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Comment: Re:Good data first, then maybe big data later (Score 2) 93

by Registered Coward v2 (#48945879) Attached to: Cutting Through Data Science Hype

And then dates, can nobody ever get dates right. A favourite is that round one of the system will only record the day of a transaction but later they expand their collection to the hour and minute but now the old dates are all at noon or something. So when you try to find the usage pattern of users there will be this massive spike at noon and a scattering of transactions in the rest of the day. Try and run that through a Bayesian analysis.

Data quality has been an issue with every project I've worked on involving data analysis or integration into a new system. One project was combining two employee databases for a merged company, where they decided to use SSNs as the key for unique records since it was a US company. Unfortunately for them, foreign employees on temporary jobs in the US often had 999-99-9999 or 123-45-6789 as SSNs, with the occasional real one thrown in. Then their were duplicate valid SSNs for employees that worked for both companies at various times in their career. That project, as with all others, confirmed my 2-2-10 law of data cleanup:

Data cleanup will take twice as long, cost twice as much, and you will lose at least 10% of your data when you decide to finally give up scrubbing the data.

I have since added a corollary:

I do not do IT projects unless you pay me enough to retire on.

Comment: Re:Reminds me of a joke (Score 5, Funny) 93

by Registered Coward v2 (#48944093) Attached to: Cutting Through Data Science Hype

"Big Data" is like sex in high school. Nobody really knows for sure how to do it properly, but everyone thinks everyone else is doing it, so everyone says they're doing it, too.

Well, OK, but this is slashdot. Are you sure your audience will get this analogy? Can you try to rework this into a car analogy instead?

"Big Data" is like sex in a car while in high school. Nobody really knows for sure how to do it properly, but everyone thinks everyone else is doing it, so everyone says they're doing it, too.

Comment: Re:And how many weeks will NBD support take?` (Score 1) 117

This is why contracts need to be reviewed by lawyers. I'm sure there a few firms would relish the chance to sue Dell for breach of contract and irreparable harm.

Exactly. If they dropped ~150K for laptops they probably have a lawyer that does work for them. Once the 3 week window passed Dell should have gotten a certified letter and email from their lawyer.

Comment: Money (Score 5, Insightful) 255

The entrenched operators will spend whatever it takes to protect their monopolies; especially since bandwidth will be the real valuable commodity, not cable channels, as more services begin to offer content separate from a cable subscription. If real competition was introduced they will lose a lot of money and want to prevent that at all costs. The fear Google and local authorities who threaten their monopoly; and want to avoid any federal rules or laws that overturn local actions because it's easier (read cheaper) to influence local politicians than national ones.

Comment: Re:Nothing has been lost! (Score 1) 290

by Registered Coward v2 (#48821445) Attached to: Bitcoin Volatility Puts Miners Under Pressure

Currency in general is just common agreement to scale work for goods and services.

Actually, currency is just a way to store value and to use as a medium of exchange. Problems arise when a currency fails to hold its value, causing people to turn to other means of storing value. BitCoin essentially has undergone a very large inflationary period as its value dropped, eroding its usefulness as a currency. Who wants to hold money that is getting less valuable every day? Unless you are speculating you'll want to dump BitCoins for something more stable. However, large stores of BitCoins may be hard to exchange for cash and even if you can likely to erode its value further and reduce people's confidence in it as a form of currency.Companies that accept BitCoins are smart in that they really don't accept them but simply use an exchange that converts BitCoin into cash immediately. They don't carry a stack of BitCoins on their books, unlike cash, since they do not ant to assume the volatility risk.

Bit Coins are actually more real then the US Dollar. Sure we get a paper or coin note stating that this represents so much. But at least bit coin is connected to something in limited supply thus needs to be shared.

People,, will however, accept the dollar bill as a form of payment because they have a good idea what it will be worth tomorrow. BitCoin, not so much; and limited supply has nothing to do with an item's value.

Comment: Re:Jurors (Score 2) 303

If you ran a construction firm and we being prosecuted for fraud or something after a bridge collapse don't you think the jury should have members that know somethings about materials science and masonry? I think that would be fair.

Not necessarily, it would depend on your defense. You may not want someone who understands civil engineering because they may disagree with the facts you present and be able to convince the other jurors to ignore them or to downplay them. You have weakened your lawyer's ability to tailor the narrative to your advantage and thus increased the risk of you losing. Having a jury your expert can educate and whose testimony supports your lawyer's narrative would be more beneficial. As anecdotal evidence, I was on a jury where the defense's main point was that roadside sobriety tests are wrong 25% of the time and thus there was reasonable doubt whether her client was guilty of DUI. Unfortunately he failed several different tests a total of 8 times and .25**8 is a very small number indeed. Had she kept the jurors who actually knew how to calculate probability off the jury she may have won. As it was, she lost before we even started deliberations, all we had to do was explain to our fellow jurors what she had really proven by questioning the test's accuracy. Lawyers want to educate the jury, not have an educated jury.

Comment: Re:So, he is admitting that the attacks are true (Score 1) 786

by Registered Coward v2 (#48786295) Attached to: Michael Mann: Swiftboating Comes To Science

I think it's more likely that you just never bothered to get the facts, rather than that you are outright lying, but by all means, post a single shred of evidence for what you claim. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S...

Fair enough: Defenders of John Kerry's service record, including nearly all of his former crewmates, have stated that SBVT's allegations are false.[4][5][6]

It's pretty clear the attacks had very little to do with the truth but were simply a way to attack someone politically.

Comment: Re:So, he is admitting that the attacks are true (Score 5, Informative) 786

by Registered Coward v2 (#48783605) Attached to: Michael Mann: Swiftboating Comes To Science

Well, considering that the word "swiftboating" is derived from accusations against John Kerry that were true. when someone says they are being "swiftboated" they are admitting that the attacks against them are based in truth.

Except they weren't true, as almost all of his cremates have said.

Comment: Re:How is this supposed to work...? (Score 1) 181

There are also retention laws that cover certain situations. Setting data retention guidelines prior to the suit protects you from getting into this mess (if you can prove that you ALWAYS destroy your data after X days/ x failed writes/ etc. then you're not culpable if you do what you always do just prior to being served).

Excellant point. I have worked for several companies that had very clear and strict data retention and destruction guidelines; thus ensuring all of our working papers were destroyed and thus not subject to being part of discovery in a lawsuit. The only time we did not destroy the working papers was when we were informed we were about to served as part of a lawsuit against a client; we beat feet and got out Dodge before the server arrived and turned all the working papers over to our lawyer.

"May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house." -- George Carlin