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Comments

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An Accidental Wikipedia Hoax

g01d4 The real error (163 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.

yesterday
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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 a month 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 2 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 4 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 5 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 5 months ago
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How Well Do Our Climate Models Match Our Observations?

g01d4 Poor job in critiquing the models (560 comments)

I only bothered w/the McNider & Christy article. Do they fix the physics of any of the models? No. Do they put forward their own model? No. Do they have any scientific explanation for changes in weather patterns:

Shouldn't modelers be more humble and open to saying that perhaps the Arctic warming is due to something we don't understand?

about 5 months ago
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Best skywatching equipment at my disposal:

g01d4 Re:Friends have better gear (201 comments)

I have found google to be a much better telescope than any meat space version I care to purchase. Sad i know...

It's not sad at all. There's a large publicly available database of existing quality images (e.g. from surveys or the HST). Check out APOD and you'll see some of these images that have been stylistically enhanced. It wasn't till much (um, much) later that I enjoyed going to the observatory. In graduate school I preferred programming simulations on the computer and matching the results to someone else's images.

about 6 months ago
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Court Rules Against Online Anonymity

g01d4 Re:Appropriate Supreme Court Quote (314 comments)

^Thanks. It seems you can remain anonymous and that it's up to the business owner to provide evidence that you couldn't have been a customer. If your negative review was vague, e.g. 'bad service' it would be an impossible burden on the owner - unless he could provably count his customers on one hand.

about 7 months ago
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US Coast Guard Ship To Attempt Rescue of 2 Icebreakers In Antarctica

g01d4 Almost a hundred years since Shackleton (382 comments)

Some things have changed and some haven't. I didn't really learn much about his expedition till after the hype several years ago died down. At least it created a lot of material. The story is amazing.

about 7 months ago
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Citizen Science: Who Makes the Rules?

g01d4 Re:Question and answer (189 comments)

...certainly we had obtained the relevant permissions to take biological samples in Mexico. Not exactly.

I would guess the most successful (i.e. published) amateur science is done in coordination with professionals.

about 7 months ago
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Pulsar Gets the Munchies, Snacks On an Asteroid

g01d4 Re:Really? (54 comments)

Wow. This is amazing information!

It is, kind of. One might think the area around a pulsar would be fairly cleaned out and you've got to wonder where the asteroid came from and what kicked it in. While we've detected planets and asteroid/dust belts around stars, this might be the smallest extra-solar object ever detected.

about 8 months ago
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The Climate of Middle-Earth

g01d4 Re:This, but no Higgs (163 comments)

I thought about this too and decided to skim TFA:

The model simulations were carried out on the supercomputers of the Advanced Centre for Research Computing at the University of Bristol. They were not funded in any way, and were set up in the author 's spare time.

I wouldn't argue this was a waste of resources as one's weather models should be tested for reasonable results in 'alien' settings. The amount of information and research methods have come a long way. It's not meaningful to compare the environment fifty years ago.

about 8 months ago
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EV Owner Arrested Over 5 Cents Worth of Electricity From School's Outlet

g01d4 Re:His taxes paid for the electricity (1010 comments)

Public institution doesn't mean its resources are available to the general public for use as they see fit. His taxes are spent there to educate students. Slaking your thirst is not the same as slaking the thirst of your lawn, car or other personal property. That being said, the arrest was a waste of resources and a simple warning was in order.

about 8 months ago
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Mystery Humans Spiced Up Ancients' Sex Lives

g01d4 What's a "different archaic human group"? (238 comments)

Is it similar to different races? In light of the recently (too lazy to look it up) revised unification of what were once thought to be different human ancestor species, could the whole interbreeding thing simply be the first signs of larger scale population migrations?

about 8 months ago
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How Snapchat Could March Startups Right Off the Cliff, Lemming-Style

g01d4 Re:Maybe the market is tired of this type of start (143 comments)

only so much money advertisers will pay

You'd think there would be some estimate of the advertising pie and how much thinner the slices get when coming up with a valuation for companies following this model. You'd think.

about 8 months ago

Submissions

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

g01d4 g01d4 writes  |  3 days 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."
Link to Original Source
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Comet ISON is off

g01d4 g01d4 writes  |  about 8 months 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  |  about 8 months ago

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.""
Link to Original Source
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Saleable used computer books

g01d4 g01d4 writes  |  about 10 months 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 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%.

"

Link to Original Source
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NASA's Fermi spacecraft dodged a defunct Russian satellite

g01d4 g01d4 writes  |  about a year 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."
Link to Original Source
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Yet another costly government software upgrade failure

g01d4 g01d4 writes  |  about a year and a half 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."
Link to Original Source
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John E. Karlin, Who Led the Way to All-Digit Dialing, Dies at 94

g01d4 g01d4 writes  |  about a year and a half 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."
Link to Original Source
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Seeing God in the Third Millenium

g01d4 g01d4 writes  |  about a year and a half 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."
Link to Original Source
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Correlation does not imply causation overused?

g01d4 g01d4 writes  |  about 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."
Link to Original Source
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Handwriting as Alternate Lie Detection Method

g01d4 g01d4 writes  |  more than 4 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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