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Comments

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Goodbye, Google Voice

DocJohn Re:A reason to really like Google Voice (166 comments)

Indeed. We have used multiple OBI 110 boxes, connected to different Google Voice numbers, and it works like a charm for landlines. Free landlines. As many as you need. For free calling, with a regular telephone.

I'm sorry, but anybody who knocks a service that allows you to deploy free regular telephones (after the cost of OBI 110, $47 on Amazon) to anyone with an Internet connection isn't seeing the forest through the trees. Not everybody has or needs a mobile phone. (And especially the cheap phones many people buy as emergency phones for their senior parents are absolutely crap to talk on.)

As long as Google doesn't do anything to screw up the use of an OBI, it's gold.

about 5 months ago
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First US Inpatient Treatment Program For Internet Addiction Opening In September

DocJohn Another Sloppy Journalism Article (89 comments)

Too bad the article is just plain sloppy journalism, written from the company's press release. The first inpatient Internet addiction treatment program opened up back in 2008:

http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2009/09/08/treating-internet-addiction-is-new/

And in 2009, another inpatient treatment center also claimed to be 'the first' inpatient treatment program... for a disorder that doesn't even officially exist!

Ah, it's Fox News... Nevermind.

--
Psych Central
http://psychcentral.com/

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Web Platform For a Small Municipality?

DocJohn Wordpress is what you need (161 comments)

Download a copy of Wordpress to an outsourced web server hosting account (many secure options available for ~$100/year). It takes 3 minutes to setup.

Wordpress's backend interface is the easiest to use and understand for folks who just need to share information and documents with others. There isn't the level of complexity (out of the box, but it's available if needed) that other CMSs have (like Drupal). Drupal is not recommended if you're not already familiar with Drupal.

Then pick one of the attractive themes from the thousands available, load in a few helpful plugins, and give accounts to folks who may be responsible for different areas of content.

Wordpress can easily grow if your needs grow. But out-of-the-box, it's so easy to use and manage, it's the no-brainer choice.

--
Psych Central
http://psychcentral.com/

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Instead of a Laptop, a Tiny Computer and Projector?

DocJohn Re:This is a terrible idea (339 comments)

It's an example of a person over-thinking the problem, considering the multiple solutions already available --

- Netbook or Air
- Tablet or iPad
- Smartphone
- Small and light laptop

Seriously, once you add in all the miscellaneous nonsense you'll need to deal with in getting such a homebrew solution to work, it just isn't worth it. Because, after all, isn't your time worth something? Great, take your hourly rate and times it by how much you're spending researching homebrew solutions and then actually getting something to work to your satisfaction.

Any business traveler who doesn't know how to pack light should instead invest in some time learning how to pack light. I carry a netbook and carry-on internationally and it's never been a problem, weight-wise or otherwise.

more than 2 years ago
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Why the NTSB Is Wrong About Cellphones

DocJohn Re:multitasking (1003 comments)

Unfortunately, that website has it completely wrong. If you go and look at the NHTSA study they're quoting, those are the statistics for ANY distraction while driving (not just eating).

Eating is a distraction, contributing up to 2.15 percent of the risk in crashes and near-crashes according to the study. Nowhere near what that web page is claiming.

That's why a critical eye is needed when reading stuff online. You can't just find something that agrees with your point of view and take it face value without digging a little deeper.

--
Psych Central - Get your psychology on!
http://psychcentral.com/

more than 2 years ago
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Researchers Teach Subliminally; Matrix Learning One Step Closer

DocJohn Re:The sorry state of science reporting (103 comments)

And worse, it's not even a particularly new finding from this research team. They reported on something similar 3 YEARS ago:

http://pinktentacle.com/2008/12/scientists-extract-images-directly-from-brain/

Last, neurofeedback -- a technique that's been around and well-understood for 2 decades now -- isn't likely to teach anyone a skill like juggling. It can help guide you to better understand your bodily responses and reflexes, but it's not like you can imprint one fMRI image onto another person. Neurofeedback takes time and practice, so it's nothing like the Matrix.

--
Psych Central - Get your psychology on.
http://psychcentral.com/

more than 2 years ago
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Amazon Denies Reports That Airport Scanners Ruin Kindle's e-Ink

DocJohn Re:Nothing here (182 comments)

I've had both 1st and 2nd generation Kindles and have flown with them each dozens of times. Which means they've been each X-rayed dozens of times.

They both work fine and have never had to be reset. With the 3G radio off, a single charge on either of them lasts weeks, even with daily use.

Kindles are bullet-proof, hardy devices that you can read in direct sunlight. I've even dropped them both, with no damage to either.

This is exactly what an e-reader should be.

