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Comment: Not effective (Score 5, Insightful) 202

This kind of mass data collection on everyone is a huge waste of resources. The more people you add to a database, the less relevant it becomes for anything. People who know trade craft, know how to cover their tracks and pollute big data. So this is basically a giant database of amateurs, stupid crooks and ordinary civilians.

Another problem with big data are the large numbers of errors. I've run big databases where users were motivated to provide good data and there were still gaps in the data, misspelled names, numbers transposed, and some entries locked out because they were trying to enter duplicate primary keys. Travel data is coming in fast, I can't imagine what the exception reports look like every day.

Comment: This illustrates my problem with creationism (Score 1) 77

by HangingChad (#47484457) Attached to: Wearable Robot Adds Two Fingers To Your Hand

Religious people claim we were designed by god That seems hard to believe when engineering improvements like this can be made so easily. Our skulls are too soft, our field of vision and range of motion is fairly limited. If the Great Engineer in the sky really did design human beings, it seems like he or she could have done a better job. We have features that give us a competitive advantage over other animals, nothing more.

Comment: I'm one of those people (Score 1) 154

and because it's so realistic it can make some people (not everybody) feel nauseated if they start doing it for extended periods of time.

I had to quit playing FPS games for that very reason. I would get nauseous after a few minutes until I started taking ginger pills, which also work for me on boats. Can't rule out that it's not purely psychological but they worked whatever the reason.

Apparently ancient Chinese mariners used to use ginger for seasickness, but they all died anyway and didn't respawn. Obviously didn't do them a lot of good, did it?

Comment: Everybody skips the interesting bits (Score 4, Interesting) 299

by HangingChad (#47375241) Attached to: Site of 1976 "Atomic Man" Accident To Be Cleaned

Not only did Harold get a dose that was way beyond the LD50 for humans, he lived for 11 more years and died of unrelated causes. His pastor had to convince people he was safe to be around.

Harold was far from the only Tri-Cities nuclear celebrity. There were also stories about guys who would drop their pants and squat over reactor vents until their balls got a little burned. Think of it like a nuclear vasectomy. I never documented any of those stories but there were a lot of them and worse.

One thing I did personally document was that, adjusted for age, the cancer rate for people who worked at Hanford was not statistically higher than that of the general population.

I achieved my own personal notoriety there by accidentally leaving my dosimeter in my shaving kit and leaving that on an orange Fiestaware platter that was so hot it would light up a pancake meter on three scales. A few weeks later I get a panic call from Rad Services asking if I'm okay. Hehe. God, I hated that place.

Comment: Bigger than a tiny house (Score 4, Insightful) 118

by HangingChad (#47372091) Attached to: Chinese Company '3D-Prints' 10 Buildings In One Day

Those structures are bigger and sturdier than a tiny house with the added advantage of being made from recycled building materials.

The real question is structural strength and integrity and what agents are they using to make the mix dry fast. The Chinese could be using some nasty chemicals that wouldn't fly in building materials over here (Chinese drywall anyone?).

Still, if the units end up being even roughly equivalent to poured concrete, I could see living in a printed house, no problem.

Comment: Not news for anyone in the business (Score 1) 121

by HangingChad (#47360575) Attached to: Happy Software Developers Solve Problems Better

Talk about a headline from the No Screaming Shit Department, of course happier programmers are going to do a better job. There's no motivation to do your job well when you're miserable. That's why the team dynamics are more important than individual skill. I've seen one hot-shot programmer with great coding skills and horrendous personal skills totally undermine the team dynamic. No amount of skill makes up for being an arrogant ass.

Comment: About time (Score 2, Insightful) 276

by HangingChad (#47310555) Attached to: Federal Judge Rules US No-fly List Violates Constitution

It's okay having a no fly list but not having a way to appeal being on it is an abomination. The irony is that sometimes actual terrorists are allowed to fly so they don't get tipped off the US is watching them. That's downright brilliant there. If the US is going to ban someone from traveling, they need to admit it and provide an appeals process.

Comment: Useful Technology (Score 5, Interesting) 99

by HangingChad (#47280017) Attached to: Smartphones To Monitor Schizophrenics

As someone who used to answer the 911 psych calls for our volunteer FD in a rural area, a voluntary app like this could be really useful. Where we lived back then first responders were the only regular checks a lot of the psych cases ever got. By the time someone called 911, they were way off the sanity reservation. Then law enforcement got involved and packed them off to primary care. They'd stabilize on their meds, the hospital would cut them loose because they didn't have insurance, sometimes with a couple days worth of meds, and we'd start the cycle all over again. Anything that would alert medical personnel that someone was having a problem and find a way to get them some help before we got a call that they were chasing cows around in the pasture bare ass naked would be a good thing.

I learned that rural areas are full of crazy people because the cost of living is lower and they could be crazy and not bother as many people. It was kind of surprising to find out how many of our neighbors were genuinely, seriously out there howling at the moon loony tunes (technical medical jargon).

Comment: Re:SHeriff Michael Gayer (Score 1) 875

by HangingChad (#47202185) Attached to: America 'Has Become a War Zone'

Violence has been trending down for decades

You can't support that conclusion definitively. What's positively been changing for decades is the way police report crimes. That, combined with the sheer numbers of people we're imprisoning, might be contributing to a drop overall level of crime but until there are uniform reporting guidelines, that conclusion is, at best, fragile.

Around here if someone shoots holes in your apartment, unless someone is hit, it gets reported as vandalism, even though most sane people would agree that's a gun crime. If someone pulls a gun on you here, unless it's accompanied by a threat or robbery, it's not considered a gun crime. There was a big stink in the paper about it a few months ago that involved dozens of local PDs. How many other PDs are playing similar games with their crime statistics? Nobody knows for sure. Since that's where the FBI gets their statistics, then garbage in, garbage out would apply.

If A = B and B = C, then A = C, except where void or prohibited by law. -- Roy Santoro