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Comment: A wider scale problem (Score 2, Interesting) 320

by Theril (#41398673) Attached to: Stubborn Intel Graphics Bug Haunts Ubuntu 12.04

My view is that this is only an individual symptom of a larger scale problem. It seems that there are a lot of old, verified, almost showstopper bugs that just get ignored. I'm too busy/lazy to hunt the links at this point, but for example GNOME3 has probably from the beginning had a bug that it gets very sluggish after a few days, at least on some GPU's/drivers, the kernel's trashing behavior in out-of-memory situations is horrible, the audio stack is a horrible mess etc.

It's probably a wider problem of QA, that may be very difficult to solve. At least as a programmer I'm first to admit that I don't want to use my spare time fixing bugs. Debian's almost draconian policies seem to do quite well in terms of stability, but the desktop often lags behind (this may be unavoidable) and the desktop doesn't seem to be a very high priority for them.

PS. This post in no way suggests that things are better, or aren't a lot worse, in Windows-world and OS X with the controlled hardware platform is a very different situation. Maybe I should check if the grass is really greener in the BSD-side.

Comment: The return of the shitty 100 line shareware (Score 1) 596

by Theril (#40757457) Attached to: App Developer: Android Designed For Piracy

Android (and "app stores" in general) really reminds me of my dark days of Windows usage ten or so years back when nearly every single crappy piece of code implementing functionality of shell script one liner would nag for its few bucks. The contrast to open source software available on some better platforms (and even on Windows nowadays) is staggering. And this would have been perhaps the strongest point for MeeGo (and was for Maemo and hopefully will be for Jolla). Hopefully this "app" fad blows over soon.

Comment: Re:Grow some gonads (Score 1) 214

by Theril (#32174720) Attached to: MythTV 0.23 Released

This may slide a bit off topic, but how the hell professionalism got such a good reputation? Is it some measure of quality that people who create a product must be persuaded with money to do something they wouldn't otherwise do? Maybe I do too much thinking instead of watching commercials, but for me the word professional has closer connotations to prostitution than quality.

Also MythTV along with most free software projects are done by amateurs, by definition being motivated by love to what they do, so demanding professionalism is an oxymoron.

Comment: Thoughts vs blood flow (Score 1) 197

by Theril (#32117340) Attached to: Brain-Scan Lie Detection Rejected By Brooklyn Court

The whole field of brain imaging, be it fMRI, MEG or EEG has way too much methodological problems to be used as anything resembling "mind reading".

One big issue is whether the location of brain activation in fact says anything about the function that it supposedly causes. Even for the "known" localities (Broca's area etc.), the position varies a lot between subjects. Especially for seemingly homogeneous area such as the neocortex this is a big issue. And even for the better known localities, there aren't very clear theoretical accounts about the computation.

Also it's to be proven that the blood oxygen level in certain place of the brain really correlates that well with the computation that's done in that part. And that intensive computation in some part even tells very much about what's really being represented in the brain.

The fMRI (etc) studies are mostly correlational and any significant results usually require many test subjects. The accuracy of the results are vastly overrepresented in the public, and unfortunately often also in recent cognitive science/neurology/psychology.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Functional_neuroimaging#Critique_and_careful_interpretation

Comment: Re:what is a single task to the brain? (Score 2, Insightful) 257

by Theril (#31883896) Attached to: Research Suggests Brain Has a 2-Task Limit for Multitasking

I don't think that the hemisphere-function division is as straightforward as you, and much of popularized psychology, suggest. From eg. lesion studies the evidence seems to hint that there are some tendencies to somewhat specialized functionality in the hemispheres, but these are quite "vague".

Some quotes from Wikipedia to back this up:

"Broad generalizations are often made in popular psychology about certain function (eg. logic, creativity) being lateralised, that is, located in the right or left side of the brain. These ideas need to be treated carefully because the popular lateralizations are often distributed across both sides."

"Hines (1987) states that the research on brain lateralization is valid as a research program, though commercial promoters have applied it to promote subjects and products far outside the implications of the research. For example, the implications of the research have no bearing on psychological interventions such as EMDR and neurolinguistic programming (Drenth 2003:53), brain training equipment, or management training."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lateralization_of_brain_function

Also the study that the article refers to does some quite bold assumptions about how brain works (eg. quite strict functional localization) and the whole concept of "task" is so generally defined that it's quite easy to escape any falsification by modifying its properties.

In general, most of the stuff about psychology/cognitive science that "leaks" to public should be taken with a grain of salt. Much less about brain functioning is known that may appear to a casual reader, or to some self-criticism challenged researchers.

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