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Comment: Re:All publicly funded research needs public relea (Score 1) 211

by HiThere (#46792799) Attached to: VA Supreme Court: Michael Mann Needn't Turn Over All His Email

IIUC, his lawyers requested that certain materials not be produced, and in doing so quoted a section of the state law which exhempted a particular category of material from being required to be produced. If you don't like the phrasing, talk to the people who wrote the law. His lawyers were just doing their job, and making it easy for the judge.

Comment: Re:So what? (Score 1) 211

by HiThere (#46792773) Attached to: VA Supreme Court: Michael Mann Needn't Turn Over All His Email

I don't think they count as science...until the make predictions that match the later observed results. Then they do.

Unfortunately, as you pointed out actually recreating the simulation can be absurdly difficult. And if it's not reproducable, then it's not science.

That said, when I worked at a transportation study commission, we used models all the time. We never deceived ourselves that they were correct, but they were a lot better than just guessing. Policies were built based around their 20-year projections. Often we'd have several very different 20-year projections based on different assumptions about what would be done in between. (Would this transit project be successful? Would that bridge be built? What effect would building the other highway have on journey-to-work times?) The results were never accurate. They were subject to political manipulation...but so was what projects would be built. It was a lot better than just guessing, but it sure was a lot short of science.

I think of this frequently when I read about the models, and the problems that people have with accepting their projections. Usually the problems aren't based in plausibility, but rather in what beliefs make them comfortable. And in those cases I tend to believe the models. But I sure don't think of them as "sound science".

OTOH: Do you trust the "Four Color Theorum"? It's a mathematical proof that any map can be colored with four colors, with no two adjacent patches having the same color except at a single point. The proof is so complex that no human can follow it. Do you trust it? Would you trust it if a lot of money was riding on the result?

Even math is less than certain. Complex proofs are only as trustworthy as every step in them multiplied, and both people and computers make mistakes. There are lots of illusions that prove that people will frequently dependably make the same mistake. So you can't really trust math. But just try to find something more trustworthy. You need to learn to live with less than certainty, because certainty is always an illusion.

Comment: Re:Is it even legal for a judge to sign a warrant. (Score 1) 68

by HiThere (#46792705) Attached to: Peoria Mayor Sends Police To Track Down Twitter Parodist

Who's going to tell the judge no? Who's going to enforce it?

Sometimes a judge will be so egregiously corrupt that the higher courts will discipline them, but it's quite infrequent, and I've never heard of it happening when he was acting to support the local politicos. (And even then the "discipline" is generally trivial in comparison to the offense.)

Comment: Re:Ivy League Schools (Score 1) 34

by HiThere (#46792535) Attached to: Minerva CEO Details His High-Tech Plan To Disrupt Universities

The Republicans who were responsible for emancipation (as an act of war against the rebellious South) is only vaguely related to the current Republican party. The Democrats have a closer link, and again, the civil rights movement was a political attack against the Dixiecrats, who pretended to be Democrats, but actually had an independent agenda.

P.S.: Given what the Federal Govt. has become, are you so sure states' rights was a bad idea? You can trace the current Federal Govt. back to the centralization imposed (by both sides!) during the Civil War.

P.P.S.: Under privitization, prisons have become defacto sources of slave labor. So don't claim that slavery has been eliminated. It's nature has been changed, but it isn't gone.

Comment: Re:FLYOVER (Score 1) 282

by LordKronos (#46791623) Attached to: Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

The reason all but one automotive assembly line has pulled out of Detroit is ...

One? Just one plant? Even if you are just talking about Detroit itself, ignoring the suburbs, there is a GM plant and 2 Chrysler plants in Detroit. But when people talk about Detroit and auto companies, they mean the entire metro detroit area. And in that area, there is:

Ford: (Wayne, Flat Rock)
GM: (Detroit, Orion)
Chrysler: (Detroit x 2, Sterling Heights, Warren)

So that's 8 auto assembly plants in metro Detroit. Yep, just one plant here.

