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Comment: Stenography for CODING? LOL! (Score 3, Insightful) 109

by jeffb (2.718) (#47657811) Attached to: Type 225 Words per Minute with a Stenographic Keyboard (Video)

Take a quick look at the Wikipedia entry for stenotype to see why using a stenographic keyboard for coding is such a laughable idea.

Stenography relies heavily on a highly-trained stenographer to do the recording, and on a similarly highly-trained individual to turn the record into recognizable English. Trying to use that for writing code, where you don't have the redundancy and patterns of English, is a bit like trying to use Swype to transcribe telephone numbers. Wrong tool for the task, period.

Comment: Re:Anecdotal (Score 1) 227

by jeffb (2.718) (#47647315) Attached to: About Half of Kids' Learning Ability Is In Their DNA

Interesting, and thanks for posting this.

Apologies for the uninteresting followup, posted to remove an accidental down-moderation. I suppose it would be too much to hope that the next version of Slashdot will not let you mis-moderate simply by releasing the mouse when it's one pixel off from the intended target.

Comment: Municipal fiber? You poor victims. (Score 5, Funny) 98

by jeffb (2.718) (#47638231) Attached to: For Fast Internet in the US, Virginia Tops the Charts

Fortunately, we here in your neighboring Free State of North Carolina elected a legislature that was willing to protect us from the predatory pricing of municipal broadband.

Well, we elected them, but the big telephone and cable companies did provide a little financial incentive to help keep them honest, as it were.

Comment: Oh, for... (Score 4, Funny) 637

by jeffb (2.718) (#47615765) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: "Real" Computer Scientists vs. Modern Curriculum?

Well, in MY opinion, CS students who learned in C or C++ or Pascal or PL/1 are inferior because they use the stack as a crutch, instead of manually keeping track of callback history. If you don't have to write explicit code to keep track of every call, or allocate every local variable, your code will... well, actually, it'll likely be easier to read, easier to maintain, and easier to optimize. But it won't be as good as the code we had to write back in my day.

Comment: Re:Funny (Score 2) 135

by jeffb (2.718) (#47588697) Attached to: Cell Phone Unlocking Is Legal -- For Now

Yep, it must be terrible to live in a land where Big Government can high-handedly and arbitrarily restrict the Freedoms of large corporations. It's a shame that the serfs living under such repressive regimes don't have skilled and benevolent lobbyists to help them rise up and throw off their shackles.

At least, that's what the corporate news outlets here in the US are leading us to believe.

Comment: Re:Have you seen Gedit lately? (Score 1) 402

by jeffb (2.718) (#47587145) Attached to: Comparison: Linux Text Editors

Yup. Usable once you surmount the learning curve, and ergonomic.

I had wrist problems occasionally when I was using keyboard-only UIs, but all I ever had to do was rearrange keyboard and chair to the right positions. (Okay, WordStar on a TRS-80 Mod I was killing me, until I hacked in foot-pedals to use for Shift and up-arrow, er, Control). "Modern" pretty-much-need-the-mouse IDEs pained me enough that I went to a Fingerworks Touchstream keyboard for a number of years, even though it slowed my typing by almost half.

Comment: Flying a TECHNOLOGY DEMO? WTH? (Score 1) 109

by jeffb (2.718) (#47582539) Attached to: NASA Announces Mars 2020 Rover Payload

I'm just about the spaciest space-nutter around, but why the hell are they spending precious money and opportunity to fly a freaking demonstration instead of another actual observational tool?

Look, we know the composition of Mars' atmosphere. We know how much sunlight falls there, what the temperature range is, and so on. It's dead simple to set up a testbed here on Earth, in a jar, and run the oxygen-production process in the testbed. Better yet, you get to measure its output, tweak its operating parameters, and even do an autopsy on it if something goes wrong.

The only thing I can see us getting out of "make oxygen just like we did before, but ON MARS" is PR, and I don't really see the PR upside. All the science packages that were accepted, and a lot of them that didn't make the cut, would've given us new knowledge about the planet. Why in either world are we sending this package instead?

Comment: Re:interesting split developing (Score 1) 24

I had been wondering about this. A FOAF was a curator at a museum on the West Coast, and when I talked to him about the idea of online displays, he was completely dismissive -- it seemed like anything other than "Maximum Lockdown" didn't even register with him. Then again, this was probably 15 years ago. Was Maximum Lockdown the usual stance before the Internet explosion, or do all three approaches have a well-established history?

Comment: I wouldn't keep the hardware intact. (Score 1) 113

by jeffb (2.718) (#47552221) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Preparing an Android Tablet For Resale?

If you really want to sell it for parts, disassemble it and destroy the main circuit board, or at least grind or pry off the chips with nonvolatile storage.

Any general treatment (heat, overvoltage, etc.) will surely destroy the rest of the phone before you can be sure it's cleared the nonvolatile storage.

Comment: I'm worried about a hurdle nobody's mentioned. (Score 1) 119

It makes perfect sense to use lithium metal as an anode, as a way to minimize weight and maximize specific energy.

The problem is, it's an alkali metal, useful in a number of chemical processes -- including processes used to make meth. And so far, regulators in the US (and many other areas) have demonstrated that they'll do whatever they can to Fight the Meth Menace, no matter how much collateral damage they cause to industries, economies, and human well-being.

What kind of ridiculous regulations do you think they'll try to impose on devices that contain a multi-kilogram slab of Widely-Known Drug Precursor? Will we get cars that would have 500-mile range, but for the extra 500 pounds and two kilowatts of DEA/HSA-mandated security shielding and monitoring around the battery pack?

"Your attitude determines your attitude." -- Zig Ziglar, self-improvement doofus

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