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Comment: Vaporware... (Score 2) 63

by denzacar (#48015299) Attached to: Nixie Wearable Drone Camera Flies Off Your Wrist

Sure... You can tell it's the future cause the vaporware now comes as vaporwear.

From TFA:

Absolutely no information about availabilty seems to be listed anywhere, but if you head on over to the official website (linked to below), you can add your email to the company's mailing list to keep up-to-date.

And videos are just your run of the mill advertisement for imaginary products.
Showing diddly-squat of actual operation or even wearing of the product, while showing instead obviously fake videos of them throwing the "prototype" off screen (which does not even clip on to the hand at this point) and "drone footage" which is too well focused and stabilized to be from a wrist-mountable drone camera, obviously NOT wrist-mountable drones flying around, 3D renderings, and not even a single 360-degree shot to prove it was done with at least a camera hanging off of a drone (or a movable crane).

Oh... It's a part of a contest sponsored by Intel?
With prizes of $50,000 to finalists (10) and a $500,000 grand prize (1)?

Well why didn't you say so? I've got a design for a floating cloud sofa I could have entered.
It's like this only with an "intel inside" logo taped to it.


Nixie Wearable Drone Camera Flies Off Your Wrist 63

Posted by samzenpus
from the keeping-an-eye-on-things dept.
MojoKid writes Over the past couple of years, drones have become popular enough to the point where a new release doesn't excite most people. But Nixie is different. It's a drone that you wear, like a bracelet. Whenever you need to let it soar, you give it a command to unwrap, power it up, and let it go. From the consumer standpoint, the most popular use for drones is to capture some amazing footage. But what if you want to be in that footage? That's where Nixie comes in. After "setting your camera free", the drone soars around you, keeping you in its frame. Nixie is powered by Intel's Edison kit, which is both small enough and affordable enough to fit inside such a small device.

Comment: Re:Aaaah... shit... There's more. (Score 1) 308

by denzacar (#48009901) Attached to: Irish Girls Win Google Science Fair With Astonishing Crop Yield Breakthrough

Seriously you're living in your own world if you think Irish people are a "poor minority" in the social justice warrior sense.

What kind of a world do you live in when out of 4 distinct tropes you pick one as if it is the only one?

Weaker sex.
Poor minority.
"Do no evil." Scout's honor.

And who mentioned anything about social justice warriors?
I'm not saying that Google is promoting any brand of "social justice". Whatever that may mean, as from my experience so far it means so many different things to so many people.

I'm saying that they are exploiting people's preconceived notions about what constitutes "Doing no evil", for the purposes of self-promotion as a "Do no evil" company.
Which they are, in this case, achieving by exploiting children for their various superficial and preconceived racial/gender/ethnic/economic_status/etc attributes and connotations attached to said attributes.
Instead of awarding them according to the merits of their projects.


Japan's Mt. Ontake Erupts, Stranding Hundreds of Hikers 41

Posted by Soulskill
from the get-home-safely dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Japan's second highest volcano, Mount Ontake, erupted on Saturday, sending thick clouds of ash into the air. More than 250 hikers were in the area, and the ash and rocks left seven unconscious, eight injured, and all of them stranded. In video footage from the mountain, you can see the thick clouds overtaking hikers, blocking out the sun and coating them with ash. There have been no reports of lava flows, but flights in the area were forced to divert their routes. (Another video shows the ash clouds from the sky.)

Comment: Re:Aaaah... shit... There's more. (Score 1) 308

by denzacar (#47994221) Attached to: Irish Girls Win Google Science Fair With Astonishing Crop Yield Breakthrough

You seem to think it's about sex and race.

Not sex and race.
Exploitation of perceived image which goes with certain sex, race, ethnicity...

Why do YOU think that helps them the most?

Because if you are a "first world" multibillion dollar behemoth, it is good for your image to offset some of the connotations that come with that territory, making you look like a big brotherish soulless corporation.
By presenting yourself as aligned with those on the opposite part of that spectrum.
I.e. The poor, the powerless, the weak... through exploitation of well known tropes.

Weaker sex.
Poor minority.
"Do no evil." Scout's honor.

Here's one for you.
Why is this photo of kids winning a science fair, "better" than both this one and this one?
And I'm not talking about technical details like resolution or a nicer stage someone threw more money on.
I'm talking about kids.

What is it about them that makes them more appealing?
Here's a hint.
It has to do with the image of both the army and corporations in general and while it is a part of the two not-Google-fair images it is utterly obliterated from the Google's photo of kids.

