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Crew Builds a Flying House Modeled After UP!

proc_tarry Re:Is expanding helium that cold... (56 comments)

Right. But were the "near freezing temperatures" caused by the expanding helium?

more than 3 years ago

Is Samsung Blocking Updates To Froyo?

proc_tarry Not for Prosumers (459 comments)

Advanced users, but not developers, won't go through the hassle of obtaining a dev phone. They'll instead use a phone where they can get the latest updates and are automatic.

about 4 years ago

Rear-View Cameras On Cars Could Become Mandatory In the US

proc_tarry Conflicting regulations (754 comments)

New regulations for stronger roofs and better side crash impacts have increased pillar size and raised belt lines. This has greatly reduced rear visibility (and front/side visibility, driving a new car feels like driving a TANK). To have any rear visibility in new vehicles almost requires a rear view camera.

more than 4 years ago

Have I Lost My Gaming Mojo?

proc_tarry Try boardgames (418 comments)

I made the switch a few years ago. BGs are all about the gameplay. There's even a number of solo games. For a start try Agricola and Arkham Horror.

more than 4 years ago

Your Feces Is a Wonderland of Viruses

proc_tarry Vampires... err... Virals (211 comments)

Maybe one of these viruses will make us live forever. And grow huge teeth!

I am Babcock.

more than 4 years ago

Believing You Are Very Good Or Evil Boosts Your Physical Capabilities

proc_tarry Re:So being netural is the worst chocie then? (192 comments)

OLIVER: How hard was it to remind neutral during World War II?

MAURER: Well, I think this is always a debate and I think we do make a clear distinction between our neutrality as an instrument of foreign policy and what we think as individuals and what the country thinks.

OLIVER: But then, the neutrality issue seems complicated. Now obviously, Hitler did some very bad things, we know that. How do you focus on the positive things to balance that out?

MAURER: It's not a question of positive. It's a question of our neutrality has always been a state-driven concept of not participating in war.

OLIVER: Was there not just a little voice of humanity inside you saying this is terrible, we should really do something about it?
Story continues below

MAURER: As a question of principle, it's unadvisable for a country as small as ours to participate in war. Why should we?

OLIVER: So: Easy to take a position on neutrality, hard to take a position on Hitler.

MAURER: We did take strong positions on Hitler and many other things. We didn't participate in the war. That's two different things.

OLIVER: [imitating Hitler] "Would it be possible for me to keep my gold here?" [Imitating the Swiss] "Ah, Adolf! Of course! Lovely to see you again. Come back in! What have you been up to? Actually, don't tell me, I want to be able to say I don't know."

[uncomfortable pause]

OLIVER: Is this neutral anger, or real anger, Mr. Ambassador?

more than 4 years ago

Women Dropping Out of IT

proc_tarry Re:Children? (706 comments)

Any culture which doesn't respect simple biological functions and make allowances for it is simply broken.

Any culture which respects Limeys is simply broken. Fixed.

more than 4 years ago

DePaul University To Offer Degree In Predictive Analysis

proc_tarry Went to DePaul for Statistics (71 comments)

I went to DePaul and got an MS in Applied Statistics. I also work for a marketing company doing "predictive analytics". (I really don't like that term. It degrades the importance of understanding the relationship between independent and dependent variables, and places more emphasis on dependent variable fit. You can have a highly accurate model, but if marketers don't understand how their efforts affect sales the model is worthless.)

At DePaul one series of classes was mostly math theory, the remaining classes were 100% about "predictive analytics", i.e. using a computer to build statistical models. It used a more traditional approach to applied statistics with "topical" classes: sampling, forecasting, design & analysis of experiments, nonparametric statistics, Monte Carlo simulation, multivariate statistics, etc.

The statistics program is part of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences in the math department. This new program is in the computer science department (which has its own college). The program (http://www.cdm.depaul.edu/academics/Pages/MSinPredictiveAnalytics.aspx) looks like a hybrid of CS, Stats & Marketing. It includes a class in neural networks which most stats programs lack, but again, this focuses on "prediction" instead of "inference", which is less useful to marketers. (Neural networks is a highly valuable topic. Just not as much in this field.) Also, the program lacks pure programming classes, which there is A LOT of in this field (data never comes in formats ready to model). Most is done in SAS or R, but any programming language teaching basic concepts (variables, logic, arrays, loops, functions) is useful.

