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Comment: Re:HTC (Score 1) 201

by gatzke (#48153491) Attached to: Google Announces Motorola-Made Nexus 6 and HTC-Made Nexus 9

I will admit I hate that so much cruft is installed by default. They have this "Blink feed" crap that takes up a whole panel and there is no way to remove it. Not cool.

Then Verizon force-installs a bunch of crapware too. I don't want to spend time rooting my phone to purge that crap. Forced software installs are my only complaint on this phone...

Comment: HTC (Score 1, Insightful) 201

by gatzke (#48153231) Attached to: Google Announces Motorola-Made Nexus 6 and HTC-Made Nexus 9

HTC made some great stuff. Many times in the last weeks I have been asked how I like my new iPhone. I have a two-year old HTC One (m7).

But my old phone still has higher resolution than the brand new 6, higher DPI, more RAM, and working NFC. I assume the HTC One m8 is even better now, with a new version coming out soon.

I hope the 9 is great and gets HTC running full steam again.

Comment: Re:WTF? (Score 1) 622

by gatzke (#48131773) Attached to: The Correct Response To Photo Hack Victim-Blamers

If you give nekkid pictures to a third party to keep for you and you don't even seal them in an envelope (encrypted?) is that a good idea?

If your security to retrieve your pictures back from the third party is a single passphrase, is that a good idea?

To some people, there is a big difference between a picture of a nekkid rear end and a full action shot. Are full detail graphic photos and movies a good idea?

Comment: Re:Grades do mean something... (Score 1) 389

by gatzke (#48073081) Attached to: Is It Time To Throw Out the College Application System?

I agree, employers may miss out on some great people if you make cuts based on grades. However, you are playing the averages. A typical student with great grades will probably be a more effective employee than a straight C student (but not always).

Sure there may be some excuse for the bad grades, but employers don't want to hear excuses when you are working for them. They want you to complete your task effectively and efficiently.

I have seen "bad" students excel in the workforce. I have seen super brainiacs totally crash and burn. There are not surefire rules, but grades and test scores are just another piece of information about someone. Not perfect, but better than nothing.

Comment: Grades do mean something... (Score 1) 389

by gatzke (#48072271) Attached to: Is It Time To Throw Out the College Application System?

There are always exceptions. Generally speaking, grades do indicate something. Sometimes good grades mean the student is very bright and picks up things rapidly. Sometimes good grades indicate a strong work ethic. Both of these are qualities that employers would want in future hires.

Along the same lines, good grades do not mean that you will be successful in the work environment. It is a first pass, enough to get your foot in the door. If the student can't follow through, get big complex jobs done, communicate effectively, and work with others they probably won't be very successful. Our academic system does encourage and promote some of those traits, but it could be better.

Comment: Re:LibreOffice/OpenOffice still kind of suck (Score 1) 579

by gatzke (#47701877) Attached to: Munich Reverses Course, May Ditch Linux For Microsoft

Yep. OO and Libre still have issues. I notice problems with lag, especially on presenter. Some oddness with text document formatting in writer.

I am a proponent of LyX for LaTeX stuff, but not everyone needs typesetting.

On the positive side, so much is going online via Google Docs and other cloud stuff.

+ - Google Car crashes-> 1

Submitted by gatzke
gatzke (2977) writes "The Google Car supposedly has a great safety record while driving autonomously. It looks like they are not perfect, as one just caused a solid crash. Details are sketchy, but somehow the Google Car ended up going the wrong way on a one way street."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Baloney (Score 1) 710

by docmordin (#47321929) Attached to: Workaholism In America Is Hurting the Economy

You're not in IT, then, because they're salaried. No extra pay for extra hours.

You're correct: I'm currently not a salaried employee. I also hope to never be salaried again, let alone work for a company that bars me from overtime simply because I'm considered a "computer professional" in the eyes of the government.

