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Comment: Almost always (Score 1) 133

by Ygorl (#46559081) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Moving From Tech Support To Development?
do what is more interesting to you. You will have more fun, and enjoy it more, and therefore probably be better at it. If/when money becomes an issue, being good at something that you love leaves you well positioned to leverage it to make more money. Being mediocre at something that you don't care much about is unlikely to be very lucrative. You can get valuable (demonstrable) experience by, for example, contributing to open-source projects. Showing that you're decent at programming is more important for most decent employers than showing that you've got any particular degree.

Comment: One wrinkle with this notion (Score 1) 597

by Ygorl (#46244559) Attached to: Financing College With a Tax On All Graduates
...whose principles actually seem pretty good to me. But I can imagine that people would start not-quite-graduating from college. Employers would realize that 7/8 of a college degree is almost as valuable as 8/8, and make accommodations for it. Of course there are ways around this (tax based on the number of classes you took?), but it detracts from the notion's superficial elegance. The ways around this could probably also be gamed.

Comment: Re:Speaking as a non-American... (Score 5, Insightful) 1144

by Ygorl (#45054085) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Does the US Gov't Budget Crunch Affect You?
Please note that many of the "right-wingers" got elected by GERRYMANDERING THEIR DISTRICTS, which is why there's a hefty Republican majority in the House despite the fact that a respectable majority of overall House votes went to Democrats. The American people are pretty much split right down the middle in terms of ideology (that respectably majority was respectable, not overwhelming). We are overwhelmingly in favor, however, of not shutting down government, of not having a dysfunctional congress, and of not playing childish hostage games with real consequences just to demonstrate displeasure with a passed law.

Comment: Calculations omit one tiny detail (Score 4, Insightful) 208

by Ygorl (#44911749) Attached to: Never Underestimate the Bandwidth of a Suburban Filled With MicroSD Cards
As they point out in the article, the tremendous bandwidth achieved does not include the logistics or time required to initially copy the data onto SD cards, and then back off of the cards upon reaching the destination. Still, beats a flock of parrots trained in Morse code.

Comment: Re:Customer Service (Score 1) 513

by Ygorl (#39644917) Attached to: Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn Resigns After $1.7 Billion Loss
I'm a reasonably savvy internet shopper, capable of looking at newegg, tigerdirect, searching with google, browsing "hot deals" fora at e.g. anandtech, etc... I don't buy a whole lot, but I've found hard drives several times, a video card (Radeon 4890), and a flatscreen TV for less at my local Best Buy than I could anywhere mail-order. Not trying to say they're universally awesome or anything, just saying personally, I've had no reason to complain, and in a non-trivial number of cases they've been the best option (though in all fairness, if I *did* need a cheap keyboard or something, I'd probably rather spend $20 and six minutes going to Best Buy---it's pretty much on my way home from work---rather than $10 and four days and the environmental impact of a personalized shipment to my door from NewEgg)

Comment: Re:Customer Service (Score 1) 513

by Ygorl (#39632165) Attached to: Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn Resigns After $1.7 Billion Loss
I guess I'm in the minority, but I've actually got a pretty positive outlook on them. Most of the time, I can find what I'm looking for there, and it's often at a price competitive with the best I can find online. I've had employees range from friendly-but-incompetent to moderately helpful, and never overly pushy. They've always been extremely accommodating about returns, or about refunding me money when they drop the price on something shortly after I buy it. Maybe my local store is an exception, but if they were gone I would occasionally miss them.

Comment: Re:It depends on your definition of addiction. (Score 3, Insightful) 354

by Ygorl (#24837289) Attached to: Defining Video Game Addiction
Things like alcohol, tobacco, addictive drugs in general, gambling, sex, shopping, and video games - all these things *DO* chemically alter your brain! Not because they add external chemicals to your brain (though some of them obviously do) but because they stimulate the release of neurotransmitters. All the activities I mentioned (and, as far as I know, anything that can be addictive) can activate reward centers in the brain. This can lead to addiction - your brain grows used to the release of these neurotransmitters, in their absence you crave their presence, etc... While video games obviously don't inject chemicals into the body, they can stimulate the release of, for example, dopamine in the ventral tegmental area. Just because it comes from within your body doesn't mean it can't get you addicted. Yes, I play video games. Yes, I'm a neuroscientist. No, this isn't my specific field, so don't take anything I say as particularly authoritative - I may well have gotten some things wrong.

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