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Comment: Re:Sensationalist summary (Score 1) 435

by Chalnoth (#47263859) Attached to: Yahoo's Diversity Record Is Almost As Bad As Google's

Never mind that there is a pervasive cultural tendency to disregard a woman's accomplishments and focus solely on her looks.

And no, this has nothing whatsoever to do with "political correctness". This is simply being fair. You didn't have to mention appearance, or age. You could have just said, "There's quite a lot of women employed by the IT company I work for." But no, you had to slip in that extra dig about their appearance, and you then have the gall to claim that it isn't demeaning to those women to derail any discussion of their accomplishments for an attempted discussion about their looks instead.

Comment: Bad Statistics (Score 1) 377

by Chalnoth (#47254599) Attached to: Are US Hybrid Sales Peaking Already?

This article is just an exercise in crappy statistical thinking. The source of the claim is linked in the article here. A cursory glance at the graph demonstrates that aside from two weird years (2009 and 2014), hybrid sales have indeed been keeping pace with the number of hybrid models. When the entire premise of your conclusion depends completely upon the endpoints of your graph, your conclusion is probably crap.

My interpretation of the graph essentially boils down to, "No reason to believe that hybrids have 'peaked' just yet. We'll know more in a couple of years. But there's absolutely no reason to panic right now."

Comment: Re:How is that stranger? (Score 1) 136

by Chalnoth (#47232369) Attached to: The Profoundly Weird, Gender-Specific Roots of the Turing Test
Nope. Almost all of the difference between men's brains and women's brains appears to be culturally-produced, and has little to nothing to do with, "optimal reproductive strategies." I'm pretty sure that no purported difference in brain structure or behavior between men and women has held up under scrutiny. I'm sure there are some differences that are not dependent upon culture (else we wouldn't have transgender people and everybody would be bisexual), but those differences are so small as to be unmeasurable in practice (so far).

Comment: Re:How is this a good idea? (Score 2) 249

by Chalnoth (#47217241) Attached to: New Permission System Could Make Android Much Less Secure

The problem with moving in that direction is that this moves Android in the direction of TOS agreements: nobody bothers to read TOS because they're too long and take too much time to read.

Sure, it's true that grouping permissions reduces how fine-grained the information is, but it also lowers the cognitive burden, making it more likely that people will actually pay attention to the permissions that an app has. Users should naturally assume that an app that has SMS permissions may, at some point, send SMS messages, and should therefore be wary about installing such apps.

Comment: Re:Redbox Instant (Score 4, Insightful) 364

by Chalnoth (#47195531) Attached to: Netflix Trash-Talks Verizon's Network; Verizon Threatens To Sue

They don't actually need to throttle anything. They just have to fail to build the infrastructure required to support the bandwidth needs of their customers from a Netflix source. Basically, as video streaming has increased, it's created bottlenecks in existing internet infrastructure. If they don't keep up with the new bandwidth demands, they can't deliver the content.

Video streaming providers like YouTube and Netflix have been colocating cache servers at ISP's for a while now. These cache servers are actually cheaper for everybody: they're cheaper for the ISP because they don't need to build out as much new upstream bandwidth to keep their service going. They're cheaper for the content provider because the content provider doesn't get as many hits on its datacenters. And everybody else in between has a less-congested network.

So really it's a matter of ISP's like Verizon and Comcast refusing to allow Netflix/YouTube to build cache servers at the ISP's sites, despite the clear benefits to everybody.

Comment: Re:Behind the curve (Score 1) 1040

by Chalnoth (#47155743) Attached to: Seattle Approves $15 Per Hour Minimum Wage

Indexing to inflation really isn't enough, sadly. This is more or less what has happened to the minimum wage since 1968, when the minimum wage was about $10 in real dollars (the minimum wage has dropped somewhat in real dollars when Republicans have had enough power to block minimum wage increases, but has mostly tracked inflation).

What is really needed is to have the minimum wage track productivity. This is what the minimum wage did from the time it was first implemented until 1968. Back then, a person could actually support a family with a high school education. If the minimum wage had tracked productivity since then, it would today be around $20/hr.

I really hope that this increase in the minimum wage in Seattle is just a start. It's a good thing, for sure, but I hope that complacency doesn't settle in over the next few years. It needs to be increased further.

Comment: Re:what's wrong with public transportation? (Score 1) 190

Google actually does support public transportation. They're paying some $6.8 million to fund a San Francisco public transit program, for example.

Honestly, the big problem with public transportation isn't companies like Google. It's racism and classism. Here's a good article describing how racism has crippled Atlanta's public transportation and exacerbated the effects of this winter's snow storm, for example.

Comment: Re:icewm (Score 3, Funny) 611

by Chalnoth (#47111905) Attached to: Which desktop environment do you like the best?

Intel has probably spent an order of magnitude more engineering time in optimizing its Windows display drivers specifically for smooth motion under Aero.

Also, I wouldn't at all be surprised if Windows Aero is (slightly) inherently more efficient, for the simple reason that they developed DirectX 10 to do Aero well, while in Linux the developers of the various desktop effects options had to make use of software developed by other people, and hope that the Khronos Group would advance OpenGL in such a way that desktop effects become more efficient.

Linux is also inherently more difficult to optimize for because it is far more diverse. This isn't a problem for more powerful CPUs and graphics cards, but those with less powerful devices are going to feel some pain.

Comment: Re:yeah whatever (Score 1) 225

by Chalnoth (#47109649) Attached to: Google Starts Blocking Extensions Not In the Chrome Web Store
This doesn't make any sense. If they completely disable this functionality, how will anybody ever develop a new extension? Some sort of developer mode which allows users to disable this blocking will be absolutely necessary. So I don't think this will impact power users very much, but it will make more casual users safer.

Comment: Also impossible (Score 2) 99

by Chalnoth (#46623269) Attached to: Contact Lenses With Infrared Vision?

The article describes a technique for sensing infrared light, turning it into an electric current. It's not possible to do that and display an image on a contact lens that we could actually focus on (you can't focus on something that's right on your eye).

The only way to make a contact lens that would allow somebody to see infrared light would be to have a lens made out of a material such that when it receives an infrared photon, it absorbs that photon and emits a visible-light photon traveling in the same direction. That's very much not going to be possible with a technology built for sensing in this manner. The use of this tech would basically be lighter-weight infrared goggles and other sensors.

The reason that every major university maintains a department of mathematics is that it's cheaper than institutionalizing all those people.

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