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Comment Yes, Ham radio (Score 1) 188

Ham Radio will save us all. Not. Well, at least, I have a full boat anchor station (all vacuum state - tubes) which should survive an event. The problem is that the station hardly survives a single use, when I have to go and find out what broke again. But that is me. What about everyone else? And what about food and water? Oh well.

Submission + - Do you want a great baby, or your baby? (baltimoresun.com)

Baruch Atta writes: If you had the choice, would you choose to have a baby that was sired by a top man, genius, athletic, with the charactoristics that you wish you had, tall, blond hair, blue eyes, maybe?
Or would you rather just father your own DNA, with all it's flaws?
This story in the Baltimore Sun
Atlanta Sperm Bank Sued Tells us just what kind of trouble may be lurking even if you choose the designer baby.
"Then last June, almost seven years after Collins gave birth to a son conceived with his sperm, they got a batch of emails from the sperm bank that unexpectedly — and perhaps mistakenly — included the donor's name. That set them on a sleuthing mission that quickly revealed he is schizophrenic, dropped out of college and had been arrested for burglary, they said in a lawsuit filed March 31 in Atlanta."

Comment No wonder (Score 1) 453

No wonder why it was impossible to remove. My Windows 2000 machine is most probably infected and will probably stay infected until I just reload windows from scratch. Maybe even that won't get rid of the adware.


Submission + - Automated robot factories and you (blogspot.com)

Baruch Atta writes: "When the state of the art robotics is advanced enough for robots to autonomously go and create factories for making more robots....
Then the only limiting factors would be
a — raw materials
b — energy
Both of which are virtually unlimited in space, i.e. the moon, asteroids.
What would be the implications of an unlimited and cheap work force?
Secondary question — how many humans would be needed (on Earth or off) to insure the survival of our species and for scientific/engineering progress, once working/labor becomes obsolete? Couldn't the human species get by with only the graduates of Harvard, MIT and other top universities? Who else would be required? Who would decide?"

Comment Re:Space solar but not sustainable colonization? (Score 1) 275

A very late comment....

When the state of the art robotics is advanced enough for robots to automaously go and create factories for making more robots....

Then the only limiting factors are
a - raw materials
b - energy

Both of which are virtually unlimited in space, i.e. the moon, astroids.

No comment needed on the implications of an unlimited and cheap work force.

Secondary question - how many humans are needed (on Earth or off) to insure the species and for progress, once working becomes obsolete?


Submission + - Evaluating Relative Difficulty in Language Learnin

Baruch Atta writes: "Evaluating Relative Difficulty in Language Learning: Which is harder — Java or .Net or .... Does management really know the true human costs of using a certain language or technology?

To objectively and qualitatively investigate and evaluate the difficulty of learning a spoken language. Also to evaluate relative difficulty and costs for learning of new computer languages and technologies.

Learning of language, like all learning, can be evaluated as to the difficulty of the target language. Traditionally, this evaluation of difficulty has been ad-hoc, subjective and qualitative. Our proposal is to objectively and qualitatively investigate the difficulty of learning a language.

Language learning difficulty is dependent on factors, including:
1. number of words to learn — list of words
2. similarities or differences between languages
3. similarities or differences in grammars
4. capabilities of the student
For a certain level of fluency, the number of words to be learnt would be a constant. The variable is to what level of fluency is desired. For words in the known language and the target language, difficulty or ease of learning may be objectively determined. For example, the word nessisito in Spanish is similar in sound and meaning to the English necessary. The word abuelo in Spanish is nothing like grandfather in English, and thus harder to learn. Student capabilities also factor in to the equation. Some students learn easily, some not so easily. Some learn the easy words (nessisito) easily but have difficulty with the hard words (abuelo). Some students do not find the hard words so difficult, but may not find the easy words as easy as another student would find them. Evaluation of a student would consist of testing the student to see how many times he or she needs to be exposed to a new word until the word is learned to the desired level of fluency. The process of evaluating the difficulty of learning a language would consist of steps:
a. create a list of words in the target language
b. evaluate numerically the difficulty of each word from the home language to the target language
c. evaluate numerically the difficulty of each grammar law from the home language to the target language
d. test the student for number of word exposures for easy and difficult words.
The evaluated difficulty of learning the target language would be the sum of (b) for each word in list (a) plus the total of grammar rules (c) — total = ab+c. The evaluated difficulty for an individual student would be the above total, times the student's evaluated capability; d(ab+c).

