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Comment Scientist Engineer (Score 1) 403

At least not explicitly. They both live on the same side of a road that most of us here chose never to cross, but they aren't the same thing.

Also important in this discussion though is the fact that engineers have been implicated as a group as being especially good violent extremists. (Viz. one , two , three , and of course, four.)

Probably also suited to running authoritarian, quasi-market-based state. Just a thought.

Comment Geek Dads (and moms) unite! (Score 1) 414

I have helped organize and judge science fairs at my kids' school. I've moved on, and my younger son doesn't participate any more, because we do cool stuff instead. Built an arc light. Had a mythbusters-themed birthday party with liquid nitrogen fun and thermite. All the while learning how the stuff worked. We take apart things and try (emphasis on try) to put them back together.

In elemantary school, when little science is being taught in school, and the scientific method isn't at all, it ends up falling on the parent to emphasize the paper aspect of the science: a hypothesis, collecting data, recording data, control groups, etc., and if the parent isn't a scientist, or inclined that way, its just not going to go well. Frankly, at that age, important as process is to real science, it's terribly boring (and often it's boring at any age.)

I personally think that a maker faire with a long lead time and a strong effort to get parents involved with their kids would be much more meaningful to many of these kids, and likely incent the kids to further pursue these activities more than the science fair from our collective youths.

Comment 8-Track tapes (Score 1) 615

I worked for a railroad electronics company that at the time (~1999) was the last place making 8-track tapes for use in locomotive data recorders (like the black boxes in planes.) And then we quit and went to solid state memory, and quit making tapes, which of course meant the industry would have to buy new recorders.

Comment Re:Environmentalism = genocide? (Score 2) 279

They already do call for depopulation. While most of the world has decried the huge unjust deprivation of China's population to procreate ad infinitum, radical environmentalists have long hailed the policy as green, and in need of spreading.

The planet is a tool, and a resource. As it is also our primary residence, it should be kept pristine for our habitation. But it has no purpose beyond our sustinance, and without human life is meaningless (at least insofar as "meaning" is something humans provide.) People, please get a life.

Comment Teach and let him find his own. (Score 1) 614

I'll throw in for Jamie and Adam, since they are both really well known and worthy of the adulation.

Far better to have your children live the life of math and science, makers and doers, and let him come on his own. Expose him to your (our) world and let him decide for himself.

Finally, remember that there is no reason he couldn't also like Hockey, or football, or anything else that the muggle world indulges in. We do our children (all of them) a huge disservice when we act like to be a geek you can't also play a sport, or be interested in something outside of the traditional geek pursuits. Geekdom is creeping ever farther afield to encompass more and more (geek cooking, geek fashion, etc.) Heroes need to be something one chooses organically, so take him on a journey, don't hand him one.

Comment Dual monitors (Score 1) 1140

I think this will lead many of us to run dual monitors (as we often do now,) but to stack them vertically instead of placing them side-by-side.

Of course, bezel-free monitors would seem to be even more important in this confguration.

Comment Brilliant! (Score 1) 227

I applaud both the girls' enterprising temerity, and the jusidical response to their "crime." Here in the states, they're just as likely to be called terrorists or sex offenders. Sweden again impresses with its enlightenment. Oh, except the whole Julian Assange thing. But aside from that...

Comment States exporting their laws beyond their borders? (Score 1) 510

So I know California is famous for this, and with the internet reaching out as it does, even wee Massachussetts can get in on the act. if you're going to impose a law like this that will make requirements of entities not in your state, possibly not even "doing business" in your state, aren't you going to get struck down in the Supreme Court, with this sort of interstate commerce issue being one of those powers actually given to the federal government in the Constitution (as opposed to the many they just sort of usurp as a matter of course)?

I'm just asking, I might be missing something here.

Comment Insurance (Score 1) 727

While I'm sure that there are valid arguments that the medical licensing process, liability, and form factor play a role, the simple answer is that MOST people in the US don't pay for them, their insurance does. Or Medicare. But it's seldom out of pocket, so they feel free to charge way too much. Insurance companies probably negotiate the price down, and keep you from getting the very highest end devices for free, but just like software that's only purchased by large companies, so it costs a great deal, the price sensitivity of the insurance companies is such that they'll bear the freight, and make it up on the other end. Which is to say they will screw all of us.

Another argument for meaningful healthcare reform. Whatever that means.

Comment Everybody calm down... (Score 3, Insightful) 218

The thing about this that proves than google is trying not to be evil (or at least that they lack subterfuge) is the name of the company. GOOGLE power. (Is the symbol a raised rainbow-colored fist?) Not a subsidiary named "Trans-co-op-national warm fuzzies" Put their name right in there.

Google is a large corporation. The have a fiduciary duty to maximize shareholder value. So the whole "don't be evil" thing got dialed way back when they went public (remember when everyone wanted them to go public?) US law provides huge liability to corporations who pass up money-making opportunities for the sake of morality in the form of shareholder lawsuits.

They are expanding their portfolio of businesses to protect against shifts in markets, in ways that complement their core competencies. This is bad because they clearly know what their doing, as opposed to say, Microsoft, who grew to behemoth size on the back of only their core competency (whatever your thoughts on that), and very much despite the other business lines they chose to enter?

Comment I rewired mine when I moved in... (Score 1) 608

I used a combo wire which is 2 RG-6 and 2 Cat5e runs shrink-wrapped together into an impressive snake ( I fact, I still have 200+" of it in my garage if you're going to pull new cable. Very nice stuff, hit me up if you're interested.

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A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems. -- P. Erdos