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Comment: Baikal? (Score 1) 56

by Stargoat (#47435453) Attached to: Chinese State Media Declares iPhone a Threat To National Security

Didn't Remington import for a number of years shotguns from a Russian company called Baikal? They were terrible guns for any use other than a club, poorly balanced and an action that made an I beam look flexible. But if you wanted a gun to club someone with, a Baikal was an awesome choice. It made a hellagood club - stout and durable. Thing was built like a tank.

Comment: Re:Google already has the technology to fix this (Score 2) 128

by ncc74656 (#47432321) Attached to: How Google Map Hackers Can Destroy a Business

google broke into internet search with the page rank algorithm whose essential purpose is to combat "search engine optimization."

Yeah. They destroy legitimate businesses with their wonderful algorithms...

SEO isn't a legitimate business. If your website is getting pushed into the search-result basement, odds are you're doing it wrong.

Comment: Re:And good luck asking for APAP-free medicine! (Score 4, Informative) 149

by ncc74656 (#47431201) Attached to: Hair-Raising Technique Detects Drugs, Explosives On Human Body

I think most doctors believe its beneficial but I also think they somehow see acetaminophen opiate formulations as some kind of bulwark against abuse. Either because they believe it is so much more effective paired with acetaminophen and you'll be inclined to take less overall or that people "know" acetaminophen is bad in quantity and it will serve as a deterrent to excessive dosage, especially people with a history of drug abuse.

Also, the DEA watches doctors who prescribe opiates very carefully. If some government goon believes a doctor's handing them out like candy, the doctor's most likely going to be called in for some very uncomfortable questions. See chapter two of Three Felonies a Day for some examples.

The way scripts for opiates are handled is also quite different. My wife's oncologist was able to submit the vast majority of prescriptions to her preferred pharmacy electronically; they would be ready for pick-up a short time after. The one time she was prescribed straight oxycodone (or whatever opiate), it was printed on security paper to thwart attempts at altering or copying. It was signed, and some sort of DEA ID number issued to the doc was printed in the header. I had to deliver the prescription to a pharmacy. Her usual pharmacy didn't have it in stock, so I had to find another that did. Once it was filled, I had to sign for it in a logbook (similar to when you buy products containing pseudoephedrine).

Comment: Re:The right competitor to SAS is Statistica (Score 1) 142

I will say that while SAS has some really great point-and-click analysis tools...I would venture to guess that most experienced SAS are doing as much "command line programming" as they would have to do in R.

My company uses a ton of SAS and I can count on one hand the number of times I have went to look at someone else's work and found that they were using the GUI stuff. Pretty much everyone just writes .sas programs; most people use EG as an IDE, but those programs could all be run just as well in batch mode from the AIX command line.

Comment: Re:More than cost (Score 1) 142

Yeah, I think a lot of people in here forget that there are some things that SAS is really freaking good at. SAS isn't some beastly mess that big corporations are saddled with and can't escape from (like say SAP) is a fairly well designed piece of software with a bunch of programmers actively working to make it better (very happy programmers if you trust the frequent ratings of SAS as one of the best companies to work for). It is fairly expensive on the enterprise level, but a lot of companies out there think that it is totally worth it. Of course...I'm kind of cheap and more technically inclined...if I were starting a new company, I would use R or Python for everything and just keep a couple of desktop SAS licenses just in case.

Yes, most of its programming syntax is designed in a way that makes sense if you processing punch-cards, but once you understand that, the language is fairly logical and simple. The fact that it was designed for punch cards is the main reason why it doesn't stumble into dataset size limits (unlike memory-based software like R or STATA do), although it can lead to slowdowns from being I/O bound.

And yes, sometimes I wish I could define functions rather than trying to hack repeated code through the Macro language.

And no, the standard graphics/output is not are pretty as it can be from R (ggplot2 is quite nice), but with a little work, you can make quite nice charts in SAS.

