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Comment: Common in foreign language classes (Score 1) 305

This reminds me of a common practice in foreign language classes -- if a student shows up to a language class (e.g. Spanish) and is obviously too advanced for the level, then the student will not be allowed to return to that class. This is partially done for reasons of fairness (getting an A that's too easy), but mostly because it's actively detrimental for the basic students to have an advanced student in the classroom. They speak too quickly for the other students to understand, and their presence can be actively discouraging in an environment where many are struggling.

My college has long placed students with some CS knowledge in an "advanced" section of the intro programming class to avoid this issue.

Comment: I Don't Get It (Score 1) 149

by Jmstuckman (#48563653) Attached to: Ubuntu Gets Container-Friendly "Snappy" Core

Developers of snappy apps get much more freedom to bundle the exact versions of libraries that they want to use with their apps.

...Did this guy just say he brought DLL Hell to Linux? Help me to understand how he didn't just say that.

Too late -- Ruby on Rails has already brought DLL Hell to Linux. I challenge you to install a Ruby on Rails application without having the exact version of Ruby and its dependencies that was used to develop it. This is why almost everyone uses Ruby version managers such as RVM, and you will not have much luck installing Ruby packages from your OS maintainer's package repository (and I certainly hope that none of your Ruby code is pulling in something with a security vulnerability.)

I'm guessing that this solution was built by the same crowd that did Ruby on Rails.

Comment: Re:When is something well-known enough to not cite (Score 1) 81

by Jmstuckman (#48268359) Attached to: The Most Highly Cited Scientific Papers of All Time

Maybe the PP works in Computer Science. In CS, it is common for authors to typeset the entire paper themselves using a style file provided by the conference or journal.

We actually *prefer* typesetting papers ourselves because our manuscripts are all in Latex anyway. Journals that want to prepare their own camera-ready copies (in particular, non-CS journals) often have trouble accepting Latex source are are accustomed to taking all of their submissions in Word...

Comment: Running Ethernet cable not always difficult (Score 1) 279

Is your router on the first floor, and does your house have an unfinished basement (no finished ceiling)? If so, you can easily run Ethernet cable through the basement. Just drill one hole in the floor near the fiber device, and another hole where you need your computer. Run the cable into the basement. This is easy to hide if you have carpet -- if you have hardwood, drill it near an existing opening (like the heating duct).

Comment: Warranty returns for GE CFLs (Score 1) 602

by Jmstuckman (#48002915) Attached to: The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

The warranty for GE CFLs guarantees that the bulb will last a certain number of years at a given duty cycle. I keep the receipts for all GE CFLs that I buy (writing identifiers on the bulbs themselves), and I always make a warranty claim when a bulb doesn't last as advertised.

A few have burned out before their rated lifespan, but most have performed as advertised. For the bulbs that did burn out prematurely, GE has always honored my warranty claims quickly.

Comment: How to do it. (Score 4, Informative) 93

Advances in Deep Learning have made it far easier to extract features from vision -- in fact, feeding pixels straight to the neural net is pretty close to being all you need to do.

Take a look at these slides and read about convolutional neural networks: http://www.slideshare.net/0xda...

Comment: What's wrong with American drivers? (Score 3, Insightful) 179

by Jmstuckman (#47955875) Attached to: Washington DC To Return To Automatic Metro Trains

> What's wrong with American drivers?

DC's metro trains were designed to be operated automatically the vast majority of the time. Hence, the acceleration and braking systems were optimized for automatic operation (as opposed to manual operation) and it is difficult for a human driver to control the train's movements precisely and smoothly.

Comment: Re:Now almost as useful as python was 5 years ago! (Score 5, Insightful) 118

by Jmstuckman (#47778267) Attached to: PHP 5.6.0 Released

PHP is a horrible programming language, but I know why people like PHP applications -- the ability to install an application on a LAMP stack by just untarring a single archive into the deployment directory is priceless.

Last time I tried to install a Python web application, I had to give the installer root privileges to install a bunch of junk in some system-wide module directory. No thanks.

Last time I tried to install a Ruby web application, I ran into a bunch of snafus related to newer versions of Ruby not being backwards compatible with older code, and discovered that the "right" way to do it was to install a whole new package management system that wasn't in sync with my OS's own package manager. No thanks to that, either.

Comment: Did something like this recently (Score 1) 194

by Jmstuckman (#47593911) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Bulletproof Video Conferencing For Alzheimers Home?

I did something like this recently with Skype and Ubuntu 13.10. You can set up auto-login on Ubuntu, auto-start on Skype, and set up Skype to auto-answer and auto-activate the camera. In theory, it could get torpedoed by some kind of random dialog box, but it hasn't happened in two months. To make a it a little more bulletproof, you could set up a cron job that reboots the system nightly.

One warning: since Skype was acquired by Microsoft, the standard Skype login dialog was replaced with some kind of weird integration to Microsoft's outlook.com single-sign-on. When Microsoft is having system problems (like they were a couple months ago), it appears to lose all of the single-sign-on tokens, which will drop the system back to the login page, and you will be stuck. However, this only happened once in the past couple months. (Yes, things worked far better before Microsoft bought Skype, but it's not a lost cause.)

The use of anthropomorphic terminology when dealing with computing systems is a symptom of professional immaturity. -- Edsger Dijkstra

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