Another hint - it's not the gender or the race of those kids. Some or all of those elements are in all the photos.

Comment: Re:Aaaah... shit... There's more. (Score 1) 308

by denzacar (#47993221) Attached to: Irish Girls Win Google Science Fair With Astonishing Crop Yield Breakthrough

germination speed by 50% is a decrease in germination time by 33%

Except, there is no reported decrease in germination time by 33%.

What they do report is:

In all test groups seeds treated with r.japonicum and r.leguminosarum germinated faster by approx 50% (p<0.001).


Based on our extensive experimental results we succeeded in showing statistically that two strains of Rhizobium bacteria can significantly accelerate the rate of crop germination (+40% for r.leguminosarum and 28% for r.japonicum; (p<0.0001).

While showing 13%, 40%, 28% and 23% reduced germination time.
So, not "all test groups".
Three of which are below your 33%. So, it is not a trend, or median, or average. Making that "approx" a weasel word.

How they got that number?
By taking the highest result for r.leguminosarum bacteria and barley (40% reduced germination time) and r.japonicum and oats (28%), adding them up and getting from that the average of 34%.
Does that sound like all test groups?

Or closer something to like saying that fertilizer A used on apples increases crop yield by 40%, and fertilizer B used on oranges increases the crop yield by 28%.
Which makes ALL FRUIT crop increase by 34% by using both fertilizers A and B.
Except it's NOT ALL fruit, NOR is it BOTH fertilizers, but SOME SPECIFIC fruit and SOME SPECIFIC fertilizers and MOST of them significantly LESS than the reported 34%.

That's weasel-wording to hide conflation of results and to get bigger and sexier numbers.
After getting their numbers through cherry picking.
Throw that outlier of r.leguminosarum bacteria and barley out and the average goes down to 21.3% reduction in germination time.
Instead, they threw out to lowest results and then averaged the highest ones.

Which allowed them to take the 26% average reduction of germination time for various combinations of plants and bacteria... ...or 26.5% for average for barley and 25.5% for oats. ...or 20.5% for r.japonicum and 31.5% for r.leguminosarum. ...and misreport it as 34% reduction in germination time for bacteria A and B in ALL cases. Averaging out apples and oranges.

And then present it as much sexier 50% increase in speed across the board.
Which is like treating reduction in some prices somewhere as an increase in all paychecks everywhere.

Also, note that they report their p-value as under 0.001 for ALL cases.
However, their "optimum concentration" result for barley has a significantly higher p-value of 0.0264.
Which they've reported as 0.001 in their graphs by knocking down their n to n=336 and thus reporting it as "1 day less".
While all their other reported cases had n=672.
That's p-hacking. Adjusting the experiment conditions to match the desired result.

So umm...

you display not only a sour attitude but poor math skills.

But thanks for pointing out that they didn't just misreport by accident - they purposefully cheated.

Comment: Re:No. (Score 1) 249

by denzacar (#47990035) Attached to: Small Restaurant Out-Maneuvers Yelp In Reviews War


I'm gonna have issues with confirming my identity when crossing borders or identifying myself with my ID cards for whatever other reason.

My head is about two-three sizes bigger on my ID, my driver's license and on my passport, all of which I took out just before I started working on my weight and shape.
Didn't realize how hilarious is the difference until last night. How often do you look at your own photo on your ID, right?

Comment: Aaaah... shit... There's more. (Score 2, Informative) 308

by denzacar (#47989973) Attached to: Irish Girls Win Google Science Fair With Astonishing Crop Yield Breakthrough

In short...
None of the stuff claimed is true and nobody at Google Science Fair apparently read their project report.
They won for being cute little girls. Possibly for having a puppy in the presentation for extra cuteness.

I initially wanted to correct myself on numbers above, cause it's just the germination that was up to 50% and Google Science Fair summary DOES state that the results showed "crop germination by up to 50%, and increased barley yields by 74%".

And then I checked the video and their results.
Which are both loaded with weasel words, omissions and plain old padding the numbers.

From the project documentation:

The optimum concentration of r.japonicum for the germination of barley seeds was found to be 2x107CFU/ml (13% reduction; ANOVA p<0.0264).
R.leguminosarum had a positive effect on the germination of Barley and reduced germination time by approximately 40% at 25oc (ANOVA p<0.0001).
For Oats, an optimum concentration of 4x106 CFU/ml of r.japonicum was observed to be most efficient and resulted in a reduction in germination by 22 hours (28% Reduction; ANOVA p<0.0001).
Lower concentrations of r.leguminosarium were most effective on oat germination. A concentration of 16x104 CFU/ml reduced germination times from 86 to 66 hours (23% reduction; Dunnett test p<0.0001).

