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Comment: Full course available online (Score 4, Informative) 140

by plsuh (#47893489) Attached to: Harvard's CompSci Intro Course Boasts Record-Breaking Enrollment


My son took the course last year as a senior in high school via iTunesU.

It's also available on EdX.

Heck, I took it way back thirty-odd years ago. :-)

Also, here's a link to the original article in the Harvard Crimson:


Comment: Re:keep calm everyone.... (Score 1) 183

by Znork (#47636351) Attached to: WHO Declares Ebola Outbreak An International Emergency

From reading a few articles on the conditions there it seems that it's because they're one or two doctors or nurses in a ward with several dozen patients puking, shitting, pissing, bleeding and falling out of beds and spreading contamination _everywhere_.

Fair enough. I can see why no hazmat gear and protective procedures in the world will protect you over a longer period under those conditions.

Comment: Suggestions for the Apple technologist (Score 3, Informative) 131

by plsuh (#47608471) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Good Technology Conferences To Attend?

In chronological order looking forward:

MacTech Boot Camps -
Small, local, inexpensive. Check to see if there's one close to you.

MacTech Conference -
Larger, both sysadmin and developer tracks

MacIT -
Larger, multiple tracks and levels of knowledge

The granddaddy of them all, but next to impossible to get into these days. Mostly developer focused. May not be useful if you don't already have a deep knowledge base.

MacAdmins -
The most education-focused of the conferences. Very knowledgeable presenters.

FWIW, I've been a presenter at MacTech Boot Camps, MacIT, and WWDC.


Comment: Re:Commercial Services (Score 1) 228

by Znork (#47362951) Attached to: The New 501(c)(3) and the Future of Open Source In the US

For-profit ecosystems spring up around many charities; everything from environmentalism to religions spawn such commercial activities around them.

The issue that should be at the heart of the matter is whether some person or company specifically and exclusively stands to profit from the charities work. As long as anyone who wants to can engage in commercial activities related to the work, such as commercial sales of religious texts and figures, sell eco friendly products, use charity relations in branding and marketing, use the open source software etc, I don't think the reasoning is valid.

Comment: Re:So....far more than guns (Score 1) 454

by Znork (#47336271) Attached to: CDC: 1 In 10 Adult Deaths In US Caused By Excessive Drinking

It's not particularly hard anyway, it's just that the other high efficiency methods like trains, jumps and correctly done automotive suicide tend to cause more collateral damage. Guns are simply the considerate and responsible way to expedite a rescheduled exit. Hardly something to complain about.

Comment: Re:Tuning it out? (Score 1) 254

by Znork (#47303591) Attached to: The Bursting Social Media Advertising Bubble

Yes, there are of course a few appropriate ways to use it. Anything you could do the equivalent of unobtrusively positioning at that bar table, such as brand display would work as well as anywhere else. A few other things that are also appropriate would have some success rate; social calendar style things like events related to preferences, etc.

It's not completely pointless, it's just much more limited and less efficient for most marketing than many already available methods. And I really despise the attempts to sell person profiling as a magic marketing bullet when it's inherently worse than content profiling.

Comment: Re:Tuning it out? (Score 5, Insightful) 254

by Znork (#47300491) Attached to: The Bursting Social Media Advertising Bubble

Social media advertisement is the sales guy sitting down at your table in the bar and trying to sell you a new refrigerator when you're hanging with friends because he saw you looking at refrigerators two weeks ago in a shop.

Search or content related advertising is the sales guy trying to sell you a new refrigerator when you're looking at refrigerators.

One of those has a chance to make a sale and might even be appreciated. The other is just irrelevant.

For sales, it's pointless to know what a customer is interested in if you don't know when they're interested in it, which means you're always better off targeting content over people because content has both temporal targeting as well as interest targeting implicitly right, while person profiling and social media presentation only gets a generic long term interest profile and implicitly targets people doing something other than being interested in products.

Comment: Re:Occulus Rift (Score 1) 186

by Znork (#47260935) Attached to: 4K Monitors: Not Now, But Soon

Then you need better eyes. Unless you can actually get cybernetic implants you're stuck with the choice of fine detail or large quantities of information at the same time.

Even the GP is overestimating the capabilities, because the 20/20 resolution itself is limited to a very narrow field of view; the human eyes capability of even resolving text at all is pretty much nonexistent outside a 6 degree arc.

