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Comment: Re: someone explain for the ignorant (Score 1) 448

by Xest (#49087255) Attached to: Credit Card Fraud Could Peak In 2015 As the US Moves To EMV

And is there any evidence that there was an actual increase in fraud here or are we talking a few anecdotes? because all the evidence I've seen has shown nothing but a marked decrease in fraud.

It sounds more like a story cooked up by whining pensioners who can't deal with change and like to vote UKIP to prove it. I'm sure UKIP would undo chip and pin and take us back to the dark ages of banking. Because things were better back then. Or something.

Comment: Re:someone explain for the ignorant (Score 1) 448

by Xest (#49085765) Attached to: Credit Card Fraud Could Peak In 2015 As the US Moves To EMV

No Britain hasn't. The transition has been wholly transparent, card fraud has dropped, and consumer protection against credit fraud is as strong as ever - the principle here in the UK is that the whole point of a bank is to keep your money safe, and if the facilities they give you to access your money fail regardless of the reason then they failed in their job.

The only time they can shift the burden onto you is if they can prove you were entirely negligent, and that's been the same whether you were signing or entering a pin. There's no increase in the amount of burden pushed onto the consumer. This remains true even with the drastic increase in the use of contactless we've seen in the last couple of years too, in fact, so much so that the maximum contactless amount per transaction is being increased from £20 to £30. Consumers haven't seen a worrying rise in fraud as a result of it, and the banks haven't either. Everyone seems happy to keep expanding the scheme.

What problems did you think we'd had here in the UK exactly?

Comment: Re:It means you jumped on the latest bandwagon (Score 1) 94

by Xest (#49072883) Attached to: What Does It Mean To Be a Data Scientist?

So you make a comment, you completely fail to back it up, and you call someone else pathetic?

You know it's probably easier to just admit you made a comment you didn't think through and that was wrong rather than to continuously try and avoid what's obvious to anyone reading - that you can't back up your point - by playing the victim and throwing random and seemingly arbitrary insults (do you actually know what dyslexia is? it would appear not).

I really pity you.

Comment: Re:It means you jumped on the latest bandwagon (Score 1) 94

by Xest (#49050573) Attached to: What Does It Mean To Be a Data Scientist?

Those "prominent" people are also people who have no relation to the field of technology which is where data science has it's focus (precisely because the volumes of data that require new scientific effort can only be handled by computers).

Most journalists couldn't tell you the difference between a neurologist and neurosurgeon either, but it doesn't mean that they're not distinct roles.

A handful of journalists and an old school medical statistician still doesn't exactly provide a compelling list of weight to counter the who's who of technology business and academia. We're talking literally thousands of the best minds in the businesses against a bunch of people in a wholly different business and a tiny handful of dissenters.

Data science is multidisciplinary, it requires you to be a polymath. Any statistician who believes they're a data scientist needs to show they have the pre-requisite knowledge outside of statistics coming from computer science and non-statistical mathematics (i.e. graph theory). Statistics is obviously a key discipline in data science, but it's most definitely not the only discipline (even gweihir recognised this with his mention of CS).

A statistician can analyse a dataset and pull information from it, but they cannot deal with a dataset so large that anything other than bespoke hardware and software setups can handle it (i.e. the petabytes of data CERN produces), to do that, you need data scientists. You may find that data scientists then pass on subsets of that data, or data they have resolved from that data to statisticians to work on, but the statisticians themselves wont have that knowledge to handle the data set, and if they do then they can start calling themselves data scientists because they know more than just statistics, they know statistics and a bunch of other disciplines in enough depth to be actual data scientists.

Long story short, you can be a statistician without being a data scientist, but a data scientist will need statistics and a whole bunch of other things, at that point why is a data scientist just a statistician rather than just a computer scientist, or just a mathematician, or just a low end physicist? You can't just pick one of these fields arbitrarily, they're all as important to the role hence why you need a new term to encompass the required knowledge.

Comment: Re:It means you jumped on the latest bandwagon (Score 1) 94

by Xest (#49050353) Attached to: What Does It Mean To Be a Data Scientist?

Well that's one of the unfortunate things about being the sort of person who thinks they know better than just about everyone that matters in the industry, you generally wont find arguments in anything you read because you've already decided that you're right and the whole world is wrong. You can't see what's right in front of your eyes because you don't want to.

