^^ Google+ invite link. Most of the old
^^ Google+ invite link. Most of the old
Just one final clarification for you - keep in mind that my comments on error bars were musings on the falsifiability of global warming, from a philosophy of science perspective. [ShakaUVM]
That's quite a euphemism for repeatedly accusing scientists of failing to construct and test falsifiable theories, or accusing them of dishonestly claiming more knowledge than there is.
Now, I'd grown accustomed to 'spiritual'Â claims, and had decided to ignore them because they weren't falsifiable .
My sense of duty to science stops here, unfortunately, so I can't falsify this hypothesis. [Dumb Scientist]
scientific theories have to make unique, falsifiable predictions.
I agree that models which don't make falsifiable predictions are worthless. I've just never seen that happen in peer reviewed journals. [Dumb Scientist]
It's definitely falsifiable science, too. [Dumb Scientist]
My third piece of evidence is the concept of falsifiability. You see, a scientific hypothesis needs more than naturalism to be valid. It also needs to be falsifiable in the sense that an experiment (either real or gedanken) can be performed that will either support the theory or disprove it. Evolution, for example, is falsifiable in many different ways.
But evolution as a whole just isn't comparable to an unfalsifiable concept like the Flying Spaghetti Monster or intelligent design.
It's possible that abiogenesis happened several times, so finding two types of DNA wouldn't falsify evolution.
The word 'falsifiable' isn't applicable, because creationism/ID isn't science.
I'll note that too short a time between the bombardment and the first microbes could falsify evolution.
While I admire your attempt to adhere to the scientific method, I'm not sure that these examples constitute falsifiability in a rigorous sense. If every animal had different DNA bases, that would utterly demolish evolution. All of the predictions you're offering as falsifications merely seem to add a few more 'why'Â questions (as you say) to an already gigantic stack of 'why'Â questions that theologians have struggled with for centuries. [Dumb Scientist]
In science, nothing is ever proven true. Experiments might sometimes fail to falsify theories, but that's very different from being 'proven true.'Â [Dumb Scientist]
I don't know if you're discussing heresy or orthodoxy. All I'm saying is that you're discussing religion of some variety, not falsifiable science. [Dumb Scientist]
You say that as though my life's work isn't developing and falsifying hypotheses.
But, as I've stressed, creationism can't ever be refuted, because its inherently supernatural properties make it compatible with any potential discovery. On the other hand, I've listed two simple falsifications of evolution: chimpanzees in the Precambrian and many species with totally different DNA bases.
Scientific theories compete in the sense that every new observation either supports or falsifies them.
Science is falsifiable. It produces specific predictions. Creationism/ID doesn't. [Dumb Scientist]
That's what falsifiability means. There has to be some type of evidence which could, in principle, prove the theory wrong. I've linked to many many more tests in the conversation that list was taken from. [Dumb Scientist]
Evolution is thus falsifiable in that manner. Creationism can work either way, so it's not falsifiable and therefore not science.
And yet again, the distinction is that your belief can't ever be disproven because it's based on religious faith, whereas scientific theories have to be testable by definition. [Dumb Scientist]
... It's nice to see that we both agree on the core matter.
No, the "core matter" here is that you're repeatedly and baselessly libelling an entire subfield of physicists, which I most certainly do not agree with, in any sense of the word.
Why do people insult scientists in this manner? It's like telling a plumber "Oh, come on... you don't really know the difference between a bathtub and a sink." Presumably, people wouldn't insult him by suggesting that he's fundamentally incompetent at his life's work. Maybe that's because plumbers carry big wrenches, while scientists carry calculators? [Dumb Scientist]
... the point of my original post above was to talk about the very paradox of verification and falsification in regards to climate science... which I think it seems you agree with. They are very problematic. [ShakaUVM]
This is the second time you've claimed that I agree with your bizarre misconceptions. Please stop. It wasn't true then, and it's not true now. As I've already discussed, some physics topics can seem very problematic if you spend your time (for instance) running a small business. That's why professional physicists spend that time doing physics and getting structured feedback from other physicists. As it turns out, experience and peer-review can help one tackle subjects which armchair quarterbacks might consider "very problematic." If that weren't true, then physicists probably would agree with you... but only if they could manage to stop muttering "f*ckin' magnets, how do they work?"
Where's the bug tracker for Slashdot? I'd like to be able to file bugs and feature requests.
- Link to posting journals is difficult to find. At one time, it was nearly impossible to click, because it was part of a page footer that retreated every time you got near it. (The page body was getting filled with more content as one got closer to the bottom.)
- List of all my old Journal Entries is difficult to find without already knowing the URL.
- Enable SSL by default
- Enable "Public Terminal" checkbox by default, or replace with a "Remember me" checkbox like everyone else has.
