Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2009:May:04 Monday <Tuesday>
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
2009/5/4-6 [Politics/Domestic/California, Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:52938 Activity:high
5/4     Why does The Netherlands have such a sustained lower unemployment
                 \_ Why is it The Netherlands? Is it like an LA Freeway?
        rate and higher growth than the US? Maybe we can replicate their
        success here.
        \_ Start by not spending all your money on military and prisons.
        \_ They don't have as large a population of illegal immigrants  -jblack
           \_Lots of Euro countries don't have this problem, they still mostly
             have double digit unemployment.
        \_ Timely Question:
           \_ jeesh,  They really should not be paying this guy by the word.
           \_ So the government taxes you to death and then gives some of
              the money back if you have kids, for vacations, and so on.
              This "Big Brother" sort of society in which the government
              claims to know what you need more than you do is very
              anti-American to me, although staunch Democrats must love it
              because they could tell people what to do with their money.
        \_ My mother is Dutch and I still have family there. It's a wealthy
           nation, but very small. I don't see many opportunities to
           parallel their policies here successfully.
           \_ Why not? We should have economies of scale that they do not.
              \_ Because we are much larger and more diverse. I'm not sure
                 that economies of scale play a large part in this. For
                 instance, are there economies of scale for educating 1 million
                 kids versus 100 kids? I'd argue not. In fact, I'd argue it
                 would be cheaper (per kid) to educate the smaller number.
                 \_ It is certainly cheaper to build 100 miles of road, than
                    10 roads, each 10 miles long. Why do you think that it is
                    cheaper to educate smaller numbers of children? You can
                    get some kinds of economy of scale even in education,
                    with things like standard tests, school books, etc.
                    \_ Examples of why it might cost more to educate more:
                       higher administrative overhead
                       higher probability of kids with special/unique needs
                       more disparate learning abilities and backgrounds
                       harder to find/recruit so many well-trained teachers.
                       \_ Why would there be a higher percentage of kids with
                          special needs? And why harder to find teachers? It
                          should be the same percentage of population in both
                          \_ Because you don't judge these by percentage.
                             Imagine there is a special need which occurs
                             1/10000th of the time. The school with 100
                             kids probably doesn't have to deal with it at
                             all (or rarely), whereas the school with 1
                             million kids probably needs a whole program
                             created to address it. For an example of this
                             consider bilingual education. The Japanese kids
                             at my public school did not have a class
                             dedicated to them, but the South American kids
                             did even though both were small percentage-wise.
                             did. A single Spanish-speaking kid isn't a
                             burden to instruct, but 1,000 is.
           \_ There is a lot of evidence (and probably literature) on the
              diseconomies of scale in education. Anecdotally, it explains
              why property values are significantly lower in parts of LA that
              are part of LAUSD, one of the largest and most inefficient
              school districts in the nation. (e.g. San Pedro vs. PV, Culver
              City vs. Palms, etc). Another way to look at the diseconomies
              of scale problem is to think of all the complaints against big
              government (gubment = BAD) or big companies (startups = rewl).
              \_ If there are diseconomies of scale, why are small private
                 schools so much more expensive than public schools?  -tom
                 \_ It's not linear. There can be economies of scale which then
                    translate into diseconomies. Do you really think that LAUSD
                    is more efficient than, say, Berkeley USD? Tangentially
                    related is the whole cherry-picking, charter school and/or
                    voucher concept. Voucher/Charter folks like to really
                    against large districts, but they get to cherry pick
                    students. That said, I think is pretty awesome
                    and there is a lot to learn from these guys. They fix a
                    lot of standard inner city problems just by "caring". I
                    think it's hard to scale caring.
                 \_ 1. They often provide a better product.
                    2. It varies by state and district, but many times
                       private schools aren't more expensive for a similar
                       product. California spent $8496 per student in
                       2005-2006, which was 29th in the nation. The US
                       average was $9100. This figure excludes capital
                       outlay, interest on school debt, and other subsidies.
                       I believe for example that most private schools (unless
                       they are religious) pay property tax on their land while
                       public schools do not.  For this price you can find
                       plenty of private schools for your kids to attend and
                       this discounts scholarships that are often offered. I
                       could not find the average cost of a private school in
                       California, but nationwide in 2003-2004 (latest
                       year I could find) it was $6400 for elementary schools
                       and $13300 for high schools.
                       Clearly, this figure is not too different from the
                       $9100 average for public schools.
                       \_ You can't compare private schools in Des Moines to
                          public schools in San Francisco.  For example:
                          Head-Royce school in Oakland is $19k/year for
                          K-5, $21k/year for 6-8, $27k/year for high school.
