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Comment: Facebook can be useful if you have this problem: (Score 1) 20

Facebook can be useful if you have this problem: Are you too happy? Is it uncomfortable being happier than everyone else? Do you want to be miserable like everyone you see around you? Facebook has an answer. Read Facebook use predicts declines in happiness, new study finds. Or download the scientific paper.

How to avoid the abusers:
Adblock Edge
NoScript
Ghostery
Better Privacy
Cookies Manager Plus (Does not delete one particular Google cookie.)

Comment: Re: It's stupid (Score 1) 160

Yes. The last stuff I wrote that I couldn't compile today was in "Promal" or "Paradox". My C and C++ code from 1980 still builds and runs.

All of my web development is on Ruby on Rails. That environment has had a lot of development and I've had to port to new versions. So old code for RoR would not quite run out of the box, but it's close.

Comment: Re:Way too many humanities majors (Score 2) 302

by fermion (#49379881) Attached to: Why America's Obsession With STEM Education Is Dangerous
Science we know it is only a few hundred years old. Science, as can be taught to the average kid in an advanced manner, is not much more than a century old. In my lifetime we have gone from teaching Calculus in High School to a gifted few, to, in some places, teaching it to as many people as we can.

When I read this article this is what I saw. A traditionalist complaining that we don't teach kids arbitrary ancient skiils, like drawn up handwriting, or going to the library, finding a physical book, and looking up some factoid.

I know a lot of people over 40 who cannot use the computer. They are skilled, but never were taught how to learn new skills. This is what STEM education offers over what many see as a classical education.

It is not that classical education does not offer critical thinking, it is that we need to integrate critical thinking with the machinery that runs our civilization. A lawyer who is going to be successful cannot just have read the classics. A lawyer like that will probably be replaced by a machine in my lifetime.

When I was in school, parents were told that a pre-engineering program was not just for engineers. I was a holistic program that would give kids the background to succeed. We could write an essay, we could write fiction, we could write technical reports, we could program a computer, we could draw a schematic.

The only people who are going to value a pure humanities education over one that stresses science and math are those who are afraid where the world is going.

Comment: It's stupid (Score 0) 160

Development with a proprietary language is ultimately harmful to your own interests, whether you make proprietary software for a profit or Free software.

The one thing every business needs is control. When you make it possible for another company to block your business, you lose control. Your options become limited. Solving business problems potentially becomes very costly, involving a complete rewrite.

The one thing that should be abundantly clear to everyone by now is that making your business dependent on Microsoft anything is ultimately a losing proposition. They have a long history of deprecating their own products after customers have built products upon them.

Comment: Yes, it's free. Also, the patent system sucks (Score 1) 160

All Open Source licenses come with an implicit patent grant, it's an exhaustion doctrine in equitable law.

The problem is not patent holders who contribute to the code, you're protected from them. It's trolls who make no contribution and then sue.

Of course these same trolls sue regarding proprietary code as well.

Comment: Re:Call me an old guy with a short attention span (Score 2) 84

by fermion (#49378551) Attached to: No Film At 11: the Case For the Less-Video-Is-More MOOC
"I think I will go to class today, I need the sleep"

Do kids still wear this T-Shirt in college?

Most MOOC have a big problem. They don't educate a different kind of student. They educate the same highly motivated student. The only benefit is that student may not be able to afford a traditional college, or be able to read at a level required for college. It is a real benefit, but the nirvana.

Codeschool does a good job leveraging the strengths of the computer and targeting learning to those who were raised playing video games. Learning for non-traditional students involves active learning, not watching a guy on video.

Comment: Re:It is (Score 1) 123

by Rei (#49378241) Attached to: SpaceX's New Combustion Technologies

Wow, this is great to hear - I'd never heard of you guys before. :)

And looking at your site, I like what you're doing even more - direct 3d printed aerospikes? Pretty darn cool. What sort of 3d printing tech are you using? Have you looked into the new hybrid laser spraying / CNC system that's out there (I forget the manufacturer)? The use of high velocity dust as source material gives you almost limitless material flexibility and improved physical properties that you can't get out of plain laser sintering, and the combination with CNC yields fast total part turnaround times.

And you're working on turbopump alternatives? Geez, you're playing with all of my favorite things here.... ;)

What sort of launch are you all looking at - is this ground launched (and if so, do you have a near-equatorial site) or air launched? I'd love to see more details about your rockets, what sort of ISP figures you're getting so far, how you're manufacturing your tanks, and on and on. But I guess I'll have to wait just like everyone else ;)

I wish you lots of success! And even if you don't make it, at the very least you'll have added a ton of practical research to the world :)

Comment: Re:Wrong Focus (Score 1) 123

by Rei (#49378083) Attached to: SpaceX's New Combustion Technologies

Note that it's technically possible to have something like this with a slow reactor; you could for example use steam as a moderator, which will transmit a reasonable proportion of near infrared through it (the hotter you can run your fuel particles, the better transmission you'll get). But not only will you lose some light, but just the simple act of neutron moderation is a very heat-intensive process, meaning big radiators if you want big power (not to mention that the moderator itself for such a slow reactor is also far heavier than the core). The whole point of my variant is to avoid the moderator and avoid the ship having to ever capture anything but incident heat lost due to generation, transmission, reflection, etc losses.

One possibility for a slow reactor, albeit only directly applicable to the rocket mode above, is to have your propellant be your moderator, absorbing both IR and moderating fast neutrons. The fact that it's heating then becomes irrelevant (actually an advantage), since you're dumping it out the nozzle for thrust. If one wanted mission flexibility in such a scenario you could have such a moderator-ejecting rocket mode used to get to orbit, and then switch to retaining the moderator once in orbit and cooling it instead in order to make use of the fission fragment operating mode.

But a fast reactor would obviously be highly preferable so you don't have to worry about a moderator at all. :) I'm just pointing the above out because slow reactor versions have already been simulated.

Comment: Re:Wrong Focus (Score 1) 123

by Rei (#49378039) Attached to: SpaceX's New Combustion Technologies

Wait a minute, no, I entered it right into the calculator the first time around. Argh, this interface is confusing. Radiative equilibrium for Tunsten at its melting point 3300C according to the calculator is 92MW/m. A "cool" 1200C radiative temperature according to the calculator 2,6MW/m. According to the calculator, 10kW/m is about 380C.

Comment: Re:The Job Title doesn't matter.... (Score 4, Interesting) 134

by Per Wigren (#49377653) Attached to: IT Jobs With the Best (and Worst) ROI
You actually kind of proved the point because you are not an engineer/admin anymore, you are now a manager. It's a pretty sad cultural quirk that the target of every so called "career path" always tend to be some kind of management, removing the best engineers from what they do best if they want to have a good salary.

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