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Comment: Re:Personal experience (Score 1) 379

by Taser (#43016285) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Would You Feel About Recording Your Entire Life?

My brother recently recovered a metric a$$load of old home videos we had unviewed on Betamax, and had them converted to MP4s (after conversion, they're about 62 GB). These are videos close to 25 years old, and having lost my father about 20 years ago, it was wonderful seeing him not only as a static figure on pictures, but as a moving person, as well as reviving old memories of my siblings.

The only regret I have is that being the most technologically adept child in my family at the time, I'm almost always the one holding the camera, and therefore I'm not seen as much. I never was much for being seen when I was young, but I would have liked to show my daughter some videos of me as a youngster. She recognizes her aunt and uncles in the videos, and laughs at our antics from a forgone age.

Comment: Re:What for? (Score 2) 245

by Taser (#40697789) Attached to: An Olympic Games For Enhanced Athletes?

In a coversation with friends during the recent doping inquiry with Clemens, I proposed a split of MLB into enhanced and un-enhanced branches.

In the un-enhanced branch, every player rises to the top of their natural ability; if they catch you doping illegally, you would be banned from *both* branches, and never allowed to play professionally again.

In the enhanced branch, you could bat while wearing a test tube actively pumping neon-green ooze into your veins, and no rules would be broken, but that would be your choice.

What I'm against is people having to actively try to satisfy two competing ideals in the same sport (continual excitement, improvement and results / un-natural enhancing and active hiding of illicit enhancers).

Comment: Re:What do you expect? (Score 2) 488

by Taser (#40375273) Attached to: U.S. Students Struggle With Reasoning Skills

There's also a "curator effect" that some teachers take to heart, if you can call it that, in the sense that if it wasn't taught by them, you shouldn't know about it, or that knowledge is suspect in some way.

Going back to ancient times, my class on Applied Programming used Lotus 1-2-3 macros to develop an automated spreadsheet. Our professor insisted that we use /X commands, which were cryptic and made debugging difficult. My cousin loaned me a book which explained that the /X commands could be replaced with commands in braces, so /XBG would appear as {GOTO}, for example. My code became much more legible and easier for anyone who came afterwards to follow.

The professor, however, refused to accept any assignments that used the brace variant of these commands, even though they were legitimate and functionally identical, simply because he hadn't taught them. After all, I could have "cheated" by obtaining knowledge that wasn't available to others in the class. That was one professor that lost a lot of respect in my eyes. As someone who's been on both sides of the teaching relationship, I would regularly take pride in those that exceeded the scope of my classes, and that went above and beyond what we could cover in the classroom.

Comment: Wanted for murder (Score 2, Interesting) 184

by Taser (#34394934) Attached to: Student Googles Himself, Finds He's Accused of Murder

I can empathize with the shock of finding out you're wanted for something this severe that you have absolutely no involvement in. While we lived outside of the US, my brother had his car stolen, so we reported it to the police that very night.

A couple of weeks later, a magazine notorious for reporting on gory crimes with graphic photos (at the time, everyone joked that "blood leaked out of the magazine if you squeezed it hard enough") had both my brother and myself accused as murderers in a crime that involved the stolen vehicle. It turns out that a receipt they found in the vehicle had my brother's name and my family's phone number. It took a while to determine that the victim was related to the author of the article, and after talking with the police, we were able to clear our names and get a retraction printed.

Comment: Re:On The Other Hand (Score 3, Interesting) 684

by Taser (#31113958) Attached to: How Easy Is It To Cheat In CS?

I have two anecdotes from my years of teaching low-level courses in CS:

1) An introductory Java course had about 5 TAs that took care of programming labs, helped grade assignments and tests. One TA received an assignment for a student, but comments in the code mentioned that the author of the code was another student who was under a different TA. Both TAs spoke to these student separately, and it was pretty simple to determine which one had the student that was copying code from the other. When *that* student was confronted with the damning evidence, he retorted "What do you want me to do, change the variable names?"

