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Appeals Court Clears Yelp of Extortion Claims

rgbscan Re:The obvious solution... (63 comments)

As someone with quite a bit of Yelp experience, the filter doesn't just filter out people with a single bad review, it also looks at the distribution of the sum of all the reviews on that account. Generally, over time with enough reviews, each user generally falls into a similar pattern systemwide with a pretty regular curve of rating scores distributed over the reviews. Anything deviating from that curve more than 'x' amount gets filtered (it's secret so you can't game it). It's pretty pronounced and predictable - so the sourpusses that leave nothing but bad reviews get filtered no matter how many they write. Same with the people that leave nothing but glowing reviews.

In my personal experience, the small businesses claiming that Yelp or a competitor are targeting them with bad reviews are full of it. I just go look up their BBB score and almost always see the same types of complaints against the business there. There generally is agreement between a trip advisor rating and a yelp score as well. Sometimes its hard for people to look at their operation and realize they truly do suck. You see it all the time on those reality shows called "Kitchen Disasters" or "Save my Restaurant" with that foreign chap from Hell's Kitchen. They always think they are rock stars and have no idea why their business is failing when dude shows up.

I have yet to come across a business with multiple well-written (a couple of paragraphs with concrete examples) bad reviews that were legitimately attacks and falsehoods made up by competitors. Granted it's possible, but in my multiple years as a yelper "elite" and with the ~500 or so reviews I've written, I haven't seen it. When people take the time to leave lengthy negative reviews, they are usually legit.

about two weeks ago

Student Bookstores Beware, Amazon Comes To Purdue Campus

rgbscan Re:Well (95 comments)

I always buy a used book from Amazon. Anyone paying full sticker at the campus book store is getting robbed. Last years edition is almost always fine (unless the instructor is using the accompanying courseware - but generally my school has stayed away from that). The ebooks especially are a bad deal since you just rent them and can't re-sell them.

For my statistics class this fall the text is: Statistical Techniques in Business and Economics 16th Edition, ISBN 0078020522. $292 at the campus bookstore, $248 new at Amazon, $227 used at Amazon. Previous edition (15e - approved by Instructor) used at Amazon? $44 bucks.

I've done this through all 4 years of school and am about to graduate. Only twice did I have instructors require the on-line courseware. At $100 bucks a pop, it was still cheaper just to buy the code by itself and go with the older edition book.

about a month ago

With Chinese Investment, Nicaraguan Passage Could Dwarf Panama Canal

rgbscan Re:Geography of panama vs nicaragua (322 comments)

As the lake is above sea level, apparently (IANA Civil Engineer) this will keep the salt out as the lake will just drain to the sea. Apparently. This is what the construction propaganda says anyway.

about a month and a half ago

Is the App Store Broken?

rgbscan Re:People expecting their marketing for free (258 comments)

Plenty of iOS apps do a trial period. I've had apps that limit the functionality after 30 days unless you pay in-app to unlock it. I've had photo apps that allow you to use all the filters for free for 'x' number of pictures to sample them and then you had to in-app purchase them to keep using them. And just last night I downloaded Revolution 60 (excellent game BTW) and you get the whole game but there's a countdown timer. After an hour of playtime you have to pay for it via in-app purchase or it stops working and won't read your save file.

about 1 month ago

The Oculus Rift DK2: In-Depth Review (and Comparison To DK1)

rgbscan Re:When does the consumer version actual arrive? (54 comments)

I don't know, it's ultimately Sony vs Facebook here. It's really more of a lesser of two evils type of thing....

about 2 months ago

My most recent energy-saving bulbs last ...

rgbscan Going since '06 (278 comments)

I have 4 Ikea CFL's from 2006 still going strong (out of a 6 pack, the other two went outside on the front and back door and died a horrible immediate death in a motion light). I also have a LED bulb from 2010 in constant use working well. I have a handful more sitting in a package that I can't use because the ceiling fan is on a dimmer. I don't know if I'll ever get to them.

about 2 months ago

Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann

rgbscan Re:"Thus ends "Climategate." Hopefully." (497 comments)

I didn't really mean to yell at you. I was characterizing the fervor of the blog you linked.

