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The MOOC Revolution That Wasn't

drooling-dog Re:A for effort (182 comments)

I'd argue that the capacity to become interested in a subject to the point where you're motivated to spend a lot of time learning the hell out of it is a big part of what "intelligence" is all about. And yes, the top schools do select people who have this fire.

about a week ago

Massive Study Searching For Genes Behind Intelligence Finds Little

drooling-dog Re:academic achievement as a proxy for intelligenc (269 comments)

My first thought, exactly. Who would have thought that academics would equate intelligence (and other admirable traits, as well?) with academic achievement? Are there other ways in which this innate component of intelligence can manifest? Might cultural and socioeconomic factors - among other things - muddy the association?

about two weeks ago

Which Is Better, Adblock Or Adblock Plus?

drooling-dog Or, use a big hosts file (436 comments)

I don't use Adblock, but I've been using this for years. I rarely see an ad unless it's served directly from the site I'm visiting, and it blocks a lot of malware as well. It has something like 16,000 entries, but doesn't seem to slow things down at all.

about 2 months ago

Mazda Says Its Upcoming Gas-Powered Cars Will Emit Less CO2 Than Electric Cars

drooling-dog Ummm.... (330 comments)

It's not like CO2 is some unwanted and avoidable by-product of burning hydrocarbons in oxygen. It's the main product of combustion, along with water. So the only real way to reduce CO2 emissions per mile is get more miles per gallon of fuel. Is that what they're promising?

about 6 months ago

Krugman: Say No To Comcast Acquisition of Time Warner

drooling-dog Re:Paul Krugman, 1998 (187 comments)

So... A nationwide broadband monopoly is okey-dokey, then?

about 7 months ago

Why P-values Cannot Tell You If a Hypothesis Is Correct

drooling-dog Q values (124 comments)

At least in bioiniformatics, the correction of p-values for multiple comparisons ("q-values") has been standard practice for quite a while now.

about 7 months ago

NASA Now Accepting Applications From Companies That Want To Mine the Moon

drooling-dog Re:NASA? (251 comments)

They don't and they know it, but science fiction fans are an important part of the public support that keeps their funding flowing, and this is just the kind of thing that appeals to that demographic.

about 7 months ago

Powering Phones, PCs Using Sugar

drooling-dog Re:I eagerly await... (199 comments)

These sound more akin to fuel cells than batteries. Swapping the things (or a sub-assembly) in an out - like propane tanks for a gas grill - might not be too big a deal if a mechanized infrastructure was in place.

about 8 months ago

Bitcoin Exchange CEO Charlie Shrem Arrested On Money Laundering Charge

drooling-dog Re:I was wondering when that would happen (330 comments)

The marketplace says "we have no faith in your dollars.

Which marketplace is saying that? Last I checked, interest rates were near all-time lows.

about 8 months ago

Powering Phones, PCs Using Sugar

drooling-dog Re:I eagerly await... (199 comments)

I imagine the enzymes would be recharged whenever the fuel (sugar) is. Not that there aren't other practical issues to deal with, of course...

about 8 months ago

Short Notice: LogMeIn To Discontinue Free Access

drooling-dog Re:Uh? (408 comments)

I don't even know what LogMeIn is or why I should need it over SSH for remote login. Maybe I've really been missing out on something big, who knows? But my first thought when I saw the over-the-top reaction to your post was... The astroturf is really flying today...

about 8 months ago

'Web Junkie': Harrowing Documentary On China's Internet Addiction Rehab Clinics

drooling-dog Re:Correlation with One Child Policy? (94 comments)

Sigh... When I grew up there were 4 channels and if you wanted a video people looked at you strangely, because that hadn't been invented yet. Gaming was big, but it meant going outside and getting some friends together for baseball or basketball (or something that you just invented on the spot). Your parents didn't worry about where you were, as long as you were home for dinner and bedtime.

Alas, now I spend the bulk of my waking hours, at work and at home, sitting in front of a screen. Yes, I do miss the good old days...

about 8 months ago

Translating President Obama's NSA Reform Promises Into Plain English

drooling-dog Re:If you like it (171 comments)

> "If you like your healthcare plan you can keep it, period".

