Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Choices. (Score 1) 416

by gnu-sucks (#48607075) Attached to: MIT Removes Online Physics Lectures and Courses By Walter Lewin

But here's the thing, is telling a student that she has now lost her "physics virginity" (a common expression he used) harassment? Is this his "sex life"?

You have jumped to the conclusion that what he did must be horrible without knowing what he did. We (the public) don't even know the context other than that a female student complained about an email and he was fired.

I agree with your points, but I think you should consider that he may not have had a non-exemplary "sex life". He might have just been a grumpy old guy using phrases that a modern PC crowd can't handle.

Just consider it.

Comment: Re:Choices. (Score 1) 416

by gnu-sucks (#48607055) Attached to: MIT Removes Online Physics Lectures and Courses By Walter Lewin

Maybe though, in the case of this professor, the judgement of his school that an email he sent constituted harassment... MAYBE it is worth your time to consider the facts (which are unreleased at this time) before you condemn him in the court of popular opinion.

With Cosby, enough people have come forth with pretty vivid and detailed accounts of what took place. Every single one of them sounds horrible and their accounts are so detailed it seems they are likely true. So I am willing to believe that he probably did these things.

With this professor, all we have is an opinion from some probably overly-PC college management types. We don't know what he did, and I bet the accusing student will never tell.

I for one will wait for the evidence and judge a scientist using the scientific method, not a tabloid.

Comment: Re:Spreadsheets? (Score 1) 567

by gnu-sucks (#48578403) Attached to: The Case For Flipping Your Monitor From Landscape to Portrait

I have two apple 30-inch displays (the anti-glare type) on my linux box. I can easily see four or five "pages" of text all at once, either looking at separate documents or one doc showing several pages at the same time.

For spreadsheets, it's amazing how much I can see at once. I guess if I needed a LOT more rows I could go portrait. Right now on one monitor I can see rows 1 through 81, and columns A through AB (at 100% zoom). If I stretch it all the way across both screens, I can see to column BE.

So... yeah I guess if rows were more important I could effective reverse the situation and stack two monitors vertically, each in portrait mode!

Comment: Re:what these alleged emails really contained (Score 2) 416

by gnu-sucks (#48575529) Attached to: MIT Removes Online Physics Lectures and Courses By Walter Lewin

In my experience, the most vocal student complainers are the ones that are failing courses and not doing homework.

"He's so difficult, he makes us show our work."

That kind of thing. And they are, always, the most sensitive to teacher comments.

So combine the three together: A PC-culture with zero-tolerance policies, a wild out-there-awesome "round peg in a square hole" professor, and a lazy complaining student.

Getting back to your point, "enough for the student to formally complain" doesn't mean shit unless a large amount of students are complaining that he isn't doing his job.

Comment: Here's to the Crazy Ones (Score 2) 416

by gnu-sucks (#48575453) Attached to: MIT Removes Online Physics Lectures and Courses By Walter Lewin


Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

Comment: What an amazing professor (Score 2) 416

by gnu-sucks (#48574965) Attached to: MIT Removes Online Physics Lectures and Courses By Walter Lewin

I wish I had more professors like this guy. Just watching him demonstrate physics and talk about how wonderful it is to inspire a student, and how he knows most will forget the thousands of physics equations they learn, but that is not the important part.

We need more professors like Lewin. May this video inspire the teacher in you to appreciate inspiration. And to the physics teachers out there that cannot allow an outside thought or a moment of tactile examples, shame on you!

Of course, people like him do not fit the mold and are bound to be kicked around by society. I am very curious what these alleged emails really contained. Was it merely something not quite PC enough for today's crowd, or was it something truly grotesque and thus damning and beyond recovery?

Comment: Re:bad idea (Score 1) 57

Well... if you don't have much to talk about I guess you can't complain about not having many folks to talk to.

But seriously, I find it nice to talk on simplex on the way to and from work. It's a good time for a conversation that is confined to a fixed length of time. With the family, my son and I have Baofeng UV-5rs that are very fun.

Comment: Re:bad idea (Score 1) 57

Not sure where you live, but here in LA there is a fair amount of activity on 146.52, and plenty of activity on the local repeaters. Same goes for the 440 repeaters, there's always someone talking it up.

I would say if you find the amount of traffic disappointing, get up the nerve to call CQ, and make a point out of doing every time you are in the car at least a few times. Stir up the traffic! Tune in to your local repeaters and just ask if anyone is monitoring. There should at least be a control op on each one.

And if you want to see bands packed full of people, get a 20 meter SSB transceiver and a monoband antenna and you will work world-wide DX from your car pretty much whenever you like.

Comment: Re:bad idea (Score 5, Interesting) 57

Why does emergency communication need to be encrypted? If you place yourself in a situation where ham radio would really save the day, the last thing you would want is *less* compatibility with other stations and agencies.

All this will do is allow commercial users to encroach onto the ham bands unnoticed because illegal encrypted traffic is indistinguishable from legal encrypted traffic.

I think it's already questionable why local police departments would use encrypted P25. If the last few months of newsworthy police activity are any hint, we need more opportunities to observe law enforcement, not fewer.

Why the heck does an ambulance need to use ham radio frequencies? Why would they need it encrypted? This argument is simply nonsense. If its an emergency, sorry, loose some privacy in place of saving your life. Hams have enough trouble setting up a PL on a radio, can you imagine them trying to coordinate encryption over the air? In emergency situations, communications networks like ham radio work because they are SIMPLE. They can spring up spontaneously out of nowhere and don't require anything more than a radio, antenna, and battery. This is why ham radio has been helpful in times of emergencies when complex cellular and digital trunking systems fail. There is an elegance to the simplicity of analog.

And if the DOD needs to transmit encrypted information using a ham radio, then can't they just do it anyway?

Furthermore, digital communication does not "need" to be encrypted as some posters here have stated. The protocol needs to be documented and standardized. Encryption doesn't help. Error correction does though, and these are totally different things. WiFi, for example, does not *need* to be encrypted.

: is not an identifier