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Researchers Forecast the Spread of Diseases Using Wikipedia

superwiz Re:umm (61 comments)

You can cross-correlate multiple medical term searches and conditions and see the trends in search over broken down by regions. It's not limited to flu. You can do it by other (some slowly-spreading) medical conditions.

about two weeks ago
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Mathematics Great Alexander Grothendieck Dies At 86

superwiz Hard to blame him (49 comments)

Given the opposition to software patents and the general demand that genius be considered a public property, it's hard to call him even insane. I didn't actually know that he was still alive. I just assumed he was part of Hilbert's generation because of the Grothendieck basis. Well, good for him I guess.

about two weeks ago
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Researchers Forecast the Spread of Diseases Using Wikipedia

superwiz umm (61 comments)

Why not google trends? It's already categorized.

about two weeks ago
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Black IT Pros On (Lack Of) Racial Diversity In Tech

superwiz Re:Yeah, right... (459 comments)

While I certainly agree that the "victim" mentality is not helpful, let's not pretend that racism is not real and pervasive.

Ok, as long as we agree that simple pride is not racism. The main commodity in tech development is attention span. Anyone who thinks that many would bother with outside priorities like ethnic or racial background is kidding themselves. Vi vs Emacs was about as heated as tech bias got and even that has largely gone away now.

about two weeks ago
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Statisticians Study Who Was Helped Most By Obamacare

superwiz Re:not "helped" (739 comments)

Condescend all you want, but mandatory insurance produces higher premiums and lower payouts regardless of how well it is regulated. In fact, regulation only increases administrative regulatory costs instead of reducing premiums. However, you missed a subtle point. Most of the newly insured will lose money on this even if they get sick and will receive insurance payments to cover some of their medical costs. Insurance companies are now in the business of delaying treatment. Approvals, medical justifications, reviews, etc... it's all there to stretch the time between doctors' ordering procedures and patients getting the treatment. It lowers the treatment received per unit of time. And it's gotten significantly worse since Obama Care was passed. You can't possibly think that calling a mandate to buy something that lowers the quality of medical care and increases costs can be justifiably called "help."

about three weeks ago
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Statisticians Study Who Was Helped Most By Obamacare

superwiz not "helped" (739 comments)

Being forced to buy insurance is not "help." It's being forced to buy insurance. It may be a good idea for some, but calling it "help" is misleading. Most people with this insurance will see more of their money spent on premiums than they would receive in payments even when they do get sick and need medical care. The medical care savings accounts would have been much more helpful for most people in reducing their medical costs and in forcing them into long-term responsible behavior. But we couldn't do that. That would be too Republican an idea.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Can You Say Something Nice About Systemd?

superwiz server is not a server (928 comments)

Most modern "computers" are not metal. Heck I usually run 5-6 instances of different virtual machines just at home. And that's at home. At work, it goes up to 15-20 at any one time. Any server needs to be designed to go up and down as quickly as possible and to have 1 instance of it running as transparently as 100 instances. Long start up times and monolithic servers whose start up can be observed by a human being are the thing of the 1990's. The world has moved on. Most cell phones today are more powerful computers than any server built in 2001. Quick spinning up of multiple instances of virtual servers is a requirement in today's world -- not a "nice thing to have."

about three weeks ago
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Tim Cook: "I'm Proud To Be Gay"

superwiz in other news (764 comments)

sex lives of other executives... Ok, give me a break. Is this some pathetic attempt to make apple bashing seem like gay bashing? No one asked the question and no one thought more or less of Steve Jobs because of his rather tumultuous sex life. So I'd say stick your announcements to the product line unless, of course, you are trying to divert attention from your failing product line.

about a month ago
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Be True To Your CS School: LinkedIn Ranks US Schools For Job-Seeking Programmers

superwiz Re:the conflict in modern programming culture (130 comments)

Because they reinvent the wheel. They themselves are only necessary because they have fooled the world into thinking that they are. Code (any code written in text) is best written by machines. It can be just as easily generated once the problems are well-posed. It's just that most people don't realize it, yet. The math brains have the know-how to state the complex problems. They just don't all know that it's what they should be doing. Once they do, the code monkeys will go the way of all the people doing arithmetic really, really well. It's not an insult. It's just that certain skills can be automated. And all, without exception, skills of the code monkeys can automated my grammar notwithstanding.

