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Comment: Re:Hard Appeal to Counter (Score 1) 315

by slew (#49802567) Attached to: Silk Road Founder Ross Ulbricht Sentenced To Life In Prison

Except that he was the creator of the organization that facilitated all these illegal activities, not just a corner drug dealer.

Well, technically, on that note, DARPA, LLBL, the IETF, his ISP, A.G. Farbin, Bayer, Sandoz, Vint Cerf, and Tim Berners Lee are all accessories before the fact...

I don't think "accessory before the fact" means what you think it means. "Accessory before the fact" means you know about the *crime* (or perhaps even encouraged it) before the crime is committed. Simply enabling the commission of a future crime by your actions does not make you an accessory if you have no knowledge about the crime.

Comment: Re:Hilarious! (Score 1) 218

by slew (#49800879) Attached to: Chinese Nationals Accused of Taking SATs For Others

Well it may not show how well they party, but the SAT has a large essay portion

I don't remember an essay portion on the SAT. Is this a new thing (as in the last 25 years)?

The SAT was redesigned in 2005 to eliminate the stupid analogies, add reading comprehension, free-form math, and added another section to test essay writing to test sentence/paragraph formation and general grammar (now scored on a 2400 point scale instead of a 1600 point scale).

They are re-redesigning the test again this year to make the essay optional (back down to 1600 points) and changing the grading of the essay to actually have some content of the essay factor into the score (in the 2005 version of the test, you could have scored perfect on the essay by writing total fictitious nonsense as long as it was grammatically and logically correct), eliminating the penalty for guessing (to match the ACT), and adding more achievement testing (also to match the ACT).

Comment: Re:Hilarious! (Score 3, Informative) 218

by slew (#49800763) Attached to: Chinese Nationals Accused of Taking SATs For Others

Although it's true that many colleges ignore the SAT essay, but multiple choice portion of the test is *not* highly correlated with academic success. The highest correlation is (sadly) family income, followed by weighted/normalized high-school grades (e.g., not GPA, but a weighted GPA), and only then standardized tests. Also above a certain high score (~1400/1600 on the SAT), there is nearly no correlation at all with higher scores and educational and post-educational outcomes (and yes I used to work with admission committees for a university that cooperated with other highly-selective university to compile statistics on this subject over many years back in the '80s).

The idea that the SAT matters is a myth propagated by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) corporation. In fact the creation of the competing ACT test was prompted by the fact that the SAT origins were an *aptitude* test (that can draw it's lineage from the US army IQ testing recruits in WWI) , not an *achievement* test (testing things that you should learn in school).

Colleges wanted an achievement test, but were dismissed by the ETS, however because of the use of the SAT in ivy league schools, the University of California signed on in 1960 and made the ETS/SAT into a juggernaut. Now because of discontent by UC and other schools on its predictive value, the ETS has changes the SAT twice in 10 years, which in its latest form, now looks more like an *achievement* test (like the ACT was).

Of course there is open debate in higher education on even requiring tests like the SAT or ACT. For example this study tracking 123,000 students over 33 universities found only minimal correlation of academic success with even submitting SAT scores to the school to evaluate (let alone what the score actually was).

Comment: Pretty much (Score 1) 267

Citation please?

An informed expert opinion based on thirty years of studying the Apollo program. (Actual studying, not just reading pop histories or getting my urban legends from other equally ignorant people on the 'net.)
 

Hmm, let's see. The Soviet programs were cancelled in '72 according to you (actually that's not quite right but it's close enough). When was the last mission to the Moon? Oh that's right, December 1972. Quite a coincidence that...

Pretty much, yeah it's a coincidence. Either way, your original claim as to the order and connection of events is incorrect.

Comment: 68000 (Score 1) 24

by squiggleslash (#49795625) Attached to: New Freescale I.MX6 SoCs Include IoT-focused UltraLite

Seems a shame that the heirs to the 68xx legacy these days just put out commodity standard architecture (ie ARM, PPC, etc) chips.

Is Freescale doing anything with the 68000 series these days? I assume the related but not quite the same ColdFire is still in production, but last I looked that hadn't advanced very much since the last 68060s in the 1990s.

Comment: Re:Competition works better (Score 1) 267

We went to the moon because we were in a (cold) war with the Soviet Union at the time.

