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Comment: BooksKindleAudiobooks (Score 1) 72

by PopeRatzo (#47716245) Attached to: Do Readers Absorb Less On Kindles Than On Paper? Not Necessarily

(Note, I tried to make the subject line read, "Books>Kindle>Audiobooks", but for some reason, Slashdot removed the ">"s.)

I absorb least of all from audiobooks, only partly because I usually fall asleep in the first five minutes.

Ever since the Kindle app got rid of the little graphical representation of where you are in the book (like a timeline, at the bottom, where you saw whether you were 1/4 of the way through, halfway or close to the end), I've been a little uncomfortable with my ebooks.

Say what you will about those old paper-and-board book things, at least you knew exactly where you were, and could get some mental image of the progression of the narrative arc. So when you'd only got maybe 1/10th of the book read (based upon the fact that only a little bit of the book was on the left hand side) and you were reading a mystery, you could pretty much rest assured that there were some pretty big plot twists to come. Maybe that has something to do with any less absorption from ebooks (if there really is less, which I doubt this study proves).

Even so, I read mostly everything on a tablet, except sheet music. And when a really good sheet music e-book reader (and editor) comes out at less than $2000, I'm going to grab one. Musical manuscripts are just too small, even on a 10" tablet. I need to be able to see two pages of music at a time (at least).

Comment: Re:well.. (Score 1) 16

by PopeRatzo (#47716029) Attached to: A statement to ponder

The ad hominem was not yours, it was in the article you approvingly cited from The Federalist.

A hundred years ago, the first group of progressives concluded that this country needed to change in a big way. They argued explicitly for a refounding of the United States on the grounds that the only absolute in political life is that absolutes are material and economic rather than moral in nature.

The people from that "first group of progressives" that I cited were starting purely from moral grounds, and demanding that the United States live up to the morality professed by the very "federalists" from whom the group got its name.

Comment: Re:Surprise? (Score 1) 560

by im_thatoneguy (#47715793) Attached to: Munich Reverses Course, May Ditch Linux For Microsoft

Yeah, I just can't see the OS being too large of a financial drain. You can get a pro version of Windows for $90 bulk. So let's say you have 10,000 employees and you're spending $1m on licenses. You have to remember that you only upgrade OSes probably once every 4-5 years at best. So that's $200k per year. So for the price of Windows licensing you could only really hire one IT person to manage your Linux Distro. For $200k per year though you might be able to push some municipal management software far enough to get a few other cities contributing. As it improves then you would have more and more people working.

The problem with this theory of even just biting off chunks is that now you're a software company and a city. You have to find and hire and manage teams of people. There will also be tons of moochers. At some point if a bunch of cities are pooling their resources to build an application... how is that different from paying a company for a license? And then you're REALLY locked into a vendor if you spend $10m over 10 years on an in house product that isn't as good as someone else's new shiny thing.

The argument to develop in-house software always comes up at every company when they are looking at a large software licensing purchase order. But unless you need something very specific that off-the-shelf software just doesn't do--it rarely is worth the investment to rebuild it.

Comment: Re:Question of Reliability (Score 1) 206

by im_thatoneguy (#47714763) Attached to: Helsinki Aims To Obviate Private Cars

No it sounds more like an Uber App but instead of being locked into one transportation vendor they allow you to price compare and shop between multiple competing transportation solutions whether that's municipal bus, car2go, zip car and uber in one hub.

"The city wants to build a framework for an open market where companies can operate and offer their services in different combinations. The City doesn't want to decree what services are offered, but help to facilitate the establishment of an ecosystem that enables private companies to produce a variety of them," Heikkilà says. "There would be several commercial [transport] operators offering these services, in the same way as in telecommunications today. The customers could choose the operator and the service package they want."

Comment: Re:Ask about everything (Score 1) 46

by jfengel (#47714409) Attached to: How To Read a Microbiome Study Like a Scientist.

The Faustian bargain there is that they're not supposed to be expressing any specific purposes. If you're categorizing your product as a "supplement" you have to avoid making specific health claims. It generally says so, right on the package, via the incantation "This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease".

Generally in very, very tiny print. In much larger print, they'll hint strongly that it's good for something (often, something fairly vacuous). It's on the FDA to judge when it crosses the line into a medical claim, and they don't have anywhere near the kind of manpower it takes to evaluate the multi-billion-dollar market. It took an outside organization to sue the makers of Airborne, via the FTC, for false advertising rather than a violation of the more specific FDA rules.

So yeah, there are rules about dietary supplements, but they're badly flouted. They walk right up to the line, or even cross right over it, and rely on people's gullibility to make the jump to believe that these worthless products do anything.

Comment: Re:Not just microbiome studies (Score 1) 46

by jfengel (#47713921) Attached to: How To Read a Microbiome Study Like a Scientist.

Yep, came here to say that. And since effectively every daily news story on any science subject fails to answer any of them, it would be a pretty good heuristic to simply ignore all of them.

Newspapers and TV news are designed to sell news today, and to sell you news again tomorrow. Science doesn't turn out news on a daily basis like that. Important results take a very long time from first inkling to confirmation. You won't be able to act on that news today at any rate. Wait until the news comes out in a source like Science News or Scientific American, when it's got at least a few days worth of evaluation and consideration under its belt. Everything that comes out more frequently than that is going to be just plain rubbish the overwhelming majority of the time. And you'll hear about the stuff that isn't rubbish plenty quickly enough.

