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Google Thinks the Insurance Industry May Be Ripe For Disruption

thisisauniqueid Makes total sense (237 comments)

Google has so much data on everybody in the world that they could probably do a far better job at predicting insurance risk by means of proxy variables than anybody else.

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Linux Database GUI Application Development?

thisisauniqueid Glom or BOND (264 comments)

Glom and BOND are your two main graphical database frontend options in the Linux world. Or you could try developing something in the cloud with Google Apps, scripted with Javascript, using a Google Spreadsheet or the Google Drive API as the "datastore". Or you could get even fancier and build a cloud database app with Firebase, it's pretty amazing (and they just released Angular bindings for Firebase, so you get data binding to UI widgets built in).

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: High-Performance Laptop That Doesn't Overheat?

thisisauniqueid Dell XPS 15 Touch (325 comments)

The Dell XPS 15 Touch. It's amazing.

about two weeks ago
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In-Flight Service Gogo Uses Fake SSL Certificates To Throttle Streaming

thisisauniqueid How about simply throttling data rate as normal? (163 comments)

There's no reason they need to decrypt connections to throttle them. Throttling after a threshold data burst rate over a sustained period of time would be sufficient.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Non-Coders, Why Aren't You Contributing To Open Source?

thisisauniqueid Re:Reason: open source programmers don't fix bugs (488 comments)

And I'm calling it: I'll get 10 replies saying "submit a patch, not a bug report". I know that code walks the talk. But see the third paragraph in my original post.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Non-Coders, Why Aren't You Contributing To Open Source?

thisisauniqueid Reason: open source programmers don't fix bugs (488 comments)

I estimate I have reported over 3000 bugs over the years across maybe 80 different open source projects. I would say that 5% of the bugs I have reported have ever been fixed intentionally by the developers. Some of the bugs have become obsolete or "accidentally fixed" with subsequent code changes; some have been marked WONTFIX with a range of justifications; but the vast majority have been ignored, and are still sitting open in a bugtracker somewhere. Some projects like Fedora close most of my bug reports after the bugs expire a couple of releases into the future. I'm not quite sure why I bother, except that some projects like Eclipse are fast to respond and always fix the bug -- this sort of proactive and responsive attitude keeps me going.

I get it, there's no reason I can ever justifiably expect a developer to fix my pet bug, given that they choose what they work on -- except that if they fix the bug, the software will be better, which should really be the goal. My bug-reports are objective, carefully researched, and properly written, with minimal test cases / repro instructions, required logs, etc. etc. -- and I'm a developer myself, so I understand what's needed.

No, I don't have time to figure out how to build, test and isolate bugs in every product I find a bug in -- the developers can do that much faster than me, they are already set up to build and run the code, and they know the code better than I could hope to. So reporting bugs is my contribution. I would love to see a bit more responsiveness to contributions across all open source projects, even if fixing bugs feels like laborious busy-work.

about 2 months ago
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Physicist Kip Thorne On the Physics of "Interstellar"

thisisauniqueid Much bigger problems than this (289 comments)

There are much bigger problems with the physics in Interstellar, which Kip Thorne is not willing to address now that he has his name on a book claiming that the movie is unusually scientifically grounded. He should have run the plot past some colleagues.

about 2 months ago
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Upgrading the Turing Test: Lovelace 2.0

thisisauniqueid Lovelace 2.0 is easy to dupe (68 comments)

This test is rather silly, it's easy to come up with a chaotic system that is "beautiful".

about 2 months ago
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New Website Offers Provably Fair Solutions To Everyday Problems

thisisauniqueid Congratulations to the researchers (167 comments)

Congratulations to the researchers. They just re-invented PageRank.

about 3 months ago
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Undersized Grouper Case Lands In Supreme Court

thisisauniqueid Legal trawling (251 comments)

Whoever wrote this article is just trawling.

about 3 months ago
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Scientists Capture the Sound Made By a Single Atom

thisisauniqueid Shroedinger's Phonon (100 comments)

Q: If an atom slams into another atom in the forest, and nobody is around to hear it, did it make a phonon or not? A: Yes.

about 4 months ago
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Magnitude 6.0 Quake Hits Northern California, Causing Injuries and Outages

thisisauniqueid Brick houses in earthquake zones (135 comments)

People who live in brick houses with tile roofs in earthquake zones are just asking for trouble.

about 5 months ago
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Study Finds That Astronauts Are Severely Sleep Deprived

thisisauniqueid Re:Would YOU be able to sleep in space?? (106 comments)

I know Yi So-Yeon, the first Korean astronaut. She said she hated space. She wanted to throw up the whole time, and felt like her head was going to explode. (Both of these symptoms are caused by gravity not pulling things downwards, as well as the vestibular system being screwed up.)

