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Comment: There is no power. (Score 4, Informative) 350

by FhnuZoag (#48384579) Attached to: Debunking a Viral Internet Post About Breastfeeding Racism

I am actually a statistician. And this 'study' looks pretty worthless.

The problem is the issue of a 'huge gap'. What gap is huge? Well, we can try and do a power calculation. How big does the gap between the black and white targets *need* to be, to have a good chance of showing up in this test?

This is simple enough to calculate. Plug in some numbers:
1. Sample size in each group - 50
2. Level of Significance - 0.05
3. Power - i.e. the desired probability of finding there to be a significant difference, *if a difference exists*. I've chosen a standard number of 0.8 - i.e. allow for a 20% chance of missing a true effect by accident.

Fixing the proportion of inappropriates for the white woman at 70%, we find.... 91.8%.

In other words, with this sample size, we actually only rule out a difference of 70% vs 91.8%, or in other words, an over 2/3rds drop in the proportion of people finding the picture appropriate.

To rephrase: if the truth was that 2/3rds of the people who think a white woman is breastfeeding would *not* think a black person breastfeeding is appropriate - a situation that I think you'd agree is very racist - then we'd miss such an effect in an experiment like this over 1/5th the time. Even assuming the experiment was conducted ideally, and no one was just randomly clicking to earn money.

This article is meaningless.

Comment: Re:There can be no defense of this. (Score 1) 184

by FhnuZoag (#48335029) Attached to: British Spies Are Free To Target Lawyers and Journalists

Who said anything about practicing lawyers? The text of the rules regarding lawyers refer to all lawyers.

The reason why there is no abundance of dangerous terrorists who are simultaneously lawyers, is because there is no expectation of special legal protection for lawyers, outside of one specific thing, attorney-client communications. Thus there is no value for a terrorist or serial killer to declare themselves a lawyer. If the GCHQ rules have said something different, that *in principle, lawyers are automatically exempt from security services investigations*, without any regard to necessity or proportionality, you can bet a lot more people would declare themselves a 'lawyer' for the convenience of it.

There are no required qualifications to practice law in the UK. A blanket ban on investigating lawyers is essentially unworkable.

Comment: Re:Full passage (Score 2) 184

by FhnuZoag (#48334901) Attached to: British Spies Are Free To Target Lawyers and Journalists

In other words, despite the summary saying "British spies have been granted the authority to secretly eavesdrop on legally privileged attorney-client communications", the actually released documents say almost exactly the opposite.

British spies explictly do not have, by default, the authority to target the communications of lawyers, and even if they were granted authority, legally privileged attorney-client communications are explicitly barred from their access, being excised from transcripts by audio analysts before being passed to investigators.

Comment: Full passage (Score 1) 184

by FhnuZoag (#48334817) Attached to: British Spies Are Free To Target Lawyers and Journalists

You may in principle target the communications of lawyers. However, you must give careful consideration to necessity and proportionality, because lawyer-client communications are subject to special protection in UK law on grounds of confidentiality known as Legal Professional Privilege. If you intend to or have inadvertently targeted lawyers' communications, and it seems likely that advice to a client will or has been intercepted, you must consult Legal at GCHQ who will seek LA advice. Further information is in Communications Containing Confidential Information.

I honestly don't see anything wrong with this. The point here is multi-fold:
1. There is a distinction between targetting individuals who are lawyers, and targetting lawyer-client communications. Lawyers are human beings, and not everything they do is a client communication. Lawyers do not become uniquely immune from appropriate investigation, just because they are lawyers. Otherwise that's a pretty gigantic loophole.
2. It's clear that the approval 'in principle' is bound by rules and caveats. Spies don't actually have the authority to spy on their own in this case, they "must" escalate to someone else to grant them that authority. The rule of thumb is given on page 90, point number 5: "there must be evidence of criminal activity by the lawyer". Even then the information is to be kept from anyone involved in the trial.

https://www.documentcloud.org/...

Comment: WHY (Score 3, Interesting) 347

by FhnuZoag (#48211983) Attached to: The Classic Control Panel In Windows May Be Gone

This is a terrible idea. The point is that the 'Modern UI' is designed around full screen apps. But system configuration is one thing that enormously benefits from opening up windows alongside the control panel (for example, to follow a set of instructions), opening up multiple control panels to refer to each other, and so on. Microsoft is basically directly removing usability.

Comment: Re:The mention of Valentina Tereshkova is ridiculo (Score 1) 200

by FhnuZoag (#48185095) Attached to: The Woman Who Should Have Been the First Female Astronaut

Right, exactly. What the USSR and the US chose to do in the space race was to symbolize those aspects of their national character that they wished to promote. That the Soviets sent the first woman, made a pretty clear message - that at that time at least, the USSR was ahead of the US in terms of gender relations.

Comment: Re: All about perception (Score 1, Insightful) 200

by FhnuZoag (#48185077) Attached to: The Woman Who Should Have Been the First Female Astronaut

Those factors ceased to be relevant when military operations stopped being about people walking a hundred miles on foot and then clubbing each other in the head with heavy bits of metal.

Smaller? Well that means they are a smaller target, you can fit more of them into a transport, they have more room to move around the interior of a fighting vehicle. Strength matters somewhat but smaller people also eat less, and so are a reduced logistical burden.

In terms of speed and endurance, it is far from clear that women are inferior men:
http://faculty.washington.edu/...

Besides, armies are not composed of average men - and they would not be replaced with average women. Differences between men and women *on average* are meaningless. The average soldier can be easily replaced with exceptional women.

Comment: Re:Emma Watson is full of it (Score 1) 590

by FhnuZoag (#47992085) Attached to: Emma Watson Leaked Photo Threat Was a Plot To Attack 4chan

What about explanation 3: Recruitment processes are hugely inefficient at choosing the correct candidate based on the benefit they will bring to the company?

It is trivially easy for companies to be *both* greedy and incompetent, as recent incidents will again and again suggest.

Comment: Re:What are you afraid of? (Score 5, Insightful) 191

by FhnuZoag (#47992013) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Keep Students' Passwords Secure?

I think you are totally right here. The phrasing of this question as being about 'security' is actually totally off base. From the student's perspective, there is no advantage to security. Only the textbook publishers actually benefit from security - they don't want people who haven't paid for the textbooks to read them.

For the student, what he or she actually cares about is being able to easily access he or her school stuff. The worst case scenario is not someone stealing his or her password, it's not being able to recall his or her password and thus being unable to participate in class. Lastpass etc is overthinking it. Just set the password to something simple and easy to remember, and write it down just in case they forget.

Comment: A cautionary tale? (Score 5, Insightful) 189

by FhnuZoag (#47565929) Attached to: An Accidental Wikipedia Hoax

This is not a cautionary tale about the fundamental unreliability of wikipedia. This is a cautionary tale about the fundamental unreliability of human knowledge. That Taiwanese English professor, those "innumerable blog posts and book reports", that book on Jews and Jesus - all of them accepted the account as given. That makes them *also* unreliable, together with the plethora of tertiary sources that might cite them. The fact that the untruth was initially added to wikipedia and not some other location is irrelevant. The real problem is the tendency of mankind to accept things as given without checking up on it.

It's a poor workman who blames his tools.

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