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Comment Star Wars Prequals (Score 1) 395

I said the same thing about the Star Wars prequels, particularly for the older Anakin Skywalker. I didn`t think the actor deserved all the flack he got. Sure, I didn`t think he did a fantastic job, however you could have taken a much better and more accomplished actor, and unless they really went off script, would still have to read the same stupid lines... No matter how good the delivery if the writing sucks, it sucks.

Comment Re:Salesforce isn't just sales (Score 1) 73

We're currently looking into a number of CRM type platforms (we haven't landed on a single one yet, though both Salesforce and Dynamics are in the mix) to try an consolidate and replace a number of legacy systems, mostly from a cost, consistency, and interoperability standpoint. Our business isn't sales. However two points; One as you mention with a bit of creativity it can be applied to anything really to a less or greater degree depending on what you are doing, and Two is that it doesn't mean you cannot do custom work on top of it, only that you need to try and minimize it (because that is the advantage of the CRM, and probably more importantly each time they release a new version of said CRM may break whatever it is your custom crap did).

An example I thought about would be tracking and invoicing Royalties collected from a mining operation. So while it isn't selling "Widgets", you could create a product of "1 Tonne of Aggregate" or whatever the commodity is assigning it the accepted value (say 0.75$), so when the mining client reports in the extraction of 315,600 tonnes of material (ideally directly into the CRM), it can automatically calculate the Royalty bill of 236,700$ and sent it off. Doing this with all clients, storing the data, and being able to run metrics on it over years, would be great. Could contain the client information with all the mine specifications etc... Anyway it just takes a bit of imagination and thinking outside of the box to apply a CRM to something other then "I'm a store, and I sell things to customers" model.

Comment Re:What exactly has he accomplished? (Score 1) 77

Outside of his many academic accomplishments, him simply being alive gives a lot of people hope probably.

Most people that get diagnosed with ALS are dead within 2-4 years, many times because it is hard to diagnose or is miss-diagnosed. Also it is incurable, and impacts different people differently. Hawking was diagnosed as a relatively young man, and is still around 40+ years later, now talking about going to space.

Comment This is nothing new: Contempt of Court (Score 1) 520

While it involves encryption and passwords, the basic premise is nothing new. There needs to be perhaps a look at the powers of the court in the US in regards to the whole "Contempt of Court" charge.

Many years ago there was a man who was getting divorced from his wife. During the proceedings his assets were being split up and half or whatever value was being given to the wife. The Wife accused that he husband had secret offshore bank accounts that contained millions. The Husband said he did not or perhaps even pled the 5th, or simply refused to divulge the information (I forget which). The judge found him in "Contempt of Court" and sentenced him to jail until such time as he released the information on his offshore bank accounts. He was in jail for many *years*, perhaps is still in jail.

There are a couple things wrong with that. First is a sentence with no end, which is a problem. Second is being forced or "compelled" by court to release information he may not have. Considering the guy was or is in jail for years, either he doesn't have the information to release (or he does and it is a ton of money, and/or he really hates his wife, or possibly by doing so perhaps would convict himself of another crime if the money was illegal in some way, hence the 5th usage perhaps).

At any rate the whole encryption/password thing is the technological component, but the basic idea predates that by quite a bit.

Comment GIS (Score 1) 319

I didn't really learn about "projections" in high school I don't think, or not that I remember anyway. It became very clear when I went to University for GIS however. Professionally I recall using Lambert conformal conic for a lot of things. However like any projection it really depends on what you are using it for and at what scale. Different projections work better for what and where you are using it for. As you say, none are going to be perfect, that is just the nature of the beast. What is good about GIS VS a paper map on the wall is that they can more less be changed at will now. It used to more of a PITA sometime ago, but most software does things automatically now for you. In addition in recent times we have things like Google Earth and Maps, none of which used to be around 20 years ago...

In a school type situation I see no reason why it should be bounded by a "paper map on a wall" these days, and in fact I bet it would blow a lot students minds playing around at changing projections and seeing what the results are. As you say, these things were not nefarious in nature, only the focus of what they show may have been important to the author which might not be all that relevant depending on what you are using it for. Might also be a subject lesson on perception and not to believe everything you see, or at least to think critically about it...

Comment diploma mills (Score 1) 374

I forget the Doc I watched, but it was all about the for profit university scams in the US. Basically the next big housing crisis. There is a whole industry of "education" gaming the student loan system in the US for fun and profit. It is so overt one has to wonder why nothing has been done, then you consider how many Billions (indeed Trillions) are at stake to understand how in the broken US political system the status quo is just fine. The loans are guaranteed by government, and are not even disposed of through bankruptcy. It is a ticket to generate free money off the backs of the poor and uneducated (literally). Heck even the ads for these school are borderline profiling to the point they are hard to watch. It is just another debt for profit scheme where a wealthy few destroy the lives of many. The reason the cost keeps going up is the whole whatever the market will take, which being artificially inflated just keeps going up.

