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Comment: p-value research is misleading almost always (Score 5, Interesting) 208

by SteveWoz (#49495363) Attached to: Social Science Journal 'Bans' Use of p-values

I studied and tutored experimental design and this use of inferential statistics. I even came up with a formula for 1/5 the calculator keystrokes when learning to calculate the p-value manually. Take the standard deviation and mean for each group, then calculate the standard deviation of these means (how different the groups are) divided by the mean of these standard deviations (how wide the groups of data are) and multiply by the square root of n (sample size for each group). But that's off the point. We had 5 papers in our class for psychology majors (I almost graduated in that instead of engineering) that discussed why controlled experiments (using the p-value) should not be published. In each case my knee-jerk reaction was that they didn't like math or didn't understand math and just wanted to 'suppose' answers. But each article attacked the math abuse, by proficient academics at universities who did this sort of research. I came around too. The math is established for random environments but the scientists control every bit of the environment, not to get better results but to detect thing so tiny that they really don't matter. The math lets them misuse the word 'significant' as though there is a strong connection between cause and effect. Yet every environmental restriction (same living arrangements, same diets, same genetic strain of rats, etc) invalidates the result. It's called intrinsic validity (finding it in the experiment) vs. extrinsic validity (applying in real life). You can also find things that are weaker (by the square root of n) by using larger groups. A study can be set up in a way so as to likely find 'something' tiny and get the research prestige, but another study can be set up with different controls that turn out an opposite result. And none apply to real life like reading the results of an entire population living normal lives. You have to study and think quite a while, as I did (even walking the streets around Berkeley to find books on the subject up to 40 years prior) to see that the words "99 percentage significance level" means not a strong effect but more likely one that is so tiny, maybe a part in a million, that you'd never see it in real life.

Comment: Re:Running only Windows on a Mac (Score 1) 209

by maccodemonkey (#49311965) Attached to: For Boot Camp Users, New Macs Require Windows 8 Or Newer

The problem is the drivers.

They won't be signed for Windows 7 and therefore won't load. Also I believe Apple uses ancient intel EFI not standard UEFI that is on modern boards. However, my information could be very outdated so someone can correct me if I am wrong as this was the case late last decade.

Newer Macs can definitely UEFI boot (older Macs notably can not UEFI boot Windows, although they will present it as an option.) Internally, I don't think it's standard UEFI internally. But it exposes UEFI 2.0 functionality to perform booting. I was trying to look up some more info, as I UEFI boot Windows 8 on my Macbook Pro, but no one seems to really keep track of the exact EFI standard Apple implements, if any. I know my 2009 Macbook Pro cannot EFI boot Windows, but my 2013 Macbook Pro can.

While it's possible the new trackpad could be an issue, even if Apple didn't sign the drivers for Windows 7, there really isn't anything stopping someone from booting Windows 7 on a new Macbook Pro. It's not like Apple offers a huge amount of support for Windows installs anyway.

Comment: Re:Running only Windows on a Mac (Score 2) 209

by maccodemonkey (#49311377) Attached to: For Boot Camp Users, New Macs Require Windows 8 Or Newer

"For work reasons though I'm stuck with windows... so I'd love to skip the whole bootcamp thing entirely... but still need the drivers.."

The EFI firmware on a Mac can either emulate BIOS (like any standard EFI firmware) or on more recent Macs, do a UEFI boot. That means any OS, including Windows, that can do a BIOS or EFI boot, can run natively on a Mac. I have a friend who runs Linux on his Mac. I also have friends who run Mac Pros running Windows only because at the time Apple was getting special deals on Xeons from Apple, and they were way under what an equivalent PC cost. So they just bought a Mac Pro, wiped it, and installed Windows.

All Boot Camp does is partition the disk, it doesn't do anything at all after the partitioning, given that the rest of the capabilities are built in to the firmware.

You can download the Windows drivers for the Mac hardware separately, but on a lot of machines most things will just work using the Windows and OEM drivers. On my Mac Pro everything basically just works, but I don't get some things like an HFS file system driver or the fancy keyboard volume controls until I install the Boot Camp drivers. Sometimes the mobility GPUs don't work with the standard drivers. But for the most part, a Mac is totally just a generic Intel PC that can also run Mac OS. When it's not running Mac OS it acts exactly like a generic Intel PC. I even just install the Windows AMD drivers directly from their site for my Apple branded desktop GPU.

