Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Trolling? Or just crap? (Score 2) 641

by khasim (#47966159) Attached to: How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

Here's the full quote from that partial in the summary:

This is how you get the phenomenon of philistines like Richard Dawkins and Jerry Coyne thinking science has made God irrelevant, even though, by definition, religion concerns the ultimate causes of things and, again, by definition, science cannot tell you about them.

He's wrong. The problem is that the concept of "God" is un-falsifiable. So you can always tack "because God wanted it that way" onto anything.

And then it gets worse:

You might think of science advocate, cultural illiterate, mendacious anti-Catholic propagandist, and possible serial fabulist Neil DeGrasse Tyson and anti-vaccine looney-toon Jenny McCarthy as polar opposites on a pro-science/anti-science spectrum, but in reality they are the two sides of the same coin.

Normally I'd say that that was trolling. Why toss irrelevant insults into a discussion? But I think it is an attempt to bolster an argument that he knows cannot stand on its own.

Both of them think science is like magic, except one of them is part of the religion and the other isn't.

And then he COMPLETELY skips over how Tyson believes that science is "like magic". He makes that insulting statement and then fails to support it.

This bizarre misunderstanding of science yields the paradox that even as we expect the impossible from science ("Please, Mr Economist, peer into your crystal ball and tell us what will happen if Obama raises/cuts taxes"), we also have a very anti-scientific mindset in many areas.

He thinks that Economics is a science. That's how wrong he is.

Not because science is "expensive" but because it requires a fundamental epistemic humility, and humility is the hardest thing to wring out of the bombastic animals we are.

Please look up the definition of "bombastic".

TFA could be a great example of trolling or Poe's Law or such. But I think it is just crap writing from someone who does not understand the subject.

Beer

SteadyServ Helps Keep the Draft Beer Flowing (Video) 48

Posted by Roblimo
from the software-and-beer-are-a-natural-partnership dept.
"With iKeg's Technology We Guarantee You Will Never Run Out of Beer," boasts the SteadyServ website. As you listen to interviewee Mike Flockenhaus, though, you'll realize almost immediately that SteadyServ isn't making equipment for home use, but for bars and taverns that serve draft beer. Here's another good line from their site: "With the new iKeg® system, we aim to ensure that you get your beer, in the right place, at the right time. We also want to simplify the lives of all the hard-working people in the beer industry. After all, wanting and having your beer are not the same thing." Even better, it looks like they're hiring. Wouldn't it be wonderful to help keep America from running out of draft beer? (Alternate Video Link)

Comment: Just do it. (Score 5, Interesting) 233

by khasim (#47938175) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Pick Up Astronomy and Physics As an Adult?

I don't expect to be a Carl Sagan or Neil deGrasse Tyson, but I'd love to have enough knowledge in these subjects to research and experiment to the point where I could possibly start contributing back to the field.

Look up "Galaxy Zoo". You can start contributing today.

As for classes, start reading. Find out which books are used for the courses and buy the books and read them even if you cannot take the courses.

Comment: Bullshit. (Score 1) 182

by khasim (#47938071) Attached to: Snowden's Leaks Didn't Help Terrorists

They tried to bomb the World Trade Center in 1993. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1993_World_Trade_Center_bombing

Snowden released the files he had in 2013.

That's TWENTY YEARS where they would be using their old communication methods while we were hunting them. There should not be a terrorist left alive.

The PROBLEM is that we collect too much data. It is impossible to process into useful information. It is a mass of "dots" for 300,000,000 people that increases every single day.

And terrorists are so rare that they (and their communications) vanish into the mass of regular people. If you live in the USofA you are more likely to be killed by someone in your own family than by a terrorist.

