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Comment: Prediction fail (Score 2) 275

The prediction fail with that watch is the idea that you need any form of input. These days, phones, tablets, and smartwatches are purely consumption devices, designed to pump content into your brain, force you to watch ads, and take money from your pocket. At least, that's what the big corporations want. How many futurists saw that coming?

Comment: Is this a "Free Speech" issue? (Score 1) 325

by Bazman (#46732343) Attached to: Can You Buy a License To Speed In California?

Is Free Speech so important to the USA that you can't relinquish it to a 12"x4" piece of metal on your cars?

US plates have always amused me. In the UK car number plates are highly regulated. They have to use a particular typeface, be a specific size, have a yellow background for the rear plate, white on the front, made from certain reflective materials etc. You can't even adjust the letter spacing to make words. If your car is "M35 EXY" you can't change it to "M3 5EXY". There is a market for custom codes but most of these are historic plates that have been transferred from old vehicles and are
more likely to be interesting than codes in the current scheme (I saw a Rolls Royce with plate "BR 2" - my initials - recently).

You've get several hundred square feet to plaster the rest of your car body with messages, so why so precious about your plates?

Comment: Re:Another piece of failing equipment (Score 1) 518

by Bazman (#46629997) Attached to: Department of Transportation Makes Rear View Cameras Mandatory

$23 for a side view mirror? Bargain! Some of these things are integrated into the door panels, with controls into the interior and embedded turn signal lights, and cost hundreds to replace. Plus installation.

Meanwhile I smash my side mirrors with impunity, since Land Rover door mirrors are £8 each and fix on with a wrench and a screwdriver.

Comment: Re:That's capitalism. (Score 1) 710

by Bazman (#46516567) Attached to: Prominent GitHub Engineer Julie Ann Horvath Quits Citing Harrassment

Wow the union situation in the USA is so screwed up compared to us lefty commies in the UK. Can you seriously stop your workers getting together and discussing their wages and conditions? Appointing a spokesperson to come and ask you for an extra two minutes toilet break every day? Would you just fire the lot of them and re-hire?

But crudely put, employment law is there to try and bring the dicks up to the level of the good guys, rather than bring the good guys down to the level of the dicks. So if you're not a dick, you shouldn't have to worry about it.

Comment: Re:That's capitalism. (Score 4, Insightful) 710

by Bazman (#46504141) Attached to: Prominent GitHub Engineer Julie Ann Horvath Quits Citing Harrassment

Which is why in civilised countries we have unions and employment law. If I have a grievance like she did with my employer, I go to my union, I don't resign. They understand employment law, contract law, case law, and I have a right to a union rep at meetings with management. Why resign? Does she have a legal case for suing the company? Because I know that's how you leftpondians prefer to do it.

Comment: Re:Well to start.... (Score 1) 52

by Bazman (#46490573) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Easiest To Use Multi-User Map Editing?

I think you just described the OpenGeo suite from Boundless except with less Java because enterprisey.

Another idea would be something based on Django with the GeoDjango functionality, a simple model for location with picture and whatever other attributes you want in your model, and job almost done. Buy some hosting and run it, or plug an Rpi into your home network and punch a line through your router.

Comment: Wrong measure (Score 1) 64

by Bazman (#46480635) Attached to: Google Flu Trends Gets It Wrong Three Years Running

The headline is that the prediction was overestimating three times in the past three years. So what?

Google's Flu Trend plots don't have uncertainties on them, so they'll never be exactly right. So they either have to be overestimates or underestimates. In any three years, you are going to get at least *two* under or over estimates. So post-hoc, saying "ZOMG! There's three overestimates in three years!! #EPICFAIL LOL!" isn't very meaningful.

Until Big Data People understand statistical uncertainty and are happy to put prediction confidence intervals on their data, this will keep happening. However, prediction confidence intervals are an admission of uncertainty, and uncertainty is weakness, right? And we won't have any of that in our corporate Big Data strategy document. Mr Statistician, you're fired, we're hiring some more Big Data Scientists.

Comment: Re:Half right (Score 1) 286

by Bazman (#46375979) Attached to: Scottish Independence Campaign Battles Over BBC Weather Forecast

Friend of mine was one of the 16,000 complaints. I think the gist of his argument was that if you read the weather wrong in London, you'll get wet walking between the bus stop and your house because you didn't take an umbrella. If you read the weather wrong in the Highlands of Scotland, you die.

Comment: Bunch of Nathan Barleys (Score 1) 158

by Bazman (#46205241) Attached to: Non-Coders As the Face of the Learn-to-Code Movements

Someone looked up all the people who were on the committee of this Year of Code thing. Only three of 23 had a geeky coding background. The others were a bunch of entrepreneurs and startup-biz types.

Tom Morris blog

How many of them even know what 'github' is? Just a bunch of Nathan Barley types who got lucky. Although it doesn't mean the organisation would be any better if Nathan's programmer sidekick Pingu was on the committee.

See also

Adrian Short blog.

and see also all the episodes of Nathan Barley on YouTube if you've not seen it before.


The test of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts. -- Aldo Leopold