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Comment Believe it or not (Score 1) 254

Believe it or not, The 84 is still fairly good all around. Nothing beats a dedicated hardware keypad (read: not a keyboard) for mathematics entry. I too delve into using the computer for mathematics. The calculator was way faster, entrywise. As for the 4-5 second delay in graphing, adjust xres, or get a faster calculator, or look into overclocking (not kidding). I also used an 89 for years, and 8 years later the 89 is still my go-to calculator.

To summarize : Computer for general homework == pain in the ass. Dedicated hardware is still the way to go.

Comment Personal experience. (Score 1) 284

Don't provide the end result, only the resources to create it. Print out all of the work. Printing is important because: a) it gives you a physical representation of the work, signed by the student. b) it allows you to thumb through them quickly and spot the duplicates (read: cheaters) c) allows you to prove this cheating relatively easily to administration, and give examples of non-cheating to compare to. Even though the students are all working towards a common goal, every image will come out different. Colors won't be exact, positions different, cut-lines different. Every image has a "signature", which makes duplicates and highly similar images (read: cheating with obfuscation) stand out when you physically look at each set of images individually.

Picking out the cheaters is much easier than it seems. Don't overthink this.

Submission + - Pennsylvania Fracking Law Opens Up Drilling on College Campuses (

PolygamousRanchKid writes: Last year, when Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett suggested offsetting college tuition fees by leasing parts of state-owned college campuses to natural gas drillers, more than a few Pennsylvanians were left blinking and rubbing their eyes. But it was no idle threat: After quietly moving through the state Senate and House, this week the governor signed into law a bill that opens up 14 of the state’s public universities to fracking, oil drilling, and coal mining on campus.

Environmentalists and educators are concerned that fracking and other resource exploitation on campus could leave students directly exposed to harms like explosions, water contamination, and air pollution.

Professor Bob Myers, who runs the environmental studies program at Lock Haven University, one of the schools at the edge of the Marcellus, says he understands the school system's economic concerns. Still, he's horrified at the prospect that PASSHE might install rigs near students. "I've become extremely concerned, disturbed, and disgusted by the environmental consequences of fracking," Myers says. "They've had explosions, tens of thousands of gallons of chemicals spilled. And we're going to put this on campus?"


Submission + - Portal 2 is officially in spaaaaaaace! (

dotarray writes: The Space Core from Portal 2 has finally completed its mission, thanks to an anonymous tech at NASA. A little laser engraving here, a little sense of humour there, and one of the panels of the Japanese HTV-3 resupply craft now features everybody's favourite personality core, headed towards the International Space Station.
The Military

Submission + - Those pixelated Army uniforms? "universally failed in every enviornment" ( 2

michaelmalak writes: "Those pixelated U.S. Army uniforms that we've been seeing since 2004? Turns out they don't work, and they and $5b are being scrapped. "'Essentially, the Army designed a universal uniform that universally failed in every environment,' an Army specialist who served in Iraq told The Daily. 'The only time I have ever seen it work well was in a gravel pit.'""

Submission + - A Program Learns Oriental Ink Painting (

mikejuk writes: Using reinforcement learning to make a computer paint like an oriental Sumi-e artist isn't just a matter of shouting "well done" — and yet when you look at the results that's what you want to do...
Three researchers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology have attempted to teach a computer how to do it using standard reinforcement learning. When the program used the brush to create a smooth stroke then it was rewarded. After it had learned to use the brush it was set to rendering some photos and the results look very good — one even looks like a sketch from Angry Birds but I'm sure this is a cultural thing...

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