7,841 reputation
23162
bio website knowing.net
location Kailua Kona, HI
age 50
visits member for 3 years, 5 months
seen 20 hours ago

Contributing Editor and Columnist, SD Times. Editor of now-defunct magazines including Software Development, Computer Language, and AI Expert. Founding Editor of Game Developer, which still totally rocks.

On Twitter at @lobrien

Sr. Software Engineer at Gemini Observatories.

Not a bad coder.


May
4
comment What was the density of prehistoric Earth atmosphere (dinosaurs buoyancy theory)
I can't speak for others, but I'd be very interested in hearing of specific issues about, for instance, pterosaur aerodynamics or wing-loading that illustrates a need for a denser atmosphere. The rules for the site keep it very focused on specific claims; it's intentionally not a site for broad discussion. OTOH, it's my experience that site regulars are genuinely interested in seeking out surprising insights.
Apr
23
comment Are Mars One sending people on one-way missions to mars, starting in 2024?
Not sure if it would be in the scope of the same question, but one might also be skeptical about whether it's effectively impossible due to economics. (Just guessing that "well, if you had a trillion dollars..." might be part of a "scientifically viable" Mars mission.)
Apr
20
awarded  Yearling
Apr
17
awarded  Nice Answer
Apr
17
comment Does working over 40 hours a week makes you less productive?
I'm having a little trouble putting together all the threads in your answer, but I think your key argument ties knowledge workers hours to "...has helped companies to strengthen financial positions." But I'm not sure that I see any hard evidence that "places where people work longer hours" are enjoying stronger financial positions (much less stronger gains compared to similar companies where shorter hours are worked).
Apr
15
comment Did the US ban the Volkswagen XL1 for being too fuel efficient?
It seems to be regrettably true that safety standards have led to inevitably-higher curb weight. I have a '92 Civic which has a highway rating of 49MPG. Can't touch that with today's non-hybrid / electrics. (Of course, "safety standards" is just the conspiracy's tactic...)
Apr
14
revised Do functional programming languages offer significant advantages?
added 73 characters in body
Apr
14
answered Do functional programming languages offer significant advantages?
Apr
13
comment Does the means of slaughter affect meat quality?
Bluefin tuna are hunted with electrical harpoons which supposedly prevents an adrenaline surge supposedly tastable by sushi connoisseurs.
Apr
6
comment Can the Gobe device measure your caloric intake?
The Pando article you may have already read raises several good points: the best, I think, being that anyone who could do non-invasive glucose monitoring would be targeting diabetes, not a sub-$1M fitness tracker. Also, a wearable with pressure-based continuous heart-rate monitoring doesn't seem likely: IR seems the route everyone else is thinking.
Apr
4
accepted Do those hearing for the first time via cochlear implants understand speech immediately?
Apr
2
comment Do those hearing for the first time via cochlear implants understand speech immediately?
@Johnny If you wanted to make that an answer, it seems to answer the question for at least the case at hand.
Apr
1
asked Do those hearing for the first time via cochlear implants understand speech immediately?
Apr
1
comment How many people have lost their health insurance as a result of the ACA (Obamacare)?
Although this is an important question, I'm not sure it's properly on-topic.
Mar
30
awarded  Popular Question
Mar
25
awarded  Notable Question
Mar
19
accepted Did Columbus order atrocities against the Lucayan people?
Mar
19
awarded  Popular Question
Mar
17
awarded  Nice Question
Mar
16
comment Are there studies clearly illustrating the great discrepancies in programmer productivity?
Prechelt is a good researcher. I would caution, though, that a developer who excels at one task might not do so well consistently -- familiarity with the task versus pursuing dead ends seems to me an important part of the job. And perhaps over many tasks developers regress toward the mean.