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Wild Parrots Learning To Talk From Escaped Pet Birds

phoenixwade Re:Words, Not Communication (225 comments)

Parrots and other birds are trained very poorly via Pavlovian conditioning. That isn't the only type of training, and Model-Rival training works much more effectively on birds (which isn't to say anything about how it works on other animals).

I agree - and, although Alex was trained with Model Rival techniques, I prefer operant conditioning with my Macaws and Greys because of speed, each of our guys seem to get the idea faster with a target and click. Considering that I seem to be able to teach the physical behaviors better than verbal ones, I have to admit that I'm missing part of the puzzle.

about 3 years ago

Wild Parrots Learning To Talk From Escaped Pet Birds

phoenixwade Re:Words, Not Communication (225 comments)

Alex was a special case. He had received decades of organized schooling from scientists, who I'd like to think make better teachers than birds.

You can be sure that the birds in this article are just mimicking sounds.

Alex was not a special case, excepting that he was the first to demonstrate that what we were wrong in what we thought the limits were. Dismissing Alex because he got years of education that other birds didn't get avoids the reality of what he represents. That education produces better results in communication and thinking skills isn't really all that surprising, in humans. What Alex demonstrated was that the abilities of non-humans can reach significantly higher levels than we ever thought was possible. Dr. Pepperburg is still working with Alexs flock mates, and produces similar results from them without the "decades" of training. This is not unlike humans, there is certainly a variation in what each individual is ultimately capable of, but if you don't know that a human is capable of math, you don't try to teach them, once know that the bar is higher then you strive for it, and, like human education, as you understand how to communicate with the student more, you can educate them faster. The systematic approach to teaching Parrots, particularly Greys, produces faster results, I'm sure, but that doesn't mean that the birds don't teach each other, they most assuredly do.

about 3 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Could We Deal With the End of Time Zones?

phoenixwade Re:Most people don't travel or do business so glob (990 comments)

...but if you want to buy a single drink, it's easier to say "a pint" or even "a 12-ounce cup" rather than "400 milliliters."

What's wrong with saying 4 deciliters?

Because people, as a whole, gravitate to simplicity. They want "a cup", "A pint" or some other simple group label when they do something repeatedly (like order a beer).. and if the simple thing doesn't exist, one will, inevitably evolve. and thus, the reference to "Folk" volumes appearing alongside the rigid measurements.

about 3 years ago

Google+ Registers 25 Million Visitors

phoenixwade Re:OT: Google: Android's Archiles heal? (213 comments)

Google only blocks you Plus account. Mail and whatnot is still intact, unless you were spamming. Google has already commented on that. So how about reading up on the issue before panicking?

And reading slash dot is not a way to "read up on the issue?" what is the point then?

more than 3 years ago

Firefox 8 20% Faster Than Firefox 5

phoenixwade Re:What about Firefox 6? (441 comments)

Firefox 8: "The Ocho"

Then I dread the loudmouthed point five release.

more than 3 years ago

Are Fake Geeks Dooming Real Ones?

phoenixwade Re:Are we assuming (492 comments)

I actually didn't even think about that. I just automatically assumed that she in fact is a history geek. I have no idea what that says about me.

It says you are a fan of at least one Kevin Costner movie..... "Who would claim to be that?" Here endeth the lesson... heh

more than 3 years ago

LulzSec Debunks UK Census Hack

phoenixwade Re:Cloud water? (93 comments)

A former employer of mine used to (well, probably still does) say something was a "mute point". It grated on my nerves every time he said that.

