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Comment: They got what they needed (Score -1) 156

by david_bandel (#33843758) Attached to: Google To Shut Down 411 Service
GOOG-411 was an effort to collect voice information for their vocal parsing (speech recognition) algorithm. They've got enough samples now to do quite a bit better than most automated voice-controlled phone services. Why continue to operate at a huge loss when you've squeezed all the benefit you possibly can out of the service? Google is a data mining effort. All of us are simply test data for refining their ultimate neural network.

Comment: Commercials in Theatres (Score -1) 434

by david_bandel (#33795944) Attached to: Google Patent Proposes $2 Fee To Skip Commercials
I don't think it will be particularly long before there are "intermissions" in movie theatres. This will provide a perfect point at which to bombard the audience with yet more advertising, under the guise of intermission convenience of course. How kind of our need to visit the bathroom or refill our popcorn to be sponsored by Coca Cola. Meanwhile, pirating marches on unabashed and unlittered with ads.

Comment: Misleading (Score -1) 102

by david_bandel (#33660932) Attached to: Elo Chess Rating System Topped By Proposed Replacements
These results aren't as significant as you might think. In fact, the small gain over ELO lies inside the margin of error for the small sample set of games being used. No matter what the sample size, there will be some algorithm, specifically tailored to that sample that will achieve better results than any other algorithm, especially if the other algorithm satisfies the criteria of being the most statistically valid across all possible sample sets on average. ELO is a pure logistic norming of rating-difference vs. expected-result. Mathematically/statistically it's not possible to improve on ELO as a general predictor of success in general. Only in specific sub-samples. Given enough games in a large enough pool of players, ELO should be a perfect predictor. Just like the sum of an infinite amount of continuous uniformly distributed random variables would result in a normal distribution. It's like having the best overall car. There will be other cars that beat you in the short race, some that beat you in the long race, even some that beat you in the medium race, some that beat you for mph, mpg, etc. Or picture a chaotic curve with lots of randomness that has an overall trend from 0,0 to x,y. y=x is the best model of the whole curve you can get. But if you zoom in on some subsection of the curve and make all the randomness disappear, you can tweak your straight line to fit the data slightly better. But if you extrapolated the tweaked line over the whole spectrum, you'd get a pretty poor predictor that wouldn't even stay in the domain or range.

Comment: It's only natural.. (Score 1, Interesting) 178

by david_bandel (#33474242) Attached to: Texas Opens Inquiry Into Google Search Rankings
It's a very simple, easy to obfuscate (cover up) search results manipulation that could quite easily make a multi-hundred millions dollar difference for the company. Why on Earth would Google, if it could (and it can) NOT do something like this? Just look at their support of Chinese communism and ask yourself if the company is above doing anything for a buck.

Comment: Re:Teach them how to communicate (Score 0) 462

by david_bandel (#33419514) Attached to: What 'IT' Stuff Should We Teach Ninth-Graders?
I haven't yet found an algorithm or human process capable of decoding facebook comments written by teenagers.

I think what you're looking for is something that would make comments on Facebook possible to decode. For it could be made many orders of magnitude easier than it currently is and still be indecipherable.

Comment: Who cares? (Score -1, Troll) 495

by david_bandel (#33387314) Attached to: How Star Wars Trumped Star Trek For Scientific Accuracy
Star Trek has always been the thinking man's version of Star Wars. Star Wars practically created the low-IQ yet nerdy genre. Star Trek grappled with real scientific (even sometimes modern physics) concepts. Star Wars was just a bunch of explosions with no science whatsoever. Explosions in space made just as much noise in Star Wars as they did in Star Trek, but at least Star Trek explained why people were walking upright in ships. There's really no contest. If you have a brain Star Trek is the better experience. If you don't, Star Wars is much better. So Star Wars wins. I'm sure Star Wars is far more popular among Slashdot readers since most of you fall into this loq-IQ-yet-nerdy category.

Comment: Wow (Score 0) 341

by david_bandel (#33387266) Attached to: Sit Longer, Die Sooner
"the researchers found that women who sit more than 6 hours a day were 37 percent more likely to die than those who sit less than 3 hours; for men, long-sitters were 17 percent more likely to die. People who exercise regularly had a lower risk, but still significant, risk of dying" So we're talking about a finite probability of immortality if I never sit? I'll never sit again!

A language that doesn't affect the way you think about programming is not worth knowing.