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Comment: Re:Bad Analogy (Score 1) 61

by phoenix321 (#47940271) Attached to: London's Crime Hot Spots Predicted Using Mobile Phone Data

If you have a small enough town with a small enough cell size, it should be blindingly obvious which handset IMSI numbers where usually in the area when a crime was committed.

With enough data, you can simply map out the handset IMSI of the most probable perpetrators. There were 5 instances of a street robbery, at night, and the only common denominator is IMSI xyz that has been in the vicinity and moving around the time of all 5 robberies. It either is a totally unlucky individual or the most likely suspect.

Follow that IMSI with a drone for a few nights, record evidence and then lock these people away.

Note that I don't mind any and all police activity directed against common street thugs, as long as they have reliable evidence against them. (not dealers, not pimps, not smugglers, maybe not even thieves - but violent criminals that assault and rob innocent people or even invade their homes deserve absolutely no mercy.)

Comment: Algorithms are not hindered by wishful thinking (Score 1) 61

by phoenix321 (#47940173) Attached to: London's Crime Hot Spots Predicted Using Mobile Phone Data

We know that people that commit crimes are much more often from certain social and cultural backgrounds. There are untold numbers of "anecdotal evidence" around, but we don't want that to be true. So we tell ourselves white lies, blame victims, discount hundreds of incidents as "anecdotal evidence", pinpoint the few cases outside the norm and fabricate elaborate excuses about why such and such were practically forced to commit crime. We are constantly telling ourselves how we are to blame for not paying enough welfare, not enough education, not giving enough leeway while conveniently ignoring millions of people of other social and cultural backgrounds that simply don't commit any more crime than everyone else, being good people despite being poor and uneducated.

Choices of cellphone contracts and handset make and models are similar along cultural and social bonds. An algorithm will never know about that but detect the significance.

But anyway, even among the groups with the highest part in crime, only a few select individuals are responsible for a large percentage of crime.

Algorithms will find that when IMSI xyz is in the general area, people will get robbed. It will also find that when expensive handsets with IMSI abc where in the area when a phone robbery happened, they will probably be around the next crime area as well, since the thief will either have it now or sold it to a pawn shop in the high crime area.

Comment: Re:This isn't scaremongering. (Score 1) 489

by Ash-Fox (#47931649) Attached to: Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

You could argue the same thing for Detroit... if only they could devalue the Detroit national currency and print their way out of debt then they wouldn't have needed to go into default/bankruptcy and technically ruin their credit rating.

Pretty certain Iceland's credit rating is better now than what it was prior to devaluation.

Or they could just settle on a budget that is actually sustainable and not have to borrow at a rate that is outpacing the growth in tax revenue.

Which isn't really possible when the economy of Greece is that vastly different from the big earners of the European Union (let's not forget that the EU politicians took their membership despite all the EU auditors and advisers saying they would not economically fit).

Comment: Re:This isn't scaremongering. (Score 2) 489

by Ash-Fox (#47931223) Attached to: Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

The other issue is economic, the UK didn't use transitional controls when Poland entered the EU to delay immigration, so it got a really really large number of Polish immigrants because they had few other places to go. The evidence suggests the UK benefited from this economically but given the sheer speed and scale of the migration it's not hard to see why people got antsy.

Some of us have other reasons to be antsy.

I lived in Poland for over a decade, I was forced to have a visa and such when legally I wasn't required because I am an EU citizen. I was regularly told that I was stealing Polish land, taking the food out of their children's mouths, taking their jobs away by people who learned that I wasn't Polish. I learned Polish, could almost speak like a native.

I eventually moved to the UK, I participated in the Polish communities, listened to how a vocal minority wanted to demand there be Polish news papers, Polish radio stations, mandatory lessons to teach other children about Polish culture etc. I do remember once instance, I was in a job agency searching for a job, when one of the staff commented in Polish that I shouldn't be there to her colleague once she found out I was not Polish.

I don't think the majority of Polish people are bad people, I don't think the majority of them are xenophobic. I do feel antsy about them because I have been mistreated by many Polish people and their government and I have seen preferential treatment employed by Polish communities as a sort of solidarity against true integration into UK society.

I believe that people pick up on these signals and is part of the reason for the dislike.

Comment: Re:FUD from start to finish... (Score 1) 489

by Ash-Fox (#47926813) Attached to: Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

Oh really? Care to back that assertion with facts and links?

Sure, but it'll have to be when I'm back home and not working in my client's offices. Which will be two weeks from now (internet is locked down and I'm only doing Slashdot while blocked in my work).

The UK has been nothing but a pain in the arse since day one of its membership. Screw them

There is nothing wrong with being eurosceptics. Next you're going to say that there is no legitimacy behind arguments like the European Union auditors not signing off on accounts for years (is it 10 now) in a row and that if they were a bank, they wouldn't have been shut down (hint: they would have or at least had their managed completely changed). Or how the people being unable to vote on European presidents is meant to be democratic for the European states etc?

Oh, you mean Australia? The country that is one of the biggest trade partner of the EU?

That is now, you're quick to forget history.

Gosh darn, those poor Aussies sure got screwed in those deals.

They did in the 1970s. They could have been more prosperous if they hadn't found significant issues ending getting locked out from much trade.

Comment: Re:FUD from start to finish... (Score 1) 489

by Ash-Fox (#47926187) Attached to: Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

Why would they do that, now, since the EU is in a deep economic and institutional slump, is completely beyond me, but still...

The EU has a bunch of sad laws that discriminate against non-EU countries for trade. This has hurt the UK quite badly when it came to trade with other common wealth countries that weren't part of the EU. The way Australia got screwed was pretty bad and I think people that remember still hold it against the UK to this day.

Comment: Re:The opinion of an ignorant (Score 1) 489

by Ash-Fox (#47926151) Attached to: Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

I believe they should just stay while using the current situation to get more "practical independence", i.e.: more control over the union's government, taxing and expenses

They actually receive a lot of control over that through the Scottish parliament. The interesting thing is, if it wasn't for the rest of the UK, Scotland could not afford their welfare state (which is high due to people living in a lot of remote locations with little business prospects).

Comment: Re:Experience counts (Score 1) 231

by Ash-Fox (#47926071) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Have You Experienced Fear Driven Development?

I once had a manager ask me to perform a task in a timeframe well short of reasonable. I said "no". He said "with a click of my fingers I can get 5 people just like you who will say yes". I said "go ahead". And ... he didn't. I took the time that the job required, and it worked out OK.

I have encountered similar issues, except, I get the person to sign off on the risk before doing it. So, if it fails, it's on their head for doing a bad estimation, not mine since I raised the risk.

I do admit, sometimes it can be hard to get people to sign off, so CC'ing stakeholders in follow up e-mails usually helps.

"Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain." -- Karl, as he stepped behind the computer to reboot it, during a FAT