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Comment: Article has nothing to do with safety (Score 1) 88

Perhaps I missed something, but the linked article (and also the Fotokite product/site) has absolutely nothing to do with safety. It talks about privacy/transparency.

A tether to a person on the ground only makes the devices even more unsafe, as they now get tangled with each other and other environmental hazards. Perhaps it would limit its range (which is not mentioned in the article), but a heavy device falling is a heavy device falling.

One thing that would increase drone safety would be an automatic parachute so when they do collide or lose power or go ape crazy, it can more softly return to earth.

Comment: Re:Job Hopping (Score 1) 281

by markdavis (#47390027) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Often Should You Change Jobs?

This is a reply not just to you, but to several similar posts at once:

1) I don't have trouble maintaining employees, and it is precisely because I am careful to hire someone that won't quickly leave.

2) We don't have the best pay nor all that much room for positional growth, but it is a great environment and very stable. I am careful to disclose as much as possible about the goods and bads of the position so there are no unreasonable expectations.

3) I don't count contract work as job hopping. It is not the same thing, and it is usually apparent based on the resume.

4) The type of positions I am hiring for are not project oriented as many posts have assumed. It is departmental management, training, systems administration, and support.

5) I agree that people should be moving on if they are stagnating, but I can't have that be every 1 to 2 years, we simply don't have the resources to deal with that type of turnover in a small company.

Comment: Job Hopping (Score 4, Insightful) 281

by markdavis (#47388821) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Often Should You Change Jobs?

I can tell you now than when I am hiring and looking at resumes and see 1 year, 2 years, 1.5 years, 9 months, I label it is a "job hopper" and throw it in the "least likely to consider" pile. And a CRAPLOAD of the resumes are that way, regardless of the position. Many things come to mind when I see that "hopping"- maybe they are just using each job as a stepping stone to get more money or experience, maybe there is something wrong with them and they can't keep a job, or perhaps they are too easily bored.

As an employer, hiring a new employee is a HUGE amount of time and financial drain on my department. Regardless of what somebody does know or thinks they know, I rarely get full productivity from someone until perhaps a year (sometimes less, sometimes more). If they are looking for such temporary employment, I need them to just look elsewhere.... I need some reasonable return on my investment.

I don't expect people to stay at a job for decades anymore (although there is nothing wrong with that... I have 25 years now with the same company) and I know sometimes a job is just not a good fit. But turnover in a small department can be devastating. If I were to see the same resume with 5 years, 3 years, 6 years, that looks FAR more attractive.

Comment: Re:define "minority" (Score 1) 376

by markdavis (#47341031) Attached to: Google Is Offering Free Coding Lessons To Women and Minorities

Nonsense. "White" is not a dirty word, nor is "Black", they are just terms. But if people are going to describe people's "race" based on a continent/huge region of origin, then "European American" is no different than "Asian American", "African American", "Latin American", etc.

If you are Black, I am White.
If you are Negro, I am Caucasian.
If you are African American, I am European American.

I believe strongly in *EQUALITY*.

Comment: define "minority" (Score 1) 376

by markdavis (#47339769) Attached to: Google Is Offering Free Coding Lessons To Women and Minorities

So, since we are into discrimination and punishing...

In my city, European Americans *are* the minority (to African Americans; there are very few of any other race). So would THEY be eligible for free preferential treatment from Google?

Or does "minority" just mean anyone who is not European American?

Comment: Re:Dead on arrival (Score 1) 345

by markdavis (#47279131) Attached to: Harley-Davidson Unveils Their First Electric Motorcycle

>" That's a Japanese sport touring bike with a big crotch rocket engine. It's reasonable quiet until you get onto the freeway and wind it up."

I *have* a 1.4 liter Japanese sport touring bike with huge performance. And like all other factory Japanese bikes, it is not loud at all, regardless of how much I "wind it up". Why? Because I didn't replace the stock, legal, quality, perfectly appropriate muffler with some loud, annoying aftermarket thing that serves no purpose except to scream "look at me" (or "listen to me, whether you want to or not") and pretend that it does something for performance (which they do not).

Loud is not performance. Loud is not safer. Loud is just annoying.

