Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Did I miss something? (Score 1) 182

When I see a title like "The Difference Between Film and Digital Photography", I expect to see exactly that in the article (or in this case, video). Apparently, that was not really discussed. Yeah, one is film and it is cumbersome, while the other being digital, is much easier to share with others. However, what I was really expecting, is how it affects the images that are captured. What is the difference at the grassroot level between the two? When I'm taking pictures, I want to know what the advantages and disadvantages are, or something on those lines. I did not get what I was expecting. It would have been a safer option to just call it "A conversation about digital photography with Sally Wiener Grotta". Yes, I'd still have watched it, but I would'nt have been so disappointed. :(

Comment Re:Customize? (Score 1) 147

Yes, yes, for myself. :) Though this is when I'm not at work. The coffee at work is not what I'd call awesome, but it's not so bad that I don't touch the stuff.
I make my own coffee when I'm at home, so I was not counting the coffee at work, which is about 4 cups on a good day.. many more on a bad one.

My caffeine intake is through the roof, but it soothes my nerves. I've suffered from insomnia since I was 14, and it was a really bad experience till I started having coffee when I was about 19 (Till then, it was just tea) and for some reason, I can now actually sleep for at least four to six hours every day.

My sleep specialist does not know why Caffeine doesn't always (sometimes it does actually keep me awake!) work on me the way it does for most others, so I have to visit him every couple of months for tests. But all in all, I think life's good as long as I feel I'm enjoying it better this way.

Comment Re:Customize? (Score 2) 147

Well, I for one have tastes that change from day to day. Almost every time I make my coffee (which is about 6 to 8 times a day), I change something around. It's not that I absolutely MUST have variations in my coffee. But there's little joy in having the same stuff over long periods of time.

But you do have a very valid point. They're on duty 24/7 in the ISS, and they knew what they were getting into well in advance. A rough blend in their preferred proportions would be a much better idea.

Comment H2O Obsession.. (Score 1) 79

..are fortuitously positioned for water, if any exists, to remain liquid on their surfaces — a condition believed to be necessary for life..

I find it frustrating that with so many capable biologists on our planet, we have an obsessive belief in the theory that life cannot evolve or exit on planets where liquid water is available. I think it's a despicable thought process that's in desperate need of modification.

Comment Easy to fool. (Score 1) 156

It can's detect silicone fingerprints. The cool thing about these, is that you don't have to cut off someones thumb and distracting a salesgirl while you press it to a scanner, you just act like nothing's wrong and thumb away.

I'm surprised anyone with even half a brain could have decided that a pulse was enough.
Guns can make people do amazing things, like placing their prints wherever the guy controlling the gun wants them placed.
You could engineer a pump to drive pulsed blood through the capillaries.
Heck, you could even heat the blood while you're pumping it. (This device does not detect temperature btw)

It is a solution, certainly, but wrought with a myriad of flaws. This ought to be a very long time to market I expect. Unless of course, they decide to give the job of redesigning the scanner to someone who's passed the fourth grade.

Comment Asimov'd be my choice, but.. (Score 1) 726

Asimov is, I think, a very good choice. I began when I was 8.. "Stars Like Dust", "Caves of Steel" etc.. By the time I was 12, I was through the Foundation Trilogy. I stopped reading Sci-Fi for some reason then. But "Voyage of the Space Beagle" by A. E. Van Vogt brought me back and by 16, I'd read most everything by Asimov, by E.E. (Doc) Smith and Arthur C Clarke. That's more or less when I realized that I was a fan(atic). :)

Honestly, I do not think it would be a wise idea to press your likes and dislikes upon your child. However, I understand the desire to do so. As a kid, I stumbled across a fondness for Sci-Fi quite by accident. My father is a voracious reader and his appetite spans not just Sci-Fi, but a massive variety of work. Dad used to get me and my sister to help him dust the books and re-shelve them from time to time. He had a massive collection of books and would keep adding more every month. It became a fun game to categorize the books by author and then alphabetically by Title. Dad would later assemble them upon the shelves by genre. We were too young and uneducated to know what that meant or how he knew which book belonged to which genre. So we'd watch him and hand him books from whichever pile he'd ask for.

I'd always been fascinated by the covers on the Sci-Fi books in our shelves, and after a few months of handling each book and caring for them, a boring Sunday came and I decided to see what they were all about. My very first book was "Buy Jupiter" by Isaac Asimov. A classic, yes, but I had no idea what that meant back then. I just wanted to know what the story was behind the space-ship on the cover. The play of words in the title helped make the choice too. It seemed like it would be a fun read.

I think if Dad had tried to make me read any of those books, I'd have developed a life-long distaste for them. Instead, learning how to care for our books was pretty much the only thing he'd make me and my sister do, and even that, was kinda like a game. He took great pains to ensure that we would enjoy the whole process. I read the Hobbit when I was 6, and was fairly comfortable reading "big" books by 8. As a kid, time crawls around you, and learning new things comes easy. I'd suggest you just let the child familiarize himself with being in the company of books and let him make his choice. It's a discovery you don't want to force upon a child. :)

By the way, you might also want to have compilations from The Golden Age of Sci-Fi lying around. They're mostly easy reads, and have layers and layers of entertainment. I've read the Foundation Series about seven or eight times now, and every time I do so, I discover things I'd miraculously missed in the past. Perhaps my lack of awareness, education, and immaturity prevented me from seeing them before. But the point I'm trying to make, is that most books are not really age-restricted. You can enjoy them when you're a kid as well as when you're an adult. You just enjoy them in different ways.

I hope this turns out to be of some help. Even if it does not deter you from trying to mould your kids taste in books, I hope it nevertheless give you some ideas to encourage his affinity for the genre. Good luck!

Comment Whoa! Just hold on a minute! (Score 1) 363

Why are we talking about bioengineering humans to cope with climate change in such a complicated and silly way?

I'd have suggested bioengineering humans so that they are physically adapted to the new climate. After all, if you want to cross the ethical line somewhere, don't take twenty thousand baby steps at twenty thousand places along the border, take twenty steps at a single point and get it over and done with.

I'm perfectly at ease with the idea that genetic manipulation of humans and other creatures is merely us speeding up the evolutionary process. On the other hand, I think it needs to be done responsibly and in the open. The moment we slap moralistic irons onto every one who tries, we make outlaws who will work in secret for fear of being chewed out and having no peer to openly consult with, will flout or forget critical factors to acceptable research. Okay, that just came out of nowhere. :)

Slashdot Top Deals

All science is either physics or stamp collecting. -- Ernest Rutherford