- For some reason, <ul></ul> doesn't work, and I had to switch these lists to <ol></ol>
- Offer an explicit programmatic API for managing my user settings, so I can crosspost my blogs to my
- Support conveniently tying my account to major single-sign-on providers who use OpenID and OAuth. Most places will allow me to click a nice, big icon to automate filling in the needed details.
- Support post convenience features most other social networking sites (hey, remember zoo.pl? You were one of the first social networks on the market.) such as post-by-email, importing/exporting posts from/to some other popular sites/common APIs.
While some of the bugs have been fixed already, it'd have been a lot less grating if there was a good, visible way to report them and follow them as they got fixed.
This ungrammatical ghost (either "win shakes" or "wins shake" would have been correct) was a clear duplicate of another story, so I knew it was doomed when I saw it.
Tea Party Win Shake Up Net Neutrality
Original link: http://politics.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=10/11/04/1544211
Posted by CmdrTaco in The Mysterious Future!
from the tea-shake dept.
GovTechGuy found a story discussing the Republican and Tea Party congressional wins and what that means for Net Neutrality. Apparently most of the dems who signed the net neutrality pledge last week are now looking for work.
Today, I realized I hadn't told you guys I'm engaged.
I went to tell you, and found Slashdot journals down. I figured they didn't care, but turns out it was brought back up.
Anyway, yeah, I'm engaged to a lovely, smart and funny gal who was already into Linux and tabletop roleplaying when I ran into her. May 20th, 2012.
Not bad for a guy who spent his formative years on Slashdot.
My guess is that this Monday-morning submission turned out to be a duplicate of something that came in over the weekend. But I haven't had a chance to check.
BSA Inflate Their Piracy Losses
Original link: http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=10/09/20/1525220
Posted by CmdrTaco in The Mysterious Future!
from the thats-just-marketing dept.
superapecommando noted that Glyn Moody reckons
"The IDC numbers turn out to be reasonable enough, the conclusions drawn from them are not. Reducing software piracy will not magically conjure up those hundreds of billions of dollars of economic growth that the BSA invokes, or create huge numbers of new jobs: it will simply move the money around â" in fact, it will send more of it outside local economies to the US, and reduce the local employment. And it certainly won't do anything to ameliorate the quotidian problems of poorly-written software..."
Hey, for anyone who still reads this. Rosetta Code's doing awesome, content-wise, and we're starting to implement Semantic MediaWiki. (To what end? Not sure. I've got a couple ideas, but I'm more an opportunist than a front-end planner.) I've also been shooting a bunch of photos and putting them up online--even photos that aren't cosplay, if you can imagine that. (Which you probably can; I doubt many who read this were following me on Flickr back when I went to Anime Weekend Atlanta for the first time in 2007. If you want to read what I'm really thinking, either follow me on Multiply, or see the same stuff over on LiveJournal--but get your adblock armor up; it's a scary place. I'm also on Twitter, if you really care. I'm a minimal participant, really.
If I show up as a fan for you here, I do read your journals; the My Amigos RSS feed is still useful.
Why this collection of links to me at other places? Easy; I know there are still some of you here who never showed up in those other places, and I miss the interactions. I'd post my blogs here, too, but Slashdot has relegated itself to an incredible degree of backwater status. I was lucky to find the "Write in Journal" link. I'm tempted to find some Perl script to have it suck in blog posts via RSS, and post them to Slashdot. (That's how I'm inducting my blog posts into Facebook, too.)
I miss what this place used to be. I miss the people this place used to have. I still see some of them on two or three other social networks, and some of the bonds there are tighter than they ever were here, but there's still a bunch of you missing.
I was expecting this one to resurface -- it disappeared right about the time Slashdot posted a big political story -- but it hasn't come back yet. I'm guessing it's a dupe of a story over the weekend, but I haven't had time to go searching.
Your Rights Online: UK Government Refuses To Ditch IE6
Orig link: http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=10/08/02/169202
Posted by CmdrTaco in The Mysterious Future!
from the good-plan-guys dept.
"The UK government has said it will not upgrade its departments computers from Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 because it would not be 'cost-effective'. A recent online petition posted to Number10.gov.uk received 6,223 signatures that called for the 'Prime Minister to encourage government departments to upgrade away from Internet Explorer 6' due to its alleged vulnerability to attack, and because it requires web developers to specially craft sites to support the browser. This raises the question, what is the cost of an upgrade compared to a massive security breach?"
This one was funny -- it was in red on the front page at the same time as the article that eventually posted for real, Talk On Chinese Cyber Army Pulled From Black Hat. Oops!
Black Hat Talk On China Cyber Army Pulled
Orig link: http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=10/07/15/1529241
Posted by CmdrTaco in The Mysterious Future!
from the nobody-ever-talks-about-the-purple-hats dept.
