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Comment: I pass if I care ... (Score 1) 122

by Ricochet (#45841273) Attached to: Are High MOOC Failure Rates a Bug Or a Feature?

... or to word it another way, if I paid for it, you bet I'll pass it!

I signed up for one of the early AI online course (it was free). I paid for the expensive but excellent AI textbook (Artificial_Intelligence_A_Modern_Approach). Excellent course, wish I could have completed it. Unfortunately my job changed and I was unable to finish the last half (still want to go back). I haven't been able to revisit the AI & ML course yet as I have a great deal of other material I need to work on (I've just completed reading my 5th book on comp. sci since September).

As an added note, I did get my BS/Comp Sci. degree online (just finished off the student loans - yea!) and I know what it takes to complete a real degree from a real school. I would have completed my MS in Comp Sci but I couldn't see a good rate of return on that investment. Really that's a shame as I did find some interesting programs.

Comment: Re:Why limit calculator choices for tests? (Score 1) 328

by Ricochet (#45446215) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Cheap Second Calculators For Tests?

For High School and early College degrees, knowing the basics helps later work when working with the more advanced tools. After learning (and being able to know) the basics then move into the more advanced tools. Both are needed. Generally when working on complex systems it's easiest to understand when it can be broken down into clear, demarcated segments. Overall it's complex but each individual segment is made up of basic understandable ideas. That way you don't need to look at everything all at once. This is the way much of networking works using the ISO reference model. Knowing the basics helps when you need to fall back

Medicine

How Big Data Is Destroying the US Healthcare System 507

Posted by Soulskill
from the optimizing-for-profit-does-not-optimize-for-health dept.
KindMind writes "Robert Cringely writes on the idea that technological advances have changed the health care system, and not for the better. The idea is that companies now rate individuals instead of groups, and so move to a mode of simply avoiding policies that might lose money, instead of the traditional way that insurance costs were spread over a group. From the article: 'Then in the 1990s something happened: the cost of computing came down to the point where it was cost-effective to calculate likely health outcomes on an individual basis. This moved the health insurance business from being based on setting rates to denying coverage. In the U.S. the health insurance business model switched from covering as many people as possible to covering as few people as possible — selling insurance only to healthy people who didn't much need the healthcare system.'"

Comment: MARCH & InfoAge (Score 2) 78

by Ricochet (#45026827) Attached to: Finding a Tech Museum For Your Beloved Retired Computer(s)

I know the folks at MARCH (MidAtlantic Retro Computing Hobbyists at InfoAge, in NJ). They do a good job. I've donated a few devices. They can use extras as they need spare parts. Let's face it, there are fewer serviceable replacements available. They're very much aware of keeping these displays true to the time when they sold. The InfoAge displays are actual working displays and they are hands on (very important). They have everything from single board computers to Mainframes & Super computers and the supporting software.

Comment: 1 Gallon of Gatorade 1 Gallon of gas (Score 1) 542

by Ricochet (#37087070) Attached to: What's the Carbon Footprint of Bicycling?

I buy Gatorade in bulk ($35 for 2 canisters of powder - 36 qts/canister) and until a little while ago it cost more to use a gallon Gatorade than gas (I travel long distances and water only is not an option).

Of course that is a useless statistic in and of itself. As others have pointed out without proper references it's just another form of statistics (and damn lies). I think Fox had a wonderful news article where it showed it cost more to ride a bicycle to work that it did to drive to work. A number of couch potatoes at work decided to show me the article (basically shoved it in my face). I pointed out the holes but to no avail (horse, water, drink). Now that was a masterfully crafted bit of propaganda for the non-thinking masses! And they felt better about driving that huge SUV.

Comment: How about a Beowulf cluster of plug computers? (Score 1) 264

by Ricochet (#35674618) Attached to: My in-use, non-TV displays add up to (diag.):

Vote 0 (really should have been 0 - 15" or 15 - 30" I guess)

No really, I've been switching my machines over to headless. At least there not covered in grits. ;-)

Most of my machines are either truly headless (the plug computers) or operate off a KVM. Access is generally ssh.

Comment: Re:Typical (Score 1) 104

by Ricochet (#31163268) Attached to: Extreme Close-Up of Mars's Moon Phobos

Your sight is short and your mind narrow! We're running out of resources at an alarming rates and I'm not talking petroleum. Perhaps we can create extremely good recycling technology but I doubt it will occur before another great war. If we don't start figuring out how to get off the rock we call home we will surely perish on it. We will need a great deal of effort and time to figure out how to survive in space as it is a dangerous place. Yes, I know you don't care, it won't happen in your lifetime but the work needed to take that next great step had better begin in our lifetime. That doesn't mean we should spend crazily either. We need to have a well thought out plan (I'm not sure any country does).

The amount we don't know could fill galaxies the amount we are learning is doing just that.

Live within your income, even if you have to borrow to do so. -- Josh Billings

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