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Comment Re:Conterpoints: Lasers and the Fouriertransformat (Score 1) 248

Likewise the Fourier Transformation.
It started out as pure mathematics that Fourier came across and it was cool and all. And possibly fairly pointless for a while. (I don't nearly know enough math to know if it had an impact in the field on it's inherent merits)
And lo and behold, these days the Fast Fourier Transformation must be one of the most run algorithms in CS. JPEGs, Spectroscopy, MRIs, anything at all to do with frequency analysis uses this maths.

It wasn't pointless at all. It was based on mathematics that had been in development for over 100 years and was developed specifically to help understand heat transfer during the boring of cannons. It was also useful well before the development of the FFT for all sorts of electronics analysis. The FFT was developed quickly after computers became powerful enough to actually do them because the FT was already an extremely useful mathematical tool.

Comment Re:That's what a severance package is (Score 5, Informative) 602

Employers aren't required to give you anything when they let you go, other than your final paycheck for whatever time you've worked but they haven't yet paid.

It depends. If they've got 100 or more employees and they're laying off 50 or more in one geographical area it's likely considered a mass layoff and they're required to publish a 60 day notice under the WARN act. Usually the way companies get around it if they want to give no notice is pay everybody for the 60 days that they would have still had a job. They could say in the severance "we're paying you to keep working for us for 60 days, but we don't want you to come in unless we call you" and that might not be considered unconscionable. But paying you for 60 days and expecting you to be on call for 2 years? That probably won't fly anywhere.

Comment Re:Good for them! (Score 3, Informative) 92

Hmm, 1M digital subscribers...New York's population in north of 8M. So maybe 12.5% of New York's population has signed up. At most. Assuming every digital subscriber is in NYC.

The locals buy a paper copy at the bodega on their block.

Digital is for those of us outside the local area who want a comprehensive news source that they have reasonably well calibrated. All news sources are biased, but the big ones are at least reasonably consistent about it.

Comment Re:Wow! (Score 1) 92

Perhaps a subset of that million just believes in "paying it back" to the journalistic institutions of their communities. Just saying.

That's what convinced me to subscribe. I signed up when I realized I was paying about the same per year to my local public radio station, and that it was a quite reasonable price to support the times.

I was probably one of their earliest digital only subscribers - way back I used to get the sunday times and sit around all morning with coffee and a baguette to read it. I stopped getting LA times delivered to my door because I didn't want the paper accumulating.

Comment Re:This is why you call your bank before tourism (Score 2) 345

I've had similar experiences with Chase. Once they caught someone buying a big screen TV from on Dec 27. I was off on a multi-day bike ride and happened to check my email during a break and it had an email asking if I spent $2700 at A short phone call later and a new card was being fedexed.

Another time I did several legitimate but commonly fraud related transactions one morning (new cell phone, some software purchased by phone, a couple other things I don't remember) and they called me. It wasn't any of those that had alerted, but a $9.99 charge from some anonymous sounding company that's some kind of default name for whatever tool the fraudsters were using. A few minutes later the card was cancelled and a new one on the way.

The current method with text/email confirmation on potentially sketchy charges works well and quickly.

Comment Re:This is why you call your bank before tourism (Score 2) 345

If you're going to make out of the ordinary purchases for overseas, or travel overseas, you always want to call your bank ahead of time. This is a standard operating procedure, and nothing to complain about on Slashdot.

Which kind of defeats the purpose and convenience of having a credit card.

It's also generally not necessary - I've gone on foreign travel on short notice and had no issues with my card, and even gone to some pretty unusual places and used various cards with no issues (the most difficult was that the card I prefer to use for travel didn't have a chip in places that were chip only). The only false positives I've had that turned the card off have been when I went to buy gas at a particular gas station in Montreal before return rental cars. It happened more than once because it was about a mile from my partner's house there. The same card provider has reliably caught a number of real positives, and their email/text system now works fast enough that other false positives get caught before they turn the card off.

Comment Re:Everyone, it was everyone (Score 1) 93

Except with OPM it's a lot more than just your credit card number and SSN-- for a lot of people it's their entire personal history that was collected in the process of getting a security clearance, which can include a *lot* of details, all nicely collected in one spot and verified. Including fingerprints...

And that doesn't even address the possible issues that will come up if the hackers also wrote new information to the database so that what people self report may no longer match their history when it's time to renew the clearance...

Comment Re:Cyclists DON'T obey the law! (Score 1) 696

The 25 years is since I started racing. I've been riding much longer than that. Racing, I crashed about once a year, and have avoided a *lot* of crashes around me. Non-racing (and non-winter riding) there's really no reason to hit the ground, and most situations where people get hit on bikes are foreseeable and avoidable, even when they're the motorist's fault (e.g. cop blowing through your intersection, right hooks, left hooks). I know what you're saying, but "accidents" don't happen out of nowhere, and your chances of being in one can be drastically reduced by how you ride.

Comment Re:Cyclists DON'T obey the law! (Score 1) 696

Motorcycle or bicycle - if you ride, the question is not, "Will I go down?" but "When will I go down?" If you're on two wheels, you WILL FALL. You either accept that, or you don't, but it doesn't change the facts of life.

That's really not true.

While learning, yes, but outside of riding on icy roads or racing, you should never crash. Really. I've been riding for decades (road, mountain, track, including a lot of racing) and once enumerated all my crashes for a study. They were all either racing or riding in winter on icy snow roads. If you're falling on dry roads you're doing it wrong.

Comment Re:Cyclists DON'T obey the law! (Score 1) 696

I don't know it works in Toronto, but here in California everyone is required to pull over to permit passing when possible if there are five or more vehicles being held up by them. Well, many a time I've been a part of a chain of more than five vehicles being held up by some douche taking up a lane in the city, or practicing his downhill on the mountain roads, and not doing very well. In either case, the cyclist is required to simply pull over and permit the vehicles to pass, just like any other user of the road.

I'm also in California and ride in the mountains at least one and often two days every weekend. I also drive in the mountains. Do you know how often I see traffic bunched up behind a bicycle (up or down)? Almost never. Do you know how often I see it bunched up behind a slow car? Every 20 minutes on low traffic roads. Do you know how many drivers I see passing other drivers (who are doing the speed limit) across double yellow though blind curves on mountain roads? At least once per ride, and if you're out at commute times it's every few miles. Fortunately when these idiots hit a wall or another car and shut the road for a while, I can at least most to the front of the line so I can get down the mountain before the next guy sticks his car or motorcycle into a wall.

"I've seen the forgeries I've sent out." -- John F. Haugh II (jfh@rpp386.Dallas.TX.US), about forging net news articles