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Comments

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Apple Outrages Users By Automatically Installing U2's Album On Their Devices

tgv Re:Oh no! hipster outrage (609 comments)

Remind me to put a copy of <insert horrible title> on your book shelves next time you leave the door open. It's not a crime, but it is annoying.

about a week ago
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Apple Outrages Users By Automatically Installing U2's Album On Their Devices

tgv Re:Google Play Music anyone? (609 comments)

I expect a bit better from Apple. After all, you pay a ton of cash for their hardware. It just shows that the corporate culture at Apple is moving further and further away from computing and more towards low cost media sales and commission on payments. Too bad, cause I really like OSX.

about a week ago
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The MOOC Revolution That Wasn't

tgv Re:I can explain the failure[s] (182 comments)

> in all my classes, students from Asian and African education systems beat my native born Americans. This has been the case ALL the time.

That might be (selection) bias. Asians and Africans that go the US, have received proper education, better than average. They're probably from relatively wealthy parents. The other Asians and Africans did not get such a good education. The Americans (although probably not natives!), on the other hand, are in your classes after receiving common education, and --unless you teach at an Ivy League university-- are not the best of their generation. So you might be comparing apples and oranges.

about two weeks ago
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The MOOC Revolution That Wasn't

tgv Failure? (182 comments)

The eye is bigger than the stomach. That is certainly part of the MOOC "failure". However, I don't consider it a failure. They have hundreds of thousands of students that finished a course. Is that failure? In comparison to the 8 million enrollments perhaps, but in comparison to the zero that would have done the course without MOOC, it isn't. I did a course. Followed all classes, didn't bother to get a grade or certificate, because (a) I couldn't put in the effort in the single week there was to do the project, (b) I didn't care about the certificate. It was just to learn something new. And I'm grateful to coursera that they offered this possibility.

about two weeks ago
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The MOOC Revolution That Wasn't

tgv Re:I can explain the failure[s] (182 comments)

> The obvious poor quality elementary and post elementary pupils western countries produce compared to kids from the Asian subcontinent

I think you might be ever so slightly mistaken there. If you're referring to the PISA or OESO scores, they are heavily biased. And many Western countries have quite decent elementary education, thank you very much. I agree the effort could be improved, but you can't call it poor.

about two weeks ago
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Responding to Celeb Photo Leaks, Reddit Scotches "Fappening" Subreddit

tgv Re:Sub Reddits that still aren't banned... (307 comments)

Yup. Reddit's admins cannot claim a moral ground for their decision if they leave all that shit untouched, and even (shadow)ban people that criticize you for it. I've deleted my reddit account. They can circlejerk themselves without me.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Are the Strangest Features of Various Programming Languages?

tgv Re:APL: A Programming Language (729 comments)

And the fact that APL evaluates from right to left. APL is QBASIC on LSD.

about two weeks ago
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Why Women Have No Time For Wikipedia

tgv Re:why the focus on gender balance? (579 comments)

But wouldn't that create a "wiki" by professionals for professionals? It's hard to get a significant part of a research community to agree on a long, detailed text with loads of footnotes, so trying to write a concise entry on important topics like obesity, climate change, religious violence, etc., could result in similar endless battles of opinion, only this time between academic schools.

An ideal encyclopedia, IMO, can deal with such fights because the editor-in-chief is a bit of a Renaissance man (man in the sense of person, but the fixed expression is like this), with the authority, diplomatic skill, and good sense to make a final decision, and to reopen a "permanent" article when there is a real change. He/she will probably need a bit of equally minded staff to help with that.

As for other languages: many of the longer articles are factual and have the same relevance in all countries, especially when properly reviewed, so a translation would suffice. The rest, well, might not benefit from this approach, since it would cost quite a similar amount of money to support such a process for languages with a much smaller reach than the main, English wikipedia. Bad luck, I guess.

about three weeks ago
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Why Women Have No Time For Wikipedia

tgv Re:why the focus on gender balance? (579 comments)

Yes, that is problematic. But I'm also not interested in contributing, even though my (former) field of 20+ years of academic expertise has a woefully sketchy article. I'm just not up for the endless reverts, the nitpicking, the minute changes. I once tried to start a wiki for a particular type of (computer-based) musicians. I added some skeleton, filled in some articles, inserted some relevant pictures. No-one read it, and one person rewrote a perfectly understandable paragraph into something worse, instead of writing in the vast uncovered space. So, Wikipedia seems to have painted itself in a corner. Editing encyclopedias is not for everyone.

> Yet they are the top search hit when someone Googles the name online.

If you think you've had it all, vanity rears its head. Wikipedia is these people's Echo. Perhaps that myth has a grain of truth in it.

about three weeks ago
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Why Women Have No Time For Wikipedia

tgv Re:why the focus on gender balance? (579 comments)

I know women that can write very well. I also know women that can't. If they can achieve Wikipedia's goal, why not? Perhaps some typical men's issues would not be found on Wikipedia. But since the number of men and women participating is so incredibly large, it is unlikely the most significant topics get overlooked, regardless of the gender/ethnicity/nationality/etc. ratio.

I do mind that Wikipedia trumps itself on the large number of articles (like so: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W...), while in reality over 90% of Wikipedia's content is garbage. Here is a list of 10 random articles, obtained by hitting "random article" 10 times in a row, no editing:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1...

Is that a pathetic list or what? Three football players, two geographical units of no interest with the shortest description possible, an article about a local school and a local museum, and an obscure artist. The only interesting items are possibly the glacier (but almost no information), and Oscar Romero. There are hundreds, if not thousands of entries in Wikipedia about characters in Star Trek and Star Wars.

