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Apple Announces iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, OS X Yosemite and More

wildsurf Re:Touch ID for $100?? (355 comments)

If you look at this comparison chart you can see that the iPad Mini 3 is exactly the same as the existing iPad Mini with Retina Display (now called iPad Mini 2) with the exception of two things:

  1. It's got Touch ID
  2. It's $100 more expensive

Does the Touch ID imply that it also has an NFC chip for ApplePay? (Apparently it does, and the iPad Mini 2 doesn't.) That's an odd thing to leave off the comparison chart.

about a month ago
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Rise of the Super-High-Res Notebook Display

wildsurf Re:16:10 (333 comments)

16:x sucks for work.

Unless x = 12.

about a year ago
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Memory Effect Discovered In Lithium-Ion Batteries

wildsurf Re:Small effect big consequences (157 comments)

Any '07 Roadster owners out there care to share how well the batteries are holding up?

My '08 Roadster (there are no '07 roadsters) has 33k miles on it, and after 4 1/2 years, its battery capacity has been reduced about 8%. I now get 225 miles on a full charge, down from 244 on day 1. That's even better than Tesla's initial projections, actually.

about a year and a half ago
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Scientists Are Cracking the Primordial Soup Mystery

wildsurf Re:Here we go again...... (278 comments)

Evolution? If his is so, why do we not see a continuum of life over the spectra of species?

We do; they just aren't all alive at the same time. As you go backward into the past, the genotypes of humans and other apes (e.g. chimpanzees) gradually converge, until several million years ago, they are the same. Taken as a whole, there HAS been a continuous spectrum of creatures from humans to apes. (And traced far back enough, between all living things.) It staggers me that people find this difficult to understand.

about a year and a half ago
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Japanese Probe Finds Miswiring of Boeing 787 Battery

wildsurf Re:What? (201 comments)

And also: 1,354,320 grams is 2,986 pounds, not 25,031 pounds. (Correcting for this, as well as the number of connectors, makes the actual failure rate cutoff 1 in 30,180.) You didn't work on the Mars Climate Orbiter, did you? ;-)

about a year and a half ago
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Japanese Probe Finds Miswiring of Boeing 787 Battery

wildsurf Re:What? (201 comments)

It has 171 miles of wiring. Let's assume that we want to add connectors every 100 feet; That gives us 902,880 connectors.

Um, you're off by two orders of magnitude. 171 miles / 100 feet = 9,029 connectors, not 902,880. So the failure rate cutoff (assuming the rest of your calculations are correct) works out to 1 in 3600. Care to re-analyze?

about a year and a half ago
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Updated Model Puts Earth On the Edge of the Habitable Zone

wildsurf Re:The Fix (264 comments)

Well obvious answer then, move it closer for an even stronger effect!

Close enough that it blocks out the sun? Problem solved!

about 2 years ago
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DMVs Across the Country Learning Textspeak

wildsurf "Sequential" Plates (178 comments)

Several years ago, a friend of mine was issued the CA sequential plate: 2GRT269. She immediately swapped it out for a custom plate, which, ironically, was much less memorable.

In a similar vein, once in a while I check the availability of the "sequential" plate 3XIV159. (I'd call it my Pi Plate: 3 14 159. Get it?) But it still seems to be in use. I wonder if its owner realizes what it means?

about 2 years ago
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Petition For Metric In US Halfway To Requiring Response From the White House

wildsurf Re:Not in my lifetime (1387 comments)

You will never get rid of the imperial system in the US for automobiles..

But are you aware that the US Environmental Protection Agency uses Grams per Mile as the unit for vehicle emission standards?

about 2 years ago
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In the 2012 U.S. presidential election:

wildsurf Re:Up? (707 comments)

I always thought R was Reverse and D was Drive. (and L was Low Gear.) Fitting, actually.

about 2 years ago
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IEEE Standards For Voting Machines

wildsurf Re:Iowa voter fraud (221 comments)

Ok, hang on a sec.

Regarding the straw man, the study itself states: "At this point of our analysis, the cause appears to originate with electronic voting equipment; the problem does not exist when manual methods are used." But the Iowa example shown two pages later flatly contradicts this. See p.5 and p.7: Linked Study

Regarding Iowa: "GOP officials discovered inaccuracies in 131 precincts"... Perhaps, but the scope of these inaccuracies were magnitudes different than the purported "vote-flipping" implied by the study. Romney lost less than 50 votes on the statewide recount (relative to Santorum), compared with the study's implied 7850-vote gap. Data from the missing eight precincts couldn't come remotely close to closing this gap. So even correcting for the found inaccuracies, we're left with over 99% of the purported discrepancy unaccounted for. Were the fraudsters simply 99% successful at covering their tracks? If so, wouldn't there be many fewer precincts with discrepancies? The ~50 vote recount correction could easily be due to random human error.

Regarding cherry-picking: there is no question that there is a bulletproof correlation between precinct size and vote ratios, in Iowa in this primary. (The null hypothesis has been proven false, in other words.) The real question is whether that correlation ITSELF correlates strongly with the type of balloting/counting used, and for this there are very few data points shown. Are there counterexamples (places where electronic voting was used but the anomaly is not seen, or vice versa)? How many? What distinguishes the ballot-counting process in the Iowa Caucuses from, say, FL Palm Beach County (where there was no anomaly observed)? What were the correlations, if any, in all these different states and counties, of precinct size vs a priori voter registration (Republican / Democrat ratio)?

