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Proving 0.999... Is Equal To 1

smallshot Re:Humans are just biased towards natural numbers (1260 comments)

I think it's time we make math more interesting and switch to base 23. Then it will be equally as complex as the US's Imperial ("Standard" or "English" or whatever) system of measurements- which might actually make more sense in base 23.. who knows. At least it will reduce the fixation on 9's and keep mathematicians busy for a few years while re-writing all their text books.

more than 3 years ago
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Google Releases New Image Format Called WebP

smallshot Re:Not as Sharp (378 comments)

The reason they are not as sharp is because the reference image IS the JPEG version. They are using wikipedia images for examples, and they are working off the JPEG image to produce their WebP version.

They don't even know what quality the JPEG images were saved with, how many times they were resaved, or which JPEG algorithm was used.

I suspected the file sizes of the "original" JPEGs didn't match up with their quality. To verify, I took the second sample image, opened the "original" in photoshop, saved for web at 50% JPEG quality, and the file size was 139KB and the image was visually sharper and more detailed than the WebP version at 161KB. However, the WebP version was pixel per pixel, closer to the "original" and did not have the same JPEG artifacts you see in the new JPEG version. But I can't be sure this would be the case if a RAW image were used as the original.

more than 3 years ago
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Simulating Galaxies With Supercomputers

smallshot too many atoms, not enough processors (120 comments)

did anyone consider ahead of time how many calculations would be necessary before they invested all that money?

more than 3 years ago
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Microsoft Tech Can Deblur Images Automatically

smallshot of course it works better... (204 comments)

I'm pretty sure they took a clear photo, and blurred it with their custom software to look like an unsteady hand, and then, knowing how it was blurred, their un-blurring algorithm worked great... show me some real-world examples of photos you didn't take.

about 4 years ago
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The Physics of a Rolling Rubber Band

smallshot Re:OK, At least two problems with this anaylysis (226 comments)

Yeah, I'm thinking either they haven't considered a lot of things in this experiment, or they're keeping all the data to themselves until they can prove their speculations. I also hope they tested this with different elasticity coefficients and weights to be thorough.

To be honest, the results they are describing just make sense to me given what we already know about elasticity.. imagine the rubber band was made up of tiny links (like a the tread on a tank) and they were connected with the appropriate elasticity coefficient (that changes with the application of heat). I'm pretty sure if you model that you'll see that it's not so complicated after all.

more than 4 years ago
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Google Tweaks Buzz To Tackle Privacy Concerns

smallshot Re:Uh...a little help? (153 comments)

That's amazing. I have 3 checkboxes... the last one being "Display the list of people I'm following and people following me." I created my profile this last year when google wave went preview so it could have something to do with the age of your profile. Wish I could have been more help.

more than 4 years ago
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Google Tweaks Buzz To Tackle Privacy Concerns

smallshot Re:Uh...a little help? (153 comments)

Use this url:
http://www.google.com/profiles/me/editprofile?edit=t#about
The preference is a checkbox on the right side. It says "Display the list of people I'm following and people following me."

It took me a while to figure out how to get to that page. And if you started using buzz with the public option, you may want to have a look at the bottom of the page where you can use a long string of numbers for your user ID instead of your email address- mine defaulted to my email address when I allowed my profile to be public.

more than 4 years ago
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Verizon Doubles Early Termination Fee and More

smallshot Re:It's not just a "phone subsidy." (520 comments)

I had a similar situation, actually 2...

  1. I bought a smartphone online with a 1 year contract. The website promised I could use the pay as you go data plan. I selected that plan. I got an email and paper receipt with that plan listed for $0/month. When I activated my phone, Verizon automatically began billing for the unlimited data plan. Customer service reluctantly switched me back to the pay as you go data plan (which is $15.36 per MB for a smartphone, BTW, or $1.99 per MB for a standard phone. Figure that one out!). Anyway, to make a long story even longer, I went online to block VCast and other crap I didn't want on the new Smartphone only to discover that I cannot change my plan features without selecting a $30/mo data plan. Had to call customer service AGAIN so they could block what I wanted without changing my data plan.
  2. I blocked all data usage I could from their website, including VCast stuff, etc. I later added a phone to my plan (the smartphone from #1). A couple months later I accidentally hit the one-key get it now button. I hit end immediately and rapidly until it quit. They charged me $1.99 for 1MB of usage. I went online and looked at my features only to find they had re-enabled all the data usage on all my lines. Didn't bother with customer service, I knew they wouldn't admit to anything or refund my $1.99.

And just because I want to rant a little more... Verizon tells me I can get 2 new free phones. They send me emails and letters saying to go get my new phones right now. I go to the Verizon store. Verizon employee says I can get a $50 discount on ONE phone. I said I was told I could get 2 free phones? He said they only had one phone that would be free after a mail in rebate, and I'd have to pay for the second. I really needed 2 new phones, so $120 later, I have 2 "Free" phones.

I have no intentions of ever extending my Verizon contract again. Ever.

more than 4 years ago
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"Road Trains" Ready To Roll

smallshot Re:Mis-application of technology (318 comments)

telecommuting is not for everyone though, this can be for everyone who does not or cannot telecommute.

