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Comment: Math is important (Score 1) 656

by dark404 (#43878943) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Important Is Advanced Math In a CS Degree?
but the weight of its importance depends on how far you go. A B.S. in Computer Science does not expose you to much in the way of how higher math is applied in computer science - but if you go to the graduate level, you need that background. One of my criticisms of how calc and beyond is taught to CS undergrads is that the applications are not made clear at all. It wasn't until I was in grad school and started working on some machine learning / bioinformatics stuff that the application became clear. If I never see another word problem with springs again it will be too soon.

Comment: Re:Notes (Score 4, Interesting) 569

by dark404 (#31054548) Attached to: Pen Still Mightier Than the Laptop For Notetaking?
Actually I just picked up the HP TM2 tablet. That with one note is awesome for note taking. Being a CS grad student myself, diagrams and more importantly equations drove me nuts trying to take notes before so I relied on my trusty fountain pen and a tablet of paper, but the hand writing recognition is really there _now_ for tablets, and the hp gets great battery life.

Comment: Re:And they wonder why. . . (Score 1) 1574

by dark404 (#24136407) Attached to: Louisiana Passes Intelligent Design Law
Ironically in the New Orleans area (not to be confused with the rest of this state) there is a much larger population of Catholic high schools and elementary schools, none of which teach this ID nonsense in the first place. In point of fact from my own education in Catholic schools here, it was mentioned more than once "It's too bad Darwin didn't pay more attention to Mendel's work with pea plants or it would have solved his blending problem"
Communications

+ - Google threatens to terminate Gmail in Germany

Submitted by
em8chel
em8chel writes "Back in January Peter Fleischer, Google's Global Privacy Counsel wrote "A German Threat to Anonymous Email Accounts" on his Blog:

"...Governments are particularly nervous about anonymous e-mail accounts that are offered by many online services, since they believe that such accounts are used by terrorists and other criminals. In fact, recently the German justice minister even proposed eliminating or sharply restricting such anonymous e-mail, by requiring that individuals present a passport before they are able to open a webmail account...."

Now heise is reporting (in German) that Google is threatening to terminate its Gmail service in Germany (which was renamed to GoogleMail due to patent issues) should the Parliament presses on to pass the controversial legislative initiative concerning data retention and tele-communication monitoring. The Federal Ministry of Justice plans to prohibit email service providers giving out anonymous accounts. Email service providers will be obligated to collect registrant's personal information so each and every account is identifiable. Fleischer calls the move a severe blow to privacy and says in an interview that in case of need Google will shut down its email service in Germany."
Television

+ - FCC requests comments on Leased Access channels->

Submitted by
websta
websta writes "The blog at Davis Wright Tremaine — a broadcast law firm in D.C. — published an article on the FCC's request for comments on "leased access" cable channels here: http://www.dwt.com/practc/communications/bulletins /06-07_LeasedAccess-ProgramCarriage.htm

Background: The FCC requires cable companies with more than 100 channels to open 15% of their channels for "leased access" where independent television programmers (e.g., you, your mini-DV camcorder, and a dream) could have your own commercial-supported television station, "to promote competition in the delivery of diverse sources of video programming and to assure that the widest possible diversity of information sources are available to the public from cable system in a manner consistent with growth and development of cable system."

The problem? Cable company non-compliance and exhorbitant lease fees.

The new 2/3 Commissioners at the FCC have issued statements here: http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/ FCC-07-18A2.pdf http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/ FCC-07-18A3.pdf

This is a big issue. A quote: "We must meet these statutory directives [to provide viable access for anyone to start their own TV stations), not only because it's our duty, but because these independent programmers provide the diversity of voices that is so central to the proper functioning of our media and, ultimately, to our democracy itself. If our rules aren't giving independent programmers the carriage opportunities to which they're entitled, we'd better fix them — and fast." — Commissioner Copps, http://tinyurl.com/ysewgf .

