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Comment: Re:Intelligence isn't always advantageous (Score 1) 152

by alvinrod (#47440977) Attached to: Chimpanzee Intelligence Largely Determined By Genetics
This assumes that chimps aren't on their way there. However, without understanding how intelligence first arose in humans or what in our genes is responsible for it, there's no good way to determine what it would take chimps to get there other than enough time.

Also, what makes you think that stupidity has advantages? That humans exist on every continent on Earth and will probably have moved off planet within a thousand years and likely will have a least tried to move out of our solar system in the next ten thousand would suggest that intelligence ultimately confers more of an advantage. Other creatures are limited by their ability to adapt to new environments. Humans move there and adapt their environment to suit them. The only thing that really limits us is our own lack of understanding of the universe, but we've been amassing knowledge and continually peeling away the layers of mystery. The more we add to that pile, the better we're able to adapt our world to suit us.

Comment: Re:Alternate use for this technology (Score 1) 177

by alvinrod (#47434521) Attached to: DARPA Successfully Demonstrates Self-Guiding Bullets
It's getting cheaper than ever before, not more expensive and the asymmetry is narrowing. Before we had to fire a cruise missile, now we're using drone strikes. A laser guided bullet that can be fired from almost 2 miles away that does even less collateral damage is even cheaper to use both in terms of material cost and politically when there aren't any innocent civilian casualties.

Finding the target isn't going to be any more difficult. Imagine when something like Google Glass becomes ubiquitous and the government is spying on more than just phone calls. Even without that, it's not too difficult to imagine fleets of drones being used for surveillance, maybe even themselves being capable of painting a target once they find one.

Comment: Re:Wish I could say I was surprised (Score 5, Insightful) 175

by alvinrod (#47429705) Attached to: Peer Review Ring Broken - 60 Articles Retracted
It's not a matter of failing peer review, it's a general disinterest in publishing negative results. If you find a cure for cancer it's a big deal, but if you just found one more thing that doesn't work any better than a sugar pill, none of the journals are going to care about publishing it even if it's the most well-run study in the history of the world.

If someone starts doing some novel research that's going to take five years to possibly produce results and nothing pans out, they aren't going to get anyone to publish the findings.

Comment: Re:Samsung's slowing sales... (Score 1) 44

by alvinrod (#47427893) Attached to: Apple Gets Its First Batch of iPhone Chips From TSMC

Samsung's dominance in the Android market is legendary - it's what, 90% of all Android phones?

It's not that high. A C|net article from a few months ago puts them at slightly more than 30% of the global share, which is still pretty damned impressive. What's been impressive is that Samsung has been one of the only companies actually making money. HTC just posted that they were back in the black for the first time in a while and neither LG, Sony, or any of the other big players have done much better than break even. Motorola bled like stuck pig both before and after Google acquired them. Blackberry and Nokia all but disappeared.

In the first quarter of 2014, Apple and Samsung together had 106% of industry profits. That number only makes sense because all of the other companies (China wasn't included) lost money. That's what has been most incredible with the company.

Comment: Re:How fitting (Score 3, Insightful) 333

If the majority of people are extroverted, how would it not be considered normal or typical behavior? The problem comes from assuming that anyone who isn't normal must have something horribly wrong with them. The number of people who are normal in most every regard must be incredibly small, which by definition also means that they're not normal.

Either some attribute is the typical state for a person, so our brains will assume it's true unless given sufficient reason to believe otherwise, or there's another likely explanation for the behavior. In the case of the stick figure, assuming that it's drawn as plainly as possible, it better matches the mind's pattern for men due to a lack of hair and a lack of breasts. If we lived in a culture where women had flat chests and shaved their heads and men wore their hair long, most people would probably default to calling the stick figure a woman.

Our brains are fairly good at recognizing patterns and will often try to find them in places where none exist. Even if the number of introverts and extroverts are the same, it could be simple confirmation bias as you're far more likely to engage with extroverts while introverts will keep more to themselves.

Comment: Re:Show me the money! (Score 1) 441

by alvinrod (#47348149) Attached to: Researchers Claim Wind Turbine Energy Payback In Less Than a Year

There are a lot of people who the environment matters to....

Which doesn't matter one bit unless they have the money to build the wind farms, which they usually don't. The monetary cost and payback are what is going to be looked at when determining whether or not to build wind farms and how many will be built.

Comment: Re:Deleted (Score 3, Insightful) 108

by alvinrod (#47348031) Attached to: US National Archives Will Upload All Its Holdings To Wikipedia
The problem is that it appears to be rather arbitrary. What objective criteria is used to determine what popular culture is popular enough to warrant a Wikipedia page and what popular culture isn't popular enough so everything must go? In reality I think it comes down to whether or not it is more liked or more hated by editors who hold the power there.

Comment: Re:Embarrasment (Score 4, Insightful) 198

by alvinrod (#47345631) Attached to: Overkill? LG Phone Has 2560x1440 Display, Laser Focusing
The companies that are producing these incredibly pixel-dense phone screens are the same ones that are producing a lot of the panels for monitors. I think Samsung and LG are collectively responsible for about half of the global supply of LCD panels. A quick Google search shows that the top 4 companies make up roughly 80% - 85% of the market. They're probably perfectly happy making a healthy profit and not rocking the boat too much.

Comment: Probably not (Score 5, Interesting) 198

by alvinrod (#47345567) Attached to: Overkill? LG Phone Has 2560x1440 Display, Laser Focusing
Probably not, given that most reviewers tend to focus on technical specs or other flashy points after spending perhaps a week with the device before moving on to something else. A lot of consumers are going to buy whatever costs them the least, even if they still end up paying the same ridiculous amount every month for a contract. Even then, a lot of them will take whatever the sales droid pushes on them.

When Google still owned Motorola they tried to make some quality designs that had a lot more polish than the typical Android phone, but the sales didn't follow because it didn't have the bells and whistles that attract tech geeks or the type of people who fill buy based on some shiny, new feature. Similarly, none of the sales people were pushing it for any reason (usually some kind of kickback^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hsales incentive) and so sales were poor and Google ended up dumping Motorola because they couldn't make a profit with the company.

That and if they make a quality device that lasts for three years, they can't sell you a new phone after two. Why do you think so many of the manufacturers and carriers stop providing Android updates even though the device could easily support them or a different version of the essentially the same hardware is getting the update?

Comment: Re:Seems like a 180 from their previous views (Score 4, Insightful) 193

by alvinrod (#47307003) Attached to: First Phone Out of Microsoft-Nokia -- and It's an Android
It seems more likely that Microsoft is so large that parts of the company are on different wavelengths and act inconsistently with one and other. Also, no one brings a phone from conception to market in a few months. This was probably something in the pipeline from before Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia. Microsoft could have axed it (and under Ballmer they probably would have) but I think they've realized that doing things like that for purely ideological reasons is poor business sense and that while they might have been able to get away with it in the past, the times have changed. Given that they recently made Windows Phone free for manufacturers (at least certain ones anyway) it's not like they're potentially losing out on revenue either.

If what they've been doing hasn't solved the problem, tell them to do something else. -- Gerald Weinberg, "The Secrets of Consulting"