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Comment: Re:Technology allows (Score 1) 620

by StikyPad (#49587133) Attached to: Disney Replaces Longtime IT Staff With H-1B Workers

Urban myth. There is no appreciable difference in population growth when there are power outages or even during winter.

Says who? Unfortunately I couldn't find a chart of births by month in the US, so I had to make my own.

Here's a plot of the results:
Data source:

Unfortunately the data doesn't provide day of birth, only month of birth, so I normalized by dividing by the number of days in the month in 2013 which gives me births/days per month. Assuming 2013 wasn't an atypical year, there's a definite peak in births from July to September, which suggests more babies are being conceived in winter than in summer.

Here are the raw numbers:

J: 10461
F: 10441
M: 10360
A: 10409
M: 10651
J: 10682
J: 11287
A: 11428
S: 11295
O: 11011
N: 10641
D: 10849

Comment: Re:The 90s all over again... (Score 4, Interesting) 105

by StikyPad (#49573183) Attached to: Why Crypto Backdoors Wouldn't Work

They didn't get their way through other means really. Mass surveillance doesn't trump encryption -- on the contrary, encryption is the only protection against mass surveillance. I think it was more that encryption just wasn't used for most communications, so they realized it was a moot point. Now that companies are shifting toward end-to-end encryption, it's becoming relevant again.

Comment: Re:Fins - probably not. (Score 3, Interesting) 216

by StikyPad (#49572675) Attached to: US Successfully Tests Self-Steering Bullets

This is the most information I could find. Maybe someone else can do better:

Design and Demonstration of a Guided Bullet for Extreme Precision Engagement of Targets at Long Range Performing for the DARPA Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance (EXACTO) program, the team developed a revolutionary .50 caliber bullet guidance system that will be used to produce the smallest, fastest, highest g projectile to date that is fully guided. To perform across a 70,000-g launch acceleration, they designed a first-of-a-kind, two-body bullet with a decoupled aft section that despins from 120,000 to 0 rpm in under 300 ms. This required the implementation of an innovative, alternator controlled, despun aft section that provides sufficient maneuverability but low drag for the bullet to remain supersonic out to maximum range.
The team worked within an 11-month time frame to deliver a system that exceeded all of the accuracy requirements across a variety of night- and daytime ranges, moving targets, wind speeds and directions, and other environmental conditions. The effort culminated in May with a physics and experimentally-based, fully integrated hardware- and software-in-the-loop demonstration that not only validated superior system performance, but also exceeded designated product requirements over all ranges and all target motion challenges. For this accomplishment, the program was recently awarded Phase II to continue the design and development of the guidance mechanics and electronics in collaboration with a commercial sponsor. The outstanding technical achievements demonstrated in the design, fabrication, simulation, and testing of this miniaturized guidance system are well-deserving of this award. (page 109)

There's also a picture of a model that differs from those that appear in most other press releases.

From what I could find out, it looks like Draper Laboratories does the Guidance, Navigation, and Control (the interesting part), Teledyne does the optical target acquisition/locking (semi interesting), and Orbital ATK makes the ammunition part -- probably primer, charge, casing, and shell.

Comment: Re:Here _I_ come? (Score 1) 216

by StikyPad (#49572645) Attached to: US Successfully Tests Self-Steering Bullets

In theory maybe. In reality, most criminals are amatuer combatants, at best, and they buy the cheapest, or the most intimidating weapons, not the most effective. And they don't snipe -- they do drive-bys and kick-ins.

At any rate, there is no law banning steerable bullets, and there's no reason to think there will be. They're much better suited to hunting than to the "thug life" anyway.

Comment: Can't punish your customers (Score 3, Interesting) 353

by StikyPad (#49570515) Attached to: University Overrules Professor Who Failed Entire Management Class

Obviously the university can't afford to punish its customers. At least, not for very long.

I'm also skeptical that 100% of students deserved to fail. Maybe they did, but that should be a consequence of individual evaluations that have a coincidental outcome, not a group evaluation that affects every individual. The older we get, the more we tend to use the shortcut of categorization instead of individualized evaluation. Categorization is efficient, and often "good enough," but honestly, students deserve the individual evaluation they paid for.

I had a high school teacher burn out in much the same way. He was actually a great teacher -- excited about the material, animated, and he always encouraged debate. He had a large number of students in one of his classes that would taunt him for childish reasons like his mannerisms, and eventually he lost it and told the entire class that they had failed, and told everyone to report to the principal's office in an expletive-laden tirade. Teachers are people, and they have limits. The behavior of the students was inexcusable, and while the reaction of the teacher was understandable, it was unprofessional and thus unacceptable.

The entire class did not fail, nor did it deserve to. It wasn't the job of the well-behaving students to moderate the behavior of the bad actors -- the other students were victims as well. I think the lesson is to really nip this sort of thing in the bud. If disruptive students had been removed after a couple of infractions, it would have both decreased the level of disruption and set an example to the rest of the class. Allowing things to get to the point described in the summary is the real failure.

Comment: Re:In-depth political analysis (Score 1) 95

Also, she's not bad looking as far as judges go. In American politics, good looks count for a lot.

Fortunately, they really don't. Sarah Palin has had limited success. Michelle Bachman too. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton has almost been President once, and may be yet.

Politics truly is hollywood for the ugly, and attractive politicians are as much the exception as unattractive stars.

"When the going gets tough, the tough get empirical." -- Jon Carroll