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Comment: Percent. . .Percent. . . PERCENT! (Score 1) 56

by Paco103 (#47936215) Attached to: London's Crime Hot Spots Predicted Using Mobile Phone Data

Any article citing statistics is invalid when they don't understand the difference between percent and per cent. Getting 62 things right per US penny is a VERY cost effective system, probably regardless of what information we want to get right.

Unfortunately, all this says is that if we place our population under total surveillance with trackers, we can increase anticipation of crime by 8% (accuracy of 62 to ALMOST 70%). This says nothing about preventing those crimes or what type of crimes it prevents. Actually if you read the article, it only increased accuracy to 68%, so a 6% gain. Way to glorify the stats in the media. They should have said "just over 60% to almost 70%". This would have made this 6% increase look like a 10% increase.

Comment: Re:hmmmm (Score 4, Interesting) 275

by Paco103 (#47876517) Attached to: California Tells Businesses: Stop Trying To Ban Consumer Reviews

Agreed. I always go straight to the bad reviews. Usually the 2-3 star are the most useful. 1 star is often posted by people that will never be happy and is usually a rant about something insignificant, unless there are lots of them. Even a company with 99% ratings, I'll look at those 2-3 stars to see how they handle things when they DO have problems,

That's the real lesson companies need to learn. Bad reviews are a great chance for good PR. It's ok to screw up. Last time I logged a complaint at Amazon, I almost felt bad about having said anything. THAT is why they're dominating the market. I have paid extra to buy things through them rather than direct from a dealer because the Amazon backing had that much value to me. I didn't know if the dealer would back the product, but I *KNEW* Amazon would.

Comment: I thought we were seeing the end of powerpoint. (Score 2) 81

by Paco103 (#47854603) Attached to: Microsoft Takes Down Slideshow-Building Tool After Getty Images Lawsuit

This summary just built up my hopes and then shattered them. Oh look, another meeting. I can't wait to see more stupid pictures and charts of information that can't possibly be read from a distance greater than 3 feet from the projection screen.

Comment: Re:Pick your poison (Score 1) 337

by Paco103 (#47655185) Attached to: Microsoft Surface Drowning?

I've been happy with it - but I would probably agree that ruggedness is not going to match the Surface just due to convertible vs slate form factor. I've had mine since April, but I'm not especially hard on equipment either. They also make the IdeaPad Yoga, which is similar in spec but much cheaper, targeted at consumers. This is the one you'll find at Best Buy and the like. It does not have the wacom digitizer, non HD screen, the keyboard does not lock when folded (though it does still deactivate, it just doesn't leave the firm back), and trades some of the magnesium for plastic.

Comment: Re:Pick your poison (Score 1) 337

by Paco103 (#47648227) Attached to: Microsoft Surface Drowning?

I have the Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga. Had been looking at the Surface (because I loved the pen input for note taking on my old WinXP Tablet.). I ended up going with the Yoga because
1) Full keyboard/touchpad/nub (whatever you prefer) and self supporting screen like a laptop
2) Pen input for note taking was important to me (not all subjects are great for keyboard input)
3) i5 with 4GB or i7 with 8GB pretty much matches hardware in Surface.

vs Surface where
1) Keyboard sucks
2) Display can't support itself, so it's only useful on a table or handheld, not as a laptop with a keyboard on your lap.

Cons (depending on perspective) is that it's larger (with larger screen). The keyboard is not detachable but does recess and become un-pressible (pretty solid) when in tablet mode.

Alternatively the Transformer is also pretty decent, if you're ok with the Baytrail class Atom processors. Still have been quite impressed by those. My old Atom's were painful to do much with, but I have a coworker that has used his Transformer to run Visual Studio and work on.

Comment: Re:They're worth $0 (Score 1) 232

by Paco103 (#47230627) Attached to: US To Auction 29,656 Bitcoins Seized From Silk Road

You can transfer it to other addresses. Just because it's known that I own address A, doesn't mean it's known that I own address B. A transaction can be proved to have transferred from address A to address B, and that B now owns it, but there is no way to prove that the owner of address A also owns address B *without* gaining access to the local wallet file that contains the keys. This is how "offline" storage works. You generate a new address on a machine that never sees a network connection. The coins are still "stored" on the network, and anyone can see where they are, but nobody has access to the private key to sign it over to a new address without having physical access to the machine with the private key (or copies that have been made).

