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Comment Re:Am I the only person... (Score 1) 194

... who still thinks being able to get a wireless internet link in an aircraft doing 600mph at 35K feet is pretty fucking amazing. I can't believe people complain about the bandwidth - they should be grateful this tech exists at all.

Yeah, but the problem is that the service offered today is exactly the same as the service that was offered in 2008. There has been basically zero progress over the course of over seven years, and the price has been steadily going up for that service.

Imagine if computers had the same capabilities, the same CPU speed, the same RAM, the same form factor, the same monitor resolutions, as they did in 2008 but cost a lot more. Who would still be buying them? (Basically the same people who buy airplane wi-fi service--business customers who have to.)

Yay, monopolies!

Comment Good! (Score 5, Informative) 528

In this day and age of malware being delivered even by supposedly reputable third-party providers, using an ad blocker is just plain responsible browsing. I'm sorry that web site owners are out some revenue for it, but if you want to make money off of me, you're going to figure out some way to do it other than leaving myself open to attack from malicious users.

There are a handful of web sites that I actually support financially specifically for this reason.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Statistics means never having to say you're certain.

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