2) I received assignments from my students, both electronically and in printed form. When going through the code, it was obvious that three students had colluded and made token changes to the code; functions were in the same order on each of these printouts, to the point that laying them out on a table side by side and flipping the pages one by one for all three printouts had the exact same spacing from the left margin, the same spacing between functions, indentation, etc. Since the program worked as intended, they got a score of 100. . . split into three grades of 33 each.

Hardware

+ - ARM Preps 2-GHz Multicore Chips for Smartphones

Submitted by adeelarshad82
adeelarshad82 (1482093) writes "ARM plans to take on Intel's Atom by prepping faster, mulicore versions of its Cortex processor, running up to speeds of 2 GHz. ARM introduced the new Cortex-A9 chip, code-named Eagle, which with physical IP optimization can demonstrate 2GHz of speed. Along with the Cortex-A9 chip the company also showed off two other new chips, the "Heron," a Cortex-R chip for engine management systems and hard drives, and "Merlin," designed for motor controller and other microcontrollers."
Apple

+ - Apple Makes $208 on Each $499 iPad-> 2

Submitted by CWmike
CWmike (1292728) writes "Apple's lowest cost iPad tablet, $499, actually runs Apple about $270 in materials and manufacturing costs, a Wall Street analyst said on Friday. According to a bill of materials (BOM) analysis by Brian Marshall of BroadPoint AmTech, the cost of goods inside Apple's 16GB WiFi-only iPad totals $270.50. That figure includes a $10 line item dedicated to manufacturing, but doesn't include another $20 set aside for under-warranty service costs. Adding the latter makes Marshall's bottom-line total $290.50. The most expensive component on his price list: the 9.7-in. LCD touch-sensitive display, which he tagged at $100. Because that model will sell for $499, Apple's profit margin is 42.9% after the $20 warranty set-aside is factored in. As a hardware expert pointed out Wednesday, saying the pricing for 3G models 'ridiculous,' the 3G models are more profitable since Apple adds a $130 surcharge for those tablets but incurs a very small hardware cost to add 3G. By Marshall's estimate, the $629 16GB iPad with WiFi and 3G costs Apple $306.50, just $16 more than the WiFi-only model, giving the company a profit margin of 52%, a jump of nine percentage points. In all cases, the WiFi+3G iPad provides a bigger margin that the same configuration in WiFi-only. The $599 WiFi-only iPad, which includes 32GB of flash storage, costs Apple $316, for a margin of 48.1%; the same iPad with 3G has a $729 price tag, but runs Apple only $332, a margin of 55.1%."
Link to Original Source

+ - SPAM: Best Mini Netbook from ASUS

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Asus Eee PC Netbook is currently of the most popular brands in the netbook market. Here is a quick review of the 10.1-inch Asus 1005PE Mini netbook model..."
Link to Original Source

+ - Is Convergence Killing Quality? 1

Submitted by andylim
andylim (1618383) writes "As we race towards an age of e-readers and do-it-all phones, Kate Solomon from recombu makes it clear that covergence isn't everything, "I'm not going to settle for a jack of all trades, master of none." Solomon's article explains that standalone cameras are much better than camera phones, how you can't beat a paper diary and calendar sometimes and that books are much better than e-readers, adding "What about tear stains in the sad sections and folding down corners of the page with that really great passage on?" What do you think though, is convergence killing quality or will camera phones and e-readers be as good as the real thing eventually?"

Comment: Re:Here's an idea (Score 2, Informative) 322

by Taser (#27268885) Attached to: Making Sense of Mismatched Certificates?

If you suspect you're visiting a phishing site, try first entering the WRONG password. Since the fishing site shouldn't know your true password, it will just accept the incorrect one and store it away for the purpuse of dastardly use later on. If the site rejects the incorrect password, then accepts the true one, you know you're OK. Right?

Though the above may work in a phishing website, it's absolutely worthless in a true MITM scheme. Recall that the MITM is forwarding *your* input to the *true* website, and will give you the same results as if you had entered them yourself.

Computers are unreliable, but humans are even more unreliable. Any system which depends on human reliability is unreliable. -- Gilb

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