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Comment: Re:Chrome and IE are the most secure browsers (Score 2) 225

by dln385 (#38327068) Attached to: Google-Funded Study Knocks Firefox Security

Yes, you can use something like NoScript in Firefox (and other browsers), but majority of people don't. In fact even I don't because frankly, it's pain in the ass to use.

Install NoScript and enable scripts globally in its options. I do this and it's like it's not even there, but once in a while when I'm on a shady website, it'll pop up and say that it blocked a suspected malicious script or XSS attack. Better than nothing.

Comment: Re:Immaculate Timing (Score 1) 224

by dln385 (#35182536) Attached to: Why the Arduino Won and Why It's Here To Stay
I got my Arduino Uno a few weeks ago and have had a similarly positive experience. You do need additional components to if you want it to do anything cool (LEDs, sensors for sound/light/movement, motors, buttons, etc. Think input/output.) You could get an "Arduino Uno starter kit" that includes everything you need to start having fun, but it's probably cheaper to buy the components down at RadioShack or your local electronics store.

Comment: RIP (Score 1) 131

by dln385 (#33918228) Attached to: Benoit Mandelbrot Dies At 85
Benoit Mandelbrot practically invented a new field of mathematics that we now use for everything from measuring the size of forests to identifying cancer in its early stages. He was the best of mathematicians.

Eight months ago he gave a ted talk describing his work. If you want to explore fractals for yourself, I recommend GNU XaoS for all platforms.

Comment: Re:Calculators (Score 1) 1268

by dln385 (#33241098) Attached to: US Students Struggle With Understanding of the 'Equal' Sign

I blame it on calculators where the evaluate button has "=" on it.

Exactly.

I once asked a young child who was smart in math what 4÷3 was. When he gave the answer 1.333, I said I would check it on my calculator. I punched 4/3 into my TI-89, hit =, and got 4/3 as an answer. The boy said that's not the answer and was confused that the calculator would say that. I argued that 4/3 did indeed equal 4/3, so it's a perfectly fine answer.

A calculator usually gives you an answer with a denominator of 1. For example, say a car is traveling 40 meters per 5 seconds. Enter 40/5 in a calculator, in it will tell you that it's traveling 8 meters per 1 second. It could have told you that it's traveling 80 meters per 10 seconds, and that answer would have been just as correct.

Knowing the calculator's logic is useful, because you can now enter "5 seconds / 40 meters" to know that the car is takes 0.125 seconds per 1 meter.

Comment: Dunning–Kruger effect (Score 1) 584

by dln385 (#31691816) Attached to: How Smart Are You?
This is a perfect example of the Dunning–Kruger effect: People tend to overestimate their own level of skill and fail to recognize genuine skill in others.

"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt." — Bertrand Russell

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyOHJa5Vj5Y

I for one answered "average."

Comment: Re:how does it compare to lightening? (Score 1) 464

by dln385 (#28765297) Attached to: US Agency Blocked Cellphone / Driving Safety Study

Meanwhile, every public pool has a policy of emptying everyone if thunder is heard. ... It's like people take all these precautions against the least likely dangers, while the more likely risks are ignored.

Being in or on the water in a thunder storm increases your chance of being injured or killed by lightning. When it strikes water, the current spreads out in all directions and dissipates within about 20 feet. And as the highest object on the water, you increase your risk. 13 percent of all lightning fatalities nationwide involve boats and water.

Still, the chance of injury or death is tiny. So why do people take all these precautions? The answer lies in just who these people are. If someone does get injured by lightning while swimming and the people who own or protect the beach or pool hadn't taken any precautions, they could be sued. So these people aren't taking precautions for your safety, they're taking precautions for their own good.

Sources: http://www.lightningsafety.com/nlsi_pls/indoor_pools.html http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/sd/annsum2005.pdf

Comment: Technology grows faster than our dictionary (Score 1) 586

by dln385 (#27572607) Attached to: What Do You Call People Who "Do HTML"?

For example, I wrote a free Gimp script for web design that helps create (what I call) a website window. I doubt it has an official name.

I would use these terms for those who create a website:
Front-End Web Developer (HTML/JavaScript)
Back-End Web Developer (server-side scripts)
Web Designer (graphics)

There is no opinion so absurd that some philosopher will not express it. -- Marcus Tullius Cicero, "Ad familiares"

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