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Comment: Re:Correlation is not Causation (Score 2) 316

by Neil Boekend (#49377721) Attached to: Poverty May Affect the Growth of Children's Brains

It all depends on lactase persistence and that depends on genetics. The relevant mutation in the gene for lactase is relatively new, without it you simply can't handle lactose after puberty.
The mutation is common in people with Caucasian ancestry, in purely non-Caucasian ancestry lactose intolerance is extremely common. If 90% of your adult population gets the runs from lactose then cows milk isn't going to appear in the national cuisine, except for maybe as a drink for children.
It is an interesting gene to trace because it isn't old enough to have spread over the globe yet.

Comment: Re:Ikea (Score 1) 71

by Neil Boekend (#49368657) Attached to: Ikea Refugee Shelter Entering Production

A good manual saves 80% of helpdesk time. A really good manual saves 90%.
Ikea manuals are really good. They even allow their products to be less logical in construction, resulting in lower production cost and lower transport cost on top of the lower helpdesk cost. The manual is a one time investment, the others are continuous.
As with all things, this is a balance. Making a good manual costs time and money. I wouldn't be surprised if each IKEA product is assembled according to the manual a few dozen times before it lands in the warehouses, in addition to the time spend on writing, drawing and revising the manual. Ikea can recoup that cost as savings amortized over many many products, but not all products have such a large userbase that the invested time and money will be returned.

Comment: Re:is this good? (Score 1) 159

How do they actually work? Do they do any kind of entropy calculation, or check the data against known rainbow tables? Or do they just apply rules?

AFAIK all I have seen clearly use a set of rules. Seems to be: length + number(yes/no) + symbol(yes/no) + capital letters (yes/no)
For each "yes" a value is added to the length. The resulting sum is the metric.
Advantage is that it's easy and fast. Disadvantage is that it's not all that good.
Dictionary check + entropy calculation (using a dictionary for "correct battery horse staple" type password entropy checks) would be better but would also require far more computing power and availability of a dictionary. The user doesn't have a suitable dictionary so you can't offload the calculation to the user.

Comment: Re:Biggest issue is still liability (Score 1) 177

Dunno how it is in the US, but here in the Netherlands you are obligated to prevent parts from dropping off your car. Also, the quite thorough yearly tests check for such cases.
The first car would be liable.
In practice it is impossible to find liability in such a case. If I drive behind a car that looks like it's going to loose parts I'll keep an appropriate distance. It doesn't happen all that often.

"Now this is a totally brain damaged algorithm. Gag me with a smurfette." -- P. Buhr, Computer Science 354