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Comment: Re:News at 11.. (Score 1) 547

by jfengel (#48637745) Attached to: Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

Thanks for that. I find myself increasingly bugged by this kind of argument by misleading analogy. "X is like Y. You agree with me about Y. Therefore you must agree with me about X." It basically frames the entire argument around the differences between X and Y, rather than taking X on its own terms.

It's kind of galling, since it basically assumes that I'll agree that X is identical to Y. Therefore, either I'm stupid for not realizing that X and Y are identical, or you're stupid for not recognizing that there are meaningful differences. I'm betting it's the latter, but even without that assumption, it's hard to see how we proceed from the demonstration that at least one of the parties to the conversation is stupid.

Comment: Re:Skeptics and Deniers (Score 1) 547

by DerekLyons (#48635317) Attached to: Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

Deniers pretend to be skeptics. However, they are actually exactly the opposite: the distinguishing feature of deniers is not skepticism, but credulity-- they seen to credit pretty much anything they hear (or read on a blog somewhere)-- if it supports their pre-existing opinions.

And how is that different from the True Believer? Very few people who claim to worship at the altar of science behave in any way notably differently - tell 'em it's Science and if it supports their pre-existing opinions they adopt it as Gospel. Many people who claim to respect Science as little better than cargo cultists.

Comment: She won (Score 1) 1

by gmhowell (#48635265) Attached to: Looks like we're getting closer to the truth

She won. She will now sport a lucrative career as a public... whatever. The narrative has been formed. Political Correctness has no room for objective truth. Just like the crumbling of lies surrounding the Rolling Stone/UVA 'rape', we shouldn't be looking at facts and events. Brianna's feels are more important.

Once again, the most dangerous group to women is formed of other women.

Comment: Re:Established science CANNOT BE QUESTIONED! (Score 1) 547

by DerekLyons (#48635247) Attached to: Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

I use that as an example because it is more clear-cut than the climate issue, where there are a lot of people who hold a spectrum of views which are probably somewhere between being very skeptical and being outright deniers, but for sure there are those who pretty clearly aren't interested in any science that says man-made climate change might be real.

Nobody with any sense denies that such people (those who completely ignore science) exist. The problem is that a lot of people, almost all of which should know better, wants to lump everyone who questions the dogma of climate change in with that minority. Which doesn't actually surprise me, as practically all religions behave that way - dividing the world into Us and Them. And make no mistake, nowadays science *is* a religion, a fetish brandished by many to mark themselves part of the tribe. Like the most fervent bible thumper, they don't really understand the world around them - but the Gospel according to Jaime and the Gospel of St. Niel assures them they are among the smartest and thus among the righteous and the saved.

Comment: Re:Core business? (Score 1) 212

by DerekLyons (#48631501) Attached to: Marissa Mayer's Reinvention of Yahoo! Stumbles

What exactly is Yahoo's "core business"? Their webdirectory is defunct, search outsourced to Bing, and email largely been eaten by its competitors.

They still have a considerable gaming community. Their stock, business, and financial management pages are still top notch. Flickr, despite a couple of recent "hold my beer and watch this" moments is still strong in the photography community... Their front page still draws a huge number of hits.

The problem is less one of Yahoo than it is of hedge fund managers, stock "analysts", and you pretty much knowing nothing of Yahoo's business.

Comment: Re:Missed the Boat by about 15 years (Score 2) 212

by DerekLyons (#48631491) Attached to: Marissa Mayer's Reinvention of Yahoo! Stumbles

Yahoo fantasy football is still about the best around. Same with their sports apps. They bought up Sportstacular and haven't ruined it (it's actually gotten quite better since the acquisition), so those are great.

Yep. And their Stock, business, and financial management pages are top notch too... (to the point where Google has finally given up even trying to compete). Then there's Flickr, which, despite a few missteps, is still the largest and best photographic community out there. Etc... etc...

Yahoo! maybe not be where the cool kids hang out, and it's hasn't been on the tech hipsters hot list for over a decade... but it's far from down and out.

Comment: Re:Neville Chamberlin was not available for commen (Score 2) 225

by Rei (#48630561) Attached to: "Team America" Gets Post-Hack Yanking At Alamo Drafthouse, Too

Germany was spending far more on their military during that time than Britain was. If Britain and France had stepped in earlier, Germany would have been totally unprepared and the war would have ended quickly. Not to mention all of the horrors of the Holocaust that would have been prevented.

If Britain and France had managed to delay the war to "prepare" even more, say a few years, the Luftwaffe would have been dominated by jets, German ballistic missiles would have been longer range and more precise, and they might even have become a nuclear power. I really don't think this is the analogy you're looking for.

Comment: Subtitle Sunglasses (Score 1) 63

by Simonetta (#48630349) Attached to: Ars Reviews Skype Translator

This speech translator is trés cool.

For a while I've been bugging techies with my conception of 'subtitle sunglasses'. These would be 'ordinary' glasses that would have microphones and nano-technology CPUs inside the frame. The microphones would hear the speech of the person that you are looking at (who is speaking a foreign language), translate that speech into English, and display the text of the translation onto the bottom of the user's frame. Like subtitles in a foreign movie for those of you who have ever seen a subtitled foreign movie. Many Germans haven't. The power to operate these 'subtitle sunglasses' would come from the generators creating electricity from the movement's of the user's head.

I challenge teckies to approximate how long in the future it will be before this kind of product is available for purchase in the $500 range.

One unusually aspect of Moore's Law is that we can project when a product like this will be actually available. We take the cost of making any science fiction concept using today's technology and use future-value calculations of accounting to project a future price time-frame given that the price of the technology will fall by half every 18 months.

Another trick is to use this example as a crude intelligence IQ test. Claim that the Japanese have actually developed 'subtitle sunglasses' but they only translate English into Japanese. Claim that you have been able to obtain a secret advanced prototype of such glasses. Give an ordinary pair of reading glasses to a person and claim that these are actual real 'subtitle sunglasses' that have tiny speakers that create synthetic spoken sound inside the ears. Invite them to try them on. When they put on the glasses, start speaking in Japanese (learn a few phrases well beforehand). The time that it takes them to realize that you are completely bulllshitting them is an indication of how intelligent they are. Hope that they don't get violent.

Comment: Re:Also... (Score 1) 125

by jfengel (#48627649) Attached to: Research Highlights How AI Sees and How It Knows What It's Looking At

Nothing wrong with being wrong with confidence. Sounds like the majority of humanity the majority of the time.

Oh, it definitely sounds like the majority of humanity the majority of the time. I just don't think it's one of our more admirable traits.

In our case, it's necessary, because we evolved with mediocre brains. I'd like to see our successors do better. They aren't yet, which is what this article is pointing out. This promising system isn't ready yet. It's just not wrong for the reasons that the GGP post thought.

Comment: Re:Never attribute to stupidity (Score 1) 564

by Rei (#48626209) Attached to: Reaction To the Sony Hack Is 'Beyond the Realm of Stupid'

Propaganda campaign by who? I think Singer needs to check his haughtiness at the door:

the ability to steal gossipy emails from a not-so-great protected computer network is not the same thing as being able to carry out physical, 9/11-style attacks in 18,000 locations simultaneously. I can't believe I'm saying this. I can't believe I have to say this."

Except, of course, for the fact that the prime suspect is the hand-picked hacker squad of the Hollywood-obsessed leader of a nuclear armed state with ICBMs, whose family's Hollywood obsession has gone to such extremes in the past as kidnapping filmmakers and forcing at them at gunpoint to make movies for them. I can't believe I'm saying this. I can't believe I have to say this.

Real Programmers think better when playing Adventure or Rogue.