Benefits of this Study
With this study, language learning difficulty will be evaluated, and student's capabilities to learn a target language can be tested and easily calculated. For example, if a student requires 10 exposures to a word of difficulty 5, and six exposures for a word of difficulty 3, and four exposures to a word of difficulty 2, and so on, then a custom course of study can be developed for the student, and expectations (class grade) would be modified for that student. Another benefit for this study is in the computer science field. Computer languages are similar in many ways to human languages; both have words, grammars and syntax. Computer science studies have exhaustively evaluated the efficiency of one algorithm or another. However, very little attention has been paid to ease or difficulty of any particular computer language, as compared to another. Our study could also evaluate computer languages and assign a relative difficulty value to each. In addition, most computer languages do not exist in a vacuum. To be useful, a language must be combined with other computer skills. For example, a mainframe programmer using the COBOL computer language must also know CICS and DB2, as well as ISPF and JCL. However, a Java Web programmer should know JSF, J2EE, BEANS, SWT, TOMCAT, ORACLE, WS, HTML, EJB, XML, JSP, SERVLET, PORTLET, APPLET, CORBA, JB, JSTL, XSLT, COCOON, VELOCITY, WEBMACRO, STRUTS ,WEBWORK, MVC ,TAPESTRY, ADF ,SOFIA or a subset of the above. It would be valuable for employers and business leaders to be able to put a price tag on the relative costs, difficulty, and values of the teaching and learning of these technologies in an objective and qualitative manner."

Submission + - Linton, Aryans and Aristocracy (blogspot.com)

Baruch Atta writes: "Yogi said "you can see a lot by looking". Yes, you can. I've been looking in a book. I don't know why I didn't take anthropology in college, but I didn't. And even if I did, I probably would not have noted the same things that i am taking note of now.
The book is "The Tree of Culture" by Ralph Linton, Vintage, 1958. I bought it on Amazon. The library didn't have a copy. I got hooked on this by reading a science fact article by L. Sprague de Camp "The Breeds of Man", Analog, April 1976. Here is the paragraph:

"The late anthropologist Ralph Linton thought that certain Aryan attitudes had survived in the aristocratic code of medieval and baroque Europe. He sited the European aristocrat's reverence for the military virtues, his casual attitude toward sex and religion, his fondness for hunting, fighting and gambling, and his contempt for honest toil. In pre-Revolutionary France, a nobleman caught earning money by any means so shameful as trade or manual labor was held to have forfeited his rank."

Mr. de Camp goes on to doubt the connection between people of "noble" lineage and the Aryans of 1500 BCE.
However, linkage or not, the fact remains regarding the life philosophy of people who hold themselves to be "noble" or otherwise in a higher social class. Dr. Linton, and his wife who completed the book after his death in 1953, provides further details in the book. They mention the love of horsemanship, for example. An aristocratic person in Europe would rather have his morals impinged than his riding ability. So when use of horses gave way to the automobile, there was a certain transference to the auto. Hunting and sports were held highly, and this sort of thing continues.
I read this material, and it rang the bell for me. Because I am a very different sort of person than the aristocracy. I don't think that honest labor is demeaning nor does it lower one's social status. I am oh-hum regarding all sorts of sports and hunting. And one's car does not delineate one's social status. Of course, I am wrong. That is the eye-opener for me. For a great many people, this aristocratic image holds. Cars and sports and business killings are everything. That explains a lot. For example, boyhood friends that made such a fuss over sports. I just couldn't see the value. But to them, their linkage to sports was not just for the games, although there was a lot of that, but it also proved their social standing to their peers. To say that "look at me, I am important, I have sports memorabilia." That is also why players are so important. And in real life, the people who have this self-image are also the ones that tend to be the ones in control, in management, or owners.
I have found myself now filtering my image of the world through this lens. When I see a celebrity or government official on the news, I think of how this Aryan culture is affecting them in their actions or statements. This attitude is instilled in them from a very young age. Linton explains how, until recently (1953 in his case) that the upper crust aristocracy, that attended the very best private schools like Eton, actually received a relatively poor education. However, they were instilled with "character". That is, they knew their rightful place in life and society. They learned to be brave, and outwardly honest, at least to peers. Of course they could lie through teeth to commoners. They received instruction to have (according to Linton's description) a "...casual attitude toward sex and religion... fondness for hunting, fighting and gambling, and...contempt for honest toil..." is instilled. By the word "character", they don't mean a Boy Scout."


Submission + - Change your email address to a number

Baruch Atta writes: "An Israeli company, "emailnumber", has done just that. They have developed a technological solution to a personal communications problem. The technology works with Outlook, Hotmail and Walla, soon to be available with gmail and yahoo mail. It accepts your well known telephone number as your email address, without using the infamous "@" sign. Email sent to your phone number is delivered to your regular email box. Currently available only in Israel.

The service puts at most three little ads at the bottom of the email. These are removed with payment of a subscription."

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"Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods." -- Albert Einstein