Comments

55 is young. Sounded like a cool CEO. (Score: 2, Insightful)

by rocks@pipedot.org in Nintendo president Satoru Iwata dies at age 55 on 2015-07-13 19:47 (#E6Z7)

A lot of the articles paint him as a CEO with a developer background who was open to learning and forthright self-analysis. Something to admire.

I realize this is a moment for reflection, but I can't help wondering what comes next for Nintendo.

Naive user to date (Score: 2, Interesting)

by rocks@pipedot.org in Crack any Master Lock combination lock in eight tries or less on 2015-05-01 13:54 (#86Z2)

So I confess to being a naive user of Master Lock combo locks at the gym for years now without knowing how weak their protection actually is. I would like to know what a slightly more challenging alternative would be for a replacement? I've seen the recommendation for an American 1105? Any others?

Re: What about goats? (Score: 1)

by rocks@pipedot.org in Lawn mowing robots to inferfere with radio telescopes on 2015-04-20 12:38 (#7DXH)

Considering your questions, I realize I had taken on the care of a property that I believed was best run as a hobby farm, rather then a domestic home; however, I initially just followed the practices of the previous owners who had mowed most of it for domestic use for the previous several decades; once installed, the goats were amazing at keeping the lawns looking great. Around here, I think one goat could easily tend 0.5-1 acre without too much trouble. The property was in an agricultural district, agriculturally zoned, with lots of both rain and sun, however; so as you say, absolutely not the circumstances presented to many Californians. I lived in Pasadena, California while doing my post-doc and spent the first six months of my time there marvelling how weird it was to feel like you were in a desert, yet seeing lush green in most places -- people appeared to spend a lot more time, money, water making vegetation grow there, then trying to keep grass cut.

* How big is a lawn that takes 6+ hours to mow? ~3-4 acres, used a ride-on mower for the "first pass" which would take ca. 4 hours, the extra hours came from using push mowers and whipper snippers to clean up the parts closest to the road, etc; the lawn would need to be mowed once per week on average lest the grass get too long to mow the next time round
* How many goats does that support? After 1 year of the above and basically spending the majority of my free time mowing, I installed 2-4 goats on 2+ acres to keep the grass like a meadow.
* What kind of weather do you have that you can support goats on your property? lots of rain and warm sun; the grass grows fast most weeks of the summer (3-5 months)
* Where do you live that that's allowed? eastern Canada, rural
* What do you do about the plants you don't want the goats to eat (veggie bed, flowers, etc)? fenced them off or let things play out as the did; in most cases, the lawns/fields had pre-existing apple, plum, peach, cherry trees, etc. with leaves too high for the goats to kill and the drops which added to their food supply and their "cleaning" role.
* How much does it cost/goat (vet, whatever else goats need)? I can't remember the details; I would pay on the order of $20-$100 per goat at the start of summer; I bought male goats that I would butcher and eat in the fall; startup expenses were fencing and a shelter for the goats, but I don't recall much other expenses otherwise (salt blocks for the goats?)

Uses of the spectrum (Score: 1)

by rocks@pipedot.org in Lawn mowing robots to inferfere with radio telescopes on 2015-04-19 17:32 (#7CEN)

How do authorities know if someone is using a forbidden frequency band, in any case? In other words, what would it take to confirm that a band is not being used by average citizens?

What about goats? (Score: 1)

by rocks@pipedot.org in Lawn mowing robots to inferfere with radio telescopes on 2015-04-19 17:29 (#7CDW)

Twenty years ago, I spent 6+ hours a week mowing a large lawn until I got sick of it and installed fences and goats instead. I like the idea of this Roomba lawn-mowing device, but we don't always need a technological solution.

Re: A couple years ago (Score: 1)

by rocks@pipedot.org in Claims of gender bias in Canada's Science Hall of Fame nomination process on 2015-04-18 17:59 (#7AW3)

Yeah. No worries. I really like pipedot. I've just been trying to put some stories in the pipe the past few days because it had been slowing down. I am personally interested in this issue... However, in the context of pipedot I'm mostly interested in posting stories that inspire positive and educational exchanges. I can respect that this kind of topic is common elsewhere and look for different topics therefore.

