Forgot your password?

Comment: I hear ya, Nom du Keyboard (Score 1) 330

I feel the same way you do, Nom du Keyboard. My biggest complaint about Netflix streaming is that they don't have what I want to see. Now I admit that my tastes are not typical, so I get that if I want to see some Japanese sword fighting film from the 1970s, I'm probably going to have to get a DVD. But when I actually want to see a Hollywood movie, I am always finding that I can't stream it from Netflix. If they stopped their disc service, I might as well stop being a customer at that point. Other than 2 TV shows from a few years ago that I missed when they were on, I've found Netflix's streaming offers to be very poor. I would like to know what people watch who love the streaming from Netflix because there sure are plenty of them.

Comment: Re:I can't ever work for IBM again .. (Score 1) 271

I'm not a lawyer, but I'm pretty sure that those terms won't be enforceable in what they call "right to work" states in the USA. In those states I know of businesses that try to enforce restrictions like that, but the only reason they work is because the employees don't know their legal rights, not because the restrictions are actually legal in those states.

Comment: Re:Let us keep our thoughts with our Kremlin frien (Score 1) 663

by Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (#47502211) Attached to: Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

Russia or the separatists in Eastern Ukraine might have done this -- although no-one is sure what they would stand to gain from it. Ukraine's own military might have done it (they've done it before and denied it vehemently until it was proven beyond a shadow of a doubt).

Nobody seriously thinks that Russia did this, per se. Do many of us think that they armed separatists who did it? Yes. Really, you're going to play the "But what would they have to gain?" card? It's not about gain, it's about incompetence. It's generally thought that the separatists thought it was a Ukrainian military plane. As far the old "Ukraine has done it before" charge goes, I talked about this one last week, you are referring to the Siberian Airlines flight 1812 shootdown of Oct. 2001, no doubt. Well, at first Ukraine sort of admitted it, sort of denied it. There's still talk in some circles that President Kuchma, a buddy of sorts of Putin, agreed to take the heat on this one in exchange for some sort of future favor, although I have no idea what he got out of it. Ukraine played up their hillbilly role by basically saying "We think a reflection off the water caused this terrible accident. We so stupid! Not know what we do! Duh!" Well, it's certainly possible that their military did it, but I can't rule out that they just took the blame to save Putin's face. I've been to Ukraine and in those days, there was a lot of scraping and bowing in the direction of Mother Russia so I certainly think it's possible that Ukraine just claimed to do it to make Russia look good.

Comment: Re:Short-Lived? (Score 1) 770

by Idarubicin (#47494695) Attached to: States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

...and that money taken from McDonalds will result in higher prices at McDonald's making everyone's earnings seem less driving wage increases, ad infinitum,.

Wages - and especially that subset of wages which are paid at the legal minimum - represent only a fraction of the total costs of operating a McDonald's restaurant. All wages together are about 25% of the total costs, and that includes a non-trivial number above-minimum management and support staff. So even if we make the unreasonable worst-case assumptions that a) all employees do earn minimum wage, and b) that increased wages don't result in any improvement in average employee productivity (because employees are physically healthier and because of reduced turnover) then a 1% increase in minimum wage only makes for a 0.25% increase in cost-of-Big-Mac.

And a 0.25% increase in cost-of-Big-Mac doesn't actually equate to a 0.25% increase in actual cost-of-living. The effect will be smaller or negligible for businesses where staff costs represent a smaller share of total costs, and where dealing with businesses in which employees are already better paid than minimum wage.

And finally, there are a number of costs associated with minimum-wage workers that you're already paying out of your own pocket, without realizing it. Wal-Mart and McDonald's know perfectly well that minimum wage isn't a living wage. Food stamps, state-subsidized health insurance programs, school lunch programs--that's money you're paying because Wal-Mart isn't. Forcing McDonald's to pay its employees a living wage (or closer to one, at least) means that your Big Mac's price is (less) subsidized by the government.

Comment: Re:Propaganda won't help this time (Score 1) 503

by Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (#47481637) Attached to: Russia Prepares For Internet War Over Malaysian Jet
I agree with your post in general, but I want to point out a couple of exceptions. In English you're supposed to say "Ukraine" and not "the Ukraine" since Ukraine is an independent country and not a part of the USSR. The only people who know the difference and insist on "the Ukraine" are Russian sympathizers, so you're actually picking a side you may not wish to pick by saying "the Ukraine". Rules for languages other than English may be different. Don't agree with me? Then go to a website for a Ukrainian embassy in an English speaking country and you will see that they only say Ukraine and not "the Ukraine". I've been to Ukraine. I know.

Right now there's no evidence that any US citizens were on the plane, so the US seems to have not lost anyone in the crash. As far as what the Netherlands will do, well, to me they are sort of the kings of wussies in Europe so while citizens are going to be upset, based on posts here I get the distinct impression that Dutch people or at least the ones on Slashdot always pick the wrong side in a dispute. I wouldn't be surprised if the Dutch in particular view Russia as the aggrieved party in their dispute with Ukraine and start to push for the explanation that Ukraine did it and won't admit it.

Comment: Re:Seems like old times (Score 4, Interesting) 751

And those even older may remember Korean Air Lines Flight 007 and Korean Air Lines Flight 902 (both shot down by the Soviet Union). It seems they have done it again.

