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Comment: Re:It true !!!! (Score 4, Informative) 711

by LateArthurDent (#47157713) Attached to: Apple Says Many Users 'Bought an Android Phone By Mistake'

alternate browser: chrome and opera are available for iPhone, and probably ffx too ( i never checked). you can put the browser on your dock and take the safari browser off your dock. the only limitation is you can't change the default browser for which program is used when opening links in an email, etc. but otherwise do what you want.

Nope. All third-party browsers in iOS must use the iOS webkit framework. So yes, you can get "chrome" for iOS, but really it's just a Safari skin. Case in point, you can't use chrome extensions on it.

Comment: Re:It's the energy cost of the drive (Score 1) 339

by LateArthurDent (#47122953) Attached to: The Energy Saved By Ditching DVDs Could Power 200,000 Homes

That 50% assumption is stupid. You can't stream the food items or other things you buy while you're at that store. So you need to go to the store anyway, DVD or not.

I agree completely. If you're going to make the trip for any item, plus dvd, the only fair comparison is the extra energy used to carry the weight of the dvd around as a percentage of the other items you bought. Which would, of course, be negligible.


Google Starts Blocking Extensions Not In the Chrome Web Store 225

Posted by Soulskill
from the protecting-you-from-yourself dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Google has begun blocking local Chrome extensions to protect Windows users. This means that as of today, extensions can be installed in Chrome for Windows only if they're hosted on the Chrome Web Store. Furthermore, Google says extensions that were previously installed 'may be automatically disabled and cannot be re-enabled or re-installed until they're hosted in the Chrome Web Store.' The company didn't specify what exactly qualifies the "may" clause, though we expect it may make exceptions for certain popular extensions for a limited time. Google is asking developers to reach out to it if they run into problems or if they 'think an extension was disabled incorrectly.'"

Comment: Re:So how fast does real world value change? (Score 1) 303

by LateArthurDent (#46882585) Attached to: SEC Chair On HFT: 'The Markets Are Not Rigged'

If you accept that the market system is a way of determining the value of securities, then what does HFT mean? How is it possible for real world value to change over the course of milliseconds?

Well, first, real-world price is the price at which people are willing to buy and sell the good. So, if there are trades happening over the course of milliseconds, then you should expect that price to change over the course of milliseconds. There isn't anything unusual about that. For example, if you want to buy oranges, and I say that I will sell you oranges for $1.00, the price is $1.00 to you if you want to buy oranges. If somebody else says they'll sell oranges to you at $0.80 instead, then you'll buy from them instead of me, and the price just fell $0.20. How long did it take the price to fall $0.20? However long it took the other guy to make the $0.80 sell offer. That could have been a month after I made my $1.00 offer, or it could have been 0.2 ms after I made my $1.00 offer. Clearly, if he wants people to buy his oranges instead of mine, it's in his benefit to make his offer as quickly as possible, because after you buy oranges from me, you won't want to buy any more oranges. So if he waits a month, he may have nobody buying at that price.

Conversely, if I offer to sell you 5 oranges at $1.00 and they immediately sell at that price, I'm going to offer my next 5 oranges at $1.20. How fast did the price rise $1.20? How fast did I make my next offer? I could continue selling oranges at $1.00 for a month, but if people are buying a ton of them, and I think I can sell all my oranges for more money, it's in my advantage to up the price as quickly as possible. So, milliseconds after your order went through, I could decide to sell the next batch at $1.20.

There's absolutely nothing nefarious about millisecond trades and price changes, if that's all that's going on. The only difference from "real world phenomena" is that the brokers have algorithms to increase or decrease the share price automatically based on the supply and demand it sees. In a very high trade volume situation, that time matters. If you're faster than your competitor, people are buying and selling *from you* because your prices are always better, closer to the optimal given the supply and demand for the stocks. That's how you make money being faster.

Second, HFT helps you get the "real world value" because the way you get a "real world value" is through iteration. When I decide to sell you oranges at $1.00, that's not the real-world value of oranges. That's a guess I made at the price, assuming there would be exactly enough demand for oranges at $1.00 as I have the ability to supply it. If people are willing to buy it at a higher price, I'll find that higher price faster the quicker I can perform trades and vary my price, and the more trades that I can make. Same if people are only willing to buy it at a lower price. It's no different than, say, if I want to find the square root of a number via the Babylonian Method. If I have a computer running at a low clock frequency, each iteration might take a second. If I have a computer running at a high clock frequency, each iteration might take a microsecond. They both get to the same answer, but a higher clock frequency gets you that answer faster. Again, nothing nefarious about that, and it means that at any one point a human looks at the price of stocks, it's a value that most accurately reflects that equilibrium price between buyers and sellers, because all the iterations are happening very fast.