Can anything be gleaned from this? Again, it would be nice to see the study peer-reviewed, and to have stronger logic why the correlations COULDN'T be a result of "natural causes", rather than just we can't think of a way. (I agree that there is no other immediately obvious explanation, but that doesn't mean one doesn't exist.)

about 2 years ago
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IEEE Standards For Voting Machines

wildsurf Re:Any stats experts want to weigh in on this (221 comments)

As a career mathematician / software developer, NOT prone to conspiracy theories, this study nevertheless got my statistical Spidey sense tingling. If I were determined to rig an election, particularly through electronic voting/tallying, this is EXACTLY how I would do it; selectively target larger precincts, because the vote flipping is less likely to be noticed there. (And more importantly, because spot-tests of the system are unlikely to cast enough votes to trigger the mechanism.)

That said, the study is sloppily done, not peer-reviewed, and prone to accusations of cherry-picking. They claim to have replicated their results all across the country, but provide no data to back this up. (E.g. they should show a scatterplot showing voting mechanism vs. "anomaly" strength, for a large number of states or counties.) And their shining example, the 2012 Iowa Primaries (actually Caucuses), DID use paper ballots and precinct-level tallying, yet still showed the anomaly. I'd like to hear their explanation for how they think the fraud could have crept in here. They also use Duval County, FL 2012 Primaries as another example of the anomaly, but paper ballots were used there as well. I don't know if the tallying was per-precinct or centralized for that election; if it were centralized, the fraud could easily happen there because it's a single point of failure.

More than anything, I would LOVE to get Nate Silver's take on this study. Perhaps he would have some intuition for how the precinct size / vote correlation might have arisen "naturally," and presumably he has access to the databases required to re-run the study on a larger scale. Either way, it's absolutely clear that paper ballots and transparent precinct-level tallying are essential to ensure fair elections. They can pry my cold, dead trees from my cold, dead hands! ;-)

about 2 years ago
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The Struggles of Getting Into the App Store

wildsurf Re:Android for the first $1250 (329 comments)

What happened to the Shareware idea?

Why not release a Free app, with an embedded "Donate" button that triggers an in-app-purchase? Voila, Shareware.

about 2 years ago
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Benoit Mandelbrot Dies At 85

wildsurf Re:Was there ever a real-time viewer... (131 comments)

Yes, KPT Fraxplorer in the KPT5 suite of Photoshop plug-ins implements 1024-bit math to zoom in far deeper than double-precision allows.

more than 4 years ago
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EPA Proposes Grading System For Car Fuel Economy

wildsurf Suggestions to EPA (272 comments)

I submitted a comment to the EPA suggesting that the "Gallons / 100 Miles" number be more prominent relative to MPG. (Converting to metric is a lost cause, unfortunately.)

I also suggested that they add "Gallons SAVED per 100 miles" relative to an average car in its class. This statistic can be surprising: switching from a 33mpg Corolla to a 50mpg Prius saves one gallon per 100 miles, but switching from a 10mpg Hummer to a 14mpg Land Rover saves three gallons per 100 miles driven.

more than 4 years ago
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EPA Proposes Grading System For Car Fuel Economy

wildsurf D Flueless (272 comments)

So if there's a solar car with really poor efficiency, would it be rated "D Flueless"?

more than 4 years ago
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iPhone 4 Reception Recall Ruckus Roundup

wildsurf In other news... (479 comments)

Spokesbeings for the Kinsey Institute announced that they were "stunned" to learn that for millenia human males were using an incorrect algorithm for orally reporting the size of their member, resulting in frequent exaggerations. A report of "5 bars" was in reality often closer to 2 bars.

A software fix is unlikely to be effective and a hardware fix is not a trivial matter. One possible work-around: tell your partner that "you're holding it wrong."

more than 4 years ago
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Toyota Acceleration and Embedded System Bugs

wildsurf Re:Impossible to test (499 comments)

Write a program that can determine whether another arbitrary program will halt on a given set of inputs, or run forever. You can't do it. Its impossible.

Yep, Toyota is definitely having a Halting Problem.

more than 4 years ago
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If Everyone Had To Pass A Particular 101 Course, It Should Be About...

wildsurf Re:Statistics! (1142 comments)

For example: there are two popes per square kilometer in Vatican.

Two live popes.

more than 4 years ago

Submissions

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AMD Introduces SSE5 Instruction Set

wildsurf wildsurf writes  |  more than 7 years ago

wildsurf (535389) writes "With the introduction of SSE5, many new 128-bit instructions have been added to the existing instruction set detailed in the AMD64 Architecture Programmer's Manuals. Included are 46 base instructions that expand to 170 total instructions, enabling improved performance and reduced loads.

New instructions include:

Fused multiply accumulate (FMACxx) instructions
Integer multiply accumulate (IMAC, IMADC) instructions
Permutation and conditional move instructions
Vector compare and test instructions
Precision control, rounding, and conversion instructions

Download the full document to learn about new three-operand instructions, a new 128-bit media instruction format, and more."

Link to Original Source

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