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Comment Re:The luddite's Google: Card catalogs (Score 1) 277

All the computer types assume that you want to do a targeted search and know what you are trying to find. All I can say is, I learned so much by going into the stacks to find specific book X and getting distracted by all the interesting books on related topics on the shelves around it.

Yep, yep, yep. And that was the downfall of an ADHD person like me with a voracious curiosity. I found myself finding interesting books on topics unrelated to what I was researching and risked never getting anything done. It's much like that damned Wikipedia. Go to one article to learn about something, then click on a link and find oneself sucked into a completely different area. This curiosity proved to me that in order for me to be content all I need is a supply a food and water, a working toilet, and a library to live in.

Comment Re:The luddite's Google: Card catalogs (Score 1) 277

If you didn't already know this, books are shelved according to subject. Books on similar or closely-related topics are going to be shelved close to each other.

Search engines could be argued to be like an un-sorted Library, or a Library lacking a decent librarian.

So far as I know, no one has ever been able to create an automated cataloger or an automated librarian anywhere near as competent as a human one. Asking a question of a good reference librarian is worth one hundred Google searches.

Comment The luddite's Google: Card catalogs (Score 4, Interesting) 277

I am a luddite sometimes. Sometimes doing things the old-fashioned way is faster. I cut my teeth in school doing research in the library using its card catalog before it bought some awful online thing that ran on a PDP 11/45. Mercifully, they replaced it with something far more modern. And there were times when flipping through the cards was faster than using the computer. Then there is wandering through the stacks. Sometimes you don't know what you're looking for until you stumble upon it. If you didn't already know this, books are shelved according to subject. Books on similar or closely-related topics are going to be shelved close to each other.

Comment Stupid Prosecutor Tricks (Score 2) 533

Prosecutors always overcharge the accused because 1) they can do it, and 2) it gives them leverage to get a plea bargain approved and avoid going to court and having to pay for an expensive trial. Because of the federal budget woes right now which has caused courts, the U.S. attorneys' offices (the prosecutors), and the federal public defenders' offices to lay off clerks and lawyers (but not judges) they undoubtedly would not want to go to trial given how hugely expensive it would be. But regardless of whether this guy is charged by the feds or the commonwealth of Massachusetts he at a minimum is going to spend his life in prison, probably a supermax. He could be the Unibomber's cellmate whenever the Supreme Court finally abolishes solitary confinement. Perhaps they could compare notes.

Comment Re:Also IBM 360 and TI 990 emulators (Score 3, Informative) 55

A favorite is an emulation of another of Seymour Cray's earlier designs, the Control Data 6000 series monsters from 1964 and its successors the Cybers, complete with screen shots of its then innovative console. I'd love to have this running on my iMac. I still have a copy of the old MIT Adventure game in FORTRAN for these beasts from my college days I wish I could play again. I'm too lazy to try to port it over to something else or get it to compile in a more modern FORTRAN compiler. However, the emulator does not include a copy of the NOS 2 dead start tape.

Comment Re:Humanities ARE the most deluded. (Score 1) 564

Sure, humans have an innate capacity for deluding themselves.

But if you look at what the field of dedicated humanities "researchers" have produced, it staggeringly dwarfs the delusion of ordinary people.

More "humanities" equals more delusion, not less.

Obviously, you do not have a clue as to what the humanities are or what they can do for a person.

For a lesson in the humanities from a scientist I direct you to the "Cosmos" miniseries aired on PBS in 1980 (it's on DVD) created by and featuring the late astronomer Dr. Carl Sagan. While that show dealt primarily with astronomy and science, it literally oozed with the humanities. I was 17 when it first aired and it had a tremendous affect upon me. This show was one of the guiding forces of my life.

If there is any truth touted by this show it's the simple fact that the humanities are absolutely necessary for a scientist or an engineer to be fully human.

Comment Work for the government (Score 3, Interesting) 472

I'm serious. I know a fellow who is not only 71 years old but a convicted felon who is still on federal supervised release and hasn't work in over ten years who recently got a job with the State of California doing some sort of IT work. The state hires older people. Hiring managers aren't blinded by the cost of older people's health insurance because it doesn't come out of their budget. I suspect it's the same with the Federal government.

