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Comment: That's what they said (Score 1) 292 292

So they are saying that this sub-group's purchases of new products is indeed predictive of failure.

Yes, that's what they said.

However another explanation of the data is that many products fail early, and thus many of the people who buy products early in the release cycle ("early adopters") will buy many products that will fail. Is the set of "early adopters who adopted products that then failed in the market place" a set that can predict future failure in the marketplace? Well, they didn't show that.

It's easy to predict the past.

Comment: picking 67% flops puts you in the 75th percentile (Score 1) 292 292

# of flops chosen (position in set)

Group 1: Between 0% and 25% flops (25th percentile) in the classification set

Group 2: Between 25% and 50% flops (50th percentile) in the classification set

Group 3: Between 50% and 67% flops (75th percentile) in the classification set

Group 4: Over 67% flops in the classification set

Those particular numbers (one in four, two in four, two in three, >2/3) are indicative: the study set consists of people who made only three or four choices. (If it were larger numbers, the cut points wouldn't be such even numbers)

This is not significant.

And, more significantly, that's way too few to tell if membership in a set is predictive.

Comment: Harbingers? or just early adopters? (Score 5, Insightful) 292 292

Certainly some early adopters pick products that don't take off, and mathematically some of these will have done it multiple times.
But the article claims that some people are actually predictors-- that their product choices have predictive value for product failure.
Is this actually true? It's easy to select out a set of people who have bought failed products, and then cull out of that set the ones who have not also sometimes bought successful products. But is this group statistically able to make future predictions?
I'm doubtful. Clearly, the way to not select products that don't grab a market niche... is to not be an early adopter. Lots of products fail; if you're an early adoptor, you're likely to be adopting failed products. If you instead wait to see where a product is going before buying-- you never buy products that fail a month after launch.
FWIW, the original article is here:

Comment: Filming bans (Score 1) 72 72

Increasing numbers of places - sports stadia, school plays and the like - ban video recording of the action. Sometimes the excuse is "don't you dare think of the children". Other times the more honest line is "we are filming it ourselves and you can buy the video for $ XXX." But in either case, finding a video of the event on YouTube is likely to result in a phone call to the land sharks.

Comment: Re:Cue the alien influence ... (Score 1) 233 233

Next season the "History Channel" will be running shows discussing possible extraterrestrial influences on Herbert's writings. :-)

If they're showing it next year, then it has been in production for about 6 months already, and they've probably finished main filming already. I wonder if they had the gonads to film at Armageddon (modern Meggido). Or more likely an important question - whether they had the budget for it.

Comment: Drilling Rig (Score 1) 375 375

After 21 days on the job (24x7 cover, typically 20 hour working day) I had to identify one saple of dark grey claystone from one of two possible other types of dark grey claystone. I decided one way, then went to pack my bags to crew-change with my relief.

The implications of deciding one way not the other were a million dollars worth of ironmongery (9.925in OD liner pipe) being run and cemented into the hole. That operation occupied a rig crew of 90-odd people for 8 days while I was on leave. When we drilled ahead, it became clear that I had been wrong. Total unnecessary cost was about 2 million dollars.

These days, I don't lose sleep for less than ten million. The fact that I still do work for the client suggests that they figure it's better to have me around than not.

A couple of years ago I got some grief for pointing out a problem on day 10 of a job, which people upstairs from me decided wasn't likely to be a problem. So they shelved the problem, told me in writing to shut up, and continued with the well. 3 months of work later, we'd made a beautifully-tuned geo-steered well ... and had to wait on weather for a major storm. And when we came back on location, the problem I'd been making a fuss about had come back to haunt us and forty million dollars worth of ironmongery and effort was junk. Several embarrassed faces upstairs, but all my fellow contractors knew who had said "We need to deal with this problem, now." when we were five million into the project. Who needs advertising?

Comment: Re: Good for greece (Score 1) 1259 1259

Slovenia was not the center of a province called "Rome" for hundreds of years. Northern Mexico was not part of a province called "America" for hundreds of years. The appropriate analogy would be if the US later collapsed, and the southewestern border states were overrun by Mexicans (and then later other peoples), and then much later said people insisted on being called Americans, even though they had interbred with their conquerors.