Comment: loud = fast NOT (Score 1) 345

by markdavis (#47279079) Attached to: Harley-Davidson Unveils Their First Electric Motorcycle

>"with the electric Harley able to go from 0 to 60 mph in four seconds."

Wow, so that makes it only twice as slow as my old gas Kawasaki. Extreme noise (because people think loud = performance, which it does not) and vibration (along with poor handling and old tech) are Harley trademarks... I can't imagine why they would be interested in producing such a model.

Comment: Re:Laws of Physics have become Heresy? (Score 1) 649

by Alsee (#47274709) Attached to: Teaching Creationism As Science Now Banned In Britain's Schools

you think we should ban a classroom discussion of the 2nd Law?

I think it should be MANDATORY to teach the 2nd law of thermodynamics in any physics education. I wish your teachers had been more clear on it. Your notion of the 2nd law is clearly flawed or incomplete, as it would prohibit the natural formation of highly ordered snowflakes from chaotic water vapor, as well as prohibiting countless other common physical processes.

The 2nd law of thermodynamics says that the total entropy of a closed system tends to increase, with overwhelming probability. It does not apply to any system subject to a flow of energy an outside source. It not prohibit one location or object in a system from increasing in order while other objects/locations in that system have an equal or larger increase in disorder.

The earth is receiving energy from the sun. The enormous entropy increase within the sun easily "pays for" the ongoing creation of order and complexity here on earth. So long as the sun shines, that energy flow can and does fuel natural self-organizing physical processes. You can see this in snowflake formation, the self-organization of hurricanes, the development of an individual organism, as well as the genetic evolution of a population. There is no violation of the 2nd law here. The sun's energy input pays for, fuels, these self-organizing natural processes.

What branch of Science did you say you were from?

Computer science, with an active interest in physics and science in general. Computer science deals extensively with Information Theory, the ways that information can measured, processed, transformed, and CREATED. Evolution is not merely a "theory", it is an applied science. Evolutionary Algorithms is a field of computer science where complex, ordered, useful, problem-solving information is CREATED by replication with mutation and natural selection of "digital-DNA". I have personally witnessed the fact that evolution can and does create complex useful new information. It is an applied science put to active use in one way or another by a majority Fortune 500 companies. It is quite common for evolution to create designs better than the best "Intelligent Designs" by human engineers. One particular case comes to mind of one team that applied evolution to jet engine design, which evolved an engine more fuel efficient than any human engineer had ever been able to achieve. And there is at least one company solely dedicated to filing patents on valuable innovations generated via evolution.

Here is a grossly oversimplified illustration. Roll one hundred dice. The chances of them all coming up 6 is effectively zero. Now apply evolution. Take that random result and REPLICATE it, and lets apply one MUTATION re-rolling one random die. Now SELECT (keep) the set with the higher total, and kill (discard) the set with the lower or equal total. After approximately 3000 replication-selection steps you will have a perfect set of all 6's.

This process works even when you do not have a pre-determined target. All it requires to work is that you have some means of measuring which set of DNA is "better" or "worse" than another. Evolution will generate whatever information is required to satisfy the selection criteria.

But as I said, that was a grossly oversimplified example. Evolution's power to generate information is exponentially increased when there is a population with sexual reproduction (genetic recombination). This has been mathematically proven by the Schemata Theorem (J. Holland 1975). I won't attempt to explain it here, but a Google search on schemata theorem turns up 122,000 results. It is a seminal paper, widely cited by subsequent scientific work in mathematics and computer science and biological evolution. It mathematically proves a major principal whereby population evolution is almost infinitely more powerful than the trivial dice example I gave above.


Comment: Re:Laws of Physics have become Heresy? (Score 1) 649

by Alsee (#47271809) Attached to: Teaching Creationism As Science Now Banned In Britain's Schools

Oh joy, an "engineer" who doesn't have the faintest clue what the fuck the 2nd law of thermodynamics says, and doesn't seem to have much grasp of anything else in science either. I sure as hell hope you don't "engineer" anything safety-critical.

Now the 2nd law of thermodynamics says: "All natural systems (e.g. nature) progresses from a state of order (creations) to a state of chaos (puddle of mud)".

Riiiiiight.... that's what it says..... which also means snow is impossible because chaotic water molecules in the air cannot self-organize into beautiful complex highly ordered snowflakes.

