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Comment: Reading comprehension. Do you have it? (Score 1) 212

by pavon (#47780815) Attached to: Canada Tops List of Most Science-Literate Countries

A recent survey of scientific education and attitudes showed the Canadian population to have the highest level of scientific literacy in the world, as well as the fewest reservations about the direction of scientific progress

They measured multiple things! The statement "We depend too much on science and not enough on faith" was measuring attitudes about science, and neither the article nor the report present it as an example of scientific literacy. Here is what the article stated as proof of scientific literacy from the article:

Among the most striking results from the survey is that Canada ranks first in science literacy, with 42 per cent of Canadians able to read and understand newspaper stories detailing scientific findings.

The executive summary of the report goes on to list some tests as an additional assessment:

Average score on OECD PISA 2012 science test: 525 (10th out of 65 countries)
Average score on OECD PISA 2012 math test: 518 (13th out of 65 countries)

Comment: Re:TFA bad at math? (Score 1) 146

by pavon (#47778399) Attached to: The American Workday, By Profession

Commenting to undo accidental moderation. But since I have to say something anyways...
It makes since that they would draw 9-5 on the graph, for easy comparison and that they would label it the standard workday, since that is what is traditionally been considered as such. But I have no clue how they could look at that graph and come to the conclusion that most people still work from 9-5, as the article text claims.

Comment: Re: Her work (Score 1) 1215

At the end of the day, whether or not you play video games is a choice. You have the right to decide not to buy a game. You have the right not to agree with the context or subject of the game. What Anita does is assume that since she's offended, that the games have no right to exist.

Comment: Bullshit (Score 1, Informative) 1215

This is a woman who has been caught lying about this kind of thing in the past. She's getting criticism, she doesn't like it, or know how to deal with it; so she makes up stories like this. She's done it before. She's been caught. Don't buy into this woman's attention whoring.

Comment: Re:Not surprising (Score 1) 505

by pavon (#47759255) Attached to: California DMV Told Google Cars Still Need Steering Wheels

Sure, I assume that all cars will have something like that. Heck, since the car will be doing navigation it will likely have found a gas/charging station and pulled over long before it even got to that. But regardless they will never be perfect. What if it sprung a leak and couldn't pull over in time because it judged that there was no suitable shoulder (mountain road, narrow bridge), and this info wasn't in it's database to enable it to plan ahead?

We have been mass producing cars for over 100 years, and by all reasonable measures they have never been as reliable as they are today. Yet they still break down on occasion. Self driving cars will have all the same mechanical and electrical problems that we have today, with software problem on top of that. You can mitigate some of these hardware problems with additional sensors, and fault-tolerant design of the driving computer, but only to the point where the sensors and software are significantly more reliable than the hardware they are monitoring, and only for the situations that are programed for.

There always will be situations where things break down in unexpected ways that the car isn't capable of handling on it's own. And based on the historical rate of reliability improvement, those situations won't be uncommon for quite some time.

Comment: Re:Not surprising (Score 4, Insightful) 505

by pavon (#47758513) Attached to: California DMV Told Google Cars Still Need Steering Wheels

They may never be removed. Everyone is focused on the split-second decision scenario when talking about this issue, and on that I agree that humans will cause more problems than they solve. But there are many more situations where manual override is needed and beneficial. What happens when the car runs out of gas/charge and you need to push it to the side of the road out of traffic. Or the computer is malfunctioning somehow (software bug, squirrel chewed halfway through a wire, dead battery/alternator). Or when I need to move the car somewhere off-road that the AI refuses to recognize as a valid driving path. There are plenty of not so time critical scenarios where some sort of manual override is needed and those aren't going to go away even when we trust the software to do all the driving. Once we admit that they don't have to be intuitive for split-second reactions, then they don't have to retain the traditional layout, nor be designed for comfortable everyday use, but some sort of steering, brake control, and neutral gear select will always be needed.

Comment: Re:Stop being such a drama queen. (Score 2) 158

by pavon (#47757841) Attached to: A Horrifying Interactive Map of Global Internet Censorship

such as people who clearly don't understand basic science drawing conclusions from unfiltered scientific data.

Those people come to their predetermined conclusions with or without the the raw data, but removing restrictions on distribution of data does help real researchers.

Or statistics? How many people are easily manipulated by presentations of statistics that they don't even understand?