Anyone who can clean up that mess is good for me.

about three weeks ago
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Why Women Have No Time For Wikipedia

tgv Re:why the focus on gender balance? (579 comments)

That's fine, but nobody knows what the barrier is. If the barrier is time, how is Wikipedia going to remove that? The data there is, is of very limited value. It's all based on some badly organized, voluntary questionnaire. You can't make good analyses and decisions based on that. The rest of the article is socio-blabla, without as much as a shady questionnaire to back it up. If Wikipedia can't even organize its relations with the current volunteers without every argument ending in a fight, how is it ever going to attract women, who are apparently not deeply committed in the first place?

about three weeks ago
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Why Women Have No Time For Wikipedia

tgv Re:why the focus on gender balance? (579 comments)

I don't get the "surely". I don't see how adding female editors (and all the other genders, of course) would improve wikipedia. More editors usually means more bickering. As far as I'm concerned, a much larger problem is that many of the editors have only limited knowledge of the topics, and quite a few have hidden agendas. What's next: the number of homosexual editors? Black editors (I can't write African-American, since Wikipedia is international)? Instead of focusing on PR problems, Wikipedia should focus on objectivity, correctness and completeness.

about three weeks ago
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Why Women Have No Time For Wikipedia

tgv Re:why the focus on gender balance? (579 comments)

That example about categorization could also have been done by a woman. I mean, why put them in the category "American novelists", and not in "novelists"? Or "men"? Or "people who happen to write"? There are so many mistakes to make, and this one is, objectively, not even an error. Just a preference.

But that there are Wikipedia cliques is a problem of the people who edit, not of gender bias. I remember a vehement wiki-fight over removing information about female anti-feminists points of view.

about three weeks ago
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Why Women Have No Time For Wikipedia

tgv Re:why the focus on gender balance? (579 comments)

While I can see the merit of action in classical gender gap examples, I too agree this goes to far. Imagine demanding a quotum on Pinterest: no more women allowed until the balance is 50-50. That would be insane. Now, I know that Wikipedia has a higher standing and is consulted as authoritative, so it will be deemed more important, but Wikipedia is about providing correct information, which is unrelated to gender distribution.

I don't get it either, unless it's about money, somehow.

about three weeks ago
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Firefox 31 Released

tgv Re:Malware blocking for file downloads (172 comments)

You would almost think that there was a relation between Google paying Mozilla large amounts of money and Google's desire to get as much information from users as they possibly can.

about a month ago
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Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

tgv Re:Seriously? (619 comments)

Sure, but for one, the abstract of the article is a whopping 3 sentences, of which the second one is dedicated to socialism as the single source of the effect. Another thing is that a study that is set up like this, cannot distinguish between all potentially contributing factors. And the effect itself isn't really big, and present for both West and East Germany. Bad, bad study. Doesn't deserve to publicity.

about 2 months ago
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Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

tgv Seriously? (619 comments)

Researcher ask two groups, that they know to be different beforehand, a question, and then are surprised to get different answers? Really? If it had gone the other way around, they would have had simply reversed the explanation. And this study has so many potential confounds, like poverty, or even geological distribution, that it's hard to describe the level of ignorance of researchers that contribute this effect in their abstract to "exposure to socialism". Last week there was something about children from religious groups vs. children from non-religious groups, and the message that gets picked up is: religious children are more superstitious, and this week it is: socialism makes people dishonest, etc., while in reality no such conclusion can be drawn. Seriously? F* this kind of research.

about 2 months ago
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People Who Claim To Worry About Climate Change Don't Cut Energy Use

tgv Re:Individual Energy Use Is Insignificant (710 comments)

Yup, you're completely right. Who in the hell is going to look at what individuals do? That only makes sense if you want to paint them black. And the study is, as pointed out above, a very lousy questionnaire and it even shows a (weak) trend that those who might care indeed lower their energy consumption. And then some conservative, who is "Vice Chairman and Senior Independent Non-Executive Director of Tethys Petroleum" (wikipedia), can decry hypocrisy?

about 2 months ago
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Mars (One) Needs Payloads

tgv Attention something something clowns (77 comments)

When are people going to stop paying attention to these clowns? How are they going to launch in 4 years without having working prototypes right now, nor a lot of money? Or are they going to sell 100M mugs in the coming months?

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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tgv tgv writes  |  more than 7 years ago

tgv writes "Does anyone know where I can order Viagra on-line? I've been looking everywhere, and I just can't find it."

Journals

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Hussein condemned to death

tgv tgv writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Condeming a person to death does not strike me as particular ethical, but ok, he was a bad guy. Had I been the judge, he would have stayed in jail the rest of his life. And out of humanitarian reasons, I would have allowed him a suicide pill.

But .. the sentence itself is nothing to be proud of. It marks the failure of international law and the sad state of the world today, and I know of at least one world leader that really should acknowledge that.

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Euro

tgv tgv writes  |  about 10 years ago

The EU ministers of Finance have decided that all countries that want to adopt the Euro, have to call it "Euro". That's so smart. Aparently, in Slovenia, they call it "Evro", I guess because Europe is spelt "Evropa" in Serbo-Croatian, and because the sound of the "u" is inappropriate here. But no, they will have to write "Euro" if they want to participate. What's the next brilliant move of our leaders? To force the Greeks to give up their alphabet and start using the Latin one?

I think I would make a very good minister of finance.

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