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Comment: Re:So, let me get this straight... (Score 1) 93

by Ironica (#31710426) Attached to: Real-World Outcomes Predicted Using Social Media

So let me get this straight. A research institution came to the conclusion that popular things tended to earn a lot of money, while unpopular things tended to tank?

No... a research institution found a way to quickly quantify popularity without expensive market research and focus groups. *That* is the innovation here.

Comment: Re:Kudos to Google for being so open about the bug (Score 3, Interesting) 275

by Ironica (#30148978) Attached to: Bizarre Droid Auto-Focus Bug Revealed

It is gratifying for Google to be so open about the fact that it is a bug, the details of the bug, and a promise to fix it. Most consumer electronics companies are much more cagey about this sort of thing. I suspect Google will win some important trust because they are treating their customers like adults.

I realize the post was made by a Google engineer, but, wouldn't a bug in "the camera driver's autofocus routine" be on Motorola's end, not Google's? I'm sure they were working together on it, but aren't drivers usually written by the hardware vendor?

Comment: Re:What the world needs...is vegan cheese. (Score 1) 127

by Ironica (#30148614) Attached to: Former Microsoft CTO Builds Kitchen Laboratory

Daiya is fairly good, as is Follow Your Heart. But it is very difficult to replicate the stretchiness that casein imparts to cheese with other proteins.

I don't even want a cheese that's vegan, necessarily... I have no ethical problems with animal products*. I just want a cheese sub that doesn't contain any trace of dairy, soy, canola, eggs, or for that matter, gluten or corn.

* I have ethical problems with the way most food animals are raised, and do my best to choose meat that's been pastured and grass- (or otherwise naturally-) fed, because it's better for my family as well as more humane towards the animals.

Comment: Re:Power Steering failure? (Score 1) 609

by Ironica (#29828247) Attached to: Toyota Experimenting With Joystick Control For Cars

What happens when there's a power steering failure? I know it's not a common problem, but it is a problem which randomly comes up.

And it's a problem that may be more likely for Toyota, since they seem to have floor mats that like to smash their cars into other cars.

I, for one, will run screaming if one of these ever makes it onto the street.

Comment: Re:It's About Automation (Score 4, Informative) 383

by Ironica (#29750977) Attached to: CT Scan "Reset Error" Gives 206 Patients Radiation Overdose

Woops, silly me, repeating what I learned in upper-division Transportation Engineering lecture from professors with decades of experience in the field of road design. Guess I should have checked Wikipedia first, because it never lies!

Got a cite for your critique?

It's true that the majority of people who die in alcohol-related crashes have a BAC of .08 or higher (67% according to this site). However, lower down, we see that 37% of single-car crashes involve a BAC of .08 or higher, which is higher than the 22% average rate. Since my point was about the comparative risks to the drunk driver and the sober driver in an accident, single-car crashes are irrelevant. That takes out 67% of the drunk driving crashes overall, and similarly lowers the fatality numbers considerably.

Comment: Re:It's About Automation (Score 4, Insightful) 383

by Ironica (#29749197) Attached to: CT Scan "Reset Error" Gives 206 Patients Radiation Overdose

...But in that particular accident, the drunk is less likely to suffer severe or fatal injuries. The relaxant effect of alcohol makes their body more resilient to sudden shocks. Also, they're usually having a head-on collision, while they may be striking the other vehicle from the side; as head-on collisions are by far the most common, most of a car's safety features are geared toward mitigating them.

Comment: Re:Go Paperless! (Score 1) 557

by Ironica (#29609861) Attached to: Choosing a Personal Printer For the Long Haul

And just *how* do you suggest getting on a plane, getting into a movie, or shipping a box "paperless"?

These are all applications where you can (or even must) print out something to take with you or attach to an item and receive a service, where in the "old days" you used to have to go somewhere to pick up a specialty-printed item.

Comment: Re:No printer? (Score 1) 557

by Ironica (#29609825) Attached to: Choosing a Personal Printer For the Long Haul

I've been without a reliable printer for a few months, and it's HARD. Why? Because it's 2009, man, and there's a LOT of stuff available online now... like boarding passes, movie tickets, postage stamps, RMAs... that you can PRINT OUT and slap on a package or hand to the attendant at the door. In fact, sometimes, that's the only way to do something, like with shipping my broken Kindle back to Amazon.

