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Comment: Why CS for Controls? (Score 1) 296

by StateOfTheUnion (#37297468) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Second Major For a Mechanical Engineer?

I don't believe that CS majors typically learn a lot of controls and automation in their core curriculum . . . that's typically something that EE's see more of. And for that matter I ask, why Mechanical Engineering? If you want to design cars, ME might make sense, but in most alternative energy technologies you will likely be part of a multidisciplinary team . . . with material scientists (solar energy, automobiles, fuel cells), chemical engineers (fuel cells, combustion engineering), aerospace engineers (wind turbines), electrical engineers (all of the above). Mechanical engineering, though a key component of many teams, does not typically get to "ride point" on these teams. Mechanical engineers often take the requirements from the aforementioned disciplines and design a real and stable "container" or "device" that mechanically stabilizes and holds the alternative energy technology. If you actually want to design the "alternative energy technology" perhaps one of the more specific disciplines would make sense. . .

Note that I'm not belittling the role of mechanical engineers. ME's are absolutely critical to the development of a myriad of technologies . . . but mechanical engineering isn't the lead discipline that actually develops many of the "core" technologies that make the alternative energy technologies that you describe possible.

And lastly, I don't understand how ". . . mechanical engineering will give me a broad understanding of the more specific engineering disciplines." is true at all. I'm a chemical engineer . . . I don't know many mechanical engineers that know squat about the basics of Chem E. And for that matter I don't know Mechanical Engineering for squat either . . . I never even took a Statics and Dynamics course . . .

Comment: Re:CD-quality programming . . .Yeah right (Score 1) 334

by StateOfTheUnion (#16451721) Attached to: Howard Stern Coming To the Net
Actually I think that really depends on the music that you listen to. I like a lot of older jazz and classical music and personally, I haven't found many so called "CD quality" 128 kbps recordings of these genres of music that IMHO sound very good.

In fact I find the sound quality downright annoying compared with listening to a real CD and would rather listen to silence, because at least silence doesn't grate on my nerves as complex chords and countermelodies from a orchestra overwhelm the compression algorithm. 256kbps makes a huge difference to me.

And though the styles of music that I listen to may put me in a minority of music listeners in general, I don't think that I am in a minority of listeners of these particular genres. With all due respect I personally think that it is harder to hear small compression artifacts in distorted guitar music than in the sound of strings and flutes. I'm not claiming that any particular music is "better" than another, but when one claims "CD-quality sound" and it only applies to particular types of music, that should be specified. Or the "CD-quality sound" should be CD quality for at least the major genre's of music on the radio. But it clearly is not.

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