Re: A couple years ago (Score: 1)

by rocks@pipedot.org in Claims of gender bias in Canada's Science Hall of Fame nomination process on 2015-04-18 17:39 (#7AVG)

I take your point about pipedot and I will respect it in the future. Thank you for responding on the topic in this case.

Re: A couple years ago (Score: 1)

by rocks@pipedot.org in Claims of gender bias in Canada's Science Hall of Fame nomination process on 2015-04-18 17:10 (#7AT5)

You make a good point. However, in my experience men and women and ratios of men and women do make a difference at work because of different styles of individual and group behaviors, communication, etc. Whether the ultimate cause of this is nature or nurture. I am actually surprised at the implication that gender is a completely neutral factor in your workplaces because that hasn't been my experience. Maybe that reflects on me though.For what it's worth, here is an example anecdote from my workplace. We have a male Commissionaire at the entrance to our building. I have always had an easy experience in my interactions with him, but other colleagues of mine have not. The ones with the most difficulties are all diminutive women, it made me wonder if we were being treated differently principally on the basis of gender.

Re: A couple years ago (Score: 1)

by rocks@pipedot.org in Claims of gender bias in Canada's Science Hall of Fame nomination process on 2015-04-18 16:58 (#7ASH)

Fair enough. I probably just typed a bad joke. My question was worded vaguely to allow for variety of responses. In the vein of seriousness, I was actually interested in your implied view that one/we would have no interest in extending ourselves to welcome women to an IT workplace if their possible non-participation was based on a false impression of how unwelcome women are/were in this context. I am generally motivated to address false impressions where I think they exist, at least modestly so.

I still see a role for hydrocarbons several decades out at least (Score: 1)

by rocks@pipedot.org in India, the global energy supply and the "saffron revolution" on 2015-04-18 02:21 (#79SB)

I find the economic pressures are too real for many folks and jurisdictions to move away from fossil fuels too much too fast. It is surprising how many divestment-promoting folks appear to not actually refrain from using fossil fuel energy in their daily lives. Oil prices dropped here in Canada and truck sales went up and I really wanted to know the demographics of the truck buyers relative to their views on climate change and global energy choices.

I used to dabble in websites (Score: 1)

by rocks@pipedot.org in "The information security workforce shortfall is widening." on 2015-04-18 02:18 (#79SA)

But seriously get scared about the security challenges of the modern webserver now. I don't have time to administer with diligence, so I guess its about using one of the major hosts like Amazon or Google or having a website that justifies paying for full time care.

In other news (Score: 1)

by rocks@pipedot.org in Report recommends reducing university enrollment and expanding tech schools on 2015-04-18 02:16 (#79RX)

anyone see the new Divergent movie: Insurgent? I really liked it, but it was incredibly shallow. I wonder if the new Star Wars movie will live up to Episodes 4-6.

How many people (Score: 1)

by rocks@pipedot.org in Microsoft may one day open source Windows on 2015-04-18 02:14 (#79RN)

would want to dive into the Windows source code if given the opportunity?

Re: A couple years ago (Score: 1)

by rocks@pipedot.org in Claims of gender bias in Canada's Science Hall of Fame nomination process on 2015-04-18 02:13 (#79RM)

In my senior undergraduate class in geology, there were 8 males, 1 female. The year after me there were 10 females, 3 males. In grad school, we had a transgendered prof who was very cool and, as far as I could tell, didn't really phase anyone.

Re: A couple years ago (Score: 1)

by rocks@pipedot.org in Claims of gender bias in Canada's Science Hall of Fame nomination process on 2015-04-18 02:10 (#79RK)

Daily mail talks about women one day out pacing men in long-distance running. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2420999/Women-day-faster-long-distance-running-men-predict-experts.html

Re: A couple years ago (Score: 1)

by rocks@pipedot.org in Claims of gender bias in Canada's Science Hall of Fame nomination process on 2015-04-18 02:05 (#79RJ)

From the Wikipedia entry on Women and sumo:

Professional sumo is notable for its exclusion of women from competition and ceremonies. Women are not allowed to enter or touch the sumo wrestling ring (dohyō), as this is traditionally seen to be a violation of the purity of the dohyō.[16] The female Governor of Osaka from 2000–2008, Fusae Ohta, when called upon to present the Governor's Prize to the champion of the annual Osaka tournament, was required to do so on the walkway beside the ring or send a male representative in her place. She repeatedly challenged the Sumo Association's policy by requesting to be allowed to fulfill her traditional role as Governor. Her requests were repeatedly rejected until she stepped down from office.
The view of those who criticize this continuing "men-only" policy is that it is discriminatory and oppressive.[16] In general, women in the sumo world are only expected to be supportive wives of rikishi, and, in the case that their husband has become a stable master, a surrogate mother for all of his disciples.[13] The view of the Sumo Association is that this is a tradition that has been firmly maintained through the centuries, so it would be a dishonor to all of their ancestors to change it.[16]
This was not always the case. Starting as early as the 18th century a form of female sumo or onnazumo was performed in some areas of Japan. In the cities it was more of a spectacle often associated with brothels. However, in some areas of Japan female sumo had a serious role in certain Shinto rituals. In later years, there were limited tours of female sumo that lasted for a time.[17] However, female sumo is not considered to be authentic by most Japanese and is now prohibited from taking place beyond amateur settings.[18]

Re: A couple years ago (Score: 1)

by rocks@pipedot.org in Claims of gender bias in Canada's Science Hall of Fame nomination process on 2015-04-18 02:03 (#79RH)

Good points. Interestingly, you rarely hear about people clamoring for more women as professional wrestlers a la WWE. I wonder about the SUMO variety too...

Re: A couple years ago (Score: 1)

by rocks@pipedot.org in Claims of gender bias in Canada's Science Hall of Fame nomination process on 2015-04-18 02:01 (#79R6)

Do you not want more women in your work environment?

Re: A couple years ago (Score: 2)

by rocks@pipedot.org in Claims of gender bias in Canada's Science Hall of Fame nomination process on 2015-04-16 16:05 (#76KN)

Thanks. Your second post motivated me to do my own fact-checking as well and I went to the same website.

It was actually quite eye-opening to go directly to the source rather than taking the CBC article as the most effective reading of the data. It might make posting stories to Pipedot harder, but incorporating this kind of fact-checking could make the story summaries more balanced and fair (just like Fox News).

Mind you, if Pipedot is engaged in news aggregation, it raises the question of what is news when news agencies might be creating stories out of no or little evidence.

Re: A couple years ago (Score: 3, Insightful)

by rocks@pipedot.org in Claims of gender bias in Canada's Science Hall of Fame nomination process on 2015-04-16 15:57 (#76JM)

Thanks for this as well... your elaboration is exactly the kind of thoughtful commentary I was hoping for... you raise a number of interesting points...

Point One: What is the gender breakdown of Hall members? I went to the Canada Science Hall of Fame website http://cstmuseum.techno-science.ca/en/hall-of-fame/hall-of-fame-hall.php and expanded the Hall members list until the "show more" option stopped coming up. I then scanned the Hall members and got these numbers (after only one visual pass over the list): 60 total members, 10 women (so a Hall membership rate of 16.7% women). This strikes me as quite possibly reflective of merit based on the participation of women in science over the past century which may have structurally favoured greater opportunities for men.

Point Two: Who were the nominees for the past two years and why? I actually think this information is probably not published and I'm not sure what the ethics would be on publishing the information of unsuccessful nominees. Nonetheless, considering this question made me realize that I actually sit on an awards committee for some career geoscience awards and I haven't seen any women nominated for the awards that my committee judges in any of the past four years. However, this is mostly reflective of who gets nominated by the general community and not of the gender bias of myself or my fellow panelists because our committee doesn't go out looking for nominations ourselves (we simply judge on the nominations we receive). Women have received these awards in the past, however; a woman is on the panel itself; and, I am not aware of any gender bias from the panelists when choosing recipients of the award. A role for gender bias may be in the structural opportunities presented to women selecting careers in geoscience up until now, however.

