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Comment: Did the geneticists have a real choice? (Score 2) 541

by KrackerJax (#47649405) Attached to: Geneticists Decry Book On Race and Evolution

Without regard to the merits of either side of the argument -- would the scientists have much choice in deciding whether or not to sign this letter? I would imagine not signing the letter could lead to you being ostracized, labeled as a racist, possibly losing grants and so on. The path of least resistance for any individual geneticist would be to sign the letter.

Again, I'm not arguing that they're wrong. Just that there could be a lot of pressure for them to be 'right'.

Comment: Re:Only safe place... (Score 1) 213

by KrackerJax (#47075541) Attached to: Dump World's Nuclear Waste In Australia, Says Ex-PM Hawke

To throw something into the sun, you have to essentially deorbit it from Earth's orbit. Given that the Earth's orbital velocity is about 30 km/sec, that's an awful lot of delta-v to muster.

It makes much more sense to park such waste in a different Sun orbit, or perhaps even an escape trajectory from the solar system. Both of these options would be possible with a MUCH smaller rocket.

Comment: Re:It's in the Archive so now they use... (Score 5, Funny) 123

Also from the CIA article:

"Fulton first used instrumented dummies as he prepared for a live pickup. He next used a pig, as pigs have nervous systems close to humans. Lifted off the ground, the pig began to spin as it flew through the air at 125 mph. It arrived on board undamaged but in a disoriented state. Once it recovered, it attacked the crew."

Too funny, I can only imagine what a berserker pig in an aircraft is like.

Comment: My post to the original Slashdot discussion (Score 2, Interesting) 355

by KrackerJax (#39210425) Attached to: Khan Academy Chooses JavaScript As Intro Language

I got modded down as Flamebait, so I feel a bit vindicated now :)

Post from Saturday July 25 2009:
"One not-so-obvious candidate: JavaScript and HTML.

Pretty much every browser in existence supports JavaScript, so with nothing more than a simple text editor and your browser of choice you can be off and running. As far as beginning programming is concerned, JavaScript easily encompasses any programmatic constructs you'd need.

The best part is that the students can easily display the results of their test programs in HTML, either dynamically generated or just by manipulating some divs, textboxes, tables etc that they've written on their page. Additionally, an instructor could write a 'playground' bit of HTML and JavaScript, so all output variables are bound up and easy to access. At that point the student is free to focus on what really matters, his/her first logic routines. When the student has created his first masterpiece, sharing the accomplishment with parents/peers is as simple as sharing a link to their HTML file.

I think this has the potential to engage students much faster than observing console output or fighting with a front end like windows forms in VB or Swing in Java."

Comment: because engineers are smarter (Score 1) 769

by KrackerJax (#33600938) Attached to: Why Are Terrorists Often Engineers?

FWIW, I think engineers become terrorists for two simple reasons

1. Engineers are typically intelligent people who are perceptive enough to see and understand the inequities present in the world, and assign blame to individuals/groups/nations.
2. When confronted with a problem, engineers want to solve it. Unfortunately, terrorism may be the most effective way for an individual or small group to both gain retribution against the powers who oppress and gain the attention of the masses -- who are often completely ignorant of the situation causing the terrorists to act.

Comment: Amazon does something similar (Score 1) 1

by KrackerJax (#33047848) Attached to: Google nabs patent to monitor your cursor movement

I happened to be browsing Amazon while I had Fiddler2 running the other day, and noticed that they report every page scrolling event back to the server with. I'm guessing they use this to model exactly how a user interacts with their pages. At the time I had thought that was a lot of data for Amazon to be collecting, but clearly Google is one-upping them by collecting every mouse movement :)

Comment: JavaScript/HTML (Score 3, Interesting) 634

by KrackerJax (#28818721) Attached to: The Best First Language For a Young Programmer

One not-so-obvious candidate: JavaScript and HTML.

Pretty much every browser in existence supports JavaScript, so with nothing more than a simple text editor and your browser of choice you can be off and running. As far as beginning programming is concerned, JavaScript easily encompasses any programmatic constructs you'd need.

The best part is that the students can easily display the results of their test programs in HTML, either dynamically generated or just by manipulating some divs, textboxes, tables etc that they've written on their page. Additionally, an instructor could write a 'playground' bit of HTML and JavaScript, so all output variables are bound up and easy to access. At that point the student is free to focus on what really matters, his/her first logic routines. When the student has created his first masterpiece, sharing the accomplishment with parents/peers is as simple as sharing a link to their HTML file.

I think this has the potential to engage students much faster than observing console output or fighting with a front end like windows forms in VB or Swing in Java.

Comment: Re:I *WISH* it was down in the single digits (Score 1) 481

by KrackerJax (#28696995) Attached to: YouTube Phasing Out Support For IE6

This is absolutely true -- I work for a pretty large web development shop, and over 30% of our client browsers are IE6. The corporate world just can't lay out the money to upgrade their customized browsers, rework intranet sites, etc.

Our management has decided to support IE6 for another year at least -- there is just no way we could justify losing 30% of our client base, no matter how many hoops we must jump through to get our client side working in IE 6/7/8, FF2/3/3.5 etc. The legacy of IE6 will remain with us for quite some time I'm afraid.

Comment: Pocket Ref (Score 1) 517

by KrackerJax (#26220243) Attached to: Your Favorite Tech / Eng. / CS Books?

http://www.amazon.com/Pocket-Ref-Thomas-J-Glover/dp/1885071000

'Pocket Ref' is a conveniently sized book containing an absolutely outrageous amount of data. In 3-3/4" x 5-1/2" x 3/4" dimensions and around 500 pages, Thomas Glover covers topics from ASCII tables, to load bearing capacities of 2'x4's, to a comprehensive math and physics formula 'cheat sheet'.

I don't know if it is possible to exaggerate how useful this book is. Along with a decent calculator and a knack for solving practical problems, you will be unstoppable with the Pocket Ref at your side. McGyver certainly had a copy hidden in his shirt pocket.

If a thing's worth having, it's worth cheating for. -- W.C. Fields

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