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Comment No (Score 1) 804

It shouldn't matter if I'm paying attention. Hell it shouldn't matter if I even go to class. It is my 40-50 thousand dollar/year debt, and thus my right to decide what I do with my education. As long as it isn't disruptive (within reason)... my call, not yours.

even someone's screensaver in the row ahead of me can be a major distraction

There is more to college than learning what the professor is teaching; like learning to be effective in the real world. If screen savers, loud noises, or shiny objects are causing "major distraction" than there is much learning yet to be done indeed.

Comment No (Score 1) 804

It shouldn't matter whether I'm paying attention or not. Hell it shouldn't matter if I even go to class. I'm the one with the 40-50 thousand dollar/year debt. As long as i'm not distracting other (within reason, see below)... my call, not yours.

even someone's screensaver in the row ahead of me can be a major distraction

There is more to college than just learning what your professors are teaching. One should be learning to be effective in the real world. If a screen saver, shiny objects, or loud noises, become a "major distraction" then there is much learning yet to be done indeed.

Comment Marketing Budgets (Score 1) 725

I have to figure that the money spent on the fancy displays, signage, commercials, print ads, etc must add up. I'm sure right now the "smartphone power shoppers" isn't a huge demographic. As it rises however, I wonder what we will see in terms of reduced marketing budgets. That money can be used to offer better deals to consumers. If the big retailers start allocating a substantial part of their marketing budget into their margins it could have a snowball effect on other (marketing/advertising) companies...

Comment Re:I say potato and you say.. (Score 1) 558

Or as tends to happen one side will put a 'expert' on the stand who may be full of crap about it and say whatever helps side X?

One side most likely will, if they think it will help their case. However the other side has an opportunity to bring in their expert witness to dispute what was being said by the first.

Not allowing outside sources means only the aspect presented within the courtroom ever gets heard.

That's exactly the point. Both the prosecution and defense know exactly what information has been presented, and each have equal opportunity to counter the claims/evidence. In many cases someone will file a motion to dismiss evidence before it is even presented in court.

That's like asking for bias.

Which is why we have appellate courts.

I'd rather see the court not rule every aspect of what a term means.

The court is controlling much more than what the term means. In this example 'rape trauma syndrome' may have a simple enough definition, but substantially different viewpoints on how debilitating it may be or what long term damages would exist. Say i'm a prosecutor trying to claim that the defendant somehow caused this person to get 'XYZ Syndrome.' Damages would need to be assessed on the severity of XYZ Syndrome. I may get an expert to say that XYZ may be fatal, while the defense might have their more conservative expert witness say it only causes a cough for 15 minutes. The severity of the damages may be an important part of the verdict or sentencing. The court isn't necessary controlling what the word "is" means, but narrowing the scope of its meaning to what has been discussed.

Comment The reaction makes it worse (Score 1) 464

It's sad that the US Government would go so far out of it's way in the face of basic guaranteed freedoms. It seems that their efforts to control the situation are backfiring one after another. I don't think the MasterCard/Visa cable would have been nearly as interesting or shocking if it weren't for the pageantry leading up to it's release. So many of these cables fall flat from "smoking gun" whoppers that everyone expected. I'm not saying there aren't a few gems in there, but it seems like it is mostly mundane communications that no one would have been terribly surprised by. The stories released are scrutinized so much more by disenfranchised citizens, and on the world stage, because of this giant PR abortion.

Agree with it or not, this is NOT the way to handle a bad PR situation. They clearly didn't learn from their mistakes the first time. I for one look forward to seeing them flail around the next time they make the same mistakes.

Comment Re:Lot of track? (Score 1) 202

That's one whale of a big "if". Why would anyone be so stupid as to design the algorithms that way, rather than, for example, take the position/orientation as parameters?

Exactly my point. The tracking offers an unrealistic environment for testing and development.

For that matter, why worry about the ground at all when you're looking at the strawberries?

If the camera is looking "straight ahead" but is actually at a 30% tilt because the ground is unlevel, then the camera is looking up or down. The cutting arm needs to be able to get to the strawberry. If it is moving towards the location the camera *thinks* it is seeing, it will go to the wrong spot.

Comment Re:Lot of track? (Score 2) 202

If the selection/picking algorithms are designed with the assumption that the robot will be perfectly upright and square to the ground, it's going to get really confused when one wheel of the cart is sitting on a rock. Using sensors to provide data to instruct actuators is all well and good, but it needs to be calibrated to support real-world data. Moving around the field, on dirt, will provide rather different data than metal tracks. I don't think the two problems are necessarily distinct.

Comment Taught how to learn (Score 1) 230

The biggest advantage I see to teaching oneself is the ability to do the exercises and research necessary to learn the content in a way that stimulates the individual. So much of the reason school can be boring and "uncool" is because teacher-generated assignments of repetitive activities don't take into account how an individual child needs to learn to be effective. Using the internet without any direction will probably lead to a lot of misguided, over-opinionated kids, but using some internet coursework repository as your basis seems like the way to go.

Comment Anything new for kids? (Score 4, Insightful) 87

Some of these adult games are getting distributed as 15+ and some are banned altogether. By adding the 18+ rating, the demographic being "protected" by these adult games are 15-17.

From TFA: “Children and teenagers shouldn’t be exposed to the gratuitous sex, violence and adult themes that are contained in some computer games."

So the concern is high-school age kids, soon to go off to college and live on their own, are being exposed to sex, violence, adult themes, and basically anything reported on in the news on any given day? Is anyone still of the mindset that these kids haven't already been exposed to this content through other channels?

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Mathemeticians stand on each other's shoulders while computer scientists stand on each other's toes. -- Richard Hamming