Point Three: How might the popular media have fed a narrative without regard for fact or context? I find this quite interesting at this stage. I think that certain narratives gain traction in society and are useful for the goals of media corporations therefore because they have traction and generate support and thus revenue. However, sometimes the continued appeal to an established narrative can cause new problems. For example, there may be evidence emerging at the leading edge of this issue that present-day men are actually at a disadvantage to women in starting a career in science research. A recent paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2015/04/08/1418878112.abstract) observed experimentally a 2:1 hiring preference in academic faculty for women over men for tenure track science positions. Thus, men may still be winning the majority of career science awards right now due to past structural biases, but the bias pendulum may be swinging to women's favour presently and this may lead to new observations in a generation's time. This leads to your main point, perhaps, that:

Point Four: The CBC article probably doesn't advance this discussion much because it invokes a simple narrative on a possibly nuanced topic.

Re: A couple years ago (Score: 3, Interesting)

by rocks@pipedot.org in Claims of gender bias in Canada's Science Hall of Fame nomination process on 2015-04-16 14:25 (#76BD)

Thanks for this... it's a good reminder...

I believe that I am pretty skeptical about media output, but maybe I'm not, in fact. I am conscious that I am the easiest one to fool in the case of self-perception. I really appreciate your comment as it provides an outside perspective for me.

In any case, my motivation to submit the story was that I thought it provided an opportunity to discuss an issue that I believe is important -- i.e., how we recognize and reward scientists for their contributions to knowledge (with jobs, tenure, salary, grants, awards, or, in this case, a nomination to a Canadian Science Hall of Fame). One of the ways to evaluate how we reward scientists is to look at what is actually happening. I was prepared to trust the CBC article -- without further research -- in its claim that no women have been nominated for the Canadian Science Hall of Fame in the last two years. Maybe I am naive, but I didn't think the article would fake this fact. If true, on its own it is an interesting observation with two end-member implications that either: (1) women's contributions haven't warranted a nomination when compared to the competing nominations of male scientists, or (2) the nomination process is biased in regards to gender. I was hoping Pipedot readers would have some views on this, either from direct observation of women's worthy contributions or the lack thereof. Maybe there is no way to sort that kind of thing out on an internet forum, however, and the article and story ends up just being clickbait. I suppose I could have looked up the statistics independently from the Science Hall of Fame site itself and linked to that, if I had found anything noteworthy, and maybe that's the lesson for me here.

Re: Legacy (Score: 2, Interesting)

by rocks@pipedot.org in Apple's New MacBook on 2015-03-10 15:38 (#4NBB)

I mostly use an older laptop with two docking stations, one at home and one at work. It is awesome, dual monitor setups in both places, wired ethernet, headphones, etc. All I have to do is clip in and out when I sit down in either place.

I suppose the theory here is that one USB-C will function like the docking interface, so what I will need is a usb-C to multi-port interface. It's an intriguing possibility, especially if it means third-party docks can work across multiple laptops/computers. That would actually improve my life quite a lot as I currently work with multiple laptops and operating systems, especially if other family members are included in the use case. It would be very cool to be able to sit down at a single desktop workstation setup with an arbitrary laptop and operating system and have a single plug to hook in to the whole setup of monitors, network, headphones, cameras, MIDI keyboards, etc.... quite interesting really...

I still have a soft spot (Score: 1)

by rocks@pipedot.org in Jolla smartphone running Sailfish OS launches in Hong Kong on 2014-08-28 14:45 (#2R7E)

For BlackBerry, as I really like QNX and it's Hub/message center.... it's too bad there isn't a good way to try before you buy for these new competitors though, as one of the main obstacles for me is buying a new phone that is off the radar.

Dependency management? (Score: 1)

by rocks@pipedot.org in Twentieth anniversary of the FreeBSD Ports Tree on 2014-08-28 14:38 (#2R74)

How well does Ports handle dependencies these days with different apps and with uninstalls and such?

Re: mainstream vs. extended support (Score: 1)

by rocks@pipedot.org in Windows 7 approaches end of life on 2014-08-28 14:31 (#2R72)

We use Win7 at work. Win7 seems to have LTS status similar to WinXP -- I tend to ponder whether it will be Win8 that loses Microsoft's attention first given 8's uptake issues in the general marketplace.

