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VA Supreme Court: Michael Mann Needn't Turn Over All His Email

wile_e_wonka Re:Public Work should not be "proprietary" (339 comments)

My understanding of the idea and purpose of an academic research paper is to lay out a hypothesis, method to collect data to test the hypothesis, data (results), statistical analysis of data, and conclusions. A properly written research paper will not be published in a peer reviewed journal unless the method of data collection is clear. This makes the research reproducible. The publication of reproducible research is a crux of the scientific process.

What the proponents of the FOIA request are doing is trying to cheat. If you want to disprove research, you may:
- Show that the method of data collection produces biased data
- Show that using the same method of data collection produces different data than that shown in the original research
- Show that statistical analysis was not done properly
- Etc.

All of this is done by hiring experts to analyze the methodology and statistical analysis and by commissioning a study to reproduce the original research. If the research is not reproducable, then there is something wrong.

That is how science works--you make reproducible research and then other people reproduce it. When they can't, the scientific community tries to figure out what went wrong. Maybe the underlying scientist made an error, maybe s/he made up data, maybe there is no explanation.

But this idea that you can cheat by looking at the researcher's emails? That's new. And not useful. If the study was not done properly, then reproducing it will catch that. If the research was done properly, then it needs to be reproduced anyway in order to determine the strength of the conclusions. So, don't try to cheat the system, just do this the old fashioned way--reproduce the research.

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

wile_e_wonka Re:Anything built before 2001 (673 comments)

Mod parent up. This is absolutely true. For example, listen on Car Talk to "Click and Clack" discuss how cruddy cars used to be and how much better and more reliable cars are nowadays. Compare a mid-90s Hyundai Excel to Hyundais now, for example.

2 days ago
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Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

wile_e_wonka Re:It's California (722 comments)

UPDATE: I just signed up for insurance through the Obamacare exchange with the very insurance company that rejected me for "question of Marfans."

5 days ago
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Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

wile_e_wonka Re:It's California (722 comments)

I totally feel for you. I am lucky enough to be insured, but when I was shopping around for cheaper insurance, I also was rejected for trivial stuff. My grandmother (who is not a doctor) said to me several years ago: "I think my mother and uncle might have died from the effects of Marfan's Sydrome (which can cause aorta rupture), and I think I have some of the symptoms, so you should consider getting checked out." At my annual checkup I ran it by my doctor, and he said: "I doubt it, but there are a couple cheap tests I can do to be more sure." In the end he concluded that I do NOT have Marfan's Syndrome.

Fast forward 2 or 3 years. I apply for insurance with a company other than my current insurer. They request permission to do a medical history check. "No problem," I think, because I've been given a clean bill of health by my doctor.

Insurance company decision: Coverage rejected for reason--"Question of Marfans." In other words, they don't trust what my doctor said with enough confidence to risk taking me on....

Part of the idea of Obamacare is that crap like this shouldn't happen anymore.

about two weeks ago
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Tesla's Fight With Car Dealers Could Help Decide the Next Presidential Election

wile_e_wonka Re:Doubt it. (282 comments)

I think that "negotiation" was in quotes there because it isn't really negotiating. If you can negotiate a price lower than the sticker, it is because the dealer had no intention of charging you that price unless you were stupid enough to not ask for a lower price. The sticker price bears little relationship to the actual value of a vehicle.

about three weeks ago
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Are DVDs Inconvenient On Purpose?

wile_e_wonka Re:Answer is totally obvious - content providers (490 comments)

Also, I think the author fails to consider the idea that Netflix likes to keep things simple. If a move studio said "Netflix, you can license this movie for streaming, but only if it has the following limits on viewing..." or "...only if you charge an additional $___...," I think Netflix would say "No." Otherwise it would have to segregate its movies into categories with viewing limits and those without. And it would be a slippery slope. Some movies would have strict limits, others would get looser limits, and before long very few movies would have no limits. I think Netflix wants to keep things simple--if a movie shows up in instant view, it is available to watch all you want without paying extra. Period.

