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Comment: Re:I dunno about LEDs, but CFLs don't last (Score 1) 595

by captjc (#48003485) Attached to: The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

Plus it isn't that hard or expensive to "retrofit" a toilet to use less water. It can be done with either a pair of pliers (bend the rod that the float-ball is connected to so that it stops at a lower water level) or a bag of rocks (Place a sealed bag of rocks or really anything that is heavy and takes up volume in the reservoir tank to reduce the amount of water the tank holds).

No real point to buying a brand new toilet just to reduce water usage.

Comment: Re:I keep hearing about all these outlets (Score 1) 144

by captjc (#47970259) Attached to: The UPS Store Will 3-D Print Stuff For You

I'm sorry that you feel that way. As an Engineer who has experience with 3D CAD modeling, I love my printer. If I can design it, I can print it. I can understand that this is an extremely niche market right now and I don't expect everyone to want to run out and blow a grand or two on a personal printer, however that doesn't mean that the whole technology should be painted as irrelevant.

I don't expect these to be in every home in the next 20 years, but I can see them in more than a few garages. Just as most people don't need woodworking and metalworking tools there still plenty of hobbyists with table saws and welding gear in their garage. However, I think the real promise is going to be companies with high-end (think multi-million dollar printers able to print everything from ceramics to metals to plastics) catering to cheap one off or personalized knickknacks. It is already happening with outfits like Shapeways and as prices keep falling it will eventually become competitive with more traditional forms of manufacturing for low volume items.

Comment: Re:Dissolution of the middle class! (Score 1) 260

by captjc (#47965639) Attached to: Mark Zuckerberg Throws Pal Joe Green Under the Tech Immigration Bus

When I graduated college, I got something like that. I graduated with a BS in Computer Engineering from an ABET accredited college, near the top of my class. I had some projects and job experience on my resume and professor's recommendations out the ass. However, It was also during the recession, so jobs were a bit hard to come by.

I went to one of those recruiters / contractor agencies and was in no uncertain terms told that no company would hire me (not like I had a criminal record or tattoos or anything) and that all of my skills were not only not in demand but were about 50 years obsolete (I specialized in low level system programming in C++ and programming language design). When he saw that my minimum asking salary was $30,000 a year (research showed that in my area, near the center of a major North-Eastern tech hub, the average starting salary for a Programmer / EE was between $35,000 and $45,000 a year), he laughed for about 5 minutes and told me I was horribly unrealistic.

After I left, about 45 minutes later, I was called with a job offer scrubbing toilets at a Masonic retirement home for minimum wage. I promptly told him to to shove it but was told that, "that was about the best I was ever going to get."

About 6 months later, I finally found a job doing systems programming on microcontrollers and robots. So fuck those recruiters.

\CSB?

Comment: Wifi-Dialup Router and Chromebook (Score 4, Informative) 334

by captjc (#47933251) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Remote Support For Disconnected, Computer-Illiterate Relatives

Apparently there are Wireless routers that are designed to connect via dialup (for instance This Router.) With that, I would go with a Chromebook / Chromebox or an iPad.

Given the constraints, that is probably the best you can get. However, you could probably experiment with an old Win CE Thin Client or an old WebTV and try to get either to work, but neither are particularly great solutions.

Comment: Re:illogical captain (Score 1) 937

by captjc (#47901911) Attached to: Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

So should everyone lend credence to any claim that is made? Should every old book of fairy tales be taken as truth until it is systematically proven as false beyond any shadow of doubt?

If I say there is an invisible tiger patiently waiting behind you ready to eat you the second you did something he doesn't like, would you believe it? I offer you no real proof other than my word that it is written in an old book that I found. Is it arrogant to assume that it is just plain superstition at best and probably just outright lies on my part at worst until some semblance of proof was offered on my end?

As for the Higg's Boson, it wasn't something whose only basis is, "some guy said it is true". There are mathematical models that suggest its existence which warrants testing (Just as any search for a supposed deity warrants testing.) Few people claim that the Higg's boson is a certainty and those who do are scientific extremists jumping to conclusions.

A line must be drawn somewhere. The burden of proof is on you to prove the claim is true, not for me to prove it is false. I understand there must be a modicum of faith in a belief to actually test the idea in order to generate evidence. The problem is that too much blind faith in any idea makes it easy to go down a destructive or self-defeating path. What makes things worse is that to question those who believe is heresy, dissent to be destroyed at any cost because those who request evidence are a threat to the faith.

Science

Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk 937

Posted by Soulskill
from the need-a-way-to-cheat-death dept.
New submitter anlashok writes: Atheism and science face a real challenge: To frame an account of science, or nature, that leaves room for meaning. According to this article, atheists have pinned their flag to Mr. Spock's mast. But they need Captain Kirk. Quoting: "I'm pro-science, but I'm against what I'll call "Spock-ism," after the character from the TV show Star Trek. I reject the idea that science is logical, purely rational, that it is detached and value-free, and that it is, for all these reasons, morally superior. Spock-ism gives us a false picture of science. It gives us a false picture of humankind's situation. We are not disinterested knowers. The natural world is not a puzzle. ... The big challenge for atheism is not God; it is that of providing an alternative to Spock-ism. We need an account of our place in the world that leaves room for value."
Education

Harvard's CompSci Intro Course Boasts Record-Breaking Enrollment 144

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-bet-you-liked-programming-before-it-was-cool dept.
alphadogg writes: Harvard College's CS50, the school's Introduction to Computer Science course for undergrads, has attracted about 1 in 8 students this fall — a new record for the school and yet another sign of just how hot this field is becoming for the job-hungry. Overall, 818 undergrads (or 12% of the student body) signed up for the challenging course this semester (PDF), and nearly 900 students are registered when factoring in graduate and cross-registered students. Topics on the syllabus include Linux, cryptography, HTML and JavaScript. David Malan, a Harvard CompSci grad, teaches the course.

Comment: Re:How much money are we talking about? (Score 1) 387

by captjc (#47862817) Attached to: Unpopular Programming Languages That Are Still Lucrative

90% of all the jobs I have seen listed were either Java, SQL, or C#, with the occasional reference to iPhone programming.

C++ is not even remotely close to being a popular language unless you are looking for jobs that require a masters / Ph.D in electrical engineering.

Comment: Re:What he should have written is ... (Score 1) 169

by captjc (#47830807) Attached to: Steve Ballmer Authored the Windows 3.1 Ctrl-Alt-Del Screen

No, this is Steve Ballmer, not a Dalek. It would have been, "FUCKING KILL! FUCKING KILL! FUCKING KILL! "(TM)

There once was a CEO named Steve,
Who threw chairs at employees for reprieve,
He shot lasers from his eyes
To bury other guys,
And he'll Fucking Kill you if you don't believe.

If you're not careful, you're going to catch something.

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