Re: What would it take to get more submitted articles here? (Score: 1)

by rocks@pipedot.org in The experiment with feeding Soylent articles: your comments! on 2014-08-27 20:26 (#2QW9)

I'm really keen on Pipedot being a success, with success defined as a place to learn from interesting news and the experience of community members. It's starting to get there sometimes, but it's also discouraging to see a story pass by with few or no comments. I get that tech stories sometimes don't need a lot of discussion, but maybe there is a way to rate stories as being of interest even when we have nothing to add. Psychologically, perceived approval from peers probably factors in on ones motivation to contribute, even if that seems a little co-dependent.Also, I'm a lurker by preference, but until pipedot is rolling we all need to get out of the lurker's comfort zone as much as possible. Cheers...

Re: My two cents (Score: 4, Interesting)

by rocks@pipedot.org in The experiment with feeding Soylent articles: your comments! on 2014-08-27 20:14 (#2QVZ)

Articles without the comments seems like a simple strategy that is easy to do. I'd further send the articles to the pipe first, so they still need up voting to make it onto pipedot front page. Also, any scraped article should have a lead in that links back to the original story and discussion on the source feed. Should be easy to automate the back link in code. That way we get stories and additional discussion here but a direct link back to the source discussion if interested. Also, if there are like ten feed stories in the pipe and none are up voted in a twelve hour cycle, there could be a timer that pushes stories to the front page to keep content turning over on pipedot. Just thinking out loud here.

My two cents (Score: 3, Insightful)

by rocks@pipedot.org in The experiment with feeding Soylent articles: your comments! on 2014-08-27 16:06 (#2QQV)

I liked seeing stories and comments, but when I realized it was a soylent feed with both stories and comments, I was no longer clear on how to contribute to pipedot. For example, I didn't want to comment because clearly the discussion wasn't integrated. I also lost interest in submitting stories or rating stories in the pipe because the soylent feed was already numerous enough. On the other hand, I've definitely reduced the number of stories I was submitting to pipedot because it was hit or miss whether a story got any uptake and without comments the default interpretation is that the story did not interest the community.I have no easy solutions for this, but one cross-pollination idea is for one story a week to publish across a set of sister sites where the communities can discuss a topic together?

Re: Test them (Score: 1)

by rocks@pipedot.org in Is Hold Security on the level? on 2014-08-13 12:35 (#3TX)

Smart suggestion... I wouldn't take the time (better things to do like post here)... their correspondence and suggestions do not pass the smell test, in my opinion...

I always wanted to study human cognition (Score: 1)

by rocks@pipedot.org in DARPA awards $40 million for research into memory-controlling implants on 2014-08-06 15:57 (#2RZ)

I'm trained in other fields (geoscience, computer science), but cognitive science is fascinating. To think we can "reprogram" or "newly program" memories in human beings is startling and just goes to show how ambitious modern science and technology is getting. I realize such technologies can be turned to beneficial or nefarious purposes, but what stands out to me is just how fast our quantitative studies of the human brain are progressing and how many different applications we are investigating now. Programmable memories? Wow!

Corel WordPerfect compatibility (Score: 1)

by rocks@pipedot.org in LibreOffice 4.3 gets good marks for useful improvements on 2014-07-31 18:24 (#2R1)

Interestingly, I have a need to open older .wpd files designed in Corel WordPerfect and my latest MS Word no longer reads these files. So, I currently have LibreOffice on my office computer to read and convert the WordPerfect files as they come by... This, even though my work has converted completely to MS Office...

I would like to check out arm.js (Score: 1)

by rocks@pipedot.org in Mozilla's asm.js framework launches to improve web-based gaming on 2014-07-22 22:29 (#2MH)

because I think plug-in free development -- that is effective -- would be a great advance. How does one determine if arm.js is going to be a solution with legs though, if one doesn't really have time to play around with new APIs anymore?

closed or open ecosystems (Score: 1)

by rocks@pipedot.org in Here's what happens when you blend Debian and Android on 2014-07-22 22:27 (#2MG)

The promise of a computer is that it is a device to do anything you want (with a certain amount of effort). The promise of applications is they do specific things you want done (with minimal effort). Basically, we all want a computer that can run all old, current, and new applications as they are developed. What contiually amazes me is how fragmented the computing landscape is and continues to be given these basic wants that seem pretty obvious. I applaud the MicroXWin project for merging Debian and Android, but I suspect it is almost like p***ing into the wind in the combat against fragmentation. At the moment, I figure I need access to about 5 or 10 computers/tablets/phones just to be able to use all of the different applications I find rewarding. Pretty crazy really.