Are Matt's Robot Hexapods Creepy or Cute? (Video) 35

Posted by Roblimo
from the you-put-your-right-foot-in-you-put-your-right-foot-out-you-pick-up-a-human-and-shake-it-all-about dept.
University of Arizona grad student Matt Bunting doesn't come across as a mad scientist. That's a very good thing, because his robot hexapod creations are easy to imagine crawling across the USA in large hordes, devouring everything in their path and using all the electricity they come across to feed their Queen Hexapod, a 3-D printer mounted on a hexapod chassis that turns everything fed to it into more robots. Luckily, the real life Matt is an affable (self-described) "Roboticist, Electrical Engineer, Musician, and Rock Crawler" who freely admits that at this time his robotic creations have no practical application whatsoever. This is probably true, except for the fact that they can liven up a music video like mad, as you can see on YouTube in Pedals Music Video (featuring REAL robots) . Our little video is a lot simpler, of course. In it, we interview Matt and he tells us what he's up to with his robots, and gives some 'how to get started with robotics' advice for budding young engineers. (Alternate Video Link)

Comment: What is really happening here? (Score 1) 952

by Bruce Perens (#47930483) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children
We are in a War on Faith, because Faith justifies anything and ISIS takes it to extremes. But in the end they are just a bigger version of Christian-dominated school boards that mess with the teaching of Evolution, or Mormon sponsors of anti-gay-marriage measures, or my Hebrew school teacher, an adult who slapped me as a 12-year-old for some unremembered offense against his faith.

Comment: Re:Anti-math and anti-science ... (Score 1) 952

by Bruce Perens (#47930331) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

Hm. The covenant of Noah is about two paragraphs before this part (King James Version) which is used for various justifications of slavery and discrimination against all sorts of people because they are said to bear the Curse of Ham. If folks wanted to use the Bible to justify anything ISIS says is justified by God's words in the Koran, they could easily do so.

18 And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan.
19 These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread.
20 And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:
21 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.
22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.
23 And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness.
24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.
25 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.
26 And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.
27 God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

Comment: Pedigree and breed vs "big dog". (Score 1) 391

by khasim (#47921449) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech?

That's wouldn't be "looking for people with liberal arts degrees", that's "looking for people with demonstrable technical experience" and finding that they just happen to have a liberal arts degree.

Yep.

As an analogy I'd point to pedigree and breed in a dog show. Your FORMAL education also has a breed (your major/minor) and a pedigree (which schools you attended).

But when it comes to hiring, I'd be looking for the "big dogs". And while breed and pedigree can be a factor (Chihuahua compared to Sheep Dog) I won't exclude the mutts.

If you have the drive and dedication to complete a formal major in one field while spending your free time becoming competitive in a different field then you are someone I should be interviewing.

Comment: Re:How can I get it? (Score 1) 320

by Yaztromo (#47921017) Attached to: Say Goodbye To That Unwanted U2 Album

Install iTunes somewhere, sign up for an account (you can do so without providing a credit card number), and download the album. Apple has been selling music DRM free for the last several years, so it's just standard AAC. Once you have it, remove your account, delete iTunes, and add the music to whatever music program you prefer to use.

Unless, of course, you live in Canada, where copying music from a friend is still perfectly legal.

Yaz

Comment: Re:It's a relationship argument about control. (Score 1) 320

by Yaztromo (#47920949) Attached to: Say Goodbye To That Unwanted U2 Album

Sorry, forcing a download of an entire album is *not* giving you an option that "you don't have to tune into". This is not you giving the kids an album you like, this is you strapping them to a chair to listen to it à la "Clockwork Orange". If everyone got an email saying "Click for a free download of the album!" there would be no complaints. (Mockery, perhaps, but not complaints. :-) )

Except this is pretty much exactly how the system was setup.

In "releasing" the album, Apple pretty much just added a database entry for every user on iTunes to say that they had already purchased the album. It was then supposed to[0] show up in your iTunes library as "in the cloud", with an option to download it.

Nobody was forced to download the album. The only way you'd download it without needing to do so specifically is if you had previously turned on the option to automatically download all new iTunes purchases (which defaults to off). And the only way you'd have to worry about using cellular data for this is if you had the option to download iTunes Music purchases over mobile enabled as well (otherwise, it would wait until you're on WiFi). So yeah -- this is completely a tempest in a teapot from people who don't like U2 seeing a free album available for download showing up in their libraries.

Hopefully Apple have learned their lesson. It was a publicity stunt, and while it upset some people, here we are talking about it. I don't think it went off the way they were hoping it would, and hopefully they've learned some lessons in the process.