So yes, it can still be anonymous. You take the 3000 BTC as a known and identified user. You immediately transfer these coins to a bunch of other random addresses that you create. For all anyone else knows, you sold them to some guy on the street, some guy on ebay, some guy on craigslist, your brother Phil for that pizza. Prove I own that address? You would need my private keys to do that, and there's nothing preventing me from destroying the private keys as I empty the accounts. I have a coworker that pays me for lunch in BTC all the time. He only assumes that's my address he's sending money to. It could be my Grandmother in Switzerland, or a charity or open source project I'm fond of. He has no way of really knowing that without catching me with my private key.

Comment: Re:How is this a good idea? (Score 1) 249

by Paco103 (#47217111) Attached to: New Permission System Could Make Android Much Less Secure

I don't get why. I have PrivacyGuard on CyanogenMod, and it allows me to individually approve or deny permissions. So far, no app has broken in any strange, unexpected way. Some apps ask for SMS permissions because they have the ability to text friends for shares. I deny that ability, because I don't use that feature. It may be legitimate, or they may have provided a legitimate excuse to mask more nefarious behavior. Likewise, I've blocked GPS access to all apps except maps. For anything else (weather, yelp, etc), broad tower based location is good enough. I deny internet access to any app that doesn't have a legit internet need. Google can still display ads if they want, the google services have access, let them proxy ads. Very few apps have access to my contact list. I have not seen a single application fail to do what would be expected based on the permissions I grant it. It also lets me see how many times an app requests certain permissions, and it's amazing (and a little comforting) to see how many apps never request unusual permissions that they ask for at install.

Comment: Re:Windows XP Tablets (Score 1) 321

by Paco103 (#47109607) Attached to: I Want a Kindle Killer

I had one. Loved the thing. I could type my notes in classes that lended themselves to that, and then flip it over and hand write notes and homework for other subjects, like physics and math. The reason for poor sales was likely due to price vs benefit. For a lot of people touch input is only useful in front of the TV, and for that $1500 is a lot of money for anything without an apple logo. Mine was a Toshiba Satellite, and I finally replaced it last month with a ThinkPad Yoga, because I really did not want to give up pen input.

Comment: Re:Walled E-Mail: Facebook (Score 1) 121

Yes, and I don't get flooded with Spam and Phishing, so I'm okay with it. And to be clear, there is a huge difference between spam and advertising. I don't mind advertising. It's clean and often targeted to something I may actually be interested in seeing or learning about. Spam on the other hand is a constant barrage of things that rarely even make sense, are only occasionally in a language I speak, and promise that a beautiful 10 right down the street from me is totally in to nerdy 5's, and I need to message her today. I get spam on ICQ and Yahoo pager, so I no longer use them. I don't get spam on Facebook (with the exception of friends and game invites that I can easily and effectively block), I get advertising.

I'll take that trade.

Comment: Re:why not just have a baby earlier? (Score 1) 342

by Paco103 (#46809189) Attached to: Women Increasingly Freezing Their Eggs To Pursue Their Careers

I have no kids, not sure if I want them. But this is BS. Because I have no kids, I have a lot of time for other things. I spend time with friends kids, trying to be a positive influence for them. I volunteer with many charities that I wouldn't have time for with my own family. I am a volunteer firefighter, because my finances and time allow me to be so. I have never pulled a person from a building, but I have saved houses, pets, cut people out of cars, and performed CPR on a man for over an hour that ended up surviving. I have worked in disaster zones searching for unaccounted for people. I guarantee none of those people know my name or my story, but I bet they or their family remember someone (or a few someones) they had never met before showing up and making a difference.

You just have to decide what a legacy means to you. I do believe I have made a positive impact, and that my existence on Earth has mattered. Plenty of people are bringing kids into this world. What makes that a legacy, other than society has told you it is? My grandparents had kids, but I guarantee you they have no more of a legacy than I do. Don't believe me? What do you know about your great great grandparents? Your grandparents might remember them, but chances are, unless you go out of your way to study your genealogy, you don't know any more about them than any other random person that existed at the time.

Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.

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