If you would like evidence that limits would be a less good (I won't say bad here, just less good) business move, I can only provide anecdotal evidence with a very small sample size, including only myself and my immediate family members: Amazon Prime--Amazon has a ton of content on there, some of which is free and some of which is not. Where do I go first when I want to watch something? Netflix--because I know that if it is there, I can watch it all I want for free. On Amazon, it might come up when I search, but that doesn't mean it will be free, and if it isn't free, I probably won't watch it at all.

about three weeks ago
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Gracenote, Privacy, and the Rise of Metadata As a Valuable Asset

wile_e_wonka Slashdot making news? (33 comments)

'We do have big hopes for that part of our business going forward,' Gracenote president Stephen White confirmed to Slashdot.>

Since when is /. in the news-making department rather than just the news aggregating department? Maybe I'm just out of the loop on this....

about 2 months ago
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FBI: $10,000 Reward For Info On Anyone Who Points a Laser At an Aircraft

wile_e_wonka This isn't the best way to handle the problem (445 comments)

The laser incidents are so numerous that it will be impossible to deal with the problem by prosecutions. It seems to me that a problem that cannot be solved by stopping the perpetrators needs to be solved a different way, such as designing planes to not be vulnerable to the lasers.

about 2 months ago
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Is Verizon Already Slowing Netflix Down?

wile_e_wonka Re: Your task: explain how Net Neutrality stops th (298 comments)

And I should add--we are "cord-cutters." We cut cable a long time ago, except for internet. So, we have over-the-air TV or Netflix (cancelled Hulu for nonuse). Her office is in the basement, so really Netflix is it if there is going to be TV on in the background.

about 2 months ago
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Is Verizon Already Slowing Netflix Down?

wile_e_wonka Re: Your task: explain how Net Neutrality stops th (298 comments)

I wonder what Netflix thinks of this. Like, they want it to overtake regular TV, and it is no big deal to have the regular TV running nonstop in the background. But Netflix has to pay for that content she isn't actually watching. And they don't charge us more just because she uses (way) more than average.

about 2 months ago
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Is Verizon Already Slowing Netflix Down?

wile_e_wonka Re:Your task: explain how Net Neutrality stops thi (298 comments)

Our cable (and hence cable modem) went out for a day recently (we use Cox). My wife set up a mobile hotspot from her T-Mobile phone in a spot in which she had LTE service and went about her life as normal, meaning streaming Netflix in the background while she works. It turns out that at LTE speeds, Netflix feeds you rather high reception, and you can go through a 2.5 GB limit in less than two movies. So, she was throttled for the rest of the month to 2G speeds.

Supposedly they do not throttle on the unlimited plan. They are very clear on the 2.5 GB plan that they will throttle after the cap (but will not charge extra) and they did in fact throttle (and I was fine with that--that was all we paid for, and in the typical month is faaaar more than enough). On the unlimited plan, I question how much Netflix streaming they would really tolerate.

about 2 months ago
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NPR Labs is Working on Emergency Alerts for the Deaf (Video)

wile_e_wonka Re:Prairie home companion. (89 comments)

Wait Wait Don't Tell me is absolutely in the same terrible category as Prairie Home Companion. But This American Life, Radiolab, CarTalk, Planet Money, Marketplace, SciFri, The Moth, Backstory, etc... are excellent. They've got a ton of excellent stuff on NPR.

about 3 months ago
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Pwn2own 2014 Set To Hunt Unicorns

wile_e_wonka Re:"In minutes" (66 comments)

A mother I was talking with yesterday . . .

I know; mothers are the worst. Completely technologically illiterate. Did you know that the average mother still uses her uterus to produce a child?

about 3 months ago
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Journal of Cosmology Contributor Sues NASA To Investigate Mars "Donut"

wile_e_wonka Re:The undersides of rocks... (140 comments)

Maybe we're looking at the "bottom" of the rock. When I look at the pictures, I don't see any indication that the rock was dug in the ground where is currently sits. It looks to me more like it blew or fell into its current position (perhaps the surface of mars just got pelted by a meteor or a secret North Korean rover landing or something and knocked that rock from its prior position). Someone else said "Just look at the two pictures. The first has a shape outlined in darker 'dirt' in the area where the object appeared - a shape that is the same shape as the object." I disagree, you can see that outline sitting underneath this rock, offset a bit, like this rock just fell into place.

