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Comment HDDs (Score 1) 371

I used to have major problems with fan noise, as I kept my machine in my bedroom. Last two systems I've put together the fan noise was the thing I most focused on.

Now the machine I'm using has a horrible HDD clicking during heavy downloads and virus scans. It's been that way since out of the box, and has functioned fine enough for 4 or 5 years 24/7/265, but it's gotten to the point that even though it's now down the hall from my bedroom a late night install will drive me nuts.

I'd like to go solid state, but have gotten lazy and used to having TBs of extra storage space.

Comment Re:Don't confuse teacher tenure with professor ten (Score 1) 399

Thank you for clarifying the accuracy of what I was thinking.

I don't have much experience with public K-12 tenure, but I did spend half my life in the university system. I know that university tenure takes ~6 years to earn, and has very rigorous reviews to reward it - the more prestigious the institution, generally, the more rigorous, because the goal is to maintain a faculty that the department can rely on for excellence and reputation.

It appears to me that K-12 tenure is automatically rewarded to anyone showing up for a couple years, which isn't a very efficient way of weeding out the lower quality individuals. It's hard to do reviews though, because the reputation of a department or school isn't rewarded in the same way; people choose their college, but very few people get to choose their public school.

Comment Re:I like my own office, thanks (Score 1) 314

When NYU was designing their new soft matter center in the physics department the faculty wanted glass office walls on the perimeters of the labs for better communication/collaboration (and oversight).

The grad students and postdocs, fulfilling just what you'd expect form introvert scientists-in-training, responded by taping up posters on the glass under the pretext of "decoration" to gain some privacy.

Looked horrible in the end.

Comment Re:And the other uses for this are? (Score 1) 252

Thank you for your commitment to democracy.

During the OWS protests, every time I heard someone complaining about dirty hippies, or lack of consensus message, or anything, I'd simply point out that I admired their commitment, and I know few people that would sleep in the street and risk interference for police voluntarily.

OWS started a conversation, and were forced to make a shocking commitment to do so.

Submission + - Possibility of Cloning Quantum Information from the Past (sciencedaily.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Popular television shows such as "Doctor Who" have brought the idea of time travel into the vernacular of popular culture. But the problem of time travel is even more complicated than one might think. LSU's Mark Wilde and colleagues have shown that it would theoretically be possible for time travelers to copy quantum data from the past. To be consistent with Deutsch's model of time travel, which holds that you can only change the past as long as you can do it in a self-consistent manner, Wilde and colleagues had to come up with a solution that would allow for a looping curve back in time, and copying of quantum data based on a time traveling particle, without disturbing the past.

Submission + - New Documentary Chronicles Road Tripping Scientists Promoting Reason

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Dennis Overbye reports on the NYT that two years ago Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss set off on a barnstorming tour to save the world from religion and promote science. Now their adventure is now the subject of “The Unbelievers,” a documentary out just in time for Christmas, "If you think a road trip with a pair of intellectuals wielding laptops is likely to lack drama, you haven’t been keeping up with the culture wars," writes Overbye. The scientists are mobbed at glamorous sites like the Sydney Opera House. Inside, they sometimes encounter clueless moderators; outside, demonstrators condemning them to hellfire. At one event, a group of male Muslim protesters are confronted by counterprotesters chanting, “Where are your women?” "Travelogue shots, perky editing and some popular rock music, as well as interview bits with such supportive celebrities as Woody Allen, Cameron Diaz, Sarah Silverman and Ricky Gervais, shrewdly enliven the brainy — but accessible — discourse," writes Gary Goldstein in the LA Times, "but mostly the movie is an enjoyably high-minded love fest between two deeply committed intellectuals and the scads of atheists, secularists, free-thinkers, skeptics and activists who make up their rock star-like fan base." The movie ends at the Reason Rally in Washington, billed as the largest convention of atheists in history. Dawkins looks out at the crowd standing in a light rain and pronounces it “the most incredible sight I can remember ever seeing" and declares that too many people have been cowed out of coming out as atheists, secularists or agnostics. “We are far more numerous than anybody realizes."

Submission + - Nobel Prize Winner Randy Schekman Boycotts Journals for 'Branding Tyranny' (ibtimes.co.uk) 1

An anonymous reader writes: One of this year's winners of the Nobel Peace prize has declared a boycott on leading academic journals after he accused them of contributing to the "disfigurement" of science.

Randy Schekman, who won the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine, said he would no longer contribute papers or research to the prestigious journals, Nature, Cell and Science and called for other scientists to fight the "tyranny" of the publications.

