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Comment: Re:Faithful (Score 5, Informative) 283

by jIyajbe (#45217293) Attached to: 5-Year Mission Continues After 45-Year Hiatus

Baseline: I am a trekker; I really, really like all of Star Trek, old and new.

For all that it was the genesis of all things Trek, TOS is terribly painful to watch these days. Not an auspicious starting point for a fan-made series.

What's funny is that they managed to write a story that was the same quality as most of TOS stories--mostly low; the actors reproduced the acting "skills" of the originals (especially Kirk! Wow!); and it was just as cheesy as the original show. I fully expected it to be hard to watch.

But it wasn't! It was a labor of love, but they managed to go above that, and actually make an enjoyable episode, one that can hold its head up with the all but the best TOS episodes.

Hats off to them all, and I think I'll open my wallet.

Comment: Re:Apple OS Upgrade Expectations (OSX & iOS) (Score 1) 488

by jIyajbe (#44915975) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is iOS 7 Slow?

I hate to be Captain Obvious here, but isn't it true in general that the more advanced the operating system, the better (newer) the hardware it needs to run well? Nobody who values their time or sanity tries to run Windows 7 on a Pentium Pro computer.

So yeah, older iPhones will run the new iOS more slowly than they ran the older iOS.

Comment: Re:No thanks (Score 1) 128

by jIyajbe (#42599677) Attached to: Facebook Announces Social Search Tools

With respect, if you think Google+ is moribund, then you haven't looked at it lately, or you haven't looked at it deeply enough. Among the active G+ members are the Large Hadron Collider (they hold live Q&A sessions on G+ frequently), MIT, American Physical Society, Cmdr. Chris Hadfield (commander of the International Space Station), Wil Wheaton...Active communities include a Python community, Android, IOS, Science, Physics, Social Science, Medical...Popular culture communities include Doctor Who, Star Trek, Red Dwarf...The list is very, very long.

In short, go check it out.

(I read somewhere, probably on Slashdot, that "Twitter is for following people you don't know; Facebook is for following people you used to know; Google+ is for following people you should know.")

Comment: Changed Your Opinion? (Score 1) 2987

by jIyajbe (#42290549) Attached to: 27 Reported Killed In Connecticut Elementary School Shooting

I have a question for the Slashdot community: Does this shooting alter your opinion on the issue of gun ownership rights vs. gun control laws? Even a little, in either direction?

Please note: My question is NOT, what is your opinion now; rather, it is, how much did your opinion CHANGE?

We have a large enough community here that I think the numbers will be statistically meaningful.

Thanks, all.

Comment: Observing, Not Avoiding (Score 4, Interesting) 210

by jIyajbe (#41546099) Attached to: Quantum Measurements Leave Schrödinger's Cat Alive

From the abstract:

"The act of measurement bridges the quantum and classical worlds by projecting a superposition of possible states into a single (probabilistic) outcome. The timescale of this 'instantaneous'process can be stretched using weak measurements usuch that it takes the form of a gradual random walk towards a final state. Remarkably, the interim measurement record is sufficient to continuously track and steer the quantum state using feedback..."

The way I read this, they aren't claiming they prevented collapse, nor that they can predict which state it will collapse to; rather, they have (1) increased the time of the collapse of the wave function (via feedback) and (2) been able to "watch" the electron collapse to whichever state it goes to. [N.B.: I am totally open to correction. I haven't paid the $32 for a copy of the paper.]

So, no Heisenberg compensator here.

Comment: Impedance Mismatch (Score 1) 474

by jIyajbe (#41503513) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Hacking Urban Noise?

You need to install a multi-layer object made of two (or more) materials that transmit sound waves by very different amounts; this is known as an impedance mismatch. It Can Be Shown that the incident sound waves will be strongly reflected at the mismatched boundary. In this context, double-paned windows (thus layers of glass and air) will provide the mismatch you need.

And, as another poster mentioned, this will provide good thermal insulation, as a bonus.

Comment: Re:Overblown fears (Score 1) 846

by jIyajbe (#40779673) Attached to: The World's First 3D-Printed Gun

Are you really this naive about technology? In five years, 3-d printers will be sold at Wal-Mart; in six years, printable plastics capable of withstanding the explosive forces involved will be sold one of your "myriad websites". Then, everyone will be able to print out as many COMPLETE guns as they want, in one-tenth the time it would take to mill just the lower receiver.

(Not to mention that having access to milling equipment is one thing; having sufficient skill to use it to make a gun part that won't explode the first time you fire the gun is quite another. But 3-d printing a perfect gun will be as simple as pressing Ctrl-P.

Comment: I've Taught Them Physics for 15 years (Score 1) 265

by jIyajbe (#40434383) Attached to: Teaching Natural Sciences To Social Science Students?

I've been teaching freshman-level physics, both algebra and calculus based, for about 15 years. My take (warning: generalities and averages ahead):

Coming into the class, the algebra students absolutely do not care about the theory of the subject. They do not see the beauty of the subject the way that you and I do, or that (to a lesser extend) the calculus-based students do. They have two goals: 1) They want to pass the class, because it is required for their major; and 2) they want to learn the material as a collection of hopefully useful information for their future careers.

Thus, if you can make the information you are presenting be (or appear to be) relevant to them, they will be more engaged with you, and with the class. I don't know what the statistics equivalent of kicking a ball off a cliff and calculating how far from the base of the cliff the ball lands, but whatever it is, I urge you to avoid that at all costs. Find some other topic, or example, that will matter to them. If you present the material intending for them to admire the beauty of the subject, entirely for itself, you will have a room full of bored and sullen (and underperforming) students.

This is NOT to say that these students are less good than the students who take the calculus-based courses; in my experience, they are just as strong academically and intellectually--and in many cases better. They just (again, on average) have very different motivations for taking any particular math or science class.

(If you are lucky, you may get one of them to change majors to a natural science. It's happened to me a few times--a really great feeling!)

Good luck!

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve immortality through not dying. -- Woody Allen

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