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Comment: Re:what? (Score 1) 124

by vux984 (#47554507) Attached to: OKCupid Experiments on Users Too

selecting a sample of users, and conducting tests on them specifically to change their response.

How does changing something about your website to get them to spend more money not qualify as "selecting a sample of users, conduncting tests specifically to change their response"?

So what if the 'sample of users' is everyone, and the A/B test occurs over the same users in two non-overlapping timeframes? If I make the changes to my regionalized .CA website to test the impact on "Canada" before making it to the global site? Does that qualify? Because pretty much all sites do that sort of thing too.

You're definition is so loose it's useless.

That is PRECISELY my point. Getting in a huff about "experimenting on users" is absurd, because the definitions in play ARE uselessly broad. What did OKcupid or facebook do, SPECIFICALLY, that crossed a line that any other website wouldn't do to increase whatever metric they were looking at.

Because, to my view, they haven't done anything different from any other site, at all. So this all really is much ado about nothing.

Comment: Re:what? (Score 5, Insightful) 124

by vux984 (#47554033) Attached to: OKCupid Experiments on Users Too

No. It's what some unethical douche bags do. it has nothing to do with how websites work, asshole.

Anyone who has ever:
a) taken any metrics about there site
a) altered their website in any way
b) measured whether or not it made any difference

Change the font? Rewriting the sales pitch? Moving the photo to the left? Changing the checkout sequence? Showing more or fewer related products? Added bitcoin as a payment option? Offered a discount? Let you checkout without registering? Adjusted your online advertising budget or changed the keywords you were paying for or targeted a new demographic or region...

Do any or all of those one at a time, checking whether sales increased or not... congrats you effectively "experimented" on your users.

Whether or not it is insidious or unethical doesn't depend on "did you or did you not experiment" it depends on what EXACTLY you've been doing.

Me, I've noticed that people tend to click on articles that are finite lists of things. Hypothetically take an article called "Retirement Savings Strategies Everyone should know" gets fewer clicks than "7 retirement savings strategies everyone should know".

The only change is the addition of the number 7.

The internet has gradually been replaced by "X Y's" articles, because it gets more clicks, as this has become increasingly "discovered" by people "experimenting" on users with different headline styles.

The only upside is that I can safely ignore any "news" site with more than 1 article that starts with a count in the title, as containing nothing more than processed brain diarrhea.

Comment: Re:It really works? (Score 2) 102

by vux984 (#47553651) Attached to: A Fictional Compression Metric Moves Into the Real World

Claiming that a score "works" has no meaning,

I could easily devise a cpu scoring methodology that scores CPU based on chip area / cost * clock speed / register width.

Such a score "works" in the sense that the function can be evaluated, but it wouldn't tell you anything about whether to buy an i7 vs a xeon vs a pentium 2.

The suggestion in the article is that the particular scoring methodology that was created for the show is useful for comparing compression algorithms, to the point that it may well be adopted by industry.

Therefore, the only interpretation of the hideously poor writing is that the submitter is claiming the algorithm works.

The writing was perfectly fine, your reading comprehension is what failed here.

Comment: Re:$23k isn't crap to an oracle shop... (Score 1) 91

by Shoten (#47550811) Attached to: Oracle Offers Custom Intel Chips and Unanticipated Costs

$23k is nothing but pennies to an oracle shop.

Posting anon as I'm a unix sysadmin in an oracle shop.

Yes, but after becoming an Oracle shop, you don't have any pennies left to spend. And $23K per processor isn't really pennies to anyone. If you're spending the big bucks already, you have tons of processors. If you aren't, then it's massive.

But the real problem here is that it's done by default, regardless of if it's needed at all. So a client ends up spending that money, very likely on something they don't need and don't see any benefit from. Let's assume they have only two machines running Oracle, in high availability mode each running dual processors. At $23K per processor, that's just shy of $100,000 (and if tax is included, it will be over that). What can a company do with $100,000? Quite a lot. Especially if they're small enough that all they need is one database instance. On the other hand...if you take that $100,000 out of their budget, that would result in them having to cut costs elsewhere...perhaps by firing the guy who didn't catch that line item on the bill of materials from Oracle in the first place?

Comment: Re:Android updates vs Google Play Services updates (Score 2) 270

Hasn't Google been moving more things under the umbrella of their much more restrictively licensed Google Play Services? Basically building much of the face of Android on things no longer/never part of AOSP?

Not really; the problem is that every carrier has phones with Android images that are customized for OS lifecycle responsibility lies ultimately with the carrier. Fragmentation is the main root cause here, along with the fact that the carriers frankly don't give a shit about pushing updates. They'd much rather that everyone buy new phones anyways...not for the profit of the phones per se, but because the less they have to straddle cellular standards (EDGE/3G/4G/LTE) the less money they have to spend operating parallel sets of equipment to service each of them. And customer tech support is easier (i.e., cheaper) with less legacy phones in the wild as well.

