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Comment: Re:Different kind of change (Score 1) 140

by onionman (#34801006) Attached to: It's Surprisingly Hard To Notice When Moving Objects Change

hi jon, i'm one of the authors of the paper. just thought i'd answer your question about the refresh rate. we used laptop screens that ran at 60 Hz, but the demo works even if you keep the dots motionless and lift up the screen and rock it back and forth. (you can try this yourself if you download the video.) the demo also works on a CRT at 120 Hz. so yes, it the refresh rate was considered and controlled for, and it doesn't seem to matter much. the motion in the youtube and vimeo videos are a bit jerky because they were converted to 30 fps.

Mod this up!!!

Hey Moderators, we have an actual author of one of the discussed stories replying to a direct question in a thread. I think this merits some "+1 Informative" points.

Comment: Re:Mathematician's rank contradicts the old joke: (Score 1) 337

by onionman (#34800752) Attached to: Study Says Software Engineers Have the Best US Jobs

Unemployment among mathematicians is very, very low.

But that's because there are very few people who class themselves as mathematicians.

Most of them are doing something else for a living.

Including flipping burgers, etc...

Now, if the study was done based on what your degree was in, or on what you believe you are qualified to do but aren't necessarily doing...

Most, but certainly not all, jobs that are labeled as "Mathematician" require a Ph.D. So, that might be biasing the results quite a bit.

Most of the folks I know who only have an undergraduate degree in Mathematics and are working in industry are... lets see... oh yeah, they are Actuaries, and hmm... Software Engineers.

Comment: Re:Maybe it's a bad idea to have a "smart grid" (Score 1) 97

by onionman (#34769252) Attached to: Securing the Smart Grid

My primary concern is that most of the components for the U.S. "smart grid" are going to be manufactured overseas in countries which we (the U.S.) might have a conflict with in the next several decades. This will give potential adversaries ample opportunities to install backdoors and logic bombs in the components to bring down critical infrastructure in the event of a conflict. Without better control over the supply chain, I fail to see how the "smart grid" could ever be secure.

Even the lowly residential meter needs to be secured since the generator controllers will be relying on information from those meters (I can imagine a scenario where several million residential meters simultaneous switch on or off causing havoc with the transmission network). Certainly the large industrial systems, generating facilities, and power routing stations should have high levels of security. That level of security isn't possible when you're purchasing all of your components overseas.

Comment: Re:News Flash: Scientists Human Too, Study Finds (Score 5, Interesting) 453

by onionman (#34737816) Attached to: Why Published Research Findings Are Often False

After years of speculation, the a study has revealed that scientists are, in fact, human. The poor wages, long hours, and relative obscurity that most scientists dwell in has apparently caused widespread errors, making them almost pathetically human and just like every other working schmuck out there...

I'll add another cause to the list. The "publish or perish" mentality encourages researchers to rush work to print often before they are sure of it themselves. The annual review and tenure process at most mid-level research universities rewards a long list of marginal publications much more than a single good publication.

Personally, I feel that many researchers publish far too many papers with each one being an epsilon improvement on the previous. I would rather they wait and produce one good well-written paper rather than a string of ten sequential papers. In fact, I find that the sequential approach yields nearly unreadable papers after the second or third one because they assume everything that is in the previous papers. Of course, I was guilty of that myself because if you wait to produce a single good paper, then you'll lose your job or get denied tenure or promotion. So, I'm just complaining without being able to offer a good solution.

Comment: Re:#11: Meaningful error messages (Score 2) 246

by onionman (#34655836) Attached to: 10 Dos and Don'ts To Make Sysadmins' Lives Easier

Please do not bother us with your petty problems and See Figure 1...

I couldn't help but notice that the last line of the linked article was, "Love VMS or leave it, but don't complain."

I guess we all got tired of being told to see Figure 1 and just left VMS... I haven't logged into a VMS machine in over 15 years.

Comment: Re:How long will IPv6 last? (Score 1) 406

by onionman (#34624380) Attached to: Military Pressuring Vendors On IPv6

I'm afraid that IP addresses are a very real part of working on networks today, and making them relatively easy to remember is pretty important. Mixing numbers and letters together in hexadecimal (a numbering system humans don't use) was something cobbled together by some tit who had no idea about the practicalities of maintaining a network.

The base in which you choose to represent the number is not really relevant. The computer is storing it all in binary anyway. You can write your applications to accept them in decimal if you wish, and let the computer convert them to binary. The reason that the standard is hexadecimal is because it is much quicker to convert from hex to binary in your head than from decimal to binary.

The binary representation allows you to see the network topology (and hence the routing rules) much more quickly. There's a reason that 255 shows up so often in IPv4 address, it's 0xff which is eight ones in binary, and when used as a mask it selects all the bits in the octet. Similarly, something like 248 is 0xf8 which is 11111000 in binary, which makes it much easier to see how the subnet routing is set up.

The philosophy of using hex is that hex is what networking experts would prefer to work in. So, give them hex addresses, and let the standard users just use DHCP-like services and never worry about IP addresses.

Comment: Re:These documents should not be released. (Score 1) 870

by onionman (#34369072) Attached to: WikiLeaks Under Denial of Service Attack

Well, I disagree with your view on Wikileaks...

Actually, I don't have a problem with Wikileaks. They are very clear about what they stand for, and there is a very great need in the world for an organization such as Wikileaks. My issue is with Pfc Manning.

But, I certainly agree with the rest of your post. Far too many people are just using a substitute for the "-1, I disagree" mod (which is missing for a reason). Some sort of meta-modding would be nice.

Comment: Re:These documents should not be released. (Score 1, Insightful) 870

by onionman (#34366474) Attached to: WikiLeaks Under Denial of Service Attack

Bradley Manning, the disgruntled private who was demoted from the rank of Sergeant prior to leaking this information, should be given the harshest penalty possible (excessive prison sentence) for the sole purpose of discouraging this type of behavior in the future. An honest whistle-blower who reveals true wrongdoing will lose their job when found out, but they won't be prosecuted for releasing the information. However, deciding to release all classified information you can get your hands on is not whistle-blowing. It is nothing short of displaying a reckless disregard for any consequences.

I agree completely, and I hope your post gets modded up to make this discussion more visible. What Pfc Manning did was not whistle-blowing; it was a vindictive response to his own demotion. He took it upon himself to endanger numerous people just to satisfy his own ego, and he probably didn't think through the full ramifications of his actions.

Comment: Re:Black and White (Score 1) 252

by onionman (#34360322) Attached to: X-37B Secret Space Plane To Land Soon

I wonder if there is some subtle psychological reasoning behind painting the NASA X-34 white and the military X-37B a shining Darth Vader helmet black....

At first I thought, "oh, to make it harder to see with a telescope," but then I RTFA and noticed that amateur astronomers have been tracking the thing in orbit, so I guess the paint job is just to make it look cool. Really, though, if I were in charge of a super secret space plane, I'd want it to look cool, too.

Comment: Re:My sympathy for you (Score 1) 200

by onionman (#34354524) Attached to: What Software Specification Tools Do You Use?

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
Working software over comprehensive documentation
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
Responding to change over following a plan

That would be Level 1 of the CMMI model. That's arguable the model where most development actually occurs. My guess is that the GP is in an industry like medical devices, aerospace, or defense where the contracts require all the documentation and "process management" of Level 5.

The number of arguments is unimportant unless some of them are correct. -- Ralph Hartley

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