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Comment: Re:Shuttle was OK, I suppose. (Score 1) 48

by SoCalChris (#46508691) Attached to: Endeavor Launch Pad Being Rebuilt Piece By Piece

This is a textbook illustration of trying to get people, and especially kids, interested in science. If people can't see things like this, they will lose interest. Kids won't study with aspirations of doing things like this. Adults won't approve taxes to help fund the sciences. Our economy will continue to lose ground to the countries that are making science important.

Seeing pictures and videos of the shuttle in action is impressive. Actually seeing it in person, and the displays set up at the Science Center are even more impressive.

Comment: Re:FIRE! (Score 1) 457

by SoCalChris (#46167829) Attached to: Judge Says You Can Warn Others About Speed Traps

About a year ago, I was pulled over for speeding. (Incorrectly, a similar vehicle had driven past me at the speed that the officer said I was going). While I was pulled over and the CHP officer was talking to me, someone who was driving past reported the police there. It piped up and helpfully told me that police was reported ahead, in 0 feet. The officer found it kind of amusing, and I was able to talk my way out of the ticket.

Comment: Re:Participation not exactly "voluntary"... (Score 2) 562

by SoCalChris (#45731419) Attached to: Police Pull Over More Drivers For DNA Tests

California has mobile SMOG checks that are also "voluntary". Vehicles are flagged out of traffic by a CHP officer, at which point you're allowed to choose whether you want to have your car smogged. Although if you refuse to have your car checked, your license plate is recorded and logged for later analysis.

-Section 4.3

"The license plate numbers of vehicles whose operators decline to participate in the Roadside Inspection Program are recorded and entered into a laptop computer for later analysis."

http://www.epa.gov/otaq/regs/im/roadside.pdf

Comment: Re:the return of the Start button (Score 4, Insightful) 505

by SoCalChris (#44117313) Attached to: Hands-On With Windows 8.1 Preview

A MUCH smaller subset actually wanted the old start menu back. I know I don't. There are elements of the old start menu that I liked, but most of it was a bad idea. Start -> All Programs was a complete disaster -- lets put a hierarchy of everything installed on your computer in a small non-resizable popup menu.

Most users don't use the heirarchal menu very often. They usually either type the first few characters to search, or use one of the recent programs listed. But if you're in one of the instances where you're trying to access a program that you don't use very often, and don't remember the exact name of it, the hierarchical menu is light years beyond the start screen.

For example, take a look at what my Windows 8 start screen looks like. It's an absolute mess, and nearly unusable in my opinion. The Start8 menu that I installed is much easier, quicker, and far more intuitive to use. I suspect that many users feel the same way as I do.

Comment: Re:Familiar with image recognition at all? (Score 3, Interesting) 259

by SoCalChris (#44082707) Attached to: Introducing the NSA-Proof Crypto-Font

I've got a client that's a non-profit group home for abused kids. Because of what they do, and their funding sources, they have to send daily activity reports for each of the kids, including medical, psychological, behavior, school notes, etc...

Every day, the reports are hand written on to forms, which are then typed into a computer, which are then printed, which are then faxed to the county (Typically 75-100 pages of fax each day), which is then entered into the county's computers, which is then printed out and filed.

Between the original handwritten report, printed copy of the entered report, received fax, and county copy, multiplied by around 100 pages per day amounts to almost 150,000 pages created every year for something that could very easily be done almost entirely electronically.

Live within your income, even if you have to borrow to do so. -- Josh Billings

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