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Comment bad grammar is often a sign of hasty work (Score 1) 878

Bad grammar and spelling mistakes are often signs that the person writing to you did not take the time to review his text.

For a simple and short email without much importance, this can be ok and therefore in such message, you can accept some mistakes, as long as it does not distract too much.

However, for a report on something important, I expect the writer to review the text, by preference on paper (given that some types of issues are less obvious on screen). He should reread it to see if he did not forget things, to check if his line of reasoning is clearly explained, if results are correctly represented, figures are printed as they should, etc, ...

If he is doing that work, it is only a small additional step to also correct the spelling and grammar errors. I never see reports which are excellent, apart from grammar and spelling. The reports with a lot of grammatical errors always also show other problems.

There is only one exception to the rule above: reports written in English by non-native speakers.

Comment what with hands-on experience? (Score 1) 339

This might more or less work for degrees where you only need a computer to do practical work. But what if you want to get a degree in -let's say- RF design? Sure you can do some simulations on your home computer, but how about building the stuff, measuring it with a high quality measurement equipment? A lot of degrees require a well equiped lab if you want to get any experience in the hands-on aspects of your field or just to get better understanding of what you learned in your textbook/online training,.... I think online courses are great to get a better knowledge on a particular topic, but to replace a complete education program by it???

Comment wifi setup by internet provider (Score 1) 277

the two most important providers in my country will always install a router with wifi in your home (unless you explicitly ask them not to do so) . On these routers, there is a separate channel that can be used by all other clients of the provider. If you allow them to activate this channel, you will automatically be allowed to use the connection on other peoples routers. There is supposed to be a mechanism preventing external users to use all your bandwidth. Do these channels count as unsecured in this poll?

Comment Re:10:1 (Score 1) 277

Securing an AP is similar to securing a house. I do not live in a fortified home, but my home is better secured against burglary then most other houses in the neighborhood. As a consequence, burglars will probably prefer to get in other houses first, before trying to break into mine. But if they are really set on getting into my house, they will be able to do so. Well, it's the same with MAC filtering: it's one additional hurdle when someone wants to use my network without my authorization (on top of WPA2 which is also active). Can they do it? yes. But they will most probably try to crack the one of my neighbors first. The major disadvantage I get from MAC filtering is that it is more difficult to quickly give wifi access when you want to do so. You have to find the new users mac address, log in to the router and program it.

Comment it's not just maps (Score 3, Insightful) 166

The openstreetmap project does provide a fantastic result, but for me it is lacking satellite imaging (as google does) or satellite imaging and aerial pictures (as bing/microsoft does) Having the images can be very handy... I see very often people who need to determine the distance between two points and for that, the images are easier than the maps.

Comment Re:I don't like the sound of this... (Score 1) 116

Now, I do not know about missiles, but wind turbines are a NATO concern: see for instance times online
Note that there are a number of mechanisms by which a wind turbine can interfere with primary radar. It is not only the fact that the energy reflected back on the wind turbine can trick the radar into thinking that he is seeing a genuine target. Wind turbines can by the way also impact secondary radar. See for instance Eurocontrol for more information.

Comment Re:Gee, thanks for the notice (Score 1) 255

It's rather that radars, ATC centers,... verify that information is not to old for display/use. As such, all equipment verifies different time sources (e.g.g internal clock, external GPS reference, DCF clock, etc)

With the addition of a leap second, you run the risk that some alarms will go off, indicating that there is a potential timing issue. This might cause the shutdown of certain systems.

Using NTP is not always an option: older systems cannot always connect to an NTP server (what with a 20 year old radar?), you need additional secured datalines, etc

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