about a month ago
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Be True To Your CS School: LinkedIn Ranks US Schools For Job-Seeking Programmers

superwiz the conflict in modern programming culture (130 comments)

The conflict in modern programming is between code monkeys and math brains. Both are dismissive of the other. The code monkeys think the math brains overcomplicate things. The math brains think the code monkeys don't understand the problems they are solving.

about a month ago
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Be True To Your CS School: LinkedIn Ranks US Schools For Job-Seeking Programmers

superwiz This is a bad criterion (130 comments)

Poorly designed projects provide more job security and require more labor to maintain. They are managed by people who don't understand that their projects are sinking or do understand it, but don't understand why that's happening. And, of course, they require more employees. The people who manage them select people who are willing to suffer the pain of being inefficient because those doing the selection don't understand the benefits of increased efficiency. The result is that more jobs is not an indication of a better education. More jobs going to graduates of these schools can very well be an indication of their alumni having been educated in how things were done before better methods were invented.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Stop PulseAudio From Changing Sound Settings?

superwiz not necessarily pulseaudio (286 comments)

This sounds like an interrupt conflict. If the USB device and audio device share the interrupt and (because of hardware misconfiguratin) pluging in/out of usb causes sound device's interrupt handler to run, it could be reading garbage data and using it as the new config settings.

about a month ago
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Complain About Comcast, Get Fired From Your Job

superwiz Re:So, it has come to this. (742 comments)

It doesn't sound wrongful. As a juror, I'd never side with someone who insists on a right to say whatever they want to their employer's customers. And it sounds like the person in question worked for a Comcast vendor.

about a month and a half ago
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Complain About Comcast, Get Fired From Your Job

superwiz Re:Comcast needs to go the route of AT&T (742 comments)

What abuses? I am no fan of monopoly utilities (water, cable, electric, etc.), but if the employee got nasty, Comcast can't be forced to use a vendor they don't want to use. First amendment right is a right to speak. It's not a right to be heard.

about a month and a half ago
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Lennart Poettering: Open Source Community "Quite a Sick Place To Be In"

superwiz Re:Sounds like he hasn't gotten the message (993 comments)

You can be content with the fact that your position is sound and the people who disagree have no rational grounds for it, and are just assholes.

That's not how the world works. Those people may simply have priorities different from your priorities and could be frustrated that their priorities are given less weight than yours. It doesn't make them wrong in disagreeing with you. How they react to that frustration is what makes them ass holes.

about a month and a half ago
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At CIA Starbucks, Even the Baristas Are Covert

superwiz bucks (242 comments)

Star Bucks

about 2 months ago
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Irish Girls Win Google Science Fair With Astonishing Crop Yield Breakthrough

superwiz Re:TO THE ASS HOLE EDITORS: (308 comments)

What's more important: the cotton gin or the name Eli Whitney?

What's more important is that you remember the name Eli Whitney. Although you are clearly trying to change the topic by bringing up one of the few times when technology reduced the quality of human condition. Why not mention Norman Borlaug instead? Especially, in the context of this article. Do people think that discovering photo-electric effect was a genius or do they call every genius an "Einstein"?

The fact that their names are already forgotten is not just an injustice to Ciara Judge, Émer Hickey and Sophie Healy-Thow. It is, once again, an attempt to put the political context (their nationality and gender) above the actual achievement. Just try for a second doing the same thing with a headline about a movie actor. As in "... a famous California performer was sentenced to rehab today..." Does it seem like you are telling the full story there? Of course, not.

Science is first and foremost a human endeavor. And any attempt to dehumanize it denigrates it. I have always maintained that every scientist and every mathematician must have it stipulated in writtng that their name appear first in any headline of any article about them if they agree to an interview on which the article is to be based. And if you really don't think people care, then tell me why the names of the actors who play parts in science fiction are known while the names of actual scientists who make discoveries are not known?

