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Comment: Re:Rejection (Score 1) 148

by JoeMac (#42874585) Attached to: Drug Testing In Mice May Be a Waste of Time, Researchers Warn
I agree. There are many alternative scenarios for rejection that the submitter did not mention, although we must admit the possibility that it was rejected for the suggested reason (community reticence and its significant funding implications). It's hardly a perfect process. PNAS isn't exactly slumming it, though.

Comment: Re:I chose McMurdo (Score 2, Interesting) 515

by JoeMac (#32211932) Attached to: Of these options, I'd call the place I live ...
Incidentally, no one calls it "McMurdo Ice Station". In fact, calling it that belies a misunderstanding of its setting, which is within an ice-free chunk of volcanic Ross Island. An "ice station" sounds appealingly clean to me...more like South Pole. MacTown (its nickname) is one of the dirtier (albeit dry) places I've ever been.

Comment: smarter text file (Score 1) 1007

by JoeMac (#30061778) Attached to: Best Tool For Remembering Passwords?
I keep a text file, but it's only visible as root and its name doesn't make it seem like a text file. Furthermore, within it I never actually spell out my passwords, just a couple of characters to remember my sequence. I used to do the same for the system for which it applied, but then I found that I would forget my clever-at-the-time abbreviations for those (that leaky brain problem you mentioned...). I think that's sufficient obfuscation for now.

Comment: wear it all the time (Score 1) 950

by JoeMac (#29435389) Attached to: Heart Monitors In Middle School Gym Class?
(Caveat: Are you sure this program isn't part of a research study? If so, most of this discussion is moot.)

I'm referring to the tinfoil hat, not the heart-rate monitor. ;) Two things...

1. You right to be concerned about a program that, although it might be well-intentioned, has clear potential to be misused by a health-insurance company down the road. With that sort of concern, I hope you're for health-care reform.

2. Heart-rate monitors are red herrings. You don't need one to know if you're exercising hard. Trust me, you'll know because you want to get it to be over with and collapse onto the floor. Their value is primarily to endurance athletes trying to tune a specific pace. There many, many other athletes whose sports are of shorter duration who don't benefit much from a heart-rate monitor. Even more importantly, kids shouldn't focus on their heart rate at this stage. They should focus on having fun while exercising and playing, trying different sports, developing motor skills and learning correct for foundational functional movements (e.g., don't round your back in a deadlift).

Comment: Re:CrossFit (Score 1) 865

by JoeMac (#28553445) Attached to: Staying In Shape vs. a Busy IT Job Schedule?
150 burpees for time requires no equipment and humbles most everyone. (Note to original poster: don't try this full-bore immediately...scale down extensively)

This parent is correct. First, confirm that your concept of "staying in shape" is in line with what CrossFit can do for you: you'll get stronger, faster, and more powerful. You won't develop a bodybuilder's physique, which is very different from how CrossFit defines fitness. It will not be easy, because being truly fit is not easy. As many have stated before, CrossFit is for anyone, but it is not for everyone. Take it easy at first. Although some CrossFit workouts are relatively short (if you're very powerful), which suits the original poster's goals, don't neglect warm-ups and skill exercises. Get a 5' length of PVC pipe and bring it into your office to practice various barbell lifts. Watch some videos, practice, video yourself, practice some more.

The original poster mentioned that, regardless of what he ate, he gained weight when not exercising. Diet must be addressed to produce meaningful results. I've made excellent progress with the Paleo/Caveman/hunter-gatherer diet (the name is easy to make fun of but the results are impossible to ignore). Many others follow Paleo also with Zone ratios.

The truth is out there.

Comment: Re:It is More Complicated than That (Score 1) 674

by JoeMac (#28014077) Attached to: MS Word 2010 Takes On TeX
Up front: I agree with all of your listed strengths for LaTeX. However...

The problem that arises with an academic manuscript (that isn't your thesis) is that you have collaborators, and probably some who aren't local. These collaborators will likely need to make useful comments on your manuscript drafts. They might even know how to use LaTeX (most of mine do). But sharing a raw .tex file with them to solicit comments, or even the typesetted pdf? Forget it!

With the .tex file, they'll mash it all up, it won't compile again, and you'll waste a lot of time "collaborating." With the .pdf, Acrobat Reader's commenting feature is too cumbersome and inherently not interactive (if the pdf is even commentable). In my experience, Word's "track changes" feature is the only way to go. It enforces some critical ground rules (only one way to comment; *every* edit is recorded, etc.) that your time-starved colleagues can't ignore, and it favors "show, don't tell" attitudes with corrections.

Word itself is, of course, erratic, but as I recently discovered for a proposal, it can do a lot of things reasonably well (if not as beautifully and perfectly as LaTeX). Section numbers come to mind.
Communications

Brazilian Pirates Hijack US Military Satellites 359

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the because-they-can dept.
blantonl writes "Brazilians all over the country are using modified amateur radio equipment to communicate with each other using US Military communications satellites — effectively creating their own CB radio network on the backs of the US Military. Recent efforts to crack down have resulted in arrests of some of the users, however the behavior still continues today."

