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Comment: Re:Tools make it easier to accomplish tasks. (Score 1) 128

by plover (#48948717) Attached to: Can Students Have Too Much Tech?

I don't think this is related to the difference between special purpose use, or general purpose use. I think the problem is like anything else in education - parental involvement will increase children's learning. If the parent works with them to learn how to use the device, I'd bet their scores would go up, similar to a parent who reads to their child or helps them with math homework.

If the parent says "I don't have to teach them anything, the school gave them a computer for that", or "I can't teach them how to use the computer because I don't know how to use it", that child's education is going to suffer. Being computer-illiterate might simply be the current excuse for parents to ignore their children.

Comment: Re:TERRIBLE (Score 1) 105

by plover (#48942369) Attached to: Fixing Verizon's Supercookie

Verizon is completely nuts if they don't think there will be a backlash!!!!!!!!

From who? Thirteen enraged nerds on Slashdot? Their average customer doesn't understand the difference between their phone and their browser; they certainly won't get up in arms over a "super-cookie".

Verizon could easily afford to piss off every paranoiac on the planet, and they'd still have so much money they'll need to buy another dump truck to haul this month's profit to the bank. They have no real reason to change, so I'd recommend a strategy other than OMGPANIC!

Comment: Re:Is Encase worried yet? (Score 3, Insightful) 36

by plover (#48942249) Attached to: US Army Releases Code For Internal Forensics Framework

Yeah, the more I dig into it, the more it looks like an investigative tool than an evidence analysis tool. That's pretty cool, but as you say, it looks a lot like Wireshark. Still, when you're facing an unknown attacker, it may not hurt to have a couple different views on the problem.

Comment: Re:Majority leaders home district (Score 1) 173

How could Soviet propaganda reach the US, or the Americas (excluding Cuba)?

If you are at all interested in the actual answer, The Sword and the Shield is an absolutely fascinating book that answers your question. It was written by Vasily Mitrokhin, a senior historian for the KGB, who brought over thirty years of KGB mission records to the British after the fall of the Soviet Union. He discusses "active measures", which were propaganda campaigns designed to fracture public opinion and cast the US position in a questionable light. This includes really awful and regrettable things, like AIDS being formulated by the US Army at Ft. Detrick, those kinds of lies. Many of these rumors started by agents were spread to CPUSA members, who had members on college campuses around the country.

For a more entertaining version of how the Soviets influenced America and operated on her soil, I recommend watching 'The Americans' on FX network. Set in the 80's during the height of the cold war, the plotlines in the show are based roughly on actual events documented in the book, and from other sources of KGB history.


Nobel Laureate and Laser Inventor Charles Townes Passes 73

Posted by samzenpus
from the rest-in-peace dept.
An anonymous reader writes Charles Hard Townes, a professor emeritus of physics at the University of California, Berkeley, who shared the 1964 Nobel Prize in Physics for invention of the laser and subsequently pioneered the use of lasers in astronomy, died early Tuesday in Oakland. He was 99. "Charlie was a cornerstone of the Space Sciences Laboratory for almost 50 years,” said Stuart Bale, director of the lab and a UC Berkeley professor of physics. “He trained a great number of excellent students in experimental astrophysics and pioneered a program to develop interferometry at short wavelengths. He was a truly inspiring man and a nice guy. We’ll miss him.”

Comment: Re:Who eats doughnuts with the doughnut men? (Score 1) 461

by plover (#48925715) Attached to: Police Organization Wants Cop-Spotting Dropped From Waze App

That's not the case here, and it's irrelevant. When I noticed the discrepancy between my camera's reported speed and my speedometer, I then compared it with a GPS-based speedometer app in my iPhone. The iPhone and car speedometer were in perfect sync. The camera-indicated speed was indeed extremely low, and so low that I have to think it was made deliberately wrong in order to provide misleading information in court, to fight in jurisdictions where such things are overlooked.

Let's say I was in court for some kind of accident, and I was going 70 MPH in a 60 MPH zone. The video recording of the crash shows the camera says 60 MPH, so it never comes up that I'm partially at fault because I was speeding. The other party in the crash is screwed by faulty evidence.

Comment: Re:Early fragmentation (Score 1) 488

by epine (#48918565) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

Turbo Pascal became insanely popular on single-tasking systems because it was much easier to use.

Many aspiring programmers were ruined by precisely this ease of use, getting into the habit of massaging compiler complaints out of their code base with their fingers instead of their brains.

In C, if your compiler complains about an unsafe comparison between signed and unsigned, one can eliminate that complaint pretty quickly by tossing in a cast operator. Eliminating a braino ... not so fast.

GUI-facing code often benefited from the rapid turn-around cycle of a "turbo" IDE, whereas algorithmic code typically didn't.

Comment: Re:Who eats doughnuts with the doughnut men? (Score 1) 461

by plover (#48913523) Attached to: Police Organization Wants Cop-Spotting Dropped From Waze App

I was recently doing 29 and a mobile trap claimed I was doing 35. Fortunately I have video camera evidence from the car to prove that I wasn't, but it means I have to go to court and argue it.

You might want to check your camera before heading into court. I have a gray market cam from that under-reports speed by a wide margin (it displays about 60MPH when my speedometer shows 70); when I use the viewing app they provided, it shows the GPS-plotted path on Google maps, and it shows my true speed.

You want to be sure it's accurate because there is no benefit to you in angering a judge by presenting incorrect evidence.

"Now here's something you're really going to like!" -- Rocket J. Squirrel