Just so you understand, this is only the case in the US. It is very much the result of how the press reports on science. It is not the result of some general trend in human thought about science. It is also fairly new. You yourself mentioned Eli Whitney. Einstein's name is a household item. This is all a result of how scientists were genuinely liked years ago. We went through a cultural period of thinking of scientists as "mad scientists" if they were good at what they did.

And it's not as if science itself was such a boring topic. People will memorize and talk about sports statistics (which are of no consequence) and talk about athletes as if they new them even if they never met them. But the same is not true of science and scientists. Why? Exclusively because of the press. Slashdot editors should know better.

about 2 months ago
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Irish Girls Win Google Science Fair With Astonishing Crop Yield Breakthrough

superwiz Re:TO THE ASS HOLE EDITORS: (308 comments)

No one was even discussing whether it was accurate or not. It's just not the topic of the conversation. The topic that I set was the dehumanization of scientists by the way the headlines which describe their accomplishments are structured in pop media.

about 2 months ago
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Irish Girls Win Google Science Fair With Astonishing Crop Yield Breakthrough

superwiz Re:TO THE ASS HOLE EDITORS: (308 comments)

If the headline goes from least personal info to most personal, it dehumanizes those described. If goes from most personal to least personal, it humanizes them. This is not a singular occurrence. This is a general communication principle. The headline was 3 Irish girls (notices least personal, the country of origin, was listed first).

about 2 months ago
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Irish Girls Win Google Science Fair With Astonishing Crop Yield Breakthrough

superwiz Re:Wager (308 comments)

You don't have to debunk them. People who demonize Monsanto classify themselves as ass holes on their own. They don't have enough credibility to need debunking.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Scientist Claiming Threat to Polar Bears Suspended

superwiz superwiz writes  |  more than 3 years ago

superwiz (655733) writes "Just five years ago, Charles Monnett was one of the scientists whose observation that several polar bears had drowned in the Arctic Ocean helped galvanize the global warming movement. Now, the wildlife biologist is on administrative leave and facing accusations of scientific misconduct."
Link to Original Source
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A teen simplified Bernoulli formula

superwiz superwiz writes  |  more than 5 years ago

superwiz (655733) writes "Fox news reports this (oddly enough I can't find this story on the AMS website, so it might be a hoax):

I am wondering if he found a formula for Bernoulli denominators. But so far I can find little details beyond the "he simplified the formula" statement."
Link to Original Source

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Does ABC populate discussions with fake comments?

superwiz superwiz writes  |  more than 6 years ago

superwiz (655733) writes "I just read this story http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=4933727&page=1 on the ABC news web page and naturally I was tempted to comment on it. After registering as a member of the ABC news (first and last name were required for the registration, mind you), I tried to post a comment and was no longer able to load the website. Each browser that I tried was stuck in set-user-name-cookie/reload infinite cycle. I tried multiple browsers. And yet when I loaded the page without loging-in, there were already comments posted. If I wasn't able to log in and post comments, I would assume that neither could anyone else. So is ABC news putting up fake comments to the story as part of their attempt to control the content that they deliver? Is this astro-turf? Or is it a bona fide technical problem?"
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HP makes memory from a once-theoretical circuit

superwiz superwiz writes  |  more than 6 years ago

superwiz (655733) writes "
Thirty-seven years ago, Leon Chua, a professor at the University of California at Berkeley, mathematically theorized that scientific symmetry demands that there should be a fourth fundamental circuit. Engineers were already familiar with resistors (which resist the flow of electricity), capacitors (which store electricity), and inductors (which resist changes to the flow of electrical current), which can be combined to build more complex devices. The fourth circuit, which Chua called a "memristor" for memory resistor, would register how much current had passed.
http://www.news.com/8301-10784_3-9932054-7.html?tag=nefd.lede"

Journals

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Progress And Nihilism

superwiz superwiz writes  |  more than 7 years ago

A lot of soul-searching is happening in light of the Virginia Tech shooting. Many people sighed with relief that the shooter was not a video game player. Many others sighed with relief that he wasn't a Muslim. Everyone is shockingly asking "why?" Far be it from me to know what was the last straw that made him snap. I've known angry people in my life. I've known people fascinated with the truly morbid. None of them snapped. The last I heard, they were all living productive lives. So what made Seung-Hui Cho snap?

