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Comment: Re:sensationalism? (Score 1) 196

by CanarDuck (#45052377) Attached to: Google Wants Patent On Splitting Restaurant Bills

You can solve this using Excel, but a dedicated app to to track the scenario mentioned in the original piece could be very useful to some.

As a matter of fact, it already exists: http://www.kittysplit.com/ This is a free webapp developed by some people I know. Also, probably prior art or something.

Comment: Strategic analytic thinking for 4rth graders? (Score 1) 488

by CanarDuck (#40376919) Attached to: U.S. Students Struggle With Reasoning Skills

So only 1/3 of fourth graders were able to find the experimental setup to find the best fertilizer level out of nine, when you are only allowed to try six out of them.

The correct strategy consists in going in two steps, first trying out interspaced levels e.g. 2-4-6-8 then "refining" with the two remaining tries around the approximate minimum. This necessitates to model implicitly/intuitively the plant growth as a unimodal (increasing, then decreasing) function of the fertilizer level, thinking ahead with the limited tries constraint, and mentally planning different outcomes of the two steps.

I'd go contrary to the flow and say that 33% of 4rth graders solving an assignment of this difficulty is pretty darn awesome.

Comment: Re:Happened to Me (Score 1) 107

by CanarDuck (#38925367) Attached to: Researchers Feel Pressure To Cite Superfluous Papers

There is a difference between randomly sprinkling a paper with references in a superficial effort to make it look "serious" and conform to the usual academic mold; and actively researching, citing and discussing earlier relevant references in comparison to your own work in a balanced way. The latter is how good quality academic writing should be done. The former tends to give rise to papers with pointless laundry lists of citations. I hope your friends were suggesting the latter way. Even if they were not able to point to specific references because they are not specialists of the issue you are addressing, they probably know by experience that it is quite unusual that no previous relevant references exist on a given academic issue. The fact is, nothing annoys a reviewer or an editor more than someone reinventing the wheel and giving the impression of ignoring previous work out of intellectual laziness.

Where there is a clear problem is when an editor or reviewers imposes an obviously irrelevant citation for self-serving reasons.

Comment: Comments of the Nexicon CTO (Score 1) 153

by CanarDuck (#30511190) Attached to: DMCA Takedown Scandal, Part Two

I found the most fascinating part of TFA to be a link to a post by the Nexicon CTO himself in the comments of the initial article. It's 500 words of frantic, badly spelled gibberish whithout a single grammatically correct sentence and devoid of any substantial argument. You can literally see the poor man going litteraly nuts with rage while the sky is falling on his head.

Try it, it'll do you good. Seriously, I had not experienced such a powerful rush of pure, unaltered, sweet schadenfreude on the internets for a long time.

Privacy

+ - Pirate Party Germany at 2% on German Federal Elect->

Submitted by
krischik
krischik writes "The German Pirate Party received 2% of the votes on last Sundays federal elections in Germany. While this is not enough the pass the 5% / 3 direct seats minimum requirement to enter parliament it is still more then the 1.5% Green Party received on there first run in 1980. At it's time the Green Party needed three runs to enter parliament. The Pirate Party is now the strongest of the minor parties.

For those who wonder: Seats in the German Parliament are half assigned by direct votes and half assigned by proportional representation. To qualify any seats from the proportional pool you need 3 seats from direct candidates or 5% of proportional votes."

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Comment: Re:That may or may not be true (Score 1) 300

by CanarDuck (#22986090) Attached to: Scientists Discover Gene For Ruthlessness

So yeah, there will eventually be a way to make sure every baby is smart, or at least a way to prevent babies from being autistic or having down syndrome, and eventually we'll figure out how to make the baby smarter.
You do know that Down syndrome is exclusively due to the presence of an extra chromosome 21, right?
Science

US Opposes G8 Climate Proposals 845

Posted by Zonk
from the gotta-love-smog-as-an-export-commodity dept.
elrond writes "The US appears to have summarily rejected draft proposals for G8 members that would have agreed to tougher measures for controlling greenhouse gas emissions. The BBC reports that leaked documents have indicated the positions of the various world powers, from the timetable-setting of Germany to the US's intractable stance. Red ink comments on the documents hint at the US's irritation: 'The US still has serious, fundamental concerns about this draft statement. The treatment of climate change runs counter to our overall position and crosses 'multiple red lines' in terms of what we simply cannot agree to ... We have tried to tread lightly but there is only so far we can go given our fundamental opposition to the German position.'"
Privacy

+ - Blair pushes new UK anti-terror law before leaving

Submitted by CanarDuck
CanarDuck (717824) writes "Tony Blair wrote a column published in the Sunday Times in which he announces new anti-terror laws reinforcing the powers of the police. This comes mere weeks before Blair will step down from his position as UK prime minister. From the piece: "[The current legislation is] much weaker than we wanted, perpetually diluted by opposition amendments, constantly attacked on civil liberty grounds.[...] We have chosen as a society to put the civil liberties of the suspect, even if a foreign national, first. I happen to believe this is misguided and wrong." "
Desktops (Apple)

+ - Hackers Turn $300 Apple TV into Cheapest Max

Submitted by
Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward writes "Apple TV is dead, long live the Mac Nano. Sort of.

Just two weeks after Apple released its streaming media box to the public, hackers successfully installed OS X, Apple's desktop operating system, on the $300 device, making it the cheapest PC Cupertino has ever sold.

"The breakthrough is done, OS X runs on Apple TV!" wrote "Semthex," the anonymous hacker responsible for the mod, at his website. "Now we got (the) low-budget Mac we ever wanted."

http://www.wired.com/gadgets/mac/news/2007/04/appl etvhacks_0406"

Legally blind Texans may use lasers to pick out prey->

From feed by engfeed

Filed under: Misc. Gadgets

Completely bypassing the stunning fact that (legally) blind Texans are actually allowed to wield a weapon and fire at will during regular hunting seasons, a new piece of legislation could allow these folks to see what they're aiming at a wee bit better, which is thrilling news if you're being mistaken for game. Rep. Edmund Kuempel has initiated a bill that would enable legally blind hunters that have a valid Texas hunting license to strap a sweet laser scope on their weaponry in order to pinpoint exactly where the bullet is headed before pulling the trigger. The bill would require the hunter to be accompanied by a (not legally blind) licensed hunter of 13 years or older, and is being pushed as a "reasonable accommodation" for those with disabilities. Hey, we know Texas is good for helping out the less fortunate, but we'd seriously think twice before wandering out into the wilderness for a weekend retreat in the Lonestar state.

[Via Fark]

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