                          \_ I am comparing the average national public
                             expenditures to the average national private
                             expenditures. I am not comparing Des Moines
                             to SF. However, I assure you that you can
                             find plenty of private schools even in urban
                             California for less than $10K/year. The schools
                             charging $20-30K per year are elite schools
                             providing much more to their students than
                             public schools do and that's why they cost more.
                             My neighbor's son goes to Saint Francis High
                             School in La Canada. It's a pretty good school.
                             Tuition is $10324. I bet that's not much
                             different from what the local public HS spends.
                             Mater Dei tuition is $10950. Don Bosco Tech
                             is $8600. Not every school is some elitist
                             academy that costs more than Stanford.
                             \_ Parochial schools may be subsidized by the
                                church--you can't just look at tuition to
                                know their costs.  -tom
                                \_ They may be, but they may not be and
                                   it's not clear to what extent. I went
                                   to a Christian school and it wasn't.
                                   Public schools receive money from other
                                   sources, too, like the PTA fundraisers
                                   and gifts. (The public middle school my
                                   nephew goes to just received $400K from
                                   a donor for a new tennis court.) Also,
                                   many students at private schools pay
                                   *less than* tuition because they
                                   receive financial assistance. I think
                                   it's reasonable to compare tuitions
                                   because public schools receive a lot of
                                   subsidies and private schools have expenses
                                   public schools do not (like advertising).
                                   I would argue they all wash out, which
                                   is why the average private tuition and
                                   public school expenditures are so similar
                                   to each other.
        \_ Even Communist Mainland China has a sustained higher growth rate
           than the US.
           \_ This one is great, take that Gold Bugs:
2009/5/4-6 [Computer/SW/OS/Linux, Computer/SW/OS/FreeBSD] UID:52939 Activity:moderate
5/4     I would appreciate a reliability ranking between:
        1) OpenBSD
        2) OpenSolaris
        3) FreeBSD
        4) Debian-Stable
        5) Suse Linux Enterprise Server
        \_ No RedHat?
        \_ This is going to depends greatly on the applications you are
        \_ This is going to depend greatly on the applications you are
           running. All of these operating systems are going to be reliable
           out of the box, at least as compared to MacOS or Windows.
           Relative to each other I'm not sure there's much difference. I
           think you are asking the wrong question to make your decision.
           Other factors are going to be far more important.
        \_ Think you'll also get a lot easier support if you use RedHat or
           one of its many incarnations like CentOS since it seems to be the
           most common enterprise Linux out there.
        \_ it no longer matters for most of applications.  I would urge you
           look at other factors, such as software avaliability, etc.
        \_ Reliability has a lot more to do with the quality of your process
           than the OS you run on, at least if you run on a reasonable
           non-M$ OS like any of the above.
2009/5/4-6 [Computer/Companies/Google] UID:52940 Activity:nil
        "[Google+uTorrent] seems like a win-win situation for everyone, but for
        reasons unknown, Google no longer allows uTorrent to use the custom
        search program."
        Shyeah right, it's win-win for pirates, and "reasons unknown?" Give
        me a *(#@$ break.
        \_ pirates? Somali pirates?
2009/5/4-6 [Consumer/Camera] UID:52941 Activity:nil
5/3     I'm in the market for a functional Leica IIIc Luftwaffe rangefinder
        camera. I'm wondering where I should go to find it? eBay is full of
        fake knockoffs from Russia.
        \_ Also, which screw mount lenses are better? Summicron? Elmar? Planar?
2009/5/4-6/5 [Computer/SW/OS/Linux, Academia/Berkeley/CSUA] UID:52942 Activity:nil 55%like:49792
Linux soda 2.6.26-2-686 #1 SMP Thu Mar 26 01:08:11 UTC 2009 i686 GNU/Linux

Welcome to Soda Mark VII, a dual Xeon 2.8GHz, please enjoy your stay.
2009/5/4-6 [Computer/SW/RevisionControl, Academia/Berkeley/CSUA/Motd] UID:52943 Activity:moderate
5/4     When is kchang coming back? I miss him... he was so annoying but at
        least he had some initiative. If he were around, I'd ask him to chart
        the MOTD usage patterns over time. My guess is that postings peaked
        in '95.
        \_ I'm here! You can just go to the main page and see how many posts
           there are in a year (top column). Keep in mind I grabbed posts
           randomly between 93-99, relied on mehlhaff's RCS logger between
           99-03, and logged myself afterwards.                 -kchang
           \_ Welcome back! Unfortunately, you've probably matured in the
              past five years. Tell me it ain't so.
