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Comment: Re:Pioneers get arrows in back (Score 1) 122

So?

There had been smart phones around for years before the iPhone. And before that, we had PalmPilots. And yet, the first round of apps from the App Store and the first round of apps on Android, were both pretty craptacular too. The first round of apps on the iPad were little more than inflated versions of their iPhone counterparts. Most of the early (decent) PS4 games were just "remastered" released of PS3 titles. And then there's the whole Windows 8 fiasco, which took place years after desktops, smartphones, and tablets had all been on the market for years, but managed to be bloody awful on all three.

When developers target a new platform, it takes a bit of time before they get good at it. News at eleven.

Comment: Re:Another load of Federal B.S. (Score 4, Insightful) 258

by SvnLyrBrto (#49497497) Attached to: Gyrocopter Pilot Appears In Court; Judge Bans Him From D.C.

Powerful people don't like to be made to look like fools. That's this man's real crime. He made the Secret Service and the Air Force look like a bunch of clowns who can't defend the capital's airspace, even with whatever post-9/11 security enhancements they've made, even from a slow-flying (Maybe homebuilt? Most autogyros are.) aircraft, and even after Hughes publicly announced his intentions to do so.

What *should* happen is a house-cleaning in the Secret Service and Air Force for being so incompetent as to allow this to happen; a slap on the wrist for Hughes for the actual offense, and then a commendation for demonstrating that the emperor was wearing no clothes that day. Unfortunately though, in this matter and more, as a nation we seem to have forgotten (or chosen to ignore) the tenet of: "don't shoot the messenger".

Comment: Re:Private details about employees (Score 1) 140

by SvnLyrBrto (#49495483) Attached to: Wikileaks Publishes Hacked Sony Emails, Documents

Sony is the "little guy"? Compared to the US government maybe... but they are a pretty huge and pretty unethical corporation.

I actually agree, though, that there's little to be gained by posting this. Sony's general douchebaggery may be fairly noxious. But it's nowhere in the same league as the destructive malfeasance of outfits like Halliburton, Exxon, Blackwater, and the like... to say nothing of the actions of various governments. If the leaked documents concerned their something more vicious like their campaigns of legal harassment of the PS3 jailbreak community, I could maybe see the point. But really, there's no social benefit in this one. I guess, though, since the documents are already leaked; having them in one more place shouldn't be a big deal.

Still though... Sony is far from being "the little guy".

Comment: p-value research is misleading almost always (Score 5, Interesting) 178

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:Mass Murder (Score 1) 245

I don't think that's a specific and intentional omission. My experience with American history classes... some of which were in the '80s... was that, conveniently or not, they forgot pretty much the entire 20th century.

Oh, it was in the textbook... the world wars, Korea, Vietnam, Kennedy, the space race, and all that. But either the classes were just terribly paced and poorly organized, or the history teachers all thought that the civil war was the single most important event in all of history. Elementary, middle, and even in high school, history class would get about as far as reconstruction, the details of which we'd be tested on in excruciating detail. And then we'd be at the last two weeks of the school year, the teacher would mostly check out, and rest of US history would amount to: "and then a bunch of other stuff happened." And it'd just be a big jumble about Roosevelt wrestling with a bull moose while punching Hitler in the face on the top of San Juan Hill where he buried all the free silver that William Jennings Bryan gave him. Meanwhile, Kennedy... the once and future president... somehow got ahold of Excalibur, and with the help of Patrick Stewart or Henry Kissinger or Werner Von Braun or someone, re-founded Camelot and flew to the moon to kick Kruschev in the balls for taking away his Cuban cigars.

Granted, history class by its very nature consists of rote memorization and regurgitation, without actual problem solving. So it was a no-brainer cakewalk and I'd always read ahead in the book to the good stuff. But the teachers just didn't seen to think the 20th century was important at all. It wasn't until a college class that I took as a HU/SS elective ("American Foreign Policy in the 20th Century"), was I actually taught more than the smallest bit of it in an organized manner.