Personally, I have been on a Zero-G "Vomit comet" flight, and it *was* "frickin awesome" until about the 15th parabola, then I started feeling extremely nauseated. I'm lucky we landed before I needed to throw up (some poor shmuck paid $6000 for the flight and had to strap himself into a seat so he could throw up constantly into a bag after the very first parabola). However, I have never felt more motion-sick -- it was *awful* -- and it didn't subside for over five hours after we landed.

about 6 months ago
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Inside BitFury's 20 Megawatt Bitcoin Mine

thisisauniqueid They do mine with your equipment before shipping (195 comments)

Almost all hardware manufacturers *do* mine with all the hardware they make. They make it and mine with it even after you have paid for it. They then ship it to you right before the break-even point. There are endless stories out there about missed shipping deadline after missed shipping deadline, mining hardware companies making empty promises, and would-be miners receiving hardware a few months too late, by which point their projected return is orders of magnitude smaller than it would have been due to the increase in network hash rate between when they paid for the hardware and when they received it.

about 6 months ago
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OKCupid Experiments on Users Too

thisisauniqueid OKC's match algos suck (161 comments)

Findings include that ... suggesting a bad match is a good match causes people to converse nearly as much as ideal matches would.

All this means is that OKC's match algorithms suck: there's only a weak correlation between match scores and real-world compatibility (like with every other dating site).

about 6 months ago
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Earth In the Midst of Sixth Mass Extinction: the 'Anthropocene Defaunation'

thisisauniqueid Building Roads (342 comments)

Building roads all over a continent is one of the fastest ways to decimate species.

about 6 months ago

Submissions

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ALS suffrer uses last strength to submit patch

thisisauniqueid thisisauniqueid writes  |  more than 3 years ago

thisisauniqueid writes "Perhaps the most touching FOSS story ever: Adrian Hands, ALS sufferer, used his last strength before he passed away to write and submit a patch to fix a 9-year old accessibility-related bug in the eog project. He did it using a Morse code mouse."
Link to Original Source
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Android vs iPhone4 signal strength bars comparison

thisisauniqueid thisisauniqueid writes  |  more than 4 years ago

thisisauniqueid (825395) writes "In the light of the debacle over the iPhone 4 Grip of Death, AnandTech recently reverse-engineered the signal-strength-to-bars mapping for the iPhone 4. Because Android is open source, we can determine the corresponding mapping for Android in combination with the 3GPP spec referenced in the source, allowing the signal-strength-to-bars mapping for both Android and the iPhone 4 to be plotted on the same axes. This shows that the iPhone 4 consistently reports a higher percentage signal strength (as defined by the fraction of bars lit) than Android GSM devices at the same signal strength."
Link to Original Source
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How would you improve life for 1B people in 10yrs?

thisisauniqueid thisisauniqueid writes  |  more than 5 years ago

thisisauniqueid writes "I am in the inaugural class of Singularity University, whose stated mission is to "assemble, educate and inspire a cadre of leaders who strive to understand and facilitate the development of exponentially advancing technologies and apply, focus and guide these tools to address humanity's grand challenges". We have been tasked with finding interdisciplinary solutions to global problems that leverage accelerating technologies to positively affect the lives of 10^9+ people within 10 years, preferably focused upon the areas of water, climate, health and energy, and we will be connected with VCs who can make any useful ideas that emerge happen. We are currently in the team project planning stages, and a number of interesting ideas have already emerged. However because crowdsourcing itself is a useful means for problem solving on an exponential scale, I would like to throw the question out to Slashdot readers. What would YOU do to positively impact the lives of one billion people in 10 years through creative use of accelerating technologies?"
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Switch the US to the metric system by 2019

thisisauniqueid thisisauniqueid writes  |  more than 5 years ago

thisisauniqueid (825395) writes "A petition at change.org calls for the Obama government to start the process of metrication now, and complete it a decade from now in 2019. This will reduce trade impediments due to the US using an antiquated and non-scientifically-based system of units, and will avoid more embarrassments like the Mars Climate Orbiter fiasco, where a $328 million NASA initiative burned up on entry into the Mars atmosphere because a NASA subcontractor, Lockheed Martin, was using Imperial units rather than the metric units mandated for the project, so the orbiter came into orbit too low. The Obama government has been actively soliciting citizen ideas, calling it the rebirth of democracy, and this may be the most fundamental scientifically-grounded change that needs to happen now for America's future. Go sign the petition now and make your voice known!"
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Smooth MultiTouch Zooming on the T-Mobile G1

thisisauniqueid thisisauniqueid writes  |  about 6 years ago

thisisauniqueid (825395) writes "The T-Mobile G1 was released without multi-touch capability, although it was demonstrated a couple of months ago that the screen was multitouch-capable if you hack the Synaptics kernel driver to dump out multitouch events to a file. It turns out though that the kernel driver actually sends the multitouch events all the way to the Android UI stack, where they are promptly dropped. There is now a patch for the Android stack that captures these events and passes them through the event pipeline in a way that is backwards-compatible with single-touch. Perhaps multitouch for the G1 is on its way? (Note that you have to reflash your phone to get this working.)"

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