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Comment: why are snowflakes symmetric? (Score 5, Interesting) 79

by The_Rook (#43428871) Attached to: High-Speed Camera Grabs First 3D Shots of Untouched Snowflakes

what i've always wanted to know was why are snowflakes symmetric?

sure, a hexagonal crystal has bilateral symmetry etc. but snowflakes form long, complex arms with what can best be described as filigree. and yet, the filigree on opposite sides of the snowflake are also symmetric - that's shown even in these photos.

so what i want to know is how does crystal faces on opposite sides of the snowflake 'know' to grow symmetric filligree? what mechanism is there that allows one crystal face of a snowflake to 'know' what the other crystal faces are doing and so grow identical structures?

Comment: what if h1-b visas were auctioned? (Score 1) 795

by The_Rook (#41785613) Attached to: Cringley: H-1B Visa Abuse Limits Wages and Steals US Jobs

as i understand it, h1-b visas are distributed by lottery, but are otherwise free.

but what if h1-b visas were auctioned? so those companies that wanted them had to bid for them pay a fee, say several thousand $ for each visa. companies complaining that they can't get enough tech employee visas could then be told to bid up the price and they could get al the visas they want. those that insist on using the visas for cheap tech labor will basically be forced to use the labor market.

it might suck for the workers on the h1-b visas who will see their wages reduced to pay for the visa.

i welcome people to speculate on how an auction for h1-b visas may affect the tech labor market and how companies use the h1-b visas.

also, if an auction is a viable option, should the auction be open or should it be through sealed bids? how should the auction be run?

Comment: but what about the DHMO controversy? (Score 1) 866

by The_Rook (#41688433) Attached to: Parent Questions Mandatory High School Chemistry

considering that there are people in this country who think that dihydrogen monoxide ( is a toxic chemical that needs to be regulated and that carbon dioxide ( is an all natural substance that is desirable to have around, i think a semester or two of chemistry may be a pretty good idea.

Input Devices

Is the Line-in Jack On the Verge of Extinction? 411

Posted by timothy
from the erasing-the-analog-hole dept.
SlashD0tter writes "Many older sound cards were shipped with line-out, microphone-in, and a line-in jacks. For years I've used such a line-in jack on an old Windows 2000 dinosaur desktop that I bought in 2000 (600 Mhz PIII) to capture the stereo audio signal from an old Technics receiver. I've used this arrangement to recover the audio from a slew of old vinyl LPs and even a few cassettes using some simple audio manipulating software from a small shop in Australia. I've noticed only recently, unfortunately, that all of the four laptops I've bought since then have omitted a line-in jack, forcing me to continue keeping this old desktop on life support. I've looked around for USB sound cards that include a line-in jack, but I haven't been too impressed by the selection. Is the line-in jack doomed to extinction, possibly due to lobbying from vested interests, or are there better thinking-outside-the-box alternatives available?"

We are Microsoft. Unix is irrelevant. Openness is futile. Prepare to be assimilated.