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Nasty Business: How To Drain Competitors' Google AdWords Budgets

ranton Re:That's why I dropped AdWords (96 comments)

You should have to worry about not being sure. Just look at your conversion rates. While it is hard to identify how many of your sales you would have gotten anyway without AdWords, it is very easy to tell how many of your AdWords customers are actually purchasing anyway. And the last time I worked for an e-commerce site was 2008, I'm pretty confident that their analytic tools have improved since then.

4 days ago
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Soccer Superstar Plays With Very Low Brain Activity

ranton Re:"Intelligence" is not earned. (157 comments)

The "more and more" refers to an increasing quantity of research, not the magnitude of the link.

5 days ago
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Soccer Superstar Plays With Very Low Brain Activity

ranton Re:"Intelligence" is not earned. (157 comments)

Actually, that's not right at all. Research shows more & more that intelligence is highly heritable.

What is not true is the classist notion that intelligence is 100% inherited.

He said there is a link between intelligence and environment & experience. He didn't even say it is a strong link. How could you possibly say he is not right at all when you completely agreed with him?

5 days ago
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Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

ranton Re:Should the United States accept more foreigners (374 comments)

Vegetables are cheap in terms of 'pounds per dollar', but not the more relevant 'calories per dollar'.

And there comes the "lack of education" argument for why people are overweight. Looking at 'calories per dollar' is a horrible way to plan a food budget. You should be looking at price per portion not price per calorie. A single portion of broccoli has much less calories than a single portion of Skittles, but not only is the broccoli better for you the extra fiber is probably going to make is just as filling (if not more so).

5 days ago
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Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

ranton Re:Should the United States accept more foreigners (374 comments)

> Then the same incapability to delay gratification lack of employment paying a livable wage that causes poverty also causes obesity.

FTFY.

I was referring to root causes, not the symptoms. The lack of employment paying a livable wage is the effect, not the cause, of other problems in a person's life. It is just about as far from a root cause as you can get.

5 days ago
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Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

ranton Re:Should the United States accept more foreigners (374 comments)

*This*. I am middle class, have all the appliances I could ever want, but since I don't know how to cook, and neither does my wife, we end up eating more frozen dinners or eating out than cooking our own food because we have no idea how, and cookbooks only work when you have more than just the basics.

Which is why I added lack of education to my list. Lack of education doesn't just apply to literature and STEM related fields; it can also apply to more home economic related areas.

about a week ago
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Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

ranton Re:Should the United States accept more foreigners (374 comments)

Go to the meat section of any supermarket. look at the 'healthy, low fat, all beef' hot dogs, for example.

Stop looking at meat. Of course good meat is expensive. But if you are poor, why are you eating much meat at all? Vegetables are much cheaper than meat, and much better for you too.

When people claim good food is expensive always jump on the price of good meat vs "pink slime"-like meat. But they completely miss that a low income diet should have very little meat at all. And this just points towards the low levels of education and inability to delay gratification that I mentioned.

about a week ago
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Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

ranton Re:Should the United States accept more foreigners (374 comments)

None of the above. For most poor and even lower-middle class families, the limiting factor is lack of access to food preparation equipment and facilities. Low-income housing often lacks a kitchen. Even if you have a kitchen, one often lacks appliances; trying to subsist on unprocessed food without a refrigerator or a stove is difficult to put it mildly.

Are you just making this stuff up? 97.7% of poor households have a stove and oven. While there are certainly people like the ones you describe, they do not make up a significant part of the problem.

about a week ago
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Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

ranton Re:Should the United States accept more foreigners (374 comments)

You mean PROCESSED food, stuff that comes from McDonalds, or stuff high in cheap fillers and crap like corn syrup.

REAL food, is pretty damn expensive unless you have the luxury of your own garden. Even with meat, there is a reason why pink slime and steak glue exist... and that isn't to make something more tasty.

The only places where processed food is significantly cheaper than processed food is in food deserts where a gas station is the only nearby place to buy food. In your standard supermarket, vegetables are incredibly cheap compared to what you would even find at McDonald's. For those with access to a supermarket, a combination of lack of time, lack of education, and lack of ability to delay gratification that causes people to eat junk food. Not money.

about a week ago
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Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

ranton Re:Should the United States accept more foreigners (374 comments)

Food is not cheap. Taking inflation into account, food prices are at an all-time high on a global basis. They're even higher than they were during World War II, when rationing was in place.

