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Amazon's Ambitious Bets Pile Up, and Its Losses Swell

snarkh Re:23% revenue growth! (168 comments)

This is a strange claim. Building a warehouse or any other infrastructure spending is an expense and will affect the profits, of course.

about 5 months ago
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How NASA Steers the Int'l Space Station Around Asteroids & Other Debris

snarkh asteroids? (44 comments)

What would an asteroid be doing in a near-Earth orbit?

about a year and a half ago
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USPS Discriminates Against 'Atheist' Merchandise

snarkh Re:correlation (1121 comments)

I am sure 9 vs 1 is a statistically significant difference.

Whether the nature of branding affects the results remains unproven, as you say.

about a year and a half ago
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DARPA Tackles Machine Learning

snarkh Re:The best chess programs do not learn (95 comments)

I never said that chess was machine learning.

>And google search and translate isn't really learning, they're just statistical systems that given the best result based on the data they've gathered.

And what exactly is your definition of learning?

about a year and a half ago
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DARPA Tackles Machine Learning

snarkh Re:This headline pops up every few years (95 comments)

Machine learning and more broadly AI has had tremendous success recently. Google search is some sort of machine learning program. Pretty useful, no?

I am not even talking about speech recognition, chess machines, auto-focus in your camera and so on.

about a year and a half ago
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Russian FSB Can Reportedly Tap Skype Calls

snarkh Re:caveat emptor (136 comments)

> You don't state why, but I'm guessing for intimidation/control purposes.

Correct.

> It is also in the FSB's interest to have people underestimate their powers so they will be incautious, using systems they believe are secure which the FSB can crack.

I doubt it. Perhaps for NSA it is true, but most of FSB's power is based on raw force and intimidation, not any particular competence.

And people who are really serious about security would use more secure systems in any case.

about 2 years ago
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Russian FSB Can Reportedly Tap Skype Calls

snarkh caveat emptor (136 comments)

This is a report in a newspaper citing unspecified sources. Moreover, it is in FSB's interest to have people believe that they are more capable/powerful then they really are. A large grain of salt is definitely in order.

about 2 years ago
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State Rep. Says Biking Is Not Earth Friendly Because Breathing Produces CO2

snarkh Re:Cars produce more (976 comments)

Clinton did not inhale. Now we know the reason.

about 2 years ago
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Are Plastic Bag Bans Making People Sick?

snarkh Re:Authors are lawyers (533 comments)

Not quite. The liquid will dry up pretty quickly and the chances of contamination will decrease dramatically. Certainly, the chances are higher than in a single use bag, but not that much higher. Moreover, what percentage of food poisoning is due to the in-bag contamination? I don't have any data but hard to imagine it being very large.

about 2 years ago
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Are Plastic Bag Bans Making People Sick?

snarkh Re:Authors are lawyers (533 comments)

Presumably, raw meat and such would be in a plastic bag or package within the reusable bag and whatever leaks would be a small amount.
After that it needs to touch something that you eat raw without washing too much. It is not impossible, but does not seem too likely to cause problems. Certainly, the same thing can happen within a single use bag.

The authors, on the other hand, are claiming huge percentage increases in food poisoning. Had to believe.

about 2 years ago
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Silicon Nanoparticles Could Lead To On-Demand Hydrogen Generation

snarkh Re:The key question becomes (163 comments)

Even if it is neither of those it can still be a win if it is non-toxic or easy to dispose of.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Will You Shop Local Like President Obama, Or Online?

snarkh Re:Like Obama? (430 comments)

In every modern society many services are provided by the government and cannot be provided by a private enterprise. Is it possible in principle -- how do I know? Is communism possible? There is not law of nature saying it is impossible, but there is no reason to think it is possible either.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Will You Shop Local Like President Obama, Or Online?

snarkh Re:Like Obama? (430 comments)

Are you saying that property tax is not paying for road building/maintenance?

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Will You Shop Local Like President Obama, Or Online?

snarkh Re:Like Obama? (430 comments)

Well, property tax is also a tax. As far is the rest of the fees, I think only a very small portion of the road system is covered by that.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Will You Shop Local Like President Obama, Or Online?

snarkh Re:Like Obama? (430 comments)

The point is that you cannot live in a modern society without using certain government services (at the federal, state or local levels) paid by taxes.
To say that every service can be provided by a commercial enterprise is plainly ridiculous.

  There are certainly alternatives to the income tax, e.g., sales tax, property tax, etc. Each one of them has advantages and disadvantages.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Will You Shop Local Like President Obama, Or Online?

snarkh Re:Like Obama? (430 comments)

> I don't take services from the government.

You don't use roads. That's impressive!

about 2 years ago
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A.I. Advances Through Deep Learning

snarkh Re:Sources of improvements? (162 comments)

>Aren't support vector machines provably more powerful than ANNs?

In a sense yes. Both (non-linear) SVM's and Neural Nets are universal approximators. However, SVM's can be shown to converge to the ground truth given sufficiently many observations. No such result exists for neural networks. zz

about 2 years ago
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A.I. Advances Through Deep Learning

snarkh Re:Sources of improvements? (162 comments)

Well, real numbers are inherently very problematic from the computational point of view.

about 2 years ago
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A.I. Advances Through Deep Learning

snarkh Re:Sources of improvements? (162 comments)

> (b) using real numbers (real, not floating-point) would give a trans-Turing capability.

Not sure what it means -- a Turing machine is not even capable of storing a single (arbitrary) real number.

about 2 years ago

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