Instead you now play the victim, and keep deflecting away from the inconvenient fact that you seem unable to expand on why you arbitrarily think sometimes it's okay to call a specialisation a new role, but not other times. I'm willing to accept that you may be right, that maybe you have a good argument, but when you're not willing to explain the conflicts your own comments create then what am I to think other than that you're avoiding doing so simply because you can't do so?

If you have a good justification as to why it's okay to say, separate statisticians from mathematicians, but not data scientists from computer scientists, then I'd genuinely really love to hear it. Similarly I'd really love to hear what you feel the benefits are in going for generic and non-descriptive job titles over job titles that better describe a role, I'd like to know what the benefits are, so please, if you really think I've been unfair on you then go ahead and explain your points further so we can iron out those inconsistencies in your original arguments.

Comment: Re:It means you jumped on the latest bandwagon (Score 1) 94

by Xest (#49049289) Attached to: What Does It Mean To Be a Data Scientist?

Right, except there's a problem, everywhere and everyone that matters in the world of technology disagrees with you from IBM to Apple, from Facebook to Google, from Microsoft to Oracle, from MIT to Cambridge, from Harvard to Berkley, from Tim Berners Lee to Mark Zuckerberg, from Sandy Pentland to Bill Gates, from Peter Norvig to Larry Page.

So on one hand we have some random guy on Slashdot claiming it doesn't exist, and on the other we have the who's who of technology companies, universities, technologists, professors saying it does.

You'll have to excuse me therefore if I can't help but think that what you're actually saying is "I've no idea what the fuck data science is, so I'm going to pretend it doesn't exist and that it's stupid". Your argument doesn't even make sense, you recognise statistics is a specialisation of mathematics and claim that's okay, but specialisations of other subjects are apparently not, yet you can't elaborate why, or even where or how you drawn the line. You claim it's just statistics, but then statistics doesn't tell us how to gather, store, manage, and work with massive data sets, data sets so large we're on the cutting edge of figuring out how to deal with them, something that requires research, you know, like science.

Well, good luck with that but if you hadn't noticed there's a lot of people making use of it in both positive and negative ways, from large scale healthcare research, to selling us as products, to the NSA profiling us on our data. It's probably not something that you should pretend just doesn't exist, because it kind of has profound implications for our lives today, and going forward.

Comment: Re:It means you jumped on the latest bandwagon (Score 1) 94

by Xest (#49047521) Attached to: What Does It Mean To Be a Data Scientist?

"On the CS side, Computer Science has not yet started to specialize this strongly."

So where is your arbitrary line drawn out of interest? What would be required for a data scientist to be a data scientist? That's assuming all data involved even has any relevance to comp. sci. What if they're using data collected non-computationally also?

The problem is you obviously like incredibly generic names, and that's great for you, but it makes it much harder for people wanting to advertise for specific roles, or to pay specific salaries.

If someone advertises for a "Developer", I've no idea if they're paying £10k for a minimum wage intern, or £200k for a top of their field specialist. At least with Software Architect or similar I know they're after someone with strong architecture skills and the salary is going to be in the £60k+ range. Sometimes there just isn't room (and most definitely isn't a need) to write out a whole sentence for a job title or skill requirement.

Descriptive job titles are useful, I really just don't see what's wrong with them unless they're so over inflated as to be useless, which again, Data Scientist isn't because it's minimal and wholly descriptive of the skills involved.

I really don't see what problem is being solved in trying to kill of a perfectly correct and perfectly useful job title. The job involves doing science with data, why muddy the waters with terms that are not wholly relevant and describe other things as well?

I'm just struggling to see what the benefit of losing information is by pushing jobs into overly generic undescriptive or only partially descriptive boxes. What's gained by this? why is it a good thing?

Comment: Re:It means you jumped on the latest bandwagon (Score 0) 94

by Xest (#49045983) Attached to: What Does It Mean To Be a Data Scientist?

But isn't that the same for many other sciences especially relating to medicine for example whereby nearly all of their work is based on statistical analysis of data? I suspect given increased complexity of data sets that we could apply the same logic to many professions. Hell, even the folks at CERN are using wholly statistical methods to determine the likelihood whether their findings really were the Higgs or not, does this mean those physicists are actually just statisticians too?

