), PTC (Pro/Engineer), and I think Siemens (UG NX). There are also a whole host of other companies that use it outside of the CAD realm. While it LOOKS like it was made in the 90's, it does still function. Why bother making something look awesome when it's rarely opened and sitting on a server somewhere?

I'll agree that FlexNet licensing can be a real PITA sometimes. I should know, having to deal with providing technical support for it on a regular basis. (See disclaimer below.) But that doesn't mean it isn't a decent product, especially since most of the time it works just fine. But since it's been in use for such a long time, I highly doubt that it will be replaced with something that looks better and makes things easier to set up and use anytime soon.

But also remember that Autodesk produces well over 100 different products for all kinds of uses, not just vanilla AutoCAD. Things like Inventor, Revit, 3DS Max, Maya, etc. are all using these licensing and subscription models. While LMTOOLS and subscription/leasing may not be ideal for all of their products, it may be what they feel is the best middle ground for everything, rather than coming up with different models for different products.

Disclaimer: I work for an Autodesk partner.

Comment This is stupid (Score 1) 112

Brewing beer at home has been around for millenia. Sharing of recipes online is huge within the homebrewing community. What good is an "open-source" beer? A recipe cannot be copyrighted. The brew itself cannot be patented. The only thing they're doing is sharing the recipe, along with a sample of the beer. Big deal. Many microbreweries share recipes for their brews on their own web sites. Saying the beer is "open-source" simply means you look like a pretentious douche by calling it "open-source".

We all agree on the necessity of compromise. We just can't agree on when it's necessary to compromise. -- Larry Wall