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Comment Re:Prior learning assessment (Score 1) 337

Probably right. There's a good chance that the reason the course was created and made a requirement is because instructors were frustrated by students who didn't know how to write a term paper or use a spreadsheet program to analyse data. They see it as simply getting all students familiar with the tools they will be required to use in later courses.

Comment Heathkit? (Score 1) 423

Maybe it's a dumb idea but this seems like the perfect application for a PC kit that a parent and child could build together. The parent that missed the PC boom and the kid that is just getting old enough to start learning the ropes. A crate with motherboard, hard drive, power supply, DVD drive, chassis, RAM, monitor, mouse and keyboard with step by step instructions and maybe even a DVD to watch. Video upgrade could be added later on and the OS could be pre-loaded on the HDD already configured to work with the included hardware. Does anyone make something like this?

Comment Re:Do it yourself (Score 1) 553

I suspect it has to do mostly with quantity. If they pulled that with hundreds of thousands of customers with defective computer monitors the effect on their reputation would be catastrophic. The plasma market is microscopic by comparison so they probably feel it's worth the gamble. Particularly when the replacement cost is so high.

Comment Re:Do it yourself (Score 1) 553

I've not personally seen issues with Samsung LCD displays. I was speaking of their plasmas which seem to be poorly engineered compared to their competition. I base this on the fact that no other manufacturer has this issue (spontaneous cracking) and also from the feedback I have received from people who service them.

This is a particularly expensive failure as it requires replacement of televisions costing $1500 or more retail. Like i said they used to pony up and honor their warranty but they did an about face around 2 years ago and have denied everything (so far as I can tell) since then claiming that the customer is essentially lying. I find this attitude particularly offensive so I will take my business and my money elsewhere.

Comment Re:Do it yourself (Score 2) 553

If you are curious google "samsung plasma cracked" and enjoy reading the hundreds of instances of Sammy plasma sets spontaneously cracking due to thermal management issues. This usually happens in warranty and Samsung used to replace the sets. But as time went by it was happening too often so suddenly Samsung policy changed and since then every case I have heard of has ended with them saying "user damage" and denying the claim. The only people I have read about getting their set replaced are those that filed suit in small claims court. Samsung does not want this to go to court!

In my own case my $2100 58" plasma popped and went black while my wife and I were watching a DVD from across the room. In the almost 3 years we have had it the screen has never been touched to my knowledge. Not even to clean it. We have been ridiculously careful and protective of it...to no avail. Closer inspection after the set stopped working revealed a crack about 2 feet long in the lower right corner of the screen. As expected..."user damage."

I'll never buy another Samsung product as long as there's an alternative after seeing how they fraudulently avoid their responsibilities.

Comment You're all missing the point (Score 1) 1184

There will almost certainly be a waiver for vehicles over a certain GVW. If a vehicle has a capacity over a certain point it will be exempted and can (and will) be made with fuel consumption around 10-15mpg just as they are today...and people will buy them and claim all the same bullshit reasons (big family, safety, etc). Look...the cars are not the problem. It's the attitude that creates the market for the gas guzzlers that is the problem. People across the pond have been happy to drive smaller and more efficient cars for years. What's our hangup?

Comment Re:HP's computers (Score 1) 622

Absolutely.

I work for HP and our enterprise class machines are top shelf. The problem is that HP seems to feel it needs to compete at the low-end of the market. If you want to compare apples to Apples then stack any of our high end desktop or mobile workstations against theirs. I think they will compare pretty favorably. The real issue is that we have sullied our reputation by selling low grade systems to the masses. Gone are the days of HP test and measurement equipment that you bought once and used for 30 years without a hiccup (Agilent still makes great tools). Or what about HP calculators (ending with the HP 48G series - all subsequent ones are junk, IMO)? They were lust objects among engineers then just like iPhones are among hipsters today.

Apple has a computer product line of about 10 items, give or take. HP has probably hundreds in just the PC market. We need to cut that back to maybe a dozen and get rid of the low end stuff. We're just fighting over scraps in that market and it just isn't worth it.

Comment Safe following distance...over and over (Score 1) 465

I really wonder about the situation most of us have been in where we are driving at a safe distance only to have some clown squeeze in front of us. Most drivers realize that if they leave a safe gap it will happen again and again and they are constantly slowing to open the area in front of them.

So how about an autonomous vehicle? I have to assume they aren't following at 3 feet or something just because they have mind numbingly fast reaction times. So if they are following at something resembling a normal (safe) distance (for a human)...how do they deal with constantly slowing to re-open that gap?

The logical progression of this is that the people behind this automated vehicle will start getting pissed off since it keeps slowing down every time someone pulls in front of it. Their response: go around and pull in front of it...duh. Eventually there won't be anyone behind the automated car. Problem solved...I guess.

Comment Re:Study math (Score 1) 1086

Indeed. Calculus is often the first hard math that takes time to solve. In addition to teaching problem solving skills it weeds out a lot of people who just won't grind through the pain. They give up too easily and in my opinion aren't cut out to be engineers/scientists/programmers, etc. Problem solving is hard...if you don't have the determination to get through a fairly complex math problem then you probably should consider other career choices.

Comment Re:Obligitory (Score 1) 705

It's too bad that most people missed the point of Soylent Green. The book was a warning about overpopulation and the resulting destruction of the planet. The real earthshaking revelation in the movie was that the oceans were dying and that the food source used from there had dried up. Since this article seems to be suggesting we turn to the oceans for food the predictions of the book and movie seem to be coming to fruition.

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