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Comment Re:Gee, that's SURELY new... (Score 2, Insightful) 125

So true, the craft of touch typing is seldom taught now, nearly everyone I hire recently have been two finger peck typists. While they are rather quick to type, you can see that few of them can compose while typing, they continually watch their index fingers and marvel that I can sit and type notes while engaging them in a meeting. Don't presume that I'm slamming them, I honestly am sad they were not taught proper touch typing skills and had the benefit of it through their careers. Knowing where the keys reside on a QWERTY keyboard compensates a little for the lacking tactile feedback of touchscreens. Alas, my fingers are fat now and can't easily tap just a single key on any screen keyboard, even when I know where it is.

Comment Re:From a Completely Different Perspective (Score 1) 431

So I think a lot of the views you're hearing are people who are connected to the internet and the unspoken voice of someone who has neither the internet nor a cell phone is actually a large consumer of the programs on air wave TV and products advertised on nationally broadcasted programs. Just something to consider, after helping her through this change I would be doubtful that she is alone or unique to her age group.

I have a similar experience with my friend's very elderly father. Her father is continually confused by the extra box (converter) which he can't remember to turn on or return to the proper channel. He is a channel flipper and enjoyed scanning the dial on his very nice Sony 32" TV. Since his memory is failing, he cannot re-learn how to use the TV remotes, so it's frustrating for him as he grabs the wrong remote.Now when he scans channels he loses connection to channel 3 so all he sees is static until she gets home to get him back onto the converter box. I'm betting he is not the only one, but rather a typical profile of the octo- and nono-genarian population.

Comment Re:Units (Score 1) 204

No. Unless you have a smart ass that wants to get technical on you.

Well then, technically yes. Otherwise you could not have touchdown runs exceeding 100 yards, such as the 109 yard play in 2007 NFL season. Typically, football field measurements presume only the offensive field of play and not the scoring areas of the end zones, each 10 yards long.

Comment Re:Intrigued to know more (Score 2, Insightful) 459

Recalling the BWB work done at McDonell Douglas and Boeing in the '90s, there was considerable resistance from passenger focus groups who could not get comfortable not seeing windows. The arrangement I remember seeing was similar to a theater seating with 3 or 4 rectangular sections in the thickest part of the chord of the wing, which could carry several hundreds of passengers in a ship not nearly as long as a 747. Cost per passenger mile is much better optimized in such an arrangement; perhaps with all the novelty items found in typical Emirates accommodations there will be less resistance to the windowless cabin.

"Cyber-Roach" Forces Rethink On Animal Movement 41

Lanxon writes "A team of researchers at the Royal Veterinary College in London has built a 'cyber-cockroach' (a cockroach wearing an accelerometer in a tiny backpack) to try and better understand the movements of many-legged animals. They found that unlike bipedal creatures, animals with more than two legs don't adjust their movements when walking over a softer surface." The academic paper is available from the Journal of Experimental Biology. This research will be helpful in finding better ways for multi-legged robots to navigate difficult terrain.

Comment Re:Sorry, but this is bunk (Score 1) 370

Alas, it was RIAA which taught the current generation to think the music is free, due to their intransigence at the dawn of the Napster age.

I remember writing to the music companies back in those days encouraging them to unlock their enormous catalogues of the previous decades, to sell at a nominal price of 10 to 25 cents per download. Imagine how much money could have been made had the RIAA labels begun selling like this in early 2000? This revenue stream on extant music could have re-energized the labels for creating new music with new artists and genres. I'm sure iTunes would have come into being as Apple was already building the iPod, but certainly iTunes would not become the largest purveyor of music on the planet.

I did use Napster in those early days because I thought fair use allowed me a copy of music I already owned on vinyl or CD in MP3 form. But I abandoned downloading after the Napster takedown and continued searching for better ripping apps to convert my collection of CDs to MP3. Tried other P2P (Bearshare, torrent, etc) but am spooked by a dread of trojans and other nasties so I abandoned those too. Now, I sometimes buy from iTunes but mainly still buy CD and rip them myself to eliminate DRM. Every once in a while I buy from Amazon download, and have begun patronizing artists' sites directly because I would rather the artist get the lion's share of the payment rather than the RIAA firms who continue to rip-off the artists. I get paid for work I do and feel strongly that artists need to be paid for what they do.

Comment Re:PLATO (Score 1) 128

Indeed! I was introduced to PLATO V in 1980 when I started at U of I in Urbana, and was amazed at the plasma touchscreen, I loved the orange on black - much easier on the eyes than VT100 or 3270 of the same era. Used many of the PLATO lessons for programming FORTRAN and simulating flight. Truly exciting part was fact that it ran on top of a bona fide supercomputer Illiac IV.

Big Dipper "Star" Actually a Sextuplet System 88

Theosis sends word that an astronomer at the University of Rochester and his colleagues have made the surprise discovery that Alcor, one of the brightest stars in the Big Dipper, is actually two stars; and it is apparently gravitationally bound to the four-star Mizar system, making the whole group a sextuplet. This would make the Mizar-Alcor sextuplet the second-nearest such system known. The discovery is especially surprising because Alcor is one of the most studied stars in the sky. The Mizar-Alcor system has been involved in many "firsts" in the history of astronomy: "Benedetto Castelli, Galileo's protege and collaborator, first observed with a telescope that Mizar was not a single star in 1617, and Galileo observed it a week after hearing about this from Castelli, and noted it in his notebooks... Those two stars, called Mizar A and Mizar B, together with Alcor, in 1857 became the first binary stars ever photographed through a telescope. In 1890, Mizar A was discovered to itself be a binary, being the first binary to be discovered using spectroscopy. In 1908, spectroscopy revealed that Mizar B was also a pair of stars, making the group the first-known quintuple star system."

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