So, with all of the above, for all we know that is presently the top of the rock might have been the bottom of the rock for 5 million years. Or it might have broken off of a larger rock.

Worth investigating to a degree? Yes. Worth assuming that an Martian put the rock there as a joke? No.

about 3 months ago
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Online Streaming As Profitable As TV, Disc Sales By Charging Just a $15 Flat Fee

wile_e_wonka Re:Ridiculous (160 comments)

The report costs 395 pounds to access, but the article does get slightly more specific:

Forty-five percent of the world's broadband subscribers equates to 348 million people.

I do not know whether this is inserted from ComputerWorld or if it is copied from the report, but I hope that the report gets far more specific than that.

about 3 months ago
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NSA Trying To Build Quantum Computer

wile_e_wonka Re:Wasn't this news 20 years ago? (221 comments)

It was no secret that the NSA was working on quantum computer technology then as well.

Speaking of it being "no secret," here is the public website for the quantum computing initiative at the Los Alamos National Laboratory:
http://quantum.lanl.gov/
That page says:

Quantum information science and technology research is conducted at several outstanding universities and laboratories around the world, including LANL. At Los Alamos, however, even the most basic quantum research often has national security implications or connections.

Although the Quantum Initiative's national security mission at Los Alamos is manifest in many areas, it is perhaps most evident in two of the Laboratory's most successful quantum technology initiatives— quantum cryptography and the race for a quantum computer.

Los Alamos National Laboratory, of course, is owned and operated by the U.S. Federal Government. The fact that the Government has been working on this for some time (since the 90s) has not been a secret.

The Laboratory also revealed recently, as was reported on /. that it has been operating a quantum network for 2 1/2 years. Though I feel certain I read about that in Technology Review or the like a couple years ago, but cannot find any such article now.

about 4 months ago
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CryptoLocker Gang Earns $30 Million In Just 100 Days

wile_e_wonka Re:Math? (202 comments)

I wish I had some mod points to mod this side conversation about .4% as "funny." Like, who exactly has infiltrated /. that doesn't understand this? Soon, they're going to need to remove "News for Nerds" as false.

about 4 months ago
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Meet the 'Assassination Market' Creator Who's Crowdfunding Murder With Bitcoins

wile_e_wonka Re:You Can't Blow up a Social Relationship (291 comments)

And they can replace Bernanke with no trouble.

Like, they could replace Bernanke with this person, who has already been selected to replace Bernanke... (though not yet confirmed by the Senate)

It seems like a bad time to have Bernanke at the top of the list. What's the bounty on the new lady?

about 5 months ago
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Buried In the Healthcare.gov Source: "No Expectation of Privacy"

wile_e_wonka Re:designed to obfuscate actual prices of plans (365 comments)

I'm pretty sure I'm not eligible for subsidies. But the system for figuring it out is a joke. It asks if I have any tax deductions such as student loan interest. So, I pulled out my tax return and put in practically every deduction. It isn't clear which deductions are eligible to be deducted.

Even so, between my income and my wife's I'm almost certainly not eligible for any subsidies based on the information I provided. So, for those of us whose self-input information indicates $0 subsidy, why not just let us see the price? It can't possibly be worse than my holy-fraking-expensive plan available through my employer.

So, I agree that they've set it up backward, and should take people's word on showing prices and just say "eligibility for reduced prices will be confirmed prior to purchase." But even with the current backward system, there is no reason that the unsubsidized prices shouldn't be shown for those of us whose information indicates that we aren't eligible for a subsidy.

about 6 months ago

Submissions

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Opera may win Acid3 Race

wile_e_wonka wile_e_wonka writes  |  about 6 years ago

wile_e_wonka (934864) writes "Opera has achieved 100/100 on the Acid 3 Test using their latest internal builds. The company plans to release a technical preview of the build shortly.