The price of food increasing far faster than wages has in fact resulted in more poverty, which has in fact resulted in more obesity is many nations around the world.

The parent post should have said developed countries instead of modern world, because in developed countries food certainly is cheap. In 1900 families spent 43% of their money on food, while in 2003 it was 13%. Food is incredibly cheap by historical standards, about a third of the cost of food 100 years ago. source

Poverty only correlates to obesity in areas where food is abundant. Then the same incapability to delay gratification that causes poverty also causes obesity. One does not cause the other, they have the same root cause.

about a week ago
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For Half, Degrees In Computing, Math, Or Stats Lead To Other Jobs

ranton Re:STEM is the new liberal arts degree (174 comments)

How, exactly, does advanced math help anyone not actually working in some STEM related field in the modern world?

Unless you're talking about basic finance, understanding interest rates, rates of return and so forth - but for me this is not 'advanced' math.

Since the article was mentioning STEM degrees, the definition of 'advanced' math here is college level math. That basically means calculus and statistics, and then even more advanced as you start 300+ level courses. Most STEM degrees only require about 3-5 math courses, although math is often applied in many other courses taught in a STEM degree. I was a Physics major, and I did just as much math in my physics courses as I did in my math courses.

And as I mentioned in another post, math teaches logical thought, the use of precise definitions, the use of careful and rigorous arguments, etc. It is not the ability to do integrations that's important, it is the act of learning how to do integrations that matters. Or at least that is how the argument goes (which I agree with).

about a week ago
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For Half, Degrees In Computing, Math, Or Stats Lead To Other Jobs

ranton Re:STEM is the new liberal arts degree (174 comments)

Learning high level math provides extreme advances in our current economy regardless of your actual job.

How so? That's a pretty bold statement.
I don't doubt your claim (I have a math bachelors degree, and a comp sci masters in progress), but I'd just like to hear your arguments.

The arguments are pretty standard. Math teaches logical thought, the use of precise definitions, the use of careful and rigorous arguments, etc, It involves taking a general problem and defining a set of very clearly stated problems and finding precise solutions to them. Those are the abstract answers, but in a world that is becoming more and more data driven, mathematical fields such as statistics even have practical applications for most fields. The mistake made by the first poster who claimed the article said 50% of STEM workers have no degree shows the problem with insufficient mathematical literacy.

about a week ago
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For Half, Degrees In Computing, Math, Or Stats Lead To Other Jobs

ranton Re:STEM is the new liberal arts degree (174 comments)

I've been in the industry for over a decade, and have used the calculus and statistics required for my CS degree precisely never.

That is no different than a philosophy student saying "I've been working for over a decade, and haven't had Plato's cave brought up in a single board meeting yet." The goal of a general education is not to train students in the tools they will use in their jobs, it is to train them how to think.

If you haven't used your increased capacity for logical thinking, or your ability to understand statistics greater than the average person, then you either never learned much in those classes or you just aren't being honest about how much you actually learned.

about a week ago
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For Half, Degrees In Computing, Math, Or Stats Lead To Other Jobs

ranton Re:~50% have no degree... (174 comments)

That's not at all what the data says. It says half of STEM graduates work in STEM. It could still be the case that 100% of STEM workers have STEM degrees.

The fact that this poster made this bad of a mistake in mathematical reading comprehension, and three other people already responded to his post without mentioning the mistake, shows why anyone with proper math training can be successful in almost any profession. People even marked the post as Insightful and Interesting when it was really just Ignorant.

about a week ago
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For Half, Degrees In Computing, Math, Or Stats Lead To Other Jobs

ranton STEM is the new liberal arts degree (174 comments)

The lure of a liberal arts degree has always been to have a very well rounded education that just makes you a smarter person instead of just teaching a certain profession. In today's technological world, STEM education is performing a very similar role. Learning high level math provides extreme advances in our current economy regardless of your actual job.