We started to the moon because JFK needed a spectacular - but once the cost estimates started coming in, he started seriously considering backing off. We went to the moon because JFK took a bullet to the head allowing LBJ to push it (and the associated pork) as a monument to JFK.
 

Once the Soviets cancelled their moon missions, so did we

Apollo was essentially cancelled in the budget battles of '65-'67. The Soviets didn't get serious about their lunar programs until around '66-'67. (And most of them weren't cancelled until '72 or so.)

Comment: Google's Useless About Updates (Score 2) 82

Well, thank you very much, telling me that I'd get better battery life if I installed the new Android version. As far as I can tell (at least with all previous Android versions), Google's instructions for installing the new software are "What? You don't have one of these three Google-brand phones? Then wait for your carrier!".

That's bad enough for my phone (which has a carrier, and Samsung's a reasonably major brand, though my previous HTC phone never got upgraded), but my tablet's Wifi-only, so there's no carrier, just a manufacturer who sold that model 2 years ago and doesn't have that tablet easily located on their website, and as far as I can tell, if I were to dump IceCreamSandwich for Cyanogen (who at least tell you what hardware resources you need for each version), I'd lose access to the Google Play Store?

Comment: 20% to 40% ??? No. Just no. (Score 5, Insightful) 555

by fyngyrz (#49793209) Attached to: How Tesla Batteries Will Force Home Wiring To Go Low Voltage

To avoid the 20% to 40% power loss when converting from DC to AC

...they're doing it wrong. DC to AC conversion is easily achieved in the high 90% range. For instance, a typical solar inverter is around 95% efficient. And you can do better, it just gets more expensive (although that's a one-time cost, whereas energy loss is a constant concern.)

Someone is pushing some other agenda here.

Comment: Still awesome (Score 1) 415

by fyngyrz (#49793145) Attached to: What AI Experts Think About the Existential Risk of AI

Sure. Did it to myself decades ago. Offspring of my genetic line aren't of the least bit of interest to me; perfectly happy raising kids of other birth who needed parents (5 so far, mostly excellent results.) Plus that whole "all the bareback sex with my SO we want, any time" thing is awesome.

Which, again, is just how I approach feline guardianship. Don't need new kittens from them. Plenty of kittens out there that need to own their own human.

Comment: Re:Android to iDevice (Score 0) 343

by DerekLyons (#49791701) Attached to: The Tricky Road Ahead For Android Gets Even Trickier

Hence the walled garden and "ecosystem" approach by apple. There are many people that don't want to figure out which phone/tablet/laptop is good and bad. They know if they buy an Apple product it will be good. They don't sell junk. Sure it's overpriced if you compare specs to Android phone/tablet or Windows laptop but you also don't need to do hours of research to see if the product you are looking to get sucks.

This. It's not about being l33t or a hipster or any of the other patronizing bull so often tossed about here on Slashdot.

I bought my first iPhone because (at the time) the app that finally caused me to pull the trigger and move up to a smart phone was only available on the iPhone. I've replaced it every two years since (buying one version back on sale when the new version comes out) and plan on continuing to do so for the forseeable future. Why? Because it Just Bloody Works. I come home, plug my new phone into my (Windows) computer, open iTunes, and with a few clicks my new phone is identical to my old phone. In, out, and done.

My experience in buying my Android tablet just confirmed that this was the way to keep going. Didn't want an iPad, because they were too expensive for modest needs... and trawling through dozens of models and hundreds of reviews trying to discern the truth ended up being a massive PITA.

Comment: Re:Russian rocket motors (Score 1) 62

by Bruce Perens (#49787045) Attached to: SpaceX Cleared For US Military Launches

Russia would like for us to continue gifting them with cash for 40-year-old missle motors, it's our own government that doesn't want them any longer. For good reason. That did not cause SpaceX to enter the competitive process, they want the U.S. military as a customer. But it probably did make it go faster.

Also, ULA is flying 1960 technology, stuff that Mercury astronauts used, and only recently came up with concept drawings for something new due to competitive pressure from SpaceX. So, I am sure that folks within the Air Force wished for a better vendor but had no choice.

The question of whether computers can think is just like the question of whether submarines can swim. -- Edsger W. Dijkstra

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