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Comment: Your men are already dead.... (Score 1) 523

by Slugster (#48487755) Attached to: Finland Dumps Handwriting In Favor of Typing
The problem with foregoing handwriting for typing, is that typing itself should already be a dying skill. It is known to cause a particularly difficult-to-treat injury (RSI) and there is already voice recognition software available for PCs and even mobile phones.

The more-modern solution would be to skip intensive typing instruction in favor of using systems that mostly work on voice recognition or touch screens. It is acceptable to have a keyboard present, but for desktop computing it shouldn't be the primary means of character/text input anymore.

Comment: Re:Interesting though not to be overinterpreted (Score 1) 252

by Slugster (#48442313) Attached to: Doubling Saturated Fat In Diet Does Not Increase It In Blood

1) All the participants had metabolic syndrome so the results might not be generally applicable.

...Except that the Eskimos have been eating zero-carb for 5000+ years. (search "zero carb diet" on wiki) Conversely, vegetarian diets have been a fad for thousands of years, but there has never been an established vegetarian or vegan culture for any sustained period. The only times ancient people didn't eat lots of animals was when there wasn't any animals to eat.

2) The meals were fixed portions, so we don't know how it affected appetite or how it compared to previous eating habits.

One of the odd effects of eating low-carb is that you can go much longer periods without eating, and yet you don't feel hungry. You have to try it for at least a few weeks to understand it.
Going 12 hours without eating isn't unusual, and even 18 hours is easily possible without discomfort. It kinda destroys the concept of meals as social settings, because you aren't eating every ~5 hours like everyone else is.

3) We don't know what would happen long term.

See #1 above

Eating low-carb all the time is still considered an extreme diet by medical standards, so (US) doctors won't tell you to try it. And they think you're borderline nuts if you ask about a zero-carb diet.... It is helpful to be under medical care to get your blood numbers tested because there are some conditions that it could easily aggravate instead of improve. Don't be too surprised if they get better however.

If you do try it, the easy rule to remember is that anything from plants is carbs, and is to be avoided--even fresh fruits and vegetables. Basically you can eat any meat (with fat!), milk, cheese and eggs. Lean meat is to be avoided; the traditional Inuit diet was over 50% fat.

The health books in school lied to you. If low-carbs and high-fat was bad for you, there wouldn't be any Eskimos today.

Comment: Re:The rest of the country needs to face reality (Score 0) 554

by Slugster (#48393983) Attached to: The Downside to Low Gas Prices

... Our current culture in the US, where unsustainable transportation (driving personal automobiles) is prioritized over sustainable transit, needs to change, and the sooner the better. ...

It would have been easier to just type "Stop liking what I don't like...."

Mass-transit is itself unsustainable, though most advocates ignore the realities of it:
1) Most mass-transit systems have peak usage that is very high, but is rather low the rest of the time. To be utilized it must be operating as much hours of the day as possible and must be sized to handle the peak usage, but that also means that in many cases they run essentially empty most of the rest of the hours of the day. Running empty trains and buses in circles isn't efficient by any measure.
2) The usefulness of mass transit relies on the ability of it to transport people from where they are to where they want to go--but the more stops that are added, the slower the speed becomes, making it undesirable for that reason alone. So mass-transit engineers are forced to decide between making it inaccessible (with few stops) or making it slow (with too many stops).

The most efficient means of transporting one person is to move them from wherever they are, to wherever they want to go, as quickly and directly as possible, so they will favor using that transportation. It takes an individual vehicle to do that. A 1-person vehicle always has a 100% occupancy rate, and it isn't on the road at all when it's not actually being used. The only issue is technical matters of small vehicle design. It is easily possible right now to build a 1-person vehicle that can get 100 MPG and over 200 MPG is easily possible without any advances in technology.

Summary:
Mass-transit suffers from utilization problems that are inherent in its use, and that cannot be solved.
Individual vehicles suffer from technological limitations that can be improved with engineering advances.

Comment: Re:Cost (Score 1) 550

by Slugster (#47526385) Attached to: Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later
A couple hundred dollars is too much for *just* glasses, unless you need some kind of extreme coke-bottle glasses.

