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Comment Re:Um, no. (Score 1) 212

The analyst cited in the article has a pretty good repuation (Google him). Doesn't seem prudent to outright reject his projections because you disagree with them.

Ming-Chi Kuo has an amazing reputation predicting future Apple products. There is zero history of predictions about sales and consumer preferences, which are completely different. No Apple insider or supply chain source can help shed light on that.

Comment Re:Simple reason.... (Score 1) 310

There are pros and cons for built-in vs. phone navigation. I personally always use the built-in navigation because
-- The screen is bigger and easier to read.
-- Directions are always at the right volume and easier to understand.
-- The system works when network connectivity drops out.
-- The system never needs to be charged or plugged in.
-- The manual controls are much safer to use when driving compared to a touchscreen.
-- The screen is in a natural position relative to the driver and never gets knocked over.

There are some cons, such as
-- Lack of navigation that considers traffic conditions.
-- Old maps, since I don't want to pay $99 for a map upgrade.
-- The need to manually enter in new destinations.

However, for me, the pros are more important, and my phone is used as backup most of the time.

Comment Re:Proof her perf evaluations weren't fair (Score 1) 566

Basically, in this election the GOP proved that it's incompetent at getting their establishment pick selected, and the DNC proved that they're masters of it.

The Democrats were decent at getting their anointed one past the annoyances of the election system, but they can only aspire to achieve the efficiency of United Russia.

Should the current election-cycle un-democratic manifestations of the purportedly Democratic Party actually be celebrated? Seriously?

Comment Re:When did "The Matrix" become a religion? (Score 1) 1042

The argument is of course not Musk's, but Nick Boström's:

ABSTRACT. This paper argues that at least one of the following propositions is true: (1) the human species is very likely to go extinct before reaching a “posthuman” stage; (2) any posthuman civilization is extremely unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of their evolutionary history (or variations thereof); (3) we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation. It follows that the belief that there is a significant chance that we will one day become posthumans who run ancestor-simulations is false, unless we are currently living in a simulation. A number of other consequences of this result are also discussed.


I cannot find any flaws in the statistics. I thus agree we're _likely_ living in a simulation.

The hiccup is not in the statistics but the assumption that the seemingly increasing and never-ending improvement in technology will result in such a simulation capability in the future. Is this assumption true? We need far more than a system that passes the Turing test. We are already hitting the limits of technology scaling, and we have barely progressed beyond ELIZA.

Comment Re:Down the rabbit hole (Score 2) 311

It isn't being forced on them. They have the alternative of not accepting CC transactions, which is something many businesses do.

They also have the choice continuing to use the old equipment, but they then accept responsibility for fraudulent transactions that could have been prevented by using chip cards. Hell, as far as I know, they still have the option of imprinting paper slips and depositing them at the bank like checks, but the costs all end up on the merchant, as they should.

At some point we need to have progress, and magstripes need to die. Many technical standards have deadlines where old features stop being supported.

All of this is true and still tangential to the anti-trust case. Anti-trust collusion that forces actions that are in the interests of society are still illegal. The ends do not justify the means. The key point is that the change was indeed forced upon the retailers because they were denied the right to choose a competing supplier, a right that was illegally removed through collusion.

Comment Re:?No comprendo? (Score 4, Informative) 266

Fact is, more than 6,000 kids died in the eight years before lawn darts were banned.

Numbers like those would have raised much greater societal outrage, not to mention media coverage. Googling for the real numbers shows that 6100 people of all ages went to the hospital due to lawn dart injuries during those eight years. About three-quarters of those people were kids, and of those there were 3 deaths. That's still a huge concern, but nowhere near thousands of deaths.

Comment Re:Google shopping doesn't seem to show amazon (Score 1) 141

Within the last 5 years, Google Shopping changed the requirements to be listed. Number one requirement: Pay to be listed.

There's a reason that even Google search often points to the Amazon listing near the top of search results. The reviews on Amazon are better than anywhere else, if due to nothing besides sheer volume. It's hard to achieve quality reviews without quantity reviews, which is why Yelp is still relevant.

How important is Amazon as an aggregator of reviews? Many Amazon reviews specifically state that they bought the product elsewhere but still chose to post their review on Amazon. Why? Because that's where the eyeballs are going to be.

Meanwhile, Google Shopping continues to degrade in the usefulness of its listings. I rarely find the best prices there anymore. So I just don't even bother looking there in the first place.

Comment Re:Good ole boy system (Score 4, Interesting) 469

Seems like it was less intentional racism, and more exposing the systemic racism of the good ole boy system.

In all companies I've worked at, there has always been a strong statistical correlation between the race of the hiring manager and the race of team members. This has been true for Chinese, Indian, and white managers. For my managers, I have felt that the bias has not been intentional but rather subconscious. Nonetheless, it is usually obvious.

