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Comment: Not Happening (Score 3, Informative) 88

by vix86 (#48615191) Attached to: Brain Stimulation For Entertainment?
I've participated in some TCS experiments back in college. Unless they discover some new way to do TCS there is no way anyone is ever going to find the technology usable in an entertainment environment. Remember that in order to cause the neurons to discharge magnetically you have to send a strong enough magnetic field through the skull and through a certain amount of liquid. In addition, the field has to be changed constantly as well.

For anyone that has never done TCS, what this effectively results in are constant static discharges on your scalp and this happens at a fairly rapid frequency. Plus, depending on the location of the magnets, the magnets might also be causing muscle neurons to discharge as well, so your face will be constantly twitching. All of this leads to a fairly tiring experience.

Comment: Most interested in robots that will... (Score 1) 307

by vix86 (#48374429) Attached to: I'm most interested in robots that will...
do research.

Pondering on singularity AI's, I always thought the biggest hurdle to a full range AI that can advance science faster than we can conceive of it, was the physical limitation. Some research can be pondered on but a lot of research and advances needs to be done in the real world. What good is an AI that can't test out if its theory on a 30% stronger steel that's 50% lighter, is possible?

Comment: Re:When I lived in Japan and rode trains every day (Score 1) 179

by vix86 (#47957995) Attached to: Washington DC To Return To Automatic Metro Trains
If you lived in Japan like I have, then you should know the answer to this.

1. Japan values customer service. Having a face be there to control the train or open/close the doors makes the service "friendlier." Also, if they removed the staff and made it automatic the old people would complain.

2. "Its how its always been done so why should we change."

Comment: Re:Here is how to get in to coding: (Score 4, Interesting) 240

by vix86 (#47584435) Attached to: Getting Back To Coding
I also get asked an awful lot (by the younger years) how I type so fast and how they can "learn" to type that fast. Type. For years. Bang, you've learned. This is no shortcut, there is little technique, no amount of learning the home keys will help you type fast. You just have to type, lots, all the time.

While this very true; it helps to also give them a place that requires speed to push them to type fast. I've always told people that asked "how do you type so fast?" that I learned to type really quickly by growing up in IRC chat rooms with lots of people and multiple conversations going on at once. You had to learn to type fast to keep up with what was going on.

Same for coding. You can learn some theory. But to learn to code, you have to code. And with kids it's really easy - pick a game, program it.

The only problem I've ever had with using "games" as a way to learn to code is that the final product may not match expectations. To put it another way. I love programming because it gives me a means to solve problems. Sometimes the problems are concrete as "I need a piece of software on my desktop to tell me when I'm getting a phone call on my phone." That problem is focused, the solution is focused too. If your phone rings and you get a notification on your computer, you know you solved the problem.

Games rarely offer up focused problems and solutions, especially for beginning programmers. A lot of game ideas are nothing more than "I want to make an RPG where I fight zombies." The solution would deceptively be to have a few characters in a bland world and some monsters labeled zombies, but game dev is never that simple and the problem space "grows." It goes from "rpg zombie game" to "rpg zombie hunting game where I must build a cure, save cities, and all while I'm working within this cool battle system." Games could be a great route to code but the path between problem definition and solution is huge compared to more simple stuff.

Comment: Re:Code Complete (Score 1) 352

by vix86 (#47011171) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Should Every Programmer Read?
I read Code Complete cover to cover after having been a hobbiest programmer for 5-7 years. Some of the many mistakes I'd made over time were mentioned and left me nodding my head in acknowledgement and gave me the ground to realize that probably a lot of the other wisdom distilled in the pages was worth heeding as well. Code Complete made me realize how bad my coding practices were. Its a book I recommend to everyone now.

Comment: Wish people would learn (Score 1) 517

by vix86 (#45939017) Attached to: How Weather Influences Global Warming Opinions
I wish the general public would learn that global warming isn't just about the temperature getting warmer as time goes on, such that "Winter will become a perpetual Fall season." Its about the increase of energy in the entire system which we call "global weather." This leads to more extreme and bizarre weather conditions.

Comment: Fukushima news will become scarce (Score 5, Informative) 136

by vix86 (#45606637) Attached to: The Status of the Fukushima Clean-Up
This will get little coverage in news outlets around the world, but its worth spreading and this article is as good as any to mention it. The Japanese Lower House, in the Diet, passed a bill which set up a National Secrets law. Essentially it is an anti-whistleblower law. It has many of the usual sections present in other countries save for one. The bill sets forth that all information dealing with "nuclear energy" will be considered a national secret and releasing any information without the oversight of the government will basically be illegal.

This means that if something bad is happening at the Fukushima plant, then we have to rely on someone doing the moral thing and telling the world and then going to jail.

The bill still has to go through the Upper House but it's likely to pass without much opposition even though the media and the public have been strongly opposed to it. It seems very likely that the bill is there to cover up any bad information that might tarnish Japan or TEPCO's image.

Japan state secrets bill on track to become law despite protests

Comment: Re:Interesting psychological experiment (Score 1) 71

by vix86 (#45179185) Attached to: Google Sparking Interest To Quantum Mechanics With <em>Minecraft</em>
I think you missed the point, and probably because the OP didn't carry the results of the 'experiment' out to its conclusions. The OP was suggesting that we use games to make concepts in quantum mechanics more intuitive to KIDS. I've always wondered if we can bring the concepts and teaching of harder concepts, to kids at younger ages, if this won't spur more quicker advances because less time is spent in the more valuable years simply trying to grasp current ideas. For example, there was probably a period where basic algebra was considered a "college subject" and not fit for teaching to anyone under the age of 18, yet in most places, the concepts are now taught in high school and sometimes even earlier. Calculus is now becoming a normal high school subject. If we can get these ideas into kids' minds at earlier ages, then later on expanding on the concepts won't be as time consuming and we can move past this period quicker and into more theoretical realms. My brother who is also a physicist often wonders if we could make Lie Algebra regular 12th grade curriculum, what that might do to the advances in math and physics.

Comment: Re:Modern Jesus (Score 1) 860

by vix86 (#43958049) Attached to: NSA WhistleBlower Outs Himself
I'm going to put my self out and just state that in our current system. Voting for a third party IS a wasted vote, in that it potentially weakens the party that might have been closely matching your ideologies and might have won had you not voted for that matching third party. Its a lot like how the Tea Party has caused a a weakening of the main Republican party, which provides more strength for the Democrats. Telling people to run out and "vote third party" won't solve any of these problems. If you want to truly fix this then you need to overhaul the voting system currently in place.

I feel this video series explains the problem very well and shows potential solutions.
The Problems with First past the Post Voting

Comment: Re:I may be most libertarian but... (Score 2) 408

by vix86 (#43438997) Attached to: Google Fiber: Why Traditional ISPs Are Officially On Notice
Japan's fiber already works something like this. NTT laid a lot of fiber years ago and I believe a lot of it was subsidized. Today they still do the same and when you want to sign up for it you call them and they can run it to your house or room. Then you sign up for an ISP who deals with delivering your data to the net. You pay a bit each month for maintaining the line and the rest for the isp access. It's really convenient and a 100/100 is about 60USD a month.

6 Curses = 1 Hexahex