"A talk that would have given conference attendees a unique profile of China's secretive government-sponsored hacking efforts has been pulled from the Black Hat schedule. Wayne Huang, one of the presenters of the talk and CTO with Taiwanese security vendor Armorize, said that he decided to pull the talk after vetting it with several organizations that had contributed intelligence and getting pressure from several places, both in Taiwan and in China. Huang wouldn't say who complained or why, but he said that by pulling the talk Armorize will be able to maintain its good relations with the Asian security community. 'We ran the materials by some key people and they were not happy with it,' he said."
People constantly say "Python is fast enough! If it's too slow, just throw hardware at the problem! GUI applications spend all their time waiting for user input anyway! And you can rewrite performance-critical sections in C!"
So why is it that, running Fedora on my netbook, I can tell -- with 99% accuracy -- which programs are written in C/C++ and which are written in Python?
There's a simple test. If, when I launch the program, nothing happens for up to a minute, then it's probably written in Python. If, when I click on a button in the program, it becomes completely unresponsive for up to five minutes before anything happens, then it's definitely written in Python.
Today's culprit is the SELinux Administration program. Unbelievably, mind-blowingly slow and unresponsive. This is not a good user experience. I don't care how much programmer time was saved by writing it in Python, or how beautiful the code is, or even how well it performed on the developer's high-end desktop monster -- what I care about is how much of my time is being wasted by twiddling my thumbs while this under-performing, over-rated slug of a language chugs away doing simple things inefficiently.
It's 2010. The future of computing is small, low-powered devices, optimised for portability and endurance rather than raw execution speed. I can't throw hardware at this problem. If Fedora wants to be widespread, it simply can't afford to go on like this, getting slower and slower as more and more core functionality is replaced with fundamentally slow code. It's time to start thinking about execution efficiency again, and -- in the absence of a high-performance Python interpreter -- that means Python is simply not an appropriate language for implementing core OS functionality like system configuration tools. If rewriting bottlenecks in C is good enough, then someone needs to start doing that, because right now they clearly aren't.
The first Ghost Article in many, many months shows some strange behind-the-scenes SlashCode action. When I reload the original page URL, I get the generic "Nothing to see here, move along". But when I click on the "title" link, the one in the header before the comments section, the page that results has the full article title. It's not just echoing the text in the URL, either... otherwise it would say "Man HIV Free" instead of "Man HIV-Free". That implies that the ghost is still in the database... somewhere.
Man HIV-Free 2 Years After Stem Cell Treatment
Date: 26 Feb 2010
Orig link: http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=10/02/26/1637249
Title link: http://science.slashdot.org/story/10/02/26/1637249/Man-HIV-Free-2-Years-After-Stem-Cell-Treatment
Posted by kdawson in The Mysterious Future!
from the good-genes dept.
"According to a recent report in the New England Journal of Medicine, a stem cell transplant performed in Germany has unexpectedly removed all signs of HIV from a 42-year-old American patient. The unnamed white male was treated two years ago for leukemia with a dose of donor stem cells, and his HIV RNA count has dropped to zero and remained there since. While the treatment was for leukemia, Dr. Gero Hutter and colleagues at the Charite Universitatsmedizen in Berlin had selected the stem cell donor for his HIV-resistant genes. While there are still many questions unanswered, this is the first such case of stem cells treating HIV that has been reported in a publication of the caliber of the NEJM."
I have to say, with the addition of email and twitter support channels, their customer service has improved by leaps and bounds in the past three years I've been a customer.
It's a fast, fast RSS feed, and it's difficult to keep up with. However, I've been trying...A lot of what I've been seeing in it has been giving me genuine inspiration for settings, encounters, props and even campaigns for D&D. That, along with a blog post I recently read where the DM's roleplaying the giggling of some minor monstors got her players greatly and emotionally engaged in the combat. Roleplaying monster sounds? Why didn't I think of that? That could give me something about the combat side of things that I could enjoy.
It's sparked my interest in DMing again, and I'm slowly assembling a campaign in my mind. The next step is finding players and a suitable environment; GrandLAN, for its rich perpetual presence of players, was normally too noisy or cramped for comfortable play. I'm tempted to do hold it in my basement, where I can use my TV and sound system for still imagery and auditory props, but then I've got to worry about who can make it and when.
I still think that a "regularly scheduled" game is a bad approach. You can either count on a schedule, or you can count on the presence of players. Not both. Also, having variable time between games offers more opportunity to prepare and ensure an enjoyable session. I don't have a need to kill time; Like anybody else, I have precious little of that already. I have a desire to enjoy the game.
All I want to do is synchronise my Google calendar with my computer, so I can read and add entries even when I don't have an internet connection. That shouldn't be so hard, should it?
Apparently it is.
Google's own Google Gears is read-only. Useless.