You REEEAAAALLLY should look (ha ha) at some of the places selling prescription glasses online now, there's one that starts with a z but I forget the name. They are surprisingly inexpensive, if they have what you need. And they have a lot, and none of it costs anywhere near what you seem to be paying at the local eyeglasses place.

Comment: I wish him luck, but... (Score 3, Interesting) 85

by Slugster (#47250101) Attached to: Shawn Raymond's Tandem Bike is Shorter Than Yours (Video)
It is very presumptuous to claim one has invented a "new" bicycle just by rehashing normal parts. Millions of amateur inventors in every country in the world have been doing the same thing for 100+ years. Fans of vintage bicycles will tend to say that 'Everything ride-able--and a lot more things not--has already been done; I just can't find the picture'.

Vintage tandem bicycles that allowed a smaller rider in front were typically called "kangaroo" tandems.
I don't remember anything *exactly* like this, but I know I've seen a few that were very similar except for the handlebar arrangement.... -and I don't consider myself to be that great of a fan of vintage cycling. The vintage examples I recall vaguely had a more-complicated arrangement, which leads me to suspect that simpler ones were probably tried.

Comment: Re:Pay up! (Score 3, Insightful) 167

by Slugster (#47052311) Attached to: <em>Wolfenstein: The New Order</em> Launches
Not having a multiplayer element makes it MORE interesting to those that don't play online much (there is still a few of us)...

I managed to get Left For Dead 2 on Steam the day it was available for free.... the first new game I had played in a few years (I am rather beyond the typical game-buying demographic, most likely).

Due to a dated PC I tend to prefer playing single-player, but it has a few glaring problems when used that way. It is obvious that they intended it to be played by four people cooperating, and many situations involve coordination that bots can't or will not do. You almost need to resort to using cheat codes to get through many stages, as the bots are often more hindrance than help. And while there is a "last man on earth" variation to play, it doesn't present you with the usual assortment of enemies to fight.

Comment: Re:The diffciulty in getting carnivores to switch (Score 2, Insightful) 466

by Slugster (#46854443) Attached to: Bill Gates &amp; Twitter Founders Put "Meatless" Meat To the Test

If it tastes like meat, smells like meat, and looks like meat, then I won't refuse it on principle.

I would. "Carbs that taste like meat" is still carbs.

A few years back I tried eating low-carb out of curiosity (that is--high meat & fats). Best thing I ever did, and the regular medical checkups I get reflect that. It may not be what the AMA advises, but 5000 years of Eskimos trumps whatever the committee opinion is this year.

Besides, they could make the carb-meat "cheaper" just by placing a ridiculous tax on the real stuff.

Comment: Re:Had to do paper for a few years (Score 1) 386

by Slugster (#46760169) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?
I send my taxes on a paper 1040. The first year they had the free-E-filing I could not get it to work*, so I said 'fuck them' and mail paper every year. The issue I had with e-filing was that I could not do it, because I did not have a printer.

To use the free filing websites, you had to go to the federal one and it didn't give you a 1040-like form, it gave you an idiot question-and-answer format. So you could not capture screenshots of the form as it was being completed.... When I finished with the federal, a window popped up asking if I wanted to print, but it would not allow normal Windows .xps printing and did not allow viewing the print results on-screen, and I had no other virtual printer software. So I could not get any visual copy of the Federal return, and you need a couple numbers off that to do the state return. And you had to proceed directly from the federal free-e-file site to your state's free-e-file site, or else the state filing was not free.... and all the websites let you go all the way through and fill everything out and then tell you at the END that you will have to pay.

So I ended up filling out paper copies of both anyway, and have ever since. Fuck them and their idiot websites. Apparently they are still struggling with the concept of "paperless filing", since now you don't get to waste forms THEY provided, you have to print your OWN forms to waste.

If they just had a way to fill out and email a 1040 PDF, that would be great--but there is apparently no free way to do that.

Comment: Re:Taking one course solves a "shortage"? (Score 1) 147

by Slugster (#46465463) Attached to: How St. Louis Is Bootstrapping Hundreds of Programmers

So you want someone who is experienced, willing to work for dirt cheap in a boring shitty job, in a boring place, with no perks? ...

