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Comment: Re:Manual control (Score 1) 414

by Ford Prefect (#48017083) Attached to: The Physics of Space Battles

The most unrealistic thing in space operas is the notion that the human crew could do anything in terms of gunnery or navigation better than a computer.

While definitely not using realistic physics in any way, I liked a space battle in one of Iain M. Banks' Culture novels. A horribly beweaponed Culture ship is describing to its human passenger precisely how it is outwitting and annihilating its alien foes, mentioning that there's a particularly good moment coming up - eventually admitting that it's merely running through a slow-motion replay, the real battle having been over in a matter of milliseconds.

Comment: Re:Remeron (Score 1) 138

by slaker (#47962521) Attached to: New MRI Studies Show SSRIs Bring Rapid Changes to Brain Function

I gained 180lbs. in two years while I was on Zoloft and Paxil. I wasn't a small person to begin with. I was doing things like eating two large take-out pizzas a day when I could afford to do it. The sick thing was that I was under care of a psychiatrist, a psychologist and my primary care physician, and none of them thought my weight gain was an issue worth addressing.

I got debilitating headaches, spent a good chunk of my 20s with absolutely zero sex drive, only slept about four hours a night and had trouble stringing together a coherent sentence. For all of that, the meds never actually made me feel any better. I just took them because my doctors told me they were helping.

Eventually, I did get fed up and just stopped treatment. I had a few months of even worse headaches, but at least for me it's easier to just deal with depression and anxiety than all the problems that came along with the meds.

Comment: Re:Interesting (Score 4, Interesting) 138

by slaker (#47962469) Attached to: New MRI Studies Show SSRIs Bring Rapid Changes to Brain Function

My experiences with Zoloft and Paxil suggest that side-effects, most especially related to my physical appetite and sleep schedule, occur within 12 hours of starting medication or a change in dosage. I can't say I ever experienced any positive impact from either medication in the couple of years I spent at various dosages, but do know that all three of the physicians I was seeing swore up and down that SSRIs don't work like that.

I likewise found that a mental fog settled over me within a few days of starting each SSRI that I try. I felt more like I was controlling a video game character than experiencing any part of my own life, to the point that I would at times find myself sitting in the passenger seat of my own car, wondering why it wasn't moving.

I eventually decided that the pharmacological aspect to my treatment for depression was doing far more harm than good. I have to say that I have a strong distrust for purported utility of SSRIs, and a vastly lower opinion of mental health providers in general as a result of my experiences.

Comment: Re:They're not astronauts, they're ballast. (Score 2) 77

For space tourism flights to the International Space Station, they're regarded as spaceflight participants rather than 'proper' astronauts (or cosmonauts).

Having seen quite how much training fully qualified astronauts and cosmonauts have to go through, I wouldn't be surprised if they become some vaguely protected terms in the not-so-far future...

Comment: Where Do These Stats Come From? (Score 1, Informative) 546

by eldavojohn (#47819359) Attached to: Does Learning To Code Outweigh a Degree In Computer Science?

Nearly half of the software developers in the United States do not have a college degree. Many never even graduated from high school.

What? I pored over the article and the US BLS link in it to find the source of these statements. Aside from a pull quote that appears as an image in the article but isn't even in the article itself and is unattributed, could someone find me the source of this statistic?

Because I'm a software developer in the United States with a Masters of Science in Computer Science. All of my coworkers have at least a bachelor's degree in one field or another. And my undergrad very much so started with a sink-or-swim weed out course in Scheme and then another in Java. Yes, they were both easy if you already knew how to code but ... this article almost sounds like it's written by someone with no field experience. Granted that's a low sample set, I'd like to know where the other half of us are. Everyone keep in mind that a Computer Science degree is a relatively new thing and there very well may be elderly coders doing a great job without technically a degree in computer science.

The only way I can see the misconception spreading is that people who use Wix to drag and drop a WYSIWYG site (for you older readers that's like FrontPage meets Geocities) erroneously consider themselves "software developers".

Comment: Canv.as Decommissioned (Score 3, Insightful) 220

by eldavojohn (#47807697) Attached to: Interview: Ask Christopher "moot" Poole About 4chan and Social Media
Canvas (site, not the HTML5 element) and DrawQuest were killed earlier this year. I used it briefly in its beta form and thought it was a neat idea. Any chance you could elaborate on why it was shut down? The e-mail I got was brief and vague -- were you facing copyright issues? Monetization problems? Image space issues? Care to spill your lessons learned?

Comment: OK, it's a content publishing system (Score 2) 73

by slaker (#47761295) Attached to: MediaGoblin 0.7.0 "Time Traveler's Delight" Released

I have a number of Plex servers. Plex also allows me to publish images, music and video online, albeit to a select group of people. Were I seeking a wider audience, I'd have the options of Vimeo or Xtube or Soundcloud or Bandcamp or Flickr to put my content online.

I also have a bunch of web servers. What's stopping me from using the dozens of web content galleries, if I'm going to be using my own disk space and bandwidth instead of Google's or Yahoo's?

Seriously, what is this doing that those things aren't?

Comment: Re:Balancing trademark enforcement with antitrust (Score 1) 188

by slaker (#47699613) Attached to: Microsoft's Windows 8 App Store Is Full of Scamware

I paid for the ModernUI version of Plex. It was $2 or something and it's pretty much a showpiece for the touchscreen experience on Windows.
However, I own both a Surface and a Surface Pro, so I actually use it. I also own Plex on iOS, GoogleTV, the Play Store and Amazon's app store. Getting it for Windows 8 was really more about completing the collection.

Comment: Re:The Parachute Will Work (Score 4, Interesting) 55

The parachute that brought the latest rover to Mars also disintegrated during testing. However NASA proceeded with the design knowing that the atmosphere on Mars is not nearly as dense as it is on Earth.

They got it working in testing after that initial failure - and even that failure provided extremely useful high-speed video of its deployment.

Note the colossal wind tunnel. This latest, flying saucer tested parachute is way larger than that Curiosity parachute - so they've figured out a whole new testing regime. One that helpfully more closely matches conditions in the Martian atmosphere, too.

This is now. Later is later.

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