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Comment: Sure, you could use your phone, but (Score 2) 128

by indytx (#49037081) Attached to: Study: Smartphones Just As Good As Fitness Trackers For Counting Steps
Phones are inconvenient compared to a fitness tracker. First, I have to charge my phone daily, and my tracker can go at least a week. Second, I don't have to keep my phone in the bedroom. I suppose I'm just showing my age for not wanting my phone in my bedroom. My tracker can silently wake me up! I'd have to actually sleep with my phone for that. Finally, I don't like running or exercising with my phone. My tracker weighs so much less, and I don't have to worry about it getting sweaty. Phones can do so much, but sometimes you just want a device which does less.

Comment: Re:No. (Score 3, Interesting) 368

by indytx (#47870001) Attached to: Report: Microsoft To Buy Minecraft Studio For $2bn+

And suddenly the pieces begin to come together.

There was an article in I think Time not all that long ago, and the writeup made it sound as if notch had lost all of his drive and zeal. It sounded as if notch and the other owner were going through the motions and blowing through mountains of cash like some newly minted pop star flavor of the month with crazy expensive partying for the employees on the company dime. Seemed very dotcom.

Comment: Re:A heavy, complicated solution to a rare problem (Score 1) 235

by indytx (#47387809) Attached to: Radar Changing the Face of Cycling

There's some cool tech in this product, but it won't help with the most common bike collisions (#1 car pulls out in front of bike, #2 parked car door opens into bike).

Agreed. #1 is why I cut down on my biking. I would agree that bikes can be hard to see during the day, but most of the times I would commute would still be pitch dark in the morning with almost no one on the road. My bike is a rolling, blinking LED Christmas tree, and people STILL don't process it as a human being on a bicycle and pull out in front of me. Really scary. I decided that if people don't process the blinking object as a person, I was running the risk of being T-boned.

Comment: Re:Are they taking advice from law schools? (Score 2) 325

by indytx (#47185819) Attached to: Fixing the Humanities Ph.D.

I think what they are saying is - this won't stop being hyper-competitive. Most will not end up getting that tenured professorship. But a reasonable period in academia of 4 or 5 years for a PhD should be enough to differentiate candidates and put them on that track or not, instead of leading people along for 7+ years before flushing them. Put the rest out of their misery sooner so they can go do whatever they are going to end up doing in industry.

I'm not sure most people here understand how it works to get a Ph.D. in the humanities. For example, in history the years long effort to finish a Ph.D. program happens because it takes a long time to do original research and scholarship that contributes original scholarship to the field. A history grad student can finish her coursework fairly quickly and take comprehensive exams. I have known people who had read SO MUCH and remembered SO MUCH that they were probably ready for comps day one. It's the period after comps that is so difficult. We know of history grad students who get to A.B.D. (all but dissertation) and then can never finish. The rate of history grad students who are A.B.D. and never graduate is around 75%. If you have funding in the humanities for your coursework you're a superstar, but that still does not mean you will have the resourses to finish. Usually, you can't get what you need (i.e. primary source documents) where you live, so you have to travel, sometimes for months or years, to finish. Paraphrased quote from one professor regarding this time: it's time to dig deep into your trust fund.

Comment: Perjury? (Score 1) 296

I wonder if this was a policy hearing or an investigative hearing. If it was an investigative hearing he should have sworn an oath to tell the truth. If what he says is true, I am troubled that the director of national intelligence did not know of the data collection. I don't believe what he's now saying, but if it's true then WTF is going on? Otherwise, he lied to Congress and was caught. On a related note, why is intelligence policy being reviewed in a public committee? He should have just refused to answer on national security grounds.

Comment: Too Bad (Score 5, Interesting) 79

by indytx (#43262103) Attached to: Two Outside Bids For Dell Threaten Founder's Buyout Plan
I was actually fairly optimistic about Dell taking his company private in hopes that he could get away from the quarterly "How much did you make these last three months?" As I understood things, Michael Dell felt that Wall Street had crushed the life out of his company or its ability to innovate. Dell offered pretty good business products and services fifteen years ago (next-day warranty on-site repairs to BFE, Texas). Now it's just a target because of its cash on hand and the value of its financing business. Sigh. Of course, in the grand scheme of things, it's been so long since Dell made quality business computers, I find it hard to believe that quality would once again become important without firing everyone in management, and that almost never happens. Still, it would have been nice.

Comment: Re:Why in Texas? (Score 1) 134

by indytx (#42487187) Attached to: Brewing Saké in Texas for Fun and Profit (Video)

Why do they grow rice in Texas (a drought state)? There's always a big hubbub in Austin when the LCRA releases water to the south Texas rice farmers when we're in the middle of a drought. Don't grow rice in a desert!

Parts of Texas get 45-50 inches of rain a year. East Texas is lush and green. It's pretty shocking if your only exposure to Texas has been a television show about drug smuggling through West Texas a trip to the Hill Country (Austin).

Comment: Re:For those of us alive when this was launched, (Score 1) 271

by indytx (#42177721) Attached to: Voyager 1, So Close To Interstellar Space That We Can Taste It!

Maybe the public at large is more concerned about which husband/wife the latest Kardashian is on, but the age of the geeks is accelerating far faster than any it ever has, and it will continue to do so as long as there is the tiniest of means.

I think most people are tired of Hollywood stars, reality TV, and people famous for being famous. Mass market media is now a race to the bottom to keep the dwindling ignorant interested, and it was never very good at keeping the public informed about science and technology, and my guess would be that it's always been easier to have an "informed" interview with a Kardashian versus and informed interview of a scientist or engineer.

Comment: Re:Wow (Score 2) 165

by indytx (#41385041) Attached to: Sony Announces 'Superslim' PS3

Yes, they release a new model to prevent the old model falling under the magic US$200 price point. They've got to keep the price up somehow.

This exactly. How many people aren't in the market for a game system but would buy one if the price were right. There are probably quite a few people who don't want a Wii (which is now essentially priced at as an impulse buy) who wouldn't mind a PS3. Too bad they won't crank out the old systems for cheap.

According to all the latest reports, there was no truth in any of the earlier reports.