Now, if we could get monitors where you'd have to look away from an image of the sun because it's too bright, that would actually be something I'd be interested in. Because with contrast we're nowhere near the physical capabilities of perception and that would make some difference.

Comment: Re:Will they hide the "X" icons again? (Score 1) 97

by Znork (#47227431) Attached to: Facebook Lets Users Opt Out of Targeted Ads

The whole personalized ads gimmick is a worthless exercise for exactly the reasons you mention. From a marketing view, knowing that someone is interested in something is irrelevant compared to knowing when someone is interested in something. That is why it's much better to target contents rather than viewers, when someone is browsing a content then they're actually interested in related things at that point in time.

Facebook is the creepy salesguy sitting down at your table and trying to sell you something when your chatting with friends in a pub. Compared that with the guy coming up to you're browsing hi-fi stuff in a mall and suggesting you look at this amplifier, etc. Temporal targeting; without it you're just wasting time and money.

Comment: Re:everyone's a brain scientist now (Score 1) 211

by Znork (#47145087) Attached to: Study Finds Porn Exposure Associated With Smaller Brain Region

I don't quite get how what he says would go against what is known about depression? Apart from a short time of excessive popularity for the serotonin theory of depression, most of the time multiple neuro transmittors and brain regions have been implicated, with frustratingly difficult to trace causes and effects. Failures in the reward system could easily feed back into lower motivation leading into failures leading into depression, just as the other way around would lead to similar effects.

On the topic of smoking, tobacco contains harmala alkaloids which have reversible MAOI effects. They would be a strong contender for the anti-depressant effect. And yes, did the quit-smoking, spiral into depression and burnout thing.

Comment: Striatum (Score 5, Insightful) 211

by Znork (#47143387) Attached to: Study Finds Porn Exposure Associated With Smaller Brain Region

The striatum is implicated in ADHD and several studies have indicated reduced grey matter volume in that region for ADHD sufferers. Failure in the dopamine pathways will generally cause engagement in dopamine releasing activities, as a method of self medication.

So it's not like finding a correlation between dopamine seeking and striatum deficiencies is unexpected. And the most likely direction of causation is that the deficient reward region causes the increased porn watching.

Frankly I find the gleeful reporting on the issue to be somewhat offensive. Insinuating that what is probably an inherent handicap is something the handicapped did to themselves by being 'immoral' is quite disgusting.

Comment: Re:That's not true and you know it. (Score 1) 221

by Znork (#47140555) Attached to: Pirate Bay Co-Founder Peter Sunde Arrested In Sweden

Maths are just an abstract concept so a finite universe has no bearing on the existence of infinite number series. Apart from the ability to actually write them down on paper in their full glory.

However, there's nothing preventing the extraction of specific subsets and playing that subset in a music player.

Comment: Re:forever actually (Score 1) 1198

by Znork (#47117529) Attached to: Misogyny, Entitlement, and Nerds

Except that the vast majority of people do not think what you think they do. They do not think having sex with passed out people is ok. They do not consider dress code consent. They do not think she's playing 'hard to get'. Most people would and do call those examples rape.

You're extrapolating the justifications of a minor fraction of the population, the rapists, and trying to somehow apply that as a 'culture' to the rest.

In fact, the only time I can even recall seeing someone justify having sex with a seriously drunk and reluctant woman it was another woman

Comment: Re:forever actually (Score 1) 1198

by Znork (#47114937) Attached to: Misogyny, Entitlement, and Nerds

Yes. If she can reasonably assume that your judgement is significantly impaired due to alcohol consumption, in a lot of places you can claim rape. That's one of the reasons why 'rape' statistics are rapidly equalizing between the sexes. The shift in classifications and the fact that women apparently engage in sex with partners under as dubious circumstances as some men do, but with even less restraint or legal risk means they are quickly catching up.

I expect actual charges filed will start rising quickly as well, as more men realize it actually goes both ways and taking advantage of someone just because they're inebriated isn't ok whatever sex the partner is.

Comment: Re:What the f*$# is wrong with us? (Score 2) 1198

by Znork (#47111875) Attached to: Misogyny, Entitlement, and Nerds

Yeah, I'm quite sure the vast majority of men I know are nothing like the deluded fantasies this guy spews out of his mouth.

I am, however, beginning to suspect that this guy and others like him are projecting some quite nasty things they're getting from themselves on to others. If he actually believes that 'we need to get that', then (unlike most men) he certainly does need to get that. And help. Because unlike most men, he actually is a fucking creep.

Just because he's dead is no reason to lay off work.