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Comment Daily Currant (Score 4, Insightful) 131

I just wish people would stop linking to Daily Currant articles. Their version of "Satire" is posting articles that aren't funny, but ARE plausible, just to incite a reaction. Its not like The Onion where the humor is usually right in the headline.

I wouldn't have a problem with it if they were skilled writers and I cracked up laughing while reading the article. Except its crap like "Sarah Palin: âEat Less Chinese Foodâ(TM) to Reduce Trade Deficit" or "Hilary: I'm running!"

I wouldn't be surprised if Sarah Palin said something like that, and I wouldn't be surprised if Hilary Clinton was running for president. Except there's no humor in fabricating plausible stories.

Comment Re:Failsafe? (Score 3, Informative) 468

They don't touch down in zero visibility - you have to be able to see the runway before you get below IFR minimums or else you go around and circle till the fog clears or go to another airport. However, its still true that the other 98% of the flight, they don't need any visibility and a 3d display is just as good as anything else they could use in IFR conditions.

Comment Re:Blur (Score 2, Informative) 215

While its true that cameras with large sensors tend to have shallower depth of field, its actually a side effect of needing to use longer focal length lenses to get the same field of view. You might need 70mm on a 35mm camera to frame a subject for a portrait but only 12mm on a point and shoot to frame the same subject. Longer focal length means bigger actual lens aperture for the same f-stop, and thats what decreases depth of field.

For example, a 35mm f/2 lens on a full frame camera will have the same depth of field as a 35mm f/2 lens on a 2/3" CCD point and shoot, but the 35mm on a full frame camera is going to be a standard angle and 35mm on the point and shoot is going to be considerable telephoto.

People generally don't use the same range of focal lengths on full frame cameras as they do on tiny sensor point and shoots (or cell phones) so thats why it seems like its easier to achieve the shallower depth of field with a bigger imager.

Comment Easily available loans (Score 4, Insightful) 538

The problem is that anyone can get a loan, even people who definitely have no prospect of paying it back. With guarenteed loan money, schools can charge whatever they want and you'll just have to take out a bigger loan. And of course 18 year olds fresh out of high school don't understand the power of compound interest, they just know that they "have" to go to college to get a good job and they'll get a better job if they go to a fancy private school.

While you can't get a bachelors from our local community college, it only costs $2,500 a year in tuition and you're getting credits that can transfer to any state school. Why can a community college offer actual college classes for that little, but a 4 year school can charge $10,000, $20,000 or more for largely the same education? Its just insane.

Comment Stock price (Score 5, Funny) 390

Microsoft stockholders probably don't feel too badly about the Ballmer legacy overall, though

He joined in January 2000 when according to that link, the stock was at 48.94. Today the stock is at 36.50. Managing a -25% return over 14 years is not a good thing.

Comment Re:Dangerous... (Score 1) 399

Basically, parent post is nothing more than a straw man argument. I do think we need to do more to ensure we have good teachers... I've run across a fair number who have no business leading a class. Whether I bitch about prison guards isn't relevant.

As far as parents "not doing their job" that is simply not true. Studies today show that mothers are just as engaged as their parents and grandparents in terms of quality time. Fathers of today are, overall, more engaged than their parents and grandparents.

I personally spend an average of 15 hours a week working with my 8 and 10 year old working on foreign language, computer programming and their normal schoolwork. Even if I did not spend that much time, I'd still be allowed to complain about the quality of a program that my tax dollars support.

Straw man argument. +5 insightful. Gotta love slashdot.

Comment Re:Where is everybody? (Score 1) 155

The drake equation does not take into consideration that most civilizations destroy themselves when they achieve the point of being able to communicate

One other point... we have a data set of less than one to work with, ourselves. I do not think that we can extrapolate based on our experience. Can we say with any kind of certainty that other species would follow a similar evolutionary path as ours? Would a smaller planet result in a slower evolutionary process and less global conflict once intelligence does arise? I don't know the answer to that or the thousands of other questions about how intelligent life arises. Regardless, one data point is worthless in trying to extrapolate to a whole universe.

And the reason why I say we have LESS than one example... our data point is still in progress. Perhaps the last few centuries were growing pains and we will finally mature... perhaps you are right and we destroy ourselves.

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