--
Psych Central - get your psychology on

more than 2 years ago
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Defendant Says Righthaven Should Pay Legal Fees

DocJohn Righthaven doesn't have right to sue (83 comments)

More importantly, the judgment found something glossed over in the summary -- the court did not recognize Righthaven as an entity that had any significant rights in the copyright, and therefore could not sue in the first place.

That's because the agreement with Stephens Media was so specific in carving out Righthaven's rights to the copyright that the only right they really had, according to the court, was the right to sue others to protect the copyright. This is not a recognized transferable right.

That's a pretty big finding. You can't just assign your copyrights to another company for the sole purpose of suing others.

--
Psych Central
http://psychcentral.com/

more than 3 years ago
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Google Incrementally Dropping Support For Older Browsers

DocJohn Poor summary (353 comments)

As usual, the summary leaves out an important modifier -- this only applies to Google APPS, not Google.

From TFA:

For this reason, soon Google Apps will only support modern browsers. Beginning August 1st, we’ll support the current and prior major release of Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari on a rolling basis. Each time a new version is released, we’ll begin supporting the update and stop supporting the third-oldest version.

Google will still support all older browsers on its search engine. It wouldn't make sense to discriminate there.

--
Psych Central
http://psychcentral.com/

more than 3 years ago
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Punish Bad Users With Drupal Misery

DocJohn Not exactly new, news, nor interesting (418 comments)

So I'm sorry, someone basically took the Miserable Users hack for vBulletin originally released in 2004 and -- 7 years later -- ported it to Drupal??

http://www.vbulletin.org/forum/showthread.php?t=59727&page=8

Astounding. Neither original, nor news, nor particularly interesting.

There are many powerful, easy-to-use and easy-to-develop for open source CMS systems available; Drupal is not one of them.

--
Psych Central
http://psychcentral.com/

more than 3 years ago
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Is Algeria Deleting Facebook Accounts?

DocJohn Article says nothing about Facebook (217 comments)

While the headline and blurb suggest that indeed Facebook is being targeted in some manner, the article body itself makes absolutely no specific reference to Facebook. What this suggests is that the headline and blurb (introductory text to the article) were written by someone else -- an editor, usually -- who either didn't read the article very carefully, or made an assumption about what is actually being done.

It's odd how this could have been published as-is on a respected news website like the Telegraph.

more than 3 years ago
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Intel Wants To Charge $50 To Unlock Your CPU's Full Capabilities

DocJohn Missing how capitalism works (832 comments)

I think many commenters here don't understand how a free-market system and capitalism works.

A company can charge ANY price it wants for its products, regardless of the cost to make them. Do you really believe, for instance, that a BMW 5 series costs $20-30k more to make than a similarly equipped 3 series? Heck no -- in fact, the two cars share a lot of the same major parts (like engines in certain versions of them).

A manufacturer can set any price it feels the market can bear. And from a marketing and computer upgrade standpoint, this move by Intel makes perfect sense for the normal consumer market. Instead of having to upgrade your whole computer in 2 years, pay Intel the $50 and your computer may be good for another 2 years.

This "you're being ripped off" bit is ridiculous and would only be a logical argument in a socialist system where all prices were pre-determined by a government entity and set according to exactly what it cost to make the product + X percent markup.

Luckily, we do not live in such a system.

--
Mental health and psychology at Psych Central

more than 3 years ago
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Secrets of Schizophrenia and Depression "Unlocked"

DocJohn Re:This is what is being done now... (334 comments)

ECT is not the "tool of choice these days" to treat schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. If I had mod points, I'd mod this one down.

ECT is used -- rarely -- to treat major depression. And in a few years, when ECT manufacturers will be required to submit actual research proof of this technique's safety and efficacy, I imagine ECT may not be an option for clinical depression long.

more than 5 years ago
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Dealing With a Copyright Takedown Request?

DocJohn Re:EXPLANATION: How the MMPI test works (547 comments)

The MMPI (and its subsequent editions) have decades worth of research backing up their validity. So while your opinion is noted, it doesn't really refute the empirical evidence in peer-reviewed journals.

Having the questions available to you ahead of time is completely useless. Without knowing what questions are scored according to what scale, you have no idea in which way to answer them.

And even if you did, what you get from the MMPI-2 is a personality profile (heavily weighted to look at disorders or problems with personality -- other tests do a better job looking at the positive aspects and the whole of one's personality). A profile is not "good" or "bad," but an employer or such might be looking for a specific type of profile that best fits within their company.

The MMPI-2 is most often administered as a part of a larger psychological battery, to help a mental health professional understand what's going on with a person. While it can also be used for employment testing or in the courts (forensic psychology), it's primarily used to help professionals better help people who are seeking their help.

