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Comment: Re:Better absolute performance with WAAS? (Score 1) 63 63

I believe they're doing that already (A-GPS) and that's used by cellphones (sometimes triangulation of towers works crudely when GPS doesn't). But that's an augmentation system not unlike WAAS, and what the anonymous expert above explained is very different (A-GPS can't deal with signal reflections off objects, and that's logical).

Comment: Better absolute performance with WAAS? (Score 1) 63 63

Such a demo makes sense because you compare the performance against a control (without the software fix). Real-life improvement and absolute performance are simply a different, farther-reaching question.

The other important thing to note here is how well this could perform in combination with the wide-area augmentation system (WAAS), which corrects for atmospheric variation of signal travel time by using information the is generated by ground stations and broadcast by the satellites. WAAS isn't included in standard cheap GPS receivers, but can be had for little money, starting from $100 GPS receivers (and mandatory for certain aviation applications, for example).

Or the 2cm figure already include the use of WAAS?

Comment: Actually, not a single interesting answer (Score 4, Insightful) 592 592

Sorry, but I couldn't find interesting answers in that Reddit thread. It's mostly that people choose to run OSX over Linux, and why.

The few GNU/Linux users do it for idealistic reasons, or because they're developers, or because they like the latest OS on very old cheap hardware and don't mind to deal with whatever this entails.

The more interesting question is really if freedom exists when you never make use of it. (Do you actually hack the kernel or fix somebody's proprietary binary-only drivers as a GNU/Linux user?)

Comment: Relative speeds and training (Score 1) 525 525

I've driven thousands of kilometers on the German Autobahn. The safety issue is not so much the speed relative to the ground, but the speed relative to other drivers. If you're going 170kph in the left lane in your BMW, and grandma in her 1990 Volkswagen swerves left to overtake a truck, you've got pretty limited distance to slow down (at high speed). German autobahns are sensibly limited to 130kph in urban areas, for windy stretches of road, or two-lane portions.

French interstates work quite well in that respect. Everyone does about 130kph (that's 81mph), and this speed limit is strictly enforced. Relaxed driving, really.

The other thing to take into account is driver training. The kind of tail-gating I'm seeing here in the states rarely happens in Germany. Yes, you get the angry BMW driver flashing his lights at you when you're in "his" lane (road rage is universal), but that's typically over in a few seconds. Drivers wisely keep their distance.

Comment: Re:It doesn't work like that... (Score 1) 91 91

That was my view as well until learned a few things about this "continuous, analog computer". We know that it is neither analog (neurons can have threshold functions) nor continuous (some important, central processes are quantized - e.g., about 50ms per "decision" in a structure called "basal ganglia").

As for this paper, you seem to neglect that even the supposedly continuous, analog computer will have sub-processes that run in parallel, but are correlated and make a distinguishable contribution to the task the global system is concerned with. If you like to picture a network of neurons, then its structure with will one of many separate clusters (a "small world" network, for instance) rather than a random graph.

Comment: Re:Brodmann Areas (Score 1) 91 91

It's certainly interesting that the PCA-like analysis in the cited paper comes up with a similar number of subsystems, although I wonder if they ended up matching the Brodmann areas. And importantly, any set of areas is more like a subsystem, in which, if my quick look over the paper serves me well, activations make a unique contribution to task solving.

The question is, does this bring us closer to a computational understanding of how the overall processes work? Localization of function alone doesn't, IMHO. DTI (neuroscience) and cognitive modeling based on architectures (cognitive science) may make better progress.

Comment: Re:Lost me because of Java (Score 1) 156 156

These distributions exist... (shameless plug: Aquamacs 3.1 was released today, based on Emacs 24.4). You're right in that its Java support is sub-par. Packages like JDEE exist, and CEDET has recently been included in Emacs, but you won't get out-of-the-box code completion, nice visual debugging, inline compile error messages and so on.

Comment: A PhD degree won't make you a better programmer (Score 1) 479 479

The PhD is not a degree designed to increase your chances on the market for jobs that do not require a PhD. I think that's the underlying misunderstanding. (I'm an assistant professor at a research university, I have a group of PhD students. Careerism, especially for undergrad degrees, is a common perspective-shift at US universities.)

A PhD really prepares you for a career in research/science, academia. You sound like you're looking to be a programmer (again). Did the reasons go away for which you chose to do a PhD?

Try the big players: Google, Apple, Intel, Microsoft, and so on. They hire PhDs quite happily, and you can apply what you've learned.

Comment: How is this different from filtering? (Score 1) 106 106

Could someone who works in that field explain how this would is different from the filters that CytoSorbents has been developing for a while now? (See: http://www.cytosorbents.com/te... ). These are already on the market.

It looks to me like their technology is very different (and quite cool: nanobeads? magnetic? proteins?). One issue with the CytoSorbents product is that efficacy has only been proven in terms of reducing cytokines and preventing "cytokine storm", but not in terms of lowering actual mortality.

This new filter seems to remove the primary pathogens (according to the Nature article), as opposed to cytokines (as the submission here suggests).

Comment: Verzion had problems, too (Score 1) 222 222

Woke up at 3am, and it took me 45 mins to place my order. The website was slow and produced some sort of error, which I later found out had to do with me having an employer discount (that makes zero difference for the purchase).

If they actually ship Friday next week, I'd be surprised/delighted.

Comment: That was in 2011 (Score 1) 126 126

This was in 2011, if you look at NSF's award page. And just to put things in perspective.. This sort of money is enough to pay for four graduate students (50% effort), some very limited summer time of two professors over the course of four years, and a modest amount of travel to conferences. It's a very good grant from a great source that allows you to get some good work done, but it doesn't go as far as the uninitiated might think.

Comment: Lunch with a Terrafugia guy (Score 2) 66 66

OK, so at Oshkosh a couple weeks ago, I had lunch (by chance) with a guy from Terrafugia. The food was poor, but the stories were good.

They flew in their prototype at last year's AirVenture. The video looks good. What you're going to get is a roadster/plane with foldable wings. I'm saying roadster, because it's going to have two seats - not because it's going to drive like a sports car. This will make it qualify as a Light Sports Aircraft, which means that pilots won't need a medical (important for many). Licensing is a little simpler, too, although everyone I know goes for their full PPL.

As an airplane, it's not particularly fast (93kts cruise - slower than your typical Cessna 172 Skyhawk), and it maxes out at 460lbs payload (full fuel, I guess), if the specs I have are correct. It drinks 100LL or premium motor gas (which is cheaper), and goes some 400+nm, though I'm not sure if that is with reserves (you need 30min day VFR, 45 at night, and typically you want more).

The person working on this at Terrafugia advertised it as a plane that's great for a business trip, because it will get you home most of the time: if the weather is bad, you just land and drive around the weather. That's a neat concept.

The price? At Oshkosh, they were saying around $270k. I asked about insurance, and it sounds like there will be separate insurance policies for road/air use, and it seems that the road policy more expensive than a car insurance (they said 3% of hull value), because of the added utility (more miles driven/flown). I'm not sure if I follow that reasoning.

For comparison, you can buy a used Bonanza for much much less, and you'll get a lot more airplane for your money. You will also get a new Cirrus SR20 around that price point (but that's a plane, and as such not as practical). In the long run, as prices come down, I get see how this is going to be practical for a lot of people that need to travel for work (or can afford to go places for fun).

Have you ever noticed that the people who are always trying to tell you `there's a time for work and a time for play' never find the time for play?

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