Comment: Re:We restrict our kids' access to YouTube (Score 1) 92

On the contrary, I've found Google's targeted ads to reflect my own interests reasonably well. They don't *always* get it right, of course. But they do so the majority of time. The thing is, I share neither my computer nor youtube account with anyone else. so there's no chance of anyone else's browsing skewing the profile they have of my interests.

So, if you're consistently finding that the delivered ads don't reflect your, or your kids', interests; you're better off making sure that the right person is logged into the right account than ranting about how google teh eviluz. If you ARE sure that the correct person is always logged into the correct account, and you're still seeing ads for furry hentai tentacle-porn, you might want to check into their non-youtube internet habits instead of ranting about how google teh eviluz.

Comment: Re:Account number? (Score 2) 289

I think the issue is that he would not get a fair trial, or possibly not even get a trial at all.

At best, the trial would suffer years of delay after delay after delay, throughout which he would still be imprisoned of course, while every avenue of defense was contested and denied, in secret, for "national security reasons". More likely, they'd just skip the formality of a trial, declare him an "unlawful enemy" or some such, and drop him into some gulag like Guantanamo Bay. Possibly, they'd even go the "extraordinary rendition" route, and shuffle him off to some third-world craphole to be tortured and murdered by the CIA.

In no case, barring a massive reform and house-cleaning of the federal government and its intelligence agencies, do I see things working out well for Snowden if he returns.

Comment: Re:What can it do? (Score 1) 94

I think you're on to something here.

Ahrends basically took the uniform of UK chavs and convinced Americans that it's high-end sophisticated fashion. That's more than knowing how to "deal with" the fashion market; that's full-out genius-level *manipulation* of the fashion market.

I think the Apple Watch will do fine in the fashion world, and the /. "no wireless less space than a nomad lame" contingent will be ignored.

Comment: Re:Boorish (Score 1) 662

by SvnLyrBrto (#49347155) Attached to: Jeremy Clarkson Dismissed From Top Gear

My first two cars were American (A Chrysler and a Ford). Then I bought my first Japanese car (A Subaru). It outlasted both American cars combined, twice over, and then some.

So yeah, in my own experience as well, American cars are rubbish. Going forward, if the VIN doesn't start with the letter "J", I want no part of the thing.

Comment: Re:The BBC doesn't have much latitude here. (Score 1) 662

by SvnLyrBrto (#49346861) Attached to: Jeremy Clarkson Dismissed From Top Gear

> Have you ever watched any of the spin-off Top Gears, like Top Gear US or Top Gear
> Australia? They've already tried to "reinvent" the show, multiple times. It's yet to work.

> The simple fact of the matter is that Jeremy Clarkson is the reason people watch Top
> Gear. Without Clarkson, there's no reason to watch.

I've tried to watch the spinoffs. They are dreadful. To be fair though, I don't think it's *just* Clarkson that makes Top Gear work. I think it's the combination of him, May, and Hammond altogether. They just have a chemistry that makes for some of the most entertaining programming on television and which is unmatched by any of the other random clusters of people that have been thrown together to try to present the spin-offs.

The most entertaining episodes are not the ones where one on the three presents a car and hands it off to The Stig. The best of the best are, IMO, the specials (Vietnam, Bolivia, Botswana, etc.) where the three of them are thrown together in some awkward situation. Clarkson, May, and Hammond suffering, competing, pranking, complaining, and triumphing together is what really makes the show for me... far more than seeing cars that I will probably never own driven around that airport.

And I'm pretty sure they all know that they're a package deal as well. Remember when Hammond was injured in that rocket-car crash? Clarkson and May refused to go on with the show until Hammond had recovered and could return so the three of them could be together.

Comment: Re:Missing the point (Score 1, Insightful) 155

Also, I've never gotten into an Uber and smelt the stink of smoke, vomit, or pee. No Uber driver has whined or refused when I asked to be taken out to the avenues, bayshore, or the outer mission. And I've always been able to get an Uber in those neighborhoods with no more than about a 15-minute wait.

None of that is true of taxis.

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