--
Psych Central
http://psychcentral.com/

more than 5 years ago
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Congressman Wants Health Warnings On Video Games

DocJohn Except this is exactly wrong... (421 comments)

Psychologists have shown that, in fact, there is virtually no connection between playing violent video games and increased violence, so the Congressman from California has it exactly wrong:

http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2008/05/17/the-link-between-video-games-and-violence/

I'm all for research supporting reasoned legislation, but in this case, it is ignorance and misconceptions supporting "feel good" government nannies.

--
Yes, the answer is no.

more than 5 years ago
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MySpace Verdict a Danger To Depressed Kids

DocJohn Sorry, sophmoric argument (502 comments)

Laws are laws, and if you disagree with a law, work to get it overturned or changed.

But to argue that a prosecution of a law is bad because it might or could or may lead to someone thinking they might or could or possibly get someone prosecuted if they are bullied online and then kill themselves relies on a lot of "what-ifs" and assumptions.

Really? Do you really think there's this huge morass of online people just waiting for a verdict like this so they can go and say, "Wow, now all I have to do is get someone to impersonate someone else, get them to bully me on MySpace, and then make sure lots of people know about it, and then take my own life, and I'll get my revenge!"

Agree or disagree with TOSs, but they are there for a reason. And if you don't like the fact that if you violate one, you can face prosecution (or even criminal prosecution if your actions lead to someone's harm or death), well, that's your choice not to visit that site then. There are millions of websites, and the nice thing is, nobody's forcing anyone to visit a particular one.

Decisions like this one are not bad, nor are they likely to lead to some sort of strange epidemic of people who work hard to try and commit suicide while implicating someone else for causing it. They are reasonable interpretations of law and proper repercussions for people acting in an unlawful manner. And people who are suicidal aren't going to start changing their entire set of behaviors to conform to this decision, to try and implicate another person.

more than 5 years ago
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Mind Control Delusions and the Web

DocJohn Re:But What Does That Mean? (631 comments)

In respect to this specific article and claim made, it was suggested that since people belonged to an online group that reinforced their delusions, perhaps they weren't technically delusion after all (according to a definition of "delusion" that appears in an appendix of the DSM-IV, not in the actual text of the diagnostic criteria for delusional disorder or schizophrenia). I find that a spurious claim at best and a warping of the intent of the diagnostic criteria.

Of course people can and should be diagnosed with delusional disorders or schizophrenia if they believe stuff like, "All of my organs have been replaced with exact replicas by aliens," and not have such a diagnosis (and its respective treatment) withheld simply because they've joined an online group that reinforces that false belief.

John
--
Psych Central

more than 5 years ago
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Mind Control Delusions and the Web

DocJohn Article isn't very insightful or correct (631 comments)

The article is incorrect in one person quoted therein that a delusion is not a delusion if it's commonly held by its culture or subculture. That's not what the definition of delusion says in the manual. It says that one's culture should be taken into account when making the diagnosis, that's all.

And you're in a logical circular loop if you start saying that a person's disorder is a legitimate "subculture." It is indeed a group, but an entire culture or subculture? I don't think so.

Read more observations about the article here:

http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2008/11/13/shedding-light-on-a-dark-side-of-online-community/

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

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NY Times' Broder Responds to Tesla's Elon Musk

DocJohn DocJohn writes  |  about a year and a half ago

DocJohn writes "NY Times' John Broder responded to Elon Musk's blog entry, responding to accusations with deft and reasonable replies. Accused of driving around a parking lot for no reason, for instance, Broder notes he was simply looking for the poorly marked charging station. Worse of all, much of Broder's behavior can be attributed directly to advice he received from Tesla representatives — something Musk fails to mention."
Link to Original Source
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Facebook Revealed to be Psychology Experiment

DocJohn DocJohn writes  |  more than 3 years ago

DocJohn (81319) writes "Today we reported on surprising new research published this week — that Facebook is actually an undergraduate psychology experiment. "If you ever wondered what social networking websites actually were for, researchers today have at least one answer. A new study shows that Facebook is actually the result of a Harvard psychology experiment that inadvertently gained popularity outside of the Introductory to Psychology class it was designed for.""
Link to Original Source
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DocJohn DocJohn writes  |  more than 7 years ago

DocJohn writes "Sometimes people and companies confuse what makes a popular community, well, popular. They mistakenly point to traffic numbers, confusing quantity of people (or unique visitors) over why the people are coming in the first place — for other people. People, not posts are what make a strong, cohesive online community thrive."
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DocJohn DocJohn writes  |  more than 7 years ago

DocJohn writes "For the second time in 3 years, Segway has announced a recall of all Segway Personal Transporters which is described as the Segway "can unexpectedly apply reverse torque to the wheels, which can cause a rider to fall. This can occur when the device is tilted back by the Speed Limiter and the rider comes off and then back onto the device within a short period of time." A software update is needed to fix the problem. The company also disclosed that only 23,500 units have been sold to-date."

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