What? You didn't take the opportunity to point out that "mute" means STFU?

more than 3 years ago

More Users Are Shunning Facebook

phoenixwade Re:Facebook is a good tool (411 comments)

Does having wives in different countries qualify as Bigamy?

more than 3 years ago

Best Buy Flexes Legal Muscles Over "Geek"

phoenixwade Re:Frankly... (317 comments)

You made two mistakes - first - you dissed "geek", Second you implied a complement, however left-handed, to Apple Computer those two, regardless of truth, will not go unpunished in this "unbiased" forum....

more than 3 years ago

Apple Bans DUI Checkpoint Apps

phoenixwade Re:Aside from hype, Apple's real policy... (601 comments)

50 MPH zone transitioning into a short 35 MPH zone on a straight and level consistently wide road, is for no reason other than to allow the creation of a speed trap so that the town where that 35 MPH zone resides can stick it to people.

I see you've driven our famous Highway 301 in North and Central Florida. Most of those little towns actually fund the Police force with speeding tickets.

more than 3 years ago

Could Apple Kill Off Mac OS X?

phoenixwade Re:...and develop iOS on their iPads? (577 comments)

Barnes and Noble's / Amazon's reader apps already do this ebook syncing. Firefox does bookmark syncing. Google account syncs your phonebook/email.

you are right, of course, there is nothing new with yesterdays announcements. Except.... You just listed three separate syncing services with different configurations and Fumblings to get it all to work. Apples announcement yesterday is, essentially, sync it all for free (or an extra $25.00 a year, for the songs you didn't buy from iTunes) and the configuration required is a single username and password entered on each device to sync them all.... (there is a LOTR joke in there somewhere). That's what has made Apple so popular - the idea that all this geeky stuff can be easy to set up and relatively hassle free to maintain. No question they will gain market share with this - if nothing else the talking points are huge, and that sells devices.

more than 3 years ago

Academic Publishers Ask The Impossible In GSU Copyright Suit

phoenixwade Re:Only a Plaintiff Proposition (221 comments)

so YOUR the asshole that makes my car insurance rates go up!

so you're the asshole ruining english.

more than 3 years ago

Amazon Removes Yaoi Manga Titles From Kindle Store

phoenixwade Re:alternatives to Amazon (450 comments)

Barnes and Noble? Walmart? iTunes? (well, maybe not iTunes... Steve's a prude) Rule 34(c) - ..... And you will be able to buy it somewhere.

more than 3 years ago

Linus on Linux, 20 Years In

phoenixwade Re:A broken clock is right twice a day (197 comments)

So I guess the eternal

Are Linux users lemmings collectively jumping off of the cliff of reliable, well-engineered commercial software? -- Matt Welsh

Considering that "lemmings jumping off a cliff" is a myth, your comment is insightful.

more than 3 years ago

Bombay High Court Rules Astrology To Be a Science

phoenixwade Re:Idle (478 comments)

A high court in an important-to-technology-business country just ruled that magic is science. That's pretty newsworthy.

Well, it's not magic until one of the cockamamy predictions is correct. Until then it's just like predicting the weather, but with even less accuracy.

Wrong - it's 'magic' when someone treats it like it has substance, not when the dice finally roll a seven.

more than 3 years ago

Police Arrest Five Over Anonymous Attacks

phoenixwade Re:Well Duh (295 comments)

oh, yes, isn't it so "ironic" that they're attacking business who are complicit in the government's attempt to circumvent the first amendment by pressuring businesses to "voluntarily" do the censorship for them.

Next, you'll be complaining it's kinda ironic that they're attaching the freedom of the government to ride roughshod over the consitition.

My god, the freedom! Where will it ever end!

I'm not the OP but commenting on the irony of a thing is not the same as complaining about it. Reading all that extra motivation and content into a remark is what creates a false controversy. "Straw man" is the logic fallacy involved.

more than 3 years ago

Japanese Supreme Court Rules TV Forwarding Illegal

phoenixwade Re:dear media execs: you can't control this (177 comments)

No, but most TV stations surround themselves with a plague (my collective term for a group) of lawyers.

Really? I kinda like Doves....

I would have used: a Culture of Lawyers (same as bacteria), a battery of lawyers (barracuda), a Smack of Lawyers (jelly fish), or maybe a Surfiet of Lawyers (skunks)...

my apologies to all those animals.

more than 3 years ago


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