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Comment Re:Whatever happened to the do not call list? (Score 2) 251

For me the obvious sign that it's a scam call is...the caller ID is not in my contacts list. The cool with cell phones is you can set them to not ring if the caller isn't in your contacts. That doesn't work for everyone, but it works for me just fine. If it's a legit call, they'll leave a voicemail and I'll notice that within an hour or sooner.

Comment Re:I guess it's easier... (Score 3, Insightful) 425

Most people claim that BMI is inaccurate because...it's inaccurate. Professional athletes whose bodies are the epitome of fitness perfection are rated obese by BMI. The BMI was designed to determine the overall fitness level of a large group of people, like a nation. It was never meant to be used as an index for an individual level of fitness. It's used because it's a simple number that most people can understand, but human physiology is complicated. Most people are not smart enough to deal with the level of complexity, all the variables, to make intelligent decisions.

Comment I opted for cloud storage over cloud development (Score 2) 168

I've played with a bunch of them. Cloud9 was my favorite of them, but I ran into challenges when I wanted to play experiment with AngularJS. I ended up preferring to work with Brackets and pointing it at a Google Drive folder. Obviously, I'm not a professional developer. I just experiment, play, learn, and write a web app on occasion. Others in this thread will likely have better advice.

Comment Re: Reliability (Score 2) 163

Conventional lift systems also explode. It takes a fair amount of explosive power to put something into orbit, so the danger is ever-present. All payloads are insured as well. So given the choice, I'll go with the sub-million dollar launch.

The money, while significant, is not the greatest cost of an explosion. It's the time it takes to build a new satellite and get in on the next launch window. That could potentially force you to miss your opportunity in the marketplace.

First rule of government spending: why build just one when you can build two at three times the price?

Comment Re:What is "Remote Desktop Universal" (Score 4, Interesting) 125

I just read a forum talking about, and people are acting like they've never heard of RDP (or LogMeIn, or VNC or Hamachi from a decade ago). One guy stated something like, "imagine a photographer being able to edit the photos he just took by logging into his home PC and using Photoshop from his hotel room". I don't have to imagine that. I've done that...years upon years ago. I don't get it. I have a Microsoft-built RDP app on my Android phone. I have Chrome Remote Desktop too.

Comment Re:Also, see the A-10 (Score 3, Insightful) 290

Agreed 100%. There does not seem to be a leap in technology that warrants a replacement of these aircraft. The machines are workhorses, and the only thing that really needs to happen with them is to maybe make them more efficient when possible (lighter, more fuel efficient, etc).

For fighters, I think the F-16 and F-22 are well-regarded by their pilots; and the F-18 is beast on the Navy/Marine side.

The JSF looks like an expensive complicated mess of an aircraft. I don't really follow aircraft news, but my impression is that they are throwing dump trucks of money at it to get it to perform at levels at our below our current arsenal.

It would be nice if aircraft design and construction had a lot less to do with politics, job creation, and greasing palms; and a lot more to do with air superiority, capability, ease of maintenance, and cost.

Comment I do this for a living (Score 4, Funny) 117

There is a standard for transferring medical information between and within medical facilities called HL7, or Health Level 7. It's a fairly simple text protocol with fields designated for particular types of data separated by pipes ( | ). Those fields are sometimes then further divided. This standard is meant to ease the flow of data between disparate systems. Within a hospital you may have a radiology information system (RIS), an EHR or EMR, practice management software, scheduling software, PACS archive, lab software, interface engines, emergency department systems, and a whole host more. These are systems are made by niche companies you've never heard of, and large corporations that everyone's heard of. All of these systems need to talk to each other to some degree.

Here's the dirty little secret that makes my job more difficult...


Seriously. Here's how a call between me and a vendor might go (simplified):

Me: Where is the scheduled datetime?
Vendor: It's in field C.
Me: But that's where the observation datetime should be. So where's the obs time?
Vendor: Oh that's in field A.
Me: Field A is for completed datetime. So where that then?
Vendor: We put that in field B.
M: Are you messing with me?
Vendor: Uhhh...no?
Me: Grrr. Field B is where the scheduled datetime should be!!! Why is it built like this?
Vendor: Mmmm...not sure. I'll have to check with one of the engineers and get back to you.
Me: You may want to give them the HL7 specification while you're at it. It's published. Online. Freely accessible. You want the link?

It'd be like every web browser and web server all agreeing upon a standard markup language, HTML for instance; then each rolling their own version anyway. So Chrome looks for a HEAD tag, but IE calls it the TOP tag, Apache calls it the BEGIN tag, and IIS uses a FRONT tag. You may be thinking, well since IE and IIS are both from Microsoft they wouldn't do that. And my answer would be, you obviously haven't delved into the world of SharePoint.

Comment Phew! We all dodged a bullet! (Score 4, Funny) 157

Working in a disused tunnel with a couple of lasers and a few mirrors, a plucky band of physicists dreamed up a way to...

Do I have to recount all the sci-fi horror movies that started off exactly like this? We're lucky they didn't open a door to another dimension and allow an ancient demigod to come through to devour our world. If Ian Ziering or Dean Cain had been anywhere near that tunnel at the time, we'd all be in deep kimchi right now.

Comment Re:Sputnik? (Score 5, Insightful) 242

Agreed. I wasn't alive at the time, and I'm sure their was nationalistic pride that was lost to the Americans when we went to the moon; but the former Soviet Union had nothing to be ashamed about. Their aerospace chops were proven time and again. Sputnik, Gargarin, Tereshkova, Mir, Venera, etc., not to mention Sukhoi and Mig.

That was 45 years ago. Today, the U.S. has to beg for rides to the ISS. WE'RE the ones who should be humiliated.

Comment Re:Misguided move (Score 1) 40

Hero Lab did not work on Android at the time (I don't think it does now either. I had a brief dialogue with one of their team about the difficulties in handling offline synchronization). While in IT, I'm not a coder by profession, so I also used the opportunity to teach myself: AngularJS, Firebase, and jsPDF. It was a fun project that looks/works really well. My DM loves it, and he's difficult to impress with RPG supplements. I used it at the table at Origins and GenCon this past year on my Galaxy Note 3, and I was really glad I had built it.

It was probably more about teaching myself something, than it was about solving a particular problem.

Comment Re:Misguided move (Score 1) 40

This is a true. I tried coding a character builder for Pathfinder Society. It was all fine and dandy until you got into creating and undoing multi-classing. Then it all fell apart.

With D&D 5th ed, it was much easier. Although I went from a "character builder" to more of an online character sheet after WotC shut down http://www.pathguy.com/ddnext.htm/ for a short time, and allowed him to continue only in a limited fashion.

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The primary function of the design engineer is to make things difficult for the fabricator and impossible for the serviceman.