Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

×

Comment: Re:About half (Score 2) 238

by ultranova (#49503647) Attached to: Norway Will Switch Off FM Radio In 2017

Meh. Didn't we hear the same argument when color TV was introduced? Or CDs, Digital TV, Digital cameras, Fly by wire, the Internet etc etc every other technology implementation ever?

Cassettes and analog cameras weren't banned. They simply fell out of favor because CDs and digital cameras were way superior as far as the end user was concerned. By contrast, digital tv and digital radio don't benefit the end user, they'll simply let parts of the spectrum be auctioned off; so they require legislation to force the end users to pay the costs for the transition so someone else can profit.

Comment: Re:Scientific American begs to differ (Score 1) 331

by ultranova (#49503611) Attached to: Can High Intelligence Be a Burden Rather Than a Boon?

What is 'general intelligence'? (Anything like Colonel Panic?)

Self-metaprogramming, basically. You are smart if you can repurpose existing neural circuits to handle new problems (because that way your consciousness is freed to consider things like consequences, and specialized circuit is of course faster than general-purpose one), you learn fast if you can build such circuits fast, and you are insightful if you can examine your own mental subroutines and how they work - if you actually learn to reprogram them consciously you'll likely find a new religion or something.

It does not follow that being able to understand calculus gives you peace, happiness and longevity.

70 years is equivalent to 411,222,120,000,000 miles. It might not actually be longer, but it sure sounds bigger :).

Comment: Re:Read "Outliers" (Score 1) 331

by ultranova (#49503573) Attached to: Can High Intelligence Be a Burden Rather Than a Boon?

It's not a debate that I mean to stir up 3-deep in a Slashdot thread, but just to say that the vast majority of people at most places on the political spectrum agree: Those that have the ability to succeed, should have the opportunity to. It's just the mechanics they disagree on that are sometimes, sadly, mutually exclusive.

The disagreement is about what happens to those who won't succeed, to Joe Average and Joe Hobo. Currently, Joe Average's position is getting worse and worse, which is a huge problem because modern economy can't actually work without them having money to act as consumers. And as the economy stalls and enters a tailspin, Joe Succesful shifts the blame to Joe Hobo, closing his eyes from the approaching ground because doing something about it would require taking a break from his personal interests to visit the cockpit, and getting Joe Average to get along with it because pretending bad things only happen to deserving people is a pleasant fantasy.

Of course such situations are always rectified eventually, the only question remains whether it's by recycling the wreckage.

Comment: Re:vs. a Falcon 9 (Score 1) 68

by Bruce Perens (#49501071) Attached to: Rocket Lab Unveils "Electric" Rocket Engine

They can carry about 110kg to LEO, compared to the Falcon 9's 13150kg. That's 0.84% of the payload capacity. A launch is estimated to cost $4 900 000, compared to the Falcon 9's $61 200 000. That's 8.01%. That means cost per mass to orbit is nearly an order of magnitude worse.

Yes, this is a really small rocket. If you are a government or some other entity that needs to put something small in orbit right away, the USD$5 Million price might not deter you, even though you could potentially launch a lot of small satellites on a Falcon 9 for less.

And it's a missile affordable by most small countries, if your payload can handle the re-entry on its own. Uh-oh. :-)

Comment: Re:Is the math not towing the groupthink? (Score 1) 181

by drooling-dog (#49495301) Attached to: Social Science Journal 'Bans' Use of p-values

The math works fine; the problem is choosing the appropriate method. My hunch is that the biggest mistake in the use of stats in the social sciences is failing to correct p-values for multiple comparisons. That is, if you're hypothesis is limited to predicting an association between two variables, then p-values are just fine. But if you sent out a questionnaire with 20 questions on it and compute all 190 pairwise correlations between them, you'll get around 9 or 10 "significant" (p 0.05) but meaningless associations just by chance. You can't (or shouldn't) cherry-pick these and write them up like they mean anything. Yet many people do just this, often not realizing how the hypotheses were selected (it can sometimes be subtle, or buried in the history of the project).