13%, 40%, 28% and 23% reduction in germination time for various crops. Reported as 50%.

Small Scale Agricultural Tests
    R.japonicum was seen to have a positive effect on the length and dry mass of barley crops. (+10.4% length increase:+13% dry mass; p<0.0328), the effect was more notable at higher concentrations.
    It was observed that Oats treated with a higher concentration of r.japonicum (4x106 CFU/ml) produced a greater dry mass (p=0.0248) and longer length (p=0.0043) than water treated seeds.

10.4% increase in length for barley.
13% increase in dry mass for barley and "a greater dry mass" for oats in small scale test.

Only problem is... length increase was noted for n=300 plants.
Dry mass increase for only n=24. Cherry picking? P-hacking?

You won't find those numbers in the text though. Only in the tiny low resolution graphs.

Large Scale Agricultural Tests
    Lower concentrations of r.japonicum (3x109 CFU/ml) with peat as a carrier were the most successful treatments (ANOVA p<.0001) and resulted in an average increase in plant dry mass of 0.284g/5 seedlings (74%).
    Spraying the seeds with aqueous culture post planting increased dry mass by a mean of 44% (Dunn p<0.0001)

74% increase (and 44% increase for an alternative method) in dry mass is there BUT...
It's dry mass of the entire plant. Roots and all. And this time, without the numbers on the length of the plants.
And no information on if there is correlation between the length of the plant and its weight.
I.e. Is it barley grain or barley grass?

Cause, as we are not talking about acres but of mass, crop yield of barley is just a fraction of the mass of the plant.
So "an average increase in plant dry mass" IS NOT "increased crop yield by an average of 30% with some results exceeding 70%", as stated in the conclusion.

This is just Google throwing money at anything that will make them look good.
No proof of results necessary. Just make it LOOK good.

Which gives me a very icky feeling of exploitation. Of children, minorities, certain genders...

2011 - three girls, from USA, two of them racial/ethnic minorities.
2012 - a "Caucasian" girl from USA, three boys from Spain (i.e. Latinos AND foreigners so it's a little more diverse and not all USA) and another "Caucasian" boy, from USA.
2013 - ethnic/racial minority boy from Australia, a "half Filipino" Canadian girl and an Asian boy from USA.
2014 - 3 "Caucasian" girls from Ireland, one from Canada, one Asian boy from USA and an ethnic/racial minority boy from India.

In Google America, only girls and Asians can science?
Or is it that "we are the world, we are the children" photos just look better?

Comment: Error in summary. (Score 0) 308

by denzacar (#47989001) Attached to: Irish Girls Win Google Science Fair With Astonishing Crop Yield Breakthrough

Yield is increased up to 50%. As it is stated in the independent link.
NOT 74% as stated by inhabitat, that well known source of unreliable news.

The girls determined that the bacteria could be used to speed up the the germination process of certain crops, like barley and oats, by 50 percent, potentially helping fulfill the rising demand for food worldwide.

It revolves around their discovery that bacteria which occur naturally in the soil can help kick-start the germination of some crops by as much as 50pc.


Bioethicist At National Institutes of Health: "Why I Hope To Die At 75" 478

Posted by samzenpus
from the end-of-the-line dept. writes Ezekiel J. Emanuel, director of the Clinical Bioethics Department at the US National Institutes of Health, writes at The Atlantic that there is a simple truth that many of us seem to resist: living too long renders many of us, if not disabled, then faltering and declining, a state that may not be worse than death but is nonetheless deprived. "It robs us of our creativity and ability to contribute to work, society, the world. It transforms how people experience us, relate to us, and, most important, remember us. We are no longer remembered as vibrant and engaged but as feeble, ineffectual, even pathetic." Emanuel says that he is isn't asking for more time than is likely nor foreshortening his life but is talking about the kind and amount of health care he will consent to after 75. "Once I have lived to 75, my approach to my health care will completely change. I won't actively end my life. But I won't try to prolong it, either." Emanuel says that Americans seem to be obsessed with exercising, doing mental puzzles, consuming various juice and protein concoctions, sticking to strict diets, and popping vitamins and supplements, all in a valiant effort to cheat death and prolong life as long as possible. "I reject this aspiration. I think this manic desperation to endlessly extend life is misguided and potentially destructive. For many reasons, 75 is a pretty good age to aim to stop."

Your code should be more efficient!