Comment Re:Chilling (Score 1) 306

I understand. I was trying to politely point out the incorrect use of effigy. If I were more clever I would have made a good joke and gotten a -1 funny mod.

Interesting topic though: is there really nothing of value in the NSA records? Is it really impossible to filter for the information they've gathered that would fall within their original (or /. perception of) mission? The resources they've employed are substantial, and it would be disappointing to me to consider 100% of that a waste, when there aught to be at least some fully legal, fully helpful, actionable intelligence within the noise of over-collection.

Comment Re:Chilling (Score 1) 306

We need to simply shut down the NSA altogether, burn their records in effigy, and recall every elected official who ever voted in favor of their activities, or their funding.

So, you want to destroy a representation of the records, but keep them in storage somewhere? :)

Comment Re:Theft? (Score 1) 1010

I see, so this is only a theft because of the quantity, and I'm a moron for not realizing it.

Or, as other posters state, all theft is theft, and quantity is irrelevant, and I should realize that.

The point is that there's no clear line about what assumptions are common when it comes to an exterior outlet in a public space. I haven't seen anything that clears up whether this outlet was for the use of students or faculty for personal electronics, or not - though that may be due to my lack of literacy. Originally, it appeared that he was the parent of a student on premises at the time, which makes it all a bit gray, in my moronic, non-knee jerk perspective.

Thanks for the lack of toxic communication though. It's nice when we can talk things through as a community without resorting to the greater fuckwad hypothesis.

Comment Re:Don't expect the cop to know how much was stole (Score 1) 1010

He was arrested at 8p, specifically to ensure he had to spend the night in jail.

Yes, they did investigate before making the arrest and determine that he did something chargeable. Good on them.

Then they threw him in jail overnight for...? What exactly? Even requesting a court appearance via the mail (such as with a moving violation from traffic cams) would be ludicrous in this case, but they wanted to maximize their punishment, it would appear.

What part of that glossed over bit that they intentionally arrested him after the courts are closed is reasonable?

Comment Re:Theft? (Score 1) 1010

So, your interpretation is that any use of the outlet outside of official school business is stealing. That's fine. I think it's unclear.

Shall a faculty member charging a personal cell phone also expect to overnight in jail? With the absolutism you're using, I don't see how you can suggest this situation is different.

And, that should be absurd to anyone.

Comment Re:Theft? (Score 4, Insightful) 1010

Agreed. The line is not well defined, and it is ludicrous that with those ambiguities (why exactly is his car different from a phone, or a laptop?) the police would go to his home at dinner time to arrest him days later.

They intentionally arrested him at 8p. A time when it's hard to get paperwork/representation/hearing, and thus chose that he be forced to jail overnight. Jail overnight! Not for drunken driving, not for violence or endangerment, for an ill-defined "theft". Why would that be a reasonable course of action? If the police picked up someone over a week later for a night in jail for a stolen *anything* with small value, everyone would likely see agenda/corruption driving the decision.

Would they have done that if I plugged in my laptop? My phone? Is this outlet only for maintenance's use? If so, why isn't it secured against this "theft", tampering, or adolescent darwin-award experimentation? If it's for student or community use, why is this a problem?

Is this school private or public? What rights does he have as a student's parent vs. a student vs. anyone else? Could we expect that if one of the faculty charged their phone there, that they too would spend a night in jail?

I suspect it's got a lot to do with politics and a regional dislike of environmentalists or liberals. I'd be very happy to learn otherwise, because the police selectively seeking punitive punishment for what materials goods you possess, and what they infer those goods mean about you is not a great direction for us to be heading.

Comment Re:How about... (Score 1) 249

Why is so much precision required in routing? If it's not for your commute (which will not be "new"), then time and length should have some flexibility.

I used to bicycle over 200 miles a week, and most of that was without even an odometer. One of the great joys was the feeling of "I am going to go that direction and see what happens" for x miles or y hours.

And if I needed to get somewhere specific, I'd look at a route in advance and head that direction. If I got mixed up, I'd just head in the right cardinal direction for a while. At 20 mph it's not like you're going to overshoot anything that dramatically, and if the destination area seemed esp. difficult I would just print out a map.

Why does every turn need to be precisely mapped, and why would it be a problem to miss a turn every once in a while. When did sport stop having any sense of adventure?

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"The eleventh commandment was `Thou Shalt Compute' or `Thou Shalt Not Compute' -- I forget which." -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982