Saturday, February 20, 2010

Kaplan Sucks

I would caution against purchasing any product from Kaplan. They have terrible customer service, and will not respond if you have trouble with their online service despite your spending of hundreds of dollars for their products.

in reference to: Welcome to Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions (view on Google Sidewiki)

Update: 27Feb2010

It turns out nothing is formally wrong with their site. What is wrong is that if you've entered your username wrong, rather than inform you that there is no user with that username, it merely logs you in to a new account. However, it doesn't tell you that you're in a new account without a paid subscription. Perhaps some savants are capable of keeping track of all their usernames and passwords. I am not, nor do I think most people are.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Great elimination of wasted time/effort

What do the teachers' unions think of this plan? It will certainly result in thousands of teachers made redundant. Many students will be able to go to community college at 16. Community colleges, with both more flexibility in hiring/firing instructors and more flexible terms for students, are a far better place for actually learning. Relative to high school there will be few people who don't want to be there wasting time on discipline.

in reference to: New Plan Would Let High Schoolers Graduate Early - (view on Google Sidewiki)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My first published article:

My first published article:

    Color Blindness and Military Fitness for Duty: A New Look at Old Standards. Military Medicine. 2010;175(2):84-85.

    As my two coauthors and I wrote this on government time, in accordance with our duties as either medical students or as a physician, one can safely ignore the copyright notice.  It really doesn't make sense that Military Medicine even bothers to copyright their journal as so much of the content is not legally copyrightable.  If for some reason you come across this post and think that I am wrong, please contact me, so we can work things out. 

MD SHA Needs to Learn Consideration for Pedestrians

    I understand that the Maryland State Highway Administration has been working very hard lately to clear snow.  I'm further sure that it's a difficult job that many are willing to quickly find fault with despite SHA working on limited resources.  Very few people would actually think that the Maryland SHA should invest in snow removal resources as much as the Vermont Agency of Transportation.  (I wonder if the Vermont agency actually accepts responsibility for more than just roads, as the name implies; that they recognize that transportation is more than just moving vehicles?)  Further, anyone is free to review this post in which I complimented SHA for a job well done.  So, as displeased as I might be about today's incident and SHA's proposal for a supposed multimodal underpass for the Medical Center Metro, I am not inherently an SHA hater, but when things like this happen, I have no choice but to publicize them.  I would much rather be studying. 

    With my acknowledgment of the above constraints, I still must put forth my displeasure regarding SHA's snow removal along Wisconsin Avenue in Bethesda this morning.  You can see in the geotagged photos the exact spots that I'm discussing.  As I proceeded north on my walk to work this morning, I was dismayed to find that in the process of removing some of the mounds of snow on the corners, the walk ways through the mounds had been filled in.  See picture to the above right.  Further, the one corner between my house and work on Wisconsin that hadn't had any snow removed, was the one that the owner of the property had failed to clear a path through.  Thus, all pedestrians are forced to climb over a three or four foot mound.  Further, in this process one can see, in the second photo, that SHA's equipment created a packed slick surface on the road that was more slippery than ice.  Why was no salt put down on these surfaces? 

    I thought this was the worst of it until I proceeded further north towards Jones Bridge Road, where I found SHA workers awaiting the return of dump trucks to haul away the snow.  Here I found a cleared sidewalk that had been nearly fully filled with ice chunks in while clearing the right turn lane onto Jones Bridge Road (see left photo).  I then sought out the supervisor (sitting in the truck) who declined to speak with me and asked me to contact SHA communications department.  I certainly understand such an action as I'm sure such is the guidance he has received from his superiors.  Prior to declining to comment though, he did respond to my question regarding when the sidewalks would be cleared from the debris they've just put there.  He told me that the sidewalks would be cleared "eventually".  When is "eventually"?  What if all of Wisconsin Avenue or another major road was not cleared of snow until "eventually"?

    Again I will state that I understand and accept that the SHA has limited resources.  Further, I accept the those of us who don't regularly drive our commute will not receive anywhere near our proportion of resources for infrastructure maintenance.  However, is it too much to ask that, in providing for snow removal for cars and trucks, that the poor state of affairs suffered by us pedestrians not be further added to?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Thomas J. Donohue, great businessman

So this guy is doing everything he can to make Washington support pro-business policies. (The policies may or may not actually be pro-business, but that Mr. Donohue thinks they are, is what matters.) Has he every actual worked in business, or only trade associations? Does the guy actually know anything about running a successful enterprise? More likely he is an ideologue pushing his agenda under the rubric that it's better for business.

in reference to: Tom J. Donohue - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (view on Google Sidewiki)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Not yet

I just thought about getting Netflix, but too much content is not available via streaming. I don't have a DVD player and don't want one. I would be willing to pay for content, but only if it's convenient and what I want is available.

I guess I will have to continue using BitTorrent. I don't mind ignoring copyright since it is not a net economic benefit to society and impinges on individuals' freedom without a corresponding benefit. However, I would be happy to pay for the creation of content at a reasonable price. Too bad the studios fail to accept the modern era.

It's the same with BBC iPlayer. We pay £10 a month for a UK proxy server in order to watch iPlayer. I would gladly give that money to the BBC in order to fund the creation of their programs, but they do not offer such an option.

in reference to: Netflix DVD Rental, Movies Streamed Online, DVD & Blu-Ray Movie (view on Google Sidewiki)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Thursday, February 4, 2010

My Political Views

My Political Views
I am a center-left moderate social libertarian
Left: 2.51, Libertarian: 3.17

Political Spectrum Quiz

Great Comment

My favorite comment on this thread.

in reference to:

"“My post wasn’t about what copyright meant when it was created…” You might as well be announcing that you’re an utterly clueless fucktard."
- Conventional Folly » Piracy. Is. Stealing. (view on Google Sidewiki)