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Comment: Nobel Prize is a measurement??? (Score 1) 291

by Tony Isaac (#46721347) Attached to: Nat Geo Writer: Science Is Running Out of "Great" Things To Discover

The author argues that it's taking longer for physicists to receive Nobel Prizes. Maybe it's the Nobel Prize process that's slowing down! Maybe the Nobel Prize committee no longer knows what they are looking for! Maybe the Nobel Prize committee is hamstrung by political correctness. Whatever the reason, how does the length of time it takes to award a Nobel Prize, have anything to do with the actual progress of science???

Comment: Re:unfiltered information will make people THINK! (Score 1) 1037

by Tony Isaac (#46678931) Attached to: How the Internet Is Taking Away America's Religion

Unfiltered information might make people think, but it certainly doesn't make them smarter. If you have done Google searches for things like conspiracies, alternative medicine, paranormal phenomena, etc., you will find that there is a lot of absolute idiocy out there on that unfiltered Internet.

When it comes to God, only one of the two groups is right: those who believe in God, or those who don't. Neither side seems to me to be doing a lot of THINKING these days, but a whole lot more accusing and finger-pointing.

Comment: Security wasn't even on the radar (Score 1) 149

by Tony Isaac (#46667387) Attached to: TCP/IP Might Have Been Secure From the Start If Not For the NSA

The people who invented TCP/IP weren't even thinking about security. The network they imagined was one that went between a few buildings on the same campus. Nobody dreamed of the need for security at that point, any more than Alexander Graham Bell was thinking about voice security when he invented the telephone.

Comment: Re:How, exactly, do we know? (Score 1) 127

by Tony Isaac (#46657817) Attached to: New US Atomic Clock Goes Live

It is, actually, possible to measure such things.

Consider GPS, which relies on the accuracy of atomic clocks in orbit. Each GPS satellite has its own independent clock, which must be accurate to within about 40 billionths of a second, over the life of the satellite. If the accuracy of one of the satellites' clocks is greater than that threshold, your GPS unit will incorrectly report your location. The accuracy of GPS coordinates is one way to calculate the accuracy of the atomic clocks in orbit. Multiply the error rate (in billionths of a second) times the life of the clock, and you can arrive at a number of years it will take for the clock to be 1 second off.

Similar types of calculations can be done with these new, faster clocks. No, it's not necessary to wait 300 million years to see if the clock is one second off. That number is simply an extrapolation.

Comment: So universities should teach marketing hype? (Score 1) 163

by Tony Isaac (#46646365) Attached to: Vint Cerf: CS Programs Must Change To Adapt To Internet of Things

The "Internet of Things" is, I think, driven mainly by manufacturers who want people to have an excuse to buy their new thing, which everybody already has, and works fine. Maybe universities should be teaching smartwatch programming too!

No. Universities should teach programming and technology basics. If corporations want to try to convince us all that we need an Internet-connected stapler, they aren't going to go looking for university graduates that have an IoT degree! They'll figure it out all on their own, with people who have ordinary computer science degrees, or even with people who don't have a comp sci degree.

Comment: Re:Wales full response (Score 1) 517

While Chiropractic might have some positive effects, too often Chiropractors sell their services as a cure-all. My parent's childhood chiropractor wanted to be our primary care physician, claiming that Chiropractic could cure colds and other diseases. Chiropractic's founder, D. D. Palmer, claimed his technique cured deafness, even though there are no nerves related to hearing that pass through any part of the spinal column. So even if Chiropractic has some benefits, its practitioners certainly do claim that it can do far more than it actually does, a habit which damages any credibility it might otherwise gain.


Comment: It's not the hardware (Score 1) 377

by Tony Isaac (#46498079) Attached to: Measuring the Xbox One Against PCs With <em>Titanfall</em>

If you've ever written software that is ported to multiple platforms, you know that the performance of the ported version can only match the original, if serious performance tuning is done. Performance of ported software is not a measure of the hardware, but of the effort put into making it work better.

Comment: Not cheap enough, or soon enough (Score 1) 125

by Tony Isaac (#46482735) Attached to: Microsoft Dumping License Fees For Windows Phone?

Microsoft has always tried to position their phones and tablets as "premium" devices, selling for more than comparable competitors. That's really hard to do when you are the disruptor, trying to break into an established marketplace. Google played the game right, coming into a smartphone marketplace that was dominated by iPhone, as a lower cost option that was "just as good." Over time, Android earned the respect of the marketplace, and eventually they gained dominance.

Microsoft devices were, from the beginning, more expensive than comparable phones and tablets from other vendors. But they had no killer app, and a lot less apps to offer. So why should we all pay more for less?

If Microsoft is serious about making inroads into the mobile market, they are going to have to push bargain-basement devices, until they, like Google, can gain enough market share to get a foothold with pricier models.

Comment: Re:This isn't as outrageous as it seems (Score 1) 235

by Tony Isaac (#46433275) Attached to: Facebook To Pay City $200K-a-Year For a Neighborhood Cop

Exactly. In suburban Houston, every subdivision has a contract with the sheriff's department in which the subdivision pays a monthly fee, and in exchange the sheriff's department guarantees that officers will spend a specified number of hours per week in that subdivision, patrolling. Without the contract in place, sheriffs would have no legal right to patrol the subdivisions, which are technically private property.

College campuses, very large businesses, stadiums, they all pay for on-duty police protection. The police department gets funded, and people are protected. How is that a bad thing?

The moon is a planet just like the Earth, only it is even deader.