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Comment Re:Given the torment that foreign language class (Score 1) 171

Your experience may be more due to how languages are generally taught at schools. I actually enjoy learning languages, but in retrospect not a lot of the material they fed us in a classroom setting stuck; most of my effective learning was after that. Your brain is pretty good at picking up language in an immersion situation and while talking/hearing about something you are interested in (context memory); reciting random words on paper and getting 3 minutes of teacher interaction per week are pretty much a waste of time. One of the great benefits of a 2nd language (not 3rd etc. but specifically 2nd) is to make you aware of how your own language works; if you have nothing to compare it against, it's like water to a fish. Or (considering this forum) like only ever learning one programming language and working on one platform: it may be fine for earning a wage and getting a large set of stuff done, but even if you spend 90% of your time using that skill set exclusively, you can develop a lot more depth and appreciation of the pros and cons of your chosen environment by spending some quality time in other ones. And, analogously, you can't really get a feel for a technology by reading a book in class and programming "hello world".

Comment Re:That's nice... (Score 4, Interesting) 244

If those numbers are correct for the original, and the summary is correct with its "250% more power at one third the cost", that would drop the new version to $11,000 / 3.5 / 3 = $1,047/kW, less than what you quote for coal (disregarding operating costs, which I have no idea of). Unless they mean the 250% extra works out to one-third the per-Watt cost, which would imply $11,000 / 3 = $3666, not bad but a bit pricey. Don't know which cost TFA refers to (old system or new one); anybody know?

Comment Re:Well (Score 1) 305

Used to have ISDN in the 90s. Never found the same quality since (VOIP, cell, POTS). If something replaces PSTN, *please* add some virtual circuit service with guaranteed latency & bandwidth for voice. (Maybe stereo, this time.)

Comment Re:Don't bother (Score 1) 588

Maybe the network effect is a better analogy than the market. The more people plug in, the more attractive/valuable it becomes for those plugged in. Like nobody says, why bother connecting to the Internet / joining facebook / selling on eBay / running Linux, there are already so many people doing it. About the post-20 years limit: look at this guy: http://www.fluentin3months.com/mandarin-chinese-is-easy/ .

Comment Re:Glad to see "HD"TV is not killing DPI advanceme (Score 1) 155

Agree -- I bought a new Samsung 305T (30", 2650x1600) over 2 years ago for $999, and can't even see any current comparable monitors at the same price. I'd hoped for sub-$800 WQXGA by now. Would be nice at a slightly lower diagonal size too (say 28"), 30" gives me a headache after a long day staring at it. Using an older LCD 20" 1600x1200 for email and such now. Another thing I'm hoping for is that manufacturers will improve the brightness controls to where you can actually dim them enough: I like to work in relatively low-light settings, and the lowest brightness setting on practically any modern LCD monitor does not go below fairly bright. Old-style CRTs tended to be better in this respect, dimming down all the way to "no picture" if needed. A monitor is not a TV.

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