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Comment: Everyone (Score 1) 262

by MadAnalyst (#43472813) Attached to: Who should have the most input into software redesigns?
How about you start with the user? See what they love and what they hate. What they want and what the don't really care about.

Then the marketers/sales guys. They will be similar to the users, tell you what features are missing that cost them sales. The features that let them close deals.

Add in your help desk. Where are the complaints? Bugs? Things that always break or confuse people.

Then let management review that and prioritize. Weed out the crap.

Then hand all that over to the UI/UX team and let them wireframe a set of fixes. Let competent management and some specialists review the recommendations to see if it seems like good ideas.

Last it goes to the engineers. But they get input on what will really be implemented based on time and complexity so the impossible requests don't get to the top of the list.

It's a team thing. No one is the "most" important.

Comment: Algebra is critical for me (Score 1) 1086

by MadAnalyst (#40934713) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Many of You Actually Use Math?
PhD chemist here, just to give an idea of my work and complexity level. I do a huge variety of algebra regularly. I also do occasional trigonometry and a lot of statistics. Simple linear regressions are always important, and a certain amount of other curve modelling. Calculus? Never. Haven't touched it since grad school, but I did have some use for it then in error analysis studies (multi-variate derivatives to be specific). Then again, I think studying calculus helped me in algebra. It got used so often in manipulating the equations that it became second nature while the calculus remained more challenging.

Comment: Best way to stop cheat sheets... (Score 5, Insightful) 439

by MadAnalyst (#32851342) Attached to: Colleges Stepping Up Anti-Cheating Technology
When I taught, we had a fool proof way to stop illegal cheat sheets. Just let the students bring a cheat sheet. Of course, that made the exams a bit harder. They ended up being less regurgitation and more about comprehension. And proctoring became much easier, fewer things to look for (more time spent scanning for cell phones in use).

+ - Crunchpad being re-branded as JooJoo->

Submitted by adeelarshad82
adeelarshad82 (1482093) writes "The CrunchPad drama continued Monday, with the chief of Fusion Garage calling Michael Arrington's claim on the device "ludicrous" and introducing its own 12.1-inch tablet, which has been re-branded as the JooJoo. Fusion Garage will start taking pre-orders for the $499 device on Friday at Delivery is expected within 8 to 10 weeks. The company is in talks with retail partners, but no announcements have been made."
Link to Original Source

Comment: I knew I could do it! (Score 2, Funny) 249

by MadAnalyst (#30326610) Attached to: <em>Gran Turismo</em> Gamer Becomes Pro Race Driver
This has inspired me to follow through on my love of Modern Warfare into becoming a world class mercenary. I will then follow up with my love of WOW to a career as a successful blood elf. The future looks bright, and I look forward to proving myself right to so many people who told me my "hobbies" would never do me any good.

Comment: Re:fired up, huh? (Score 2, Insightful) 801

by MadAnalyst (#30206414) Attached to: Obama Kicks Off Massive Science Education Effort
You know what really pays like crap? Teaching.

I have one of those fancy scientific degrees the parent mentions, and a good job to go with it. I enjoyed teaching in college (TA work in lab and lecture) and think I do pretty decently at it. But it will be a long time until I consider teaching because the pay stinks and I got me a load a debts to manage (thanks to my fancy education).

I guess I'm just stating a moderately true idea that it is often those who can't that teach. I can, so I am somewhere doing the higher paid option. I don't really love it every day, but the almighty dollar matters right now. Would I enjoy teaching more? I just might, particularly the sense of achievement that comes with improving our youth (also called getting to be smug about it). But that field can't afford me right now.

Comment: Done nothing? (Score 2, Informative) 1721

by MadAnalyst (#29691709) Attached to: Barack Obama Wins the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize
I concur with the view that this is kind of premature. The Nobel committee stated that this is early, and something to encourage future achievements. But I don't see that the man has done nothing to deserve it. I could at least consider that he has...

1. Completely altered and improved the worldview of the US, bringing down a lot of tension that had built up.
2. Reached out to Muslim nations and started a new era of improved relations.
3. Followed through on commitments to pull back from Iraq. He didn't start this policy, I know that, but he has stuck to it and the nation is far more autonomous now then when he took office.
4. Relieved tensions with Russia by taking back a completely silly missile defense site in Poland.
5. Completely changed the US policy on climate change and is working to try and make us actually do better. Which makes every other nation happy.
6. Actually brought Iran to the table and has them acting less crazy and agreeing to ship out portions or their uranium. Sure its not perfect, but it's not a bad start either.

I'm sure there is more, but I'm just saying that there are some achievements of note even at this point in his presidency.

If nothing else, it will be super fun to watch right wingers lose their minds over this. I would even consider watching Glenn Beck tonight, just for the entertainment value.

Comment: Re:This is nonsense (Score 1) 248

by MadAnalyst (#29465451) Attached to: Universal "Death Stench" Repels Bugs of All Types

Maybe for some bugs, but for those nasty caca roches, I get a bowl, wipe the top 4 inches around inside with vegtable oil then put whatever inside... coffee grounds, bananas... whatever... There are tons of dead ones in there but that doesn't stop more from coming. Also, cockroaches are cannibals.

Just a thought, but the presence of so much good stuff (emitting their own smells/pheromones) in your big bowl of food may overwhelm and/or mask the the negative impact of the fatty acid system. Their experiments seem to be on far more simplistic model systems free from interference.

Comment: Overstated much? (Score 4, Interesting) 60

by MadAnalyst (#29452199) Attached to: NASA Testing Breakthrough In Water Safety
The device checks for disinfectant (Ag or I). That is neat and all, but I wouldn't go for a "breakthrough in water safety." Sure, disinfectant means fewer bugs in the water. I won't say that isn't one good indicator of safer drinking water. But there is a host of atomic and molecular toxins that the device does nothing about. The EPA regulates for about 20 different things, bacteria being only a small part of it.

Comment: Re:What Material Is the Pantacene Sitting On? (Score 5, Interesting) 169

by MadAnalyst (#29230421) Attached to: IBM Images a Single Molecule
A lot of microscopy like this will be done using very carefully prepared atomically smooth surfaces. A good example would be Cu(111). I haven't' dug in, but they might also work with something akin to the "depth of field" in optical work to largely exclude the effect of the background.

FBI Investigating Mystery Laptops Sent To US Governors 329

Posted by timothy
from the send-a-few-to-me dept.
itwbennett writes "The FBI is trying to find out who is sending laptops to state governors across the US, including the governors of Wyoming and West Virginia. The West Virginia laptops were delivered to the governor's office on August 5, according to the Charleston Gazette, which first reported the story. Kyle Schafer, West Virginia's chief technology officer, says he doesn't know what's on the laptops, but he handed them over to the authorities. 'Our expectation is that this is not a gesture of good will,' he said. 'People don't just send you five laptops for no good reason.'"

Computers will not be perfected until they can compute how much more than the estimate the job will cost.