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Comment: p-value research is misleading almost always (Score 5, Interesting) 193

by SteveWoz (#49495363) Attached to: Social Science Journal 'Bans' Use of p-values

I studied and tutored experimental design and this use of inferential statistics. I even came up with a formula for 1/5 the calculator keystrokes when learning to calculate the p-value manually. Take the standard deviation and mean for each group, then calculate the standard deviation of these means (how different the groups are) divided by the mean of these standard deviations (how wide the groups of data are) and multiply by the square root of n (sample size for each group). But that's off the point. We had 5 papers in our class for psychology majors (I almost graduated in that instead of engineering) that discussed why controlled experiments (using the p-value) should not be published. In each case my knee-jerk reaction was that they didn't like math or didn't understand math and just wanted to 'suppose' answers. But each article attacked the math abuse, by proficient academics at universities who did this sort of research. I came around too. The math is established for random environments but the scientists control every bit of the environment, not to get better results but to detect thing so tiny that they really don't matter. The math lets them misuse the word 'significant' as though there is a strong connection between cause and effect. Yet every environmental restriction (same living arrangements, same diets, same genetic strain of rats, etc) invalidates the result. It's called intrinsic validity (finding it in the experiment) vs. extrinsic validity (applying in real life). You can also find things that are weaker (by the square root of n) by using larger groups. A study can be set up in a way so as to likely find 'something' tiny and get the research prestige, but another study can be set up with different controls that turn out an opposite result. And none apply to real life like reading the results of an entire population living normal lives. You have to study and think quite a while, as I did (even walking the streets around Berkeley to find books on the subject up to 40 years prior) to see that the words "99 percentage significance level" means not a strong effect but more likely one that is so tiny, maybe a part in a million, that you'd never see it in real life.

Comment: Downtime is a factor (Score 1) 155

by KatchooNJ (#48707069) Attached to: Designing the Best Board Game

Oh... I also left out that Cosmic Encounter is a game with basically zero downtime, since everyone is usually involved in everyone else's turn. That can be something that keeps people happy in games when they HATE waiting for their turn. I am far more patient than some players, since I can handle old-school wargames that take all day to play, but I am easily in the minority. ;-)

~Kat ^_^

Comment: Games with Negotiation and Variety (Score 1) 155

by KatchooNJ (#48707023) Attached to: Designing the Best Board Game

Games where there is a lot of variety and games with negotiation are golden in my book. This is why I adore Cosmic Encounter and Dune. Both games are made by the same guys and they were far ahead of their time. You will never play two same games of Cosmic Encounter or Dune. Such great games. Cosmic Encounter is definitely far easier to get to the table because Dune basically is best with exactly six players... and Dune can be too long for some players. I should also add that Dune was reprinted as Rex (rethemed sci-fi game in the Twilight Imperium universe) because the Herbert estate wouldn't give rights to use the theme again, so if you want to play a proper copy of Dune, it can be pricey. The Dune theme is also a big fun-factor for me, so I will always prefer to play Dune over Rex. Theme is usually a huge factor in me liking a game or not. Games with light theme tend to be lower on my list.

I also really love cooperative games, but I know that some people HATE those types of games. Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island is a 10/10 for me. Dripping with theme and so fun to play. It also plays amazingly well solo, so that is always a plus for a game. :-)

~Kat ^_^

+ - Apple Deleted Users' Non-iTunes Music->

Submitted by KatchooNJ
KatchooNJ (173554) writes "Engadget is reporting that Apple deleted users' non-iTunes music and didn't tell them about it. From the article:

Tell us if this sounds familiar: You grabbed Lady Gaga's The Fame Monster from Amazon MP3 in 2009, threw it in your iTunes library, went to sync your 160GB iPod classic and got an error message saying you needed to restore the device's factory settings. According to The Wall Street Journal, upon restoring, non-iTunes music would disappear. In the courtroom for the anti-trust case, prosecuting attorney Patrick Coughlin said that Apple directed the software to not tell users about their now-missing songs, too. Cupertino countered by saying that its actions were to thwart any attempts at hacking into iTunes and that users were kept in the dark for a reason. As security director Augustin Farrugia testified:

"We don't need to give users too much information... We don't want to confuse users.""

Link to Original Source

Comment: One thing... sugar tastes better than HFCS (Score 1) 422

by KatchooNJ (#48186307) Attached to: Soda Pop Damages Your Cells' Telomeres

I know one thing for sure... HFCS doesn't taste exactly the same as regular cane sugar. It was the mid-80s when most of the major sodas converted to using HFCS and those of us who lived through that remember that it tasted different. In fact, I have recently discovered Mexican Coca-Cola (in glass bottles!) made with cane sugar instead of HFCS and it has totally won me over. I feel like I am drinking a soda again from 1984. Unless there is more going on in that formula in Mexico, it shows me that sugar tastes better than HFCS... no doubt about it.

Comment: timing - which year (Score 2) 72

by SteveWoz (#47628049) Attached to: Expensive Hotels Really Do Have Faster Wi-Fi

I travel a ton and stay in dozens of different hotels every year. Domestically, and in maybe 50% of the foreign cases, the high priced hotels had worse and slower internet up until a couple of years ago. For the last 2 years they have gotten better, on the average. Oh, I was in a 5-star Vegas resort last night that had horrible bandwidth. In the past, my joke was accurate that the difference between a Four Seasons (just an example) and a Super 8 is that at the Super 8 the internet worked and was free. The most important thing to me in a hotel is computer use. The fancy suites in major hotels are often set up for entertaining friends and DON'T even have a computer desk. I ask my wife to book me into Super 8's whenever possible.

Comment: Re:The question to me seems to be... (Score 1) 148

by SteveWoz (#47357639) Attached to: Lawrence Lessig Answers Your Questions About His Mayday PAC (Video)

End goal: change the constitution. We need a start. It's easy to see how hard this will be and to give up early, but some of us feel the imperative to fight for it. We can change things. The vast will of the masses (corporation political donations are not equivalent to the free speech we enjoy as individuals) needs to be strategically gathered. Critical mass could take decades, as with things like gay marriage.

"Necessity is the mother of invention" is a silly proverb. "Necessity is the mother of futile dodges" is much nearer the truth. -- Alfred North Whitehead