Comment: Re:Even more obligatory (Score 1) 181

by drooling-dog (#49495153) Attached to: Social Science Journal 'Bans' Use of p-values

A useful exercise (if you can use basic statistics software) that illustrates this is to generate a bunch (say, 10 or 20) of series of random numbers and then compute the matrix of correlations (or t-values, if you prefer) between all of them. You'll find that roughly 5% of the correlations are "significant" at the p.05 level, even though the series are really random and independent. It's a trivial result and just what you'd expect by chance, but it does drive the point home that you can't rely on p-values alone if you're testing multiple hypotheses. In the latter case there are corrected measures available that take this into account.

Comment: Re:If you are ABLE to be a hooker, detain you? (Score 1) 262

by khasim (#49494575) Attached to: FBI Accuses Researcher of Hacking Plane, Seizes Equipment

I hereby claim that I have hands, therefore I am able to stab someone. Should I be detained and my property seized because I am ABLE to commit a crime?

Situational.

The government does NOT do jokes about fucking with airplanes.

I guarantee you that if you were walking around an airport with a knife talking about how you COULD stab then you'd be detained. And they'd probably keep your knife.

Comment: Re:my two cents (Score 3, Insightful) 588

To your point (sorry!) There is no "fault". Girls tend not to care about STEM subjects. It's that simple. STEM requires endless hours studying alone, about subjects that would bore an anvil to tears. We literally drug our children to hold still and have the stuff poured into them. It isn't for everyone; that's why so many antisocial types gravitate towards it. You either like it, or you don't.

Teachers don't "fail" - students fail. And "failure" is not the right word. You can't force interest into a human child like some personality-altering enema. A teacher can instill the basics of how to be a human being, like history, and arithmetic, and reading. The rest comes from the child and the matrix the child lives in. You can't manufacture Alan Turings, and God help us if you could - the world does NOT need to be composed of semi-autistic math prodigies. We need the other types as well.

Let the DAMNED children become what they want to become. Here's a poser: has any one of these STEM-pushers asked the kids what they think about their "failure" to become good corporate tech fodder?

Comment: Re:my two cents (Score 1) 588

The whole "privatize schools into moneymaking ventures to raise test scores and thus provide cheaper, better labor for corporations" IS the experiment. But finding failure in the experimental results will not be tolerated. The schools will be turned into corporate labor factories, and we've no mechanism to stop them.

What are we losing? Imagination. The overworked, no-time-for-play lab mice have no damned imaginations. They will not be able to grow their minds that way. That requires free time, and freedom to wander around and do nothing but dream. That is no longer tolerated. Damaged mice. And eventually, a damaged culture, a passive, corporatized citizenry that can't even perceive what it has lost.

Comment: Re:Occam's razor? (Score 1) 588

And oh yeah: this is being done because employers want more job applicants and thus will be able, over time. to turn STEM jobs into a paper hat minimum wage paradise - for them. They are sick at the idea of all that money flowing out of their platinum parachute accounts and into the pockets of mere laborers. It has to stop!

Comment: Occam's razor? (Score 1) 588

Perhaps girls aren't as interested in STEM subjects as boys, because their intrinsic culture, the floating "girlness" passed on from mother to daughter and from playmate to playmate, veers towards social interaction and the softer subjects. STEM is inherently a loner's paradise.

Reengineering people is not a good idea. Girls will find their own way into whatever they wish to do. You can't force them to like what you like, no matter how many Starfleet academies you lock them into.

Comment: Re:You Can See (Score 1) 110

Microminiature accelerometers are really cheap and very very light, and you don't have to wait for them to spin up or deal with their mechanical issues. I doubt you will see a gyro used as a sensor any longer.

Similarly, computers make good active stabilization possible and steering your engine to stabilize is a lot lighter than having to add a big rotating mass.

"Pascal is Pascal is Pascal is dog meat." -- M. Devine and P. Larson, Computer Science 340

Working...