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Comment Input method lock-in (Score 1) 157

One of the reasons that I really dislike drag-and-drop methods of coding and schematic capture for circuits is that you end up locked in to one tool’s peculiar method of entry. If you decide you don’t like that editor, you’re stuck with it for old designs because you can’t always export and import proprietary formats. When writing code, I’m using a portable language, and I have my choice of compilers on different platforms.

PCB layout is one of those corner cases that’s so physically-oriented that some of the steps really need graphical interaction. However, the tools have to export to standard formats that are understood by the PCB manufacturers. As long as you have those formats, you can switch tools with some degree of success.

Comment Not entirely ridiculous, but not an “allergy (Score 1) 82

I have “touch urticaria.” Especially at night when I like in bed, the pressure against my skin causes histamine production. I’ve had this checked out, and while my histamine levels are high, my IgE levels are completely normal, so this is NOT an allergic reaction. Something else is putting excessive histamine into my system. A dietician suggested that it could be intestinal flora generating histamine, and a dietary change may help, so I’ve been working on that. But at this point, I have to take Allegra every night so I can get to sleep without itching and scratching for hours. (Fexodenadine is very weak, but it's the only antihistamine I can stand — all others zombify me the next day, including Claritin and Zyrtec.)

Comment This is how cheaters think (Score 1) 229

I teach graduate CS courses at a university, and we get the occasional cheater. Sometimes, the cheating is blatant three students just turned in exactly the same work. However, there are occasions where we suspect cheating, but they did a good job of disguising it. Of course, they do poorly on exams. If those students would spend their time and energy on learning the material, they would learn something and get a good grade.

Comment Hypersensitivity can be a medical problem (Score 4, Informative) 667

I have a family member who went through a period in their life when they were hypersensitive to perceived slights. Some of the problem was real pressure to conform to other’s expectations that were unreasonable. But the inability to tolerate it and blow it off turned out to be caused by a hormone disorder.

I think that some of these hypersensitive people are just whiny babies who can’t handle an environment with a more diverse set of ideas. But for some people who get so overwhelmed that they need to run off and hide in a “safe place,” they may want to look into getting their endocrine levels checked (thyroid, adrenal, and various pituitary).

However, we live in a culture where we blame everyone else for our own failures, so it’s unlikely that most such people would ever even imagine that the problem originates in their own bodies.

Comment Lithopolis, OH; RIP (Score 1) 580

On my way to Canal Winchester on OH-674, I’d pass through a small section of Lithopolis, where the speed limit inexplicably drops to 45mph. It’s a well-known speed trap, for the locals, so the village makes(or made) money mostly from visitors. One time, an Ohio state legislator was caught in that speed trap, and there was a bit of a smack-down that ensued. But that wasn’t the beginning of the end of Lithopolis. That started when they closed the only interesting thing in the whole village, which was the Wagnalls memorial library.

Comment Yeah, but who wants to run Windows? (Score 1) 158

I wouldn’t want to run Windows on it, though, and good luck getting Linux to work well on it. Oh, sure, Ubuntu will install and “just work” (PROBABLY), but Windows graphics drivers kick the crap out of Linux graphics drivers, and Windows handles a wider range of I/O devices better, along with wireless networking, external monitors, etc. So I guess you’re better off sticking with Windows and running Cygwin if you want a proper UNIX environment. I don’t know. I’M SO CONFUSED!

Comment If Volvo could just improve their handling... (Score 4, Interesting) 229

One of the reasons they need all that safety equipment is that the suspension system sucks. In many other cars, if you’re going down the road and start turning the steering wheel like you’re on a slalom, the car stay stable and steer and maybe rock a bit. In a Volvo, it will suffer massive body roll and basically go out of control. So they make up for it with electronics. Electronics are good, but why not fix the underlying problems first?

Submission + - Open-source GPU could push computing power to the next level

Theovon writes: For quite some time now, "open hardware" enthusiasts have had access to a number open source CPUs, including OpenRISC. However, it wasn’t until recently that there has been any kind of open source GPU. In 2014, the Vertical Research Group at the University of Wisconsin-Madison announced MIAOW. MIAOW is in many ways a clone of the AMD Southern Islands architecture and can even run some of the same binary code. Unfortunately, MIAOW is missing some key components such as video and memory systems, making it not currently possible to implement fully in hardware. For this, Nyuzi comes to the rescue. Nyuzi (formerly Nyami) has been in development since 2010 and is a fully functional open source GPU inspired by Larrabee. Although architecturally different from the SIMT architectures from AMD and Nvidia, researchers at Binghamton University and several other places have already used it to conduct research on GPUs. A paper was published in March 2015 about this processor (one of the authors was the original founder of the Open Graphics Project), and Nyuzi (homepage) can be downloaded from github.

Comment Re:Not an abberation (Score 1) 133

You make a really good point. During interviews, I don’t have the same quick response to some things that companies like Google would expect. However, give me some time, and I’ll come up with better answers than other people would because they would just move on, while I would chew on it and come up with something more comprehensive.

Comment Re:We now get Monday "White Male Guilt" articles? (Score 1) 133

You do have to accept that over-compensation will happen. White men used to dominate authority in the US. Actually, they still do, even if we’ve developed the maturity to accept a president with brown skin. Given the stranglehold white men have had and the efforts that everyone else have had to go through to break that down, we’re naturally going to go through a period where they get a lot of backlash. Some of that is deserved on the basis of them not relinquishing control earlier than they did. If that kind of overcompensation continues, then it’ll develop into a serious problem. But right now, CEO positions in America, for instance, are dominated by men. Why aren’t there more women in these positions? It’s most likely because we have conditioned them to not seek positions like that and conditioned everyone else to dislike women who behave “unladylike,” which means whatever we want it to mean when finding a reason to dislike women acting outside of the box they’ve been put in. At some point, we’ll produe a generation of women who have finally managed to escape that social conditioning, and that will come when society as a whole accepts their equality. Then there will no longer be any back-lash against men anymore either.

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