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Comment: Re: And it's not even an election year (Score 1) 407

Then take a statistic course so that you will understand what a "representative sample" means. There's a point after which it doesn't matter whether you poll 60,000 households, 600,000 households, or 6,000,000 households, the number will be within a margin of error that you deem acceptable.

If that bothers you, then don't ever leave your house again, because it's the same methodology by which, for example, car manufacturers determine whether or not your car will spontaneously explode while you're driving down a highway. It probably won't, but if that amount of statistical certainty isn't good enough for you to trust the BLS to have a pretty good grasp on what they're doing, then what else do you just take for granted?

Comment: Re: And it's not even an election year (Score 0) 407

Actually, they do, and it is the one you hear most often in the media. I'm not sure where this fiction came from that people off of unemployment aren't counted among the unemployed, but the only three criteria for being counted as unemployed are:

  • That you do not have a job,
  • That you have actively looked for work in the past four weeks, and
  • That you are currently available for work.

I've noticed a disturbing trend lately, mostly from right-wing nutcases, to try to redefine "unemployment" to be something that it's not, in some way that is different from how it's been calculated for decades, to include people like retired people not seeking a job, students, new mothers who have voluntarily left the workforce, people who haven't sought a job in more than a month, etc.

Unfortunately for them (and you), unemployment has a specific economic definition and doesn't change based on what you think "feels right". The current unemployment rate is 5.5%. Arguing that it's something different is like arguing that the mass of an object is higher because your arms are tired and it feels heavier when you try to lift it.

Privacy

Google: Our New System For Recognizing Faces Is the Best 90

Posted by timothy
from the sorry-not-yet-april-fool's dept.
schwit1 writes Last week, a trio of Google researchers published a paper on a new artificial intelligence system dubbed FaceNet that it claims represents the most accurate approach yet to recognizing human faces. FaceNet achieved nearly 100-percent accuracy on a popular facial-recognition dataset called Labeled Faces in the Wild, which includes more than 13,000 pictures of faces from across the web. Trained on a massive 260-million-image dataset, FaceNet performed with better than 86 percent accuracy.

The approach Google's researchers took goes beyond simply verifying whether two faces are the same. Its system can also put a name to a face—classic facial recognition—and even present collections of faces that look the most similar or the most distinct.
Every advance in facial recognition makes me think of Paul Theroux's dystopian Ozone.

Comment: Re:We each have oour favorites. (Score 3, Interesting) 181

by KingSkippus (#49194347) Attached to: Musician Releases Album of Music To Code By

Have you listened to their new album, Endless River? It's almost all instrumental and has many of the same riffs from Division Bell. It's familiar enough to sound great, but new enough that it's novel. If you listen to Wish You Were Here while coding, I suspect you'll really enjoy this one as well.

Programming

Invented-Here Syndrome 158

Posted by Soulskill
from the all-of-this-has-happened-before-and-all-of-this-will-happen-again dept.
edA-qa writes: Are you afraid to write code? Does the thought linger in your brain that somewhere out there somebody has already done this? Do you find yourself trapped in an analysis cycle where nothing is getting done? Is your product mutating to accommodate third party components? If yes, then perhaps you are suffering from invented-here syndrome.

Most of use are aware of not-invented-here syndrome, but the opposite problem is perhaps equally troublesome. We can get stuck in the mindset that there must be a product, library, or code sample, that already does what we want. Instead of just writing the code we need a lot of effort is spent testing out modules and trying to accommodate our own code. At some point we need to just say, 'stop!', and write the code ourselves.

Comment: They're already doing it with some apps (Score 1) 415

I bought a Surface, and I've been playing with some of the little built-in "free" games. (Solitaire, Mah Jong, etc.) There's an option to pay a small amount to remove the ads from them, and not being a fan of ads (and really not minding paying the microtransaction amount), I clicked the option. It took me to the store where, for $1.99, I could remove the ads for a month. Or for something like $10, I could remove them for a year. No option to remove them permanently.

Um... Seriously?

No thanks.

Programming

How Relevant is C in 2014? 641

Posted by Soulskill
from the don't-ask-netcraft dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes: Many programming languages have come and gone since Dennis Ritchie devised C in 1972, and yet C has not only survived three major revisions, but continues to thrive. But aside from this incredible legacy, what keeps C atop the Tiobe Index? The number of jobs available for C programmers is not huge, and many of those also include C++ and Objective-C. On Reddit, the C community, while one of the ten most popular programming communities, is half the size of the C++ group. In a new column, David Bolton argues that C remains extremely relevant due to a number of factors including newer C compiler support, the Internet ("basically driven by C applications"), an immense amount of active software written in C that's still used, and its ease in learning. "Knowing C provides a handy insight into higher-level languages — C++, Objective-C, Perl, Python, Java, PHP, C#, D and Go all have block syntax that's derived from C." Do you agree?

Today's scientific question is: What in the world is electricity? And where does it go after it leaves the toaster? -- Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?"

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