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Comment Re:Very cool, dangerous, but necessary to learn mo (Score 1) 58

The FDA is concerned about coercion. We find this all the time -- someone wants to do something voluntarily. Someone else doesn't, but gets coerced into it through some sort of blackmail and forced to claim to be a volunteer. The only way anyone has found to block the coercion is to block the volunteers.

You see this all the time in work contracts for unions -- the union wants to stop business from demanding ridiculous overtime, so they negotiate limit X. They then include a clause that bans anyone from volunteering to do more than X because if anyone can volunteer to do it, then you can be coerced into doing it through various economic pressures -- as a manager, you'll promote/retain the one who volunteers more of his time, thus making it effectively a requirement of the job to volunteer in order to stay competitive, so you're right back where you started. The only solution is to ban volunteers.

Same with FDA.

Comment Re:I have no debt and a hefty savings account (Score 5, Insightful) 386

> On the other hand, they arn't forcing people to use their credit cards beyond their means.

If you look at a lot of the ads that they send us, those ads suggest strongly that they're making the offer because it *is* within your means. These people with advanced math degrees say you're a great person to get this credit... it's easy to start thinking they understand something about your finances that you've missed if you don't really grasp the terms "compound interest" and "APR" etc. I think the sales pitch often crosses the line into dishonesty. Not always, but frequently.

Comment Re:Call me a skeptic (Score 4, Insightful) 168

He didn't go on TV to "brag" about it until the Internet got ahold of the story. And I wouldn't call it bragging -- he seemed (to me when I saw the story) to think in his own twisted mind that this was a greatest good argument -- that him making lots of money off of other people's lives would somehow help his business help other people. Bragging would be if he thought he was getting away with evil. He seemed to think he wasn't. He's still evil, but not inside his own head.

The angel company is a new startup that is trying to break into the market, and this is cheap advertising for them, even though they're going to lose money on the pills at that rate. It's a brilliant move, and an example of why you can only push a monopoly position so far before someone will find a way to undercut you.

Long and short of it: I don't think there's any conspiracy here.

Comment Re:Pay The Consequences (Score 1) 37

Problem may be solved, but the legal question remains: did the person who abused your password do something illegal? If I leave my house unlocked, someone who comes in and steals stuff is still guilty of a crime. If I share my password, they *can* use my stuff, but there's still a legal bar that says they *should not*, and if they do, there may be criminal charges. This case is critical for determining what happens in various fraud and phishing scams. That's why in needs to go to court.

Comment Re: Sharing Netflix password (Score 1) 37

Just because you think you should be able to do that under the EULA does not mean you can do that under the EULA. One clause gives permission to three other people to use the account -- but only if you can fulfill the other clauses. Just because there's no technological way to do that doesn't mean you get to break the EULA, legally speaking.

Comment Re:Flipped Classrooms (Score 4, Informative) 307

I've got some feedback to point you toward, NotDrWho.
The style of classroom you describe is used extensively by the University of Oklahoma School of Computer Science after a bunch of research. Several years worth of studies essentially found that the lower performing students in those groups would later take individual exams and score roughly half a letter grade higher than those who didn't work in those group projects... follow up studies attributed this gain mostly to being forced to be in proximity to the already-successful students. The already-successful students ALSO BENEFIT from the system, showing a notable jump in their own individual exam scores, but, more importantly, showing a significant jump in their individual *retention* of information a year later, attributed to not only having to learn the material but attempting to teach the material. The situation is pretty much loathed by the already-successful students, but the data has been repeated year after year that it is better for nearly all the students in the environment, both the top performers and the bottom performers. Moreover, over several years of exposure, a peer pressure effect builds up, and you get more and more students actively participating in the later years.

If you want to learn more, the term you should Google is "Readiness Assurance Tests"... these are tests that students take twice, once as a group and once as individuals, and your score is the average of the group and the individual. You can also take a look at these links:

Comment Re:Activity or productivity (Score 1) 165

I heard someone propose that software engineers in an Agile environment could be measured by "number of user stories marked finished AND accepted by testers", on the assumption that the software engineers were not allowed to write the user stories in the first place. It's an approach that seems questionable to me, but it was the first proposal I'd heard that seemed tied to the results of the programming instead of to the activity of the programming (i.e. you would be rewarded for finishing a user story in less code and less time instead of more code/more time). The theory was that different size user stories would average out over time so that over the course of a year or so everyone on the team would work on some big stories and some small but the results at the end would be comparable.

Has anyone ever worked in an environment like that? If so, what's it like?

Comment Re:Christian Science Monitor (Score 1) 72

As a journalism major, one of my projects was to evaluate the quality of different news sources. CSM ranked in that project as a very high quality newspaper. The religion of their founder includes "tell the truth" among its foundational tenets, and over 100 years, they've allowed that to take priority over the rest of their philosophy, even in medical reporting, which is the area where Christian Science and actual science differ the most.

Comment Re:irrelevant (Score 1) 115

It is not factually relevant. It is, in fact, factually misleading. Talking about revenue percentage tells you nothing about how reasonable it is for a company to continue doing this kind of charity. If Intel had X revenue but lost money for the year such that they had negative profit, that highlights even more starkly just how irrelevant the revenue percent is. But by highlighting percent of revenue, the article summary make it sound like Intel is obviously doing this for reasons other than financial, whereas by stating it as a percent of profit, we can have a real debate about whether the financial incentives are sufficient motivation, without trying to pre-judge Intel with other motivations.

The two most common things in the Universe are hydrogen and stupidity. -- Harlan Ellison