But, despite all of that, it really is quite a nice system with absolutely excellent documentation and support. I never touch the extra GUI stuff, but the people who keep suggesting RStudio clearly don't know what they are talking about. The level of analysis that you can do in SAS Enterprise Guide is insane. EG is not just an IDE for the programming language, it is a GUI with a full analysis suite available through point and click. It is like making charts in excel except you can do complex statistical procedures over millions of observations--and unlike excel, once you have gone through the point-and-click exercise, it gives you all of the code in case you want to tweak it or run it on something else. Sure, the code can be a bit funny, but nowhere near as bad as what came out of an old WYSIWYG HTML editor. Again, I never use it myself, but for a neophyte...they can get started doing real work while still learning how to code (remember, a lot of SAS programmers come to the language already knowing the statistics, but having to learn the language).

Comment: Airplanes/cars/whatever (Score 1) 572

by Enry (#47415075) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

Remember when you could build your own airplane, or build your own car, or maybe your own radio set? Well I don't, but you could. Heck, people built their own computers for the longest time (some still do).

But the nature of just about everything is it gets more and more complicated until it's much easier to just get something prebuilt than it is to do it yourself and those who choose to do it themselves are doing it either as a hobby or because of their employer.

I've been writing code for 20 years though I've primarily been a sys admin. There are things that are much more difficult but many of the tools I used in the early 90s (bash for example, or C) are still around and follow much of the same rules as now.

Comment: Re:etc (Score 1) 120

by squiggleslash (#47414135) Attached to: CentOS Linux Version 7 Released On x86_64

I find this comment somewhat scary.

If the reason people are pronouncing etc "ett-see" is because they don't know, here's the deal: etc is an abbreviation for "Et cetera", which means "and so on". You're supposed to pronounce it "Et centera" for the same reason that if I wrote "Brocolli w/ carrots" you'd read it and pronounce it as "Brocolli with carrots", not "Brocolli double-ewe carrots."

Comment: Re:Problem with proprietary 'free' offerings (Score 1) 174

Android 4.x devices like the Nexus 7 don't have a dedicated menu button. And in this copy of Google Maps, there's no "tricolon" button where the overflow menu is supposed to be.

The first thing that came up on my phone for this? "Popular tip: View maps offline." I got to it from within Maps by opening the menu off to the left side and hitting "Tips and Tricks" down at the bottom.

(This was on a Moto X running Android 4.4. YMMV.)

Comment: Re:What? (Score 2) 139

by ottothecow (#47402885) Attached to: Uber Is Now Cheaper Than a New York City Taxi
Well...during peak hours, Uber X will go into surge pricing and cost far more than a taxi anyways.

Usually when there is surge pricing, I just use Uber to hail a normal taxi (in cities where this is possible). With a normal taxi, you pay a small fee to Uber, but otherwise the rate is straight-meter. Of course, that still won't help if literally every taxi is full, but it gets you better odds than simply standing on a single street corner and waving your hand.

Comment: What? (Score 3, Interesting) 139

by ottothecow (#47402347) Attached to: Uber Is Now Cheaper Than a New York City Taxi
It was more expensive than a taxi in NYC?

Every other city I have used it in, UberX was at a fair discount to a regular taxi...after all, why would you hop a ride in some random person's car (whom you will have to provide with directions because they don't know the city) if it costs more than an actual taxi service? The only thing more expensive was the black car (limo) service.

Comment: Re:Incoming international flights (Score 1) 683

by ottothecow (#47399987) Attached to: TSA Prohibits Taking Discharged Electronic Devices Onto Planes
My local grocery store has a drop box for old cell phones and I have seen them in many other places (and at one point, I received some prepaid mailing envelopes for old phones). Supposedly they refurbish them and send them to Africa or give them to the elderly or abused women who may need to make use of the still-functional 911 features. Although, I question how useful this actually is...who is going to keep a 911-only phone charged and ready at all times? If you aren't actually using it for calls, and aren't used to having a mobile phone, that thing will just be dead in times of need. About the only situations where I can see it being useful is storing it powered-off and attached to a charger in a car or as a "secret" phone for a domestic abuse victim (can pull it out if your abuser takes away your real phone and monitors the land-line).

"Religion is something left over from the infancy of our intelligence, it will fade away as we adopt reason and science as our guidelines." -- Bertrand Russell