Comment: Re:I am skeptical (Score 1) 155

The IPCC report does discuss what happens if we don't, and it's more than enough to call for some kind of measures. A proper outcome of geoengineering studies will treat that as the control: "This is what we get if we do nothing... this is what we get if we just control carbon output... this is what we get if we apply technique X/Y/Z".

It's just that measuring "this is what we get" is really hard. Temperature is the easiest to predict (and even that is proving aggravatingly difficult on scales smaller than multiple decades), but it's not the only factor. And we need to take ALL of the effects into account to judge what's going to be most cost-effective.

I'm really just asking for somebody to make the case as clearly as possible. A comment downthread told me "Oh, you just throw a bunch of water into the air, and the clouds will fix it." I *know* it's not that simple; it's obvious that a lot isn't being taken into account.

Unfortunately, most conversation about climate change is dominated by the just-plain-stupidity of denialism, rather than getting to ask the hard questions. I want them to be asked, though I'm also sadly fatalistic: denialism has pushed us, as you have said, past the point the ship has sailed. I end up thinking of this as largely academic, and by the time it comes to be implemented it'll be much too late to help. But we're going to do the research anyway. I'm just hoping it will come with enough of the right answers to be compelling to those prepared to understand it.

Comment: Re:It's a load of crap (Score 1) 680

by thesandtiger (#47711049) Attached to: News Aggregator Fark Adds Misogyny Ban

I guess that's the message one would get if they only look at the noisy assholes, but that's fair, since they are noisy assholes and make a disproportionate amount of noise. Fact is, though, that most feminists are actually just advocating for human rights for all.

Kind of like how one might get the impression that Slashdot is full of racist fucktards because a few noisy assholes are constantly posting crazy racist shit. Thing is, most people here are actually just nerds who want to discuss nerd stuff with other nerds, which is totally cool.

Or how one might get the impression that all gun owners are crazy morons with inadequacy issues who think it's somehow proving a point to get a bunch of yokels together and show up at various family restaurants armed to the teeth when public shootings are constantly being hyped up in the news. Fact is, most gun owners are just regular people who know how to comport themselves in public and don't think scaring the shit out of people is good pr.

Point here is that you (the general "you") would be well served to realize that if you're trying to dismiss a rather large segment of the population by using some kind of cartoonish stereotype, it might be worth looking at some of the quieter members of said group. Just sayin'.

Comment: Re:Oh god so what? (Score 1) 187

by TheRaven64 (#47710949) Attached to: C++14 Is Set In Stone
Clang has some builtins that allow you to get the carry bit, so you can cheaply write code that branches on carry. We (mostly CERT, I helped a bit) had a proposal for inclusion in C11 that would have added qualifiers on integers explicitly defining their overflow behaviour as trapping or wrapping, along with a model that let this be implemented cheaply (e.g. allowing a set of side-effect-free code to propagate temporary results and only trap if one of them along the way overflowed). Sadly, it didn't make it into the standard.

Comment: Re:Sigh (Score 1) 680

by thesandtiger (#47710873) Attached to: News Aggregator Fark Adds Misogyny Ban

The thing is, why should it matter if it's biology or a choice or a combination of both? We protect choices all the time. We protect biological destiny all the time. We protect things that are likely a mix of the two all the time. Why (other than that some people find it icky) should sexual orientation be any different?

People choose to follow a particular religion, and religious freedom is seen as a Good Thing in much of the western world. Yay tolerance for other people's choices.

People are born black, and racism is seen as a Bad Thing in much of the western world. Yay tolerance for other people's biology.

To be honest, as long as all parties are capable of and willing to consent, I don't give a fuck about who people fuck or why they fuck them. Maybe if I am one of the people involved in the fucking I might give a fuck, but really unless the "why" causes some kind of issue, I don't give a fuck. It might be of some academic interest, along the same lines as "why are some people left handed" but it seems like using "why" as a basis for tolerance or whatever is goofy.

Mind you, I agree with you that being gay is almost certainly very largely a result of biology, and I actually think that the people who are trying to do "conversion therapy" are monstrous just as it would be monstrous to try and get straight people to go gay. I'm just saying that choice or biology, people need to get the fuck over it and stop giving so much of a shit about other people's bouncy bouncy fun time.

Comment: Re:ugh... white knights. (Score 1) 680

by Shadow of Eternity (#47709557) Attached to: News Aggregator Fark Adds Misogyny Ban

No, denying, minimizing, or outright erasing the actual real world actions and character of a movement totally dominated and utterly defined by those crazies is misrepresenting it. People on the internet insisting "feminism is nice and friendly!" do not outweigh people in real life committing felonies and violent crimes.

Comment: Re:Manners vs. Censorship (Score 1) 680

by Shadow of Eternity (#47709547) Attached to: News Aggregator Fark Adds Misogyny Ban

Fark's dominated by people who when confronted with evidence of men in africa being beaten, paraded naked through the streets, mutilated with razors and broken glass, and then many of them left to die of infections afterwards mock people for "whiny dickfeels".

The only "justification" behind this is an ideological purge to turn fark into a jezebel hugbox.

16.5 feet in the Twilight Zone = 1 Rod Serling