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Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

rjstanford Re:Why do people listen to her? (584 comments)

Keep in mind that there's been far less testing on the "fluid base that is safe," and the "flavoring that is safe" (after all, most things haven't been tested inhaled in vapor form) compared to the staggering amount of testing that's been done on vaccines that are safe, that JM believes is nowhere near enough even though they have the added side-effect over e-cigs of protecting millions of people from disease.

That's where the contradiction comes from.

3 days ago
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Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

rjstanford Re:Hit piece (584 comments)

And yet, simultaneously, is quite different from the "anti-vaccination" position the article claims she has or held. As I said, she's wrong about the science, but that doesn't mean that she's lying about her position.

When she's on record as saying things like "If you give us a safe vaccine, we'll use it. It shouldn't be polio versus autism." (and she is), to me that's as good as saying, "The current polio vaccine causes autism." Other classic Jenny quotes that don't jibe with her current stance:

"Without a doubt in my mind, I believe that vaccinations triggered Evan's autism."

"People are also dying from vaccinations. Evan, my son, died in front of me for two minutes. You ask any mother in the autism community if we'll take the flu, the measles, over autism and day of the week. I think they need to wake up and stop hurting our kids."

So yeah, she's not anti-vaccine, she just doesn't feel that the current vaccines are safe and that you shouldn't take any that aren't. That's not misrepresenting her position, that's just repeating her words.

4 days ago
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Australia Declares Homeopathy Nonsense, Urges Doctors to Inform Patients

rjstanford Re:Not going to work... (408 comments)

I believe it was none other than the great Homer Simpson himself who once described beer as "the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems."

4 days ago
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Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

rjstanford Re:Hit piece (584 comments)

Except that's not what she means. From her op-ed:

For my child, I asked for a schedule that would allow one shot per visit instead of the multiple shots they were and still are giving infants.

Which is in its very nature another way of stating that combining multiple vaccines is somehow less safe than giving multiple shots, which as far as I know has never been proven.

it does a disservice to people like her who don't understand the science behind vaccinations, and nonetheless want what's best for her kids.

Yes, because they're asking for what feels safer instead of what actually is safer, in this case leaving their children unimmunized for longer than they have to be even if they eventually "catch up" to the full schedule.

4 days ago
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Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

rjstanford Re:Why do people listen to her? (584 comments)

Did it the age manifestation of apraxia just happen to occur the day after the vaccinations? Maybe...but implying a correlation when the only change outside of the eat/sleep/poop routine was those shots is not exactly hard to do.

In fairness, at that point he'd only been alive for 180 days. For the sake of argument, let's assume that this hit randomly and see if we can rule it out.

For the subset of kids who suffer the same issues as your son, even assuming they could hit at any time during those first six months, the normal CDC schedule of vaccines at birth, 1, 2, 4 and 6 months means that there's a 2.7% chance of the effect hitting on the day of a vaccine. You mention that the affect was the day after the vaccine, so if we could only the same-day and next-day chances, that's covering 5.4% of the child's life.

Did it the age manifestation of apraxia just happen to occur the day after the vaccinations? Maybe...but implying a correlation when the only change outside of the eat/sleep/poop routine was those shots is not exactly hard to do.

Those are actually pretty good odds, considering that we rarely hear specific timing about kids affected outside of a normal vaccine schedule. I'm very sorry that your child was affected, and as a parent of two myself thoughts like that scare me as well, but I'm not seeing an evidence of causation here.

4 days ago
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Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

rjstanford Re:Appeal to authority is not good enough (584 comments)

I had both mumps and measles, it was hardly a big deal. If the kids are old enough it's probably even better they get it naturally and get over it than take the vaccine.

Since the well-known plural of anecdote is data, I'll offer up that I had measles when I was 17 (I had been vaccinated, but I was also suffering from CMV mono at the time which weakens your immune system something fierce - vaccinations are probably why none of my friends caught it from me though). Put me in the hospital for close on two weeks, of which I remember about a day. Its no laughing matter.

