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Comment: Re:Video killed the radio star (Score 3, Insightful) 630

by Potor (#41308277) Attached to: Is a Computer Science Degree Worth Getting Anymore?

I'm not a coder, but I did do CS in high school back in the pre-Internet late 80s. We first learned flow charts, then algorithms, then had to program functions on calculators, and finally got out hands on TSR-80s to write BASIC programs. The brilliance of this was that my education was not limited to languages, but rather to techniques and logic. And now I teach philosophy, and have a healthy fascination with computers.

As a professor, I ask my students to do the simplest thing - writing blogs with decent lay-out. They have all the tools they need, and I offer whatever help they request. Yet, this Facebook generation often gets confused with the simplest of tasks, including uploading pictures outside of Facebook. The Internet, obviously enough, has dumbed down everything. Students no longer try to apply techniques, but rather to respond to interfaces.

To bring this back on topic - schools need to teach the logic and the basic techniques - with those, one needs simply to learn a language, which is not that difficult.

Comment: Re:Ambivalent feelings... (Score 1) 178

by Potor (#37531532) Attached to: Doritos Creator Art West Dead at 97

Don't forget the health-care costs associated with long-term processed-food eating. They more than outstrip the savings you realize in food purchases.

Yes, depending how you source your food, obviously cooking can be more expensive. But it does not have to be - even fine cooking.

You can make a batch of home-made tomato sauce that will last a week, and that will cost you under $2. At Whole Foods, you can buy very good meat; for instance, $8 will get you enough chicken to last (me) four meals. With a few vegetables and noodles or rice, you have a stir fry.Some tortillas, you have a burrito. Of course, all these things require pantry items, but they can be purchased in bulk and amortized over many meals. You can bake up a week's worth of cupcakes with ingredients you control, and that'll set you back - actually, I don't know how much, since they too are based on bulk ingredients you can use in many meals.

We need to stop looking at fresh food as an expense, but rather as an investment, especially when we spend so much money on gadgets and subscriptions. Eating well - not extravagantly - is essential for health in the long run. Eating all the sodium and additives your proposed cheap diet offers strikes me as unwise.

Comment: Re:Invasion of privacy?? (Score 1) 549

by Potor (#35050984) Attached to: Sensor Measures In Fingertips If Driver Is Drunk

It's not the same thing at all. A safety interlock is there to stop you from interfering with a process underway, or from being damaged by an accident (your toaster case).

In neither case did it prevent you from doing what you want.

A better example would be a microwave door handle that would detect your BMI and then decide whether or not you could open it.

In the case of the car, a decision would be made to stop you from initiating a process (a decision that could be deeply flawed, or even a malfunction).

Transportation

Sensor Measures In Fingertips If Driver Is Drunk 549

Posted by timothy
from the I-prefer-to-think-of-them-as-our-fingers dept.
Hugh Pickens writes writes "The Economic Times reports on the first working prototypes of a new technology that would measure blood alcohol content in a driver's fingertips, using sophisticated touch-based sensors situated in steering wheels and door locks and engineers say that unlike court-ordered breath-analyzer ignition locks, which require a driver to blow into a tube and wait a few seconds for the result, their systems will analyze a driver's blood-alcohol content in less than one second. Anti-drunken driving crusaders believe that almost 9,000 road traffic deaths could be prevented every year if alcohol detection devices were used in all vehicles to prevent alcohol-impaired drivers from driving their vehicles. 'We believe this might turn the car into the cure for the elimination of drunk driving,' says Laura Dean-Mooney, president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. But not everyone is enamored of the device which could be available to automakers in eight to 10 years. 'For ordinary, law-abiding citizens, it's an invasion of their privacy,' says Christen Varley, president of the Greater Boston Tea Party."

All the evidence concerning the universe has not yet been collected, so there's still hope.

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