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Interviews: Ask Rachel Sussman About Photography and the Oldest Living Things

g01d4 Anything else in common? (35 comments)

Aside from being able to reach a very old age do these species have anything else in common? For example, are their population pyramids correlated?

about two weeks ago
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Journalists Route Around White House Press Office

g01d4 Re:If I were president... (111 comments)

The problem is..the news agencies have been so complacent in all this all along too.

Unfortunately complacency is thought to be the price paid for access. I'd think you'd want a full spectrum of coverage. Even in compliant interviews and pieces you can often glean interesting information reading between the lines.

about a month and a half ago
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Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

g01d4 Re:Let me get this right (839 comments)

99.9% of the work is determining what is your income

From where else: "A true flat rate tax is a system of taxation where one tax rate is applied to all income with no deductions." Calculating deductions is generally assumed to be most of the work behind determining income.

about a month and a half ago
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How English Beat German As the Language of Science

g01d4 Re:WWII not WWI (323 comments)

If you wanted to be near the top of your profession, you still needed to study in Germany

Or at least know German. When I was in HS in the mid 70's you were expected to take three years of German if you wanted to major in a science. I was lazy and went with Spanish. Sure enough when it was time for my senior project in college an important relatively current journal article was in German. I asked a professor to translate it for me. When my results didn't come out as expected I had a go at the relevant section of article myself. Parsing the math and scientific terms I was able figure out what the issue was. For a short while afterwards there was a shift towards Russian if you wanted a relevant language. Didn't last that long.

about a month and a half ago
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The Secret Goldman Sachs Tapes

g01d4 Re:is anyone really surprised here (201 comments)

Nobody should be surprised at government incompetence, in this case leading to regulatory capture. The proof came out long ago in the pudding of the financial crisis. The interview is not that interesting. Ms. Segarra's experience should be familiar to anyone who's had differences with management.

My only take from the interview was what wasn't said (at least for the first 40 minutes), viz. that the Fed's played along hoping to get easier access to information. Yes, the banks had to give them what they asked for, but it should be obvious that it's not always clear what that should be. The Feds don't have the staff to effectively mount a strong adversarial campaign. You piss off these chefs and they'll most certainly spit in your food.

That being said the Feds clearly failed by becoming too complacent. Unfortunately you're never going to find out till after the fact. You can keep changing and adding rules but the banks will adapt. It could just as easily happen again.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech?

g01d4 Re:Look at the job postings (392 comments)

I think the CEOs would prefer a liberal arts major who has demonstrated they can self teach the IT bit. It's really the ability to self teach rather than which field your degree is in. When hiring someone w/a CS degree you can't be sure they're able to go beyond what's spoon fed to them in class. When hiring someone w/a liberal arts degree w/self taught skills, they've demonstrated they're able to learn new things on their own, even outside their field of study.

That being said it's possible the industry's matured enough that there's less self teaching involved as fads replace durable technology improvements.

about 2 months ago
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Can ISO 29119 Software Testing "Standard" Really Be a Standard?

g01d4 Can it be a *useful* standard (152 comments)

The Bolton-Christie argument, to me, boils down to: you can have too much of a good thing, e.g. documentation. This can impose unnecessary costs and defeat the purpose if, following the above example, onerous documentation doesn't get read. Too much of a standard means unnecessary cost goes out to the standards industry (rent seeking).

about 3 months ago
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Coffee Naps Better For Alertness Than Coffee Or Naps Alone

g01d4 Re:What happened to just drinking water? (133 comments)

This is a good point but I think it's not just diet. There's genetics to some extent, lifestyle and the type of work being done. I would hypothesize that an individual, starting at the same 'alert level', would tire at different rates depending on the task. When a person's energy level starts to flag, for whatever reason, little tricks like this may help them to be more productive.

about 3 months ago
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Why Chinese Hackers Would Want US Hospital Patient Data

g01d4 Other reasons than fraud (171 comments)

I don't think the data is private primarily to prevent fraud. My first guess was medical tourism. Overseas drug prescriptions, &c. &c.

about 3 months ago
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Machine Vision Reveals Previously Unknown Influences Between Great Artists

g01d4 Re:Influence vs. similarity (74 comments)

I would agree w/some of the other posts that the algorithm seems a bit primitive. Perhaps on refinement it may point out correlations that may either be influence or perhaps represent certain stylistic archetypes hitherto unknown. I think asking and knowing make a "difference" but the question is somewhat subjective.

about 3 months ago
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An Accidental Wikipedia Hoax

g01d4 The real error (189 comments)

Is that Ms. Dickson didn't correct her attempt(s) at humor after she sobered up. That no one else ever bothered could be taken as an indication of the significance of the subject. While the books may be popular, the author's life clearly isn't (yet).

