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Comment Re:Consider the current state of smartphones (Score 1) 177

I've been looking at ip67, ip68, and other ruggedized phones. There are phones branded for Caterpillar and Landrover that actually are rugged or milspec phones. Unfortunately they all have some stats that I don't like, but I still might go that direction anyway.

Comment Re:Bear repelling rock (Score 1) 163

No, there are lots of people that go into the Alaskan wilderness and do not become lunch. Probably the overwhelming majority even, but if 500 people with the placebo go out and 480 come back, and 500 people with the working widget go out and 493 come back, and plausible explanations beyond bear activity can be found for some of the other seven, then there's statistics to show some effect.

Comment Re:total bullshit? (Score 5, Interesting) 242

Does anyone actually believe this line of bullshit?

Honestly, if she was using the e-mail address associated with that SMTP server before she become Secretary of State, yes.

Most people don't like to use several e-mail accounts. It's a pain in the butt. If she was used to using that one and used it as she communicated with the officials that became her superiors and subordinates before becoming Secretary of State while planning the transition, then they were used to contacting here there and she was used to contacting them from there.

Should she have switched to a government-provided e-mail account? Probably. I don't say, "absolutely," specifically because of the high profile leaks that we've seen over the last decade, such that the mail might actually have been safer on that server that no one thought to compromise than on a government one.

As an aside, Governor Palin used private e-mail for government functions too, actually registering addresses with public mail servers (yahoo if I remember right) after becoming Governor of Alaska, and specifically citing her newly-found position as the account name. There was no prosecution over that either.

Comment Re:Bear repelling rock (Score 1) 163

"Here, I see that you're going into the Alaskan wilderness, along with thousands of other people. We know this is a risky thing to do, please take this widget with you and report back to us on a schedule so we can find out how you are doing. We will give you some basic handling instructions for the widget, but they are simple and won't require you do really do anything special."

And the study gives 500 people the widget that is expected to repel bears, and 500 people a widget that doesn't do anything. Who reports back over time dictates how the study is interpreted. If many more people that received the anti-bear widget report back and if there are reasonable non-bear-related explanations for why those that didn't report back failed to do so, while the control group had several participants that didn't report back and were never seen again, or whose deaths, injuries, or disappearances could be plausibly linked to bear activity, then there'd be quantifiable results. Notice that the participants weren't told what the widget does.

Comment Re:Placebo (Score 2, Insightful) 163

Why is it a dick-move for the company? The subjects of the study were already engaging in the behaviors known to be vectors for HIV spread, not only were they not asked to engage in risky behavior, they were probably not provided any sort of encouragement or discouragement as to the nature of their behavior at all. Nor is this like the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment, where people known to be infected were intentionally not treated and were lied-to about being untreated. If anything, that the testers felt that the detected spread of HIV in the placebo group meant that there was no reason to continue the placebo/control aspect of the experiment and they wrapped it up early then they're actually being better for it; the patients might not have even known they were HIV infected through their behavior if the study hadn't detected it and notified them.

Comment Re:Consider the current state of smartphones (Score 3, Insightful) 177

I've been running a Samsung Galaxy SII SGH-T989 since it debuted, so it's past the four-year mark. I've updated it to 4.1, would be nice to go higher but not that worried so far. We had to replace my wife's because twice now her power button got stuck engaged and the phone kept power-cycling; I took the phone apart both times and beat on the power switch to get it to let go but she needed more reliable, so we picked up a Galaxy Core for something like $130. It's basically just the SII with some mild improvements and a couple features removed that she doesn't miss.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do when it's time for mine to be changed. Mainly I'm looking at connectivity first and foremost, as not all phones have all bands that the carrier can use. I want the most bands so that I can have stronger signal for better battery life. Beyond that, the fancy phones are nice, but I can't say that I'll actually use all of the features they offer. I don't need video on the go, I have bigger devices that can do that far better. I don't know that I need a 20 megapixel camera, I have an SLR and it takes far better pictures than any cell phone camera will, but admittedly the SLR is not on my person during my whole waking day.

There is a good argument for a simple, basic multifunction phone that doesn't cost a whole lot and provides a solid experience, even if it's not the flashiest or the fastest or the highest resolution.

To downgrade the human mind is bad theology. - C. K. Chesterton

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