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Comment: Re:But is this REALLY copyright infringement? (Score 1) 208

by elthicko (#28920981) Attached to: Students Settle With TurnItIn In Copyright Case

That's just lazy

Agreed, there is no question it is lazy. And please don't get me wrong, I don't condone the practice. I am just pointing out there are times in which this 'opportunity' presents itself and it's not really the fault of the professor.

... misses the whole point of getting a proper education

From experience I know that many can receive top marks on resubmitted work. You are either already at a very high standard, and thus it is arguable if the effort of writing another extremely similar paper (which could be spent elsewhere) would be worth the educational benefit, or standards are not high enough.

at least a bit...

Problem is, you probably need a substantially different paper to avoid plagiarism of your own work, not just a bit different.

Comment: Re:But is this REALLY copyright infringement? (Score 1) 208

by elthicko (#28919053) Attached to: Students Settle With TurnItIn In Copyright Case
While I agree that courses can sometimes be frustratingly similar, there are legitimate times where the situation of one paper being valid for another course will come up. For example, in earlier years in University, one will typically take courses on general topics (e.g. 16th Century Literature). In that class you may decide to write a paper on Shakespeare. Then a year or two later you may find yourself in a course focusing just on Shakespeare. Depending on how you wrote your first paper, you may be able to hand in the same paper again at some point during this course.

Comment: Re:Not impressed with any mechanical arms (Score 5, Informative) 46

by elthicko (#27710109) Attached to: Improving the Abilities of Bionic Arm Patients
We may not fully understand the complex calculations going on in the brain, but we do know that for motor control basically an electrical signal propagates down an axon which connects to a muscle. Once the electrical signal reaches the end there is a chemical reaction which triggers the muscle contraction. There are usually multiple axons connecting to a muscle (the amount active controlling the amount of contraction). So if you take the ends of these axons connecting to residual muscle from the amputated limb and measure the electrical signal you can determine whether the brain is trying to activate that muscle or not. Then you have an algorithm controlling your prosthesis to turn on a motor instead of a muscle.

Comment: Re:Oh they'll crash all right (Score 5, Funny) 1316

by elthicko (#27203665) Attached to: Narcissistic College Graduates In the Workplace?
As a recent engineering grad, I can attest that I wasn't exactly impressed by the typical duties of most of the positions I was interviewing for. I always pictured myself doing more R&D and design with my engineering degree, but that wasn't really what I was seeing out there. I've since decided to change my career path a bit go to grad school. After I finish I expect I will try to work as a technology entrepreneur or a professor at a university.

Comment: Re:Energy density (Score 1) 198

by elthicko (#27131537) Attached to: Human Exoskeletons Getting Closer
Muscle is actually relatively inefficient compared to modern engineering. I think muscle only converts energy into work at an efficiency of about 0.3 after millions of years of evolution, while motors can be around 95% efficient. The difference is that the body can store and generate a lot more energy than a battery can.

Comment: Re:HUMANS: - (Score 1) 249

by elthicko (#26687477) Attached to: Extinct Pyrenean Ibex Cloned
However, if you were to commercially raise rare animals, it would inevitably lead to devaluation of the animal/product. Many people hunt and desire these animals simply because they are rare, not because of something that they necessarily need from it (as is the case with domestic cows which we need for dietary reasons).

So.. you domesticate some rare animal, no one wants it anymore, you stop domesticating, it becomes rare again, people hunt it.

An inclined plane is a slope up. -- Willard Espy, "An Almanac of Words at Play"