Comment: Re:Atari 800 (Score 1) 513

by crow (#46790333) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

My Atari 800 died a few years back. Something died in the power system. I thought it was a bad power supply (all the peripherals used the same supplies), so I swapped some around. It turns out it blew some internal fuse in each supply that I attached to it. I ended up buying a replacement on eBay, but I've since given up on it (too many other things taking up my time for the old games). I'll use an emulator the next time I want to use it.

Comment: Inflation and Cost-of-living (Score 1) 453

by evilviper (#46785821) Attached to: Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

"According to a recent survey of 1,000 U.S.-based software developers, 56 percent expect to become millionaires in their lifetime.

That's not difficult if you're earning 6-fixgures, aren't staying in a very expensive area, and are just good with money.
<Insert joke about nerds being single>

66 percent also said they expect to get raises in the next year, despite the current state of the economy.

I personally expect to get a raise every-single-year. Inflation stays around 3% every year. If my company doesn't give me AT-LEAST a 3% increase in salary each year, I consider it a slap-in-the-face. A pay cut by another name. And worse, a pay cut after a sterling annual review, and a year of hard work.

Inflation/cost-of-living year-over-year was only at zero for ONE year, during the depths of the recession. It's not an ongoing excuse to withhold annual raises.

There's little that pisses me off more than hearing that "company policy" limits raises to no more than 3% (or 2%, or 1%). That's institutionalizing yearly pay-cuts for all employees, including top-performers. Even when I make a stink and get more than that, it makes me look at that company with utter disgust, as they show how much they HATE and want to be at war with their (good, long-term reliable) employees. Nothing makes a company better than the few long-timers, who have everything about the company and all the systems in their head. "Company policy" that punishes them for staying instead of job-hopping is the most utterly moronic thing I could imagine... But this rant is getting off the rails, quickly...

84 percent said they believe they are paid what they're worth, 95 percent report they feel they are 'one of the most valued employees at their organization,'

Well, obviously people don't stay at a company where they feel ignored and undervalued (see above). And when your work will determine whether the company hits or misses a deadline, you speak to CxOs on a regular basis, or you're responsible for many millions of dollars of equipment, it's easy to feel highly valued, even if perhaps you are not.

I know I've occasionally been the highest paid person in some medium-sized companies. With the higher contractor rates, and overhead of contracting firms, it's not too difficult to end up costing the company more than the CEO's salary, even if not all of it goes into your pocket, and some of it is government taxes/fees/programs that get stuffed into salary for contractors but not regular staff.

Comment: Re:Dunno (Score 1) 220

by evilviper (#46785751) Attached to: I expect to retire ...

I should have enough by mid 60s, assuming Congress doesn't raid my 401K, Social Security still exists, and the entire economy hasn't collapsed. Hmm, now I'm depressed. :(

Hell, my retirement plan DEPENDS on the world economy collapsing!

I'm stocking up on shotgun shells, shiny bits of metal, and cans of pork & beans.

Comment: Re:Government picking favorites (Score 1) 90

Nope, others and I were able to watch and hear unclear pictures OTA on TV compared to digital.

This misconception comes from broadcasters making changes to their transmissions at the same time they switched to digital. Broadcasters on VHF channels 2-6 switched to UHF channel, which obviously aren't received by VHF antennas. Some chose to cut their broadcast power to save power, and more. It even goes as far as some HDTV manufactures including weak and noisy POS tuners. I've seen this with lesser-known brands all the time.

Side-by-side, digital is FAR better. I can get digital stations with no breakup from 130mi away, with regular consumer level antennas... The low-power analog stations from 10 miles away look like crap.

You don't need to take my word for it. Look at something like, and see how they sort DIGITAL stations higher than ANALOG stations, even when they have up to 10dBm lower signal levels than the analog versions. I've been watching OTA on the fringes in various cities since long before the switchover, and I've seen first-hand how things have vastly improved.

The more cordial the buyer's secretary, the greater the odds that the competition already has the order.