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Comment: Go have fun. (Score 1) 228

by anom (#43100069) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Advice For Summer Before Ph.D. Program?

I graduate from my PhD program this May (*epic sighs of relief*), and have a lot of friends who are going the PhD route.

Some of them have a good time, more of them have been having a bad time. PhD programs have something like 50% dropout rates, and if you finally do graduate the job market sucks.

Regardless of how well you like it, you will work your ass off. It will consume the next five years of your life, and that's before you even hit "real life".

I actually had a pretty easy time during most of the first or two of my program -- I didn't find the coursework difficult and the research load was not yet high. My then girlfriend (now wife) and I would go to restaurants as much as we could afford, do things outdoors, do things in the city; we just generally had an amazing time of it. Then, we both got slammed as I entered the heavy research phase and she started to get slammed in medical school. When we graduate I'll get a job and she'll go right into residency.

I told you all that to tell you that for a time, I worked less hard than I could have and did as much fun stuff as possible (within reason), and I don't regret it for a moment. The fond memories I have of the time still cheer me up today, and I wouldn't trade them for anything.

Comment: Re:Reject them immediately (Score 1) 187

by anom (#42817689) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do You Handle SPF For Spam Filtering?

This; a thousand times this.

If I issue a 250 Queued response, it means that the email coming in is actually going to be deposited in a user's mailbox, otherwise the sender is notified by some component of the sending mail system.

Not only does this make the failure message itself more reliable, but it makes the sending user more likely to complain to his/her own IT department, as that's where the bounce message will likely be sourced from.

Comment: Re:I am a scientist who has made "code" (Score 1) 84

by anom (#42734175) Attached to: How Open Source Could Benefit Academic Research

I'm a PhD student and this is completely true; mod parent up.

A small portion of the time, someone writes a tool with the intention of writing a tool for community use, and that can sometimes end well.

Other times, someone writes something and it ends up becoming popular, and is usually hacked upon and hacked upon when it should just be rewritten from scratch with the intention of being publicly consumed.

In any event, it is not often that academia will pay for either of the two above items; academia simply isn't about writing software.

Comment: Re:Just tax bullets. (Score 1) 1388

by anom (#42539375) Attached to: Smart Guns To Stop Mass Killings

I don't know to what extent it would apply to suburbanites having a breakdown (small # of total killings, probably no access to criminal enterprise), but with respect to the people killing each other in Detroit and elsewhere (large # of killings, often gang affiliated), I am sure you would see a black market for ammo pop up for this kind of thing. Once you make ammo hard to buy, it's going to be profitable for someone else to set up shop and sell it to the murderers -- it's not like your average meth addict is capable of cooking it him/herself.

Comment: Re:Just tax bullets. (Score 1) 1388

by anom (#42538085) Attached to: Smart Guns To Stop Mass Killings

Making homemade bullets is extremely simple -- there are lots of people into reloading and the tools required to cast bullets are few and (relatively) inexpensive.

If you are referring to making an entire cartridge (bullet,casing,primer,etc) yourself, that is harder but still quite doable -- google "expedient homemade ammo"

Charles Whitman was both an engineering student and a former marine, I would be very surprised if he (for instance) had not been exposed to reloading at the very least.

Comment: Re:Just tax bullets. (Score 2) 1388

by anom (#42535627) Attached to: Smart Guns To Stop Mass Killings

When was the last time any private individual actually used 10,000 bullets effectively to do damage?

The VAST majority of killings take place using cheap handguns, and if you're OK with home-made bullets, then you're OK will all the bullets any small-time (or even mass) killer will need.

Even the worst shootings have only actually used on the order of 100 bullets, I easily use triple that in a single trip to the range.

Comment: This is good, but not new (Score 3, Interesting) 357

The reason this is a problem at all is because TCP was developed for wired networks in which packet loss was almost always a signal of congestion -- and therefore the logical response was to reduce the rate.

In these newfangled wireless networks losses can be completely random, yet TCP will still assume that congestion is responsible and reduce its rate. So, the answer is to either change TCP or do correction at a lower layer to "hide" the losses from TCP -- and, this has been a subject of research in networking for years now.

Linear coding certainly isn't new -- it has been proposed for a variety of things -- including but not limited to bittorrent, to reduce the reliance on receiving a specific block and rather on simply receiving "enough" information.

So yes, it is all well and good that we are applying this technique to TCP to reduce the impact of random, noncongestion losses, but there had better be something pretty magical in the way they do it for it to be (IMO) novel enough to be patentable/licensable/etc.

Comment: Re:Completed? That's a bit of a laugh (Score 5, Informative) 290

by anom (#41020607) Attached to: Project To Turn Classical Scores Into Copyright-Free Music Completed

A number of people seem to be confusing the overall musopen library with the recently completed project.

Musopen has been around for some time collecting non-copyrighted performances of various classic works from whatever source was available. For example, you'll note from the musopen page that the Pictures at an Exhibition was performed by the Skidmore College Orchestra.

The Kickstarter project musopen undertook was to professionally record a few of the classics. On the Musopen site, you'll see "Musopen Symphony Orchestra" listed as the performer -- those pieces are listed here: http://musopen.org/music/by/performer/Musopen-Symphony-Orchestra

Sigmund Freud is alleged to have said that in the last analysis the entire field of psychology may reduce to biological electrochemistry.