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Comment: Like math (Score 1) 425

by bjs555 (#49619973) Attached to: The Programming Talent Myth

If programming is like math (and I think it is in some ways) then the distribution of talent may very well be U shaped. There seems to be a few extremely talented mathematicians like Gauss, Euler, Cantor, Godel, Ramanujan, etc. and then everyone else. That doesn't mean that those like me near the bottom of the U can't appreciate and follow what those at the top accomplish but I think the nervous systems of those who can think so clearly about math are wired in a different way. Maybe so with programmers too.


Windows 10 Enables Switching Between Desktop and Tablet Modes 240

Posted by Soulskill
from the and-never-the-twain-shall-meet dept.
jones_supa writes: In Windows 8, you were trapped in either the Modern UI or using the desktop, and going back and forth between the two worlds was cumbersome. Windows 10 takes a hybrid approach, allowing the user to choose between a classic desktop and a full-screen mobile experience. The feature, which has been developed under the name "Continuum," is now simply called "Tablet mode". In the build 9926 of Windows 10 Technical Preview, switching between the modes can finally be tried out. The leaked build 10036 shows that eventually you will also have the option to automate the process for dockable devices. Since Windows 10 is being positioned as the one OS for all of Microsoft's devices, being able to control the desktop and tablet experiences like this is critical to appeasing the consumer.

Comment: No sticker from Dell (Score 1) 132

by bjs555 (#49151565) Attached to: Microsoft Finally Allows Customers To Legally Download Windows 7 ISOs

I bought a new machine with Win 8.1 (ugh) on it from Dell last week with plans to put OEM Win 7 on it. Dell said I could do that if I was willing to give up support and that was ok with me. To my surprise, when the machine arrived it had no license key sticker on it at all so I couldn't use a general OEM install program like the ones from Digital River. Luckily I had a Dell OEM Win 7 install disc from another machine and that installed and activated ok using the key stored in the bios. Is this a new trend that machines now come without a key sticker? Should I call Dell and insist on a Microsoft key?

Comment: Re:Ah, Damnit... (Score 1) 516

by bjs555 (#49136527) Attached to: Users Decry New Icon Look In Windows 10

I guess I'm a dinosaur but I finally moved from xp to win 7 recently. One thing about win 7 explorer usability that bothers me a lot is that there is no way to turn off automatic icon/filename sorting except on the desktop. When I change the names of files in a folder, each one jumps to a new position and it's difficult to tell which names I have changed. Even on the desktop there are problems. Try copying icons into a folder or a shortcut to a folder and the positions of the original icons change. Who at Microsoft thought this was a good idea? Does win 10 do the same thing?

Comment: Re:Live the present, not the future (Score 1) 698

This is a good response to your question. Too many of the other responses show that Asperger's Syndrome isn't uncommon among technical people (I'm not sure I can exclude myself).

I want to tell you that you have already given your daughter something that is very important. You say that she has an inquisitive mind and an interest in science and that is likely due to your example as someone with those qualities as well. She will have a happy life with that outlook. The world is such an interesting place if you take time to look and think carefully about it.

Comment: One thing I noticed (Score 1) 160

by bjs555 (#48599351) Attached to: How Identifiable Are You On the Web?

Yes, like many, my result was "Unique". I noticed that one item being measured was browser resolution. Since I was running my browser at less than full screen and the exact window size is a low entropy parameter, I decided to try again after maximizing my browser window. As expected, the result was a lower uniqueness score. That led me to wonder if some technique like modifying the exact size of the browser window by a few pixels each time it's refreshed might help somewhat to hide from these evil trackers. Perhaps modifying other parameters like which extensions are enabled or what fonts are installed on each refresh might confuse them even more.

Comment: Re:Mind blown (Score 3, Interesting) 81

by bjs555 (#48396025) Attached to: Real Steampunk Computer Brought Back To Life

Playing with a slide rule is like saying after sex, "I haven't had this much fun since I first encountered logarithms." In my case, I'd have to sadly admit that I've had more fun quantity wise with logarithms. Seriously, though, I too was in school at the time of the slide rule's demise. They were interesting to use. I recall using electronic analog computers at about the same time. They consisted of a patch board and a number of op amp differentiators, integrators, and gain blocks. You could use the patch cords to model a differential equation with the op amps and then apply power to get an answer as a voltage output. Are things like that still used?

