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Comment: Re:Pink? (Score 1) 38

by ShanghaiBill (#49800359) Attached to: MIT Trains Robots To Jump

Is there a reason why all the obstacles are flat, low and pink?

Most likely because they already had some pink Styrofoam lying around.

Can the lasers only see pink objects?

Who cares? Obstacle detection with lasers is already a solved problem, and that was NOT the point of this research. The point is the algorithms and mechanism of jumping.

Comment: Re:in all fairness, (Score 1) 171

by ShanghaiBill (#49799765) Attached to: Chinese Nationals Accused of Taking SATs For Others

I think it is similar in reverse when Asians look at Caucasians?

It is not who you are, but who you spend time with, that determines this. If you are Caucasian, but grow up attending a school with lots of Asians, then you will have no problem telling them apart. I lived in Shanghai for several years, and when I first arrived, I had a hard time remembering faces. By the time I left, the neural nets in my brain's face recognition module had been reconfigured. Today, I live in San Jose (more Asians than whites) and I have no problem remembering faces.

Comment: Re:Hilarious! (Score 1) 171

by ShanghaiBill (#49799589) Attached to: Chinese Nationals Accused of Taking SATs For Others

Well my IQ has been tested at 141 and yet I failed almost every standardized test I've been put through here in Ontario, that being grade 3, grade 6, grade 9 and grade 10.

IQ tests measure intelligence. School exams measure knowledge. They are not the same thing. Next time, trying reading the textbook and doing the assignments. Since you were unable to figure this out on your own, the IQ score may have been a fluke, or maybe your name was mistakenly put on the wrong answer sheet.

Comment: Re:Hilarious! (Score 1) 171

by ShanghaiBill (#49799481) Attached to: Chinese Nationals Accused of Taking SATs For Others

I meant devoting significant time to improving one's "test-taking skills" and/or specifically studying the SAT.

I am not sure I would consider that "gaming". Before I took the SAT, I read a book on "How to Ace the SAT". The "tricks" worked, but they were not really "tricks", but broadly useful skills in critical reasoning. For instance, all through school, you are taught how to find the right answer. But for the SAT, it is useful to be able to see that an answer is obviously wrong, and that is a very useful skill in life. I also learned the skill of dimensional analysis, where instead of doing a lot of math to see if the number is right, just take a few seconds to see if the units are right. Another "trick" was to learn several hundred key vocabulary words. Knowing those words made me a better reader, and a better writer, able to express nuances that someone with a weaker vocabulary could not. So the book didn't just help me raise my SAT score (by several hundred points), it also made me a better educated person.

Comment: Re:Hilarious! (Score 3, Informative) 171

by ShanghaiBill (#49799347) Attached to: Chinese Nationals Accused of Taking SATs For Others

the SAT has a large essay portion that does gauge how well students are able to communicate their knowledge

Many colleges ignore the essay portion of the SAT, because it has not been shown to indicate much of anything. Scores on the multiple choice portion of the test, on the other hand, are more highly correlated with academic success in college, and financial success after college, than any other measurement. So, of course, they are the biggest factor in the admissions process at most universities.

Comment: Re:other people's money (Score 1) 291

There is no way the government should be paying full retail to the telcos for this. Most of the cost of an Internet connection is paying for infrastructure, which is a sunk cost. The marginal cost of delivering Internet in urban areas to people who would not otherwise subscribe, is very low.

Comment: Re: Scientists are generally trusted (Score 1) 242

They also charge more than most weekly magazines.

The Economist charges more per magazine, but if you consider the amount of news you get, it is actually cheaper. The Economist is mostly actual news and analysis. Time, Newsweek, and most other "news" magazines contain a huge amount of photo spreads, celebrity gossip, ads, and other fluff.

Comment: Re:Just wondering (Score 1) 214

by ShanghaiBill (#49794989) Attached to: Why Detecting Drones Is a Tough Gig

They use a set of well known frequencies, usually 2.4Ghz WiFi

In a dense urban area, there would be dozens or hundreds of 2.4Ghz transmitters close enough to be a threat. A good drone can move fast. It could be over the fence and into the rose garden in seconds, and could carry enough of an exposive payload to kill someone. There would be insufficient time for a human to react, so any defense would need to be automated. Maybe the president should permanently relocate to Camp David. Is there any reason he (or she) needs to be in downtown DC?

Comment: Re:Not sure why this article was written (Score 1) 90

by ShanghaiBill (#49793917) Attached to: Cloud Boom Drives Sales Boom For Physical Servers

While the cloud provider might have better bandwidth, the non-techie may not.

If I share photos via the cloud (e.g. Dropbox), I upload them once, and then family, friends, etc. can view them dozens of times, using Dropbox's bandwidth, not mine.

I store customer facing content in "the cloud". This includes webpages, images, databases, etc. I only need to upload this content once. Then it is downloaded by others thousands of times. So my cloud vendor needs to have far more bandwidth that I need to have.

Comment: Re:Scientists are generally trusted (Score 1) 242

But that is counter balanced by owing it to their editors and share holders to skip those few minutes and facts to publish an article that will catch more readers eyes.

They can still do that, while reporting accurately. They just need to include a disclaimer in the article that there was no peer review, and it likely total nonsense. Responsible publications have articles about unconfirmed preliminary research all the time, they are just careful to label it as such.

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