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Comment: Re:perhaps more importantly, they are easier to FI (Score 1) 325

by RackinFrackin (#47181491) Attached to: Fixing the Humanities Ph.D.

You are being flippant here. Hiring someone into a tenure track position is a lot more work than hiring someone into a temporary position. Someone in a temporary position is usually just going to teach classes and that's it. All you need to know is if they are knowledgable and can run a classroom. Credentials give you a ballpark idea of the first, and references give you an idea of the second. Budget-wise you only need a commitment from above for one year's salary, which is a lot easier to secure than a continuing salary. You don't have to worry about their research compatibility, long-term career plans, or their ability to get tenure.

And if you screw up and hire a person who isn't up to the job, you don't renew them. So true, they are easier to fire, but that's a very small part of the story.

Comment: worst websites around (Score 3) 255

My only experience is with charter. Their service itself is usually pretty good, but I hate their website. You can't find straightforward information on what individual services cost, and even finding a channel listing is difficult. On more than one occasion I've searched for services available at my house--where they make me enter my exact address--and their website tells me that they do not service my area.

It really frustrates me that the companies that run the internet don't care enough or aren't required to make basic information about their services available.

Comment: Re:Casio fx-115ES Plus (Score 1) 328

by RackinFrackin (#45448115) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Cheap Second Calculators For Tests?

This is a very capable calculator for under 20 USD. The two things that really impressed me about is are that (1) it can do arithmetic with and simplify square roots, and (2) it can do numerical integration and in some cases give exact answers. The numerical integration can be painfully slow, but it can recognize that, for instance int_{-1}^1 \sqrt{1-x^2} = \pi/2.

Comment: Re:It's not about YOU stupid. (Score 2) 114

you get nothing in return

FB users get a significant amount of utility out of Facebook, and of course it comes at a cost. It looks extremely lop-sided because there's only one facebook and there are a billion or so users, but saying that users get nothing from it is just as stupid as saying that it costs users nothing.

Comment: Re:Uni-ball Signo Bit 0.18mm, 0.28mm, 0.38mm (Score 1) 712

by RackinFrackin (#41840289) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: The Search For the Ultimate Engineer's Pen

I'll second the .28 mm uni-ball signo. It's the best thin-line pen I've ever used. It's great for doing neat, precision writing, but I can't write very fast with it. In my opinion the .18 is a little too small. I haven't tried the .38 version.

I've also tried the Pentel Slicci .25 mm pens, as mentioned by other posters, but I don't like them as well.

For a thicker-writing pen, I highly recommend the Uni-ball vision elite micro.

I took a fish head to the movies and I didn't have to pay. -- Fish Heads, Saturday Night Live, 1977.