I think it's naive to think that as humans progress, that new jobs, and hence new titles aren't created. Sure some people are wholly undeserving of such titles and simply use them to over-inflate their egos, but I don't think such a title is invalid. If someone is doing genuine research into large data sets using the scientific method then what exactly is wrong with the description of Data Scientist?

Calling him a Computer Scientist ignores his use of statistics, and calling him a Statistician ignores his knowledge of computing. If we're going to dumb down job titles to be less descriptive we in the technology sector might as well all just be typists. That's a lot of what we do right?

I'm completely against overinflated job titles (like renaming bin men to Waste Disposal Technicians), but in this particular case the whining seems to be wholly unfounded as the job title minimally describes the actual role. It's the simplest yet most descriptive title for the role in question, so what's the problem?

I don't think it's fair to instantly jump to the conclusion that any new technology term or job title is instantly bullshit. This is one of those circumstances where it's a perfectly sensible title describing an increasingly common role in a world where large data sets and analysis of that data has become ever more important to companies in growing their bottom line.

Comment: Re:I don't get super hero movies. (Score 1) 98

by Xest (#49027491) Attached to: Spider-Man Finally Joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe

I never used to but they've grown on me in recent years. I think I had to just step back and re-approach it all with a neutral view and a will to give it a chance. Having done that I've found I view them like any other movie now, some are good, some are bad. I loved Avengers Assemble, but thought Winter Soldier was dull. Loved Green Lantern but found Man of Steel a bit boring. Some, like Guardians of the Galaxy you can just enjoy standalone, I enjoyed it because it frankly shared an awful lot of the traits that made the original Star Wars trilogy great.

I've always felt as you do towards super heroes the same towards Star Trek, and Doctor Who also. Given time maybe I'll start to appreciate these too, but whilst I find Star Trek watchable it's never overly excited me because it always felt as you say, once you've seen one episode you've seen them all. Also, as someone who grew up with some of the older iterations of Doctor Who, the modern reincarnation just feels awful in comparison.

But as I discovered with super heroes films, opinions and feelings change. When I came back and started to give them a try again I ended watching pretty much the last 15 years worth of super heroes films in the last 2 years and was kicking myself a bit that I hadn't seen some of them earlier.

So if it's not for you right now, then don't write it off, give it a go now and then when you have time and maybe you'll find they grow on you too and you start to appreciate them, again, maybe I'll find the same with the newest runs of Doctor Who and with Star Trek. I missed Firefly when it came out and never liked Serenity as a result, but having finally watched Firefly last year and Serenity again afterwards I can see why there was so much love for it, in the context of having watched the series the film made far more sense and was far more enjoyable. I'm going to give Battlestar Galactica a go soon and see how I feel about that nowadays.

Comment: Re:I love the snark here (Score 1) 81

by Xest (#49027337) Attached to: State Television Says Iran Launches New Satellite Into Space

No, I just fully believe in the phrase "Don't argue with an idiot, they'll just bring you down to their level and win".

The only way to win, is hence not to play.

But just on the rare off chance you are salvageable, I'll leave you with a hint as to why your whole argument is stupid. You reel off indiscretions such as US incursions into Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and so forth as unjustified examples of imperialism. Yet you write off outright annexation of part of a foreign sovereign state (Crimea), military invasion of Eastern Ukraine, Russian incursions into Moldova, Azerbaijan, Syria, Latvia, Estonia, Japan, and Sweden as what, "humanitarian"? Russia just being the good guy?

Hell, just a couple of weeks ago Russia flew a pair of nuclear bombers only a few miles off the coast around almost the entirety of Britain and Ireland with transponders off and no communications. When do you think the last time the UK flew a silent nuclear bomber off the coast of Russia was?

If you can't see the hypocrisy in the entirety of your argument with your desperate primarily US focus then you're beyond hope. You've fallen so far into Putin's propaganda machine that you wouldn't know the truth if it hit you in the face in the form of an aggressive Russian invasion.

Comment: Re:So... nuclear power is still supported? (Score 1) 309

by Xest (#49024381) Attached to: The IPCC's Shifting Position On Nuclear Energy

Yes, this is really the problem nuclear faces, it suffers from having had successful lobbying hold it to much higher standards that other power sources grossly inflating the costs.

