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Comment: Re:Netbooks still have their uses... (Score 1) 354

by pdxdada (#38422550) Attached to: Dell Ditches Netbooks
I'm typing this on a MacBook running Ubuntu. I routinely type in a couple different languages, so a while ago I set it up so that when I press the apple key, my keyboard setup toggles between US, German and Russian, which is a lot faster than hitting (and having to remember) a bunch of key combinations. I'd be much obliged if anyone could tell me how to do this on OS X or Windows.

Comment: There, fixed it. (Score 1) 920

by pdxdada (#37902538) Attached to: The White House Responds To We the People Petition

What We Have to Say About Legalizing Alcohol

By: Gil Kerlikowske

When the President took office, he directed all of his policymakers to develop policies based on science and research, not ideology or politics. So our concern about alcohol is based on what the science tells us about the drug's effects.

According to scientists at the National Institutes of Health- the world's largest source of drug abuse research - alcohol use is associated with addiction, sleep disorders, increased risk for cancer, and motor vehicle accidents. We know from an array of treatment admission information and Federal data that alcohol use is a significant source for voluntary drug treatment admissions and visits to emergency rooms. Studies also reveal that binge drinking alcohol remains common on college campuses, raising serious concerns about what this means for public health – especially among young people who use the drug because research shows their brains continue to develop well into their 20's. Simply put, it is not a benign drug.

Like many, we are interested in the potential alcohol may have in lowering the risk of coronary heart disease for individuals. That is why we ardently support ongoing research into determining what components of alcohol can be used as medicine. To date, however, neither the FDA nor the Institute of Medicine have found alcohol consumption to meet the modern standard for safe or effective medicine for any condition.

As a former police chief, I recognize we are not going to arrest our way out of the problem. We also recognize that legalizing alcohol would not provide the answer to any of the health, social, youth education, criminal justice, and community quality of life challenges associated with drug use.

That is why the President's National Drug Control Strategy is balanced and comprehensive, emphasizing prevention and treatment while at the same time supporting innovative law enforcement efforts that protect public safety and disrupt the supply of drugs entering our communities. Preventing drug use is the most cost-effective way to reduce drug use and its consequences in America. And, as we've seen in our work through community coalitions across the country, this approach works in making communities healthier and safer. We're also focused on expanding access to drug treatment for addicts. Treatment works. In fact, millions of Americans are in successful recovery for drug and alcoholism today. And through our work with innovative drug courts across the Nation, we are improving our criminal justice system to divert non-violent offenders into treatment.

Our commitment to a balanced approach to drug control is real. This last fiscal year alone, the Federal Government spent over $10 billion on drug education and treatment programs compared to just over $9 billion on drug related law enforcement in the U.S.

Thank you for making your voice heard. I encourage you to take a moment to read about the President's approach to drug control to learn more.

Comment: Mr. Document meet Mr. Hack (Score 3, Informative) 117

by pdxdada (#27335807) Attached to: Khronos Launches Initiative For Standards-Based 3-D Web Content
If I remember my history, HTML started as a way to store linked information. Then it was badly hacked to be a way to poorly layout documents. Then java script was stapled onto it. Then the whole mess was turned into the kluge that is ajax. Now someone's trying to duct tape 3-D onto that.

I for one look forward to a day when the web is a more dynamic environment, where information is presented more fluidly instead relying on the old metaphor of static published pages, but I can't believe this is a sane way forward. It seems like instead of looking for a better way to present information they're just duct taping crap onto the same old model. Kind of like achieving flight by strapping a rocket motor to horse drawn carriage.

Comment: Highly unlilkely (Score 5, Insightful) 603

by pdxdada (#26198573) Attached to: EEStor Issued a Patent For Its Supercapacitor
Ok, I have not read tfa (in this case tfp), but I do know a bit about capacitors. Follow along with me here: You can calculate the energy stored in a capacitor (in Joules) by E = .5*CV^2 where C = capacitance (in Farads) and V = voltage, or
--> V = sqrt((2E)/C)
--> 3500 = sqrt((2*187992000)/52.22)
3500v is a lot. Up until now most comercially available supercapacitors do 5.5v or less and tend to leak energy over time. It's possilbe these guys have really made a stunning break through (the fact they filed for a patent is sure something), but the numbers set off my bullshit detector.
Education

+ - Learning a foreign language with open source? 1

Submitted by
pdxdada
pdxdada writes "I've been an English teacher for a number of years as well as a student of a number of languages. Over time I've acquired/created a lot of language learning materials I'd like to share. I'm planning to set up a not-for-profit website devoted to language acquisition featuring community created content/lessons and links to FOSS language learning software as well as (hopefully) a network of people willing to donate time for online lessons via voip or im. To start with I'd focus on English, German and Russian, but after that really it's whatever people want to add. Step one is of course finding out what's already out there, but perhaps my Google kung-fu isn't up to snuff as all I've been able to find are a few forums for language teachers and commercial websites. Does a website like this already exist? Does anyone have any ideas for how to start a project like this?"

"What man has done, man can aspire to do." -- Jerry Pournelle, about space flight

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