Re: This is an interesting study, but... (Score: 2, Insightful)

by rocks@pipedot.org in Size and age of plants impact their productivity more than climate on 2014-07-22 22:18 (#2MF)

well, I think it is an aspect of Cartesian philosphy that to know anything about one thing you have to know everything about its context (i.e., all of the boundary conditions). This idea strongly influences how our scientific culture tends to evaluate scientific results (since we owe a lot to Descartes). Basically, this idea makes incomplete results (almost always the case in science) "difficult to apply" to any practical decision making. In my opinion, it is one of the more subtle reasons why people can justify ignoring scientific results while claiming to respect the scientific method. As you say, this is all great for scientists who want to do more studies, but is pretty poor for students of life who want to know whether they should grow big plants or not :). I suggest we grow a lot of plants that grow large and see if we can effect the global contribution of primary productivity :).

On a more serious note... (Score: 1)

by rocks@pipedot.org in NASA To Test Free-Flying Housekeeper Robots on 2014-07-22 15:26 (#2M9)

I would pay on the order of a $100 to $10,000 dollars to have the ability to produce a detailed map, digital elevation model, and vegetation map of my property using a flying camera/sensor/mapper -- would be absolutely fantastic for planning purposes from building houses, outbuildings, to planting gardens and so on. I wonder what the cost is to buy or rent this technology at a consumer level.

Holy acronym... (Score: 1)

by rocks@pipedot.org in NASA To Test Free-Flying Housekeeper Robots on 2014-07-22 15:24 (#2M8)

S.P.H.E.R.E.S., eh? I've started to think we should just come up with nice words or names to label our cool new devices or projects and forget about trying to come up with the Acronym connection... sometimes -- as in this case -- it just seems we are trying way too hard...

This is an interesting study, but... (Score: 2, Insightful)

by rocks@pipedot.org in Size and age of plants impact their productivity more than climate on 2014-07-22 15:20 (#2M7)

...while the basic conclusion is clear and presumably backed up by the analysis, the abstract leaves open the question of how climate indirectly influences the size and age of the plants... Perhaps this is/was beyond the scope of the given study.

it is difficult to get into the mindset (Score: 1)

by rocks@pipedot.org in UN Human Rights Office: "government surveillance on rise worldwide" on 2014-07-17 06:25 (#2HC)

of the people who actually understand the ways they plan to exploit this data to control outcomes in society. I mean money and power are the usual suspects and I guess I understand how money and power give you the ability to have more things you want the way you want them, but at some level you want other people to have money and power too don't you? Don't you lose the ability to be surprised and challenged by peers if you obtain the ability to control all outcomes?

able to switch between hard and soft states (Score: 4, Funny)

by rocks@pipedot.org in Phase-changing material could allow state changing low-cost robots on 2014-07-16 13:41 (#2H4)

.... things that make you go hmmmm....

MuseScore (Score: 1)

by rocks@pipedot.org in New roundup of Linux audio-editing tools on 2014-07-16 13:39 (#2H3)

This is not exactly the right thread perhaps... but MuseScore is an excellent musical notation software available for Linux systems. I switched a friend from Sibelius to MuseScore about three or four years ago and for his needs he says he likes MuseScore better (than the version of Sibelius going at that time). Admittedly he is not a power user, but he does draft up a surprising amount of scores in very little time...

Would Slashdot, SoylentNews or Pipedot (Score: 1)

by rocks@pipedot.org in What happens when digital communities are abandoned? on 2014-07-14 14:16 (#2GH)

be considered digital communities that may or may not be abandoned in coming years -- or does it have to mean a place with graphics?

