Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

typodupeerror

Comment: Re:Cool story bro. (Score 1)427

by aug24 (#43367361) Attached to: TSA Log Shows Passengers Say the Darndest Things

You are not being bayesian enough.

You need the probability someone is telling the truth given the evidence of being dumb enough to say "I've got a bomb".

If the Hypothesis is 'got a bomb' and the Evidence is 'said bomb', here are my estimates:

p(E) = 10**-7 proportion of travellers who are dumb enough to say bomb (one in ten million)
p(H) = 10**-13 proportion of travellers who have had a bomb so far (one in ten million million)
p(E|H) = well, ZERO so far, but let's say 10**-3 bombers who mention the word bomb (one in a thousand)

Then p(H|E) = proportion of people who say bomb who have a bomb = P(H) * P(E|H) / P(E) = 10**(-13-3+7) = 10**-9

One in one billion people who mention the word bomb will have a bomb.

So if we close the airport each time for two hours, our losses for an actual bomb need to exceed the damages for closing an airport for two billion hours before it is worth it. That's over 200,000 lifetimes of waiting in the departure lounge.

Just.

Comment: Re:This is stupid. (Score 1)368

by aug24 (#42978123) Attached to: NASA's Basement Nuclear Reactor
Actually pretty much every system has an optimum scale. Very few continue to improve indefinitely on scaling up. If your point was correct, there would be one very large power station somewhere in the world.

Comment: Re:I'll take a shot... (Score 1)350

by aug24 (#42933839) Attached to: Alcoholism Vaccine Makes Alcohol Intolerable To Drinkers

That theory (alcohol in the morning for 'withdrawal') is completely wrong. The chemistry is well known.

Hangovers are partially caused by dehydrogenation of alcohols leading to poisonous chemicals. Ethyl alcohol turns to acetaldehyde, but we can deal with this one (thank you evolution).

Methyl alcohol (wood alcohol impurities, present in most drinks to greater or lesser degree) turns to formaldehyde. This is very bad for you and makes you feel like hell. The process of creating formaldehyde is linear (because the total present must be limited due to toxicity), not power based, so there is never too much made unless the amount of methyl alcohol is even more toxic.

However, the conversion process is negatively catalysed (slowed down) in the presence of ethyl alcohol. So, a little beer can reduce the amount present enough to effectively remove the hangover.

Sorry about too many brackets (not really sorry).

Just.

Comment: Re:Sheila Bair's quote says it all (Score 1)470

by aug24 (#42736291) Attached to: The Biggest Financial Fraud of All Time
Sexual attraction: no matter how much you offer in cash, most men can't oblige a truly ugly chick.

Comment: Re:Why do you want to combine them? (Score 1)165

by aug24 (#42580427) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Linux Mountable Storage Pool For All the Cloud Systems?

I used to do this with a friend: peered ftp servers. Everything under /home and /etc was tarred, zipped, encrypted and ftp'd onto his server at midnight, while his did the same to mine. Can't remember where I put the decrypt key, probably on a floppy that is still in my bureau.

Of course, data volumes were lower then, and the sun was warmer, and girls prettier.

Just.

Comment: Re:no (Score 1)637

by aug24 (#41978661) Attached to: Study Claims Human Intelligence Peaked Two To Six Millennia Ago
The Kalahari bushman's survival is therefore a function of the effectiveness of the safety net present in the system, not his innate abilities. There is a decent chance he'd steal, get the cops called on him and get shot when waving a fucking big knife around to try to scare the cops away, because that's the 'primitive' (ie effective in that situation) approach.

(There is no safety net for rk in the Kalahari. He's plain dead from not knowing how or what to eat. Or he got predated upon)

Comment: Re:What is CO2 doing up there? (Score 5, Informative)224

by aug24 (#41955237) Attached to: Global Warming Felt By Space Junk and Satellites
Even if it is heavier stochastic processes will push a proportion of it up. Increase the total proportion and the proportion at high altitudes will increase.

Comment: Re:Consistency in action (Score 1)526

by aug24 (#41244911) Attached to: The UK's New Minister For Magic
Want to start a new political party: "The Evidence Based Party"?

Comment: Re:The placebo effect works (Score 1)526

by aug24 (#41244893) Attached to: The UK's New Minister For Magic

Except homeopathy isn't cheap. Six bucks and upwards for a small bottle.

Cost of a bottle of mint solution? Bulk purchased through the NHS? Probably under a buck.

Comment: Re:Hold still (Score 1)526

by aug24 (#41244861) Attached to: The UK's New Minister For Magic

Firstly, those almost certainly weren't homeopathic, just placebo. Mint pills are cheap; homeopathic 'medicine' isn't.

Secondly, (IIRC according to Dr Phil Hammond, on HIGNFY some years ago), new rules prevent GPs from dispensing mint pills and liquids as placebos, which is a terrible shame.

Just.