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Comment Re:Get a project manager (Score 1) 304

It sounds like they need more than one project manager and a number of additional worker-bees to get the jobs done.

There are three responses that might generate:
* "you'll just have to work harder" This response is not unusual but tells you you're going to fail anyway and is a signal to get out of the organization before it crashes and burns.
* they'll cancel some projects and focus their people on the remaining ones
* they'll hire some more warm bodies to get more work done.

My recent favorite response: "I reject your linear thinking. You are much smarter than I about how to find technical solutions"

Although it's clear I'm not smarter than him as I hadn't considered leveraging non-linear causality to complete technology projects on-time

Comment Re:In other words, we should give up. (Score 1) 2247

I thought it was wacky before I understood where he is going.

Essentially he wants to push responsibilities down to the state level, making the individual states essentially compete with each other. Right now, if you don't like how the Dpt. Education does things well tough luck. You'd have to immigrate to Canada which is typically impractical. So there's no incentive to fix things really, because the US Govt has a captive consumer. Having the individual states compete, there suddenly becomes motivation to improve.

Sounds like a plan, but I still don't feel it applies to the scientific research agencies. I don't see how you can have those as anything but a collective resource.

Comment Re:Have they shown that hands-free devices help? (Score 4, Informative) 349

I thought it was still up in the air. Isn't the distraction being on a call?

It's pretty clear to me that the danger comes from divided attention and the level of concentration required to interact in a remote conversation with terrible signal to noise.

If the danger arose from holding the phone to your ear then we should also outlaw scratching your ear and adjusting your glasses. The current law is safety theater.

Comment Re:Doesn't mean much as long as the optics still s (Score 1) 192

Odd, I get crisper pictures with smaller apertures, all else being equal, and I'm pretty sure everybody else in the world does, too. You've got it completely backwards there.

Most lenses reach ideal sharpness around F8, so you are both right.

Smaller apertures and you run into diffraction limitations. Larger apertures and you run into narrow depth of field issues, as well as design issues. I believe it is difficult to accurately manufacture the lens to align at large apertures.


The Best Robots of 2009 51

kkleiner writes "Singularity Hub has just unveiled its second annual roundup of the best robots of the year. In 2009 robots continued their advance towards world domination with several impressive breakouts in areas such as walking, automation, and agility, while still lacking in adaptability and reasoning ability. It will be several years until robots can gain the artificial intelligence that will truly make them remarkable, but in the meantime they are still pretty awesome."

Comment Re:I can't work with music (Score 1) 1019

I notice in myself that music can distract or enhance concentration depending on music style.

I've concluded that music with vocals is very distracting. I believe there is contention for the language part of my brain which is simultaneously trying to decode the lyrics and decode the words on the computer screen.

On the other hand, if the music is entirely instrumental, then there is no such issue and I can have full concentration.

Comment Re:Backhanded Compliment? (Score 1) 323

The Canadian government essentially permits this, for example, if you drive across the border with a truck full of DVDs, the Canadian customs agents can't stop you

Not their job to check who leaves the country. That's part of the freedom thing. I could exit the country with a case of pirate DVDs, 500 pounds of crack, a rocket launcher and a dead hooker in the trunk and they wouldn't even check me. And if the US authorities spotted me, I'd toss the DVDs out the window first.

Comment heat savings? (Score 1) 859

OK traditional bulbs use around 40 extra watts over CFLs. Where do the extra watts end up, heat right? So I live in an area where I have to heat my house 9 months of the year. So the the way I see it, the old style bulbs help heat my house, and I just consume less energy from my heating appliance. Isn't this a wash energy wise? Am I really saving anything system wide with CFLs?

Comment Re:How about a no-lag shutter button? (Score 1) 596

Digicams have increased shutter lag because of several sensor related issues: Before the photo is taken, the sensor must:
  • 1. focus. yes it might be pre-focused which helps.
  • 2. light meter
  • 3. switch out of "video mode" which is how it shows the image on the back of the camera
  • 4. Clear the sensor buffer
  • 5. Charge
  • 6. Release the shutter and then capture.

An SLR sensor doesn't have to do 1, 2, 3, 4 and it can do 5 earlier in the process. 1 and 2 are handled by other devices.

Comment Re:Leica shutters don't click (Score 1) 1235

Most of the noise from an SLR comes from the big mirror flapping up and down. Leicas are rangefinders, they don't have a mirror. Also, the more recent Canon's have a stealth mode whereby it pre-raises the mirror. You then approach your target, release the shutter, then walk away before lowering the mirror. The actual shutter is very quiet and can't be heard with any amount of background noise.

I'm ready to be a criminal.

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