I'm beginning to wonder about the meaning of "winning" the Acid 3 race. Release an early barely functional piece of software that displays Acid 3 correctly and you've "won"! Focus on broad standards support and stability rather than on the specific items in Acid 3 and you lose. Perhaps the tests are distorting the goals of browser developers and losing meaning.

(Full disclosure: I use Opera 9.5 alpha as my primary browser.)"
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Pop a pill: forget bad memories

wile_e_wonka wile_e_wonka writes  |  more than 6 years ago

wile_e_wonka (934864) writes "
An amnesia drug that blocks or deletes bad memories is under development by researchers at Harvard and McGill University (in Montreal). The technique seems to allow psychiatrists to disrupt the biochemical pathways that allow a memory to be recalled.

In a new study, published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, the drug propranolol is used along with therapy to "dampen" memories of trauma victims. They treated 19 accident or rape victims for ten days, during which the patients were asked to describe their memories of the traumatic event that had happened 10 years earlier. Some patients were given the drug, while others were given a placebo.

A week later, they found that patients given the drug showed fewer signs of stress when recalling their trauma.

I feel like I have seen this somewhere."
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wile_e_wonka wile_e_wonka writes  |  more than 7 years ago

wile_e_wonka (934864) writes "From Yahoo! News:
"This is an extraordinary development," said Dr. Kevin de Cock, director of the
World Health Organization's AIDS department. "Circumcision is the most potent intervention in HIV prevention that has been described."

Circumcision has long been suspected of reducing men's susceptibility to HIV infection because the cells in the foreskin of the penis are especially vulnerable to the virus."
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wile_e_wonka wile_e_wonka writes  |  more than 7 years ago

wile_e_wonka writes "Searching for nearby Zunes... None found.
Searching for nearby Zunes... None found.
Searching for nearby Zunes... "Lola" found.

Sending "Hello" by Lionel Richie

Receiving "Hi There" by Killdozer

Sending "Do You Come Here Often?" by The Tornados Ridin' the Wind

Receiving "I Get Around" by The Beach Boys

Sending "Welcome To The Jungle" by Guns 'N' Roses
Sending "What Brings You Here?" by Sandra Knight . . ."
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wile_e_wonka wile_e_wonka writes  |  more than 7 years ago

wile_e_wonka (934864) writes "A 16-year-old boy being sued for online music piracy is fighting back. He has accused the recording industry on Tuesday of violating antitrust laws, conspiring to defraud the courts and making extortionate threats. In papers responding to a lawsuit filed by five record companies, Robert Santangelo, who was as young as 11 when the alleged piracy occurred, denied ever disseminating music and said it's impossible to prove that he did."
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wile_e_wonka wile_e_wonka writes  |  more than 7 years ago

wile_e_wonka (934864) writes "The NYTimes reports that Microsoft has agreed to pay a percentage of the sales of its new portable media player to the Universal Music Group.

The articles hypothesizes that "the deal may provide leverage for Universal to insist on a cut of future iPod sales when its existing contract with Apple expires next year," noting that "[a] recent study estimated that Apple has sold an average of 20 songs per iPod a fraction of its capacity. The rest of consumers music files 95 percent or more come from ripped CDs, possibly including discs from their own collections, and illegal file-trading networks, the study said."

Each of these devices is used to store unpaid-for material. This way, on top of the material people do pay for, the record companies are getting paid on the devices storing the copied music.

So, I guess the Zune player comes with paid-up subscription to the file sharing network of your choice.
"
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wile_e_wonka wile_e_wonka writes  |  more than 7 years ago

wile_e_wonka (934864) writes "The largest study since Kinsey's regarding sexual behavior appears this week. Scientific American reports that, according to the results of the study, "[c]ontrary to popular belief, there is no evidence that young people are engaging in sexual intercourse at earlier ages — the first instance of sexual activity for both genders generally occurs at between 15 and 19 years of age globally."

One of the study's "surprising findings" was that "married women are actually at greater risk of unhealthy sexual behavior-they find it harder than single women do to convince their partners to use condoms." I'm at a loss on this one though..."

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