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It's Time To Split Up NSA Between Spooks and Geeks

jlintern Re:Smarts (122 comments)

Overly artistic people tend to not plan enough, painting themselves into a corner.

Good musicians are generally good at analytical tasks, including math, but also have the artistic ability needed to take that critical step back and pay attention to the system design

TLDR; some people are somehow better at some things than some other people. In other words:

A lot of very people don't bother going beyond a certain point simply because their primary interests lie elsewhere.

more than 4 years ago

Facebook Leads To Increase In STDs in Britain

jlintern I call... (270 comments)


more than 4 years ago

Facebook Leads To Increase In STDs in Britain

jlintern Re:C!=C (270 comments)

I read the GP as "Facebook usage may correlate, but doesn't necessarily cause [increased STD rates]." In which case it would be perfectly correct.

Regardless, any discussion of causation based on the information provided in TFA is completely worthless. It simply says that there is geographical correlation between Facebook use and STD rates, that some people with Syphilis have had sex with people they met online, and that people who meet over the internet are more likely to engage in "risky" behavior.

The titles "Facebook Leads to Increase in STDs in Britain" (/.) and "Facebook blamed for rising STD rates in Britain" (TFA) both imply causation when in fact none has been shown. I think this is what the GP was pointing out. I'm sure you'll find plenty more alternate theories of causation in other threads.

more than 4 years ago

Users Rejecting Security Advice Considered Rational

jlintern Re:What's up with /. Headlines? (389 comments)

noun gerund adjective noun verb adjective - WTF!?

Fixed that for you. "Security" is the type of advice being given, so it is effectively an adjective in this sentence. It's just subject-verb-adjective with a complex subject.

A headline with the same structure could have been: "Students Taking Music Lessons Considered Intelligent", which I don't think anyone would have a problem with.

The real issue with this headline is that it's unclear if 1) advice is rational, 2) the rejection is rational, or 3) the users themselves are rational, which could be made clear by these alternatives:
1) "Users Reject Rational Security Advice, Researcher Argues"
2) "Rejecting Security Advice Is Rational For Users, Researcher Argues"
3) "Rational Users Reject Security Advice, Researcher Argues"

The "considered" construction can be elegant in some cases but I don't think it should be used when it can introduce this sort of ambiguity.

more than 4 years ago

The 25 Most Dangerous Programming Errors

jlintern Re:Errors, Schmerrors (534 comments)

A Real Programmer can do all 25 with one emacs command.

more than 4 years ago

Microsoft Looking Into Windows 7 Battery Failures

jlintern Did you? (206 comments)

"Microsoft has sold more than 60 million copies of Windows 7, and it's not clear what fraction of those owners are having problems with battery life."

more than 4 years ago

Microsoft Says Windows 7 Not Killing Batteries

jlintern Re:Surprise (272 comments)

I wouldn't let Microsoft off the hook just yet. Lithium ion batteries need to be slow charged the last 10-15% of their charge cycle or they will be damaged. There are already known unfixed issues with the Vista/7 battery controller, and I wouldn't be surprised to hear some lithium ion batteries are failing through mismanaged charge cycles.

If the operating system (or any software) were in charge of regulating the battery charge cycle, how would the battery charge safely while the system was powered off? There should be hardware in the charge circuit to prevent this kind of damage. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charge_controller

more than 4 years ago

95% of User-Generated Content Is Bogus

jlintern Obligatory (192 comments)

In human terms, the majority of computers have AIDS. And we all know where they caught it.

Your mom?

more than 4 years ago

A Look Into the Chinese Hacker Underworld

jlintern Re:Wrong word? (198 comments)

the word "hacker" could mean both "a clever programmer", "a golfer", and "a person who circumvents computer system security."

AFAIK, "both" still means two. (and if you repeat it over and over again, it becomes a really funny word)

more than 4 years ago

Nano-Scale Robot Arm Moves Atoms With 100% Accuracy

jlintern Re:Heisenberg applies to everything (266 comments)

h >= dp * dx / 2 * pi

Modded informative? This equation is backwards.

h is a lower bound on certainty, not an upper bound.

about 5 years ago

Facebook Masks Worse Privacy With New Interface

jlintern I have been an active Facebook user (446 comments)

...for nearly 5 years. My profile is completely public except for 1) phone number and 2) photos tagged of me. I have never experienced any event that would cause me to reconsider these privacy options nor has an argument ever been advanced that would convince me to change them.

more than 5 years ago

Exoplanet Has Showers of Pebbles

jlintern Re:Why were you late for school? (341 comments)

Teacher: Why are you late? Student 1: I was on top of Cherry Hill. Teacher: (to student #2) Why are you late? Student 2: I was on top of Cherry Hill. Teacher: (to student #3) Let me guess - you were on Cherry Hill too? Student 3: I'm Cherry.

more than 5 years ago

Apple, Google, AT&T Respond To the FCC Over Google Voice

jlintern Reverse engineering (326 comments)

Apple says they haven't actually rejected the app, they're just continuing to "study it," and that it may "alter the iPhone's distinctive user experience by replacing the iPhone's core mobile telephone functionality and Apple user interface with its own user interface for telephone calls, text messaging, and voicemail."

So Apple is holding Google's app in limbo until they have time to reverse engineer the functionality and release it as native functionality of the iPhone?

more than 5 years ago

Scientists Deliver 'God' Via A Helmet

jlintern Chronology of the "documentation" (1020 comments)

To clarify for those who haven't studied the Bible, the earliest known Christian writings consist of Paul's Epistles and the Four Gospels. The Epistles are the surviving letters written by Paul to various groups that discuss matters relating to Christianity. Paul is considered the the "first Christian". The Four Gospels are written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. These are the documents that give an account of the life of Jesus (ie. these books are where you'll find the stories of his birth, the sermon on the mount, the miracles he performed, his death, etc.) Additionally, Matthew and Luke aren't "independent" - they both borrow from writings in Mark's gospel (and possibly a 2nd source, look for the "Q Document" on wikipedia). Mark and John are the only two "independent" gospels. The gospels aren't completely cohesive (they contain contradictions as well as duplications).

Actual "historical" accounts of Jesus are simply not there. Again, look on wikipedia for the "historical Jesus" and you'll find that there are about 2-4 accepted historical (secular, non-religious) accounts of the man Jesus in the first century.

Furthermore, here is the chronology of the writings (c. means circa):

c. 5 CE - Jesus is born
c. 30 CE - Jesus is crucified
c. 49 CE - First new testament writing (One of Paul's Epistles)
c. 65 CE - Hypothesized "Q" source is written
c. 70 CE - The first known gospel (Mark) is written

As you can see, the first surviving document about the life of Jesus was written 30 years after his death.

This is not speculation, it is all fact, or at least is accepted as fact by the majority of scholars in the field.

more than 7 years ago


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