What *is* somewhat nefarious is that apparently some trading houses are noticing you just bought all the oranges they were selling at a particular price. Then they assumed that you're likely trying to buy oranges from your competitors as well, for a similar price, at the same time. So, because they have a faster connection to the other trading house, they start buying oranges from competitors before your request to buy gets there. When your request to buy arrives, they tell you, "we're no longer selling at any oranges at that price." So the original place just bought up YOUR cheap oranges, and they get to sell it at a slight profit margin. It's not exactly front running, because that would be if your broker, once you've placed an order to buy oranges, instead of buying at your behest, goes out and buys himself a bunch of oranges, then sells them to you at a higher price. He knew what the demand was going to be, because you told him, and he caused the price to go up as a result. In this case, the trading house is buying up more oranges, but they don't *know* that you've placed on order elsewhere. They're making an assumption and taking a risk, based on some algorithm that predicts that type of stuff with some probability. That said, I will agree that's ethically iffy, because they are acting on knowledge nobody else will have for the next few milliseconds, and trading while they have that advantage.

Comment: Re:Something which I do not understand (Score 1) 642

Cosmologists say that when we look in the sky and all the stars and planets, we can see them escaping us. This explains that the universe is expanding. But if we can observe the same thing from every side of Earth, wouldn't it mean that we are in the center?

It's a good question. Try this video


Tesla Model S Gets Titanium Underbody Shield, Aluminum Deflector Plates 314

Posted by Soulskill
from the responding-to-a-challenge dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Tesla Motors made headlines several times last year for a few Model S car fires. Elon Musk criticized all the attention at the time, pointing out that it was disproportionate to the 200,000 fires in gas-powered cars over the same period. Musk didn't stop there, though. He's announced that the Model S will now have a titanium underbody shield along with an aluminum bar and extrusion. He says this will prevent debris struck on the road from breaching the battery area. Musk offered this amusing example: 'We believe these changes will also help prevent a fire resulting from an extremely high speed impact that tears the wheels off the car, like the other Model S impact fire, which occurred last year in Mexico. This happened after the vehicle impacted a roundabout at 110 mph, shearing off 15 feet of concrete curbwall and tearing off the left front wheel, then smashing through an eight foot tall buttressed concrete wall on the other side of the road and tearing off the right front wheel, before crashing into a tree. The driver stepped out and walked away with no permanent injuries and a fire, again limited to the front section of the vehicle, started several minutes later. The underbody shields will help prevent a fire even in such a scenario.' Included with the article are several animated pictures of testing done with the new underbody, which survives running over a trailer hitch, a concrete block, and an alternator."

Comment: Re:LED (Score 1) 921

by LateArthurDent (#46362457) Attached to: Woman Attacked In San Francisco Bar For Wearing Google Glass

just stop pointing your camera at me. I don't care if it's showing a red light or not. She was being obnoxious, and wouldn't stop when asked.

You don't have the right to have someone not point a camera at you. You can leave, and cover your face, but you can't really force them to stop. You can politely tell them that it makes you uncomfortable, but if they want to be assholes about it, there's no law against being an asshole. There's definitely a law against you assaulting said asshole and/or stealing their property.

Comment: Re:what will it take for general acceptance (Score 1) 921

by LateArthurDent (#46362411) Attached to: Woman Attacked In San Francisco Bar For Wearing Google Glass

Filming is what you do to other people

Oh? What exactly are you doing to other people when you film them? Stealing their soul?

If you're not touching somebody, you're not assaulting them. If you're not following them as they try to leave you, you're not harassing them. Filming somebody is not doing anything to them anymore than loudly talking about them to somebody else, so that they can hear. They're peripherally involved, they might be annoyed by it, but they don't have any right to stop you.

Comment: Re:what will it take for general acceptance (Score 1) 921

by LateArthurDent (#46362355) Attached to: Woman Attacked In San Francisco Bar For Wearing Google Glass

Sure they have. And sometimes they get attacked. Happens all the time. But since it is not google glass, it doesn't make it to slashdot. People don't like to be recorded without their permission. It doesn't matter if it is google glass. This article attempts to make it sound like google glass users are a group that is discriminated against. That is not the case.

I don't know what bar you go to, but I've never seen that, ever. In fact, if the bar has live music, I've never been to one without at least 20% of people recording.

Comment: Re:Take pictures, press charges. (Score 1) 921

by LateArthurDent (#46362303) Attached to: Woman Attacked In San Francisco Bar For Wearing Google Glass

Apparently there is, even if the law doesn't currently recognise it. Maybe that law is out of date and should be changed.

I don't think so, but let's say you're right. The trick is that recognizing such an expectation of privacy cannot mean that you just ban cameras you're uncomfortable with. You have to ban security cameras. You have to ban reporters who are covering a story. You have to ban people taking selfies at bars and other locations where it's not possible to ensure someone who didn't consent will show up in the background.

If the majority of people in a jurisdiction are willing to go with that, then yeah, the law should be changed. I think they're not. I think the first time you take your phone out to take a picture of something cool you've seen and other people tell you that you can't do that, you're going to throw a fit. People don't really think they have an expectation of privacy at those locations, they just feel uncomfortable when they see a camera next to them because it makes it obvious that they have no expectation of privacy, and they don't like to be reminded of that. They like to pretend they're not ending up on the background of tons of pictures, or being laughed at by the police who is reviewing security tapes because someone's wallet was stolen at the same time you were at the bar getting slapped for the stupid line you tried to use.