The only Linux calendar client that Google supports is Mozilla Sunbird. Yeah, the discontinued one. It does do CalDAV, but it's online-only; if I'm offline, the only way to get my calendar is to use the scary "EXPERIMENTAL!!!111" cache option, and that's read-only and buggy to boot. Useless.
Evolution supports CalDAV. Unfortunately, Evolution wants to take over my entire computer. I had to put in a fake email account before it would even let me look at the calendar options. The UI is frankly horrible. There is apparently no way to get rid of the irrelevant "task" pane; I can shrink it to take up no space, but then when I resize the window, all the extra space is given back to the task pane instead of to the calendar itself. It also insists on trying to add all new entries to the non-deletable "Personal" calendar, even though I have hidden this and set my Google calendar to be the default calendar. I'm not surprised it's useless, of course; all the development effort will be going into supporting Microsoft Exchange, in line with Novell's usual policy of preferring Microsoft lock-in over open standards.
KDE's calendar program looks quite nice. It supports all kinds of synchronisation options. Er... that is, apart from the single useful standard, CalDAV. The absence of which, people have been complaining about literally for years. Apparently they're waiting for opensync (aka Godot; see below). Or possibly something called Akonadi (Godot's little brother). It looks like someone else has recently got sick of waiting and started actually writing some code to fix this gaping hole, which is a pleasant surprise, but their project doesn't actually work yet. Good luck to them anyway.
So, what's left? There's a promising project called opensync that claims to be able to synchronise any sort of calendar I like. This sounds like exactly what I'm looking for! Oh, wait: the last stable release is ancient; the last couple of years have been spent completely breaking the whole API; the Google Calendar plugin is unmaintained and is broken even in the stable version; there is no CalDAV support at all. The current status report labels everything as either alpha-quality or totally broken. Good stuff. Enjoy gazing at your navels, opensync developers! I'm so glad you decided to rearchitect your project instead of making it useful.
Which leaves only one option: GCalDaemon. I refuse to touch this with a bargepole. Not because it's unmaintained, not even because it's written in Java, but because its developers seem to have been totally clueless, and I will not trust their code on my computer. They expect me to put user-specific configuration files under
Never mind, I'll write my own. Sigh.
So on Rosetta Code, we use GeSHi for syntax highlighting. The relationship between Rosetta Code, GeSHi, a programming language and the code written in that language is fairly simple. (The exact order of events inside GeSHi might be slightly different; I haven't delved deeply into its core)
Rosetta Code (by way of a MediaWiki parser extension) gives GeSHi a few pointers about how it wants the code formatted, the language the code sample will be in, and, finally, the code sample itself.
GeSHi takes the code example, and loads the language file named after the language in question. Each language file defines a PHP associative array that contains(among a couple other things) simple rules for how GeSHi can apply formatting to the code in a way that will clarify it to the viewer. These rules include lists of known keywords of various classifications, symbols used for normal commenting conventions and optional regex matching rules for each, among other things.
It's a perfectly reasonable, fairly static approach that allows syntax highlighting to cover a broad variety of languages without knowing how to parse that language's actual syntax, and so avoiding having a syntax error break the whole process.
Unfortunately, it requires Rosetta Code to be able to tell GeSHi what language a code sample is written in. It also leads to odd scenarios where a supported language and an unsupported language are so closely related that examples written for the unsupported language can be comfortably highlighted using the the rules for the supported language.
And I have yet to learn of a good way to do syntax highlighting for Forth. (The Forth developers appear to pretty much keep to their own community, and don't seem to do much in the way of outreach, which makes finding a solution relatively difficult, but I digress...)
So what does this have to do with artificial intelligence? Well, in identifying a language without being told what it is, of course!
A few solutions have been discussed. One approach that has been attempted had something to do with Markov Chains. The code is in the GeSHi repos, and I haven't looked at it.
One solution I suggested was to run the code example through all the supported languages (Yes, I know, that's expensive. Not something to be done in real time.), and select the ruleset based on how many rules(X) were matched for a language and how much of the code sample was identified(Y). Using a simple heuristic of (a*X)/(b*Y), you can account for a number of matched rules while hopefully accounting for an overly-greedy regex rule.
How can we take this a step farther? How about formatting languages we don't know about?
Well, many, many languages have rules in common. Common keywords, common code block identifiers, common symbols for comments, common symbols for quotation, etc. This tends to result from their being derived or inspired in some way by another language. For the sake of avoiding pedantry, I'll just say that C, C++, Perl, Python, PHP, Pascal and Java all have a few common ancestors.
One way would be to note the best N language matches, take an intersection of their common rules, and apply that intersection as its own ruleset. This would certainly work for many of the variants of BASIC out there, as well as specialized variants of common languages like C and low-level ISAs.