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Comment: Re:People (Score 1) 481

by RJFerret (#48064971) Attached to: Is an Octopus Too Smart For Us To Eat?

Cannibals obviously don't draw the line there. Of course from a disease prevention basis, it's frowned upon. I'd eat non-toxic aliens that were smarter than humans if tasty, affordable, nutritious and convenient to prepare. Other beings on this planet happily eat humans regardless of whether we're more intelligent or not. What does intelligence of food have to do with sustenance? I've never heard of such a debate.

Comment: Re:Do no EViL(tm) (Score 1) 427

Yes, Apple is way overpriced, considers itself fancy, likes to dictate what you can do, likes to secretly track what you do, and have you pay for it.

M$ is overpriced, but lets you do what you want.

Google has no price, they ask if you wish to trade info for useful services.

Apple is like a wife; lets you think you'll get some for all you're paying, but you end up badly screwed.
M$ is like a girlfriend; you actually get some for what you pay.
Google is like a lover; you not only get some, what you give is less, and they are honest about it.

Comment: Re:password manager (Score 1) 191

by RJFerret (#47993113) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Keep Students' Passwords Secure?

Simpler for kids is use a pattern, and base the first key off a letter in the website.

So password for Slashdot might be sdsasd (right, left, right). For Google+, ghgfgh. For pornhub, p[pop[

These are just examples, nowadays many require a number/shifted number be part of it, so I'd include that before or after the pattern. That way it's easy, the same pattern everywhere, just a different start point, unique, relatively secure, doesn't teach the bad idea of writing a password down, and is much faster to enter.

(Note, these types of passwords are hard to enter on a mobile device without a qwerty keyboard.)

Comment: Wow, that is fiction. (Score 4, Insightful) 191

by RJFerret (#47914173) Attached to: Sci-Fi Authors and Scientists Predict an Optimistic Future

"If the government has to decide what to fund and what not to fund, they are going to get their ideas and decisions mostly from science fiction rather than what's being published in technical papers."

Shouldn't that read...

"If the government has to decide what to fund and what not to fund, they are going to get their ideas and decisions mostly from the Bible rather than anything remotely reasonable."

We need the populace to elect different folks before the dream of the former would be true.

Comment: Re:Final Cut Pro library (Score 2) 268

by RJFerret (#47912961) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What To Do After Digitizing VHS Tapes?

Nah, sell your homemade porn tapes in a tag sale. No need to digitize and restore them yourself. Someone else will get off doing that, post the results online, and soon they'll be replicated not just "in the cloud", but redundantly all over the world. It won't matter, you'll never know as you'll never desire to watch them anyway. You might earn a couple bucks at the tag sale though. Use it to buy vibrator batteries.

Comment: Incandescent light bulbs (Score 1) 635

by RJFerret (#47790705) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?

Incandescent light bulbs that generate decent heat, so the plumbing lines running through the back stairwell don't freeze in winter.

Snaps. (I wish there were snaps on my cellphone case, since the velcro has worn out after 13 years.)

Hook and eye closures, because, bras.

Birth control, although newer forms that eliminate monthly periods are pure win.

PS: Anything that can be used one-handed where newer replacements require two, the aforementioned snaps instead of buttons, flip cellphone with keys that can even be used without viewing, etc.

Comment: Re:Binoculars again, digital camera (Score 1) 187

by RJFerret (#47740311) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: Cheap But Reasonable Telescopes for Kids?

Why would you presume his child relations are incapable? I was disparaging the suggestion that thousands of dollars of photographic equipment (when the original request was for low budget options) was a priority to obtain data, rather than a smaller investment so the children in his family could share their adventures and explore a potential hobby, rather than be denied the opportunity because thousands of dollars of expensive single purpose equipment are involved.

If a small investment induces a desire in a child to pursue more, that will become clear, and the question will change. Fostering curiosity has nothing to do with "dumb" or "science", it's about growing, exploring, perhaps about birds and airplanes instead of stars, but inexpensive child appropriate tools are more useful to begin with, an individual, child or otherwise, will request better tools if there is sufficient interest.