For my first job, my Indian manager had a team that was one-third Indian and one-third Chinese. After about three years, all the Chinese had left, while all of the Indians had stayed. When I pointed this out to my manager, he showed obvious embarrassment about the implication of racial factors in the makeup of his team. I liked my manager, and I don't consider him to be racist. However, race is always factor, at least in a subconscious way.

Comment Re:Van Allen radiation belts (Score 5, Interesting) 145

Because working with geosynchronous satellites I learned that it mostly affects them, and satellites in LEO aren't affected very much, and the ground has quite a bit of atmosphere for additional shielding.

While satellites and space vehicles may be hit with a lot more sub-atomic particles, some particles do reach the earth's surface, e.g., muons, which results in about 13 to 14 neutrons/cm^2/hr with sufficient energy to flip a bit on a chip (depending on latitude, longitude, altitude, etc.) All chip companies that care to be concerned about it know the estimates for errors/Mbit for their process technology. Some extra effort is needed to estimate the amount of error masking due to the micro-architecture and software. Many/most companies design in sufficient error detection or correction to bound the expected chip error rate to an acceptable level. However, that acceptable error rate depends on the customer. For supercomputing, nuclear control systems, and self-driving cars, the acceptable error rate is quite small, but for networking ASICs, the chip error rate may be allowed to be higher with software and network protocols providing additional error mitigation.

Comment Re:I hope Reddit is happy. That dude is probably d (Score 1) 137

Actually, it is more likely a combination of both, but not in the way you think. I can think of a number of effects at play

I think there is a key distinction between moral blame and possible choices.

The moral blame is 100% on the leadership. Yes, the oppressed could do something about it. They could muster exceptional courage in the face of tremendous psychological pressure. But that possibility, regardless of its probability of success, doesn't at all detract from the total blame that must be laid at the feet of the oppressors.

Yes, the battered wife could have done something, but she has none of the blame.

Comment Re:I hope Reddit is happy. That dude is probably d (Score 1) 137

I dare say that the blame for North Korea's situation also lies with its people. I know that the people are brainwashed, poor, coerced. The Western media likes to characterize the DPRK as a tyrannical government enslaving its hapless citizens, because doing so conveniently focuses the blame on the regime. But that same regime does not operate in a vacuum, as isolated as it is from the rest of the world.

Yes, the North Korean people are to at least partially to blame, just like battered wives bear some blame for their situation. That the West characterizes the North Korea government in an almost cartoonish light is due entirely to the unbelievable disconnect of its leadership from any norms of social interaction.

You are wrong, and the blame lies entirely with the leadership.

Comment Re:It was likely on the table. (Score 1) 618

You can trust HCL (which is actually located in Sunnyvale, not India) with that, because they have deep pockets to sue, if they ever screw up. You can't really trust students to the same degree.

Isn't it the exact opposite? The outsourcing company sells its services entirely on low cost and not on quality or trustworthiness, so a hit on reputation is insignificant. In contrast, the student is working for a degree, so the university has extreme leverage in being able to add negative annotations to the student's transcript or even expel the student. Also, the outsourcing company has multiple contracts, so it probably factors a nonzero probability of a soured contract into its cost of operations, while for the student, the impact of a single incident with the university is huge.

Comment Re:Still waiting (Score 1) 88

This isn't an Apple problem, though - it's because the underlying technology is just not there yet.

It's ironic that the company that is touted for its patience in waiting for technology to catch up to compelling use cases for the iPhone is not willing to give the Apple Watch the same consideration. Is this a sign of desperation to find the next big thing by leveraging marketing prowess and brand appeal even in the face of lackluster use cases.

Comment Re:Wealth correlation (Score 1) 100

Another likely explanation is the parents' income level.

Gee, why didn't the researchers think of that? Oh wait, they did:


Turning to household-level characteristics, students from wealthier households were found to
score lower in math, reading, and science, controlling for other factors.

But that's only one way to analyze the wealth factor. For example, simply discounting the poor students skews the aggregate statistics of the total vs. minus-poor populations. What would be much more interesting would be to directly compare the performance among poor, middle-class, and wealthy populations. If this study were done in the US, the poor students would be playing games at the libraries and might not be counted, for example. Not including that population skews the results.

If there were a positive correlation between playing games and performance for poor students, that would be shocking.

Comment Re:How is this measured? (Score 1) 108

They say this is "broadband" speeds, but broadband was redefined last year to require 25Mbps downloads.

So, someone could be sneaky and say 'oh, those 10 Mbps connections aren't broadband anymore', and you just drop out the lowest numbers, and miraculously the average goes up.

Schools were using this trick by keeping the poorly performing students from taking standardized testing to raise their test averages.

Actually, the Speedtest report directly says this is exactly what they are doing. The reported numbers only consider the top 10% of speeds for a given ISP for a given location. So, the number is definitely not an average, even given that the samples are not random, e.g., people with better connections might be more likely to try the Speedtest test.

So, the absolute speed number is not directly useful as a representation of the average or distribution of connection speeds. It may yield some insight after munging it a lot. And the relative different compared to past history may be useful, but that assumes that the same population is being sampled, which is not obvious.

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