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Comment: Re:Yet another government... (Score 0) 130 130

I remember my first job as a intern at a company was to rewrite the documentation manual so I could "learn the system" While some things hadn't changed, the manual was 6 years old and there had been about 3 major releases that completely changed a lot of the UI. Also, all process documentation was out of date as new systems had come online and people had left. Now, this wasn't a commercial system that regular consumers would use, but I feel that sometimes I'm reading the manual and it seems like the people writing them have no experience with whatever it is and/or they're not technical enough to figure it out. The problem is that on one hand, you have engineers who would probably right a very detailed manual that people would get lost in or you have maybe the marketing people write it and it's missing important steps, etc. Hiring people JUST to do technical writing is an expense I don't think many companies want anymore so they hope to god it works otherwise you're stuck figuring it out or just buying another one.

Comment: Re:Yet another government... (Score 0) 130 130

The problem is that people are lazy. Most people I know don't even read manuals anymore, and you think you're going to get them to look at flow charts? People are able, just not willing to do the more advanced setup when they can just plug it in and be done. Also, if you look at the admin panels on routers it's a maze and I know most people would just give up on the first screen. For example, I have a Buffalo router and the first thing I see Router Name/Model then MAC addresses, Radio, Mode, Channel, TX Power, etc. Most people don't know WTF this stuff is and as long as the thing works they're not going to care.

Comment: Re:Worth the tradeoff.. (Score 0) 566 566

Isn't this what things like asm.js, dart, and nativeclient in chrome supposed to solve? Granted they aren't in general use yet, but the idea is to eventually have pre-compiled scripts in dart and/or NativeClient to be run really fast. Asm.js allows you to use a small subset of JS to allow for really fast execution.
Math

String Theory Predicts Behavior of Superfluids 348 348

schrodingers_rabbit writes "Despite formidable odds, condensed matter physicists have made a breakthrough most thought impossible — finding a practical use for string theory. The initial breakthrough was made by physicist and cosmologist Juan Maldacena. His theory states that the known universe is only a 2D construct in anti-de-Sitter space, projected into 3 dimensions. This theory manages to model black holes and quantum theory congruently, a feat that has eluded scientists for decades; but it fails to correspond to the shape of space-time in the known universe. However, it does predict thermodynamic properties of black holes, including higher-dimensional viscosity — the equations for which elegantly and almost exactly calculate the behavior of quark-gluon plasma and other superfluids. According to Jan Zaanen at the University of Leiden, 'The theory is calculating precisely what we are seeing in experiments.' Unfortunately, the correspondence cannot prove or disprove string theory, although it is a positive step." Not an easy path to follow: one condensed matter theorist said, "It took two years and two 1000-page books of dense mathematics, but I learned string theory and got kind of enchanted by it. [When the string-theory related] thing began to... make predictions about high-temperature superconductors, my traditional mainstay, I was one of the few condensed matter physicists with the preparation to take it up."

Comment: School (Score 0) 306 306

I would love to disable this, but my school uses something called Blackboard: http://blackboard.com/ which a lot of it is based off Java (uploaders, etc) and I use it quite often. I'm out of school in a day, so I guess I'll turn it off them, but I hope Apple fixes this before I have to go back to school then.

Comment: Re:Its the employees (Score 0) 417 417

Oh God. You really are sour aren't you? On this particular issue, it isn't corporate, but it's not to say that corporate is great. We continually make fun of the ridiculous programs that corporate pulls out of their ass. Office Depot Corporate is horribly disconnected from the actual people in the retail stores, but no one person is going to help that. We carry out the programs since we're underlings and don't run the company. IMO, the whole executive board should be fired and put some of the good regional managers in charge (because some of them are actually cool people and don't just try and rip people off).

Comment: Re:Wow (Score 1, Informative) 417 417

Like I said in my earlier comment, it's one bad apple most likely. Getting PIP'd is an inside joke and it doesn't really mean much. I honestly care that people get the right stuff when they walk out. Like when someone gets a printer (not networked), I ask if they need a cable. It's not that I want to raise out Market Basket, it's that I don't want them coming back pissed wondering why it wasn't working (they didn't know to get the cable). Any replacement plan or repair plan for any store preys on people's distrust of the technology. It's also pretty much pure profit for the company. If they didn't make enough doing it, they wouldn't do it, but it's too lucrative.

Comment: Its the employees (Score 0) 417 417

I work at an Office Depot store and we haven't had this said to us. It's not company policy and I don't personally do it, but we do get pissed when other stores send us customers who they know won't be getting a warranty. I've never had a manager tell me to lie to a customer about our stock unless we believed they were involved in some type of scam (rebate scams, etc). It's a moral decision made by the employee, not the company. Personally I never buy a plan on any of my electronics because I'm a geek and get bored of electronics after the first year anyways! Also, I never really cared much about the commission. We are always trained over and over on how to sell warranties, but never to the point that we stretched the truth. Like I said before, it's the employees fault for lying or trying to get a commission. Most electronics come with a one year manufacture which is enough for most people and it's not like the plans are worthless. I've seen quite a few people that purchased cameras 2 years ago, come in with an Office Depot gift card for the price they paid and walk out with a better camera all for the price of the original plan (like 29.99, which is pretty damn good for a new camera worth $300).

Comment: Bad Move (Score 0) 497 497

I don't think it's the greatest idea to move to open source for software like MS Office. The reason being that most large corporations still use MS Office and that probably isn't going to change for a while. Writing on your resume that you have experience with Open Office at a company, like, say, Travelers, they aren't going to care since the company runs on Microsoft. While the university wants to save money and get more profit, most people are used to Microsoft products. I have a massively customized version of Blackboard that is used at my university and since they spend a lot of money on it, they won't switch to something else anytime soon. Plus it's already integrated with all the other systems.
Robotics

Scientists Add Emotions To Robotic Head 124 124

DeviceGuru writes "Claiming that service-class robots will one day be pervasive, researchers at the University of the West of England's Bristol Robotics Laboratory (BRL) have begun investigating ways to make robots seem more human. As part of a project to enhance robot/human relationships, BRL has created a robotic head that can exhibit emotions, based on both verbal and non-verbal cues. Check out the videos in the article — especially the slightly creepy one in which the robot contemplates its purpose and its relationship to its environment."

There must be more to life than having everything. -- Maurice Sendak

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