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Comment 300 books? A hugely hobbled device... (Score 1) 249

I just gave my son a Nook HD+. I stuck a 32GB micro-SD card in it, on which I included 20,000 epub books, as well as a few other odd-'n-ends. Even with technology a few years old, it seems incredible to me that they could only get 300 books on these things. I used to put that many books on a 2GB SD card on my Dell Axim PDA, which is really old technology today.

Comment That's why we're using Eucalyptus. (Score 1) 27

Given the goals of OpenStack I'd prefer using it, but running a cloud provisioning student learning instances in an academic institution with the academic discounts from Amazon makes it a no-brainer to run a system that allows our cloud to peak into AWS. Repeated discussions with Rackspace about meeting/beating this deal make it clear that they can't even begin to do that. And we have to get the most bang for our buck to ensure our students have optimal systems for their learning.

Comment A lot of it is the operator... (Score 1) 161

I've had radar operators work for me who could see flocks of birds skimming over the ocean, and certainly could see diesel submarine attack periscopes, with an airborne look-down version of the LN-66 radar. The LN-66 was an adaptation of a very standard commercial vessel navigation radar and was far from a sophisticated device, but in the hands of a really skilled operator--a Navy operator, I might add--even relatively unsophisticated radars can do some pretty remarkable things.

Comment Pinguy OS (Score 1) 319

The high school kids in the Intro to Linux class I taught last summer looked at four distros and they all agreed that Pinguy OS was the hands-down winner. Most of them even thought it was easier to use right out of the box than MS Windows. Since it's an Ubuntu/Mint derivative, it even has an LTS version. If you've never seen Pinguy OS, try it--you'll like it!

Comment Re:I wish I could say I'm surprised (Score 1) 160

Actually, the Internet--which is the first fully-functional anarchical institution in the history of humanity--was created directly through the efforts of the U.S. Department of Defense's Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)--so it WAS government that created the Internet. I've always considered the fact that the DoD created the first functional anarchy to be one of the single greatest instances of irony in history.

Comment How about Barnaby Rudge? (Score 1) 865

With CGI technology, the horror and spectacle of the Gordon Riots of 1780 chronicled in Dicken's Barnaby Rudge can be finally brought to the screen, including people actually drowning in booze from the burning of Langdale's wine and spirits warehouse. Almost all Americans and probably most Britons are completely unaware that rioters had the complete run of London for almost three days, right in the middle of the American Revolution. Too bad I don't have time to work on my screenplay!

Comment Re:Now why can't doctors have a 2-3 year pre med (Score 2) 463

In Britain and many other countries, physicians complete a five-year Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery degree and are awarded the title--but not the degree--of Doctor. This is because the general education portion of an American undergraduate degree is not a part of these degrees under the British system. There seems to be some assumption that they get more "general education" in secondary school, but in my experience this is not the case as I get students all the time out of British-style education who enter our graduate program with a Bachelor of Engineering, who have NEVER written a research paper, either in secondary school or in college. This hinges on your opinion of the value of general education; I happen to be a believer, which I guess makes me a believer in the American-style eight-year medical school path.

Comment Re:move IT / MIS to tech school / apprenticeship. (Score 2) 463

Some schools cover the gamut; the university where I teach has Computer Engineering, Computer Science and Information Technology; we also have an undergraduate business program which is introducing substantial specializations in CS or IT. We have CE and CS through the PhD level and IT through a Master's Degree. BTW, I teach information technology and have for nine years now, and IT works very well in a university environment. Lately some employers hiring coders have been seeking out our graduates over CS grads because coders in our IT program emerge as application developers, while coders from CS are just programmers--they know all the underlying algorithms but don't know how to apply them to solving real business problems.

Comment Re:I've been illuminated... (Score 1) 546

First, I'm not going to fly TOWARD someone who is illuminating me with a laser; I hope you can see that would be very foolish. Second, the general populace tends to get rather upset when you fly a helicopter low enough to chase people on foot, especially one as large as I flew. Third, people don't fly helicopters for fun--it costs too much to fly them--and this means that when we're flying, we're on a mission and can't just go haring off after boneheads with lasers. In my case it was a Navy helicopter.

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