As an aside, I can definitely empathize with those who are salaried employees. I had to deal with being labeled a salaried employee all throughout graduate school, despite my contract saying otherwise, and basically miss out on $100k to $125k/year (USD) in overtime; pretty much everyone else in the EECS department was in a similar situation. Suffice to say, when I had the chance to join a start-up company as a fairly compensated employee, I jumped at the opportunity.

Comment: Re:Baloney (Score 1) 710

by docmordin (#47311891) Attached to: Workaholism In America Is Hurting the Economy

The whole image of the 60 hour a week death-marching 'murican worker is a fiction.

When I was a graduate student, a 50- to 60-hour work week was basically a vacation, given that I routinely put in 70 to 85 hours per week. Moreover, it wasn't unheard of for students to basically not leave the lab for an entire week, let alone only sleep 5 hours per day on a couch during that time, while some important experiment was being conducted.

Nowadays, a 60-hour work week is the norm for me, and I've come to enjoy it. I have around three "productive" days where I work a total of 39 hours, two "semi-productive" days where I work a total of 18 hours, and an additional 3 hours that I spread out over the week for administrative tasks and meetings. While it would be nice to cut back to just 40 hours per week, I nearly double my salary by working those additional 20 hours.

Comment: Re:They've been pushing this angle for a while (Score 1) 362

by docmordin (#47022165) Attached to: Should Tesla Make Batteries Instead of Electric Cars?

The base Model S is $69,990 (USD) according to Tesla's website and Wikipedia, not $35,000 to $40,000 (USD). With federal tax credits, the base price comes down to $63,570 (USD). With state incentives, it becomes a bit more difficult to qualify the final price: essentially, you can either get a $2,500 (USD) rebate (California), a $6,000 (USD) income tax credit (Colorado), a $5,000 (USD) income tax credit (Georgia), or a $4,000 (USD) rebate for the car and a $3,000 (USD) rebate to offset the cost of electric vehicle charging stations (Illinois).

Considering what I paid for the Model S P85+, I do wish that the base price had been as low as what you originally claimed.

Comment: Re:And much better than others (Score 3, Informative) 72

by docmordin (#46934249) Attached to: The Exploitative Economics of Academic Publishing

As an academic, part of the problem with starting wonderful open journals and conferences is the fact that there are very few incentives for us to spend our time to build up the reputation of the publication. Although being editor-in-chief or associate editor of a journal is nice to have for a tenure review, some universities weight it less than the number of publications produced, the prestige of the publication venue, how many students you have advised, how much grant money has been brought to the university, and how much publicity your work has received. Since so many of my colleagues are focused on maximizing these metrics, they have very little time for much else when starting their careers. Moreover, even when they have tenure, they still have to chase grant money to sponsor all of the students in their labs; when I was in graduate school, my adviser seemed to be flying around every two or three weeks to meet with program managers to get even more money.

Another item of note is that it is much easier to get support to start a conference if you align yourself with one of the major academic publishers, e.g., IEEE or Springer. Provided you can meet your attendance quota, these publishers provide much of the infrastructure and initial funding to host such events.

Comment: Re:Equations (Score 4, Interesting) 191

If you're using Word or OpenOffice, that might be a problem. If you're using LaTeX, it's not, provided that you're a reasonably quick typist and have memorized the standard mathematical commands. I ended up typing all of my lecture notes for my statistics Ph.D. classes without much of a hassle. In fact, most of the students in my classes came to me for portions of my lecture notes, as I was able to capture all of the important comments that the professors would make in haste while continuing on with a derivation or proof.

As for a comment on the article, since very little information was given about their testing protocols there may be some inherent bias in their findings. Specifically, their testing methodology seems to hinge on showing that short-term conceptual recall rates decrease when using laptops. That is, the authors don't bother addressing long-term retention and generalization.

The flow chart is a most thoroughly oversold piece of program documentation. -- Frederick Brooks, "The Mythical Man Month"

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