Where's Your Coding Happy Place? 508

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the vault-in-fort-knox-please-facilitate dept.
jammag writes "Cranking out code — your very best code — requires being in the optimal environment, muses developer Eric Spiegel. He explores the pitfalls and joys of the usual locales, cubicle, home, the beach. He claims he's done his best coding on an airplane. In the end, though, he suggests that the best environment is a matter of the environment inside yourself, your internal mood — and to hell with the cubicle or wherever. You have to be focused on quality, regardless of the idiot clients. It's all inside your mind. Where's your coding happy place?"
Privacy

Rep. Jane Harman Focus In Yet Another Warrantless Wiretap Scandal 312

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the irony-makes-head-asplode dept.
Many different sources are talking about the latest scandal surrounding the warrantless wiretapping program. Incriminating evidence against California rep. Jane Harman was apparently captured some time ago on a legal NSA wiretap. However, Attorney General Gonzales supposedly intervened to drop the case against her because (and this is where the irony meter explodes) Bush officials wanted her to be able to publicly defend the warrantless wiretap program. "Jane Harman, in the wake of the NSA scandal, became probably the most crucial defender of the Bush warrantless eavesdropping program, using her status as 'the ranking Democratic on the House intelligence committee' to repeatedly praise the NSA program as 'essential to US national security' and 'both necessary and legal.'"
Space

Telepresence — Our Best Bet For Exploring Space 309

Posted by Soulskill
from the until-we-perfect-the-bussard-ramjet dept.
Seth Shostak of the SETI Institute recently wrote an opinion piece for the NY Times discussing the limitations of our space technology. He makes the harsh point that transporting human beings to other star systems isn't a reasonable goal even on a multi-generational time frame. However, advances in robotics and data gathering could instead bring the planets and stars to us, and do it far sooner. Quoting: "Sending humans to the stars is simply not in the offing. But this is how we could survey other worlds, around other suns. We fling data-collecting, robotic craft to the stars. These proxy explorers can be very small, and consequently can be shot spaceward at tremendous speed even with the types of rockets now available. Robot probes don't require life support systems, don't get sick or claustrophobic and don't insist on round-trip tickets. ... These microbots would supply the information that, fed to computers, would allow us to explore alien planets in the same way that we navigate the virtual spaces of video games or wander through online environments like Second Life. High-tech masks and data gloves, sartorial accessories considerably more comfortable than a spacesuit, would permit you to see the landscape, touch objects and even smell the air."
Moon

Volunteers Recover Lunar Orbiter 1 Photographs 150

Posted by timothy
from the file-systems-are-important dept.
mikael writes "The LA Times is reporting on the efforts of a group of volunteers with funding from NASA to recover high resolution photographs of the Moon taken by Lunar Orbiter 1 in the 1960s. The collection of 2000 images is stored entirely on magnetic tape which can only be read by a $330,000 FR-900 Ampex magnetic tape reader. The team consisted of Nancy Evans, NASA's archivist who ensured that the 20-foot by 10-foot x 6-foot collection of magnetic tapes were never thrown out, Dennis Wingo, Keith Cowing of NASA Watch and Ken Zim who had experience of repairing video equipment. Two weeks ago, the second image, of the Copernicus Crater, was recovered."
Sci-Fi

Red Dwarf Returns In a 3-Part Showing 161

Posted by timothy
from the parts-the-first-through-third dept.
Logrusweaver writes "It looks like Red Dwarf is finally returning! Red Dwarf: Back to Earth is airing in 3 parts in the UK starting this Friday. It seems to be a 3-parter followed by a 'Making Of' special. Not trying to give away any more of the plot than the title does, but it does involve the crew finally returning to Earth. (Just hope it's not a bombed out planet with 'space angels' running around...)"
Quake

Advanced Open Source Engine Based On Quake 3 137

Posted by Soulskill
from the something-on-rails dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Phoronix is running a news story about the XreaL project, which its lead developer claims is the most advanced open-source game engine. XreaL is based upon the vintage Quake 3 engine, but it has been rewritten over the course of many months such that it no longer resembles the original id Software engine. The XreaL engine has its renderer written entirely in GLSL with compliance toward the OpenGL ES 2.0 specification in mind, but it supports the new OpenGL 3.0/3.1 specification and is able to take advantage of its new features. XreaL has also added an HDR pipeline to its engine and on modern hardware is actually GPU — not CPU — bottlenecked. XreaL can also load game content from Unreal Tournament 3. This engine, which is described to be as powerful as what can be found in Doom 3 or Call of Duty 4, is written entirely with free software. The XreaL project has created plug-ins for Maya to broaden their game development capabilities."
The Internet

Multiple Fiber Cuts In San Francisco Area 368

Posted by timothy
from the shame-if-anything-bad-was-to-happen dept.
georgewilliamherbert writes "Multiple news reports, mailing list posts, blogs, and tweets are pointing out two overnight acts of sabotage in the San Francisco Bay area, with long distance fiber network cables being cut in two locations in the early morning hours. The first cut, around 1:30 AM, affecting landline and cell phone service and 911 calls in the communities of Morgan Hill, Gilroy, and parts of Santa Cruz counties, was on an AT&T fiber alongside Monterey Highway near Blossom Hill Road, in San Jose. A second cut, around 3:30 AM, in San Carlos, affected Sprint fiber and has significantly disrupted services at the 200 Paul datacenter in southern San Francisco. Rumor says that this may be related to a AT&T communications workers contract having just expired — but no evidence has been published yet in the media, and this could be an intentional act of sabotage by someone unrelated to the company's workers."

Maybe Computer Science should be in the College of Theology. -- R. S. Barton

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