This is really the problem with 'finding programmers in the St Louis area'..... --Or at least, it was ~10 years back when I tried getting into the field.
The educational requirements and experience that companies wanted was way out of line with what they were willing to pay, and they were generally unwilling to allow any flexibility in either regard.

The whole thing with the online course seems odd. It's just going to give local businesses more applications they already don't want.

Comment: Re:Tech answer? (Score 1) 352

by Slugster (#46413141) Attached to: Vast Surveillance Network Powered By Repo Men

How about some sort of shutter covering your license plate, which shuts or otherwise becomes opaque when the car is turned off? Would that be legal?

In some states it is already illegal to put any kind of cover over a car's license plates.

The law originated with the louvered covers that were designed to block off-angle observation (so that the stationary radar gun wagons by the side of the road could not get a clear pic of your license plate as you sped by).

Comment: Re:But, it is illegal (Score 1) 166

by Slugster (#46386567) Attached to: Invention Makes Citibikes Electric

NYC has decided that electric bikes, an overall great idea, are illegal, as they are sorta "motor vehicles", and as such, don't comply with motorcycle regulations ...

This is really the 'problem' with motorized bicycles in the USA. There is no unified legislative support to allow them. Each state has its own rules.

Some states do allow both electric and gasoline-powered bicycles, with various restrictions and requirements. A few allow registering them as mopeds, plates and all. Other states don't allow them in any form.

Some states only allow electrics, and while that seems like an okay deal it isn't... It's like saying "you can own a car but it has to be all-electric",,, and what does that mean? Way higher cost and way less range than a comparable-powered gasoline option would be, despite all the Consumer Reports praise for the Tesla.

Also I tend to suspect that there are two invisible issues:
US cities really don't want to have to deal with all the problems that a huge increase in cyclists would cause. Also-
The US economy is inflationary and so the government isn't interested in anything getting cheaper than before. You trading your car for a motorized bicycle would be a savings of thousands of dollars a year for you--but for govt bureaucrats, it would be a loss of thousands of dollars spent into the economy each year. Why would they ever want that to happen?

Comment: Re:WTF (Score 1) 130

by Slugster (#46212009) Attached to: Boom Or Bust: The Lowdown On Code Academies
Coding doesn't pay enough to offset the degree costs in the USA.
There is a few reasons for that, none of which you and I can do anything about,,, except for not playing the game at all, because whoever wins, isn't going to be us. The observation that young people seem to have realized that is a good thing (for the kids!), not a bad one.

My advice to young kids now is "don't go into debt for schooling to do anything that can be off-shored". That rules out a lot of technical fields at once, but it is the truth. Coding is becoming a third-world job skill, like medical transcription or making tennis shoes. You might like it, it might be difficult and you might be GREAT at it--but its usefulness as a source of income depends on economics you cannot control.

Comment: US employers can't use skills testing anymore (Score 4, Interesting) 59

by Slugster (#45707521) Attached to: EdX Drops Plans To Connect MOOC Students With Employers
A US Supreme Court case found that if an employer was using skills testing that resulted in racial discrimination, then they were guilty of racial discrimination if they intended to be discriminating or not:

The court case is "Griggs vs. Duke Power"
For an explanation, see-
http://www.popecenter.org/commentaries/article.html?id=1749

The only kind of testing that US companies can use now without fear of discrimination lawsuits, is educational requirements. Ridiculous but true.

Comment: And the biggest ones are on paper... (Score 2) 189

by Slugster (#45638927) Attached to: eBay CEO: Amazon Drones Are Fantasy
And what happens when an Amazon drone smacks into someone's face walking down the street? ,,,,,,, Everything on amazon goes up $1 in price, that's what. ;)

The drone-package-delivery story seems to be rather unrealistic to me, just for the liability reasons--considering the one guy who died after flying his own RC helicopter into his head.

More likely they would just hire local people to deliver stuff using their own cars for minimum wage (or not-much-more than minimum wage).

Egotist: A person of low taste, more interested in himself than in me. -- Ambrose Bierce

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