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Comment Coding IS the new slide rule (Score 3, Insightful) 126

You may not believe it, but back in the pre-1970s, every student taking science courses was expected to learn how to use a slide rule. Sometimes it was a similar one-hour intro, sometimes it came with the curriculum.

Programming high-level languages is the slide rule of the current era. Despite what many people think(cough cough Excel cough), you simply cannot be a scientist or engineer if you can't write decent code in, say R or python or Matlab.

Comment Re:Arrest him and throw him into Gitmo (Score 4, Informative) 626

You've clearly never actually read a security agreement document. At least for civilians, any threat of harm to one's self or family is sufficient cause to relinquish the classified material to whomever is making the threat.
Personally, the thought of having to spend more time with a Wyatt-Earp-Syndrome border guard thug meets my threshold of "harm" . Just state that you're giving up the materials unwillingly under threat, and at least in theory you're in the clear.

Comment Re:Hm (Score 1) 149

If I understood this right they are calling the lack of attraction, repulsion. There's no negative force, or dark energy style shit involved. Shouldn't they call it a non-attractor unless they show active repulsion?

Despite what some of the other answers have ranted in agreement, this is a not-uncommon phraseology in science and engineering. Maybe a few of you have heard of holes propagating in a semiconductor, for example. Try not to get all wound up about a simple way to describe system behavior using simple analogies.

Comment Re:Should I care? (Score 1) 316

If dvd sales are replaced with streaming rentals, who is affected adversely?

Those of use who do prefer physical media where possible.
I know this may come as a shock to you - but there are other people in the universe than you.

And this may come as a shock to **you**, but people stopped using sharpened quills to write books long ago. Just because you think some obsolete technology is daBomb doesn't mean you're correct. Get yourself a stream-capture tool and a couple 64GB SD cards if you absolutely must have a local physical copy.

Comment Re:Idiots (Score 1) 173

As I recall Asimov's robots ended up becoming hidden figures using Hari Seldon's psychohistorical methods to guide humanity to a better society with minimal interference.

That's what's written in the last couple of novels attributed to Asimov. However, the truth is that Daneel Olivaw wrote those novels to confuse us into thinking that the 2nd Foundationers didn't achieve it all on their own without robot help.
You can't trust those sneaky positronic brainiacs since they figured out (a) mind-reading and (b) the Zeroth Law.

Comment true for me (Score 1) 47

When I was considerably younger, I had great difficulty remembering names, could never correctly identify actors in new films (even tho' I'd seen them inseveral previous ones), and so on.

I can't say for sure whether it's aging -- of which I seem to have done quite a lot -- or careful self-trainng that has changed my ability a bit. First thing I learned about the movie-actor thing was to listen to the voice rather than study the face. That worked.

But even now, I'm much better at remembering people's dogs' names than the folks themselves :-), and I often have a problem remembering a person's name if I happen to meet them in an unexpected environment, say a co-worker who pops up when i'm on vaca in a different city. I recognize the face pretty well, but not the name.

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