The contexts in which her entry was cited ("Jews and Jesus" - really?) probably also indicate a lack of significance.

about 4 months ago
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Hospitals Begin Data-Mining Patients

g01d4 Re:Doesn't give warm fuzzies (162 comments)

Your basic point is correct but a tad misanthropic. I'd suggest most doctors care, but that care is so diluted that it's not in your best interest to put any reliance on it. We recently discovered our medical group, which we've been in for many years, could not be bothered to transfer the kids immunization records from the pediatricians office to their primary doctor (all in the same group) when the kids became adults.

As other posts have noted, the only care you can rely on will come from the insurance company.

about 5 months ago
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Kids With Operators Manual Alert Bank Officials: "We Hacked Your ATM"

g01d4 The real crime is... (378 comments)

Their first random guess at the six-digit password worked. They used a common default password.

When does incompetence become criminal neglect?

about 6 months ago
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Finding More Than One Worm In the Apple

g01d4 Unit tests are just one tool (116 comments)

FTFA:

Compiler and static-analysis warnings also could have detected the unreachable code, though false warnings might have drowned out the signal if such tools weren't already being used regularly.

I'd purpose that these tools weren't being used properly rather than turning the issue into a nail for the unit testing hammer.

about 6 months ago
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Astronomers Discover Pair of Black Holes In Inactive Galaxy

g01d4 Really? (45 comments)

Finding black holes in quiescent galaxies is difficult because there are no gas clouds feeding the black holes, so the cores of these galaxies are truly dark. It can be only detected by this 'tidal disruption event'."

The dark cores have been observed in light curves http://arxiv.org/abs/1310.5310

about 7 months ago
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Your Car Will Tell You How To Hit the Next Green Light

g01d4 Re:How about telling the Light what to do instead? (364 comments)

But we can't coordinate sensors across the city to prevent me (and 30 others) from having to stop at a red light so that one car can pass, and then watch the intersection go unused for another 90 seconds

I'm not too far from you. I emailed the all-our-lights-are-synchronized LADOT about this last year and after a few months the reply I got was a short comment saying the system "worked as it was designed".

about 8 months ago
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Your Car Will Tell You How To Hit the Next Green Light

g01d4 Re:Wait. (364 comments)

I regularly drive a main artery with a timing system and several sensors, including some that seem to keep the light green a little longer after countdown if there's heavy traffic. Since it's not well designed, the only way to make each light is by speeding or crawling between them. The best you can reasonably do is to minimize the waits.

about 8 months ago
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Major Scientific Journal Publisher Requires Public Access To Data

g01d4 Re:Bad news for ecologists--new license needed (136 comments)

There are plenty of scientists out there who poach free online data sets and mine them for additional findings.

I think the additional findings are part of what science is all about. How do scientists 'poach' something that's free? Did you think waiting many decades for the Dead Sea Scroll results was acceptable?

If data is that expensive to collect, then its collection and publication should rank as an end in itself.

about 9 months ago
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Are Bankers Paid Too Much? Are Technology CEOs?

g01d4 Re:You get, what you negotiate (712 comments)

why is this any of our business?

It could be one's business if you care about the society you live in and you believe these salaries are symptomatic of a progressively increasing income inequality. Large income inequality has not been shown to be healthy for a society.

about 9 months ago

Submissions

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Amelia Earhart's 1935 Story on Becoming First to Fly From Hawaii to California

g01d4 g01d4 writes  |  about 4 months ago

g01d4 (888748) writes "National Geographic is (re)posting her account of the flight. It's a very good read from an era that seems technologically ancient though within the lifetime of many of our parents."
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Comet ISON is off

g01d4 g01d4 writes  |  about a year ago

g01d4 (888748) writes "From BBC News:

"Telescopes saw the giant ball of ice and dust disappear behind the star, but only a dull streamer emerge." It's too bad but the incoming, and especially the Stereo A & B images, were way cool."

