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Comment: Failure should be celebrated (Score 4, Interesting) 393

by Dixie_Flatline (#49774447) Attached to: Can Bad Scientific Practice Be Fixed?

I think part of the problem is that nobody wants to publish a paper where the experiment failed--but they should.

Failures are useful; they're not wasted time. You've almost certainly learned something from a failed experiment. Maybe you learned that the setup wasn't rigorous enough, or maybe you just learned that a certain avenue of research wasn't viable for one reason or another. I get that journals are looking for breakthroughs, but it would be so useful to read a paper in your field and find out that someone already tried the thing you're attempting, and now you don't have to fail in exactly the same way.

But that requires a much more collaborative system, and one where the community is interested in finding answers, not glory.

Comment: Re: Is a reduction (Score 1) 89

by Dixie_Flatline (#49773509) Attached to: Bats' White-Nose Syndrome May Be Cured

Unfortunately, those wind turbines also kill bats (a friend of mine is just finishing her PhD on that work). The good news is that the folks that operate wind farms aren't in it to destroy wildlife, so they're amenable to doing things that help reduce the number of bat deaths.

(Bat deaths due to wind farms are especially painful, since they often kill bats that are migratory which wouldn't be affected by white nose syndrome.)

Comment: Re:All the time (Score 2) 742

That's not really true. Rotating debt isn't the same as a giant monolithic debt. Paying a debt and then adding a new debt is still paying off a debt, even if you're borrowing from the same person.

But I understand what you're getting at and I definitely agree that we have (and should have) different expectations for debt when it comes to countries than when it comes to corporations, say. Debt isn't the same sort of liability for a country--I really hate it when politicians say that we should run countries 'more like companies'. It just speaks to how little they understand about countries (and probably companies).

Comment: Re:Tolls? (Score 1) 827

by Dixie_Flatline (#49739115) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax

Yeah, no. Damage increases by the fourth power of axle weight.

It doesn't really matter what the tyres are inflated to, unless they're so large as to distribute the weight across an enormous surface area. But if that were the case, you wouldn't be able to get past a large truck--its wheels would take up the whole road.

Comment: Re:It's not limited to the US (Score 4, Insightful) 220

Australia uses the neonics differently, as I recall. Something about the way they spread the pesticide makes it less likely to interfere with bees.

That said, it's an insecticide. It's meant to kill insects, and they're generally pretty indiscriminate. It's also fairly likely that even if it's a sub-lethal dose for bees, it's a lethal dose for different beneficial insects.

I think there are multiple causes--varroa mites have been around for decades without causing such widespread colony collapse. We've got a changing climate and agricultural monocultures, as well as stress from neonics (which it turns out honeybees may prefer over non-treated nectar).

Looking for single causes is usually hopeless. But we can control our use of pesticides, so it's one of the things on the chopping block. One way or another, we have to bring this problem under control.

Comment: False premise, false dichotomy (Score 1) 244

This article is bad and the author should feel bad.

1) The conversion rate doesn't need to be even close to 1:1. Spotify makes 87-91% of its revenue from the customers that subscribe (depending on what report you read). This is despite the percentage of people paying is around or less than 25%. I've read that Spotify would be profitable if it could just get freemium users to pay $1/3 months.

2) Psy was rich before he was available in North America. The article makes it sound like exposure to the west MADE him. That's exceptional cultural egocentrism.

3) Consumers don't DESERVE free music.

A lot of people on here (rightly) say that nobody DESERVES to make a living being a musician, and that's fair enough. But nobody DESERVES free music, either. But it DOES take work and money and time to make music, so if you're going to listen to it, you should pay for it, one way or another. The thing I can't stand is people listening to music with no intention of giving back. If an artist makes music and nobody listens to it because the music isn't good, or they didn't do a good job spreading the word, well, fair enough. They don't deserve money for that. But I'd be pissed if my company decided to use my work without paying me, and it's understandable that artists (and to a more limited extent, labels) want to be paid for what you're consuming.

If you don't listen, you don't pay for it. Fine. But if you're streaming someone's music, *you should pay for it*. It's not free to make. If you don't want to pay, YOU DON'T GET TO LISTEN. That's the way it works for everything else in your life. Don't want to pay for an Apple Watch? You don't get an Apple Watch. Don't want to pay for a car? Walk. You're not entitled to music just because it's easy to obtain.

Comment: Re:You are quoting losers, so yeah. (Score 1) 950

The common link in all your failed relationships is you. (This isn't a dig at the parent post, it's agreement.)

If you keep dating people that are bad for you, it's because you're picking the wrong people, or putting yourself in situations where you're only meeting the wrong people. And maybe if everyone you end up with--regardless of where you look--is toxic to you, you should sit down and figure out if it's you and not them.

The minimum requirement for being in a relationship with someone is being in good working order, emotionally. If you can't sit down and know that that's true, you should probably work that bit out first.

