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Comment Re:This doesn't prove what they were hoping to pro (Score 1) 192

"Eighty-four percent of clinicians listed the correct diagnosis in the top three possibilities, compared with 51 percent for the digital symptom-checkers. The difference between physician and computer performance was most dramatic in more severe and less common conditions. It was smaller for less acute and more common illnesses."

I'm surprised that digital diagnosis is that good already. The era of an "iDoc" app being as good as a gateway practitioner is probably not far off.

It's not that surprising when you consider that most of the diagnosis was done by the humans that chose what questions to ask and what tests to run before the data was presented to the AI. When the AI correctly chooses what questions to ask and which tests to run, then we'll have something.

Comment Re:This doesn't prove what they were hoping to pro (Score 1) 192

The other problem is that some patients will lie about their symptoms -either exaggerating or denying. Doctors know this and have the problem of seeing through what the patient says without pissing the patient off so that the patient would then refuse to cooperate or comply.
It will be interesting to see how an AI will deal with that aspect of medical care. And yes, I'm aware that there are tests, but you can't run every test just because.

Comment Re:Finally, news for nerds... (Score 1) 60

...and it got few comments.

There's just no pleasing this crowd.

FWIW, I had trouble with 8" drives, not the diskettes themselves. The 5.25" and 3.5" stuff never failed on me, not once.

I only a few 8-inch drives (microcode boot) on machines I supported, and they had more failures than anything else. I didn't have that many, but every single 8-inch drive I had to maintain failed in some way or another. Admittedly these were all non-IBM devices. I did not maintain the lone IBM Series/1 that we had on-site, but AFAIK it pretty much ran like a rock in a box.

Comment Or, you can read the GAO report (Score 1) 60

There is a GAO report covering legacy US Government systems. It has somewhat more detail.

It has this to say about the nuke system:

The Strategic Automated Command and Control System is the Department of Defense’s (Defense) dedicated high-speed data transmission, processing, and display system. The system coordinates the operational functions of the United States’ nuclear forces, such as intercontinental ballistic missiles, nuclear bombers, and tanker support aircrafts, among others. For those in the nuclear command area, the system’s primary function is to send and receive emergency action messages to nuclear forces.
According to Defense officials, the system is made up of technologies and equipment that are at the end of their useful lives. For example, the system is still running on an IBM Series/1 Computer, which is a 1970s computing system, and written in assembly language code. It also uses 8-inch floppy disks, which are a 1970s-era storage device; and assembly programming code typically used in mainframes. Replacement parts for the system are difficult to find because they are now obsolete.

and regarding the IRS system:

The Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS), Individual Master File (IMF) is the authoritative data source for individual taxpayer accounts. Within IMF, accounts are updated, taxes are assessed, and refunds are generated as required during each tax filing period. Virtually all IRS information system applications and processes depend on output, directly or indirectly, from this data source.
IMF was written in an outdated assembly language code and operates on a 2010 IBM z196/2817-m32 mainframe. This has resulted in difficulty delivering technical capabilities addressing identify theft and refund fraud, among other things. In addition, there is a risk of inaccuracies and system failures due to complexity of managing dozens of systems synchronizing individual taxpayer data across multiple data files and databases, limitations in meeting normal financial requirements and security controls, and keeping pace with modern financial institutions.

Comment Re:Oh, Democracy... (Score 1) 332

I think you mean "Oh, Science..."

The majority of studies show that accident rates go up, not down, when red-light cameras are put in place. Eliminating red-light cameras is the logical response.

This study shows that complaints go down, not up, when police use body cameras. The logical response would be to continue using body cameras and continue studying the results to verify that the effect isn't temporary or isolated.

True, and those same studies show that the kind of accidents change when red-light cameras are introduced. We've gone over this many times.
When red-light cameras are emplaced the number of rear-end accidents go up and T-bone accidents go down. The net effect is that the number of crashes with injuries goes down and especially down is the number of deaths. So it matters what number you pick from the study to look at. I happen to think the number of serious injuries and deaths is more important than the number of broken tail-lights.

As for the complaints against police, the actual study is at and it contains many self-criticisms. It should be mentioned that the police are required (in these studies) to tell the person they are confronting that they are being recorded.
There is clearly a Hawthorne effect going on here.
One of the things the study's authors want to know, but there is no data, is whether the kinds of interactions change. That is, are the police doing fewer stop-n-frisk type interactions, that is, are they avoiding interactions where there is a greater likelihood of civilian resistance?
This is a study that is well worth reading.

Comment Re:Wow, spend $3billion? (Score 1) 161

Totally agree. Mental health is our number one problem. These other diseases suck, sure, but the difference is that a person with cancer, HIV, or diabetes doesn't affect me in any significant way, but people with mental health problems can be a big problem for everyone they cross paths with and society as a whole.

Zuckerberg is lying anyway. He hopes by putting up the 3 billion, the rest of us will chip in a few trillion to find a way for him to live forever.

Comment It's how I would have done it (Score 5, Insightful) 196

What happened at Facebook was a mistake, but I would have made the same mistake.

If I owned Facebook, I would have a censorship policy. No naked children would be near the top of the list. It might even be the only thing on it.
I'm certain that most of the photos of naked children in existence are perfectly innocent. I have some of my kids and my parents have some of me.

But I don't want to host child porn, child rape, or anything like that. It's a plain and simple fact that there are people who abuse children in horrible ways, and if I didn't censor that kind of thing it would be all over the place. I don't give a shit if the law says it's OK for me to host it; I don't want to be part of it.
And you know what else? I don't want to have to examine photos of naked children to try to guess what's going on.
So. No naked children.

