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Comment: Re:"stealing just like stealing anything else" (Score 5, Insightful) 408 408

"At least if nothing else, this has convinced me to NEVER sign up for any Bell services."

And of course this "moral stand" has nothing to do with subscriptions for Bell services...
or maybe the fact that Bell is actively trying to gain traction for their own brew of Netflix (CraveTV) is mere coincidence.

Comment: Does this reasoning recurse? (Score 1) 129 129

Disclaimer: IANAP If an n dimensional space can be explained by an n-1 dimensional projection, can said n-1 dimensional projection be explained by an n-2 dimensional projection? But more importantly... what implications does this have for infinite stacks of turtles?

Comment: Reefer Madness (Score 1) 382 382

There has been evidence of this association floating around for ages. On the balance of evidence there may be reason for concern, but in particular as with anything in medicine, the right decision for any individual may come from presence of the right (or wrong) risk factors.

See e.g. : http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121114083928.htm http://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2012/01/11/the-neuroscience-of-pot-researchers-explain-why-marijuana-may-bring-serenity-or-psychosis/

One factor that would seem to be relevant is the proportion of THC and cannabidiol (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabidiol) present in plant strains, and change in ratios from decades past as plant breeding has changed the landscape of what effects may be expected from a particular plant.

The extreme reaction of "Reefer Madness" is almost certainly misguided, but there is reason to suggest that more science is needed towards ascertaining that the full benefits may be had, and risk factors removed (e.g. via genetic tests and controlled breeding/testing of plant strains) whether for medicinal purposes or otherwise.

Comment: The solution is easy (Score 1) 259 259

See the following. This isn't the only case of this, or the first but a representative case of things to come I hope:

http://www.sigir.org/forum/F2001/sigirFall01Letters.html

Many journals (Elsevier even) now have an "open publication model" if you're willing to pay them $2-$3K up front to cover costs. Some other open journals have a similar model. The cost for libraries to subscribe to journals as an institution is massive. If funds were instead allocated to paying basic fees for editing in lieu of subscription costs, this would be circumvented. One problem is older stuff stuck behind paywalls.
In any case, the tide will turn. Publishing companies must evolve if they hope to avoid being a tiny footnote in history 50 years from now. (Assuming there's space in the margin)

Comment: Re:"how attractive" is wrong, Chris Brown Pavarott (Score 2) 192 192

As you suggest "how attractive" is more nuanced than a 0-10 score on a linear scale. As I see it, this is no different than other recommendation systems. e.g. Netflix knows what you watch, knows what other people watch, and can make recommendations based on commonality in patterns. But each person is unique, and recommendations can take on this nature as well. Some users of the site may be relatively insensitive to physical appearance, while others might respond preferably to individuals with certain characteristics that can be quantified by a statistical model (whether this slice looks like Chris Brown, Pavarotti, or both). I'd also expect that this type of analysis will become increasingly common in dating sites, but elsewhere too. Anywhere that there are quantifiable measures that can be attached to people, and commonality established between people, there is the potential for "intelligent" recommendations to be made. Whether this works well in practice is another story, but time will tell. It's also the case that the devil is very much in the details for this type of work, so it's not as though this study means that this "problem" is solved.

Comment: Many hominid populations? (Score 1) 238 238

I should preface this question with two disclaimers:
  1. i. It is borne of an ignorance for how classification takes place with respect to ontology/phylogeny.
  2. ii. It could be received in a fashion that may be regarded as controversial, but the question derives from curiosity of this area of science and nothing else.

With respect to i., I'm hoping there's a biologist out there that is able to shed some light on a general question in this area of study:

  1. 1. If one were to examine humans that exist on earth today subject to the general criteria for grouping populations of hominids, are there multiple branches?
  2. 2. Related to 1, is it the case that a classification tree has been built on a relatively objective measures, or driven by proximity in observed samples (bone, DNA and otherwise). If the latter is the case, is it reasonable to expect that if the criteria for classification were based on e.g. the current population on earth, that one would observe distinct groupings of hominids?

Does the conclusion of this work amount to more than "one branch of a classification tree derived from observed data is more intermixed with another branch of the tree than previous data showed"?
I'm not trying to say anything about differences in people, or comment on methods in this area of study - but rather to understand the broader context of the reported results. Is the critical consideration that evolution tends to follow a continuum, but there are critical junctures where a mutation or two significantly changed the population dynamics subject to time, competition and environmental conditions? Is it a matter of coarse-grained as opposed to fine-grained changes over time, and where does one draw the line for coarse?

Comment: Factors that contribute to math genius (Score 2) 251 251

Root of Math Genius sought? If math genius can be quantified, then there's certainly multiple roots that should be considered. Some might seem irrational or even imaginary on the surface, but it should be easy to verify that these are indeed roots. I doubt that this study will result in anything transcendental in understanding the roots of math genius.

Comment: Re:Stupid users to lazy to read (Score 1) 150 150

When you connect your social media account to somethiing, it's reasonable to expect that every permission that they describe they are requesting they are actually going to use. If you're not comfortable with this, then don't connect the account to the service. Period.

"Stupid users" is a bit harsh. I'm sure that there is a reasonably large group of individuals that are relatively intelligent, but don't understand the technology and what they're signing up for. "To(o) lazy to read" is also pushing it. Terms of service, EULA's etc. are typically exceedingly long, and also sometimes verge closer to legalese than what many are used to reading. Prior to the inception of "big data", and privacy concerns coming front and center, I'm sure that many people were in the habit of simply clicking "agree" since it didn't matter all that much. Today this is much less true. The notion that "stupid people" should know better than to "agree" to something without knowing what they are agreeing to is potentially a dangerous doctrine to be pushing. Consider a con artist, or e-mail scam, or any scenario where there is someone gaining at the expense of someone else. Perhaps some blame lies with the victim, but certainly there are many scenarios where the finger can be pointed squarely at the aggressor.

"This is lemma 1.1. We start a new chapter so the numbers all go back to one." -- Prof. Seager, C&O 351

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