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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.

Comment: Re:Now it's the grid engineers' problem to solve.. (Score 1) 227

by gatzke (#46686777) Attached to: Nanodot-Based Smartphone Battery Recharges In 30 Seconds

I am not a EE, but a 10 MW generator is not physically that large. I have seen giant flywheels that store a lot of energy and are spun up by a smaller motor on the other end running continuously (TUM / IPP fusion reactor energy storage near Munich). You could imagine putting something like that in to avoid fouling the power grid with 30 second 10 MW spikes.

I think the problem is letting a human connect these things. Maybe if you automate all the connections, similar to the Tesla battery swap stations? That and lifetime of the electrodes.

Comment: Carolina Reaper is the hottest pepper! (Score 2) 285

by gatzke (#46582237) Attached to: I prefer my peppers ...

Carolina Reaper from Pucker Butt. South Carolina has the verified hottest peppers in the world!

1,600,000 SHU average with peaks of 2,200,000 SHU for the reaper. Jalapeno peppers are under 10,000 SHU.

I bought some powder for a chili contest and it made my face go numb and tingly.


Comment: Re:Could it be cause of the open-access mandate? (Score 4, Informative) 111

by docmordin (#46442149) Attached to: Up To 1000 NIH Investigators Dropped Out Last Year

As an actual researcher, let me state that your post has little to no bearing on reality. That is, open-access journals do not prevent an individual or group of individuals from artificially inflating various publication metrics. Moreover, agencies look at much more than those metrics, e.g., research output, research impact, past publication venues, and the number of students who are supported and are expected to graduate under a grant, when deciding how to dole out funding.

Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games -- but not with pleasure. -- Leo Rosten