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Comment: double fine (Score 1) 286

by rish87 (#42292953) Attached to: Baltimore Issued Speed Camera Ticket To Motionless Car
My mother was driving through baltimore a few years back. A couple weeks later a red light camera ticket came in the mail. My parents paid it, only to have it show up again in their mailbox. At first they were really mad that the city screwed up and sent multiple tickets, even though the first payment went through....then they realized the timestamp was about 10 minutes later than the first. Yep, my mother accidentally ran the same stoplight twice in a row because she was lost...

Comment: Re:I went with XFCE (Score 4, Insightful) 101

by rish87 (#39415475) Attached to: Tom's Hardware Tests and Reviews Fedora 16 and Gnome 3
Same here, I went with XFCE years ago and haven't looked back. It's not that I am opposed to new directions in UI development, I've just never felt Unity/Gnome Shell offered anything useful. For someone who spends most of their time in linux with a maximized terminal and screen session, when I DO have to interact with the desktop, I want it to be as small and light as possible. I know there are lighter environments, but XFCE is a good blend of efficiency and usefulness IMO.

Comment: Re:would be interesting to mine their data (Score 2) 61

by rish87 (#39332187) Attached to: Gamers Outdo Computers At DNA Sequence Alignments
I agree 100% with the sentiment of figuring out how the players make the decisions and use it as new heuristics. The MSA problem isn't that computers cannot get the optimal solution, the problem is doing it quickly. Given enough time, a computer will always outdo or match a human. What needs to be done is improve the existing computational algorithms with heuristics learned from these players. Then we have much better results at a much faster rate.

Comment: Re:does it even matter?! (Score 1) 1055

by rish87 (#38732302) Attached to: Is Climate Change the New Evolution?
The problem, however, is that even if CO2 isn't affecting climate, that as I stated, there are still repercussions of burning up so much of a non-renewable resource. My point is that the problem isn't as simple as "global warming" or "climate change". They are symptoms of a much broader problem of over-consumption. If we don't actively work to reduce CO2 emissions, it won't matter if we are affecting the climate or not when modern civilization grinds to a halt as fossil fuels start to deplete and we don't already have viable alternatives in place.

Comment: does it even matter?! (Score 5, Insightful) 1055

by rish87 (#38731314) Attached to: Is Climate Change the New Evolution?
What bothers me most about the controversy over climate change, is even if it turns out human actions don't actually have a significant impact on climate, we damn well know we affect the environment. We also know fossil fuels won't last us forever and acquiring them is becoming increasingly volatile due to who does and does not have access to their source. So sure, we should be cautious and treat climate science as we would any other science where we need a critical eye, but we need to be taking the same actions regardless of the conclusions (due to our knowledge of other affects). How is reducing pollution and non-renewable resource consumption a bad thing? Who the hell honestly thinks unregulated energy consumption and dumping of various emissions is okay?

Comment: agree and disagree (Score 3, Interesting) 212

by rish87 (#38578008) Attached to: When Getting Rid of College Lectures Makes Sense
Personally I hated a lot of "alternative" teaching methods some of my professors tried during my undegrad years. Small "group work" was the most painful, useless time wasting exercise in my academic life. These "peer learning sessions" usually consisted of the smart students doing everything while the dumb or just slower kids sat there. It was times like these when I wondered why I was paying $20k a year to teach myself and have useless students piggyback off my grades.

That being said, I had a lot of equally frustrating classes where the professor did the exact opposite and taught in the classical face-to-blackboard lecture style. I would sit there frantically copying notes for an hour and realize I had no idea what I just listened to, again wondering why I was paying $20k a year to read condensed notes taken directly from a textbook.

The best classes, however, were a mix of these techniques. One class would dedicate about 1/2 to 3/4 of each lecture to slow, explanatory and engaging lecture with the rest of the time being dedicated to class-wide example problem solving. Another class would dedicate an entire lecture or two each week to solving a number of representative problems from the homework as a class, introducing or reinforcing the thought processes needed to go about learning HOW to solve the problems. These professors took the time to engage the students and walk them through the problem solving, not just quickly write down decades old lecture notes with their backs to the students.

Comment: More trash on /. (Score 5, Informative) 319

by rish87 (#38091728) Attached to: Toronto School Bans Hard Balls
Why is this on here?! This is not at all tech or nerd related and it is completely overblown. If your RTFA you'll see it is ONE SCHOOL enacting a temporary measure because they have 350 kids on a playground that is too small which also includes a day care with toddlers. I don't even know why the "toronto news" thought this was newsworthy let alone slashdot.

Comment: well... (Score 1) 233

by rish87 (#38079404) Attached to: TSA Puts Off Safety Study of X-ray Body Scanners
I'm not pro TSA by any means but if you look at the amount of ionizing radiation they are talking about being covered up " is extremely low, equivalent to the radiation a person would receive in a few minutes of flying" (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=europe-bans-x-ray-body-scanners) I don't think quibbling over an amount of radiation literally 100's of times less than what each and every person is about to be exposed to anyway is the correct way to fight the TSA on this matter. When attacking this detail it is too easy for the government to say "so what?".

Comment: Re:Rewrite (Score 4, Insightful) 158

by rish87 (#38025634) Attached to: <em>The Elder Scrolls</em> Return With <em>Skyrim</em>
I'm all for pirating horribly crippled, always connected, limited activation etc. DRM nonsense that comes out of some of these publishers....but I think you are totally overreacting to Skyrim being on Steam. You get a free updating tool/DLC store and unlimited redownloading of the whole game to any PC you install steam on. Doing any of these things that are practically givens in modern gaming (except updating) requires an account SOMEWHERE. Most people already use steam (it's a good service, really) so Bethesda figures why bother having everyone create new accounts specific to the game or Bethesda itself (which would require them also creating all the infrastructure to handle all these DLC purchases, digital distribution etc. for a massively popular game). Seriously, stop using any excuse possible to pirate a game and just pay for it.

Comment: Re:ughhh (Score 1) 253

by rish87 (#37898582) Attached to: Re-evaluating the Benefits of Cancer Screening
I definitely would not advocate starting treatment too early, that's for sure. I would, however, prefer to have an early warning (even if it turned out false) than no warning at all. Similarly, I've had my SNP's sequenced from 23andme partly for a similar reason. One of the benefits of the results are showing more than typical risks for certain diseases. While not at all exhaustive or conclusive, it gives you a good idea of what to look out for and possible easy lifestyle changes to make. Same with a possible early indication of prostate (or any other) cancer. I'd rather know that I may be at risk and take the necessary precautions and plan future screenings than not know, get diagnosed too late and die.

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