Comment: Re:Graph is search results, not speed measurements (Score 4, Insightful) 270

The methodology of testing the hypothesis is to look for google searches about "iphone slow" or "samsung slow". Assumption made is if people search for "iphone slow" Apple might have done something to slow down iPhones. The control group is Samsung which has the same motive as Apple but not the means because it does not control the OS.

It is a big leap, there could be various other explanations of varying degrees of malice. As the new release comes through, bug fixes for older releases are put on back burner, apps are changed and tuned to take advantage of new version run slower in older version.. Or the way graphics subsystem is organized in iOS might have different bottlenecks based on the display resolution. So as new releases come in, default sizes for buffers and hashtables might change deep in the OS slowing down older apps.

And if you are going to postulate "Apple might slow down older versions deliberately", why can't you postulate, "Google might spike and skew the history of the past searches to make Apple look bad"?

There's another problem with his theory as well; as we all know, Android phones don't get many OS updates, if any at all. Every study that checks (using real methods) the Android versions currently in use based on hardware, vendor, or general population finds that unless you bought your phone very recently, there's almost no chance you're running the latest version of Android. So how is it that Google is managing to slow down old phones with code in the new versions of Android in the first place?

Comment: Re:I'm affected by this, and... (Score 1) 260

by vux984 (#47540417) Attached to: Verizon Now Throttling Top 'Unlimited' Subscribers On 4G LTE

I use about 70 to 150 GB per month.

ok... Verizon's taking a real risk with this, Oh, and they'll lose my $700 cash infusion that I supply them approximately yearly, oh, and my $200/month (family-wide) cellular bill... Oh, plus the fact that I've successfully convinced tens of people in the past,

  Hope they can live without that, too.

You bet they can. say 3000/year? For 70-150GB per month? I pay $1500/year at least, and use maybe 15-20GB per YEAR.

So yeah, you make them twice as much $, but use 10x as much bandwidtih. That makes people like ME 5x more profitable than you are.

They'd be happy to lose you, and anyone like you.

If you don't, look to lose about $10,000 per month in revenue by the time I get done canceling my service and talking to my connections about Verizon and they start pulling the plug.

In reality, your connections are mostly in contract, and cant switch anyway. Plus despite your outrage, they are satisfied with their service.

I'm a very convincing and influential person.

And the guy in the mirror agrees with you, so you must be right.

I wonder how many other people like me out there are souring to your business by your anti-consumer practices.

Less than a fraction of a percent of its least profitable paying customers. Your better than people who don't pay their bill, that's about it it.

Comment: Re:fundementally impossible (Score 1) 85

by vux984 (#47540157) Attached to: Nightfall: Can Kalgash Exist?

that the planet's orbit be stable over thousands of years

Very low thousands is plenty if the timing is right. If anything say a few thousand years pre-Copernicus contained astronomical accounts that deviated wildly from what we "know" today, we'd put it in the same category as the artwork and accounts of the flat earth resting on the back of a giant turtle.

If you read this paper, you see they settled on a moon the same mass as Kalgash but with the density of Saturn! How could such a system possibly arise?

Gas Dwarfs?

As for the how, with 6 suns dancing around, you've got plenty of candidates to provide the required components, and lots of opportunity for freak events, collisions, etc.

Honestly, I think, after you add in 'freak occurrences' we'll eventually find some pretty spectacularly improbable planets.

Comment: Re:Even better, reflect true cost of cell phones (Score 1) 77

by vux984 (#47537321) Attached to: Compromise Struck On Cellphone Unlocking Bill

No one is paying $200 for a phone they can get for free with a contract

Not true. The 2ndary market for last years premium phones (iphone 4S, galaxy 3, galaxy 4 ...) and they do go for ~$150-250.

There are a few niches where used premium phones really shine:

kids phones -- kids want imessage/sms, games, youtube, and parents don't want to spend $50-80/mo for phone contracts for their kids, so they'll 'get' an older premium phone and stick a pay as you go text messenging plan on it.

This is a popular setup parents go for around here, and its usually put on 'hand-me-down phones' or phones picked up 2nd hand.

For example, I put my daughter on 100$/year unlimited SMS plan, on my old iphone 3GS, and then after she had it a year it gave out, and wasn't worth fixing - so I bought her a used iphone 4S for $180. I think this is a pretty common situation, as everything from small computer shops to ebgames deals in used premium phones and there's always 10+ iphone 4, 4S, samsung SIII and S4 phones in stock at any of these places.

Anyone can do any amount of work provided it isn't the work he is supposed to be doing at the moment. -- Robert Benchley