While this may be an unpopular position during this time of our unsuccessful prosecution of the war in Iraq and the all-too-obvious fact that the war on terror was hijacked to become a war to grab oil, I will still make the claim that this was a terrorist act. And I will attempt to say why terrorism occurs and why it is the scourge of civilization. While the term "civilization" is often used to distinguish those within one's group from those outside of one's group, I will try to be more precise in defining it. I will say that a civilization is a society that is committed to progress. Where progress is a process of making physical life (not spiritual, but physical) more comfortable. That is progress is the process of improving creature comforts for people so as to relief the suffering and discomfort that is caused to them by the mother nature.

Progress has a certain life-cycle. First, it is born. It is born out of innovative thinking of visionaries or out of aimless wondering of the curious. But it always starts with a new way of seeing the world. That is followed by a period of convincing the general population that this particular piece of progress is a good thing (tm). This is not always successful. Often the new and innovative ideas die at this stage. But those ideas that succeed, attract a following of the competent (often confusingly called "technologically elite") that wish to profit from blessing the world with this new way of living. As they go through the iterative stages of making the new progressive idea more usable and acceptable to the world, the "technological elite" earn enough power in the form of the world gratitude (usually expressed in financial compensation) to join the ranks of the actual elite -- the people who wield actual power over the general population.

Those who don't see the hard work, ingenuity and talent that is involved in creating progress don't see why it happens. All they see is the progress' missionaries' rise in power or affluence. They feel that they are not part of this rising tide (even though they do become benefactors of progress) and as a result they loose hope. For what is hope? It is the belief that future will be better than today. And once the rise of others is clear and is accompanied by realization that one cannot participate in that rise, it becomes very easy to believe that endeavors of one's life do not improve one's condition are not fruitful. Many times this is a fallacy because one's "moment of greatness" simply hasn't come, yet. Alas, sometimes it is, in fact, true. There are those who just coast through life not trying to improve it. Their moment of greatness never comes.

So what is the next step after the hopelessness sets in? Well, inevitably it is nihilism. And that is the last stage in the life-cycle of progress. Those who did not participate in progress' fruition loose hope and become nihilistic. Nihilism is a destructive tendency. As a matter of fact, it can be defined as taking joy in destruction (not necessarily caused by one's hands).

Nihilism takes many forms. Communism is one of the most grandiose nihilistic movements because it wishes to reverse the clock on progress and to re-distribute the wealth created by progress so that those responsible for it get no more benefit than those idly standing by. Large scale terrorism is a smaller scale nihilism. It only wishes to wrest the laurels of progress from the peoples that created it in order to give it to those peoples that did not. Mass murder is an even lesser scale and harder to understand form of nihilism because it is always impossible to predict when it so happens that a single individual passes that threshold of having a glimmer of hope and having none.

It is the wish of everyone involved in the work of bringing progress to fruition that they be recognized for the great benefit that they bring to the world. They are the only ones that separate us from savages. Social scientists and clerics would argue that they contribute a great deal, too. But their work has not changed much in 2000 years. Civilization has improved in that time tremendously though. So what can a civilization do in the face of nihilism? Well, its only choices are to surrender to it or to fight it. Now I can feel the reader's eye rolling up at the word "fight". How can I suggest that destruction be met with something so uncreative as more destruction? I am doing nothing of the kind though.

This fight must be for the minds of those without hope. It must be waged by teaching the world how to become active participants in the work of progress. The primary goal of governments must be not only protecting the civilization from the destructive drive of those who surrendered to the nihilism, but also the educating of those who have a glimpse of hope -- educating them how to create. The missionaries of progress must walk hand-in-hand with those in power so as not to isolate themselves from those who can contribute and who wish to contribute to the work of creation. It is very tempting to argue that it is a basic human right to be left alone. But that won't stem the building tide of nihilism outside of one's castle.

In the end stage of life-cycle of progress is a test of civilization. The test of whether a civilization can fight nihilism without itself becoming more destructive than the nihilists. The civilizations that pass this test get to part-take in the next wave of progress. The ones that fail it, get to be fondly remembered as the "good old days".

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