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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"
Science

CERN Announces Collider Startup Delay 98

Posted by Zonk
from the takes-a-little-time-to-crack-the-universe dept.
perturbed1 writes "The 142nd session of the CERN Council saw Organizational Director General Robert Aymar announcing a delay in the activation of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The installation will start up in May 2008, taking 'the first steps towards studying physics at a new high-energy frontier.' Such a delay was foreseen due to the quadrupole accident, which we've previously discussed. This gives extra time for Fermilab physicists to try to understand the latest interesting hints of the Higgs boson, as well as give much needed extra-time for the detectors at CERN to get ready for data taking. Given that it will be fall before the LHC detectors take any useful data from collisions at 14TeV, could Fermilab collect enough data for a 5-sigma discovery by then?"
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
Supercomputing

First Quantum Computing Gate on a Chip 166

Posted by Zonk
from the next-advance-is-really-tiny-stargates dept.
An anonymous reader writes "After recent success in using quantum computing for superconducting qubits, researchers from Delft have formed the first Controlled-NOT quantum gate. 'A team has demonstrated a key ingredient of such a computer by using one superconducting loop to control the information stored on a second. Combined with other recent advances, the result may pave the way for devices of double the size in the next year or two--closer to what other quantum computing candidates have achieved, says physicist Hans Mooij of the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. Unlike today's computers, which process information in the form of 0s and 1s, a quantum computer would achieve new levels of power by turning bits into fuzzy quantum things called qubits (pronounced cue-bits) that are 0 and 1 simultaneously. In theory, quantum computers would allow hackers to crack today's toughest coded messages and researchers to better simulate molecules for designing new drugs and materials.'"
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
Education

FBI Seeks To Restrict University Student Freedoms 593

Posted by Zonk
from the damned-liberal-freethinking-commie-pinkos dept.
amigoro writes with a link to the Press Escape blog, which is discussing new guidelines suggest by the FBI for university administrations. The Federal Bureau, worried about the possibility of international espionage via our centers of learning, now sees the need to restrict the freedoms of university students for national security. "FBI is offering to brief faculty, students and staff on what it calls 'espionage indicators' aimed at identifying foreign agents. Unexplained affluence, failing to report overseas travel, showing unusual interest in information outside the job scope, keeping unusual work hours, unreported contacts with foreign nationals, unreported contact with foreign government, military, or intelligence officials, attempting to gain new accesses without the need to know, and unexplained absences are all considered potential espionage indicators."
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."

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