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Comment Re:Keep them? (Score 1) 371

I would point out that much of the recent craziness around mortgages has revolved around the fact that the banks misplaced, misaligned, or outright faked documents. Keeping a copy of the big stuff is important, because more than likely, if it's big, then someone has incentive to pretend it doesn't exist. If the only copy is the one being provided by folks who will lose money depending on what that document says, you may be in trouble.

Marriage and insurance docs fall in this same arena. Things get lost or destroyed sometimes. For example, my original marriage records exist on a small island nation. One solid tsunami, and they're gone. When I turn up 20 years later, noone's going to know or care who I am.


Submission + - The Quantum Nose Knows? (

An anonymous reader writes: In what could be a landmark study in the new field of quantum biology, American and Greek researchers discovered that at least part of the sense of smell works using the same quantum mechanical mechanism behind flash memory and scanning tunneling microscopes — aka quantum tunneling. This research might not only open whole new frontiers in discovering and making artificial scents (e.g. perfumes, pheromones) but perhaps also "artificial noses" that can replicate the sense of smell in, for instance, nanowire detectors.

(Full disclosure: I wrote the article linked to here but have nothing to do with the research, funding, etc.)

Comment Re:the maps lie (Score 1) 395

Gavron makes an excellent point - I recently got a Nexus One with T-Mobile, and on the map I had solid service at home and at work. When the phone arrived I found a very different reality - roaming everywhere. Don't trust the maps - ask users - when I mentioned T-Mobile to my colleagues at work (too late!) they all knew it didn't work in our area. I could have saved myself a lot of time just by asking a local.

Comment Re:The summary is missing something... (Score 1) 460

>I'd wager that Blu-Ray is the last physical format for home video that we ever see.

Agreed - as people become more comfortable with the idea of having their 'library' as a digital object, the physical media will, I expect, go away.

> However, there will always be a small minority of people who want a physical copy and that's probably always going to be Blu-Ray.

This, on the other hand, I seriously doubt. Even if all the holographic storage doesn't pan out, something will be the next big thing. Unless 'always' is defined as 'for the next ten years or so'.

Comment Combine two goals (Score 1) 541

I had already discarded this idea, because of the lack of hardware, but it does open the question as to whether the US should direct future research into broadband into satellite internet. The two birds you could kill at once would be domestic access and, assuming you could get the hardware accepted into other countries, a tool for future operations of this nature.

Promote the hardware, perhaps at a discounted price, perhaps even in partnership with local resellers. It's the newest thing, a great option for getting internet to poor people, heck - you could even throw money at people to deploy it.

You wouldn't need very deep market penetration into a country, though obviously it would be better if the technology worked with mobile devices.

If you're a tinfoil hat type, I would keep my eyes peeled for something like this.

Comment Re:Twitter! (Score 1) 1354

I had been thinking meetup (as in, but certainly tweetups seem to be happening a lot.

I do not recommend the slashdot anniversary parties - awkward! (I'm looking at YOU, Ann Arbor-ites)(yes, I'm kidding. mostly)

Most of my geeky friends ended up with people who aren't quite as geeky as them - definitely look outside the geek stuff.

Classes are great if you're interested in something, but definitely go because you're interested, not just to meet people.

And ballroom dancing is way more fun than you expect - even if you are looking at your feet counting '1-2-3-4' the whole time...

Comment Re:Work Experience (Score 2, Insightful) 834

This is only partially true.

Education will delay your earnings. However, given the current environment, your earnings may be delayed anyway.

More important, and I've had this conversation again and again with decision makers, is that the Master's degree is the new Bachelor's degree.

In the US, and in much of the English speaking world, university degrees are becoming more common. A Master's is a signal that you have put in extra effort, basically.

We recently hired a helpdesk position, and the HR drones were requiring a Master's. While this is an extreme example of HR going crazy, it doesn't change the fact that, before any calls, before any interviews, the non-Master's people were thrown out.

So to return to the post I am replying to, while you might benefit from earnings now, you might not, and in future, you will definitely want the second degree if you plan to earn anything.

For the first job, though, it probably isn't necessary, and taking a couple years off from school to see what the 'real world' is all about isn't a bad idea. It will also, if the degree means more to you than a sheet of paper, make the Master's program more useful to you, because you might have a better idea of why the stuff matters.

Comment Re:ITIL (Score 1) 168

It can't be emphasized often enough that once you have a plan, you need to stick to it, and therefore you need to have a very good plan.

Of course, you never -actually- stick to the plan, but emphasizing that every change means delays of X helps to stem the tide of changes people come up with.


Submission + - eBay pulls Google ads (

odoketa writes: "According to the BBC, it seems Google scheduled a meeting to promote their payment system on the same day as the big eBay meeting, and this made eBay mad enough to pull their ads with Google. According to the story, eBay says it's merely an 'ongoing experiment' on their marketing."

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