So all my minions would know this and censor publication of the Kim Phuc photo because they want to keep their jobs and perhaps because they agree with me.

And then the world would come down on me over the Kim Phuc photo, pointing out that I'm being a dumbass and this is so very clearly and important and historical photo, and I'd relent because in this case they're right and I'm wrong. But no way would I roll over for just anyone out there - it would have to take a lot of pressure for a specific case.

Comment Re:So what? (Score 2) 273

I'm well over 60. I'm speaking as what would have been a liberal small-town southerner pseudo-hippie who moved to the big city, but I mostly felt the war was necessary. I would like to pretend I was otherwise, but that's the way it was.

Much of what you say is true, but ....

However I do not believe the photo was that big a deal at the time. We already had plenty.
And it certainly had no effect on the USA's role in the war because we had already withdrawn almost all our troops when the photo was taken.
At that time, 1972, the USA had about 25,000 troops in-country compared to the NVA and ARVN armies of well over a million each.

This picture, and some others of a similar nature, tore down this world view of the just, clean war, where only the bad guys kill women and children, and no US bomb ever hurts anyone but the baddies that want to establish a Commie dictatorship everywhere on the planet.

Well, no. That's just not true.
The vast majority of people simply did not have any version of that opinion by 1972. I personally had not met anyone that ignorant back then, but I have to grant that such a person may have existed. Do you really think that generation was that stupid? Where do you think the millions of protesters came from?
For example, the My Lai massacre had already happened four years before. That was in 1968 although it didn't get in the news until the next year. It was widely and continually reported. Everyone knew.

It is an excellent photo for historical purposes because it does show how war so strongly impacts the civilian population in a way that piles of corpses cannot.
However it is usually presented in a way that implies this was done by the USA, but the soldiers in the background are Vietnamese, and the pilot that dropped the napalm was Vietnamese, and the photographer was Vietnamese. At some point the Vietnamese people should get some blame for that war.

Also, I had many friends who did go to Vietnam and many of those went into combat.
Almost all of them were fine with the war other than the fact that being in combat is an unpleasant experience. It seems like they thought fighting communism is a good cause even if the leadership was screwing it up. I dunno about other areas of the country but in the south the soldiers were generally well respected.

Comment Re:So what? (Score 3, Insightful) 273

Then it's even more tragic that apparently hipsters today don't know that iconic picture that was probably critical to the change in the public opinion on the Vietnam war. Not knowing this means not understanding how reporting in war zones works today.

I doubt that the picture made any difference in anyone's opinion for a couple of reasons.

One is that it took place in June 1972. The USA's withdrawal was nearly complete (down to around 25,000 troops from 500K).
The other is at that time everyone I knew was pretty solid on their opinions. Those who favored the USA's involvement were in an awkward position of supporting a war that the USA had plainly announced they were ending. Those who were against were having their way.
As for people who were on the fence, those tended to be looking at the rather complex Vietnam war situation from a point of view of both local and global events, and were already well aware that people suffer horrible injuries during war. Keep in mind that our (WWII and baby boomer) generation grew up on a steady stream WWII carnage and Nazi death camp pictures.
The press had already been keeping us well-supplied with pictures of dead children for some time and the alternative press showed even more graphic photos than the mainstream.

IMHO, what made the photo of Kim Phuc interesting was that she was naked and alive. There had been many pictures of naked and dead adults and children published before with the My Lai massacre of 1968 being among the most notable.
Here's another one from back then that I remember that I found far more unsettling than the Kim Phuc photo.

Comment Re:Law of unintended consequences, also frosty (Score 3, Insightful) 470

accepting defeat means losing the useful original meaning

The original meaning is already lost. If you actually use "begs the question" correctly, 90% of your audience will have no idea what you mean, and the other 10% will think you are being pompous. It is best to just avoid the phrase entirely in both writing and speaking.

This +++
When one identifies a phrase or word in transition, it's probably best to avoid it. I'm afraid to use "literally" now because I have no idea how it will be interpreted.

Comment Re:Who would have guessed? (Score 1, Flamebait) 252

Accenture consistently drives high performance and has a history of satisfaction on projects for the worlds top organizations.

world's top organizations

What sets Accenture apart from the competition are its management.

is its management

The skill and level of analysts from every contracting company can vary greatly. However Accenture Senior Management staff have shown consistently high levels of skill and communication.

However, Accenture senior management staff has shown (staff is a collective noun, but practice varies between American and British English on this one)

Problems can happen with any corporate or government project. Rarely does everything go according to plan and often requirements change mid project. It is how a consulting company handles these changes that count.

according to plan, and often requirements change

Accenture sets its self apart in this situation.

sets itself apart

It's not the destination that matters but how you get there, Accenture(High Performance Delivered).

If you are the one paying for the product, the destination is what matters most. For most of us, it's the only thing that matters.
This sounds like a hooker that blows you for a while and then stops to ask for more money. No, I'm not grateful to get halfway there.

Comment Re:By Design (Score 1) 179

Clearly the NSA leaked these tools with built-in weaknesses so they could get others to install them, then they get to use them.

Or, perhaps they were copied directly from some guys computer from a folder titled "dev".

If you look on my computer, you'll see a folder named "scripts" with many megabytes of scripts in there. It's all historical stuff as I worked on various things or attempted to try something different. Dead ends and so on. Almost none of these were actually used. The things I actually used are elsewhere. I don't know why we would assume that these were examples of programs actually in use.

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