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Comment: Re:can "do quantum mechanics" at school (Score 1) 71

by lachlan76 (#45178089) Attached to: Google Sparking Interest To Quantum Mechanics With <em>Minecraft</em>

One runs the experiment in the dark with a photographic film or movable photomultiplier behind the slits, allowing the observation of single photons. The density of the photons exhibits an interference pattern.

I've not done this experiment myself, but remember being told that it was possible using film during high school.

Comment: Re:The obvious reasons... (Score 1) 302

by lachlan76 (#44660817) Attached to: Obama Seeks New System For Rating Colleges

Small world---I'm a postgrad at Adelaide.

As far as I know, most Commonwealth countries will run their universities that way. If you spend time on other things, you get a separate degree. I studied EEE and pure maths, which turned it into a five-year degree as in the US. I was originally unsure as to whether you meant that or that the education was more practical than theoretical.

The need for residential accommodation in the US is always going to be there because of the population distribution. Things are a bit different here in that most of the population live in the capital cities; I've only known one person who has done an undergraduate degree outside of Adelaide.

Comment: Re:The obvious reasons... (Score 2) 302

by lachlan76 (#44653113) Attached to: Obama Seeks New System For Rating Colleges

A degree here is nominally three years, but honours requires an extra year and a substantial project, which most people take up (this might not be the case outside of maths). Engineering is always four years; essentially one has to do the same work whether or not they receive honours.

I can't speak for the trade-oriented claim, as I study in a research-heavy university. However, one isn't forced to take courses unrelated to their degree as in the US, which might be what you allude to. There isn't anything stopping you from spending an extra year to get a second degree mixed in, though.

Personally, I like the fact that our system is more egalitarian---unless one chooses to move interstate and so cannot live at home, cost is not a factor. The reality is that everyone puts the top universities in their state first, so the better universities can pick off the top students. But then again, in the US those at the very top will end up in a big university with large amounts of funding, so one might argue either way.

Comment: Re:What about a federal VAT on internet sales? (Score 1) 125

by lachlan76 (#44591649) Attached to: Amazon Forbids Crossing State Lines With Rented Textbooks
With the GST in Australia, you receive a tax credit for GST paid by your suppliers. Thus the "Value Added" part of the name---the business is only taxed on its portion of the product's value, coughing up 10% of the difference between what they bought their supplies for and what they sold their product for. In the end it all adds up to 10% of the total price.

No hardware designer should be allowed to produce any piece of hardware until three software guys have signed off for it. -- Andy Tanenbaum

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