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Comment Instax (Score 1) 422

For the most part I use my cell phone for pictures, but also an old casio point and shoot for the timer features (try resting a cell phone on a flat surface for group "selfies")

Lately I have gotten into Instax cameras, an updated version of the old polaroid instant film camera. The immediacy of having a print to hold and share is worth the cost.

Comment took his class at MIT (Score 5, Interesting) 129

Long time ago (Acoustics). It was by far the best class I took as a grad student. He genuinely was not only a great engineer but a great teacher. He showed he movie Stand By Me to the class, and hosted the entire class to a tour of Bose. Most importantly, he was the only professor to really stress that common principles in engineering (lumped parameter model) exist throughout multiple domains, whether electrical, mechanical, or acoustic.

I really hated my experience at MIT for the most part, but his class was one of the few bright moments and I would like to think I am a better engineer because of him.

Comment Re:Repeating history (Score 2) 266

While I would agree with your assessment in the short term, China is pushing out huge numbers of engineers, PhDs and otherwise. Granted there is some question as to how competent these graduates are compared to Western counterparts, but as with anything they do, they are incrementally improving.

Pretty soon, they will have enough of a research and development base home grown that I don't think developing cutting edge technology would be that much of a problem.

Comment Re:Perspective vs. Tunnel Vision (Score 1) 284

I am not sure what you mean by Times New Roman not being a good option for printing documents? I actually like it, and use it a lot as default. But my point was that I can easily change to another similiar font without guessing what it would look like. In LaTeX (and yes I should have known about lyx and like back in 1998 or so, but I didn't because everybody else in the lab just used emacs) you can select fonts but you won't know what they look like until you compile/view and a few times of that was enough for me. Plus depending on how the default fonts were set up changing fonts was never as easy as Word.

Someone mentioned it being funny considering fonts for a thesis, and admittedly it was only a minor nitpick, but I think it amusing when unix/tex/geek people so decry MS folk for acting like sheep but then turn around and criticize people who nitpick about the lack of choices on unix/tex/etc. I agree that some of my points are invalidated if I had used a WYSIWYG type editor, but by the time I was aware of them for TeX I had moved on.

Sorry I am responding to a bunch of posts in one, but several mentioned about how hard math equations were to create. I really am confused about this, because equation editor was actually pretty easy for me to use and all my equations turned out ok, with no errant exponents/subscripts etc. I had more trouble getting equations to work right in LaTex because all that _{} ^{}, in a complicated equation, was hard to quickly see and make sense of. Then again I didnt have like 100 equations to do, and I can see if you have lots of similar equations it may be easier to copy and paste text syntactic elements.

Comment Re:Perspective vs. Tunnel Vision (Score 3, Interesting) 284

I went the opposite. I did my thesis in Word, even though LaTeX was the standard to use at my lab. I knew how to use LaTex (I did my MS thesis in it) but to me LaTeX was too clumsy.

I hated the way it laid out figures/tables. A slight change of the text (add a line or two, change a parameter) would result in widely different figure/table placement, sometimes even clumping them all at the end.

The default font the generated postscript files had was 1) ugly 2) always the same. Of course, the latter is a "good thing", but you can easily tell someone's thesis was done in Tex/LaTeX, while in Word you can choose slightly different fonts from the same family that made it look at least a little different from every other thesis.

Viewing figures/graphs is a pain, if you add a new figure you have to "compile" the latex, call up the ps viewer, then scroll to the figure to see if it looks right, not to mention figure out where LaTeX decided to place them.

All in all, Word has its faults but WYSIWYG was a godsend and I never regretted using it for my thesis.

As for tables, I make them in Excel then link them into Word. That is (to me) a heck of a lot easier than typing extra syntactic markup to get tables.

Comment Re:Augh. (Score 1) 132

I am getting sick of the "particularly troublesome dictator" excuse. At least you are honest enough to mention the oil part. In terms of troublesome, there are plenty of other candidates all over the world. How about all the tyrants in Africa that we support and dump as we see fit? No oil, not worth the trouble. Ayatollahs of Iran? They are definitely troublesome, sponsor terrorism, and do have oil. But they would have put up a greater fight so not worth the trouble. Ditto with Kim Jong Il. Huge security risk in Asia, could soon threaten west coast with nuclear weapons, not to mention our allies South Korea, Japan, Australia. No oil, but more importantly it would bring China into the conflict and we are too chicken to pick a fight with our banker. So again not worth the trouble.

So contrary to all the "evil" and "dangerous" talk about Saddam he was actually the opposite. He was someone the Bush administration figured would be an easy kill, who isn't so dangerous that the troops would be endangered too much (as opposed to say Iran or N. Korea) . They could go in, wipe him out, secure oil contracts, then leave. What they didnt figure was the insurgency.

Comment Re:Privacy fears (Score 1) 527

I won't demand that you turn in your geek card, but I for one am curious about technologies in general. If I read a news article that mentions a terrorist making a bomb with only household ingredients and instructions he found on the internet, I would probably search for that, just to see what ingredients he/she used.


Comment Re:Military spec vs commercial (Score 2, Informative) 327

I would suspect that for certain chips, manufacturers do the same thing Intel/AMD do in terms of speed ratings. They make the chip, then test it at different conditions, and whichever chip passes the more stringent requirements gets labeled milspec. So the same silicon design could be designated different things.

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