[0] - Here in Canada at least, it appears the setup for this album didn't work for a very large number of users. I know in my case, the U2 album did not show up on my iPad as it was supposed to, nor did it show up in any of my iTunes libraries. And I do have the auto-download option enabled. In order to get the album, I had to go into iTunes and find the section that shows all your existing purchases, and then select the "Not on This Device" list, and only then could I download the album. And looking at the album reviews on iTunes Canada, it seems that I was hardly the only person to experience this -- nearly every review when I last checked last night was form people trying to figure out how to get their "free" album. I haven't seen this level of complaints outside of Canada, so I'm assuming either a) something screwed up with the iTunes Canada edition of the album's launch, or b) iTunes Canada did something different in order to not run afoul of some legislation (although I can't for the life of me guess what legislation that might be). This situation seems to have been lost in the noise of everyone else complaining about getting a free album, so I haven't heard much commentary on the situation.

Yaz

Comment: Let's see your portfolio. (Score 3, Insightful) 391

by khasim (#47919065) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech?

While I'd tend toward Computer Science (since that is what my degree is in) I'd FIRST want to see what they've done already.

Is there anything the Lit major can show that demonstrates his programming skills? Like patches submitted to a FLOSS project? Or a mobile app? Or even a personal website?

It's not that you cannot get a programming job with a Lit degree. It is that the other candidates will probably have more DEMONSTRATED skills in the programming field.

Show me that you CAN program (sufficient to the basic requirements of the project) AND that your Lit degree gives you a different perspective AND how you implement that perspective.

The Courts

Court Rules the "Google" Trademark Isn't Generic 158

Posted by samzenpus
from the what's-in-a-name dept.
ericgoldman writes Even though "googling" and "Google it" are now common phrases, a federal court ruled that the "Google" trademark is still a valid trademark instead of a generic term (unlike former trademarks such as escalator, aspirin or yo-yo). The court distinguished between consumers using Google as a verb (such as "google it"), which didn't automatically make the term generic, and consumers using Google to describe one player in the market, which 90%+ of consumers still do.
Intel

SparkFun Works to Build the Edison Ecosystem (Video) 75

Posted by Roblimo
from the more-tiny-electronics-for-makers-and-builders-to-make-and-build-with dept.
Edison is an Intel creation aimed squarely at the maker and prototype markets. It's smaller than an Arduino, has built-in wi-fi, and is designed to be used in embedded applications. SparkFun is "an online retail store that sells the bits and pieces to make your electronics projects possible." They're partnering with Intel to sell the Edison and all kinds of add-ons for it. Open source? Sure. Right down to the schematics. David Stillman, star of today's video, works for SparkFun. He talks about "a gajillion" things you can do with an Edison, up to and including the creation of an image-recognition system for your next homemade drone. (Alternate Video Link)

Comment: Some classes would be AWESOME! (Score 4, Insightful) 182

by khasim (#47906241) Attached to: Oculus Rift CEO Says Classrooms of the Future Will Be In VR Goggles

Physics - awesome!
Chemistry - awesome
Biology - awesome

But I think he's wrong on some many issues. From the summary:

... he imagined laser-scanning every object in the Smithsonian for students to explore ...

Why? That's like looking at a single car from one country and claiming an "education". Think REALITY. The students could see HOW the objects were created. What tools were used. Who crafted the item. What the society was like that required it.

... and collaborating in shared virtual spaces rather than campuses.

They're called "chat rooms". Wanna "cyber"? Porn is NOT the same as education.

Looking at other students would be a distraction.

The next step past that is when you have shared space, and not only do you believe that this object is right there in front of me, but I look around and I see other people just like we see each other now, and I really, truly believe that youâ(TM)re right in front of me.

Why does it matter that you see avatars looking at the same point that you are looking at?

And he keeps going on about that. For him it is all about "seeing" other "people" (really just avatars) so it can be the same "experience" as real life.

That's stupid. They are not people. They are avatars. And knowing how people are, their avatars would be designed to be as distracting as possible.

panic: kernel trap (ignored)

Working...