4 days ago
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London's Public Bike Data Can Tell Everyone Where You've Been

rjstanford Incorrect (41 comments)

This article is about a publicly available dataset of bicycle journey data that contains enough information to track the movements of individual cyclists across London

From TFA: "What may surprise you is that this record includes unique customer identifiers, as well as the location and date/time for the start and end of each journey."

The unique ID? Yeah, maybe that's a problem, likely not that big a deal but also easy enough to get rid of (although if we do that, we lose the ability to track joined journeys, identify frequent vs. infrequent users, &c. But that's not the point here.

Identifying which bike stations you check a bike out from and return a bike to is very different from identifying your movements across London. Very different indeed. I'd argue that you do have an expectation of privacy when you stop along the way to get a cup of coffee, a bit of nookie, or a gyro. As a public transportation user, though, your checkin and checkout actions are totally different than your route.

In fact, it'd be damned useful to be able to see and show that you did - or did not - retrieve or return a bike at a particular place and time. Its also useful to be able to tell where that bike went in the future.

Think about library books. Even in the "olden days," it was frequently possible to see who checked out a book, when they got it, and when they returned it. You couldn't, however, tell whether or not they liked it, if they read it in the bathtub, or if they let their SO read a page or two along the way.

Same here, just with bikes. Sorry guys, no news.

about a week ago
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London's Public Bike Data Can Tell Everyone Where You've Been

rjstanford Re:Seems ridiculously easy (41 comments)

And if you already know the start- and end-points of the bike ride to refine the data, its not actually all that hard to predict the route, or useful to confirm it.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: Which NoSQL Database For New Project?

rjstanford Re:NoSQL? (272 comments)

The ability to write well-formed SQL queries that are efficient and correct is also a specialized skill. It may not be one you recognize, presumably because you've had it for so long, but the majority of applicants I've encountered are not suited for doing production SQL work. They might be able to write a simple query, but finding someone who understands keys, indexes, views, and all of the other efficiency-improving features is a rarity indeed.

And yet SQL has been around for decades and has a massively greater installed-base than even the most popular NoSQL tools. How many people out there do you think really understand MongoDB's nuances at scale (remember, if we're not talking billions of rows then it really doesn't matter what tool is being used, including bog-standard MySQL).

All of your arguments - and they are real, and well-reasoned - apply to the NoSQL space far more than the SQL space.

about two weeks ago
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Navy Debuts New Railgun That Launches Shells at Mach 7

rjstanford Re:Shoot The Moon! (630 comments)

The navy will secretly transport it to the moon, there the speed will be enough.

Yes, but who're you going to crew it with, convicts? They'll just build another one and throw rocks at us.

about two weeks ago
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Navy Debuts New Railgun That Launches Shells at Mach 7

rjstanford Re:Power? (630 comments)

Diesel engines power the supper capacitors

I always thought that a bunch of hard-working 18yo guys had more than enough supper capacity, even when just powered by slop and beer.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Which NoSQL Database For New Project?

rjstanford Re:NoSQL? (272 comments)

Are you reporting across customers? If not, then sharding totally takes care of your problem. If so, then a combination of sharding and some meaningful aggregation may.

It really sounds like you've already decided on a solution and are looking for affirmation rather than advice. I've regularly inserted millions of rows into a simple 3-node MySQL cluster (unsharded) every day for years... if you don't like SQL, that's fine, but what you're asking for sure sounds like a problem that a halfway competently set up SQL system can handle without breaking a sweat, and almost all of the problems have been encountered, documented, and solved already.

about two weeks ago
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Australia Declares Homeopathy Nonsense, Urges Doctors to Inform Patients

rjstanford Re:Not going to work... (408 comments)

How about letting people choose what methods of healing they want to use?

That's fine.

Selling little bottles of very expensive water with labels that very carefully imply that they do, indeed, cure diseases (while legally not saying anything of the sort) to people who don't know any better is what gets people up in arms.

about two weeks ago
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Supreme Court Skeptical of Computer-Based Patents

rjstanford Re:more than that... (192 comments)

Which seems to be rules for determine whether you're scrolling, dragging, or flipping apps/tabs.

