Using Wearable Tech To Track Gun Use
For varying degrees of "works":
1. Gun supporters argue that gun control laws are mistakenly focusing on the tool, not the motive (where motives are tied to actual causes). It's all a moot point if someone isn't trying to commit murder. If someone *is* intent on committing murder, then if they succeed with a knife instead, then gun control had no effect on saving innocent lives. Innocent lives were still taken due to the fact that the issue is the motive, not the tool. All you've succeeding in doing is disarm a law-abiding *citizenry* while retaining a heavily armed government (which isn't affected by such laws).
2. Reduction in the use of guns and subsequent increase in the use of knives doesn't mean that criminals can't get guns or that *no* guns are used overall, it merely means that there are cases where they saw no need for it in order to commit the murder. If the situation really warranted a gun, then they'd still just get a gun through illegal channels.
3. It's always shaky ground to compare gun crimes between countries, because again the point of gun supporters is to focus on the cause of the motives for crime instead of focusing on the tool. For example, European countries bordered with other European countries is a different problem than being bordered to Mexico (which in turn is chained to South American black markets). Much of gang violence and inner city violence and poverty is tied to the socioeconomic effects of the illegal drug trade. If a European country doesn't treat drug use as a crime (rather than a public health issue), or if recreational drugs are legal, then they have no 21st-century-Prohibition black market like the U.S. The U.S. teaches about Prohibition of the early 20th century, but not the lessons. Cultural goals also differ. You have to ask just how much you're willing to give up in order to have a perfectly safe world.
4. Statistics and damn lies, etc. One set shows guns up, crime up. Another says guns down, crime down. But yet others say guns up, crime *down*. Still others say guns down, crime *up*. So the question is this: does that mean the debate is at an impasse? The answer is NO. Guns are logically demonstrated as *not* the primary cause. How does this logic work? Like this: If the claim being refuted is "more guns equals more murder, less guns equals less murder", then it is *not* required to show that guns improve the situation *everywhere* you go. It is only required to show *one* instance that exists that refutes the claim. Those situations exist, therefore that means that the primary cause or causes are *not* guns. Other causes are the real causes. Perhaps guns are enablers as secondary causes, but in practice nothing anyone cares about will be solved by band-aids: the primary causes must be addressed first.
Programming Languages You'll Need Next Year (and Beyond)
No. I don't know why so many "geeks/nerds" are confused about this. There's no grey area here. "Calculators" (e.g. adding machines) existed before the modern digital computer, so it's not about mere *calculation*, it's about whether or not (given enough time and memory) the language can calculate ANYTHING that can be calculated. It must be TURING COMPLETE (i.e. one means of universal computation amongst others such as Lambda Calculus).
It's not about mere basic arithmetic, it's about whether or not symbolic computation is possible. The litmus test is whether or not you can write a simulation of a universal Turing Machine within the computer language. If so, then it's a computer *programming* language. If not, then it's some other language such as a markup or *cough* stylesheet language.
Yes, computer languages can eventually be promoted to computer *programming* languages with additions to the language. For example, SQL used to only be a query language that is now a programming language due to recursive queries and a language for stored procedures (SQL/PSM) officially added to the spec.
Then programming languages are further divided into general purpose vs domain specific, etc. Simply, that theoretically equivalent computational power is not the same as equivalent practical power.
In the CSS3 calculator example, it's just a hack that uses the experimental calc() function of CSS3 for simple arithmetic and some hard-coded (finite) elements to manipulate. If you actually try out the "calculator", you'll notice it's not even a fully functioning calculator, much less possessing the computational power of a real programming language. If that's not clear enough, then let me put it this way: can you write a potentially infinite loop (i.e. indeterminate number of iterations at the beginning) in CSS?
Monsanto Takes Home $23m From Small Farmers According To Report
I would go through the trouble of going down the list, but Google already exists.
BEST Study Finds Temperature Changes Explained by GHG Emissions and Volcanoes
The summary makes it sound like volcanoes are the explanation for greenhouse gases, which is completely false. It doesn't say that at all. Actually, it's the opposite.
RTFA and you learn (as quoted from the .PDF supplied by the article): "According to a new Berkely Earth study released today, the average temperature of Earth's land has risen by 1.5 C over the past 250 years. The good match between the new temperature record and historical carbon dioxide records suggests that the most straightforward explanation for this warming is human greenhouse gas emissions." (Emphasis mine.)
