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Comment: Re:That's because engineers are not smart (Score 1) 580

by csirac (#49044931) Attached to: Low Vaccination Rates At Silicon Valley Daycare Facilities

As someone who went to a relatively unknown university (internationally at least), I can also say that the only part of my degree that I simply had to accept with blind faith ("unless you've done maths post-grad, we don't have time to teach why all this is so and how it's derived") was much of two control systems theory subjects. The rest, I could usually derive from first principles. We certainly also studied semiconductors (Si, SiC, GaN - in conjuction with a quantum mechanics subject) such that we could model transistors and other elements from physical fundamentals: exploring different quite complex models and computational approaches, down to simplified formulae, when and which to use for convenience or accuracy.

I get the point you're trying to make, but I'd say most good engineering programmes are throwing up disclaimers in the course material whenver a "recipe" (as opposed to principles) is being taught due to lack of time. Good courses should provide caveats around such things, and make the students understand that they're applying something they don't understand. And hopefully also show what branches of knowledge a "faith item" is derived from so that students can explore on their own if they wish (I hope mose EEs are being taught how to teach themselves and know the limits of their own knowledge). In order to give the physical sciences and mathematics the depth that you would apparently approve of, it would squeeze out so much of the EE domain knowledge and analytical/process/systematics part of the discipline I'm not sure you'd be left with much other than an applied science degree.

Comment: Re:OK, based upon notebook shopping thus far (Score 1) 118

I bought my 2009 X61s, a 12" thing, with 8GB RAM. That model was released in 2007. My X230, bought early 2012, has 16GB RAM. I don't know why this 12-13" form factor noadays has gone *backwards* back-to-7-years-ago specs... is it because "UltraBook" has to mean "one DIMM slot"? It's infuriating. Instead of replacing my X230 (the X240 only does 8GB RAM) when the screen broke, I bought parts to repair it. Which was probably for the best anyway (my X230 still does the job), but it's still weird I no longer have any replacement options for this apparently unicorn piece of hardware.

Why do I want 16GB? Because I really enjoy being able to reproduce all my work on this tiny little magical piece of machinery which fits in my backpack with no effort whatsoever. It's the *future*. I shouldn't have to accept mediocrity in the place of something that currently already works. I shouldn't have to stand up more resources at work and VPN in when I already have a working solution. I enjoy being able to work offline; working from flaky 3/4G isn't fun.

Comment: And five minutes later... (Score 0) 238

by Samantha Wright (#48858215) Attached to: Google Thinks the Insurance Industry May Be Ripe For Disruption

...Someone from the back row shouts out "Because our AdSense profile has determined you were visiting websites about cigarettes recently, your health insurance premium has gone up by 5% and you will probably die slightly sooner. Remember, [i]f you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place!"

Is it cynicism if you're just using a Markov chain to predict what other Slashdotters will say?

(Although obviously this is auto insurance, so I'm sure someone can translate the threat appropriately.)

Comment: Re:Hakija (Score 1) 264

by csirac (#48808437) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Linux Database GUI Application Development?

To be fair, I do actually do remote debugging in vim with vdebug, but I guess my vim is pretty blinged out. It's no VS of course. And perhaps I'm being ignorant about what it is you actually mean by multiple language support, the toolchains all do this with varying levels of success but I get that managing it can be painful (hence things like pootle).

Virtually my entire career of the last 8 years has been doing productivity software in *nix, so hearing about "THE major [foo]" seems a bit shrill. I did maintain a windows port for something at a previous company, though - Qt wasn't too bad, but again, not as painless as a greenfield app done in .NET would have been but windows wasn't the core business. It's a pity the gnome project has driven any decent devs out of the community, those windows-hating clowns have pretty much doomed Glade's future.

Comment: Re:Who supports it (Score 1) 60

by csirac (#48808357) Attached to: Exploring Some Lesser-Known Scripting Languages
As someone who worked (reluctantly, initially) as a (mostly) Perl dev for nearly 4 years, and has now been doing python for nearly 2 years - I miss lexically scoped variables and the Moose OO system. Here's a comment I made on HN which summarizes my lament regarding pythonistas being unable to fathom the very concept of missing anything from the perl world. TL;DR - Perl+Moose gave me a taste for types and a more declarative programming style which is hard and inefficient to reproduce in python (to be fair, it's inefficient in perl too unles you code mostly immutable objects).

Comment: Re:I'm Gonna Say "Yes" (Score 4, Insightful) 232

by Samantha Wright (#48668621) Attached to: Should Video Games Be In the Olympics?
It may not happen; the modern Olympics, quite unlike the ancient Olympics, have not always been purely about physical sports. Competitions like poetry and painting were removed in part because the same entrants won year after year—this has not, so far, been an issue for e-sports.

Comment: Re: Why does this need a sequel? (Score 1) 299

by Samantha Wright (#48593013) Attached to: Blade Runner 2 Script Done, Harrison Ford Says "the Best Ever"

...Not having any particular stake in this argument, are we quite sure that's Tyrell's intended meaning, something so mundane? I think Tyrell is more taking about stuff like this:

I have seen things you people wouldn't believe Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like [small cough] tears in rain. Time to die

...i.e., Roy's greatness and accomplishment as a person. At that point, Tyrell wants to sooth Roy and make him accept his place by calling him amazing. Simply saying "well, that's the cost of bein' so darn strong" conflicts with his next line: "And you have burned so very, very brightly, Roy."


Robots Put To Work On E-Waste 39

Posted by Soulskill
from the robots-disassembling-robots dept.
aesoteric writes: Australian researchers have programmed industrial robots to tackle the vast array of e-waste thrown out every year. The research shows robots can learn and memorize how various electronic products — such as LCD screens — are designed, enabling those products to be disassembled for recycling faster and faster. The end goal is less than five minutes to dismantle a product.

Comment: Re:Good Bye, Joey, and it is a pity! (Score 1) 450

by csirac (#48343151) Attached to: Joey Hess Resigns From Debian
Though I never was aware of him before, I do use debhelper all the time. It's a shame it's come to this. For what it's worth, my impression is that he sees the recent GR proposal two weeks from jessie freeze as being the last straw for him in a long line of suffering from administrative/bureaucratic interference with getting real work done (don't know if he "liked" systemd, but it seems he wants the Debian project to stop wasting energy on debating it endlessly, especially given that endless debates were apparently already had last year).

When the weight of the paperwork equals the weight of the plane, the plane will fly. -- Donald Douglas