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Comment Ya think, DiNozzo? (Score 1) 524 524

[DHI], however, has not successfully leveraged the Slashdot user base to further Dice's digital recruitment business;

Maybe they should have, I don't know, worked on making their "recruitment business" less of a steaming pile of sub-mediocrity? It's been a joke since before they started shitting all over slashdot and chased most of the users who might have been valuable enough to "leverage."

And Sourceforge? Christ, even that NAME is a liability now.

Comment Re:meh (Score 1) 113 113

What do you mean "locked to a single platform". I admit that I haven't tried it, but they give away the source code to VS 2015.

I don't think having access to the source code to VS 2015 is going to allow anyone to compile VS for any non-Windows platform. Not unless you have a few million man-hours available for porting and redesign (since much of the functionality present in VS wouldn't even make sense outside of Windows)

Comment Re:Suburban thinking (Score 2) 560 560

The technical problems you mention have obvious solutions.

Not enough roof space on a high-rise to supply power to all of its residents? No problem, just put the solar panels somewhere else instead. Wires make it easy to move electricity from one place to another.

Need more power when the sun isn't shining? That's a bit more expensive to solve, but the solution is obvious -- generate excess power in advance and store it in batteries, so that it is available when you need it. The cell phone, laptop, tablet, and electric car markets are all driving the costs of battery storage down to the point where this will soon be economical to do at scale.

Comment Re:How big is a "solar panel"? (Score 5, Informative) 560 560

I'm kind of wondering where they would all go.
If each panel was a square meter, that's 193 square miles of solar panels.

193 square miles is 0.006% of the surface area of the United States.

Or, if we wanted to only put the solar panels on existing residential roofs -- there are currently about 6184 square miles of residential roof space in the USA. (ref)

Comment Re:Negotiating salaries is for the birds. (Score 2, Insightful) 428 428

A huge disadvantage of private business is its lack of accountability, and lack of transparency that goes along with it. How can everyone understand if things are working well in an environment where as little is shared as possible? Salaries are only a part of it.

Comment Re:Redirecting (Score 5, Funny) 188 188 is clearly unresponsible to DMCA takedown efforts; legal approaches simply won't suffice. I recommend that Universal Pictures launch a coordinated effort hack into it using as many computers as possible, gain root access, and write over its hard drive.

Comment Re:Interesting; likely more limited than advertise (Score 2) 82 82

That actually doesn't sound that bad:

"For example both alcohol (ethanol) and water produce large peaks on an IR spectrum and from the video it would seem that the user provides some background data on what the sample is via the app, so that saves a lot of work. It would be easy for the algorithm to say, 'the user says this is drink and I can see that about 40 per cent of the total spectrum is ethanol so I should give a reading of alcoholic beverage with 40 per cent alcohol content'. Or 'this is a plant and 70 per cent of the spectrum is water so it must be 70 per cent hydrated'. This could also be done with total sugar content for common sugars such as sucrose and fructose," he said.

"Similarly, it would be possible to get a spectrum good enough to recognise something like fruit or Tylenol and then send back generic data (easily found via Google)

That would hardly be useless. I presume that the person knows whether what they're looking at is a fruit or an alcoholic beverage. It's not a big deal to ask the user to do whatever degree of categorization that they can to help it out. And being able to pick out common drugs? Definitely not useless.

Comment Re:Interesting; likely more limited than advertise (Score 1) 82 82

Thanks for your insights. Still trying to decide whether something like this should go on my wish list ;) (see above for my potential uses).

How accurate, exactly, do you think such a device could be? Obviously it's not going to be pulling out the sort of precision of a professional spectrometer. But you mention, for example, being able to identify the signatures of herbicides and pesticides. Do you mean, for example, "This contains imidacloprid", or more like, "This contains a nicotinoid of some variety"?

How useful do you think it could be on identifying mineral species - say, distinguishing between different zeolites? Or, back to food, if given, say, a mango, to get readings of, say, water, sugar (in general, or specific sugars), fat (in general, or specific categories of fats, or specific fats), protein (in general, or specific categories of proteins, or specific common protiens... obviously it's not going to be able to pull out 5 ppb of Some-Complex-Unique-Protein), common vitamins (generally found in dozens of ppm quantity - some more, some less), minerals (likewise), etc?

Comment Re:Smartphone as powerful as 80's supercomputer (Score 2) 82 82

Smartphones are still drastically slower than individual PCs, let alone cloud services.

I know they're overstating the case, and that it's a near-IR spectrometer, not a mass spectrometer. That said, I still like the general concept. Does anyone know whether near-IR spectroscopy can be used for identifying mineral species (for example, between different types of zeolites and the like)? I love rock hunting but many species have similar visual appearances.

And even on the food standpoint I find it interesting... I'm a tropical plant nut, and lots of people I know over on the forum breed unusual varieties of common fruits as well as rare fruits (some of which don't even have scientific names). It's be neat to be able to get a basic compositional profile - no, not "this fruit contains X ppb of this gigantic-complex-unique-protein", but just the major constituents. It'd help, for example, the mango breeders to know if their fruits are compositionally different from the fruit of the parent cultivar.

Brain damage is all in your head. -- Karl Lehenbauer