Comment: Re:No, not those who don't understand... (Score 1) 921

by LateArthurDent (#46362185) Attached to: Woman Attacked In San Francisco Bar For Wearing Google Glass

Holding the camera up pointing at the room with the screen towards you would be offensive whether or not you were filming.

No. In a public location, bringing a high quality video camera out, setting up on a tripod, and pointing it at straight at you is perfectly acceptable. It's a public location, you have no privacy. You are within your rights to leave, to cover your face, to turn your back to the camera. You can't attack the owner of said camera, or take the camera away.

At the bar you own, or at your house, or at any private property in which the owner doesn't want the device on, you absolutely have the right to kick anybody out who doesn't follow the rules. But somebody is perfectly within their rights to stand in the public street and point a camera at your house window. The only legal recourse you have is to close the blinds.

This obviously depends on the jurisdiction in your area, and whatnot. However, for a lot of the US, that happens to be true. And it's the way it should be.

Comment: Re:To quote one of my professors... (Score 1) 124

by LateArthurDent (#46237057) Attached to: Why P-values Cannot Tell You If a Hypothesis Is Correct

Exactly. However, that's not a difficult problem to solve. What the Nature article fails to address is the real problem: it's not easy to publish papers that do nothing but confirm the findings of another paper.

The article talks about how a researcher had his dreams of being published dashed once he failed to achieve a similar p-value upon attempting to reproduce his own research. This is bullshit. Journals should be selective, yes. They should be selective in terms of whether experiments have been run with proper methodology, and whether the study supports the conclusions made by the author. They shouldn't be selective based on p-value. For proper science to occur, not only should said researcher have been able to publish his first low p-value study, he should have been able to publish his second high p-value study. Other researchers at different institutions should attempt to reproduce the work and publish their positive or negative findings. Only once dozens of said studies are performed can we actually start to draw a conclusion: if only 1 in 20 experiments show a p-value below 0.05, well that doesn't actually disprove the null-hypothesis, it's evidence for it.

Even if the 5% chance of a paper being bullshit was an upper bound, that would still be a really plausible scenario. Replicating experiments are a fundamental part of science, but journals are only interested in unique experiments yielding positive results with low p-values. Either that or negative results replicating a particularly important paper that everyone takes for granted. Ideally, while grad students are still new and learning the ropes, their research should consist of replicating others' research and publishing the result, whatever it may be. It's the perfect job to get them started before they've had the chance to do significant research of their own, and it's incredibly valuable to the community at large.

Comment: Re:But it is horribly wrong anyway. (Score 1) 458

by LateArthurDent (#46061533) Attached to: Stephen Hawking: 'There Are No Black Holes'

Yet, if you put those same satellites in orbit around a black hole, GR math will fail in similar manner...Additionally, GR doesn't properly account for even gravity at super scales.

Is that right? I was under the impression GR is supposed to work fine orbiting a black hole, and that you only ran into problems once you got close to the singularity, because at that point it's dealing with small scales. Simultaneously, quantum mechanics is unlikely to work there either, because it's dealing with very large gravity in small scales. Basically, the singularity is the point where you run outside the scope where either theory works correctly: GR works well with gravity at large scales, but works poorly at small scales, and quantum mechanics works well at small scales, but doesn't work well when gravity is a significant factor (therefore the need for the development of a quantum gravity theory).

I'm not a physicist though, so I'd be glad to be corrected if my understanding is incorrect.

Comment: Re:Decaf at Starbucks? (Score 4, Insightful) 124

by LateArthurDent (#46008803) Attached to: A Data Scientist Visits The Magic Kingdom, Sans Privacy

Plus I kind of think that doing risky behaviour *should* increase your premiums (and reduce everyone else's of course).

I never understood that argument. You guys argue that people who have insurance should pay their premiums in proportion to how likely they are to use it. You consider that the fairest possible payment system. However, if you take that to its logical conclusion, you should only charge people who actually end up using it. So you should go ahead and eliminate insurance altogether, and you have the fairest model possible: only people who get into car accidents pay the costs, only people who get sick pay medical costs, only people who get robbed suffer their losses.

The entire point of insurance is to make the payment unfair in order to diminish the payment by spreading the risk among everyone. You agree to pay something, even though you hope to never have to cash in on the insurance, so that if you do have to cash in, everybody else who doesn't need to cash in subsidizes you, and you pay less. You do this for peace of mind. What you should want isn't to pay commensurate to your risk, you should want everybody to pay equal rates, which will result in the lowest possible premium for everyone. If you determine that premium is too high for your risk level, that should mean you think your risk level is low enough to go without insurance.

Real Programmers don't write in FORTRAN. FORTRAN is for pipe stress freaks and crystallography weenies. FORTRAN is for wimp engineers who wear white socks.