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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:

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 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.)

Comment: Moving is more natural (Score 3, Insightful) 230

by Jmstuckman (#47442591) Attached to: Geographic Segregation By Education

Absolutely right. I grew up in an economically disadvantaged area, went to college, and settled in one of the best-performing metro areas in the country. My classmates who skipped college are still there, driving 1-2 hours each way to the closest job they can find, and enduring the double disadvantages of lacking a college degree and living in a depressed area.

When one is living dangerously close to the poverty line, moving away from friends and family will be perceived as unacceptable risky. Only the most ambitious will leave, and most of those people went to college anyway.

Comment: Rail? (Score 1) 142

by Jmstuckman (#47389653) Attached to: Autonomous Trucking

As the previous AC post alluded, the particular requirements of freight and passenger transport don't mix well. The United States moves a massive amount of freight by rail, with very few long-distance rail lines being totally dedicated to passenger transport. Unfortunately, the unique requirements for passenger and freight traffic don't mix well.

Freight trains travel at lower speeds than the ideal passenger train, and acceleration and deceleration is extremely slow and inefficient. In the USA, the rail lines that share track with freight suffer from very slow average speeds and long delays, as they get stuck behind freight trains and are sometimes forced to stop and wait for conflicting traffic to pass. This results in long delays (both on long-distance lines and on local commuter lines which share freight tracks into the city) and the inability to add extra trains to improve service. Furthermore, for a passenger train to survive a crash with a freight train, an extraordinary amount of extra mass must be built into the passenger train, raising costs considerably. (Look up the Wikipedia page for the USA's Acela Express rolling stock.)

"Ahead warp factor 1" - Captain Kirk