If you feel it was sloppy, that 's the great thing about peer reviewed science. You are welcome to re-do it yourself. This was a simple study, with an easy to understand methodology, so I'm not sure what you find "sloppy". Please do elaborate.

Repeat the experiment yourself.....

Step 1) Researchers made a list of scientific papers from peer reviewed journals that search keywords found to match something about climate change. 11,000-12,000 of them. Here is the raw data (the one that your linked blog said the Norwegian scientist just couldn't somehow get his hands on, no matter how hard he tried or emailed, that your blog implied was a coverup).

Step 2) Review and determine if the paper takes a stand on global warming. Exclude the papers that do not. (Since the whole point of this experiment is to determine that percentage of papers for or against AGW)

Step 3) Determine the percentages of the remaining papers. Are they for or against? Publish result.

All this other stuff you and the blog bring up... is it dangerous? how much is man made? etc, etc is outside the scope of the study. The point of *this* one particular study is to find out what percentage of published, peer reviewed papers, attribute AGW to man made causes. Coming up with the "consensus" of scientists. If you have other questions, look to other research, but don't knock this paper or setup straw man arguments based on something it's not. That's just shady.

about 2 months ago

Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann

rgbscan Re:"Thus ends "Climategate." Hopefully." (497 comments)

Have you actually read the paper and the rebuttal in the blog you posted? The scientific paper specifically says says they removed the papers that did not take a position on AGW. Then the blog post comes along and says OMG! They threw out some papers and sensationalizes the very thing the scientific paper was up front about. How can the research paper count something in the for or against column (the very point of it's study) if no position is taken? It's a stupid sensationalist strawman.

Scientific Paper: We removed from our study the papers that took no position for or against AGW. Here are the results of the papers with a position. This paper is not about how severe the conditions are, just tabulating the percentage of papers that conclude climate change is man made, and those that are not. That is the purpose of this research. Here is our data, linked to for your review. You can even download the PDF's and spreadsheets and review it in the linked data section.

Your lame blog rebuttal: A sensationalized OMG! The scientific paper EXCLUDED papers that didn't take a position. How can their data possibly be credible now???? And even worse, they won't even say if its dangerous or not!!! This paper is a crock! Your lame blog then cites a letter from a scientist who asked for the data (even though it is all linked to and available on the IOP website) and the stufy authors didn't get back to them. The blog then cites this as daming proof that the study must be a joke. Because no one hand fed this guy data he could have downloaded off the site.

You see why people can't take you seriously? Get yourself some peer reviewed data and we'll talk.

about 2 months ago

Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann

rgbscan Re:"Thus ends "Climategate." Hopefully." (497 comments)

The 97% number is not nonsense, as you claim, it comes from this widely cited peer-reviewed study.

After reviewing over 11,000 scientific papers on climate change, of the papers that took a position on climate change (either for or against), 97% concluded it was indeed happening and induced by man.

about 2 months ago

That Toy Is Now a Drone

rgbscan Re:Not surprised, mixed feelings (268 comments)

Agreed. Just look at the FPV videos publicly searchable on Youtube. These guys aren't staying confined to R/C airfields. They are buzzing people in public parks, doing high altitude flights over Manhattan - flying over heavy traffic and hotshotting through bridge supports, we've seen reports of creepos using these to look in peoples second story bedroom windows and filming thru the windows. It really was only a matter of time before these guys ruined it for everyone. The writing was on the wall for anyone even casually following the FPV scene.

