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Comment: Re:I'm driving a rented Nissan Pathfinder while my (Score 3, Insightful) 617

by Overzeetop (#49529139) Attached to: Cheap Gas Fuels Switch From Electric Cars To SUVs

There's a lot of truth in that. I have a Dodge Grand Caravan. I hate it with every fiber of my being, but it is the ideal vehicle in many ways except self esteem. It can carry longer items (up to 10') easier than my truck, it can carry more things inside than most SUVs - and all the back seats fold down to make a large flat cargo space in under a minute. It gets mid-20s gas mileage on the open road. It will *comfortably* seat 6 adults and still have room for a weekend of luggage, or four golfers with a weekend of luggage and 4 sets of clubs.

The only real down sides are
      it is not good in snow/ice conditions. Though, to be fair, my wife's Subaru is still better in bad weather than my 4WD truck.
      it cannot compete with a small car for fuel efficiency (if you're travelling with 4 or fewer passengers)
      it sucks the very life out of your soul as a driver and owner

Comment: Re:Obsolete smart TV's? (Score 1) 129

by Overzeetop (#49527983) Attached to: YouTube Going Dark On Older Devices

Yeah, I made that mistake. Never again. And it has nothing to do with being obsolete.

The difference between Panasonic's "Smart TV" apps and the cheapest plug in sticks (FireTV/Chrome) or puck STBs is absolute night and day in terms of functionality and responsiveness. We've given up on the embedded apps entirely because they're so slow and buggy.

Comment: Re:Got Fiber? (Score 3, Insightful) 101

They'll be happy to fleece the rest of the 99% of us that don't have fiber. And if the heat gets to be too much, they'll just charge those in single provider areas more and roll out fiber to compete where Google forces their hand, letting everywhere else languish, all the while pointing out that rolling out Gfiber is causing their rates to go up, up, up, and there's nothing they can do about it because the FCC keeps upping their costs through redefining broadband.

Comment: Physics (Score 1) 167

by Overzeetop (#49510457) Attached to: ISS Could Be Fitted With Lasers To Shoot Down Space Junk

When you run a marathon, nobody asks the runners why they don't bring all of their own water on the run.

When you're payload mass fraction to get into orbit is less than 2%, there's little incentive to keep spare fuel for decommissioning, and that doesn't count all of the little bits that fall off along the way.

Comment: Alternatives to Mendeley (Score 1) 81

Personally I have found Mendeley frustrating to use anyway. Seemed more interested in shiny features than working well. Wasn't very good at maintaining its bibtex file (which could be a problem using it with other programs) and expected you to have digital references only.

JabRef is a great multiplatform reference manager which combines excellently with Docear for writing a paper/thesis/dissertation (Docear lets you organize your references and annotations as part of your outline). I have also found it worth it to run PDF-XChange Viewer under WINE. It is unfortunately not open source but it supports any feature you can think of for annotating PDFs and integrates nicely (with a bit of non-windows setup) with Docear.

Zotero is another great reference manager. I have also heard good things about BibDesk (OS X only).

Comment: p-value research is misleading almost always (Score 5, Interesting) 208

by SteveWoz (#49495363) Attached to: Social Science Journal 'Bans' Use of p-values

I studied and tutored experimental design and this use of inferential statistics. I even came up with a formula for 1/5 the calculator keystrokes when learning to calculate the p-value manually. Take the standard deviation and mean for each group, then calculate the standard deviation of these means (how different the groups are) divided by the mean of these standard deviations (how wide the groups of data are) and multiply by the square root of n (sample size for each group). But that's off the point. We had 5 papers in our class for psychology majors (I almost graduated in that instead of engineering) that discussed why controlled experiments (using the p-value) should not be published. In each case my knee-jerk reaction was that they didn't like math or didn't understand math and just wanted to 'suppose' answers. But each article attacked the math abuse, by proficient academics at universities who did this sort of research. I came around too. The math is established for random environments but the scientists control every bit of the environment, not to get better results but to detect thing so tiny that they really don't matter. The math lets them misuse the word 'significant' as though there is a strong connection between cause and effect. Yet every environmental restriction (same living arrangements, same diets, same genetic strain of rats, etc) invalidates the result. It's called intrinsic validity (finding it in the experiment) vs. extrinsic validity (applying in real life). You can also find things that are weaker (by the square root of n) by using larger groups. A study can be set up in a way so as to likely find 'something' tiny and get the research prestige, but another study can be set up with different controls that turn out an opposite result. And none apply to real life like reading the results of an entire population living normal lives. You have to study and think quite a while, as I did (even walking the streets around Berkeley to find books on the subject up to 40 years prior) to see that the words "99 percentage significance level" means not a strong effect but more likely one that is so tiny, maybe a part in a million, that you'd never see it in real life.

Comment: Re:Wow. Just wow. (Score 4, Interesting) 325

by Overzeetop (#49487511) Attached to: LA Schools Seeking Refund Over Botched iPad Plan

Based on what's been posted, Pearson (and, presumably Apple) promised a product/curriculum combination with essentially a custom use case in mind, the district purchased based on the sales literature, and then Pearson couldn't deliver what they promised. It's called false advertising and Pearson may be left holding the bag if the allegations are true and hold up in court.

Comment: Re:Are the two networks truly separated? (Score 2) 113

We do, but this aero doesn't do all that electrons stuff. I deal with the magic that makes thousands of pounds magically levitate; it's the EEs that magically make disembodied human voices come out of nowhere and blinky lights obey the commands of hidden daemons. ;-)

Comment: Re:Alternative Idea for Landing (Score 1) 342

These are gut reactions, based on a career in engineering structures spanning 25 years including 8 of those with NASA directly, 2 with Orbital Sciences Corporation, and 15 in private practice as a licensed professional engineer. I also happen to build and fly amateur (well, high-power, technically and I don't formulate my own propellant) rockets as a hobby.

Someone is unenthusiastic about your work.