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Comment Re:Canadian Bilingual KB (Score 1) 315

The Canadian multi-lingual keyboard is a disaster. It changes the shape of some of the most important keys on the keyboard, like ENTER, SHIFT and Backslash. Any touch typist familiar with a standard US keyboard, can't type on the multi-lingual keyboard. However, to support French, about 1/2 of the keyboards in the marketplace are Canadian multi-lingual. Nobody can type on anything, unless they get the right kind of keyboard,, or type slowly.

All this would be somewhat great if Canadian multi-lingual keyboard was multi-lingual. However, it isn't. I don't even think it has all the French letters either. Once you get into other languages, even romantic languages, the keyboard doesn't have the right keys.

The Canadian multi-lingual keyboard is the classic Canadian compromise. It makes no one happy, and no one completely upset.

Comment Re:Please double check your units (Score 1) 85

An approximation used in telecommunications is that the required bandwidth for a communications signal is at least the baudrate. As such, 5.3 Gb/s throughput router would need a little over 5.3 GHz of bandwidth to make the physical layer work. Pretty sure that's not happening with a 5 GHz router ...

If you want to run a protocol layer on top of that, given a shared communications medium and randomly located stations, much more bandwidth is required.

Comment Re:Star Trek not so much (Score 1) 99

The first few episodes of Doctor Who were so bad they almost got the series cancelled. Don't start a new Doctor Who fan watching anything before the first Dalek series on Skaro. That series was what made Doctor Who the second biggest British TV franchise ever.

For a modern audience, I would recommend starting at the reboot with the new series and Russell T Davies and Christopher Ecceleston. That was the point at which Doctor Who became interesting again for a new generation.

Comment Re:Too much hype about driverless cars (Score 1) 211

People make mistakes. A huge percentage of accidents occur to drivers aged 25-65 (60%) on a clear day (74%). Driverless cars will make an impact by going after the dominant sources of accidents.

Personally, I suspect that partially interactive and/or assistive technologies will be deployed first. That way the care doesn't have to handle every case properly, particularly winter and icy conditions.

Comment Re:As a security professional... (Score 5, Insightful) 291

If the job was only about securing data, then security professional's would recommend destroying the data. The military has been known to do exactly this. Destroying the data creates the ultimate security.

What makes security people into security professionals, is that the professionals can design systems that allow authorized activities happen smoothly while simultaneously keeping out the bad guys. That is a much harder task than simply securing the data against unauthorized access. It requires the professional to focus on the balance between usability, security and profit.

Comment Re:The Commit Message (Score 5, Insightful) 572

systemd does things like auto-detect all of the tty devices, and automatically associate them with login prompts when the device becomes active. This sounds good, until you hit an application where the tty device should not have a login prompt. After two days of trying to work around the issue (there is a work around), I now understand what everyone was complaining about ...

The biggest issue is that everything is wrapped in layers of configuration scripts, and this makes it is difficult to do something specific. The distros in an effort to "make everything easier" then have their own distro-specific scripts, and this makes the problems even worse.

The old way had one configuration script per activity, and this had the advantage that you only had to worry about one script.

Comment Re:There should be redundancy in these tests (Score 2) 245

Have the crime lab test a series of random samples periodically. Get random objects from the police department or the prosecutor's office. If any come back positive, something is going on. Better quality control techniques would vary the amount of drugs (or DNA) on the object and this would show how accurate and reproducible the lab's technique is at detecting it.

A big problem in these cases is that no quality control is being done whatsoever!

Comment Re:it's all about precision (Score 2) 160

Those statement's don't mean the same thing. For example: consider an experiment where X was expected, however the magnitude of the X effect is unknown, relative to background noise.
1. "We find that, at 90% confidence level, there is no statistically significant evidence for X" means that the experiment background noise overwhelmed X.
2. "We found that X didn't actually happen." could be a groundbreaking result. However, if background noise was large, how would you know?
3. "We find that, at 75% confidence level, a large number of events occurred but we could not confirm they were X" means that interesting results might happen if a better experiment were run.
4. "We find that, at 99.999% confidence level, X occurred" means X occurred at a high level of statistical certainty.

Comment Re:My Guide (Score 1) 160

The reason for the passive tense is that academic writers tend to take academic disputes personally. Suppose a Nobel prize winner's graduate student wrote a paper where he said "we did this and found this", and someone realized the error in the experiment, then wrote "you did this, missed this, and you didn't actually find this." The professor's ego's would be massively bruised, and a massive rift formed in the research community.

If the passive voice is used, then it's the experiment's fault for being wrong. Using the passive voice is the equivalent of the "always address the chair" rule in Robert's rules of order. If everyone addresses the chair, then it is more difficult to meetings degenerate into personal name-calling. It doesn't always work, but it keeps things civil.

Comment Re:Not quite in the public domain, I think (Score 1) 207

Copyright covers pretty much any new work, even if it is a copy of an old work. An example of this, bible companies routinely copyright the bible. The crucial caveat's are:
1. If the original work is in the public-domain, then anyone can copy the original work.
2. If you publish a copy of the original work, say as part of a collection or with editor's annotations, then you can sue the daylights out of anyone that copies your new work.

In practice this means, if a third party publishes a new copy of the "public domain" work, then they must make sure they publish a new work based on the original, and not the revised collection. Also, if the copyright holder of the later work cannot prove the third-party copy is a copy of his new work as opposed to the original work, then the court will likely just decide that the original work is in the public domain and that is that.

In the case of the bible, anyone can copy any public-domain copy of the bible. Most of the copies of the bible in circulation feature the "latest updates from the dead sea scrolls translated into common English", which makes almost all of the modern copies of the bible slightly different. As such, copyright can then be claimed on the latest and best translation. Many priests, clergy, bible scholars and theologians spend time comparing different versions of the bible to see how they are different.

Comment Educate the Uninterested (Score 3) 120

Instead of excellence, the modern educational system says: "These students are interested in something, so let's educate a different group on the topic!"

People should be saying: "These students are interested in computer programming, let's make them better programmers!" Demand should be created through the celebration of accomplishments.

Taking away the achievements of the interested, results in mediocrity. Yes, it would be nice to have more girls in computer programming. However, the goal of the educational system is often to make everyone the same. To make the interested boys equal to the uninterested girls. Is this the solution we want? Because that is what the school system will implement. The modern school system is very good at targeting the average (or the below average). It sucks at enabling gifted students to excel.

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