Submission + - Satellites providing Internet to the "under-connected" (phys.org)

Taco Cowboy writes: On this Tuesday, a Russian Soyuz rocket will shoot the first 4 of 12 satellites in a new constellation that are designed to provide affordable, high-speed Internet to people in nearly 180 "under-connected" countries

The orbiters, part of a project dubbed O3b for the "other 3 billion" people with restricted Internet access, were built by the Franco-Italian company Thales Alenia Space, will orbit at 8,062 km and will weigh only 650 kilogrammes (1,400 pounds) each

There are already geostationary satellites providing this type of services, but at a prohibitive cost for many end-users. Existing satellites generally obit at an altitude of some 36,000 kilometres (22,000 miles) above Earth, weigh in at a hefty four to six tonnes each, and take much longer to bounce a signal back to Earth—about 500 milliseconds to be exact, according to an O3b document. "It is such a long delay that people speaking over a satellite link will shorten conversations, interactive web has an extremely poor experience and many web-based software programmes just won't function," as stated in the said document

Crucially, they will communicate with Earth four times faster, said the company, and six would be enough to assure permanent coverage. "O3b's prices will be 30 — 50 percent less than traditional satellite services," said the document

Launch company Arianespace, which will put the satellites in orbit, said the O3b constellation will combine "the global reach of satellite coverage with the speed of a fiber-optic network"

Project investors include Internet giant Google, cable company Liberty Global, satellite operator SES, HSBC bank and the Development Bank of Southern Africa

The first four satellites were due to be boosted into space on Monday but the launch was postponed by a day due to unfavourable weather conditions

The next four satellites will be launched within weeks, according to Arianespace, and a final four "backup" orbiters early next year

Submission + - Chinese Media Calls for Boycott of Cisco

An anonymous reader writes: China's state run media is calling on the countries wireless carriers to more away from Cisco products. According to reports using Cisco products allows the US to “attack China almost at will” and forms a “terrible security threat.” Chinese officials are urging the companies wireless carriers to switch to hardware made by Huawei and ZTE Corp. Citing cybersecurity concerns, the United States has banned the use of equipment from both Huawei and ZTE in its cellular networks. Cisco has not yet been named in documents describing the NSA's global wiretapping operations. Apple, a company named in leaked documents, has slashed iphone production for the second half of this year on falling overseas sales.

Submission + - Richard Matheson has died at 87 (shadowlocked.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Richard Matheson passed away on June 23, 2013 at the age of 87. He is survived by his wife and four children.

He was scheduled to receive the visionary award at the Academy of Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Films' Saturn Awards on Wednesday. The organization said the award will be presented posthumously and the 39th annual ceremony would be dedicated to Matheson. According to Robert Holguin, the academy's president:

“We are heartbroken to lose a writer of towering talent, unlimited imagination and unparalleled inspiration. Richard was a genius whose visions helped bring legitimacy and critical acclaim to science fiction and fantasy. He was also a longtime supporter of the academy, and everyone associated with the Saturn Awards feels emptier today to learn of this enormous loss.”

Submission + - Snowden Sought NSA Job In Order To Leak (huffingtonpost.com)

J053 writes: The HuffPo reports:

Edward Snowden, the former government contractor who leaked information on the National Security Agency's surveillance programs, says he sought the job with Booz Allen Hamilton to gather evidence on the agency's data collection networks.

In a June 12 interview with the South China Morning Post published Monday, Snowden, who previously worked as a CIA technician, said he took the position with the intention of collecting information on the NSA.

“My position with Booz Allen Hamilton granted me access to lists of machines all over the world the NSA hacked,” he said. “That is why I accepted that position about three months ago.”

Submission + - UC Davis investigates using helicopter drones for crop dusting (gizmag.com)

cylonlover writes: Researchers at University of California, Davis, in cooperation with the Yamaha Motor Corporation, are testing UAV crop dusting on the Oakville Experimental Vineyard at the UC Oakville Station using a Yamaha RMax remote-controlled helicopter. The purpose is to study the adaptation of Japanese UAV crop dusting techniques for US agriculture, but not all the hurdles they face are technological.

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