Request: Here are the questions the FCC Commissioners are looking to answer:

"It would be helpful to the Commission for commenters to submit comments in response to the following questions:
What rates do the cable operators charge for full-time and part-time leased access? What are the average maximum
leased access rates? How do cable operators justify any variances in rates? Are the rates reasonable in light of the
fact that cable operators have larger channel capacity than they did in 1997, and thus perhaps there is less scarcity?
Has the rate formula decreased anticompetitive practices? Has the rate formula increased use of leased access
channels which promote diversity? Do the current rates established by cable operators under the Commission's
regulations deter non-affiliated programmers who otherwise would seek access? Is the method for calculating the
maximum rate appropriate for digital cable, VOD, and IPTV?"

Versions of the leased access rules, with commentary, may be found http://tinyurl.com/22h7th and http://tinyurl.com/2hws9z . There is also a commentary here: http://tinyurl.com/24o633 .

So, write/email your cable company and ask for a quote for your own leased access channel, and send your experiences/comments to the FCC here: http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs/ . Note that you are responding to "Leased Commercial Access; Development of Competition and Diversity in Video Programming
Distribution and Carriage (MB Docket No. 07-42).""

Link to Original Source
Announcements

+ - Carbon Nanoscrolls for Hydrogen Storage->

Submitted by peacephila
peacephila (984971) writes "Researches from Greece demonstrated that hydrogen can be successfully stored in recently synthesized carbon nanoscrolls — the carbon material that shows a spiral form and can be obtained by a twisting of a graphite sheet. When doped with alkali metals, the nanoscrolls can make very promising materials for hydrogen storage application, reaching 3 wt % at ambient temperature and pressure."
Link to Original Source
The Almighty Buck

Underfunded NSA Suffers Brownouts 198

Posted by Zonk
from the war-on-terror-doesn't-include-juice dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Almost ten years after the an internal report, and a year after a Baltimore sun story warned that the electrical system at the fort Meade NSA HQ couldn't keep up with the growing electricity demand ... the problem has got worse. The 'NSA has had to resort to partial, rolling brownouts at its computer farms and scheduled power outages and some offices are experiencing significant power disruptions'. NSA director Alexander testified to congress about this problem. It is suggested he wanted to add more than $800 million to the 07 budget. A recent public powerpoint presentation suggested 70% of of all intelligence spending goes to contractors. It also included a graph, without numbers, of this spending. It suggests that US intelligence spending is around $60 billion. An internal survey that showed NSA employees have problems trusting each other."
Hardware Hacking

+ - 10 Great Looking Racks

Submitted by tr3p0r
tr3p0r (666) writes "Custom installers pride themselves on the clean, tidy wiring of the A/V rack — and they should. But while the back of the A/V rack gets a lot of attention, CE PRo wanted to see what they are doing to make the front of the rack unique. They asked their readers to submit their innovative, unique and just plain cool racks for a Great Looking Racks collection."

Fiber Optic Table Illuminates Your Dining 90

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the and-freaks-out-friends dept.
Deepa writes "We highly doubt LumiGram's Luminous Fiber Optic Tablecloth was designed with power outages in mind, but why hook up a boring string of lamps or fiddle with half melted candles when you can plug this bad boy into the generator? The cloth, which has fiber optics woven throughout, cotton borders, and a Europlug mains adapter, proves most useful when the lights are dimmed, and should prove quite the centerpiece at your next get-together. The illuminating device is available in a trio of sizes, comes in a variety of color schemes."
Graphics

+ - NVIDIA Graphics Compared Under Linux & Solaris->

Submitted by Monte
Monte (666) writes "In what appears to be the first-ever comparison between Linux and Solaris for the NVIDIA binary GPU drivers, Phoronix has tested and compared Fedora 7 with two versions of Solaris Express. In the Phoronix article they had used SPECViewperf 9.0.3 for the comparison. With all of the results shown, Linux had outperformed Solaris when using the NVIDIA drivers, but the performance results were remarkably close."
Link to Original Source
The Internet

+ - Emails Have 4th Amendment Protections

Submitted by taoman1
taoman1 (1050536) writes "It isn't just judges who define the protections of the 4th Amendment's ban on unreasonable searches and seizures. So do ordinary citizens, with the way they live their lives. A federal appeals court has reaffirmed that principle by ruling that e-mail messages stored by an Internet service provider deserve the same privacy protections as the contents of telephone calls. In both situations, the legal touchstone is the same: whether users of a communications service have a "reasonable expectation of privacy.""

Those who do not understand Unix are condemned to reinvent it, poorly. -- Henry Spencer

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