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Comment: Huge differences (Score 1) 161

by jimmyswimmy (#47554199) Attached to: OKCupid Experiments on Users Too

There's a huge difference between A/B testing, designed to optimize your website with the direct intent to improve sales, and performing experiments on how different news feeds affect your users' moods. A/B testing typically comprises changes in button size and color, website layout, font variations, etc; should we lead with the price, or with the benefits, or with something else? On the other hand, what FB and OKC are doing - admitting to, and proudly! - amounts to wholesale experimentation on their users, with undisclosed intent - perhaps to make the users come back more frequently for another hit.

This seems akin to me to cigarette companies manipulating the nicotine content of their products. That didn't go over well when it was finally disclosed.

You can't just tell people you "might" experiment with them, they have to know and understand that they are part of an experiment. They don't have to understand the goal, they just need to know what they are part of, and they have to consent to that experimentation. One could argue that A/B testing should submit to the same level of scrutiny as other psychological experiments, but I think people generally understand and accept corporations' profit incentive. We don't accept the idea that a company might wish to screw around with our mood or set us up on a date when they know it won't work out.

Comment: Re:Astronomy, and general poor night-time results. (Score 1) 547

by jimmyswimmy (#47525971) Attached to: Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

I've actually done exactly that, but not for that purpose. One eye is laser corrected to ~20/25 (degraded over about 15 years to about 20/35). The other eye can find the 'E' on the chart if you tell me which wall the chart is on. When I really need to, I put a contact lens in one eye (which gets the uncorrected eye to about 20/10). Otherwise I walk, read, work, type, drive, fly, etc. with what I believe is called monovision. It's easy. The world looks to me like normal, except that on the one ("bad") side I have very wide range of peripheral vision. I see whatever I focus on in good clarity.

It's amazing what your brain can compensate for. I can't wear glasses, though, that causes headaches.

Comment: Re:What with all the other debris? (Score 3, Insightful) 200

by anubi (#47391017) Attached to: The View From Inside A Fireworks Show
I think what he was getting at is a firework intercepting a quadcopter will revector its trajectory.

Someone had already planned every path the fireworks were to take, so the spent shells would not land at the wrong place.

However, having hit a quadcopter, a live firework, its payload yet to be spent, could have its trajectory revectored to a viewing area, with likely tragic consequences.

Someone designed that thing to go off a hundred feet up, not spuzzing around under the seats of the audience because it hit something on the way up.

I am sure the safety of the quadcopter was the least of their worries... it is that deflected live firework that I would be worried about.

Comment: That's nothing (Score 4, Informative) 361

In the 80's it was well known that the CIA was monitoring the USENET. Apparently there was a list of keywords that they searched for that became well known, so we used them all the time. We had it on good authority that the CIA had become amused by our antics. It probably relieved the boredom.


Comment: Stupid argument (Score 4, Informative) 441

by m.dillon (#47347067) Attached to: Researchers Claim Wind Turbine Energy Payback In Less Than a Year

It's hilarious watching people argue over a topic that has already been shown to be a non-issue. The EIA (US) and German statistics show that, in aggregate, wind-energy sources produce a relatively steady amount of power. Individual turbines and even whole wind farms might not be deterministic, but all the wind farms taken together... are.


Comment: Re:This app is incompatible with all of your devic (Score 2) 82

That one thing, Sir:

I get the message "X This app is incompatible with all of your devices"

is by far the PRIMARY motivator I have of pirating anything. Second is having to reveal my banking transaction codes in order to make a purchase, when I have no trust of either my own system, my connection, or my vendor, third, and LEAST, is the PRICE.

It has been my experience that DRM'd stuff is so finicky and unreliable I might as well throw it away like an old screwdriver whose shaft slips in its handle. Its simply not good for anything. Maybe I can superglue the shaft to the handle to get an operable screwdriver - someone will cry foul, but you know, I'm gonna do it anyway, because I have a screw I need to install and the damned screwdriver won't work.

Comment: Re:Socialism is not working (Score 1) 710

by cpm99352 (#47313035) Attached to: Workaholism In America Is Hurting the Economy
Oh, don't worry, the parent poster is probably complaining about how the top tier got bailed out in 2007-2008. Goldman Sachs et al, because acorrding to Secretary Paulson, tanks would be in the streets if the 1% weren't bailed out. Elizabeth Warren disagrees with this position. but you'll never read about that in the mainstream media. Sad to say, Chomsky was right. 20 years ago, I would never have thought I'd say that....

Comment: Shoutout for Godel Escher Bach (Score 2) 57

by cpm99352 (#47312929) Attached to: Programming On a Piano Keyboard
The ridiculous summary suggesting that garbage produced from a computer program could be considered music immediately reminded me of Douglas Hofstadter's Gödel Escher Bach, where music and its relevance to AI form much of the book. The book (unlike the article) has meaningful thoughts on Chopin, Bach and AI.

Anyone seriously interested in music & computers needs to read this book now.

Comment: As a hardware engineer.... (Score 2) 57

by anubi (#47312673) Attached to: Programming On a Piano Keyboard
As far as I am concerned... just because a MIDI port was originally used for keyboards does not mean its limited to that. A MIDI port is really quite versatile and can be used for many other things.

Now, one thing I used to like a lot is the 15-pin game and MIDI port was on damned near every PC, and very few people had it tied up. It was simply a great way for me to get data in and out of the computer. All I needed to do was coin a protocol on my Borland C++ compiler, and talk to the port. I could always design hardware on the other end to talk to it. Shift registers. It was very easily optically isolated, which again made it ideal for what I was doing where I did not want to risk a very expensive PC because I had a ground fault somewhere.

I really liked that port. I used it a lot when I was building custom things controlled by a PC in the early DOS days.

Another neat protocol out these days is DMX. Used for light controllers.

They may make these for one thing, but when you see just what it is and how it works, they have usually made something that will work for a lot of stuff.

Comment: Re:And the winners are... (Score 1) 164

by m.dillon (#47252161) Attached to: Endurance Experiment Writes One Petabyte To Six Consumer SSDs

And... that's it? What did SMART say? Did you actually wear the SSDs out as-per the wear indicator? Or did you hit a bug in the samsung controller before the wear-indicator maxed out?

To be fair, the precise situation you describe, particularly if you did not retune the RAID-6 setup or the mysql server, and if the server was fsync()ing on every transaction (instead of e.g. syncing on a fixed time-frame as postgres can be programmed to do)... that could result in el-cheapo samsungs not being able to do any write-combining and cause a 256:1 write-amplication of the data.

With proper tuning the write-amplication could easily be reduced to 4:1 and you would probably be able to run the server with SSDs. Maybe use Intel or Crucial though, and not Samsung. It isn't just the controller that matters... just using stock firmware doesn't really net you a good, robust SSD and there aren't too many real vendors who work on the firmware vs just OEM whatever was supplied with the controller. Intel is probably one of the better ones. They actually fix bugs, as does Crucial. Samsung... I dunno.


Aren't you glad you're not getting all the government you pay for now?