Forgot that bit - again, they're not describing the rules that they use (which is the whole idea of a patent - you publish what would otherwise be your trade secrets and in exchange you get government protection against anyone copying them without paying you for a small amount of time), they're describing the idea that there could be rules to determine whether you're scrolling, dragging, or flipping apps/tabs.

Big difference.

about three weeks ago
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Supreme Court Skeptical of Computer-Based Patents

rjstanford Re:more than that... (192 comments)

That's still massively vague and far-reaching. They should be able to patent the specific heuristics themselves. They should not be able to patent the idea of using heuristics to figure out what to do.

Its like patenting the cotton gin as follows:

11. A mechanically-implemented method, comprising:
one or more lengths of iron or other metal commonly used in the field of production to separate the fibers of the cotton from their seeds;
applying motion to various parts of the machine to determine which portions of the cotton are fibers;
inputting energy into the system in order to achieve separation of fibers;
a grading to determine when sufficient fibers have been separated; and
a mechanism for disposing of the seeds and resetting the device.

Without specifics, they're still describing the idea of a rubber-band display. You could build one using all of your own formulae for behavior and appearance, and you'd still be in violation of their patent.

about three weeks ago
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Supreme Court Skeptical of Computer-Based Patents

rjstanford Re:Best lawyer (192 comments)

s/prostitute/programmer/g

That swap is rarely going to make either side happy.

about three weeks ago
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Supreme Court Skeptical of Computer-Based Patents

rjstanford Re:The best the SCOTUS could do is wipe software p (192 comments)

Really? How many times are you going to spend years of your life creating something awesome ... only to have someone else like Facebook or Zynga copy it, market it, and put you out of business?

How many people, right now, are violating Facebook or Zynga patents by taking advantage of their massive design and usability budgets and just solving problems the same way that they solved them, a week later?

It works both ways, you know, and I'd propose that there are far more people in the 2nd camp than there are in the 1st.

about three weeks ago
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Supreme Court Skeptical of Computer-Based Patents

rjstanford Re:The best the SCOTUS could do is wipe software p (192 comments)

The big problem with "software patents" (and yes, I've got 'em too) is that they're too conceptual. A patent was supposed to be a complete description for how to perform an action. These days you can effectively get patents on the actions themselves - as if instead of patenting a superior type of cotton gin, you could actually patent the idea that a machine could separate cotton fibers from seeds. You don't even need to build such a machine, just to posit that it could exist and might be built with metal bits. That, IMO, is far worse even than letting existing works be patented by adding "... on a computer" to their titles. Far worse.

Should you be able to patent, for example, the idea of a compression algorithm that works by finding commonly repeated arrays and referencing them, rather than a specific implementation thereof? I submit that you should not.

about three weeks ago
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70% of U.S. Government Spending Is Writing Checks To Individuals

rjstanford Re: And... (676 comments)

It's not wrong to hire some white redneck guy to paint your house or install a sprinkler system for you and pay him with cash, so if you say it's wrong to hire a brown guy to do those things, that makes you a racist.

Actually, its illegal to do that if you're paying him more than $600/yr and you don't get a W-9 from them and file a 1099 to the IRS stating that you've paid someone with that SSN/EIN that amount. The easy workaround is that if they say (rightly or wrongly) that they're representing an incorporated company (even a sole-proprietor can incorporate) then you don't have to do any of that.

This holds true whether you're paying them in cash, checks, used cars, whatever. It doesn't cost you a dime, but it does allow the IRS to follow up and make sure that they're declaring their income accurately.

about a month ago
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70% of U.S. Government Spending Is Writing Checks To Individuals

rjstanford Re:And... (676 comments)

Not quite true, since you're paying payroll taxes regardless and just not anything for "federal income tax withholding". However, since payroll taxes are a 16% proportional tax on your income, its a little unfair to characterize them as escaping all income taxes, especially in the context of social security and medical benefits, which are taxed regardless even in the "0%" bracket.

about a month ago

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