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Comment Grow up or scroll on by. (Score 1) 143

This is a technology oriented site, there's only more technology out there and diluting the content to make it some kind of catch-all site for things doesn't make this site better, it makes it worse.

In a universe where posting a story "dilutes" anything, your comment would make sense. But we don't live in such a universe.

What made Slashdot great wasn't stories about hot button social issues, but stories about technology.

What made Slashdot great was it carried a large variety of stories related to technology and science - not that it catered to a subset of ignorant and narrow minded neckbeards.

You don't want to read it, scroll on by. The grownups want to have an adult conversation.

Comment Re:Encrypted (Score 2, Informative) 107

I am a professional land surveyor.

You're a moron with no clue what you're talking about.

President Clinton removed selective availability from GPS. That is why we have the location boom today. We are at as accurate a position as we can be with the GPS reception.

President Clinton turned off Selective Availability on the C/A (coarse acquisition) signal. The more accurate P(Y) (precision location) signal used by the military is still encrypted.

Comment Re:Solution? (Score 2) 146

The real problem is they are looking at written data. Sarcasm is based on auditory and visual cues of the person. Detecting sarcasm online is like looking for a needle in a haystack when you don't know what a needle or hay is.

To some degree yes, but there are still satirical works of literature throughout history such as Swift's A Modest Proposal that would pose a similar problem. The problem in understanding sarcasm or satire without the visual or vocal cues relates to understanding meaning (a difficult problem in its own right) as well as why a particular response is absurd given the context, which means you also have to know what the expected or typical answer should look like.

Both of you are right... and wrong. The problem is that most people don't know how to write - and thus what they mean as (what they misunderstand to be) sarcasm doesn't come across as such. That's the real problem the researchers are facing, lack of ability to convey meaning, not lack of context.

Comment Re:Uh... let me think about it (Score 2) 572

I have never figured out how any adult could possibly not know how to read a map. It just seems so blindingly obvious. You simply look at the damn thing. Isn't visual pattern recognition humanity's greatest advantage?

No, you don't simply "look at the damn thing". You also have to be able to relate the information on the map to landmarks in the real world - a much more difficult proposition not only because the real world is a spatial relationship problem (as compared to the pattern relationship problem of the map), but also because those spatial relationships are subject to perception as well.
I wish I could find a link to the studies I saw back in the 90's where they asked random people to draw a map of their hometown - and very few bore much relationship to each other or to the real world. Long routes were often drawn as short ones - especially if it was a route the person drawing the map drove frequently. Familiar areas took up large areas on the map, often in great detail, while the unfamiliar interstitials were compressed or absent. (Etc... etc...)
For example; back in my hometown new folks often had problems navigating via map because the city's 'cultural' map is rotated counter-clockwise nearly forty five degrees from the real world. Basically the road that ran out of the original settlement ran NW-SE, but folks called it the "North road" and the "South road". Two hundred and fifty years later, street names and business names still represent this convention in contravention to what you'd think based on their map directions and position. In the town my mom lives in now she lives in "Southside" (so named a century ago when the town was much smaller), but on the map it's actually nearer the north central part of the city. And there too, the residents think of the lion's share of the metro area as being the "south side of town".

Comment Re:I am not a physicist but... (Score 1) 337

China is also dumping US 1960's-style money in to scientific research and development. Of the three major space-faring countries, China, Russia, and the USA, you'll note that only China and Russian currently have manned spaceflight programs.

China is a major space faring nation? Only by comparison with the minors... In reality, China's space program is just big enough to convince people they're a "major" space faring nation and not a Fen's worth more.

Comment Re:Mars is impossible (Score 1) 310

Honestly, if they can't tackle the problem of putting someone on the Moon for a week, or a month (or at all) ... they have no way in hell of trying to solve some of the problems with going to Mars.

Yes.... and no. That's kinda like saying " if they can't tackle the problem of putting someone in the middle of the Sahara Desert for a week, or a month (or at all) ... they have no way in hell of trying to solve some of the problems with going to Antarctica".
It sounds reasonable to simplistic analysis - after all, the Sahara Desert is much closer to civilization than Antarctica, right? But the environments of the two are so radically different that it doesn't actually work that way. On the Moon, you can use a simple water boiler for cooling - on Mars, there's too much atmosphere for that. You can land on the Moon with a simple rocket engine - Mars has too much gravity for that. (But not enough atmosphere to rely solely on parachutes.) Etc.. etc... They're different not only in the details, but in the gross conditions as well. Practically no problems that you'll need to solve to stay on the Moon have solutions that transfer to staying on Mars. The ones that do, like long term ECLSS or logistics managment, are just as easily tested in LEO or even in an environment chamber here on the ground.

You want to go back to the Moon, that's cool. It's a goal I'm sympathetic to. But don't fool yourself for an instant that it's in any way useful as a precursor to Mars.

Comment Re:Fix the summaries (Score 1) 1838

Finally, remember this is news for nerds.

Personally, I find it funny when someone says "this is a site for nerds!" in combination with "but cut out the acronyms and jargon". Honestly, if I don't know the acronyms and jargon, it's good odds I'm not even interested in the article. But if there's a enough meat in the summary to make me want to look up the acronyms, well, Google is just a few clicks away. That's real problem, all too often there's not enough meat.

Comment Re:Some of this has already been said, but my top (Score 1) 1838

When I hear someone say "Get rid of AC," I interpret that as "Children should be seen and not heard,' where adults == people who have taken the time to register, and who have some form of local reputation on the line.

I read it as "and get of my lawn and take those dirty [epithets] [object of hatred] with you!".

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