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Comment Simple Physics and Wind Tunnel (Score 1) 64

An iOS, and Android app for tablets and phones, Simple Physics works very well to educate kids on forces, leverage, relative strength, etc. Build a bridge and drop rocks on it to see how many it can hold. Build a dam to withstand a flooding river. Build a shelter to withstand a bomb blast, all from the same simple "wooden" materials. My kids play this for hours when I let them.

There's also an excellent Wind Tunnel app for iOS that acts as a simple 2-D wind tunnel, with particle streams, smoke, pressure differentiation, etc.

Fun toys, and the kids learn while they play 'em.

Comment Re:Hope it's not IMPORTANT documentation (Score 5, Informative) 372

It's the rolling bags of charts they have to carry with them whenever they fly. There are regulations that specify what charts they have to carry; all in all, a "Jep Bag" is about 35 pounds, and both pilots carry one. If they're using a Electronic Flight Bag app for the iPad, that's a pretty straightforward conversion of mass and very specific savings.

Comment Re:Wow (Score 1) 234

Consider setting up several servers and GlusterFS, auto-replicating the data when it's mounted and presenting a infield shared file system. You can run CentOS or RHEL6 for the OS, and the FS will take care of data persistence, replication, and presenting a CIFS or NFS view.


Submission + - Man With World's Deepest Voice Hits Notes That Only Elephants Can Hear

An anonymous reader writes: The man who holds the Guinness record for the world's lowest voice can hit notes so low that only animals as big as elephants are able to hear them. American singer Tim Storms who also has the world's widest vocal range can reach notes as low as G-7 (0.189Hz),an incredible eight octaves below the lowest G on the piano.

Submission + - New "chemical internet" is able to compute chemical reactions

daftna writes: Living on Earth has a story about a chemist who has made software to map the almost infinite number of possible chemical reactions: "Imagine a huge network, but instead of computers connected by nodes, we have molecules connected by reactions. And this information has been created not by me ... but by every chemist that ever lived." The network is a sort of a chemical search engine that has a new way of analyzing chemistry and finding optimal synthetic pathways out of the trillions of possibilities one would normally have to find by trial and error. Instead, "What we can do, having all the collective knowledge ever created in chemistry [is] train the computer to extract certain patterns automatically and these patterns are then based not on our individual experience but on the experiences of everything that was used to train the computer — meaning every single reaction ever performed." He calls it "Chematica" and details of the system are published in the journal Angewandte Chemie

Comment Re:Mechanical. (Score 1) 466

I wear a mechanical autowinder with a window on the front showing the grasshopper gear working, and a clear back, showing all the autowinder and all the other mechanical beauty. Muy steampunk.

For a more high-tech device, I'd just go with an iPod nano watch, with the clock screensaver. Touch it and it lights up with the time, and run headphones up your sleeve to listen to the music unobtrusively :-)

Comment Re:Pacifism loses ... (Score 1) 589

And most of those founding fathers were there when the US Navy was established to protect our trade and coasts, and agreed to it. As well as the Marine Corps, our first "expeditionary" capability derived from the Navy.

We had an advantage - we weren't in Europe surrounded by a bunch of historically hostile Powers. We had Canada to the north, with negligible offensive capability, and to the south and west were bordered by natives and weak colonies. A standing army wasn't needed. By 1812, we had one and we'd keep it forever - we realized the limitations of the "well-regulated militia" Teancum refers to.

It wasn't that long ago we had three powers openly espousing their intention to dominate their neighbors, and then the world - Germany, Japan, and the USSR. WWII reduced the open militarism of the first two, and the following decades of Cold War, however expensive and bloody in proxy fights, didn't not result in global domination by the USSR (or, by the USA, which has NEVER espoused a mission to dominate our neighbors, Monroe Doctrine notwhithstanding). We're not that far from military brutalism in the world today - just look at Sudan. The armies of the so-called Western powers exist mostly to defend themselves by deterring others from frontal warfare, and are succeeding, as shown by the fact that terrorism is the weapon of choice by hostile parties, instead of frontal warfare.

Comment Re:No (Score 1) 671

Agreed. I carry my own laptop and the work laptop when I travel. The work laptop is imaged, controlled, and dedicated to work, and I don't do ANYTHING not work-related on it. If I want to video chat with my wife and kids from across the country, I do that on my home laptop.

Do NOT screw around with these machines. If you work for my company and it's discovered you've done something like this, for any reason, you're gone, and they're going to dissect the machine and see if you were careless with company confidential material, or if you used peer-to-peer software, or anything else that would put their data at risk. Porn, gambling, or other similar behavior is an escort-you-from-the-building offense if done on work systems.

It only takes one breach to make companies paranoid, and most have had that breach. Don't be tempted - be responsible.

Comment Django for the 80% solution (Score 2) 287

We've been building a suite of tools using Django that combine near-real-time event processing and offline analytics. It's been very useful and flexible; the data model abstraction is clean, and we can target different databases with a couple of lines of config file change. We're integrating some Javascript and other visualization tools in our UIs, and finding it pretty easy to support in the Django framework. Performance scales with resources fairly linearly, the overhead has been very manageable, and it integrates into almost any security framework. I've seen nothing to convince me we need to look at a different framework.

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