There was also Siberia Airlines Flight 1812 in 2001. Rumors have existed in certain circles that incompetent Russian soldiers shot it down by accident and Ukrainian President Kuchma agreed for Ukraine to take the blame in exchange for some sort of favor from Putin. Ukraine officially denied responsibility but they did offer compensation to the victim's families which is the usual legal dodge of not officially admitting guilt in case you get sued. My money in this case today is that Russia shot the Malaysian Airlines plane down. I expect US aviation experts to come to that conclusion and for Russia to deny it and insist that it's all part of the standard "Blame Russia" theme the West is currently playing.

Comment: Re:Railroads killed by the government... (Score 2) 195

by Idarubicin (#47474635) Attached to: The Improbable Story of the 184 MPH Jet Train

Most of the Interstate is supported by fuel taxes. Fuel taxes are paid for by drivers. Who use the Interstate. So, I'd say that it's a pretty good case of 'user pays'.

Used to be more true, not so much today. The Highway Trust Fund - which is funded by a combination of federal fuel and vehicle taxes - has been bailed out before ($35 billion between 2008 and 2010) and is out of money again this year. And the federal government has turned over responsibility for the interstate highways to the individual states, so a big chunk of the construction, maintenance, and repair bills actually comes from the states.

Looking at 2010 numbers, total spending nationwide on highways was about $155 billion. The federal gas tax brought in $28 billion; state and local fuel taxes amounted to another $37 billion; plus state and local governments picked up another $12 billion from tolls and non-fuel taxes. All in all, that's about $77 billion in revenue for $155 billion in expenditures. Drivers are paying about...51% of the cost of the highway network.

For comparison, I note a comment below that shows in fiscal 2012 Amtrak spent $4.036 billion and had revenues of $2.877 billion. In other words, Amtrak riders paid 71% of their costs out of pocket--a much bigger share of the costs than highway users.

Comment: Data is Unsecurable (Score 4, Insightful) 41

Perhaps it's time for companies to realise that they cannot keep data secure. That they will never be able to build, much less be willing to pay for, the security required to keep this information under any kind of seal.

Perhaps it's time for companies to ask themselves: "Do we really need to store this?".

Comment: Re:Just an opinion... (Score 5, Informative) 123

by Idarubicin (#47445365) Attached to: Elite Group of Researchers Rule Scientific Publishing

Given how relatively time-consuming research is(and how negative results, however valid, tend to have difficulty moving papers), it would be...surprising... to hear that one percent of the scientists are co-authoring 41 percent of the papers on sheer productivity.

Actually, not so surprising, depending on how the analysis is done. And it also depends a lot on how you want to measure "sheer productivity". A supervisor who helps design the experiment, interpret the data, write the paper, and communicate with journal editors probably spends fewer hours than the trainee (grad student or postdoc) who actually does all the bench work--but that doesn't mean that the supervisor hasn't earned an authorship credit.

If Alice, Bob, Carol, Dave, and Elsa are all graduate students in Dr. Frink's lab, and each of those students publishes two papers over the course of their PhD programs, then all of those students are going to be authors on 2 papers each, and Frink will be an author on 10 papers. Dr. Frink is 1 out of 6 scientists - a bit less than 17% - but is on 100% of the papers. If you have a big lab in a relatively hot (or well-funded) field, then your name is going to be on a lot of papers.

And papers these days - especially the high-impact, widely-read, highly-cited papers - tend to have a longer list of authors. If you look at the table of contents for the most recent issue of Science, the two Research Articles have 26 and 12 authors. Out of the dozen or so Reports, one has 4 authors, two have 5, all the rest have more. Speaking personally and anecdotally, my last three manuscripts (in the biomedical sciences) had 8, 3, and 7 authors.

Going back to "1% of scientists are on 45% of papers"--well, if those are all six-author papers, then that top 1% is only responsible for a 7.5% share (45 divided by 6) of the "output". Given that there is a very long tail of authors who only have 1, 2, or 3 authorships in their lifetime (the majority of PhD graduates never end up conducting research as university faculty; there just aren't enough jobs), I am willing to believe that there is a small fraction of productive, top scientists whose names are on a disproportionately large share of papers.

Comment: Re:Just an opinion... (Score 5, Interesting) 123

by Idarubicin (#47444885) Attached to: Elite Group of Researchers Rule Scientific Publishing

The intellectual penury that comes with serving with a leader in a given field seems to be gladly endured by most young researchers. This story ignores the fact that, although the senior researcher's name may be at the top of the paper, the junior researcher's name is right there below it.

Actually, in many of the sciences (mathematics and parts of physics are notable exceptions, where authors tend to be listed alphabetically) it is usually the graduate student or postdoc who did most of the work who is the first author on the paper. The senior researcher - a principal investigator who actually has the academic appointment, who may have secured the funding, and who is ultimately responsible for the lab - is generally listed as the last author on the manuscript. ("Middle" authorship has the least cachet by far.)

Broadly speaking, young scientists and trainees want to accumulate as many first-author papers as possible, to demonstrate their scientific productivity. Faculty members - senior scientists - want to accumulate last-author papers, to demonstrate that their labs are productive.

186,000 Miles per Second. It's not just a good idea. IT'S THE LAW.