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Comment Re:Eh? (Score 4, Informative) 189

4.3 sigma corresponds to a confidence level of 99,998292% (credit to Wolfram|alpha). This is about as certain as death and taxes if compared to “everyday” events, but maybe it's not enough for theoretical physicists (I'm not one).

Comment Re:Russell and Norvig (Score 1) 152

You do raise a very interesting point, which would be worth discussing far more than my limited attention span and the hostility to long form writing of this input box allow me to.
I do think that the interest of OP goes beyond the superficial coverage of these topics we often see in press and politics, and this is already made evident by the fact he came here to ask. Moreover, even a cursory read of the Russel-Norvig brings no risk of misrepresentation - that's exactly why I loved that book: clear language, and only good information. I do think that a full-fledged, graduate level AI or game theory of soft computing course would be much more beneficial, but if he cannot invest that kind of resource, we can probably agree that he's better off with a great book than with some random snippets on wikipedia.

Comment Re:Outrage (Score 1) 230

The traffic being unencrypted does not mean it was “broadcast” (as in: intended for everybody), and the fact that they had to use passive mode confirms it. Visible light and acoustic wave come out of my house all the time, but it's not great practice to acquire them for business purpose without asking me.

Comment Re:Outrage (Score 5, Insightful) 230

Actually it's not similar, it's way worse. Apple cached information about the user location on the user's terminal, for performance purposes (although it wasn't stored in the safest way possible). Google grabbed this info from the street, without asking permission, and used that information for business purpose (and not a very fair one, see the Skyhook vs. Google lawsuit). Plus, the notion that a company can collect data “accidentally” is laughable, especially considering the process in which it was acquired.

Do not underestimate the value of print statements for debugging.