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Comment SYCOS Act (Score 2) 139 139

These idiots always like coming up with pithy and (in their opinion) appropriate names for their laws, so here's a suggestion for this one: The Send Your Customers Over Seas Act, or SYCOS Act for short. Why? Because this will drive anyone interested in privacy to overseas email providers like Startmail, a company who intentionally set themselves up outside U.S. jurisdiction for reasons exactly like this.

Comment Funniest story heard all day (Score 1) 423 423

Yeah, because a piece of paper pinched out by the government is going to stop people from sharing information.

3D-printed gun blueprints are on the Pirate Bay (for example). They're hosted on overseas websites. When the first story about the government forcing the author to take down the DefDist package came out, I made copies and posted them to six different domains I own (for example). If this regulation passes, I, and I'm sure plenty of other people, will step up their efforts to spread such files wider and wider.

Comment Re:Kids don't understand sparse arrays (Score 1) 128 128

It all depends on what you want to do with your matrices. Various operations have various costs in different sparse matrix formats. The standard ones are COO or coordinate format: a list of triples (i, j, val); DOK or dictionary of keys format: the hashmap you are thinking of; LIL or list of lists format: a list for each row and a list if pairs (j, val) in each list entry; CSR/CSC or compact sparse row/column: an array of indices where each row starts, an array of column indices and an array of values.

COO and DOK are great for changing sparsity structure; LIL is very useful if you have a lot of row-wise (or column-wise) operations, or need to manipulate rows regularly. CSR is great for matrix operations such as multiplication, addition etc. You use what suits your usecase, or change between formats (relatively cheap) as needed.

Comment Re:a low-IQ child's IQ can be raised in some cases (Score 2) 185 185

I've had sat psychologist administered IQ tests a year apart and had my score differ by 10 points. I've been told that, in fact, this is perfectly normal and well within the accuracy expected of IQ tests by psychologists who take them seriously. I wouldn't worry about IQ scores changing (they may well do that, but it is equally likely measurement error). IQ is a very imperfect measure to begin with. Our ability to measure it, even under the best of conditions, is extremely poor. Take most IQ studies with a grain of salt.

Comment Confidence in their government (Score 4, Insightful) 111 111

So, we'll keep locking people in rape cages for growing plants, pulling guns on unarmed teens and going through security theater in air ports with a 90% detection failure rate....But finally I can do https://whitehouse.gov/ to vote on a bogus petition with no effect. My confidence is restored thusly.

Comment Re:The Road Warrior (Score 1) 776 776

...not a sequel, but a cash-in remake.
It's not a Mad Max movie. The main character isn't Max, the atmosphere isn't Mad Max's, it just happened to have spiked cars chasing plated cars in the wastland.

Indeed. What they should have done was get the writer/director of the original film, who I gather had been trying to get a sequel made for over a decade, to come and write and direct the new one. Clearly whoever they got to write this didn't really understand Max's character at all.</sarcasm>

Comment Root causes, poverty, smaller brains, etc (Score 3, Interesting) 324 324

While there are almost certainly multiple factors at play (nutrition, environment, etc) it would be nice if we could all stop pretending to not understand one of the root causes of negative impacts on brain development - specifically spanking.

There are no studies that show spanking has any long term positive outcomes. There are plenty of studies that show negative correlation with long term negative outcomes. Just as is the case with this study, it is fair to call into question correlation and causation but if there were some food additive, fertilizer or herbicide that had even 1/10 of the correlative impact on children, the public would be freaking out and protesting around some multinational business but when it is parents damaging their own children we get relative silence.

Studies have shown that poor parents are more likely to spank their children. Studies have shown a correlation in spanking with smaller brain sizes, lower IQs, lack of self control. Studies have shown a high correlation between lack of self control and poverty. Again we don't have great data on cause v.s. effect but there are good indications that the early violence is causative in this chain.

Comment Re:Check their work or check the summary? (Score 2) 486 486

And this is why we should not teach CS101 in Java or Python. If they'd been forced to use C this whole experiment would have turned out differently.

Not at all. If you wrote your C in memory string handling as stupidly as they wrote the Python and Java you will still get worse performance in C (e.g. each iteration malloc a new string and then strcpy and strcat into it, and free the old string; compared to buffered file writes you'll lose). It's about failing to understand how to write efficient code, not about which language you chose.

Comment Re:disclosure (Score 2) 448 448

I'm guessing the reason he doesn't take money from the fossil fuel industry is because he just can't be bothered with such trifling sums. The average salary in the US is more like $350k or $400k, IIRC. 120k is for total losers.

I can only presume your talking about research grants combined with salary, despite saying "The average salary" because otherwise you are simply flat wrong. The average salary for (full) professors in the US is $98,974.

Many people write memos to tell you they have nothing to say.

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