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Comment Re:Not so really (Score 2) 100 100

As someone who returned to a community college in 2009, I was surrounded by kids who had the whole litany of AP classes. Many of them were bragging about their 5.0 GPA in HS. However, a LOT of them had very poor spelling, reading and grammar skills.

These things do not add up. First of all, considering only AP classes get the added 1 weight it is impossible for anyone to get a 5.0. I went to school with several people who aced the math portion of the SAT, one person who taught himself Chinese, and many other very smart individuals: none of them ever got a perfect score in every AP class nor did any of them go to community college-but plenty went to Ivy League schools, top research/engineering schools, we even had one guy go to Juilliard for violin (and who is also now a cop out in Aspen, CO, which shows the prospects for classically trained musicians in the US). And given the amount of writing necessary in many AP courses (especially History and Language/Literature) it is highly doubtful that someone could get a 5.0 in any of those classes with deficiencies in spelling, reading, or grammar. Either you or your classmates are lying their asses off.

Comment Re:because Gamers are really Graphics Snobs (Score 1) 53 53

I've lost count of the number of times I've gone back to an old game and been shocked at how much worse it looks compared to the game from my memories. So making some improvements to enable people to go back to the game without that sense of disconnect is no bad thing.

I ran into this this weekend. Plugged in my 360 (which I haven't played in about 2-3 years at least) and fired up Halo 2 (which is admittedly an Xbox game) and was like "holy crap, the graphics were that bad?". Of course, I suspect this is a compounded effect between an increase in graphic quality and also display technology: watching a replay of a football game from even 10 years ago on a modern TV almost seems so blurry you can't even read the names on the back of the jersey. I wonder if we also unconsciously "upgrade" our memories of things we've watched/played years ago to something approximating a level of quality we are experiencing now, because at that time it was top of the line and as clear/realistic as we could get.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 3, Interesting) 100 100

I would expect it to improve reading, reading comprehension, written language skills, and logical thinking. That is what the student is learning!

The problem is, and I think CollegeBoard is saying this, that anyone who has the ability to take AP CS and then take the test should already have significantly developed reading, comprehension, and logical thinking skills. From my experience (I did go to a school with a magnet program but AP classes were open to all students) most students who took an AP class took several; it was very rare to have someone take just one class. So it was a bad idea to have CollegeBoard do a study anyway because there is no way to isolate any potential benefit with AP CS from the student's general ability/interest. Unless Code.org was counting on this so that they could obfuscate the results to show whatever they wanted (a distinct possibility).

Comment Re:quickly to be followed by self-driving cars (Score 1) 879 879

I get that. I'm having my electrical box replaced this Friday due to corrosion of the rails from a water leak, which is putting me out $600 all told because we initially thought it was the air conditioning unit that went bad. Ouch. Still, I'd rather be in control of the situation than have a landlord as a middle man. My mortgage (sans taxes) is only about $800 a month for a 2 bedroom rancher with full basement and attic, and a 180 foot long yard; I know some local places where the rent is that high for much less property/housing, yet those occupants will never see equity in their home or any kind of ROI, which is a shame.

I'm renting a 1700 sq ft house right now for $1360 a month. We are in the process (inspection is tomorrow) of buying a 2000+sq ft house with a mortgage payment of just over $1000 a month (does not include taxes and got a loan with no PMI). Both are 3 bedroom houses but the one we are buying has a completely updated kitchen with granite and new stainless steel appliances while the rental had crappy laminate countertops and cabinets and standard white appliances. Even if we average $2500 a year in repairs we are still saving money.

Comment Re:Doubtful (Score 1) 879 879

Not worth it yet next to my $15k one year old used Ford Taurus (yeah that was bought a few years back). Getting closer though.

Nor my 2014 Focus I bought brand new with a 10K trade in, 2k down, and $125 a month payments for 3 years. With over 30mpg highway and gas prices as low as they are, the price difference in gas compared to the 2006 V8 Tundra I traded in more than makes the monthly payments, and wiht an 80 mile round trip work commute an EV is nowhere near practical for me anyway.

Comment Re:Uncontrollable? (Score 1) 66 66

What's to fix?

Too windy? A 3d printed drone won't be applicable for that mission, much the same way a Zodiac-based landing party wouldn't be suitable during a hurricane.

Need to launch? Toss in air. It's launched.

Go old school. Take what is essentially an old K-gun depth charge launcher and add a container for the drone that breaks apart at a certain height. This would allow the drone to get far enough away from the wind for controlled flight and doesn't waste power on the drone by having to take off in all the wind.

Comment Re:Fire without physically pulling the trigger (Score 1) 72 72

Every redneck knows how: Just clean it.

Actually, the Japanese Nambu Type 94 pistol used in WWII had a very serious mechanical defect that allowed it to fire without pulling the trigger. Pressure on a certain part on the side of the firearm would cause it to fire. Not a good souvenir for a GI to stuff into a pocket.

Comment Re:Existential threat is more likely (Score 1) 83 83

Is it my imagination or is the US government/society incapable of functioning without an imaginary boogeyman? Be it terrorists, communists, drugs, witches, rapists, etc. Although, admittedly, how else do you unite a society without common traditions or culture without constructing an external threat?

It's not Americans, it's humans. The human mind is designed to need the concept of an "other" or an adversary. It is essentially a biological safety mechanism. It provides a binding force for a society or a community, gives them a reason to come together. On an individual level it gives comfort because, by having an adversary, you believe you are "right" and they are "wrong". Look at terror management theory and and it's explanation for why we have self esteem (which involves the creating of and then continuing to validate a world view.).

Comment Re:Are there lists? (Score 1) 57 57

Sure. Just post for us your name, address, social security number, and credit card numbers (with security codes), so that we can see if any of your information is on the list. We also offer password protection analysis: post your account names and passwords and tell us what websites they are used for and we can tell you how vulnerable your accounts are to hacking.

Comment Re:Chinese Tourists, Of Course (Score 1) 102 102

They are, by far the worst tourists in the world. Pushy, loud, aggressive, shitting and doing whatever the fuck they feel like because they think they're still back in the PRC. They need to be taught that the rest of the world isn't a shithole like their home country, that we have manners and rules they must follow. Otherwise, they need to get the fuck out.

Uh, Taipei is in the PRC.

Depends on who you ask. To most of the West and Asia it is in the ROC.

Comment Re:Bed Nets (Score 2) 34 34

From the article:

Prof Adrian Hill of the Jenner Institute, Oxford, said he was pleased and encouraged by the EMA's decision but added that the vaccine was not a "magic bullet".

He said: "A bed net is more effective than this vaccine, but nonetheless it is a very significant scientific achievement.

While research into a vaccine is great, why haven't we focused efforts on supplying bed nets for everyone? I'm assuming that they'll cost less than the vaccine per unit and they also have the advantage of being reused.

Why aren't the locals buying bed nets themselves?

Supposedly $5 gets you an insecticide treated bed net that's good for 2 years, I know we're talking about very poor people but that sounds like somewhere where'd I'd expect a local industry to pop up.

From the sentence that is literally the one irght after the sentence that contains the price of the bed nets: "Unfortunately, this cost is too high for most families in poor rural African communities who survive through subsistence farming."

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