              \_ Maybe I'm just a ficticious character          -kchang
                 \_ please don't sign under my name             -real kchang
                    \_ This is why motd sucks.
2009/5/4-6 [Consumer/Camera] UID:52944 Activity:high
5/4     Which Canon dSLR should I buy?
        \_ The cheapest one you can get away with, and the most expensive
           glass you can afford. Camera body depreciates 1/2 every 18-24
           months. Plastic kit lenses depreciate at about 15-20% each
           year till they're worthless in about 3-5 years. Good glass
           (constant f/2.8 and below) hardly ever depreciate, and some
           actually go up in value.
           \_ This general rule is good for film SLR, where the film is not
              a function of the body.  But is it also true for dSLR, where the
              image sensor is a function of the body?  Cheap bodies might not
              have high-enough image resolution, low-enough noise ratio, etc.,
              to appreciate your premium lens. -- yuen
              \_ I beg differ.  This rule is still applys for most
                 people.  Most beginners don't care about noise ratio and
                 for most people, high resolution is more of burden.
                 Most of cheapo body has sensor that is identical to the
                 mid range camera.      kngharv
              \_ When Nikon D300 ($1800 prosumer) came out, it blew away
                 all APS-C competition with the Sony sensor. Many Canon 40D
                 and 50D users weep because they lust for D300's amazing low
                 light capability (engineering trade-offs -- Canon opted for
                 resolution while Nikon opted for high ISO and low noise).
                 Over a year later, the D90 ($999 high end consumer) came out
                 using the exact same sensor and takes exactly the same image
                 qualities, though with only 11 point AF (vs. 51 on the 300D),
                 less FPS, and other pro features). This year, cheap D5000 came
                 and again, using the exact same sensor. It is a lot cheaper.
                 So as you can see, there is a trickle-down effect on sensors.
                 You don't have to spend a lot of money to get the best sensor
                 quality. Unless you need massive AF and FPS and other pro
                 features, a cheap body will do just fine. You can just wait
                 1-2 years before a pro-quality sensor trickles down into
                 consumer end bodies. P.S. Canon used to win the DSLR sensor
                 race, but for the past 2 years the Nikon D3, D3x, and D300
                 have been winning. I'm sure next few years, Canon will have
                 an upper hand. It's a rat race, and an exciting one it is.
                 Like I said, camera bodies get obsolete as fast as CPUs.
                 But innovations in lens is slow... huge optical innovations
                 ended since the 50s, and optically innovation-wise we're about
                 the same as the 70s and 80s. All that Nikon N (nanocoating) and
                 Canon flouride coating is just marketing BS. Optical
                 the same as the 70s and 80s. All that Nikon N (nanocoating)
                 and Canon flouride coating is just marketing BS. Optical
                 innovations are slow hence glass retain their values. The
                 only new things we have these days is just stuff built on
                 and around the lens, like silent ultrasonic focus, G-ring
                 electric aperture rings, VR/IS. P.S. Nikon D400 is coming out.
        \_ The one that fits your needs.
        \_ LOL it doesn't matter. When you are married, have a house and
           a baby, your priority will change and photography will no longer
           be part of your life. Most married men sell off their extensive
           photographic equipments after they're on the marriage track.
           \_ I mostly want this to take pictures of the kids.
        \_ Why limit yourself to Canon?
           \_ Are there other good choices? What else would you consider?
        \_ I agree with the first followup. But would add "what problem
           are you trying to solve" and "where are you starting from?".
           If you are "getting into photography", which is what I assume
           from your question, you should fix your budget for the whole kit.
           A colleague of mine bought more body than he needs and has cheapo
           lenses and then rents higher end lenses ... a decision I thought
           was crazy. This will likely mean you are picking from 2-3 Canon
           bodies ... if you are looking at $5k bodies, you are certainly
           not going to be looking at $500 bodies. More practically you
           not going to be looking at $500 bodoes. More practically you
           might be looking a $600 body and wondering if the $1.4k body is
           worth the difference. Also, you should mention whether there is
           some special considerations ... like "my sister just moved to
           mombasa and i am going to visit her and squeeze in a safari" vs.
           "i want to take pictures of my new child" or "i want to take
           pix of my band" or "i want to take pix of my award winning roses",
           "i am an avid birdwatcher and want to start taking pix of what
           i see on birding trips." "i want to take a photography class".
