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Comment: OP is wrong, as is the linked article (Score 1) 218

by jerel (#47672865) Attached to: How to Maintain Lab Safety While Making Viruses Deadlier
The title of the paper is "Circulating Avian Influenza Viruses Closely Related to the 1918 Virus Have Pandemic Potential" and only talks about CURRENTLY CIRCULATING viruses. I have not read the paper, only the abstract, but even the abstract indicates that all they are doing is studying the behavior of currently circulating viruses that are similar to the Spanish Flu of 1918. Sensationalizing a random paper is a great way to make headlines, but the truth will always out. In this case, the sooner the better. This is not to say we don't need to be careful and follow the suggestion to seriously review all "gain-of-function" virus research and don't do it if it can be avoided. But this article is quite flamboyant and inflammatory, probably just to draw attention to this risk. However, credibility has been sacrificed. Too bad.

Comment: Great. A new excuse for providers to raise prices. (Score 1) 77

by jerel (#47535557) Attached to: Compromise Struck On Cellphone Unlocking Bill
Everybody knows the technology and even the frequency spectrums in use by the various carriers is mostly all different. You watch. The carriers now will say that they have to raise prices or even completely do away with contract subsidies in order to be competitive. As "do-gooder" efforts go, this is up there. Sounds great on paper, but utterly fails in it's intended consequence and/or has worse unintended consequences.

Comment: No new FIOS installations (Score 1) 234

by jerel (#47504229) Attached to: Verizon Boosts FiOS Uploads To Match Downloads
I live just south of Santa Barbara and I finally weaseled it out of them that Verizon plans no new roll-outs of FIOS anywhere. If you don't have it "in your neighborhood" now, you'll never have it. The "last mile" problem proved too expensive to deal with. (That's the part where they run fiber to each home from the neighborhood "trunk".) I think this is why AT&T U-verse is still growing. They run fiber to a neighborhood and then use the existing copper for the last short run to the home. Definitely a compromise, but it's a helluva lot faster than DSL! Unfortunately, in my area, we don't even have that. Fastest connection I could get was from COX Cable. (DISH was still cheaper for my TV, btw, since we get zero OTA channels where I live.)

Comment: Re:I am a mamber of a free (Score 1) 87

by jerel (#47470241) Attached to: Amazon Is Testing a $10-Per-Month Ebook Service
See: I don't know how other libraries do it, but this is how ours handles it. Yes, there are limitations, but add up all of the subscriptions we are now being asked to fund every month. Everything is becoming a monthly fee, conveniently charged to your credit card or coming out of your bank account.

Comment: Fuel Cell Vehicles - Hype or Hope? A comparison. (Score 1) 659

by jerel (#47001765) Attached to: Future of Cars: Hydrogen Fuel Cells, Or Electric?
There is a great article in our local online newspaper written by a guy who is a consultant. He compares electric vs. hydrogen fuel cell technologies, and it turns out that it's way more ineffecient to create the hydrogen for the cars to turn into electricity than it is to just use the electricity as electric cars do now.

Comment: Yeah, but do you really WANT to eat the bottle? (Score 1) 171

by jerel (#46862435) Attached to: Designer Creates a Water Bottle That You Can Eat
Why? Another poster says it's not for humans to eat, but the article states that they don't taste like much but that the texture "is not something we're used to yet." Even if we can figure out a way to sterilize the bottle on the fly (because of course you would have to do that or else you end up with yet another container you have to dispose of somehow) would you really want to eat this thing? I mean, really, can they make it so delicious that you WANT to eat it? I seriously doubt it.

Comment: Amateur (Ham) Radio in the Internet Age (Score 1) 129

by jerel (#46666545) Attached to: Interview: Ask Bruce Perens What You Will
Even though the total number of licensed hams continues to rise, the prevailing view of those who are not part of the hobby is that it's a thing of the past. How do you see the Amateur (Ham) Radio evolving when there is so much attention on the Internet, cell phones etc.? (The go-to answer here is almost always emergency communications, and while that's important, that's not enough to keep people engaged in amateur radio as a hobby.)

Comment: Other Ways to Go Back to School (Score 1) 384

by jerel (#45958075) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Can I Improve My Memory For Study?
My wife went back to school in her 40's and got her Bachelor's degree, Master's degree, and began her PhD. The key was that she went to the (fully regionally accredited) Anthioch University campus in Santa Barbara, which (at the time, anyway) was geared 100% toward "adult learners" with at least 1-2 years of college credit already. (Note: It is an expensive private school, but if you want it bad enough and can get loans and/or scholarships, it's doable.) Their approach is different from that taken with freshly-minted high school graduates, acknowledging that most adults who return to school have a complex life built up during their years away from formal education, and are at a different place in their life than someone fresh out of high school. There are several things they do differently: class size is very limited; the "quarters" (or whatever) are only 10 weeks long and very intensive; you can opt for letter grades or pass/fail and you are evaluated entirely on class participation and the many MANY papers you must write for each class, usually including a final paper that demonstrates mastery of the material. Classes are scheduled in such a way to better accomodate the student's outside committments, such as family and work. Some students take all their classes on weekends, while others stack them all on one or two days a week, or evenings. Some students find that going back to school surrounded by others who are doing the same thing is more supportive of their efforts.

Bottom line to what I'm saying: Check out other ways of going to school. Distance learning can be a good option because there are several ways to make that work. Schools catering specifically to adults that are returning to school after an absence are another option.

Comment: My Aeropress Experience (Score 1) 76

by jerel (#45710245) Attached to: Interview: Ask Alan Adler About Flying Toys and the Perfect Cup of Coffee
As a credentialed geek who loves coffee, I of course purchased an Aeropress straight away upon hearing about it. I used it every day for about a month, experimenting with type of coffee, grind, water temperature, and pressure/amount of time pushing the water through. PROS: It's easy, and the coffee is good. No reason you can't make a delicious cup of coffee with this once you nail down the perfect combination of the above 4 things. CONS: (And this is the reason I stopped using it.) It uses a LOT of coffee to make one good cup of coffee, more than any other method. Your usage will just about double per cup over other methods. The other drawback for some is that it only makes one cup at a time and then you have to reheat the water while you clean it and refill it etc. for the next cup. My recommendation: If you've never tried a "mocha pot" stove-top espresso maker, give it a try. (They have electric ones too but they cost a lot more.) Of course the easiest and simplest to use and clean up is a simple cone filter over a carafe. Many people swear by the taste and simplicity of a French Press pot, but they are a little messy. Enjoy the journey!

An Ada exception is when a routine gets in trouble and says 'Beam me up, Scotty'.