Link to Original Source
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Risk Calculator for Cholesterol Appears Flawed

g01d4 g01d4 writes  |  1 year,9 days

g01d4 (888748) writes "From the NYT: "Last week, the nation’s leading heart organizations released a sweeping new set of guidelines for lowering cholesterol, along with an online calculator meant to help doctors assess risks and treatment options. But, in a major embarrassment to the health groups, the calculator appears to greatly overestimate risk, so much so that it could mistakenly suggest that millions more people are candidates for statin drugs. [It seems] the problem might have stemmed from the fact that the calculator uses as reference points data collected more than a decade ago, when more people smoked and had strokes and heart attacks earlier in life. For example, the guideline makers used data from studies in the 1990s to determine how various risk factors like cholesterol levels and blood pressure led to actual heart attacks and strokes over a decade of observation.""
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Saleable used computer books

g01d4 g01d4 writes  |  about a year ago

g01d4 (888748) writes "I volunteer at a used bookstore that supports the local library. One of my tasks is to sort book donations. For > 5 yr old computer books the choices typically are to save it for sale (fifty cents soft cover, one dollar hardback), pack it, e.g. for another library's bookstore, put it on the free cart, or toss it in the recycle bin. I occasionally dumpster dive the recycle bin to 'rescue' books that I don't think should be pulped. Recently I found a copy of PostgresSQL Essential Reference (2002) and Programming Perl (1996). Would you have left them to RIP? Obviously we have very limited space, 20 shelf feet (storage + sale) for STEM. What criteria would you use when sorting these types of books?"
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CC + ZIP = HomeAddress

g01d4 g01d4 writes  |  about a year and a half ago

g01d4 (888748) writes "Forbes has a short story on why customers are often asked for their ZIP code after a credit card purchase. In one case:

“Users simply capture name from the credit card swipe and request a customer’s ZIP code during the transaction. GeoCapture matches the collected information to a comprehensive consumer database to return an address.” In a promotional brochure, they claim accuracy rates as high as 100%.

"

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NASA's Fermi spacecraft dodged a defunct Russian satellite

g01d4 g01d4 writes  |  about a year and a half ago

g01d4 (888748) writes "On March 29, 2012, NASA scientists learned that the space agency’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope was headed for a potential conjunction (close approach) with Cosmos 1805, a defunct Russian satellite from the Cold War era.The team knew that the only way to move Fermi would be to fire thrusters designed to move the spacecraft out of orbit at the end of its operating life. On April 3rd shortly after noon EDT, the space agency fired all thrusters for one second. When it was over, everyone involved 'just sighed with relief that it all went well.' By 1 p.m., the spacecraft had returned to its mission."
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Yet another costly government software upgrade failure

g01d4 g01d4 writes  |  about 2 years ago

g01d4 (888748) writes ""California's computer problems, which have already cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, have mounted as state officials cut short work on a $208-million DMV technology overhaul that is only half done. Last week, the controller's office fired the contractor responsible for a $371-million upgrade to the state's payroll system, citing a trial run filled with mishaps. More than $254 million has already been spent." It's hard not to feel like the Tokyo man in the street watching the latest round of Godzilla the state vs. Rodan the big contractor."
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John E. Karlin, Who Led the Way to All-Digit Dialing, Dies at 94

g01d4 g01d4 writes  |  about 2 years ago

g01d4 (888748) writes "Who was John E. Karlin? “He was the one who introduced the notion that behavioral sciences could answer some questions about telephone design,” according to Ed Israelski, an engineer who worked under Mr. Karlin at Bell Labs in the 1970s. And you thought Steve Jobs was cool. An interesting obituary in the NYT."
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Seeing God in the Third Millenium

g01d4 g01d4 writes  |  about 2 years ago

g01d4 writes "Dr. Oliver Sacks, a professor of neurology at NYU School of Medicine, discusses using neuroscience to explain how the brain creates out-of-body experiences and religious epiphanies."
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Correlation does not imply causation overused?

g01d4 g01d4 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

g01d4 (888748) writes "An article by Daniel Engber on Slate complains it's the "internet blowhard's favorite phrase" with a nice frequency of use vs. time plot for illustration. He doesn't bother to investigate whether it's correlated with the number of weak studies being published."
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Handwriting as Alternate Lie Detection Method

g01d4 g01d4 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

g01d4 (888748) writes "According to Scientific Computing http://www.scientificcomputing.com/news-DA-Handwriting-based-Tool-an-Alternate-Lie-Detection-Method-090209.aspx a study published in the November 2009 issue of Applied Cognitive Psychology states that 'handwriting characteristics differ when an individual is in the process of writing deceptive sentences as opposed to truthful sentences.' It seems the investigators used a 'computerized tablet that measured the physical properties of the subject's handwriting, which are difficult to consciously control. These properties included, for example, the duration of time that the pen is on paper versus in the air; the length, height and width of each writing stroke; and the pressure implemented on the writing surface.' Seems like there'd be few readers under 50 who could handwrite anything that'd look honest beyond a signature and maybe a few short phrases."

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