Comment: Re:"Computer" (Score 1) 81

by bjs555 (#48394249) Attached to: Real Steampunk Computer Brought Back To Life

Actually, I've read that Einstein probably wasn't aware of the Michelson-Morley experiment. His reason for rejecting the existence of the ether was based on a thought experiment as mentioned in many non-technical books on relativity. However, nearly all of these books fail to mention what the thought experiment was. I finally found one explanation of it in the book "The Big Bang" by Simon Singh. According to him, Einstein's thought experiment is such:

Get into a vehicle traveling at constant velocity through the ether at the speed of light c and hold a mirror in front of you face. You will see no reflection because both your face and the mirror are traveling through the ether at c and no light leaving your face can reach the mirror. But that would violate the fact that, as long as you are traveling at constant velocity in a straight line, no experiment can determine how fast you are going. Therefore, the ether doesn't exist.

Does my paraphrasing of the explanation ring true or am I missing something?

Comment: Re:Let me get this right (Score 1) 839

by bjs555 (#48163343) Attached to: Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

Yes, taxes on unspent income should be higher, not lower as now, on income other than that from labor. As often said, one man's income is another man's spending. Hence, the spending of everyone must equal the income of everyone. For some people to spend less than they earn, others must spend more than they earn. The government and financial industry actively encourage those who spend more than they earn go into debt allowing those with high incomes to drain money from the system and hoard it.

Better, I think, to go back to the high marginal income tax rates with generous deductions for domestic spending that were in effect during the pre-Regan era. That method of taxation would give the one percenters incentive to spend their money rather than hoard it and would give a much needed boost to the economy. Right now the one percenters, having bought off Congress, have a low tax rate without spending and can park their unspent money anywhere, even offshore, effectively removing it from the economy and causing deflation.

Comment: Re:No difference (Score 1) 105

by bjs555 (#47719017) Attached to: Do Readers Absorb Less On Kindles Than On Paper? Not Necessarily

Actually for reading books knowing where you are does help line up the story. (beginning middle or end)

I think that's true. If so, maybe a small progress bar along the top of an e-reader continuously showing where you are in the book could be helpful. I don't know if any e-readers offer such a feature.

Comment: Expanding confusion (Score 1) 225

by bjs555 (#47642747) Attached to: Do Dark Matter and Dark Energy Cast Doubt On the Big Bang?

Cosmology is a very interesting subject. I enjoy reading about it but many of the ideas confuse me (that's easy to do). The explanations of cosmic expansion in most non-mathematical books usually point out that the expansion isn't like an explosion in space but that it's an expansion of space itself. If that's true then wouldn't anything used to measure the expansion be affected by the expansion as well? If I use a magically accurate ruler to measure the width of a sheet of paper and both the paper and the ruler are expanding, how would I know that the width has changed? Wouldn't the expansion of both the paper and the ruler cancel each other out?

I've tried to find an answer online and some explanations that I've seen say that expansion only applies to non-gravitationally interacting bodies I guess that means galaxies and galaxy clusters that are very far apart. But isn't gravity universal? Does it make senses to talk of bodies that are gravitationally isolated? Perhaps the explanations are talking about bodies that are only very weakly influenced by the mass of other bodies. Does the strength of local gravitational attraction tend to overcome the strength of cosmic expansion thereby reducing the expansion to a small and negligible number?

I'd sure appreciate some help about how to understand this.


Comment: Re:NIMBY at its finest (Score 2) 409

Whether the goal is patient treatment or research it seems risky to bring an infected individual into a hospital setting in a populated area. It might be argued that sending a team of doctors/researchers to Liberia would be a burden on the them. But perhaps the patient could be housed in an offshore hospital ship. Apparently the patient is wealthy or his case is interesting enough to justify spending funds on him. If he could stay in a ship 25 miles or so offshore wouldn't that provide some protection and also convenience for the doctors/researchers?

Asynchronous inputs are at the root of our race problems. -- D. Winker and F. Prosser