Eventually the bottom will fall out of it all, it is just a matter of when, and what the impacts will be. Sooner or later folks with fake degrees and no job will just default on loans (regardless of them not going away or not). Folks won't be able to afford the costs even with loans. Folks will figure out that getting that piece of paper doesn't necessarily translate into any type of good employment. Once all that kicks in, some serious economic stuff is going to happen nationally. About the only thing slowing it down is the fact that the loans don't go away, so continued payment even a bit, keeps it rolling along. However as the saying goes you can't get blood from a stone.

Comment The birth of OC (Score 1) 173

This is what essentially birthed the whole OC enthusiast market, As when the lower clocked model became more popular and sold more they couldn't keep up with demand, and the chips all basically costing them they same, they simply took perfectly good chips that could pass the higher test, but down clocked them anyway for sale. People found out, and starting Over clocking them. I recall people trying to get chips with certain serial numbers so you could tell what batch they came from and what plant they were made in as a tell as to if you had a better chance at a "good" one or not.

Over the years this seems much less now, and pretty much everything you get is going to more less be about the same. Indeed the last CPU I bought was a "K" variant that was left purposefully unlocked for that express purpose. Though I must say it kind of takes a bit of the shine out of it...

I think I actually still have about 6 or 8 of the 66 and 100 Mhz Celerons that I bought as a lot for a dual cpu (back when that was two physical processors) rig I made on an Abit BP6 (with pretty golden orbs coolers)... I believe it dies how it lived, playing Warcraft 2 or 3 or possibly Enemy Territory... damn that was a great game...

Comment Bahahaha! (Score 1) 632

You're right. I didn't notice the funky numbers. This study, and the example they use is total BS, or at least not well done.

I was about to post about how I got into my field, and how it was not easy, and that many look at short term gains over long term advantage, but it is all moot really.

First of all you are right in a big chunk of the stats they use are utterly irrelevant to the workforce numbers in relation to college degrees. Anyway as you say between the ages of 15-18 won't have one. Even at 20-21 is questionable. I was 18 when I went to school, did a 4 year degree at university and a 1 year certification at college, meaning I hit the workforce May 1 after just turning 23 years old two months earlier.

The example used was a 21 year old with an engineering degree? So he took at best a 3 year degree (and I know of no engineering degrees that are 3 years, and I looked into engineering at Waterloo once upon a time) and is unhappy with prospects?

Your new grads that are not coming out of some community college program are going to be 22-24 years old depending on degree. Also there are a number of degrees that are pretty much useless unless you also got your Masters or Phd (you know who you are). So if you went to school and got a History or political science degree, well good for you, but I know of no one that does that now. Same for economics, though I know a couple who went on to get their CA, but you have to go and *do* that. Even high science, the problem is demand, in that there are only so many placements for someone that has a degree in high particle physics or whatever... Again many use their BA to go onto Law, or their BSc to go onto to Med, but again being disappointed with your useless degree not giving you a job in your "field" is a bit silly. Heck I know fellow grads that have since gone back and gotten teaching degrees or whatever as either their primary degree wasn't working out for them job wise or they simply didn't enjoy it and wanted to do something else. The teacher example is now a Vice Principle and is doing a heck of a lot better than me probably!

Also when I went into school for my Computer Science degree it was at the height of what we now know as the Dot Com Bubble, and when I graduated it was just *after* that bubble burst... So you can imagine how my prospects changed in a very short period of time, so current grads can suck it.

Take a job, any job in your field and get some experience. Use that to get something slightly better, repeat over several years. Eventually you will be in a better position literally and figuratively. I started at minimum wage, and did contracts for years, even some freelance consulting. A degree doesn't get you a job, it qualifies you an interview maybe for a chance of gaining some experience. Having more experience and knowledge gets you the "job".
 

Comment Questions (Score 1) 211

After reading the article (unslashdotlike I know), I really only have 3 questions...

1) Didn't really explain what a magnetic dipole was, nor how one might be constructed or what it might take to do so at the scale involved. All of those things seem kinda important.

2) As much as I can fathom, it at least involves a) magnets, and b) electricity. At the scale required, I'll go out on a limb and say really ridiculously big/strong magnets and a lot of power. Even if we concede that we're capable of building such things as super powerful magnets, and large independent power sources, the question I would have is how would you propose to get that out of our atmosphere? We've put some radiological power sources in space in the past, however I think even these had outputs of like 450W which isn't exactly stellar (pardon pun)... However the big thing would be unless said magnets were more less totally non-active unless power is applied, how the heck would those interact well with anything as complex as a rocket launch? I'm guessing not well.

3) Time. It mentions that it took 500 million years for the atmosphere to blow away, however it didn't really indicate how long it might take for any kind of change due to a magnetic field. We have trouble building things that last more than 10 years, never mind some small fraction of the cosmic time previously indicated...

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