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Comment Lasers and aircraft... (Score 1) 125

While this sounds like a great way to take down those pesky drones that interfere with firefighting, planes landing and taking off, etc. what sort of safeguard does this thing have against something that suddenly occludes its view? Drones can fly up to several hundred, even a thousand feet. Even though it can be controlled via a laptop, reaction time as well as latency in communications would mean anything that happens to get in between the laser and the drone could get severely hurt or damaged. Don't we have enough problems as is with just "common" lasers being pointed at aircraft?

Comment If the government is to protect its people... (Score 2) 494

...then promoting encryption is what will help. Think about it: it's always the government playing catchup to hackers when their (the government) systems are breached. And that's with encryption. If the "evildoers" wanted to do harm, removing or hindering encryption makes it that much easier for them (the evildoers, though I suppose the government could arguably be placed into this group, too).

Comment Re:Time for shoe-on-the-other-foot tactics. (Score 1) 258

"...City councilman Johnny Khamis dismissed such criticism: "This is a public street. You're not expecting privacy on a public street."

Really Johnny?

So you won't mind if I just set up this webcam on the public street outside of your home and feed that stream to the internet, right?

Or perhaps we'll find some volunteers to follow you and your family around day and night as you drive around. That won't seem creepy or invasive at all, I'm sure. And after all, we're just driving around on public streets, right?

Sometimes I really wonder what the hell it would take to get these morons to wake about privacy and how it feels to be monitored day and night.

Firstly, I am all for privacy. That said, I agree with "Johnny" Khamis. The idea that someone could possibly learn something about any particular individual if they wanted to has always been feasible even without scanners. As for the suggestion that volunteers follow an individual around -- that sounds a bit like stalking to me (for which there is legal recourse).

Comment Re:To Fight Car Theft (Score 3, Interesting) 258

So, if fighting car theft is the reason, will they agree up front to abandon the effort if a significant drop in car theft is not realized? I betcha not.

No, if there is a significant drop then the more likely conclusion is that the method is effective in preventing car theft. This would only strengthen the argument in favor of such devices.

Comment SVD and PCA to determine correlation (Score 1) 271

The linked PDF file gives absolutely no indication on the method used to determine correlation. Unless you've done some singular value decomposition and principle component analysis on a list of factors that could contribute to productivity, I don't really see anything scientific about this study. Who's to say that productivity isn't more strongly correlated to types of industry (take note of the very bottom of the study, where healthcare and non-profits have more female CEOs whereas manufacturing has more male CEOs)?

Comment Nonsense -- make your own test suite (Score 4, Insightful) 169

Why would you only test your code via normal use? Why wouldn't you just create a test suite that actually tests all the scenarios? In the case of tetris, you can simply force a sequence of pieces that will enable you to reach the scenarios described in the article. Or you can even start the game with a pre-made board.

Has slashdot really become a means for tech companies to inject free advertisement by a simple blog post made to look like real journalism?

Comment Did Apple screw GTAT? Or vice versa? (Score 1) 171

So which is it? Did Apple get GTAT's hopes up on using sapphire displays, sends them money, then decides they aren't going that route anymore leaving GTAT with facilities that have no use? Did GTAT have to invest some of its own money to get the production rolling on the sapphire screens, presumably because Apple's near 600 million isn't nearly enough? So is this why they are filing Chapt. 11? Or did GTAT burn to all that cash, only to have nothing to show for it and pissing off Apple in the process?

Comment Why bother with internet testing (Score 1) 95

I am pretty sure that cheating back in the day occurred fairly regularly, but I am willing to wager the farm that, relatively speaking, cheating on computer-based exams today is much easier than cheating back in the old days of pencil and paper. Just take for example the smart watch. It doesn't even have to be an iWatch or the android equivalent. In fact, for a cheater, it's even better if their devices were NOT the typical ones so that they don't set off the ever-watchful proctors. Watches with wifi enabled can be a means for people to get answers much more readily than the old techniques of sneaking in a cheat sheet or whatever methods were used.

Comment What happened to serious research? (Score 1) 126

A million dollars? Really? It took us two years to finally get a little over half a million from the NSF for a program to help women and underprivileged kids get a foot hold into math, science, and engineering programs at our university. At least the money is going toward a good cause. I fail to see how the fruits of the Indiana University grant is going to benefit anyone other than the PI and CoPIs getting funding from this grant.

Comment Study needs to consider what people do with notes (Score 1) 191

It's not the actual notes that makes a big difference, but what you do with those notes. Most students just take notes and that is the extent of the usefulness of their notes. A much smaller number (I imagine) actually make use of those notes. I cannot count the number of times students come into office hours and, when asked if they refer to their notes, say "no." Regarding those who think LaTeX/TeX is a longer process than taking notes. I took notes on my laptop in grad school for almost all my classes. Diagrams are easily done by drawing them (as a sketch) either on paper or a simple graphics editor to be made nicer when going back to review my notes (see paragraph above). It is much easier to type in one's own words an explanation of what is written on the board (which is often a professor's shorthand) than it is to write it out by hand. As for copying verbatim, typing (even in LaTeX) can still beat out handwriting when it comes to formulas. Lastly, when typing up notes (and done correctly), one can easily review (on the spot) the notes taken (esp. if using LaTeX/TeX) since each few lines of tex can be previewed with a few keystrokes.

Comment Another stupid idea that flops before takeoff (Score 1) 347

So just buy it for your mobile phone or tablet and stream to your TV. Most of the smaller have resolutions that are good enough for "typical" TV-sized displays. A better pricing scheme would be for the actual resolution. E.g. $1 for 640x480, $2 for 1024x768, and scale upward.

When a fellow says, "It ain't the money but the principle of the thing," it's the money. -- Kim Hubbard

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