Hopefully colleges start to understand this and increase the level of math that all college graduates are required to learn. Perhaps in 20 years the average Gen Ed requirements of a Bachelors will require 20+ credits of math related courses to help prepare students for the modern world.

about a week ago
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Researchers Test Developer Biometrics To Predict Buggy Code

ranton Re:Why is it always developers? (89 comments)

Every time I hear about a terrifyingly invasive means of "improving performance" its targeted at developers. Is it just selection bias, or does the world actually hate us?

You really think developers are singled out here? There is an entire industry built upon business process improvement and operational management. I guess there probably are more invasive measures against professions like developers, but that is only because it has been hard to completely replace the profession with machines.

When you start having your bathroom breaks timed by your manager like some retail workers then you have it rough.

about a week ago
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Netflix Reduces Physical-Disc Processing, Keeps Prices the Same

ranton Re:Why do you want pieces of plastic (353 comments)

I wouldn't live in a place with inadequate bandwidth for a simple video stream.

Wow. You're quite picky.

How is that picky at all? Over 70% of homes in the US have broadband access, so he is not picking a rare factor when choosing a home. And for someone who uses the Internet regularly, having broadband speeds is a very important consideration.

I know I would never live in a home without access to non-satellite broadband. I also wouldn't live in an area with bad schools, high crime, excessive road noise, and those with a number of other undesirable factors. That still leaves me with quite a few options.

The scenario you describe is a very rare one, if you are being truthful that is. Very few areas with $900/month three story housing have enough property taxes to fund good schools (those that do are probably funded by large private companies in the area). Such an area is also likely to have neighbors of a low socio-economic status, and will therefore have a hard time supporting many cultural options in the area. There are probably places like the one you describe, but they are far more rare than areas with bad Internet service.

about two weeks ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

ranton Re:Crazy (778 comments)

If drinking 100 gallons of water per day is bad for you, then drinking any amount of water is bad for you. I love you logic!

Drinking 100 gallons of water per day is bad for you because it dilutes the sodium in your body. And yes, drinking just one glass of water will dilute sodium in your body as well, just to a lesser degree (just like increasing minimum wage damages the economy just to a lesser degree). The analogy obviously breaks down because you need water to survive, but that is why I used a logical extreme instead of an analogy because analogies that can be applied broadly are rare. I am not really sure why you feel your ridiculous analogy says anything about my logical statement.

about two weeks ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

ranton Re:Crazy (778 comments)

Remember that minimum wage does not just affect minimum wage workers and their employers. It affects everyone who pays for services done by people working minimum wage

And it also affects everyone who sells good and services, since these minimum wage workers can now afford more. That's usually considered a good thing.

In a completely closed system, increasing the minimum wage would have no effect other than shifting which products and services are most successful, and shifting income from the wealthy to the poor. But automation and a global marketplace mean that not all of the increased costs are given to the workers. Some of them are funneled into automation and into other economies with lower minimum wage. The automation at least gives the benefit of hiring engineers, but far less engineers are hired than the large number of low wage workers who are fired.

The jobs lost overseas are just lost. And not only low wage jobs are lost, because as the cost of living increases on the engineers then those jobs start to go away as well.

The bottom line is that if raising minimum wage from $7 to $700 will have a bad effect on the economy, then so will increasing $7 to $7.25.

Which makes just as much sense as saying that if rising price of a product from $7 to $7.25 will increase profits, then so will increasing it to $700.

What they actually say is that rising the product from $7 to $7.25 will increase the profit per widget sold. They also acknowledge that increasing the price will reduce the number of widgets sold, just like it would if they increased the price to $700. They then weight the benefit and the risk and determine a fair price. So I guess I agree completely with your analogy, since it is basically the same as mine.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Microsoft Surface 3 Announced

ranton ranton writes  |  about 2 months ago

ranton (36917) writes "Microsoft has just announced the third generation of their Surface tablet. The most notable update is a larger 12 inch screen while still weighing less than the Surface 2. The announcement also went over various software updates to help make the tablet as productive as a laptop or desktop computer. The Surface Pro 3 goes on sale tomorrow starting at $799."

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