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Comment: Oblig XKCD (Score 5, Informative) 124

by c++0xFF (#46232767) Attached to: Why P-values Cannot Tell You If a Hypothesis Is Correct

http://xkcd.com/882/

Even the example of p=0.01 from the article is subject to the same problem. That's why the LHC worked for something like 6 sigma before declaring the higgs boson to be discovered. Even then, there's always the chance, however remote, that statistics fooled them.

Comment: Re:Bad ruling (Score 1) 261

by c++0xFF (#46211653) Attached to: German Court Forbids Resale of Valve Games

I'm just waiting for other industries to start realizing the brilliance of licensing something instead of selling it. Imagine "buying" a house, when in reality all you did was obtain a license to use a copy of a house design. You might own the land the house is on. You can sell the land, but the license for the house is non-transferable. Except maybe under specific conditions stipulated in the license (which probably involves a transfer of money to the home builder or whomever owns the "copyright" on the home design).

I would think that nobody would agree to such a thing, so it could just be buried somewhere in the mountain of paperwork you have to sign anyway. Nobody reads that legalese anyway, right? (If you can't tell, the last time I went through this process the letters E U L A kept going through my mind.)

OK, so maybe a house is too extreme of an example, but the same principle could be applied to almost any item.

The software industry somehow made this standard without most of the population of the world knowing. You say that "it is well understood that they sell licenses, not complete copyrights" but I completely disagree. Most people don't even know what a license is to begin with. And it's a concept that (so far) is limited to the digital world. Books, photographs, sculptures ... yeah, you can't legally make copies of any of them, and everybody knows that. But since when did I not actually purchase that book? Since when could the author/publisher prevent me from selling that book to my friend?

The reason for this confusion, I think, is that you don't buy a license to begin with. License is a verb, not a noun, in this case. You don't buy a game. You are licensed to use a copy of it. A license is a contract, not a physical object. You are not allowed to make further copies, except as stipulated by the licensing agreement. A license is something you're granted. It's not something you purchase, as that would imply ownership. If you "owned" a license (a contradiction in terms, really), then you should be able to resell that license to someone else. That's what ownership means.

What digital media realized is that without a physical object to own (not even a CD anymore, as if that stopped them to begin with), there was nothing to buy. Nothing to hold, nothing to resell. The copyright retains control over all copies, not just control over the ability to make copies -- and that's what this is all about.

Comment: Re:Despite it's name (Score 1) 168

by c++0xFF (#46102397) Attached to: AMD Announces First ARM Processor

The war is over, and x86 won. But it didn't win because it's the best, but because of economics, marketing, and the quirks of history.

It's the same story everywhere in technology, be it instruction sets, MP3 players, or video media. The winner only needs to be good enough. And x86 has been good enough, hasn't it? Not the best, of course, and by accident some things (like SSE, as you pointed out) have even been made easier.

And yet, the computing world would be better off if we could somehow break our backwards-dependency on x86 to something faster and more efficient.

Comment: Re:Took them long enough... (Score 1) 934

That's exactly what they were doing. The Constitution specifically says that the definition of a militia would be provided by congress at a future date:

The Congress shall have Power ... To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

Comment: Re:Peak Apple 2012 (Score 1) 79

by c++0xFF (#45769677) Attached to: Apple Forges Agreement With China Mobile

Becuase revenue and profits should somehow matter on Slashdot. We're mostly techies here, not investors. Market share is a much better metric for things we're interested in.

When I see a company charging significantly more for a marginally better product, I think "price gouging" and "profiteering" not "exceptional company." but maybe that's just me.

Besides, even investors are worried that the ever-decreasing market share is eventually going to catch up to the high-margin pricing model eventually. Maybe that's in the next couple years (a common view, it seems), but I think it'll be a while yet.

Comment: Re:Why Bother? (Score 1) 152

by c++0xFF (#45590247) Attached to: Patent Battle May Loom Over 'Copenhagen Wheel' Electric Bike

2. Even more people live in places where the gradients or distances are enough to break out in a sweat when cycling. Which is fine if it's a simple work-out. But not good if you are using the bike for transport to somewhere where there isn't a shower at the other end. Battery assist can help you arrive smelling sweeter.

Sweat isn't smelly. It sounds a little odd, but an alternative is to take a shower before cycling. That gets you nice and clean so the bacteria don't get you smelly. Then, at your destination, just freshen up (towel down, deodorant, change clothes, and fix your helmet hair).

That said ... being sweaty isn't exactly pleasurable, so your overall point still applies.

Comment: Re:How would it handle a large load? (Score 1) 499

by c++0xFF (#45403299) Attached to: How 3 Young Coders Built a Better Portal To HealthCare.gov

Playing around with the HealthSherpa, it provides a quick and easy way to specify household size and income, and then updates the prices with the subsidy. Very, very easy. It's also very easy to list the ages and smoking status of people covered by the insurance, and again updates prices accordingly.

The biggest feature it's missing is a plan comparison. All it shows is the premium and coinsurance (in the form of plan type). Sometimes you can guess the copay or deductible from the plan name. Is that information public?

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