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Comment: Re:All I can say is .... (Score 1) 700

by ChrisMounce (#48977147) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Pros and Cons of Homeschooling?

Regarding the blurring of lines, where you do homeschool with other parents: there are some minor advantages over public school, in that you would have more control over (1) the teachers, and (2) the class sizes.

My high school (private) was really small. Having the two things mentioned above (teachers who were passionate about what they taught, and lots of one-on-one time with them) was really awesome for me. I got along really well with my computer and math teachers, and I ended up doing some side projects with their guidance (not for credit, just for learning/fun). The experience probably put me a year or two ahead of my classmates once I got to college.

You can get that experience with homeschooling or without. But either way, the parents need to be involved.

Comment: Re:does everyone participate in that stuff? (Score 1) 274

by ChrisMounce (#46914841) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Joining a Startup As an Older Programmer?

I would like to second this. I'm a programmer in my 20s, and my preferences run against the limos-and-clubbing stereotype. We do exist!

Chances are that there are some people who really like to go out on the town, some people who are indifferent, and some people who stay behind. And if this company employees great people, they will (1) treat you well no matter which group you're in, and (2) make it easy to tag along for the occasional thing that you actually want to attend. My coworkers are this way, and they are awesome.

As for the employees at the unnamed startup, it all depends on their personalities.

Comment: Correction/confusing summary (Score 4, Interesting) 141

by ChrisMounce (#45868127) Attached to: Object Blocking Giant Tunnel Borer Was an 8" Diameter Pipe

In 2002, researchers for another project — the replacement of the Alaskan Way viaduct — drilled down into the ground to take water samples.

The tunnel that Bertha's digging isn't another project — the whole reason for digging the tunnel is to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct. See here.

The wells were drilled in 2002 to study the ground after the 2001 Nisqually quake. But that's a related project, because the Nisqually quake is the reason why we got to thinking about a replacement for the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

Am I making sense? I hope I'm making sense. At any rate, the story summary needs updating.

Comment: Re:Holy fucking shit, this is AWESOME. (Score 1) 429

by ChrisMounce (#45066303) Attached to: Fusion Reactor Breaks Even

Most fusion reactions will also create waste, and any reaction that creates copious neutrons will be a proliferation risk.

I might be behind on my knowledge of fusion, but both of those statements sound suspect to me. Fusion waste consists of low-atomic-number elements, like Helium. And the radiation in a fusion reaction mainly occurs during the reaction, but not after, IIRC. The waste products do not constantly emit neutrons.

Comment: Re:Change schools. (Score 1) 416

by ChrisMounce (#40189259) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What To Do With a Math Degree?

I have a hunch that she has an empathy for children which is what drove her to pursue the education thing. While it might be more practical to choose a different career, it is unlikely that she would ever be happy with anything less than engaging young minds.

Oh, how I wish I had mod points right now. This is an excellent point that is missing from almost all of the comments here.

Comment: Re:Steve Jobs on video codecs and patents (Score 1) 149

by ChrisMounce (#35380750) Attached to: DOJ Anti-trust Investigation of MPEG-LA
Variable-lifetime patents already exist to a certain extent (utility patents vs. design patents). But it would be interesting to extend the idea further.

As long as we can make arbitrary changes to patent law, I think the most valuable thing you could do is to mandate a periodic investigation into whether or not the current policies encourage innovation. Are algorithm patents slowing down innovation? Shorten their duration by a few years/be stricter about what you accept.

  • Frivolous lawsuits would be severely discouraged. And I mean severely.
  • The patent process now involves wrestling with a live bear. Anyone who successfully survives the experience is awarded the patent.

I can only imagine the punishment you have in mind for a frivolous lawsuit.

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