Until we have ubiquitous e-ink paper, we're still going to have to print a lot of stuff out to make it available for uses that don't have a computer terminal.

Comment: Re:HP (Score 1) 557

by Ironica (#29609083) Attached to: Choosing a Personal Printer For the Long Haul

Ditto, ditto, ditto... but the reliability with CUPS (under Ubuntu Happy Heron) has been only so-so. At this point, it generally won't print at all, and then every so often, a complete power cycle (which is accomplished through unplugging it or courtesy of a power company blip) will spark a few dozen sheets of unicode hearts or half a page of something I tried to print a month ago.

I keep planning to move it across the room and try to hook it up to the Win2k box, to find out if it's a Linux compatibility issue or the printer is just dying, but that requires a lot of shifting around I haven't had a chance to do yet.

Comment: Re:That's easy (Score 2, Funny) 557

by Ironica (#29609005) Attached to: Choosing a Personal Printer For the Long Haul

HP Laserjet 4 and a box of crayons.

WTF? Who uses crayons anymore when you can go down to Costco and get a set of 100 high-quality colored pencils for what the box of 64 Crayolas (with the built-in sharpener) used to cost? They're FAR more durable, give better image quality, and offer a much larger gamut. I've never seen a toddler eat a colored pencil, either.

Comment: Re:Do you really need color? (Score 1) 557

by Ironica (#29608973) Attached to: Choosing a Personal Printer For the Long Haul

the fact is you can run a few hundred digital prints from Wal Mart for what a single color Inkjet cartridge costs. The quality is better, the fade resistance is better, and most people don't get a few hundred prints from a cartridge. And, assuming you're going there anyway and you have a typical cheap inkjet, it's easier to send them to the photodepartment via their web site and pick them up when you go shopping than to print them at home.

Costco too, for those who refuse to shop at the Evil Emporium.

Comment: Re:I see your problem (Score 1) 557

by Ironica (#29608719) Attached to: Choosing a Personal Printer For the Long Haul

Schedule 2 drugs can't be faxed, e-prescribed or phoned in. They have to hand-written (or computer printed), hand-signed and delivered by mail or by hand. The information that goes with prescriptions has to be printed and given to the patient.

There is no systems in place to change this.

Actually, there is a project in progress right now to test out a token authentication system for e-prescribing of Schedule 2 drugs. A health center in... I think... Massachusetts? is working with the DEA on it. They've developed the system and are currently using it on a trial basis. The project is funded by AHRQ, and there was a presentation of the work-in-progress during an AHRQ-sponsored Webex on e-prescribing and medication management on August 27th. If you can find a recording of it, you might find it fascinating.

Comment: Re:I like Bank of America's approach (Score 1) 140

by Ironica (#29581063) Attached to: Cyber Gangs Raise Profile of Commerical Online Bank Security

ATMs have been in place since when? The 70s? But ATMs only give you money. They don't let you pay anything.

You are misinformed. US ATMs accept cash and check deposits, allow transfers between accounts, and sell stamps. Some may even let you pay bills or order cashier's checks.

If you just require banks to come up with tighter security, what will happen? People will see that they have to jump through even more hoops when doing online banking and they will ask why, which the banks will gladly blame on the new directive (whether it's from the EU or the US government...), and shift the blame of the hassle on government and the "nanny state" that tries to patronize us and protect us from reality and yaddayadda. Nobody will explain that these "hardships" are there to protect your money from being stolen.

Which is still a better outcome than that they DON'T tighten security so that they don't have to do any of that pesky explaining.

The market *won't* motivate banks to do it on their own, not for a very, very long time... because people don't actually understand the risks, so they don't see a value in protecting themselves against them. It's that tricky "perfect information" component of Adam Smith's triad.

Comment: Re:World smallest fiddle... (Score 1) 97

by Ironica (#29572885) Attached to: The Top-Spammed States In the US

And you, sir, have trouble with multiple nested negatives. He's NOT going to NOT move somewhere because they have a lot of spam... take out both negatives, he's perfectly fine living somewhere with a lot of spam. UNLESS (another negative) you are talking about the food variety... implying that he *would* avoid living somewhere that had an overrepresentation of food Spam (R). Such as Hawaii.

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