Comment: Re:Why is bitcoin popular again? (Score 5, Insightful) 254

by evanbd (#49284053) Attached to: Evolution Market's Admins Are Gone, Along With $12M In Bitcoin
Fortunately, bitcoin allows multi-signature escrow. That permits the escrow service to decide who gets the bitcoins (buyer or seller), but doesn't let them run off with them. It's not perfect, as it can't prevent collusion between escrow agent and either party against the other party, but it does prevent the simpler forms of "just run off with the money". Why it isn't in more widespread use yet, I have no idea.

Comment: Re:Yet another Ted Cruz bashing article ! (Score 1) 416

by maccodemonkey (#49272431) Attached to: Politics Is Poisoning NASA's Ability To Do Science

We are beating each others to pulp on issues like abortions / police brutality / TSA at the airport while other countries are rapidly gaining grounds

"Why aren't we talking about how great at playing fiddle we are? All I see people talking about is how Rome is burning."

If it makes anyone feel better, the Chinese version of this guy will be China's downfall. While China is busy worrying about the strength of their economy, they're literally turning their major cities into giant clouds of pollution. The dip in their life expectancy will probably send their health care costs sky high, and not being able to gently onramp into a super power scale economy will lead to huge political issues down the line.

But hey, at least they spent all their time worried about other countries instead of themselves.

Comment: Re:No, It's NOT illegal (Score 1) 609

by maccodemonkey (#49237669) Attached to: Clinton Regrets, But Defends, Use of Family Email Server

She's released emails to congress. And the congressional committees said there were gaps of months between emails.

She released emails to congress. Not all her email. That's why the federal government doesn't have her emails. If Congress had all her emails we wouldn't be here right now. Congress does not have all her emails, which is why we are talking about this. It's also why no one has an official record to pull these emails from.

Again, I'm not dismissing the accusations against her, but I am saying that because Congress doesn't have the full record, it's not enough evidence of anything, and it's disingenuous for senators to make claims based on that data set. But senators making disingenuous claims while knowingly not having the complete picture is nothing new.

Comment: Re:No, It's NOT illegal (Score 1) 609

by maccodemonkey (#49235909) Attached to: Clinton Regrets, But Defends, Use of Family Email Server

She has months of gaps in her emails. That's not credible.

Hmmmm? Her emails haven't been released yet. If her emails are released and there are huge gaps, then it becomes suspicious. I agree that using personal email was a big mistake, and that she could be hiding things. But we haven't crossed the line yet where there is enough proof that she has destroyed email. We don't even have the email archives yet.

Comment: Re:Enlighten me please (Score 1) 450

by maccodemonkey (#49231213) Attached to: Reactions to the New MacBook and Apple Watch

But the ability to plug in a mouse and keyboard, an external display, and a wired network, and still having at least one USB port for an external hard drive or a flash drive or to charge your phone or whatever IS universally better than not being able to do that.

I was on the Apple platform back then (and maybe you were too?) but honestly, no one gave a crap. Yes, we lost our very limited selection of ADB devices to use with a Mac, but we gained a huge selection of USB devices. I had to give up a crappy third party ADB mouse for a nice quality USB standard mouse. Oh no? (I should mention, for the record, the Power Macs continued shipping with both ADB and USB for a while. So that was really an iMac problem.) The floppy disk did need to die. Everyone was already using Zip disks (which were included with most Macs.) Maybe including no writable media was a little bit of a problem, but a floppy drive certainly wasn't the answer to that.

But not the Apple USB hockey puck mouse. Let's not talk about that. Let's just... pretend that was never a thing.

SCSI was kind of a problem for a tiny bit, but Firewire was so much better. Stuff like SCSI disks and scanners being dropped hurt, but that was mostly Power Mac users who were able to add SCSI to the Power Mac G3s as an option when upgrading.

Comment: Re: Even Apple is abandoning Objective-C (Score 1) 407

Which brings me back to my original point. There are millions of lines of Obj-C out there, that will need to be maintained or improved for decades. Even if developers wanted to, Swift isn't compatible with a lot of use cases. And brand new Obj-C code is being written and shipped today by companies including Apple. Yes, Swift is a great new addition, but Obj-C will be around for few decades more.

By no measurable metric based in reality is Obj-C dead. Obj-C is as dead as Visual C++ became when Microsoff rolled out C#, in that it's not. Multiple languages is great. This isn't some Highlanderish situation that you're trying to make it out to be.

If OP learns Obj-C he's have a skill valuable for many many years to come. And I'm not saying that's what he should do. C++ is valuable too. But it's not a dead end, and if you say that, you really don't understand the realities of maintaining existing products, or the use cases of Swiff va, Obj-C at this point. I have projects still where Swift wouldn't be able to replace the Obj-C source entirely even if I wanted it to.

