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Education

+ - How to think about science and becoming a scientist->

Submitted by
ThousandStars
ThousandStars writes "A lot of students take introductory science courses and think those courses are what "science" and majoring in science is like. They aren't, and in "How to think about science and becoming a scientist," a friend and I explain what's actually going on and what most undergrads are missing."
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Technology

+ - Rising Rising gas prices may be to blame for econo-> 1

Submitted by
ThousandStars
ThousandStars writes "[R]ising gas prices have pretty much wiped out the whole cash value of the stimulus to families. Read the linked paper by James Hamilton too: it may turn out that we simply can't do anything about macro economic performance without working on energy problems. This kind of information has been circling among economics bloggers for quite a while but hasn't made much way into the mainstream."
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Comment: How to use Devonthink Pro (Score 2) 254

I don't have a perfect answer for you, but I can tell you that I use Devonthink Pro as described here by Steven Berlin Johnson. In addition, I have a large "random" folder that consists mostly of snippets of text found in articles on the Internet.

This isn't your ideal solution—as you've noted, DTP is currently OS X only—but it does work pretty well for me, especially when I'm thinking about a general topic and need to find information on it. I even wrote a post about the similarities between Joyce's method of composition / finding material and how Johnson uses DTP.

Comment: ... and I was one of them! (Score 1) 89

by ThousandStars (#35027080) Attached to: Clear Has Nationwide Outage
The troubled WiMax provider (also known as Clearwire) has had many user complaints of throttling, over billing, overloaded towers and system congestion, and of misrepresentation of the service offerings in ads and by resellers,

I was one of them and wrote about the experience here. The short version: they don't advertise their bandwidth throttling and don't warn when they do throttle your bandwidth. My roommate and I thought they'd be a useful alternative to conventional ISPs, but they turn out not to be.

Programming

Does Typing Speed Really Matter For Programmers? 545

Posted by timothy
from the backspace-speed-is-key dept.
theodp writes "I can't take slow typists seriously as programmers,' wrote Coding Horror's Jeff Atwood last fall. 'When was the last time you saw a hunt-and-peck pianist?' Atwood's rant prompted John Cook to investigate just how important it is to be able to type quickly. 'Learning to type well is a good investment for those who are physically able to do so,' concludes Cook, 'but it's not that important. Once you reach moderate proficiency, improving your speed will not improve your productivity much. If a novelist writing 1000 words per day were able to type infinitely fast, he or she could save maybe an hour per day.' At 150 WPM, notes Cook, the world's fastest typist was still only 10x faster than Stephen Hawking."

+ - How Universities Work, or How To Hack Them ->

Submitted by ThousandStars
ThousandStars (556222) writes "I've written a pair of essays that together will help you hack universities: " How Universities Work, or: What I Wish I’d Known Freshman Year: A Guide to American University Life for the Uninitiated" and "How to get your Professors’ Attention, or: How to Get Coaching and Mentorship." These aren't computer hacks, but institutional ones that describe how to get the most out of your experience in universities and beyond."
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Comment: Re:I didn't buy one for the payback (Score 1) 762

by ThousandStars (#33200658) Attached to: Just One Out of 16 Hybrids Pays Back In Gas Savings
The thing is, if you are TRULY concerned about the environment (and must drive a car), then you would buy a used car.

Ceteris paribus, you can't get an equivalent used car with the overall lifespan of the new car; in addition, if you buy a used car that someone else would've bought for the same or a slightly lower price, the person selling the car can buy whatever they want -- which might not be the green car you would've bought.

In addition, some people want the lower hassle factor of a new car, with the low probability of breakdowns and the high reliability that such a car entails.

The Internet

+ - The Shallows and the Internet's effects on minds->

Submitted by ThousandStars
ThousandStars (556222) writes "In his book "The Shallows," Nicholas Carr says that the Internet is encouraging information foraging, which is weakening our ability to concentrate and comprehend deep texts and ideas. But he never manages to prove the causal link between the two or that the latter is even happening."
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Comment: Philip Greenspun and Women in Science (Score 1) 618

by ThousandStars (#32573678) Attached to: The Real Science Gap
Anyone interested in this subject should read Philip Greenspun's essay Women in Science. Ignore the borderline sexist stuff about women and pay attention to his comments about the structure of science in the United States and the opportunity costs of pursuing a career in science.

As he observes: "Adjusted for IQ, quantitative skills, and working hours, jobs in science are the lowest paid in the United States." And he's right. And then people wonder why more Americans don't go into science.

Unfortunately, I'm posting this a bit late in the game--there are 400 comments already--so it's not likely to get modded very far up, but those who actually care about science in the United States should read this.

Comment: This should be modded up (Score 0) 609

by ThousandStars (#32215476) Attached to: Best Solutions For Massive Home Hard Drive Storage?
The parent post should be modded up -- I came to this comment thread specifically to mention a Drobo. I don't actually have one because I haven't needed the storage, but they've gotten stellar reviews online. They also appear to scale up relatively easily from the cheap 4-drive Drobos to the bigger 8-drive ones.

One other thing you should consider, especially with a lot of people recommending dedicated servers, is power consumption: the bigger and heavier the box, the more you're going to pay in monthly power bills. This is one reason why using an old computer that's sitting around and stuffing 6 HDs into it might not be an optimal solution: if it costs you another $10 - $15 a month in power, you can relatively quickly spend your way out of whatever savings you've nominally achieved.

Thus mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know what we are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true. -- Bertrand Russell

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