When the kids lose interest, a digital camera can be re-purposed readily.

PS: Giving a child a microscope ... "unless you help her do actual scientific experiments, she's going to miss most of the value". I disagree entirely, but it depends what you value. You obviously care about data--but we don't know what types of children are in his family. I'd give a child a microscope so she could grow, foster curiosity, witness beauty, discover, expand her horizons, and develop into a more well rounded person. These things work regardless of the type of personality, if she's more an artistic mind, salt is beautiful under a scope, if more about data, there's the online citizen science project to count tumor cells affected by medications. But these things are discovered from the broad exposure, not one specific application afflicted upon the children.

Comment: Re:Binoculars again, digital camera (Score 1) 187

by RJFerret (#47739915) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: Cheap But Reasonable Telescopes for Kids?

Did you miss, "...for kids", relatives who are elementary/middle school age? Not trying to do science here or collect "data", trying to introduce/interest them in...oh don't seem to remember being six to 13 years old.

But thankfully you don't need any of the equipment you listed. A couple hundred dollar digital camera with good lens and manual exposure control is plenty. It's good enough for Wikipedia, it'll be good enough for kids to throw online to show their friends lunar craters and comet tails and whatnot.

You also don't need the "right conditions" thankfully, I'm sandwiched between two cities and full of light pollution, but layering multiple exposures and image processing resolves all of that, and provides a practical application of image processing other than fake media model imagery for kids to learn about (which my nieces were taught about around eight years old).

Comment: Binoculars again, digital camera (Score 1) 187

by RJFerret (#47739681) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: Cheap But Reasonable Telescopes for Kids?

I second, or third or seventeenth the binoculars recommendation. Great for celestial observations, birding, plane spotting, live theater, sight seeing, etc. No set up, control in hands of user, each may have their own instead of taking turns, etc.

Note you don't need a scope for good astrophotography, there are pictures on Wikipedia I've taken just with a manual digital camera with good lens (and cheap tripod). Long exposure settings and proper image processing (combining multiple exposures to minimize background noise) provide incredible results.

Comment: I want disagreement. (Score 1) 382

by RJFerret (#47696599) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Would You Pay For Websites Without Trolls?

I go to forums for other viewpoints, not what is already in my head, I have that, why would I waste my time?

"Troll" used to mean someone who cared more about provoking emotional reactions regardless of opinion, not "disagrees". Someone trolling would, even if they agree, post in a manner to incite a reaction in their victim.

It seems most are defining "troll" as just someone else with a differing opinion, IE, most of the population. What is worth paying for, is someone who has information I don't have yet, or an opinion that leads to a new insight that was previously lacking: constructive dialog.

However most people participate in forums purely to stroke their own ego and feel better about themselves (the same reason they pursue most activities), not to actually engage with others.

Comment: Learn more during summer (Score 1) 421

by RJFerret (#47639673) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: Should Schooling Be Year-Round?

I learned far more during the months off in summer than I did in school. Don't get me wrong, learning to touch type in school was valuable.

But I learned how to be a productive member of society working summers. I learned how to be an individual person at summer camp--arguably my moment of self actualization. Trips with families exposed me (back when this existed) to different societies/cultures--as well as that humans are all essentially the same ego pursuers.

If some venue taught me how to balance a checkbook and do taxes, and how to write formal correspondence, my education would be more complete than average. None of those things (save the correspondence and touch typing) happened in school.

Both my parents were educators. My father also a school psychologist part time. When I proposed to him the premise that folks need to learn on the job, that school and higher education were more for delaying folks entrance to the work force, he basically agreed. Obviously there are certain careers that require higher education, but often the knowledge base of those positions has changed by the time one graduates and you have to learn on the job anyway.

Schools tend to have artificial social environments that it's good to escape from to round out personal development.

Besides, what's the point of becoming an underpaid teacher if you don't get summers off?

Heuristics are bug ridden by definition. If they didn't have bugs, then they'd be algorithms.