Which wouldn't be a bad thing, if it weren't for the fact that other power sources aren't held to the same standards.

If someone catches cancer because of a nuclear power plant it becomes international headline news and the plant is forced to pay millions for cancer care and in compensation to that person. If someone dies from cancer due to the chemical emissions of coal power plants, well, no one cares, because it happens thousands of times every day across the globe and you have to pay your own treatment costs (or the rest of the tax payers do if you have a socialised healthcare system).

Whilst full costs of everything are born by nuclear, whilst few adverse costs are paid by coal, nuclear can't ever hope to compete. If full externalities were paid in production of coal it'd be one of the least cost effective forms of power generation we have, and would have died off long ago. Nuclear would be cheap in comparison.

The argument is that no one could then afford power, but this is nonsense because we wouldn't have to be paying as much for healthcare (either directly through insurance, or through taxes depending on your nations health regime) because there'd be far fewer cases of fossil fuel burning induced cancer, asthma and so forth racking up the costs of healthcare. The money we saved on healthcare would simply pay for power, with a little left over in our pockets afterwards because nuclear would be net slightly cheaper if compared to cost of coal + full externalities.

So whilst you're right that cost is not currently a good argument for nuclear, that's only because years of lobbying and fear mongering have stacked the odds unfairly against it. Nuclear is cheaper than the likes of coal if you compare like for like in terms of standards that such power generation is held to.

Start making coal burners pay full costs rather than being subsidised by the general public who currently pay all their external costs, which isn't true of nuclear, and nuclear becomes much more cost viable. It's not a coincidence that when nuclear plants are built (such as the UK's new planned plant) that they have to be given tax payer subsidy to compete with the inherent tax payer subsidy that coal gets through avoiding externalities.

Comment: Re:I love the snark here (Score 1) 81

by Xest (#49006537) Attached to: State Television Says Iran Launches New Satellite Into Space

"You do realize that the USSR apologized?"

Yeah, they also promised not to harm Ukrainian territorial integrity if Ukraine gave up it's nuclear arsenal too.

It turns out that nothing that comes out of the Russian government's mouths is trustworthy.

"my view is not one-sided"

Except it is. Your anti-US rhetoric makes that pretty clear.

Is there a lot the US did wrong last decade? Fuck yes. Has it learnt lessons? Most definitely. Is it still the biggest problem this decade? Definitely not - Russia is clearly the biggest threat to world peace this decade and you're still harping on about last decade's fuck-ups.

Comment: Re:Regulation Strikes again (Score 1) 194

by Xest (#48998165) Attached to: Farmers Struggling With High-Tech Farm Equipment

"Which is fine, except that now any thief with some cheap equipment can break into keyless cars, clone a key fob within a minute and drive away with it."

Are you sure that's actually true given that car crime has seen massive decline in recent years? Even if true it's obviously not having any negative impact in practice.

Comment: Re:I love the snark here (Score 1) 81

by Xest (#48998129) Attached to: State Television Says Iran Launches New Satellite Into Space

I can't tell if you're ignorant, or just Russian, but what? -

"Regarding Crimea, and after looking at what is happening in the east, I fully support Russia's sending in of troops to avert the coup-powers treating the Crimean peoples as "subhumans"."

You realise that's exactly how Russia has treated that Tatars there right by marking crosses on their doors and gates, and disappearing them in the night much like Russia used to do when it ran the USSR?

"Crimea (and Sevastopol) was an autonomous region of Ukraine with a predominantly Russian population (which has been so since Catherine the Great). They chose to secede."

No it hasn't, it's was a primarily Tatar population until post-World War II when the USSR ethnically cleansed them from the region.

When even Chinese media, much more a friend of Russia then the West is even criticising the Russian annexation of Crimea you know it's a fact that it was wholly unjustified. The fact you're trying to justify it tells us one thing, that you only support the Russian point of view, and are wholly against the view of almost the entirety of the rest of the world. That's not balanced or rational, that's called being a Russian puppet. Even Russia's closest allies like Belarus fell strangely silent refusing to fully support Russia's actions despite being wholly dependent on Russian for the existence of the regimes running them. If that isn't a message I don't know what is, how can you have such a naive one sided view unless you only believe Russian media which is wholly contrary to what you're claiming?

According to all the latest reports, there was no truth in any of the earlier reports.

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