Comment: Re:Stop calling it AI. (Score 1) 78

by Dixie_Flatline (#49615291) Attached to: AI Experts In High Demand

If you show a very young child (less than a year old, I think) something 'impossible' happening, they will pay attention to it for longer and find it more interesting. So if you hold a ball in the air and let go, but it doesn't fall, or you throw a ball and it goes through a wall, a baby can recognise that those are weird events, and will stare at them for a long time.

If you then give the baby a choice of toys, amongst which is the ball that did an impossible thing, they will spend more time playing with it, rather than equally spreading their attention around. Moreover, they will conduct small experiments that are related to the impossible thing they saw. They will pick up the ball and drop it repeatedly to make sure gravity works. They will hold the ball and bang it on a surface to make sure that the ball does not arbitrarily pass through things.

The brain has a lot of stuff built into it. There are whole sections of the brain devoted to image processing, or understanding smells and taste. These are not inconsequential starting points.

Comment: Re:Struggle (Score 1) 403

by Dixie_Flatline (#49594219) Attached to: Tattoos Found To Interfere With Apple Watch Sensors

You've been marked as a troll, but I don't really think that's fair. Not everyone wants a tattoo or understands the tattoos that other people get.

I know these things are going to be on my arms for the rest of my life. And when I wake up in the morning and look at them, I think, "these are the arms I should've been born with".

First of all, you have to understand that not all tattoos are created equal. I paid $150/hr for mine. I looked for a long time for an artist whose style I liked, and when we sat down and did them, it took a really long time. All tattoos fade and bleed a bit, but good artists will know how to handle that a little. But hey, when I'm 80, I'm gonna be a little faded and fuzzy around the edges too.

My sleeves are thematic--I was born in the year of the Snake, in a fire cycle. I already had the words for 'fire' and 'snake' tattooed each on one wrist. My right arm is a red and black snake wrapped around bamboo with clouds, and my left arm is a blue, slick snake on a backdrop of flames and smoke. (Their mouths are closed, and they look quite happy--I firmly believe you need to be able to talk or fight your way out of any tattoo you have, and I dislike aggressive snakes for myself, because I'm not going to want to fight my way out of anything.)

Anyway, my tattoos are just a way for me to feel closer to part of my culture. They're a pretty bit of art that I get to carry around with me. They look good with the clothes I wear, like any accessory. That's what I wanted out of them, and that's what I got.

Other people have other reasons, but those are mine. :)

Comment: Re:Struggle (Score 4, Informative) 403

by Dixie_Flatline (#49587699) Attached to: Tattoos Found To Interfere With Apple Watch Sensors

It's not about capacitance. The watch shines different coloured light through the skin and monitors colour changes to figure certain things out. Ink is going to absorb or reflect that light in a way that the watch isn't calibrated to handle. Ink isn't melanin, so darker skinned people won't have the same problems.

My sleeves look a lot better than an Apple watch ever could, but I may just barely have enough open skin to wear one if I wanted to.

Comment: Re: IPhones (Score 1) 484

That's problem with OS X, not your phone. Discoveryd has replaced a bunch of their other network daemons and it's notoriously unstable and buggy at the moment. It's forward-looking (in that it supports nice features like handoff and airdrop), but Apple basically snuck some first gen software into your desktop OS. :/

Comment: Re:Many small solutions through a day (Score 5, Insightful) 174

by Dixie_Flatline (#49548053) Attached to: Apple Watch Launches

Separate money from wallets? Bring smiles to Apple fanbois faces? Usher in a new wave of corporate privacy invasion?

Christ, this is so obnoxious. Look, just because you don't have a use for this watch, it doesn't mean NOBODY does. Your implication is that this watch is literally useless except for making people that buy Apple products feel good.

First of all, it actually has functions that people theoretically feel useful. There are certainly Android Wear and Pebble owners that have similar functionality that feel that those devices fill this need. So as long as the Apple Watch does at least as much as those watches do, there's utility to some people. Even if all it does for someone is tell the time, $300 is not even close to the high end of what watches cost.

But it's also jewellery. People wear that stuff for lots of reasons. Do you understand how insanely dumb it is to buy a mechanical watch except as jewellery? They're not terribly accurate timekeeping devices. But they look good, and there's a aesthetic value to knowing that what you're wearing is mechanical and hand crafted. It's over $5000 for a Rolex STEEL wrist band. But you're not here criticising the idea of all luxury watches in general, or even all Smartwatches, just the Apple Watch.

You finish by saying that it's about the lock-in, but that's a ridiculous complaint. You think someone buying the first-gen Apple watch is the kind of person that is normally so capricious about their tech decisions?

What you don't like is that Apple made it and that other people like it. Just say that out loud and move on. Or don't comment at all. I think we can all safely assume by now that when Apple makes something there are a bunch of people that don't like it, so let's all pretend that you've said your piece and not use up the space from now on, hmm?

Good day to avoid cops. Crawl to work.