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Cause and Effect: How a Revolutionary New Statistical Test Can Tease Them Apart

BenSchuarmer Re:Bad turbine example (136 comments)

That's just what big turbine wants you to believe.

3 days ago
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How Birds Lost Their Teeth

BenSchuarmer Re:Curious (138 comments)

I think that's what TFA is about. I'd guess that they weren't worth the cost (weight and calcium requirements) from an evolutionary standpoint.

about a week ago
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Microsoft To US Gov't: the World's Servers Are Not Yours For the Taking

BenSchuarmer Operative word: "Taking" (192 comments)

The government isn't really "taking" them if the owners are still able to use them.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft To US Gov't: the World's Servers Are Not Yours For the Taking

BenSchuarmer What?!?! (192 comments)

Why do they hate our freedom?

about two weeks ago
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How Relevant is C in 2014?

BenSchuarmer Re:Very much so! (641 comments)

That's backwards. If you know the syntax, "C++" means increment C, but use the original C.

If you're using C++ for anything other than writing procedural programs, you're violating the basic principles of C syntax.

about two weeks ago
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Do you worry about the singularity?

BenSchuarmer Re:Worried about society (181 comments)

That's a great plan if you have wealth and use it to buy the bots and other resources required to make stuff or do stuff that you can use yourself or sell to others.

A lot of people don't have that wealth. I don't see an easy way for them to convince those who do have wealth to share it (especially given the rise of the Tea-Party which is based on people wanting to keep what they've earned).

about three weeks ago
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Do you worry about the singularity?

BenSchuarmer Re:My Take (181 comments)

"The question of whether a computer can think is no more interesting than the question of whether a submarine can swim." -- Edsger Dijkstra

The fact that computers don't "think" doesn't mean that they won't get better than us at doing the things that require us to think.

about three weeks ago
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Do you worry about the singularity?

BenSchuarmer Worried about society (181 comments)

As automation increases we'll need less labor to get stuff done. What's going to happen to society when a significant percentage of people can't get jobs, because machines do everything they can do better and cheaper?

I know that increased productivity should in theory make life better for everybody, in practice wealth has been increasingly concentrated over the last few decades.

about three weeks ago
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Scientists Have Finally Sampled the Most Abundant Material On Earth

BenSchuarmer Re:And... (128 comments)

Isn't that the stuff that Aussies make sandwiches out of?

about three weeks ago
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About 40% of World Population Online, 90% of Offliners In Developing Countries

BenSchuarmer My mom will be please to know (45 comments)

that she's in "the 10%"

about a month ago
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Complex Life May Be Possible In Only 10% of All Galaxies

BenSchuarmer Which kind is the Milky Way? (307 comments)

We may want to see about relocating...

about a month ago
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Harvard Scientists Say It's Time To Start Thinking About Engineering the Climate

BenSchuarmer Re:Can I have it a bit warmer please? (367 comments)

How about if you just move south? That way you could get the warmer climate you want, and the rest of us don't have to deal with coastal flooding, desertification, etc.

about a month ago
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Google Maps Crunches Data, Tells You When To Drive On Thanksgiving

BenSchuarmer How about searches for (62 comments)

"How to dispose of the corpse of an annoying relative who I just murdered"

about a month ago
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Republicans Block Latest Attempt At Curbing NSA Power

BenSchuarmer Re:Democrats still control the Senate. (445 comments)

Nobody is in control of the Senate. It takes 60 votes to "end debate", so most of the time if 41 out of 45 Republicans want to block something, it'll be blocked.

That happened in this case; 41 Republicans and 1 Democrat voted against it, and that's how come the Republicans are being blamed.

about a month ago
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Republicans Block Latest Attempt At Curbing NSA Power

BenSchuarmer Re:Republicans? (445 comments)

Since it was a Senate cloture vote, 60 votes were needed instead of a simple majority.

Republicans were 41 out of the 42; Democrats were 54 of the 58. Four Republicans and One Democrat crossed party lines.

http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=113&session=2&vote=00282

about a month ago
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Republicans Block Latest Attempt At Curbing NSA Power

BenSchuarmer Re:Actually, Democrats blocked it (445 comments)

That's not how the Senate works. For most things, you need 60 votes to "end debate" before a real vote happens. I can't find the official votes, but most Democrats voted for it, and most Republicans voted against it.

about a month ago
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Education Chief Should Know About PLATO and the History of Online CS Education

BenSchuarmer How many kids took those classes? (134 comments)

I grew up in the 70s. I was a nerd and my friends were nerds. I don't recall any of my friends having an option to take classes like this

We did use terminals at the main city library to play games like Oregon Trail, but learning to code wasn't an option until I got past high school Algebra

My guess is that you needed a special invitation to get into these classes, and you could only get an invitation if your parents or teachers knew the right people.

about a month ago
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Your Incompetent Boss Is Making You Unhappy

BenSchuarmer Does your boss know their limits (204 comments)

In my experience, it's OK if my boss isn't technical if:

  • 1) they know it
  • 2) their boss knows it
  • 3) the team is technically competent
  • 4) the team's opinions are respected
  • 4) the boss doesn't make any promises (without consulting the team first)

about a month ago

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