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Comment Re:More like a flaw in statistics (Score 1) 437

Cancer survival rates aren't that easy to compare.

The higher cancer survival rates are partly thanks to the fact that the American heath care system loves frequent check-ups with lots of tests.They're a relatively risk-free form of income for a doctor and insurance companies. So, Americans get tested for cancers that are very unlikely to be a problem for anyone. National health care systems don't bother, because the testing would be costly and wouldn't really save that many lives.

Thanks to this, Americans get tested positive for relatively harmless cancers more often. After five years, a person like that is counted as a cancer survivalist. In Europe etc, a person with similiar cancer would probably die of old age without ever knowing that he had a harmless cancer somewhere and would not count as a cancer survivalist, as no-one knew he had one.

That skews the statistics in your favor, even if your methods against fighting cancer weren't any better.

Granted, I have no sources available, so take it with a grain of salt.

Comment Re:Photos in public (Score 1) 300

At least the pictures taken in Finland are taken from pretty high. Over two meters. Just some random view from finland that should show the height pretty well: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=26+Vallg%C3%A5rdsv%C3%A4gen,+Helsinki&sll=60.19206,24.958191&sspn=1.144169,3.56781&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Vallg%C3%A5rdsv%C3%A4gen+26,+00510+Helsinki,+Finland&ll=60.192049,24.959178&spn=0.008896,0.027874&z=16&layer=c&cbll=60.192028,24.959137&panoid=Eg0jHqKLALGQTLZd_3WJQw&cbp=12,164.69,,0,10.47

That particular view isn't bad, but if the fence is around two meters and it's close to the road, a camera like that could very easily peek over the fence. It doesn't help that the google car mapped very thoroughly even the smallest and very infrequently used small roads around many areas here in Finland.

Comment Preventing cheating is easy (Score 2, Interesting) 684

In the university of applied sciences that I study at, it would be very hard to cheat during most programming courses.

I especially liked the first two Java courses that I took. They consisted of weekly coding assignments and two exams.

You had to show the finished assignments personally and the teacher would usually ask questions about the code. Why did you do it like this? What does this do? etc. It would become obvious if you didn't understand your own code

Then there were the two exams, one in the middle of the course, one in the end. They were done on paper. They included around five partially done programs that you had to finish. For example, in a course teaching object-oriented programming, there might be a small card game that you had to finish. The game logic would be there, but you'd have to write all the object-oriented code and a main function where you make it all work. The exam would also include printouts of the relevant API documentation.

Cheating would have been hard. Not everyone passed the course, but those that passed, with good grades, really did know how to program.

This all requires a very good teacher who actually cares how his students are doing, though.

Comment Re:Smartest workflow move ....ever! (Score 3, Interesting) 401

Blender is in the process of changing it's UI, too! They had this amazing and innovative idea of putting important and often used commands available on actual buttons, so you're not completely screwed if you don't happen to remember the shortcut!

You might be able to shave off at least a month of that one year learning curve now!

(The latest SVN builds for all the relevant platforms can be found here, if anyone want's to check it out)

Comment Re:Both (Score 1) 569

I used LaTeX and inkscape to take notes on this one basics of electronics course. It was a little bit crazy at some points, but it did work. I also learned a lot about LaTeX and got myself notes that will last a lot longer than my average paper notebook that lasts an average of a couple of months before i accidentally lose it / burn it / etc.

Comment Re:That's a very US-centric view (Score 4, Interesting) 565

"vast frozen wastelands"? Really?

You must be confused. We are talking about Northern Europe, not the North Pole. While it does get a little bit chilly and snowy in the Northern Finland during the winter, it's very much habitable.

Most of Finnish population outside the main capital area and the other few big "cities" (more like towns, really...) is quite well spread around the countryside. Yet we don't see the idea of providing fast internet access for everyone as an impossible task. Stop crying that it's impossible and that your problems are somehow unique in this world and try to do something about it.

Comment Re:Is this statement misleading? (Score 1) 97

question: In eath atmospehere, different wavelengths travel different distances because some wavelengths get absorbedby oxygen in the air or water vapor, some travel over the horizon because they use reflect of the ionospehere, etc... But what about in a total vaccuum? Do different radio waves travel the same distance in a vaccuum?

Comment Digital books don't take much space, either (Score 1) 350

How much good quality video can you fit in to, say, 1gb? 0.5-3 hours, depending on quality?

Music? 10-20 hours?

And what about books? Well, you can fit hundreds of them in to a gigabyte. That's enough reading for a decade, at least.

I know bandwidth isn't that big of a problem these days, as it was before, but take what happened for me, for example:

I heard about this interesting science fiction book one day. It didn't sound interesting enough for me to rush to amazon.co.uk to order it, though, so out of a whim I decided to do a search on the pirate bay, just for fun. What I found was this torrent that was filled with science fiction books, a couple of gigabytes in size. It contained basically every single notable book by every single notable science fiction author.

The fact that downloading a whole genre of books is so trivial that it can be done in a half-an-hour these days makes me glad I'm not a science fiction author

Comment Do it well or don't do it at all (Score 5, Interesting) 205

We don't need another Apollo-like mission to the moon. We've already done those enough. It's just going to cost money without any substantial new information. The next mission to the moon should be bigger and a lot different from what we have done before. Either have the balls to commit yourselves and the money to something meaningful or don't do it at all. I'd also like to point out that the moon isn't going anywhere in the near future. If a meaningful mission would cost too much now, there's no shame in waiting for the technology to became more mature.

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