The .PDF article explains that human CO2 contribution, volcanic activity, and ocean activity (e.g. Gulf Stream and El Nino) are the biggest contributors that are needed to match the graph of temperatures over time. But volcanoes follow the drops in temperature on the graph, not the rises in temperature. Contributions from solar activity exist but were determined to be negligible. They explain that CO2 doesn't prove to be responsible for the warming, but is by far the best contender. As stated by the scientific director, "To be considered seriously, any alternative explanation must match the data at least as well as does carbon dioxide." So denialists can't simply supply "common sense" alternatives: the alternatives must match the data at least as well (or better) than CO2.
Prince of Sealand Dies At 91
"I like to ride my goat while swabbing the deck. And that is NOT a euphamism for anything." --Hetalia
Firefox 16 Released: More HTML5 Support
The most important part of the summary. Discuss...
Man With World's Deepest Voice Can Hit Infrasonic Notes
People claiming that they can make "a sound every 2.5 seconds" don't get it. It's is not the same as a single continuous waveform oscillating at 0.189 Hz. There is a big difference between a continuous waveform at that frequency versus some joe blow making a click at 3 kHz for 250 ms duration every 2.5 seconds. No, it is not a set of pulses.
Doctorow on the War on General Purpose Computing
Don't you mean "Moore's Law", not "Murphy's Law"? Murphy's Law hasn't had a major effect on processors since the Pentium fdiv bug.
Should Developers Be Sued For Security Holes?
No, developers should NOT be sued. I'm quite frankly tired of hearing this drivel. COMPANIES or their UPPER MANAGEMENT should be sued (depending on the type of company) because THEY are the ones truly responsible and accountable. "They get paid the big bucks for a reason." Unless the person is a very crappy developer, most devs I know actually WANT quality control and the time required to write software properly. It's almost always management that tells them no, that "time to market" with something that vaguely resembles a product is most important, no matter how angry at the result the customers will be. Until the people with the actual power to change company decisions are held accountable for their decisions, nothing changes. So why are we wasting time persecuting the people with little power and who actually agrees with us?
Kasparov Arrested By Russian Police
Let's put aside for a moment the issue of whether or not Russia's problems is the fault of the U.S. government. But when it comes to saying the U.S. government or rather U.S. politicians are just as bad, we need to look no further than to RTFA. Kasparov mentions,
A spokesman for the Obama administration called the sentence [for Pussy Riot] "disproportionate," as if the length of the prison term were the only problem with open repression of political speech.
Trouble At OnLive
The Latin phrase "per se" means "in itself" or "through itself". It's not "persay". Also, don't use it when you actually mean to say "exactly". "Per se" is used when you want to say that something is intrinsically true about an object. If you mean to say that something "isn't exactly true", then simply say that instead.
Surfing Robot Tracks Great White Sharks
Is it laser guided?
Knight Trading Losses Attributed To Old, Dormant Software
Yes, it's true that if a "too big to fail" company fails, bad things happen and people get mad. But let's look at it another way. In a market driven economy, the economy is strong when the market is strong. The market is driven by the consumer being able to choose the supplier of products and services. So, if the consumer is mad because of a poor performing company, the consumer can choose to leave and support a better, stronger company.
If a market driven economy no longer forces companies to live with the consequences of their decisions, opting to bail them out so no one gets mad, then their is no incentive for any company to be a good company because it isn't required stay in business. The actual good companies then see that their extra effort is a waste of time, an in order to compete, they also must become a company with similarly bad products and services.
Saving "too big to fail" companies only keeps people from being mad for the short term. But once the entire market is in trouble, they'll still lose and will be even madder later. There's a moral to the story for our society that goes beyond the stock market: FOCUSING WORRIES ON FAILURE IS A SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY. DO INSTEAD WHAT YOU KNOW IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO.
Forget 6-Minute Abs: Learn To Code In a Day
Teach Yourself Programming In Ten Years
Man Orders TV On Amazon, Gets Shipped Assault Rifle
Here's some PDFs from the U.S. military on what constitutes an "assault rifle".
To be an assault rifle, the firearm MUST support SELECTIVE FIRE. The Sig716 mentioned in the article does not have selective fire and is therefore NOT an assault rifle. Period. It is a semi-auto firearm styled ergonomically like an assault rifle, but it isn't one.