Comment: Re:Even Apple is abandoning Objective-C (Score 1) 407


So you can still use Objective-C. However, Apple seems to be encouraging you to use Swift for any new development, while not expecting you to go back and re-write all of your Objective-C code.


Swift was created in order to replace Objective-C, however, Swift is capable of working alongside Objective-C while using Cocoa and Cocoa Touch frameworks.

None of which are first party sources. Please cite one.

Here, I'll help you out. Here is a quote from one of your own sources:
"To quote Apple, “Objective-C is not going away, both Swift and Objective-C are first class citizens for doing Cocoa and Cocoa Touch development.”"

You're purposely digging around Apple's own statements that Swift and Objective-C are first class citizens.

Wait, first class citizens? That sounds a lot like what I said in an earlier reply. Hmmmmmm.

Comment: Re:Even Apple is abandoning Objective-C (Score 3) 407

Of course Apple hasn't said Objective-C is a dead end. There would be a revolt and a mass fleeing from the platform if they did that.

...from their own developers? Again, out of the whole community, they have the largest Obj-C source base. If they abandon Obj-C within the next 10 years, they won't be able to ship anything. And it's going to take at least a decade to rewrite everything, if that was even their goal. During which time they ship no features. Apple can't abandon Obj-C because they need to use Obj-C. If they abandon Obj-C, they abandon Mac OS X and iOS. And they will be done in the market. And given that new API is still written in Obj-C, that's a process they haven't even started yet. In April they're shipping a brand new hardware platform that still runs on Obj-C.

For a past data point, Microsoft said with Vista they were going to rewrite Windows in C#. How did that go? Replacing an entire language is simply not realistic. If you're an engineer, you should know that.

Furthermore, once you're talking about the pain and suffering in moving everything to Swift, maintaining Obj-C looks like a far easier and more desirable costume. And that's what Apple is doing.

But they sure as hell aren't encouraging people to stay on Objective-C instead of moving to Swift.

I've talked with engineers on the Swift team who've said that's not the intention (and are wondering why the public thinks that). But please. Do go on.

I've read several articles and summaries (including on Slashdot) that have made it clear Apple wants people to use Swift.

"I've read articles from other people who think they know what they are talking about, and they wrote something that they think is right. Look at me! I'm such an expert!"

Oh, wait. Never mind. Apple person. You don't deal with the same reality as the rest of the world.

I... deal with the realities on the Apple platform?

Comment: Re:Even Apple is abandoning Objective-C (Score 4, Interesting) 407

Apple has made it clear their development future lies in Swift, not Objective-C.

That means you're choosing between a popular, well supported language and a dead end.

The choice should be obvious.

They've done no such thing. The biggest writer and maintainer of Obj-C code is Apple. They're sitting on a huge source base they'll continue developing on. Please link me to where Apple has said Swift is replacing Obj-C. Because they haven't. And they've said the opposite many times. Everything I've read/heard is that Obj-C will continue to be a first class language on iOS and Mac (with Swift and Obj-C both being considered first class languages.) You can have more than one language on a single platform. Shocking, I know.

Not to mention, for such a dead end, Apple's still writing a lot of new Obj-C. The iWatch OS (what runs on the watch itself) is Obj-C. Apple has not shipped a single API on Mac or iOS written in Swift. Not one. So it makes zero sense that Apple would consider Obj-C a dead language, and yet continue to write source they'll have to maintain for years in it. And if you think Apple is going to rewrite the millions of lines of Obj-C in Mac OS X and iOS in Swift, you really don't understand software engineering very well.

Another problem is that Swift is missing basic language features. Obj-C can link to C++ code. Swift? Nope. That alone means Swift can't replace Obj-C code. Everyone has C++ code they need to link to. Apple has C++ they need to link to in their own APIs. So does Adobe. Microsoft. And they'll probably fix it in the future. But you can't even approach suggesting Swift is going to replace Obj-C with a straight face until that is fixed.

Now look, I'm not trying to argue against Swift here. It's a valuable language to use and learn. This isn't a desperate "Obj-C forever!" post. But if you think Obj-C is going anywhere in the next decade or two... It can't. Apple will continue upgrading it, and continue supporting it, or else they're going to end up putting themselves in a corner where they can't even maintain their own software. That's not opinion, that's realism. It's knowing when a tool is right for a problem. And we're nowhere near Swift even being able to entirely replace Obj-C in usage.

Heck, the last Xcode beta even shipped with some upgrades to Obj-C. So I don't even need to argue that point. It's not a question of if Apple will keep advancing Obj-C. They are.

"Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward" -- William E. Davidsen