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Comment MOD PARENT UP (Score 1) 239

A big part of the success of such books is that most of the people that read them only read fashionable books. They've not read anything that's genuinely good, so they can't tell how bad they are. Since they don't know any better and have enjoyed the plot, they'll rave about the book, which perpetuates the myth that it's a "good" book. It's highly unlikely that they will expand their reading to any decent authors; at best they will read other books by the same author, keeping them away from genuinely good reading material.

This is one of the most insightful sentiments expressed in this thread...

Comment Re:I was stranded in Ontario's woods for 3 months. (Score 1) 116

Re-responding as logged-in user....

Stranded with only a hatchet, a pan, some fishing gear, a warm coat & "snow pants" I soon realized I needed shelter to survive the -40 degree nights so I built a suitable shelter in the lee of a tree. After nearly being caught in a storm too far from shelter, I stayed until Spring.

Curious: were you really stranded in the Canadian wilderness with a hatchet? If so, that's incredibly interesting and impressive and I, too, thank you for sharing.

I hope I'm not the only one who picked up some strong Hatchet / Brian's Winter vibes from your story :-)

Comment Re:Nobody gives a shit. (Score 2) 286

> Sometimes I wish it could behave more like running a remote X application without having to bring up the entire desktop, but other than I'm a convert.

It can! NX can integrate remote windows into your local environment in the same way that an app launched via 'ssh -X' does, rather than a full remote desktop via (like a VNC session).

Bring up the configuration window. Under the 'Desktop' settings, rather than choosing KDE, GNOME, XDM, etc, click 'Settings' and select the "Floating windows" radio option rather than "New virtual desktop".

Launch a new session (you can't resume your old one and have this setting apply itself), and you have smoothly integrated remote application windows into your local environment.

Comment Re:No... (Score 1) 391

Disclaimer: I graduated from Georgia Tech

This is how introductory (freshman/sophomore-level) classes are taught at almost every mid-to-large size university. There are simply too many students taking these classes to do it any other way. At Georgia Tech, for instance, every undergraduate student (management and business majors included) are required to take Calculus 1-2 and Physics 1-2. At GT, that's about 1500 students per semester that have to take those classes.

During these classes, the professors lecture (aka teach), and you're expected to either learn it then or to do something we call "studying" until you understand the material.

I'm not saying it's right or wrong, it's simply the only feasible way to have that many students take the classes from a qualified instructor (professor). There would be even more bitching and moaning if it were Teaching Assistants actually in charge of the class, rather than just the recitations.

I can not think of a single class I took at GT where the lecturer (even in the large undergrad classes) simply droned on and on without making a good effort at explaining the material in a way that someone unfamiliar with it (a student) would understand. The vast majority of professors/lecturers were interesting and engaging. Furthermore, virtually every class in my major (and all junior-level classes and beyond) that I took had class sizes less than 50, and most were under 30.

It's not like high school, where during Math class the teacher would say to everyone "ok, now work this problem and I'll come walk around and watch over your shoulders!". You're not going to be able to absorb and internalize all the material just from sitting and listening/participating in class. You don't work problems during lecture; lecture is for presenting you with the material, and it's then your responsibility to make sure you understand what you were taught. Professors assume you are mature and capable of determining if you need to do extra work outside of class or not. To this end, most instructors don't assign mandatory problem-sets to babysit your learning, though many do offer suggestions of problems to work outside of class.

Take some fucking initiative. At a university, you have to actually spend some time and study if you want to succeed.

> Now maybe this is by intent - maybe the idea is to weed out everyone who isn't smart enough to learn the core material on their own.
To address your concern more directly: yes; to a degree, that is one of the many purposes of a college degree. You're not going to be able to scrape by in any technical field based solely on what you learned in school; you have to be constantly learning. Universities teach you a base level of information relevant to your field, but perhaps more importantly: they certify that you're capable of quickly learning and understanding complicated material.

Comment Re:Just one thing ... (Score 2, Informative) 102

The devices TFA references are based on the Peltier effect which pumps heat from one side of the device to the other. When the direction of current flow through the device is reversed, the direction of heat transfer is also reversed.

Moving heat away from one location is more commonly referred to as 'cooling', so a single device integrated in the controller would be able to both heat and cool the surface of the controller depending on the polarity of the applied current.

Comment Re:Gyroscope vs Accelerometer (Score 3, Interesting) 1184

It's likely something like a tuning fork or MEMS (microelectromechanical Sensor) gyroscope, which are generically referred to as vibrating structure gyroscopes. It's nothing like the big clunking rotating toy; they come on teeny-tiny surface mount devices that cost about $10 in small quantites.

The Wii MotionPlus controllers use something similar.

From Wikipedia:

The physical principle is very simple: a vibrating object tends to keep vibrating in the same plane as its support is rotated. It is therefore much simpler and cheaper than is a conventional rotating gyroscope of similar accuracy.

Comment Re:Cool (Score 1) 243

This is the first time this technology has been available to the general public, though, if I'm not mistaken (and I probably am).

Though not free, IIRC Photoshop Elements has been able to do this for at least a couple years now, and it does it offline.

The recognition isn't perfect and requires a bit of training, but it did an acceptable job of tagging the pictures of me and my friends from our travels in Europe a few summers ago.


Submission + - Unencrypted passwords at "secure" sites 1

linear a writes: I've noticed that quite a few web sites do *not* encrypt user passwords. I've gotten into the habit of hitting the "email me my password" from them to see what happens. So far I've found maybe 6 that must store passwords in clear since they were able to return the original password back to me. Clearly this is Bad Security Practice. Also, I've had notably bad progress when I ask them to fix this practice. Some of these are sites one would clearly expect to have better security (e.g., a software vendor and an online bank). Do you have thoughts on how to better encourage better password practice at these places? Also, is this is really as common as it seems to be for me?

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The meat is rotten, but the booze is holding out. Computer translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."