           BTW, i would stick with canon if:
           1. you dont come in with a large investment in fancy glass
           2. you are not on a super-low budget.
           \_ I want to take pictures of my children. I currently have an SD750
              which is okay, but I want something better.
              \_ If you want to "take pictures of your children," you're
                 probably better off getting one of the Digital ELPH cameras
                 than an SLR.  You'll save money and you'll have something
                 that you'll always carry with you, instead of a big
                 wad of equipment that sits at home.  Pictures of the kids
                 are more about opportunity than quality.
                 If you want to do your own portraiture, the XSi with a
                 decent portrait lens (like the 35mm f/2.0) should be
                 fine.  -tom
                        \- while it may be usable for protraits, that is not
                           a portrait lens, at least for headshot type
                           pix. you need big app and reasonably long focal
                           length to get parallel rays. probably want to
                           go at least 80mm ... 180mm is probably overkill for
                           home portraits. my 105 is a double purpose macro
                           and portrait. it's a little long on digital.
                           50 f1.4 will probably be better and is generally
                           a nice lens. 50 1.8 might be better and is
                           usually a cheap lens with decent optics [although
                           sometimes build quality isnt the best, but not
                           that big a deal on a forgiving lens].
           \_ Assuming this isnt a troll: you probably arent going to get a
              Canon 1-series [high end pro bodies]. So you are likely looking
              at Canon 3digit, 2digit or 5x. So look at the price and
              features of the Digital Rebel (<$800), the 50d ($1200) and
              5D (+$2500) ... that should reduce this to a question
              5D (+$2500) ... that should greatly reduce this to a question
              about specific bodies ... at which point you can make trade off
              within your budget and pushing your budget envelope outwards
              by a little.
              \_ I have a huge 70-200mm f/2.8L IS body on a Rebel XS. I know
                 people laugh at it, and it looks funny, but you know, I take
                 better pictures than a bunch of dumbasses with a 5Dmk2 with a
                 kit lens. Now, who is the dumbass here?
                 \_ I'm shooting with a Rebel XSi; it's a totally capable
                    camera.  There's a pretty small range of shots that
                    would be easier to capture with a better body.  But a
                    lot depends on your shooting; most of mine is landscapes
                    taken while riding/hiking, so light weight is a
                    significant consideration; if I were shooting concerts
                    a heavier body with better low-light performance would
                    be better.  -tom
                    \_ If you're just taking daytime landscape while traveling,
                       a high quality P&S will do just fine. In fact you can't
                       really tell image difference under those conditions
                       (slower shutter, 100 ISO, f/8-11, bright light).
                       Let me dig up an article from a famous pro who carries
                       both a DSLR and a Canon G10 (Lumix LX3 does a good job
                       too). Seriously, can you tell the difference? If a pro
                       can't tell the difference, neither can 99.5% of the
                       people out there. A Canon XSi on a bike is just too
                       cumbersome. Go with the best point and shoot.
                       \_ Well, actually I use a Canon PowerShot S5 if I'm
                          cycling without specific photography opportunities
                          in mind.  -tom
                          \_ Oh ok, you're set then. Cool.              -pp
                       \_ I took a G10 and a Nikon SLR on my last vacation
                          trip. I took maybe 50x as many pictures with the
                          G10 ... here are the main limitations:
                          1. for landscapes, I didnt have quite the field of
                             view i'd have liked ... compared to my 18mm.
                          2. i dont own a polarizer for the G10 ... i believe
                             it is a pretty expesnive addon
                             it is a pretty expensive addon
                          3. biggest problem: too much depth of field [LX3
                             is better in this regard, but still not as good
                             as a fast lens]
                          4. big, big win of the G10 was the really nice
                             image stabilization. there were a lot of pix
                             it took in a museum without a flash which
                             I took in a museum without a flash which
                             might be say 6.5/10, which i could have taken
                             might be say 6/10, which i could have taken
                             at 8/10 if i could control the lighting, but since
                             i could not control the lighting, the pix with
                             my SLR would have been 0-2/10.
                          5. and of course eventhough the G10 is pushing the
                             outer limits of "pocket camera", i could and did
                             carry it almest everywhere, where as i only
                             took the "big gear" on a could of occasions where
                             i was doing "serious photography" [Monte Alban].
2009/5/4-6 [Computer/SW/Languages/Java] UID:52945 Activity:nil
5/4     The Scalia gets pwned:
2009/5/4-6 [Science/GlobalWarming, Science/Physics] UID:52946 Activity:nil
5/4     Next-generation stealth technology :-)
Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2009:May:04 Monday <Tuesday>