Again those presenters would be manipulating opinion with or without openly available data.The fact that the statistics are openly available is the only chance people have to prove them wrong.

So neither of the examples of negative aspects are actually negative. At best the open information gives other groups the opportunity to debunk the lies and correct public knowledge, at worst people will ignore the facts for the opinions they prefer which is no worse than before the facts were available.

Comment: != (Score 2) 239

by pavon (#47725447) Attached to: Latest Wikipedia Uproar Over 'Superprotection' and are two completely different sites. The .gov site is the official petition website for the US government. The .org site is like wordpress for petitions. Anyone can go an create a petition for any reason, and it has about as much weight as a wordpress blog does, which is to say most are completely meaningless, but on occasion once actually gets some momentum, and it is that momentum (not the petition itself) that matters.

Comment: Re:Don't reinvent the Wheel (Score 1) 548

by cshark (#47723941) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Do You Wish You'd Known Starting Out As a Programmer?

Hard to say. I would almost consider building new wheels to be part of the learning process for a new programmer. And I think there's value in it. Not just in the base problem solving skills that comes with re-inventing the wheel a few times, but in the perspectives that come along with it. If you don't re-invent the wheel at least a couple of times, then you will have no basis for forming a valid opinion on the best way to implement a wheel. Which, granted, may not sound like much, but it makes a difference in so many other areas. Besides, even when you're talking about literal wheels, those get re-invented all the time. If they weren't we would never have gotten innovations like the rubber tire, or the memory foam insert for armored cars. We would still have wooden wagon wheels, which, while useful, aren't especially interesting or versatile. I think, in the long run, the same is true for code. If someone wants to write a big new shopping cart product, based on what they think are the best practices for such an implementation... let them. If someone wants to think out a new way to write a blog, or send an email, that's fine too. If I were bringing young guys onto my team, I would honestly prefer to work with people who had that kind of experience, over people that didn't. Just my 3800 satoshi.

Comment: The other thing... (Score 1) 548

by cshark (#47723831) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Do You Wish You'd Known Starting Out As a Programmer?

The other thing I wish I had known earlier as a programmer is that while open source is nice for developing skillsets, it's also nice to make a few bucks with the things I create. Had I been a little more business minded in my early years as a programmer, I would have been a lot richer, a lot sooner. This also relates back to mentoring. As a young programmer, it's very important to seek out and work with grizzly old programmers who have been where you are, and experienced the things you might be trying to figure out right now. Personally, I didn't even realize I needed mentors until about five years in. I should have looked for them earlier.

Comment: Re:Sad Puppy Slate (Score 1) 180

by pavon (#47721047) Attached to: The 2014 Hugo Awards

Thanks for posting a link that actually mostly explains the issue. Much more helpful than the summary that posted a link to a huge list of links, and of the ones I clicked, half weren't applicable to the issue, and the other half were just opinion pieces that assumed you were already familiar with the controversy. Horrible editing.

Comment: Not Insecure (Score 4, Insightful) 117

by pavon (#47712509) Attached to: 51% of Computer Users Share Passwords

The purpose of security is to prevent unauthorized people from accessing the account. There are tons of accounts that are legitimately shared, and there is nothing wrong with sharing passwords in those situations, if the account doesn't have any technical mechanism to allow for multiple users/profiles on a single account. For example bank accounts, utilities, Netflix, Hulu, wireless router administration, all have been shared accounts with my wife (some have since added profiles, but not all).

Furthermore, even with accounts that we keep separate, like email, there are useful reasons to share the password, like when my wife is away from internet at work and wants me to print a boarding pass that was emailed to her. Sure I could snoop through her email, but I don't just like I could snoop through her purse or journal, but I don't.

Comment: Re:It's OPTIONAL! (Score 2) 232

by pavon (#47694749) Attached to: Daimler's Solution For Annoying Out-of-office Email: Delete It

I've seen several comments here saying "Well, I'm just CC'ing people who need to be kept in the loop!" Ok, I get that. If it's that important, why don't you just wait until they get back and give them a short briefing? If it's not that important, why did you bother sending it in the first place?

Becaused they asked me to CC them on such issues, and I don't feel like keeping a log of when everyone was gone and what happened that they might care about, so I can resend it when they get back. If it is something I care about I will talk to them when they get back. If it is something that they care about and know about then they can ask me. The problem is the stuff that they care about but don't know to ask about. Skimming an inbox full of CCs works well for that.

One picture is worth 128K words.