Jeremy Connell Ministries: Snow, it doesn't exist.


Comment: Re:You show me yours, I'll show you mine (Score 1) 649

by Alsee (#47271605) Attached to: Teaching Creationism As Science Now Banned In Britain's Schools

What peer reviewed evidence do you have to support the non-existence of a god ?
Until you can answer that question, teaching my children that there is no god has no place in science class.

Your comment is pointless because everyone already agrees with that.
Unless you are one of those confused people who thinks teaching evolution is atheism, in which case I suggest you ask for a refund on your "actual scientific degree from a respected university".


Comment: Re:You show me yours, I'll show you mine (Score 1) 649

by Alsee (#47271401) Attached to: Teaching Creationism As Science Now Banned In Britain's Schools

I find belief in invisible-magical-people to be rather odd, but what really baffles me is worshiping Loki, god of mischief and deception.

old the universe at least appears to be by all standards that we can measure... and personally, I think whether or not that appearance belies its "actual" age or not is entirely irrelevant

Yep, it's conceivable that Loki exists and created the universe 6 hours ago and all of your memories and all of the apparent age of the earth is a deliberate fraud. It's conceivable that you're a disembodied brain in a jar wired to to some Matrix-style fictional reality. And it's utterly absurd to waste time with such things. If there were some malevolent all-powerful superbeing dead-set on deceiving you, then you will be deceived. If a malevolent entity wants to deceive you into thinking 2+2=3, then the entire world and all of your thoughts and memories can be deceptively manipulated on the fly. You will believe 2+2=3, if a malevolent god wants you to believe it.

If the earth appears to be 4.5 billion years old, then either the earth actually is 4.5 billion years old or Loki crafted a deliberate deception of a 4.5 billion year age. Either acknowledge that you worship Loki, or drop this nonsense a planet-worth of evidence of age might be some elaborate deception.

You cannon profess to believe in a benevolent god while rejecting truths plainly and exhaustively revealed by the scientific study of the world. If the world appears old, then the world is old. If evolution appears true, then evolution is true. If god exists, and evolution is true, then god simply created a universe which included evolution as part of the design.


Comment: Re:Evolution isn't science (Score 1) 649

by Alsee (#47271043) Attached to: Teaching Creationism As Science Now Banned In Britain's Schools

I checked your link. Most of the pages in fact explain that there *aren't* any "out of place fossils". The closest was a page so blindly-stupid as to think an overthrust creates out of place fossils, and about two lpages that bafflingly think that a newly found slightly earlier ancestor, or a later descendant, is somehow "out of place". Not one single example of a rabbit in the Precambrian, or any other remotely out of place fossil. An out of place fossil has to be an evolutionary descendant (like rabbits) appearing before an ancestor (like dinosaurs). You didn't present a single one, your link didn't present a single example.


Comment: Re:Ignorance usually leads to inequity (Score 1) 649

by Alsee (#47270553) Attached to: Teaching Creationism As Science Now Banned In Britain's Schools

There is not one creationism. To treat it as a monolith is false.

It's not being treated as a monolith. The government was finally spurred to action on this issue mainly because of Islamist trying push religion in science class. The general rule is that you can't false claims about any flavor of creationism being accepted supported science. You have to teach science in a science class. Kinda like you are supposed to be teaching math in a math class.

Old-earth creationists are given short shrift in this approach

No. Old earth creationists are being treated equally. You can't teach old earth creationism in a science class when the only accurate description of the current state of science is that professional scientists consider old-earth creationism unscientific and unsupported scientifically.

Atheism is not the same thing as pro-Scientific.

It seems you need to flip that around.
Scientific is not the same thing as atheism!
Science does not mention gods because there is zero scientific evidence for or against the existence of any gods. Just because science has nothing to say about gods does not make science atheistic. Just because welding class has nothing to say about gods doesn't make welding atheistic.

Questions of the super-natural are, by definition, outside of the scope of proper science.

Yep. And therefore shouldn't be in a science class.

A theology class, comparing and contrasting the major world religions, would be an entirely appropriate class to teach the Islamic, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist and other stories of creation.


"Can you program?" "Well, I'm literate, if that's what you mean!"