Note that the people in Greek Macedonia are no more "direct descendants" of the ancient Macedonians than the people of modern Macedonia. Probably less, due to the huge refugee influx that was settled there.

Comment: Re: Good for greece (Score 1) 1259 1259

As described here:

Due to the fragmentary attestation of this language or dialect, various interpretations are possible.[8] Suggested phylogenetic classifications of Macedonian include:[9]

An Indo-European language that is a close cousin to Greek and also related to Thracian and Phrygian languages, suggested by A. Meillet (1913) and I. I. Russu (1938),[10] or part of a Sprachbund encompassing Thracian, Illyrian and Greek (Kretschmer 1896, E. Schwyzer 1959).
An Illyrian dialect mixed with Greek, suggested by K. O. Müller (1825) and by G. Bonfante (1987).
A Greek dialect, part of the North-Western (Locrian, Aetolian, Phocidian, Epirote) variants of Doric Greek, suggested amongst others by N.G.L. Hammond (1989) Olivier Masson (1996), Michael Meier-Brügger (2003) and Johannes Engels (2010).[11][12][13][14]
A northern Greek dialect, related to Aeolic Greek and Thessalian, suggested among others by A.Fick (1874) and O.Hoffmann (1906).[11][15]
A Greek dialect with a non-Indo-European substratal influence, suggested by M. Sakellariou (1983).
A sibling language of Greek within Indo-European, Macedonian and Greek forming two subbranches of a Greco-Macedonian subgroup within Indo-European (sometimes called "Hellenic"),[8] suggested by Joseph (2001), Georgiev (1966),[16] Hamp & Adams (2013),[17]

There's no question that ancient Macedonian was related to Greek (most likely to a northern dialect such as Aetolian) - the question is how and to what degree vs. that of the Illyrians and Thracians. As mentioned, by the 3rd century BC it had become nearly fully absorbed, but not without first contributing words and grammar of its own. An example of the Greek view toward the Macedonians was that Macedonians were initially banned from competing in the Olympic Games (which was only for Greek Men); the first Macedonian to be allowed to compete was Alexander 1, who was made to first prove that he was of sufficient Greek ancestry (note: if that incident ever even happened - there's some suggestion that Alexander's competition in the Olympics may have been a later addition to try to prove their Greek credentials). But even if we take the story at face value, the fact that they demanded proof that he was sufficiently Greek (something not asked of any other competitors) should be a more than sufficient indicator of their views of Macedonians at the time.

Comment: Re:have I missed something? (Score 1) 77 77

someone want to tell me how launching from NZ, apart from political issues, is in any way advantageous over launching from the US?

If you're a non-US company (shockingly, there are such people!) then that may be a sufficient reason already. Before you even get into politics.

I see elsewhere that Rocket Labs have "recently become a US company, for VC reasons" (paraphrasing). Shrug. That'll make them harder to deal with for some customers. Say - an Indian telecomms company wanting to put up a series of satellites. Dealing with your (relatively near) neighbours instead of people on the other side of the world could be a very good start for a commodity like launch facilities, even if you're only using it as a bargaining chip to argue down the price with your in-country launch facilities.

Comment: Re:Who the fuck is Turing (Score 1) 92 92

Anyways, a couple of paragraphs from wikipedia:

More interesting to me from the same article (probably), is the compositions listed : zirconium, beryllium, titanium, copper, nickel, and more recently aluminium and niobium. From a health-effects and recyclability point of view, I'd watch out for the nickel and beryllium in particular. I don't have a nickel sensitivity myself, I think, but I've had enough contact with people who do have a bad response to anticipate problems, for a moderate proportion of users.

Which isn't a show-stopper, but it's an issues some people might need to be careful of.

Protect the screen of my smart phone? Isn't that why I put it in a fibre-board and PVC phone case? Oh yes, so it is. And does that protect my phone when it falls out of my pocket while I'm cycling down the road at 25kmph? So far, yes. And it cost a whole 2 Beers (in internationally translatable costs).

Interesting product. No sale though.

The computing field is always in need of new cliches. -- Alan Perlis