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Comment: Re:OCA (Score 1) 184

Your social security number is known by every billing, credit, and banking company you deal with. There is no secrecy over it, every call center employee and up has access to it.

Your purchase history is known by every company you regularly purchase from (unless you always use unmarked cash). It is also known by your bank, and others those companies share it with.

Marriages are public record. Arrests are public record unless sealed by a judge.

Comment: Re:War of government against people? (Score 5, Insightful) 875

by Lemmeoutada Collecti (#47200067) Attached to: America 'Has Become a War Zone'
So just a counterpoint of logic:

Hypothesis: A increasing leads to B increasing.
Measured: A increases, B does not.
Revised hypothesis: A therefore does not lead to B increasing, since there is a negative correlation.
Reality: A increasing leads to B increasing, C increasing leads to B decreasing. During the measured period, A increases and C increases. If the effect of C increasing exceeds the effect of A increasing, then B decreases.
Result: By not measuring or accounting for C, the measured results appear to be a negative correlation between A and B.

The difficulty in a scenario like gun control is in the elimination of outside influences in the study. Unless all of the influences are accounted for, then negative correlation can mean that there is no causal relationship, or it can mean that the causal relationship is being overwhelmed by some other factor. The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

Comment: Re:Physical interdiction of trucks? (Score 3, Interesting) 207

by Lemmeoutada Collecti (#47128697) Attached to: UPS Denies Helping the NSA 'Interdict' Packages
UPS drivers have assigned routes that they drive, so barring vacation and sick time any given address is serviced by the same driver every day. Knowing which truck is similarly easy, since all that would be needed is to track the first few stops to get the truck number - and if required, the driver of the day's name. Knowing the day is a function of UPS' own tracking systems, it will tell you when a package is out for delivery.

So here is a theoretical setup:

1) Identify the route of the target - the company who ordered the part
2) Order a delivery scheduled for the same day to a company earlier in the route
3) Watch the second company, identify the truck number and driver
4) Run a background on the driver to find out family, friends, brand of toilet paper
5) Meet driver en route and perform the stop as above

Comment: Re:Yes, there are methods available (Score 1) 552

What about a non technological approach? I know that dogs can read even the smallest human gesture - we have coevolved them to do so for millenia - and that there are assist dogs available for a wide range of debilitating conditions that prevent normal communication.

It's possible that having an animal that is completely focused on doing it's best to understand her may be a positive thing - at the very least helping her feel less trapped. And unlike dealing with humans, the animal doesn't get upset when it misinterprets her, it just tries harder.

Comment: Re:concentrate on what she needs (Score 1) 552

If possible, you can also reach out to any of the organizations that bring comfort animals into hospitals. While she may not be able to respond, these animals (usually dogs) don't ask anything and just give attention and comfort. Since everything is input right now, the more positive the input the more likely it is to provide some help.

Comment: Re:Why single out Whole Foods? (Score 1) 794

by Lemmeoutada Collecti (#46375387) Attached to: Whole Foods: America's Temple of Pseudoscience
I actually did ask, and got a well reasoned answer: it is mostly gluten free, in that it is not cured with products containing gluten. They don't label is as such because it comes from omnivores who may have (and probably did) eat gluten containing foods, so there is no guarantee that there is no gluten in it from them being living, wandering, eating animals. So they don't label what they can't back up.

Comment: Re:lack of local government oversight is the cause (Score 1) 513

by Lemmeoutada Collecti (#46320975) Attached to: Why Is US Broadband So Slow?
Unfortunately, many of us have jobs, families, and lives that don't allow us to be the politicians; participation in the HOA, Subdivision, City, County, State, and Federal processes that many of us live under would consume a significant portion of what (if any) free time we have available. This is why we, in theory, elect representatives to act in our stead. What has happened is those people willing and able to represent us are not those qualified or trustworthy to do so, and the populace has become disillusioned with options available to choose from.

I am not sure what solution there is to this problem. If history is any indicator, then those who are least qualified to wield power will also be those who most seek it.

Comment: Re:Spreadsheets are lousy programming models (Score 1) 186

That's pretty much the summary of why I use them, as well as to initially organize sample data sets so I can quickly rearrange and visualize them. But as anyone who has attempted to use Excel to calculate a result on a million plus row spreadsheet knows, automatic calculation quickly becomes an enemy of the state - it slows to a crawl as the data sets grow or the calculations become more complex than just sum/average/etc.

Another post above points out the cause of the issue - one change can kick off a fanning of calculations, and each calculation can kick off another fan out. Loops are also easy to create, so I wonder how RP deals with those.

Comment: Re:"feeling like I had violated my patient's priva (Score 3, Interesting) 231

by Lemmeoutada Collecti (#45897015) Attached to: The Other Exam Room: When Doctors 'Google' Their Patients
Just remember as you say things like that, the doctor doesn't work for you. He works for the insurance company, the one who is paying him and with whose policies he either complies or goes unpaid. It's been a long time since the doctor was really in charge of his practice.

Comment: Magical Fairy Formula (Score 1) 307

by Lemmeoutada Collecti (#45188607) Attached to: How To FIx Go Open-Source!
P = Population of the United States over the age of 18
H = Number of households

All members of P will require information from the site.
Open enrollment for most company health plans is from Oct 1 - Oct 15.

Most members of P who need to compare to company health plans will need to access the site between when it opens - Oct 1 - and the deadline for open enrollment in their company plan - Oct 15.
Assuming 80% of P is in the above category:
L = (P - H) * 0.8

Using data from
L= (240133500-114761359) *.8
L=125372141 * .8=100,297,712 users
Multiple by number of clicks/page loads to accomplish the basic tasks and you have a number of approximate hits. From what I have seen of the site, that is approximately 20 page loads.
So 2,005,954,240 hits / 15 days / 24 hours per day / 60 minutes per hour / 60 seconds per minute = ~1548 hits per second minimum capacity required.
If we further assume that the initial surge will be more than 1/15 of the population, then that number can be scaled appropriately.

It's not black magic.

Comment: Use the Space, Cowboy Neil (Score 4, Insightful) 1191

by Lemmeoutada Collecti (#45006723) Attached to: Come Try Out Slashdot's New Design (In Beta)
As a user of wide screens and larger fonts, I find the fixed width of the layout harder to read - I can only see a small list of one-two story summaries in the classic or new layout. Please do not follow the trend of making narrow center columns just to make space for pretty or advertisements on the sides.

The first Rotarian was the first man to call John the Baptist "Jack." -- H.L. Mencken