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Comment Re:I prefer to browse the local library. (Score 1) 83

I do the same with gifts (usually because it's a last-minute thing), but lately I've been looking at AbeBooks before Amazon. In most cases I'm looking for books that have been out for longer than a year and it's amazing how many almost-recently-published books are available for the cost of shipping (around $3.50 USD). I make sure I'm buying from a bookseller that's relatively close to my location and things arrive quickly, too. We did a lot of Christmas book shopping that way last year and I have zero complaints about the book quality. Amazon holds my main wish list and I still buy a bunch of stuff there, but if I can support a smaller bookseller and reduce waste, that's a bonus. Plus the recent Amazon Smile thing kind of upset me with its de facto stinginess WRT Amazon's resources vs. Amazon's claims of great social contributions.

Comment Named after my favorite Styx song (Score 1) 33

From what I understand, the existing theory of UV dust excitement is pretty solid...sometimes I wish people would keep their own spoiler theories to themselves, especially when we send up a multi-million dollar spacecraft and the conclusion is "yep, it's like we always thought." KEEP IT TO YOURSELF IT WAS A SURPRISE TO ME UNTIL NOW.

Comment OS X Upgrade Fear (Score 3, Insightful) 362

I'm still on Lion. I have a 2011 MBP and I'm thinking I might stay on Lion. I'll be handing it down to my wife and would consider the big version upgrade, but my recent experience with iOS upgrades was that the new OS was way more resource-intensive than the old, even though people told me it'd be so great and Apple doesn't do upgrades that slow your machine down, etc. Thoughts? Should I think about an upgrade to Mavericks?

Comment How it works and what it is (Score 1) 17

I had to search around. Here's a bit that's kind of buried on the Kickstarter site:

Through our web-interface you can then upload your code to our exact replica of the satellite on the ground and make sure that it works as intended. Once youâ(TM)ve worked out any bugs in your experiment (not that you would ever have any...) we will run a final test before it is uploaded into space to ArduSat. Now your code is running in space, steering the satellite and gathering data! Once the time you have booked on ArduSat is expired, we will send back the data to you via the internet.

That seems pretty cool. No wonder so many people are signing up to participate (just looking at their participation page).

Comment How are they going to do this? (Score 1) 55

With ~30% of the month over, they've raised less than a quarter of what they need. I don't see how this will succeed in getting funding, but I hope it works out. Although something about the way they talk about the goal tells me that it's not a serious roadblock if they don't make the $32M. Just a hunch though. Also I didn't realize until I watched the video that you can bring your own phone if you want, so probably lots more people will benefit from the software work they're doing than will benefit from the hardware work. And regarding the hardware, Jono did say, "it's got this...this angle at the top," which was the funniest comment on the hardware design I've heard so far ;-) (And come on, IBM--that commercial was torture. Liven it up a little.)

Comment Great for morale (Score 1) 90

"One day this robot came floating through, Sam, and I realized he was missing an arm. He says, "konnichiwa" and we just chuckled and were like, "little dude, where's your arm??" And then about two weeks later...Mike and Yuriy were trying to sort out an engineering mess, and it was getting kind of tense, and this little robot head...comes floating by, kind of tumbling...""...we all just lost it. I have no idea who it was but MAN it just summed up our feelings perfectly..."

Comment Put lots of mice (Score 4, Funny) 55 your A/C ducts. Also make the openings in the ducts hard for people to get through. And always, ALWAYS check every firefighter or SWAT guy who comes through the building, even if he is ordering you around.

Now if this is a 100% software-based cyber-attack, just put "LATEST SYSTEM (TM)" somewhere on your screen so the enemy IT guys can just tell their boss, "I can't do this, it's the LATEST SYSTEM." That way they are forced to go "STRAIGHT IN" which, see firefighter advice above.

Comment Crazy that it's still around (Score 3, Insightful) 53

I remember using Knoppix for the first time in 2004. I was super excited about finally finding a Linux distro that would work out of the box on one of my PCs. Almost 10 years later, it's impressive that Knoppix still occupies its niche--a portable desktop environment for use in emergencies or when you need such a thing without leaving a footprint.

Comment Re:Not enough screen pixels (Score 0) 463

Uh...the new iPad has a 2048x1536 display. How is that not enough screen pixels? I know artists who are doing paid illustration work on their iPads. I think the bigger concern is ergonomics...typing on glass, things like that. Still, I have a software engineer friend who thinks I should get one, and he does more coding than I do by far.

Comment Looking at this another way... (Score 2) 136

JEEP used USAID funds to train students in the Philippines troubled Mindanao region, which has seen unrest by Muslim activists, to work in call centers and other industries. Feinstein said JEEP was initially conceived as a way to help students in the region integrate into Filipino society. "The intent of the program is to enable these youth to make productive contributions to society, and to reduce alienation and marginalization that may make them vulnerable to the influence of terrorism and extremism."

"LET'S PROTECT AMERICAN JOBS" is just fine, but remember that this is seen as a way toward 2 positives: 1) Offer the Filipinos something worthwhile and valuable to them and 2) reduce the power of extremists in their own territory.

So instead of jerking my knees around, I'd rather see numbers that show how much this costs vs. how many jobs it is "stealing" vs. how much protection the Filipinos and U.S. interests abroad / at home are benefiting from it. And if we cut those funds, where will they really go next?

Real computer scientists like having a computer on their desk, else how could they read their mail?