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Comment: Re:The Dark Age returns (Score 5, Insightful) 479 479

You don't need to directly observe something in order to prove that it exists. That notion is a load of hooey propagated by someone with no scientific knowledge or experience.

I have never been to New York City. There's a chance that I might never go. But I have seen ample evidence that it exists that I don't need to actually go there to accept as indisputable fact that it is real.

The key there is evidence. I don't reject the evidence of New York City's existence simply because I don't want to believe that it's not there. If, on the other hand, someone were try to believe that the city of Atlanta doesn't exist, I would take strong exception to that because I've been there and I know firsthand that it does exist.

The problem with Creationists--and the reason it has NO place in a science class--is that they expect people to reject all evidence for a universe billions of years old and all evidence that the Theory of Evolution is correct in favor of another idea for which ZERO evidence exists, an idea for which mountains of evidence in fact disproves. That is the antithesis of science.

Comment: Re: And it's not even an election year (Score 1) 407 407

Then take a statistic course so that you will understand what a "representative sample" means. There's a point after which it doesn't matter whether you poll 60,000 households, 600,000 households, or 6,000,000 households, the number will be within a margin of error that you deem acceptable.

If that bothers you, then don't ever leave your house again, because it's the same methodology by which, for example, car manufacturers determine whether or not your car will spontaneously explode while you're driving down a highway. It probably won't, but if that amount of statistical certainty isn't good enough for you to trust the BLS to have a pretty good grasp on what they're doing, then what else do you just take for granted?

Comment: Re: And it's not even an election year (Score 0) 407 407

Actually, they do, and it is the one you hear most often in the media. I'm not sure where this fiction came from that people off of unemployment aren't counted among the unemployed, but the only three criteria for being counted as unemployed are:

  • That you do not have a job,
  • That you have actively looked for work in the past four weeks, and
  • That you are currently available for work.

I've noticed a disturbing trend lately, mostly from right-wing nutcases, to try to redefine "unemployment" to be something that it's not, in some way that is different from how it's been calculated for decades, to include people like retired people not seeking a job, students, new mothers who have voluntarily left the workforce, people who haven't sought a job in more than a month, etc.

Unfortunately for them (and you), unemployment has a specific economic definition and doesn't change based on what you think "feels right". The current unemployment rate is 5.5%. Arguing that it's something different is like arguing that the mass of an object is higher because your arms are tired and it feels heavier when you try to lift it.

Privacy

Google: Our New System For Recognizing Faces Is the Best 90 90

schwit1 writes Last week, a trio of Google researchers published a paper on a new artificial intelligence system dubbed FaceNet that it claims represents the most accurate approach yet to recognizing human faces. FaceNet achieved nearly 100-percent accuracy on a popular facial-recognition dataset called Labeled Faces in the Wild, which includes more than 13,000 pictures of faces from across the web. Trained on a massive 260-million-image dataset, FaceNet performed with better than 86 percent accuracy.

The approach Google's researchers took goes beyond simply verifying whether two faces are the same. Its system can also put a name to a face—classic facial recognition—and even present collections of faces that look the most similar or the most distinct.
Every advance in facial recognition makes me think of Paul Theroux's dystopian Ozone.

Comment: Re:We each have oour favorites. (Score 3, Interesting) 181 181

Have you listened to their new album, Endless River? It's almost all instrumental and has many of the same riffs from Division Bell. It's familiar enough to sound great, but new enough that it's novel. If you listen to Wish You Were Here while coding, I suspect you'll really enjoy this one as well.

Comment: They're already doing it with some apps (Score 1) 415 415

I bought a Surface, and I've been playing with some of the little built-in "free" games. (Solitaire, Mah Jong, etc.) There's an option to pay a small amount to remove the ads from them, and not being a fan of ads (and really not minding paying the microtransaction amount), I clicked the option. It took me to the store where, for $1.99, I could remove the ads for a month. Or for something like $10, I could remove them for a year. No option to remove them permanently.

Um... Seriously?

No thanks.

Comment: Re:What about long-term data integrity? (Score 4, Informative) 438 438

Well, the Samsung 3.2 TB drive claims that you can read/write the entire drive every day for five years before failure. It's my understanding that at one point, SSDs were notorious for gradually declining over time, but that today's generation of SSDs basically has reliability out the wazoo. I can't quote you stats on it, but anecdotally, I've had a couple of SSDs in my computer for several years now, I leave it on 24x7, and I've never had a problem.

...Yet. YMMV.

Comment: Re:Munchkin! (Score 1) 274 274

It can be, but it can also get to be a bit of a slogfest with more than two or three players. I've played games that have lasted six hours because the incentive is to constantly team up against the person in the lead, and there are so many ways to knock them down. I've also seen people get pissed off at other people while playing, which is probably to be expected in a game that openly encourages you to stab your buddy in the back.

It's clever and the cards are especially funny the first three or four times you play it, but after that, I really prefer games like The Resistance, or Ticket to Ride, or even Pandemic (which is cooperative play, and very rarely results in any one person getting pissed off or feeling like a loser).

Comment: Re:How about Parallel Query Execution? (Score 2) 162 162

I like the way the linked page uses Web 2.0 when it means scalability.

Great job with the buzzwords.

