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Comment: Re:The Nobel Prize Committee blew it (Score 2) 276

by GlobalEcho (#48105569) Attached to: No Nobel For Nick Holonyak Jr, Father of the LED

I happen to know someone who won the Economics prize, and even ended up going to Sweden for some of the award week. The economics medal is technically different, as you say, but is treated identically in a functional sense. That is to say, the winners all appear together at various ceremonies, are all given the same considerations and support, speak at the same events and so on. Press coverage also often fails to point out the distinction.

(In contrast, the Peace prize is awarded differently, has different event and ceremonies, etc., etc.)

Based on these observations, I've started thinking of economics medal as equivalent to the others in every objective sense that matters.

Comment: Re:Biden is talking coding?? (Score 1) 225

by GlobalEcho (#47522729) Attached to: VP Biden Briefs US Governors On H-1B Visas, IT, and Coding

Al Gore, March 8, 1999, interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, "I took the initiative in creating the Internet."

Al Gore, March 8, 1999, about 0.2 seconds later in the same interview "...I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country’s economic growth, environmental protection, improvements in our educational system." Wired magazine yanked that quote out of context and it has never been the same since.

Absolutely right. I always thought that was a bit unfair, but I didn't mind too much, because I believe Gore has always been insufficiently lambasted for his active advocacy of the Clipper chip

Comment: Listen in (Score 5, Informative) 205

by GlobalEcho (#47501161) Attached to: New Toyota Helps You Yell At the Kids

Among the advantages of owning a minivan is that it becomes easy to carry your own children, plus a few of their friends. You get to know those friends, and listen to your kids' conversations with them. Often, the kids sort of forget you are there and converse "normally". You gain a window into their lives at school you otherwise would never have enjoyed.

Sneaky trick: if you turn on the radio with the fader balanced toward the rear seats, the kids will speak louder without even realizing it.

Comment: Basically a toy (Score 1) 85

by GlobalEcho (#47251607) Attached to: Shawn Raymond's Tandem Bike is Shorter Than Yours (Video)

As a "real" tandem person (see here), I must say this thing looks like a toy to me. Of course, it is also far less expensive than the bikes made by serious tandem bike companies, who often make bikes with derailer and brake systems that alone cost as much as this monstrosity.

We've had our tandem going 60-70mph (down mountain roads). There's no way I would trust this thing for such riding. Maybe it is OK for some gentle cruises, but that's it. And furthermore, there's a far better design for front-stoker visibility.

/snob mode off

Comment: Table salt (Score 1) 82

by GlobalEcho (#47211661) Attached to: Biodegradable Fibers As Strong As Steel Made From Wood Cellulose

replacement for many filament materials made today from imperishable substances such as fiberglass, plastic, and metal. And all this from a substance that requires only water, wood cellulose, and common table salt to create it

I would hate to be the poor bastard in the factory whose job it is to stand there shaking the salt cellar all day.

Comment: Entering students too young (Score 4, Insightful) 325

by GlobalEcho (#47181149) Attached to: Fixing the Humanities Ph.D.

The median time to get a Ph.D. is nine years.

I think students who enter are often doing so by default. Education has been their life unto that point, they have always been outstanding students, and they enjoy it. They are too young and inexperienced to realize how long 9 years is and what they'll be missing (or perhaps they are too optimistic about their personal chances of being an outlier).

Comment: Re:Frequent auctions (Score 1) 382

by GlobalEcho (#47176549) Attached to: High Frequency Trading and Finance's Race To Irrelevance

defeating the HFTs basically comes down to adding a delay to multi-exchange transactions such that the transaction reaches each exchange at the same time.

Budish shows in his paper how that is not true. Basically, it works only if very little of the total volume is on a delayed exchange.

The stock exchanges are engaged in the same sort of crap with the HFTs, selling them special access and trade types that other investors do not have.

I don't see a problem with that. Back in the old days of floor trading, the floor traders had special access everyone else lacked. And they behaved very badly compared to what we now see with HFTs.

If our regulatory agencies were more competent, this would have been dealt with years ago instead of letting it fester as long as it has.

They are careful, not incompetent. The gut reaction of lots of people is that any middleman is a parasite. The reaction in the American West to the rise of hardware and lumber specialists during the late 19th century (fueled by general stores) is an excellent example with similar popular political outrage behind it. I'm glad the regulators did nothing about it.

The reason why worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work.