To be fair, it was the insurance companies that cancelled substandard policies rather than bring them up to minimum standards. Should he have realized this would happen and refrained from making that statement? Maybe so. He owned up to it publicly, which is more than I can recall ever happening in the previous regime.

More on-topic, though, he's as much a part of the power structure as anyone else. I'm sure the NSA has made clear to him and the consequences of trying to rein them in.

about 8 months ago

U.S. Teenagers Are Driving Much Less: 4 Theories About Why

drooling-dog Driver Education (635 comments)

Driver education was a standard part of the (summer) high school curriculum when I was coming up so very long ago. I don't think that's the case anymore, and and as a result it's not as accessible as it once was. It's much less a thing you do automatically when you hit 16.

That, and kids are living more of their lives virtually now. More "tactile" skills like driving and fixing mechanical things aren't as cool as the ones involved in manipulating what you see on your screen.

about 8 months ago

New Treatment Kills Metastatic Cancer Cells

drooling-dog Re:How long do metastatic cancer cells remain in t (55 comments)

This is what I love about physicists: They love sanity checks, and they do the math.

I'm in bioinformatics, and where I work we were discussing how large a value for differential gene expression could get and still be considered credible. Well, it turned out that if a single molecule of a typical RNA transcript is present in a reference sample, the value that was under consideration would require several thousand metric tons of it in the comparison sample. This was deemed to be "unphysical", as they say...

about 8 months ago

How To Create Your Own Cryptocurrency

drooling-dog Re:Is he really a "sucker"? (203 comments)

> What happens when Bitcoin goes over $X?

The basic problem is that this runup in perceived value is due to the prospect of it becoming an accepted currency, but it can never achieve that so long as its value isn't stable. Who will exchange X bitcoins for Y stuff if they think it will buy 2Y tomorrow or next week?

about 8 months ago

The FBI's Giant Bitcoin Wallet

drooling-dog Re:easy come, easy go (177 comments)

This whole thing smells like a bubble right now. The value increases for mostly speculative reasons. Bitcoins could never be a viable mainstream currency, because the volume can't readily be increased to match rising demand from transactions involving them. That's the whole point of Bitcoin, isn't it? Money in essentially fixed supply that can't be "printed" at the whim of a central bank? That makes it a deflationary currency, and no one will exchange it for stuff today if the price of that stuff is likely to be dramatically lower next week. And if it's not a viable currency, what is the value based on? Scarcity by itself isn't enough.

about 9 months ago

France Moves To Protect Independent Booksellers From Amazon

drooling-dog Re:Free Market Economics (264 comments)

You mean *you* have nothing more.

And there's nothing "socialist" about recognizing that markets don't stay free and competitive by themselves, when all of the incentives are working against it.

about a year ago

France Moves To Protect Independent Booksellers From Amazon

drooling-dog Re:Free Market Economics (264 comments)

You're upside-down on this, aren't you? They already have a free market for books, and your implied criticism is that they don't want it replaced with a monopoly (and a foreign one at that).

And here we arrive at the central contradiction of what you call "free" markets. They will always tend toward monopoly (or collusion among oligopolies, which is essentially the same thing), because monopoly profits are always higher than the sum of profits in a competitive market. It's always worthwhile for the big fish to buy out the little fish, and it's equally worthwhile for the little fish to sell.

Is there a libertarian answer to this? How is an economy of free markets to be preserved when they naturally tend toward monopoly, and the society as a whole is ideologically barred from interfering with that process? Or is economic libertarianism really a crypto-philosophy promoting the interests of those few who benefit from monopoly?

about a year ago

The Story of the Original iPhone's Development

drooling-dog Re:Golden Path (221 comments)

I have no problem with even totally canned demos, as long as everything works as promised when the product ships. A "premature demo" can still be valuable for demonstrating product concept and eliciting user input. Interest will fall off if the lag between demo and shipping is too long, however.

about a year ago


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