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Comment: Re:Medicalizing Normality (Score 1) 558

Yup. Declare normal human variation pathological, make money by "treating" it, laugh all the way to the bank.

I would also add that many of the "autistic" children I see aren't autistic at all, not by any standard I understand. They are children desperate for attention, and have found a way to get that attention.

Some may even be jumping on the autism bandwagon to be trendy. I've seen this with allergies, where kids want inhalers and shit so they fit in with their over-medicated peers.

...laura

Comment: TNG good and bad (Score 1) 512

by spaceyhackerlady (#46612145) Attached to: Why <em>Darmok</em> Is a Good <em>Star Trek: TNG</em> Episode

For the most part, TNG was competent. At its best it was brilliant. I'm with people on episodes like The Inner Light and The Measure of a Man. Add in, for me, Cause and Effect, The Emissary, a few others. The human condition, in space. Good stuff.

Unlike many, I actually liked The Dauphin.

I thought Darmok was an interesting idea. How do you make aliens who are, well, alien, but not so alien that you can't interact with them? This was an issue with the Borg, badass aliens who could kick the shit out of Klingons and not work up a sweat, but who were so alien that no meaningful interaction was possible.

Bad episodes? Yeah, there were a few. I prefer to remember the good ones.

...laura

Comment: What information do you need when you're driving? (Score 1) 226

by spaceyhackerlady (#46338707) Attached to: Google Fighting Distracted Driver Laws

Do you need to know how fast you're going? Yes.

Do you need to know how your car is performing? Yes.

Do you need to know where you are and where you're going? Yes.

We already have head-up displays that show car parameters, as well as navigation systems that help you get where you're going. This could be incorporated in to an HUD ("turn here ->").

Anything more would be information overload. I do not need ads to tell me how cool the store I'm driving by is (i.e. how much they paid for the ad), nor do I need neat pictures other people have taken in the vicinity.

Look at how they do it in airplanes: the pilots have the essential information in front of them, but can access other information as needed.

...laura

Comment: The Little Chip That Could (Score 5, Interesting) 111

by spaceyhackerlady (#46327043) Attached to: The Ever So Unlikely Tale of How ARM Came To Rule the World

I've always thought ARM was a cool design. Simple, minimalist, sort of a latter-day PDP-11, one of those canonical architectures that just works. Simple chip, not many transistors, low power, good chip for mobile devices. It seems so obvious in retrospect. Especially since that's not what the designers had in mind. They were designing a simple chip because they only had a couple of people and that was all they could afford.

In one of the later scenes in Micro Men there is a whiteboard in the background with the original ARM requirements, right down to the barrel shifter.

...laura

Comment: PPL reality check (Score 1) 473

by spaceyhackerlady (#46223415) Attached to: Ugly Trends Threaten Aviation Industry

Is current GA activity intrinsically low, or is it low compared to the Good Old Days of the 1950s and 1960s general aviation boom?

Our GA airports are somewhat less than inviting to visitors. There was an editorial/blog in Flying magazine on this subject recently.

Airplanes really are expensive to buy and to operate.

Does anybody learn to fly for fun or for private transportation anymore? Everybody nowadays gets their PPL because it's the prerequisite for everything else. After the novelty wore off I too came to the realization that a PPL was sterile, a dead end, and am now working on my commercial license.

...laura

Comment: HAL9000 (Score 1) 175

by spaceyhackerlady (#46092211) Attached to: An OS You'll Love? AI Experts Weigh In On <em>Her</em>

Right, and this is why the viewer was supposed to make the assumption that the AI had emotions programmed in. No stupidity here.

Remember the discussion in 2001. HAL was programmed to sound emotional, since it made it easier to talk to him. Whether he actually felt emotions was much harder to say.

...laura

Comment: Re:Sure, but what about (Score 1) 239

by spaceyhackerlady (#46086475) Attached to: Nissan Unveils 88 Pound 400-HP Race Car Engine

the horsepower per hour of engine life? That thing looks like it'll last 20 hours before it needs rebuilding.

A point the story ignores. Any idiot can get buttloads of power out of an engine if it doesn't have to do so for very long. Two-stroke engines are particularly good for this if fuel consumption and exhaust emissions are minor considerations.

...laura

Comment: Define "convenient" (Score 2) 201

by spaceyhackerlady (#46026559) Attached to: Best skywatching equipment at my disposal:

My biggest scope is an 18" dob, made by the now-defunct Starsplitter. It looks a lot like an Obsession 18", and uses Obsession accessories.

While large, with the wheelbarrow handles it's easy to move around and set up. When I bought it I refurbished it, including redoing the teflon bearings in the mount. A local industrial plastics shop sold me an offcut of real virgin GE sheet teflon. The result is pure dobsonian: rock steady, stays where it's pointed. And perfectly balanced: it moves with one finger.

Jupiter's moons are different colours and are non-stellar. Titan is an interesting colour. M13 has a friend, NGC 6207.

...laura

Comment: Never drove that much to begin with (Score 1) 635

by spaceyhackerlady (#46006901) Attached to: U.S. Teenagers Are Driving Much Less: 4 Theories About Why

As a city dweller public transport and the occasional rental car were all I needed for a long time.

A few years ago I got a nice bonus from my employers and bought a little car to see what I might do with it. I can't say it's changed my driving habits all that much: I still take the bus to work, but drive on weekends. The price of gasoline is certainly a factor, but will have to be quite a bit more before I cut back further on driving. I'd love to drive an electric car, but the infrastructure isn't there. I live in an apartment and have nowhere to plug one in, despite numerous discussions with the building management.

There are a few destinations around here (like downtown Vancouver) where I still prefer to take the bus, because the traffic and parking are impossible.

...laura

Comment: I remember it well (Score 1) 207

by spaceyhackerlady (#45979825) Attached to: Previously-Unseen Photos of Challenger Disaster Appear Online

I remember that morning. I was watching the launch on TV as I was getting ready to go to work, and had to head out during a launch hold. Later that morning one of our part-time folks came in and asked if we had heard about Challenger? I felt myself go grey and took the rest of the day off.

Every generation has events where everybody remembers exactly where they were. I wasn't born when Sputnik 1 was launched, and I was a bit young to remember Kennedy. But I do remember Apollo 8, Apollo 11, Apollo 13, Challenger, Lady Di and 9/11. Funny that four of those events are related to space...

Side note: a shame the pictures only show the left SRB, not the right one that caused all the trouble.

...laura

Comment: You never know! (Score 2) 301

by spaceyhackerlady (#45954673) Attached to: Programmer Debunks Source Code Shown In Movies and TV Shows

A few years ago I was doing some development that involved AES encryption, and needed to create some test tools.

One evening I was watching some program about the misdeeds of some computer hacker, and the screen background was perl. It mentioned Crypt::Rijndael.

I had my test tool the next morning... :-)

...laura

Comment: One ground, one air (Score 1) 312

by spaceyhackerlady (#45850553) Attached to: No. of vehicle license types I hold:

None of the above, in other words...

I have a license for driving cars (British Columbia class 5) and a license for flying airplanes (PPL). I'm working on my commercial license.

In Canada a pilots license is a little booklet that looks like a passport. Your license, ratings and medical, all in one document.

...laura

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