Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Failure should be celebrated (Score 1) 351

by Ambassador Kosh (#49776703) Attached to: Can Bad Scientific Practice Be Fixed?

Journals should be highly interested in posting failures. We can all learn about an approach that did not work. Failure tends to be replicated a lot and it is wasting a lot of time and money.

Knowing that an approach does not work would save a lot of time. It would also help to know if a certain experimental setup did not work and that a different setup should be tried.

Comment: Re:It has always been that way (Score 1) 351

by Ambassador Kosh (#49776677) Attached to: Can Bad Scientific Practice Be Fixed?

I think the problem with this is our society.

For some reason we tend to only think that positive results matter. Negative results are just as valuable. If you do a really well done 10 year study and find no connection then we learn a lot.

In many aspects of our society winning is all that matters and that has spilled over into our science funding.

If we started to truly value negative results we would progress much faster scientifically and we would also have much better science quality. The current system favors making very safe bets that are basically impossible to be wrong on and then have others make another tiny step from that one.

Comment: Re:Surprised those edits weren't reverted (Score 4, Informative) 109

I think there's a sense of defeat amongst most Wikipedia editors right now, that if they revert the removal of sourced, no-BLP-problems, negative information from Wikipedia, they're going to end up in a fight that leaves them banned for "edit warring" or "incivility" by admins and arbs more keen on the appearance of dealing with conflict than on resolving real issues with off-site organizing of vandalism and harassment.

I wouldn't recommend anyone get involved in that hole for a while, and as such I reluctantly discourage anyone from reading Wikipedia for anything but the least controversial articles - unless they're also willing to put the work in and examine page histories, checking references, etc.

Comment: Re:Ho hum (Score 1) 235

Actually the legal difference between hard core and soft core, is that the latter is simulated, the former is technically "real". That is, for example, showing an actual erection would count as hard core pornography.

But yeah, porn is inherently unrealistic: the pizza delivery guy never arrives that quickly after you place your order...

Comment: Re:Why do this in the first place? (Score 1) 88

Because of the three existing mobile platforms, two have gatekeepers with a veto on what can and cannot be installed. This makes it exceptionally difficult for Mozilla to make mobile browsers with any chance of success.

This is only not important if you think:

1. Mobile devices will never become the most common way of accessing the Internet
2. Android (the sole platform that allows the user and only the user to ultimately decide what's allowed to be installed on their device) will always have a huge market share, so big that iOS and Windows Phone/Mobile/whatever it's called today will always have a negligible marketshare.

I suspect (1) is already false. (2) is laughably false. So this is important for Mozilla.

Comment: Re:They're bums, why keep them around (Score 5, Interesting) 720

Even the USA would split apart without these kinds of transfer payments. Most of the states in the south receive more in federal money than they pay in taxes. Actually for most of the USA you can separate red vs blue states based on if they are net positive or net negative on tax paid vs federal dollars coming back. There are states upset about this but it does stabilize the country.

Comment: Re:OS/2 better then windows at running windows app (Score 1) 386

by drsmithy (#49759731) Attached to: 25 Years Today - Windows 3.0

My understanding is that NT had quite a bit of OS/2 in it.

It doesn't. They are completely different architecturally. NT was a 32-bit, multiuser, heavily multithreaded, built-for-SMP, portable, mostly-microkernel OS.

OS/2 was... Not.

Seeing that MS had rights to OS/2 and wanted a new OS in a hurry following the breakdown of their partnership with IBM, it would be suprising if they had not used parts of OS/2.

In a hurry ? It was five years between the start of NT's development ('88) and its first release ('93).

Comment: Re:Transparency (Score 3, Funny) 100

by epine (#49759203) Attached to: Researchers Devise Voting System That Seems Secure, But Is Hard To Use

If I wanted ritual in my life, I would have become a priest and pursued my career with extreme political ambition so I could vote for the freaking pope.

I guess you've never read an article in your life about mobilizing the voters who are too lazy (or metabolically downtrodden from their Cheetos and Coke diets) to physically show up at a polling station?

Paper is a physical token. Reliably obtaining exactly one unambiguous, untamperable physical token with confidentiality from each adult member of society—the vast majority of which are collected on the same day—hasn't exactly proven to be an easy problem, especially when broadened to include public trust—that every voter understands and believes the process to have all of these properties (to at least a substantial degree).

Electronic voting vastly reduces the complexity on the collection side, but then the tamperability problem looms supreme, but this could almost be solved with enough crypto cleverness, except that the public trust story then requires a tiny bit of numeracy beyond grade six math.

Ritual, however, is accessible to a four-year old.

The same four-year olds who are unfortunately not yet equipped with fully functioning batshit detectors.

I don't want to abolish ritual. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.

Comment: Re: OK, we've seen this before (Score 1) 377

by AvitarX (#49758959) Attached to: Student Photographer Threatened With Suspension For Sports Photos

It's actually why they codified it. They found it was a technique effectove teachers taught, and how people do it in their head.

I personally think it gets too much focus, it doesn't work for everyone, and different tricks work for different people, but I assume most people that struggle woth getting it are not "math people". I also don't think teaching math people techniques to everyone is necessarily going to work.

Comment: Re:Memorable (Score 1) 386

by drsmithy (#49758479) Attached to: 25 Years Today - Windows 3.0

Seriously, the 8088/80286 and their addressing space limitations set back the DOS-based world by years, until Intel finally accepted that people wanted to use individual chunks of memory larger than 64K, and that they wanted to run their old real-mode DOS programs, too.

Intel wasn't the problem. The 386 was released in 1985.

There are three kinds of people: men, women, and unix.