more than 4 years ago

Google Launches a Data Prediction API

proc_tarry Here's my FREE data prediction API: (70 comments)

    delete data
    prediction = random()
    return prediction

more than 4 years ago

Apple To Shut Down Lala On May 31

proc_tarry Antitrust? (438 comments)

Can a company but a competitor just to shut it down?

more than 4 years ago

Long-Term Storage of Moderately Large Datasets?

proc_tarry Hard Copies (411 comments)

Print it out on a tractor feed dot-matrix printer to make sure the data set stays collated. Maybe even use carbon copy paper to have a backup around. Store it in an Iron Mountain (or under your desk). Seriously, whose going to know 100 years from know what a Blu-Ray is?

more than 4 years ago

Transpacific Unity Fiber Optic Cable Leaves Japan

proc_tarry In related news... (136 comments)

In related news, outsourcing from US to East Asia has increased by 20%!

more than 5 years ago

Disney Close To Unveiling New "DVD Killer"

proc_tarry Re:Can I avoid this simply by avoiding Disney? (498 comments)

In order to provide the most choice, freedom, and protection from consumers, use of Keychest will become mandatory.


more than 5 years ago

US Life Expectancy May Have Peaked

proc_tarry Malthus Strikes Back (1053 comments)

People think much too small... unhealthy lifestyles, poor decisions, evil corporations. But what's the cause of it all?

Malthus has the answer... it's a trap. As populations grow they strain limited resources: clean water, quality food, convenient housing, affordable health care. These constraints then start to limit population growth. Lower life expectancies is one small signal that this is happening. People live shorter lives, a net decline in population.

What are large changes in population? Famine, disease, genocide, and WAR. These happen when scarce resources are pushed to their limit. But survivors are joyous when they do, since they have abundant resources left over just for them. Nobody ever has sympathy for the dead.

The last time this happened was WWII. The "good" war was good for the USA because much of it destroyed a large chunk of population in Europe and Asia, leaving the scarce resources for us. I believe this explains most of the good years following the war, up until lately.

more than 5 years ago

On Transitioning To an Asian-Style MMO, Such As Aion

proc_tarry More strategy MMO's (256 comments)

I'm hoping they develop more strategy-based multiplayer online games (massive is optional, but you do need a strong online presence to bring a threshold of players together, a la battle.net).

I've been into strategy board games lately, and fantastic new games have come to market the past few years, such as Agricola, Race for the Galaxy, Power Grid, Steam (I could go on). They give me what I like most about gaming: strategic thought to outsmart human opponents with little aspect of luck. There's also a great online community for reviewing and discussing these games at boardgamegeek.com (shameless plug).

The problem with board games is time. With a family and work responsibilities, it's difficult to get together a regular gaming group and play (my wife has limited interest). This is where online computer gaming comes in.

Now I'm not talking about a direct translation of these board games into computer games (there's already a program called VASSAL that does this). Computers handle things like rules and setup (some board games take a long time to put all the chits/counters in place) to make games much more complex than board games can achieve due to these time and space constraints.

I'm really tired of repetitive, click and twitch-fest games of the past. I'm a devoted Blizzard fan boy, but if SC2 plays like SC1 I won't be buying. I'm looking for the next game that really pushes the multi-player strategic boundary.

more than 5 years ago

US Cell Phone Plans Among World's Most Expensive

proc_tarry Pay As You Go (827 comments)

This is why I use T-Mobile pay as you go plan with my iPhone (off ebay). I pay 10 cents per minute/text message (no data plan, but wi-fi is everywhere I typically go). It costs me around $10 per month.

US consumers are not any more stupid than the rest of the world's consumers. But our pro-business government doesn't protect consumers like in the rest of the world. In the US, cell phone bills are not required to have a line item representing the subsidy for the initial phone purchase. Most other countries do, which lowers bills after the subsidy period expires.

more than 5 years ago

The Best First Language For a Young Programmer

proc_tarry Pseudo Code (634 comments)

They are new programmers.

If they want to understand the logic of computers, then they should write pseudo code first.

Do this until they are not new programmers.

more than 5 years ago

OLED Breakthrough Yields 75% More Efficient Lights

proc_tarry Re:Sounds good but... (151 comments)

The money you save by behaving more energy efficient will be used for something else, some other form of consumption. That consumption requires energy consumed by those that produced your consumption.

Really, the best way you can reduce your energy footprint (other than killing yourself) is to quit your job and become a subsistence farmer in a temperate climate where you don't need energy for warmth.

Revised fundamental equation: Energy = Life * Social Complexity

more than 5 years ago


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