I think it's a brilliant application. I'm not so sure the fuel consumption, travel time, and congestion are the greatest benefits. But imagine telecommuting from your car, getting in an extra hour or more of work every day instead of spending it driving. you could go home earlier, or just get more done in one work day. It would even allow people to commute greater distances without feeling like half their day was wasted. Or you could catch up on some sleep... as long as it's not illegal.

more than 4 years ago
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Robotic Mold

smallshot Allergies! (118 comments)

Great, now I'll be allergic to my electronics too. Nature I can escape, but mold in my computer??

more than 4 years ago
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Astrophysicists Find "Impossible" Planet

smallshot Re:or (436 comments)

That was my very first thought. I thought it was a no-brainer. Either that or it has a perfect orbit and will never decay? is that possible?

about 5 years ago
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Habitual Multitaskers Do It Badly

smallshot Re:Yes, it's a load of bollocks basically. (386 comments)

Exactly what I thought when I read the article. Only the third test is remotely close to multi-tasking, except it is task switching (like a computer multi-tasks) not multitasking as in you can actually understand 2 conversations (or other streams of media) simultaneously.

My biggest problem with this example of bad research is that they took people who claim to multitask with media, especially language, and tested their ability to focus and solve logic problems. Many people who are strong with language are NOT strong with logic to begin with; It is not a result of multitasking. Also many people who "multitask" do so because they cannot focus well on one thing at a time.

Sorry I don't have the research to back those statements up, but the fact is, these researchers should have tested (or even developed a test for) actual real-world multitasking before they came to any type of conclusion. Once again, science concludes what the biased scientist wanted to assume. What happened to actual science?

about 5 years ago
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Classifying Players For Unique Game Experiences

smallshot Re:Adapt inside the game? Not too likely... (167 comments)

From what I read of the paper, the research is not about a universal set of game play styles that can be applied to other games, but rather a method of automatically grouping players into different styles of game play given a particular game. They choose Tomb Raider as an example, not the data set to base all other games on. Yes it requires game play to be analyzed before hand, and yes, people have to name the groups, and yes, this is done per game.

When applied to enough games however, you may find similar groupings in every game with similar and dissimilar game play, but not necessarily, and I didn't read anything about this kind of assumption in the paper (I could have skimmed over it if it was there).

about 5 years ago
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Classifying Players For Unique Game Experiences

smallshot Re:Thanks for the heads up (167 comments)

Just because they collected data on 1365 players using XBox live doesn't mean they collect data from everyone playing the game. They very well might, but for all you know those 1365 could have opted in after seeing very clear terms.

Also, why is everyone so afraid of having their game play analyzed by a machine? Is there a particular reason besides/in addition to the words "privacy" and "monitored"?

about 5 years ago
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Tesla Motors Turns a Profit For the First Time

smallshot Re:465 Million $ loan?? (248 comments)

Thank you for clearing that up. It makes more sense to me now. I still stand by my opinion, though, but it apparently doesn't apply to Tesla.

about 5 years ago
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Garbage Collection Algorithms Coming For SSDs

smallshot Re:Do cleanup in the OS (156 comments)

I disagree with your list of reasons why the OS should do it:

  1. "idleness" should refer ONLY to the SSD not being used, not the OS being idle, in which case they both have approximately the same information.
  2. The OS should NOT hold unimportant writes for very long, and doing GC during this time does not change the possibility for important writes to be necessary
  3. I agree here. However, on battery power, I would expect an SSD would be sent to standby very quickly as if it were physically spinning, in which case the SSD firmware should know better than to do GC during standby, and with a definition of idle being 5+ minutes of zero-usage, it could be effectively the same as the OS not doing it on battery power. But I am only speculating

On my list of AGAINST the OS doing GC i have:

  1. EVERY OS would have to support it in their next update to be as effective as having GC done in the firmware.
  2. OS software engineers are not likely to know the best way to design a GC for SSDs, leave it to the manufacturers who build the thing.

There are some pros to letting the OS manage it, but I think it's riskier. I would suggest the firmware do the GC but have an interface for the OS to override the GC for flexibilities sake.

about 5 years ago
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Iran Getting Better At Filtering Web Traffic

smallshot Re:Lucky (68 comments)

I don't know about the word honest there, I would say it helps keep the government less dishonest, at least here in America.

about 5 years ago
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Tesla Motors Turns a Profit For the First Time

smallshot Re:465 Million $ loan?? (248 comments)

I would feel better if they were making an AFFORDABLE economical vehicle that would benefit the majority of Americans (and the environment). Making 10,000 unaffordable "green" cars over 10 years has very little environmental impact and not worth my tax dollars in my opinion.

about 5 years ago
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Tesla Motors Turns a Profit For the First Time

smallshot 465 Million $ loan?? (248 comments)

How does a company that makes $1,000,000 in profit over 1 full year, get 465 Million dollars in loans from our government?? How will they pay that back in a reasonable time?

about 5 years ago
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Bing Search Tainted By Pro-Microsoft Results

smallshot Re:Same result is in top ten from Google (582 comments)

search for "beta" on bing, google, and yahoo. Notice who's software shows up on the first page of results. If you don't want to look for yourself:

Bing: 2 results for MSN messenger
Google: 1 result for safari, 2 results for google chrome
Yahoo: 1 result for AOL, 1 for yahoo IM

Now, I admit that google users are probably more likely to be looking for google software (the same goes for bing and yahoo), and if everyone tracks their users, that could easily account for the bias. However, it is also possible certain key words are tweaked. It's not hard to add a bias to good results for one's company in their own search engine (by making use of key words and popular search queries).

about 5 years ago

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