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Comment: At work, vs. at home (Score 1) 543

by qw0ntum (#32063288) Attached to: How Old Is the Oldest Computer You Regularly Use?

Well, in my research job we have a big networking testbed that has some PII 400's, probably from the late 90's. At home my oldest one is just a couple years old. The home router I was using until a couple weeks ago was also late 90's era (and thanks to FreeBSD had uptime limited only by the rate at which I've had to change dwellings, between dorms and apartments).

I suppose that's the next question/poll: what's the longest uptime of any machine you use on a regular basis? :)

Comment: Re:Market Share (Score 4, Informative) 295

by qw0ntum (#31576234) Attached to: Google's New Approach For China Is To Serve From Hong Kong

Right. Also remember that a large number of Chinese citizens are on the side of their government, hard to believe as that may be. The prevailing attitude seems to be "they should not do business here if they don't respect our local laws", and moreover many people there see Google as an extension of the US government's foreign policy (state media has played up ties between Googlers and the US government.

Surprising as it may seem, a large, large number (maybe majority, I don't have statistics) are perfectly fine with censorship, and are immensely proud of their country despite its flaws (nationalism strikes again!).

Comment: Need a job (Score 5, Interesting) 515

by methano (#31556854) Attached to: Of the options below, I'd most like to learn more ...
I've got a PhD in organic chemistry from a good school, 29 years experience, a pile of patents and publications and I'm having a tough time finding another job after my former company was acquired for our IP and dissolved. I know more chemistry than anyone seems to find useful. I chose physics because if I knew more, I'd also know more math and both would keep my mind whirling a bit more while I try to find something to do. Maybe it would help if I took up a new hobby. The only use for chemistry is being in charge of outsourcing the work to somewhere else where they almost do the same thing for 1/5 the cost.

Comment: Missing option: starting one (Score 2, Interesting) 596

by qw0ntum (#30551918) Attached to: In 2009, I've donated (or will donate) to charity ...

I helped start a community wireless network and computer training/donation program for a low-income community in my area; my group (UNC Technology Without Borders) even got some support from the Internet Society. See http://www.isoc.org/isoc/chapters/projects/awards.php?id=10, we're the North Carolina group.

If you're looking to make some more donations this year we could definitely use your support, especially if you had old (less than 5 yrs) computers or monitors you no longer need. twb@unc.edu

Comment: Re:Is NASA suffering from mission creep? (Score 1) 55

by qw0ntum (#30299302) Attached to: NASA Nebula, Cloud Computing In a Container
It's important to remember NASA consists of more than just Johnson and Kennedy (space centers). Each center focuses on certain areas that are important to NASA's overarching mission. Ames, actually, does a lot of computer science and software engineering research, so this makes sense to do here.

Additionally, NASA deals with a lot of data, for example from their earth-monitoring and climate science missions. There is a huge need for computing infrastructure, and a resource like this that can be shared across NASA centers is a great benefit to researchers across the agency.

Regarding sensitive information: the mindset at NASA (at least among the PHB's) is to be super paranoid about any possible data breaches. PR is extremely important to NASA, and if there were any major embarrassments due to data breach that could result in decreased funding, which as we all know is already incredibly tight. So, by providing services like this in-house, it's much easier for teams at other NASA centers to get access to the resources they need without jumping through hoops to get clearance. I will note that much of this feeling is a result of ITAR, so NASA's concerns are definitely well-grounded.

Comment: Surprised the results are so skewed (Score 1) 423

by qw0ntum (#30282530) Attached to: I know X people with diagnosed H1N1 flu, where X is:

I feel like almost everyone I know got it -- both my mom and brother had it (verified by tests) and it swept through my campus, affecting many of my classmates. I was amazed I didn't get sick, in fact, with so many people around me who had it. Even accounting for misdiagnosis (which is pretty hard -- the symptoms were pretty distinctive for most people I knew who had it).

I wonder how many other Slashdoters are on campuses or fall in the "young healthy immune system" category that H1N1 seems to affect most. I have to say that I was surprised it turned out to be as big of a deal as it was in my surroundings.

Comment: Re:you're wrong. (Score 2, Insightful) 406

by qw0ntum (#29818119) Attached to: Sequoia Voting Systems Source Code Released
This is a really interesting idea, and I can tell it is well thought out. However, I think it wouldn't work primarily because of its complexity. It's already bad enough for a lot of people to have to select multiple checkboxes in different categories for different elections ("do I select one for each council seat?" "can I vote for President and mayor?"). I think the act of voting can really be no more complicated than picking a box in order for people (even smart people) to not get confused.

"The only way for a reporter to look at a politician is down." -- H.L. Mencken

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