IIRC, you own the airspace overhead to a height of 83 feet or something like that. In between that and 500ft is sort of ambiguous, and anything over 500ft belongs to the FAA. There was a planet money podcast on NPR that explained this some time back. Clearly the FPVers are going well over the altitude designated for hobbyists. Also, goggles or no, recreational R/C *requires* the aircraft be within visual site of the operator. Clearly that's not the case for a lot of these "stuntaz" with their quad copter toys.

about 3 months ago

The Simultaneous Rise and Decline of Battlefield

rgbscan Re:Doesn't matter... (208 comments)

"I bet your not playing it on a xbox 360 which is 3 times more powerful then the current pc so you're argument is invalid."

Thanks. I needed a good laugh to end my day :-)

about 3 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Do 4G World Phones Exist?

rgbscan Re:Yes (259 comments)

Agreed. As a USA based AT&T customer, I had a fine time in Edinburgh over this last New Years holiday with my 5s. I bought AT&T's international data plan and used Wi-Fi when possible, so it really ended up being pretty cheap too. No problem getting LTE in the city, and 3G in the countryside touring castles and whatnot.

about 4 months ago

Professors: US "In Denial" Over Poor Maths Standards

rgbscan Re:If you think it's bad now. Common Core. (688 comments)

When I was in gradeschool in the 80's, "touch math" was all the rage at my magnet school. I'm pretty sure it damaged me for life. I kid you not. To THIS VERY DAY, I cannot do simple math functions without actually drawing out and touching numbers - or imagining myself touching them in my head. My brothers who had standard math and memorized times tables are far better than I am at math. I really wish I hadn't been some experiment for the latest and greatest teaching fad.

about 4 months ago

Game of Thrones Author George R R Martin Writes with WordStar on DOS

rgbscan Re:Amen, brother Amen! (522 comments)

I've got a shrinkwrapped copy of Wildcat 5 specifically for this reason. When everything old is new again, I'll be the king hipster!

about 4 months ago

Al Franken Says FCC Proposed Rules Are "The Opposite of Net Neutrality"

rgbscan Re:When Al Franken... (282 comments)

This whole "felons voting" thing is sort of bogus. You make it sound like inmates are finding a way to vote. In the State of MN, once you have been released from jail. Finished probation, and otherwise "paid your debt to society", you have to go in front of a judge and ask for your voting rights to be restored. Many people are unaware of this. If YOU got out of jail and did your time and were a normal citizen, wouldn't you just assume you would be able to vote? This whole schedule a court date, possibly hire a lawyer, and "restore your voting rights" thing isn't well known, and many people who have been out of jail FOR YEARS, do what every American is supposed to do and show up at the polls and cast a ballot. There is legislation under review to automatically restore voting rights upon completion of your sentence - which is much more reasonable. A fundamental right, like voting, shouldn't be held behind lock and key and access to the courts after someone has paid their debt to society.

So yes, some released felons didn't follow the process and by law the votes should be thrown out, but you are making the mistake of assuming every single incorrectly voting felon voted for Franken. If you attribute and assign those votes according to the percentages for and against that voted in the general election, which is much more reasonable than your blanket assumption, then Franken still wins.

about 4 months ago

The Struggle To Ban Killer Robots

rgbscan Re:It's going to be driven by reaction time (138 comments)

This was basically the premise of the book "Kill Decision". A shadowy government/private contractor apparatus launches a series of attacks on America specifically to get the American public to by into the logic you've suggested. Dreams of new defense spending contracts spurred on "The Activity" and was supported widely. Of course, our hero puts it to a stop - but for how long??

about 4 months ago

Elite Violinists Can't Distinguish Between a Stradivarius and a Modern Violin

rgbscan Re:Time to add another layer of BS indirection: (469 comments)

You seem to know your stuff. What's a good mid-range brand for an intermediate student? I'm tired of renting. What's the, say, Intel Core i5 of violins?

about 5 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Experiences With Free To Air Satellite TV?

rgbscan Re:Are you in the USA? (219 comments)

There's a lot of random free stuff out there. This list is pretty up to date usually. You'll need something motorized though...

about 6 months ago


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