You know, I was just going to let this go, chalked up as random Internet stranger being an asshat, but seriously. Are you SO bored or jealous of other people's achievements that you have nothing better to do than to sit around and nitpick the friggin' ad copy of a marketing page that was undoubtedly written not just for people who want to know the technical specifications of the product, but common usage applications for it also? What you're calling a "buzzword" is information that business wonks need to know when faced with the question, "Will this solve my problem/fulfill my needs?"

When you develop your own database system, you can write your own ad copy to say whatever you want it to. Or if you prefer, apply for a job at Postgres as their chief marketing guru, and if they're dumb enough to hire you, you can write its ad copy to be purely technical-oriented until the product is completely irrelevant in an actual production environment. ("Now for OS/2 Warp and BeOS!") Otherwise, forgive me if I don't put much weight into your opinion on the matter over the people who have written a kick-ass enterprise-quality system that is pretty much given away for free.

Seriously, what exactly are you implying by your comment, that PostgreSQL isn't a capable database system? That they just use buzzwords instead of actual technical brainpower and muscle as the basis of their software? Because I can tell you that to people who architect, engineer, administer, and eat database systems for breakfast, you are sadly off-base here, and this comment comes off as extremely pompous and ignorant.

Comment: Re:A few questions (Score 1) 1374 1374

...you don't know what you're talking about.

As long as you insist this, then I am completely unmotivated to continue any argument with you, as you have already made up your mind that anyone with a contrary opinion "doesn't know what they're talking about."

That's why we fight for every inch.

That's why ultimately you will lose this battle, because you have exactly zero interest in passing reasonable gun laws based on facts or data. You activities are based solely on a zealous ideological bent driven by beliefs that you cannot back up.

The only way my guns pose any threat to you are if you pose a threat to the safety of my family or if you're the poor dumb slob sent to try to take them from me.

...Says every dumbass whose kid or other innocent victims of deliberate or accidental gun violence ends up dead because "I had no idea that this could ever happen to my family!" Read up on the Sandy Hook massacre. Nancy Lanza thought the same thing. Or just open up your local paper and read about the latest four-year-old kid whose twit of a parent said exactly this before the ensuing tragedy.

Comment: Re:A few questions (Score 1) 1374 1374

You're not talking about "military-grade" anything, you're talking about "scary looking" guns.

No, I'm not. I'm referring to weapons that meet certain criteria such as maximum rate of fire, maximum accurate firing range, muzzle velocity, etc. "Scary looking" doesn't have a damn thing to do with the weapons I'm referring to. Do you honestly think that the only reason I have an issue with people getting their hands on, for example, a Bushmaster XM15-E2S (the weapon used by Adam Lanza at Sandy Hook Elementary School), is because it's "scary looking"?

This is why we need a policy that doesn't depend on cosmetic appearance or that consists just of a list of weapons, but one that specifies objective measures of destructive capability.

We have sitting members of congress who in fact do want to remove all firearms from civilian hands...

So? We also have sitting members of Congress who want to repeal Social Security. We have sitting members of Congress who want to do away with the capital gains tax entirely, which would basically reduce the tax on super wealthy people to zero. We have sitting members of Congress who want to do away with minimum wage laws. Hell, we probably have sitting members of Congress who would love to repeal the 13th Amendment and re-institute slavery, though hopefully most of them who want that are smart enough to keep their damned mouths shut. I'm not particularly worried about these things happening because it doesn't take just one, a few, or even a lot of sitting members of Congress to get a law passed, it takes a majority. (Or as is the case on any bill that's even a little bit controversial and many that aren't today, a supermajority.)

The fact is that Congress will never be able to "remove all firearms from civilian hands" without a complete repeal of the Second Amendment. And if those sitting members are able to eventually get enough support behind them to pass a repeal in 2/3 of BOTH houses of Congress and 3/4 of all of the states, then who the hell are you to dictate that it shouldn't happen? Or do you only believe in the Constitution when it's personally convenient to you?

Of course, you and I both know that this argument is just a shitty "slippery slope" argument that will never actually come to pass. I heard the same argument in 1994 when Congress passed the Assault Weapons Ban, and of course, it never came to pass then, either. No one ever showed up to confiscate all of your guns then, did they?

...coincidentally these are the same members of congress who push bullshit like "universal background checks", which are backdoor registration and semi-automatic gun bans.

...Except that it's not. You say this like universal background checks is this weird unsupported idea that only a few kooks in Congress want to see happen. At one point, polls showed that over 90% of Americans supported this law. Now that it's out of the public eye, the number has gone down, but it's still in the high 80s, something like 87% today.

The only people who DON'T support universal background checks are pretty much paranoid idiots who think that the gub'ment's out to get them and that they need semi-automatic weapons to defend themselves against some imagined tyranny.

What's that, you don't think you fit that description? Then tell me, why do you not want your weapons tracked? Are you really so grossly irresponsible with them that you're genuinely afraid that you'll lose them or they'll be stolen and used in crimes? Do you plan to use them in crimes yourself? Why do you feel like you need a semi-automatic weapon so badly that it's worth, for example, 20 children in Connecticut being mowed down? I don't have any semi-automatic weapons; in fact, I don't even own a gun, and somehow I've managed to get through several decades of existence without ever once thinking, "Wow, this is a situation in which having a semi-automatic weapon sure would be warranted!"

The computing field is always in need of new cliches. -- Alan Perlis

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