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Comment How to measure ad traffic? (Score 1) 16

It's widely believed that ads have taken over (from porn ;-) as the main traffic on the Web. This is rather significant if even close to true, it's likely one of the main reasons that our handy little portable gadgets (that many of us hardly ever actually use as phones) run so slowly and eat up so much bandwidth.

But a problem with even discussing this is that, as far as I've found, there's no reliable app available to actually measure our bandwidth use, classify it, and tell us what's eating it up. I do know that my android gadget is often running warm, eating batter and bandwidth, when it's just sitting "idle" in my pocket.

Yeah, I know; part of that is the tracking software. ;-) But whatever; I can't really say with any authority what's causing its activity. The one thing I can actually see is apps that stay running in the background, and the gadget's power usage app does report that "innocent" apps like mail/message readers and web browsers are using battery when "nothing is happening". Investigating does often show that some of their windows contain video ads that are running. The power-usage app does let me kill apps, but that's not very useful in measuring the source of the power/bandwidth usage.

So is there a good way to actually measure the traffic, classify it, etc., so we can actually determine what's really eating up the battery and bandwidth? Are there good google keywords to learn about it? There are a few good unix/linux tools for examining network traffic, but I haven't found them for android, ios, etc. Anyone know what they might be, and how we might verify that they're not just trojans?

(And yes, I'm also aware that the marketers are going to read this and be major sources of replies that try to reassure us without answering anything. Maybe we can moderate them down? ;-)

Comment Re:The science is not settled (Score 1) 112

Anyone that tells you the science is settled is not a scientist....

I agree.

they are a politician wanting to shutdown inquiry on an issue and install dogma in its place.

Or they are someone who, as somebody who is *not* a scientist, as you have noted above, does not believe that further scientific study in the area would add any further understanding of value, and so the money is, in their view, more wisely spent elsewhere. They could be entirely wrong in this view, but they have it nonetheless.

Do not attribute to malice what can easily be explained by ignorance.

There is no doubt in my mind that this decision will eventually come to bite them in the ass.... hard..

Comment Re:The basic question is answered...but still... (Score 1) 112

Exactly. Just because a theory has been confirmed in a "larger picture" fashion hardly means there's no work left to do. It's not like cosmology is finished because General Relativity has been largely confirmed, or Proto-Indo-European studies is finished just because we know a large number of languages descended from a common ancestral tongue about 5,000 years ago.

Comment Re:Math is a Chore (Score 1) 141

The way math is taught, Math is a chore

Well, it is being taught by teachers who don't actually understand it all that well, so that is the way it has to be.

Now, I don't actually know what goes for "advanced maths" in primary and secondar education in the States, but I hope it is something that tries to dive into the actual, intuitive foundations of the subject and tries to impart real understanding of mathematical reasoning. Take elementary set theory as an example; when I learned about it in primary school, it was rather vague and hard to find interesting; compare that to Halmos' famous book: Naive Set Theory (, which is the same thing, but with loads of insight into why it is the way it is - how the intuition results in mathematical concepts.

Comment Re:I am not a physicist but... (Score 1) 266

At any rate, WTF are you going to actually *do* with a citation? This is Slashdot, not Wikipedia, and you're not a scientist - I know because this is endemic across the entire board of studies, you'd know about it if you were a scientist or even just an enthusiast. Either way, there's a whole shit-ton more articles (and actual published research) on China's reputation in all things science.

As you can already see from somebody else's reply to your comment, there is in fact controversy, when it comes to China's status in science. In my opinion the fact that you would not even have thought it necessary to do a search is a symptom of intellectual laziness; and when you did, it was only for "chinese scientific fraud" - try substituting "chinese" with, say "american" and so on, it isn't hard. But the results don't prove your point, which is to say "Look, China is Bad".

I know applying your intellect in arguments isn't the popular style on /. - but that doesn't mean that it is bad style trying to do so; and if you had bothered with trying to understand what I was talking about, maybe you would have found that I didn't actually say that I don't know about fraud in Chinese research. I was simply hoping to raise the level of discourse to one where you don't just spew out the same old, tired prejudices, but instead bring something new to the table - something worth reading. But never mind - you can't win them all.

Finally, as for being a scientist: what do you know about that, actually? Not a lot, it would appear - you argue like a teenager: start with your conclusion, then find the "facts" that match.

Comment Re:I am not a physicist but... (Score 1) 266

There have been some "big announcements" in other hard science fields from China in the past decade or two that have turned out to be bogus.

Examples, quotations, please. There continues to be a lot of ill will against China and too much preparedness to accept stories that claim everything coming from there is crap. The same used to be said about Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, and in fact all emerging economies, so to rule out the suspicion of bias, quotation is needed, IMO.

Can someone comment on the likelihood of this being real?

It sounds real enough to me - it is progress on the kind of scale that you would expect, I think. 'Progress', to the extent that one can define and measure it, seems to tend to happen on an exponential scale, at least in the beginning - at first, the steps are very small, but for a while they tend to double in size over constant time intervals; just think of integrated circuits, or gene technology. It isn't that long ago that they idea of having what is essentially a 80es supercomputer in your pocket was beyong science fiction, or the idea that you could read whole genomes and edit them was ludicrous at best. If this rate of progress holds for fusion research, we may think of it as something trvially obvious in less than 50 years' time.

I have found that all too often what holds us back from making the best of what we could potentially have is simply lack of courage and vision. I have absolutely no doubt that we can, quite easily, overcome all the troubles that lie ahead - if only we don't cower down in the face of having to make changes to the way we do things.

Comment Re: BREIN are complicit (Score 3, Interesting) 82

BREIN is a government-sponsored shake down.

They have collected on music royalties, even for songs that never signed onto a label or labels connected to them but never pay out.

It is quite literally a single man organization (1 office) that produced some anti piracy ads and manages to spend millions of euros per year.

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Breadth-first search is the bulldozer of science. -- Randy Goebel