6. ... (Score: 1)

by rocks@pipedot.org in Five NSA programs you should know by name on 2014-07-14 14:13 (#2GG)

7. Profit!

Not sure whether this was one of the options in the poll, but (Score: 3, Insightful)

by rocks@pipedot.org in Monday poll: moderation schemes I like on 2014-07-14 14:12 (#2GF)

I think I like the idea of being able to identify other users whose judgement you respect (based on their history of moderation) and being able to weight their moderation picks more heavily than others for dictating what you see. Thus, if ContributerIRespect gives 1 upvote for a particular comment, I might want to see it given a rank of 3 upvotes by ContributersIDontKnow and given a rank of 5 upvotes by ContributesIDontRespect. I can see how this system might normalize on a small number of "elite" commenters who most people respect, but it would still be interesting to see if this raised the general level of a comment thread or narrowed the general scope of a comment thread or some other effect and whether these effects added value. Maybe this is the "Following Friends" option in the poll, but I feel like a weighting system is more nuanced than just deciding to follow someone or not. I also realize that this is a subsetting algorithm which presumes the community being moderated is large enough to need subsetting. For small communities such as Pipedot at present, I actually prefer to read everything posted because there isn't enough content to even require moderation.

fishing with lines versus nets (Score: 2, Interesting)

by rocks@pipedot.org in Maybe Runaway wasn't so far fetched after all... on 2014-07-14 13:58 (#2GD)

I often think that fishing with lines is a much fairer game for the fish (than fishing with nets) because, maybe, the fish -- or at least some of the fish -- have at least a hope of "getting away". On the other hand, if I really needed to catch fish and nets worked better, I'd probably end up using the nets. My view on all the sophisticated weapons appearing in the world these past decades typically depends on whether I anticipate being the fish or the fisherman in the ensuing "life and death" struggles.

Re: Been too long (Score: 1)

by rocks@pipedot.org in QGIS versus ArcMap on 2014-07-13 00:08 (#2FZ)

The ESRI geodatabase format does add a lot of automatic triggering and linking behaviour that gets lost with shapefiles though... I know that the spatialite format was gaining a lot of traction in the opensource GIS world for a portable geodatabase format and ESRI was resisting implementing it as an import/export format as recently as a year ago (I haven't looked into it more recently than that). I am just glad that the ESRI file geodatabase format is now relatively easy to use with ogr, QGIS, and other open source GIS tools.

Re: ArcGIS vs. Qgis (Score: 1)

by rocks@pipedot.org in QGIS versus ArcMap on 2014-07-13 00:03 (#2FY)

@WW, Thanks for taking the time to type this thoughtful response... I thought your point about organization of functions in ArcGIS being better than in QGIS is spot on and I hadn't really thought about it before -- this is exactly the kind of insight I was looking for, so thanks. You are right, the ArcGIS Toolbox is a great interface for finding tools and it will be interesting to see how QGIS tackles this as the prebuilt functionality increases... there is also the growing plugin community for ArcGIS which adds great features after the fact as well.

looks interesting (Score: 1)

by rocks@pipedot.org in Atom now available on Windows on 2014-07-11 12:09 (#2F0)

but since I've already learned and use vim, I'm not sure the "new" features with atom are sufficient to get me to try it out -- at least not yet... inertia is a powerful thing methinks...

good ideas are sometimes obvious in retrospect? (Score: 3, Insightful)

by rocks@pipedot.org in Rocket scientist reinvents the sauce pan: maybe cooking is rocket science after all! on 2014-07-11 12:04 (#2EY)

subject says it all -- actually analyzing heat transfer and linking that to the design of a pot seems kind of obvious in retrospect.

realizing that it hasn't already been done -- genius...

having a lab to do the tests -- sweet...

Good idea (Score: 1)

by rocks@pipedot.org in New poll: what topics would you like to see? on 2014-06-12 11:55 (#22G)

To have a poll like this... but I wonder if it is less about story fit and more about the number of people coming by and contributing...

For myself, I go in and out with regards to having and/or making the time to contribute. Big fan of this site, but hey, a whole week can go by when you're on vacation or at a conference or something...

Re: Coastal change and flood risk assessment (Score: 1)

by rocks@pipedot.org in Google buys satellite imaging company Skybox for $500 million on 2014-06-12 11:52 (#22F)

That's an interesting point... I think the quadrocopter approach would have difficulty reproducing images of the whole Earth in a timely fashion, however. It could be used for longitudinal studies of specific areas though...
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