Also, does anyone else find the article a little strange? Rifles and TVs aren't even close to the same size or shaped box. D.C. is probably the most anti-firefarm city in the U.S. concerning its policies, and obviously the most public and political, and yet someone got shipped an AR style firearm instead of a TV? It wasn't even just a bolt action hunting rifle, it just so happened to be AR styled? Immediately after being reported the Brady Campaign of course jumped on this. Shipping errors can happen of course, but doesn't the convenience of all this kind of smell like a publicity stunt?
Of currently dead inventors, my favorite is ...
Hero/Heron of Alexandria pioneered steam engine technology (the aeolipile), vending machines, wind powered machines, force pumps, syringes, imaginary numbers, and a means to calculate square roots. All this was during 10 - 70 AD.
Why Online Privacy Is Broken
Isn't the POINT of Facebook to get yourself "out there" and be-your-own-celebrity? [...] What am I failing to understand about this issue?
You're failing to understand that:
1. Social networking isn't about people trying to be a celebrity. It's about some people trying to be a celebrity, while others just want to keep in touch with friends (e.g. for many, social networking sites are just the replacement for Instant Messaging). It's about access to information that is controlled and owned by the user.
2. Even for those that want to be celebrities, even they just want to be visible to other party-goers, students, and friends-of-friends. Nowhere does 3rd-party advertising companies mining their personal data figure into the equation. That is NOT what motivated the person to join the site.
3. The idea that the information is always "voluntarily provided" is bogus. That implies a conscious decision was made by the user. Clicking OK to a Terms Of Service agreement may cover a site legally, but in the real world it has nothing to do with whether or not the user understands the consequences of the legal double-talk a TOS agreement implies. If you misunderstand it's consequences, then it is not informed consent (regarding real-life informed decisions, regardless of any legal definition of "informed consent"). For example, if the TOS says that certain types of content won't be provided to third-parties except in special cases A and B, the user might not expect that this is just Cover-Your-Ass talk and that special cases A and B unwittingly happen most of the time from actions the user didn't expect would cause special cases A and B. Various sites are better or worse at this, of course.
4. All these sites have verbiage saying they "respect your privacy" (of course), but where is the transparency? Laws aren't magic wands. How do I verify whether or not my privacy is truly being respected. When potential profit is involved, it's the corporate norm that it's "better to ask forgiveness than permission". And if they get caught doing something wrong, they get a slap on the wrist because apparently corporations have more rights than citizens do, and then they continue to do what they've always done before.
5. Just because you may be disinterested about something only other people seem to be interested in, doesn't mean this doesn't eventually have implications for everyone.
6. Simply put, the point of the issue is what you're failing to understand.
Steve Jobs Recommends Android For Fans of Porn
Bakeries?? ...Really? So... it's the one place where you SHOULDN'T be offended if you find a pube in your sandwich?
Intel's Core i7-980X Six-Core Benchmarked
...you're not getting it. It's waay better than the AMD stuff because it's xxxxxxtreme! That's like *twice* the xxx!
The Art of Unit Testing
Uh no, it's to demonstrate that the code "works". The problem here is what it means "to work". Part of the usefulness of TDD is that you might not fully understand what it means "to work" yet, and the tests help you flesh that out.
Let me clarify, so you don't think I'm 100% ditching what you're saying versus stating it a different way. A test suite will tend to have BOTH tests for what the correct behavior *is* and also tests for what the correct behavior *is not*. In other words, what you're doing is defining the BOUNDARIES between correct and incorrect behavior. You're right in the sense that if your *strategy* is to write only *optimistic* tests (i.e. "proving that it works"), you'll miss subtle areas where the behavior isn't fully clarified (i.e. corner cases).
But here's the problem: for absolutely anything in the universe, there is an INFINITE number of things something *is not*, but only a finite amount of things something *is*. I've seen people go too crazy with using tests as a way of type-checking everything where smarter data types would have been a better choice, or performing a hundred "this isn't what I want" tests that could have been handled with a single "this IS what I want" test. My point is that you're supposed to program for the correct case, not design as if you always expect everything to go wrong. Write for the correct case, test for the correct cases FIRST, test for the EXCEPTIONAL cases, and write handling code for the things that are exceptional. Don't write an infinite test suite of what something is not.
CONCLUSION: Write the most EFFECTIVE tests you can that covers the most ground. Don't write *pointless* tests you have to maintain later if there was a better test. If a test covers a lot of logical ground by defining the boundaries of what something *is not*, then write the test for that. If it covers a lot of ground by defining what something *is*, write the test for that.
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