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Comment "Secure in their ... papers" (Score 2) 157

So let me see if I understand this. Alice gives me a letter, and asks me to read it and to give it to Bob. (We are all three parties to it.) The government, wishing to investigate Alice or Bob, can serve me a warrant for the letter, and demand all other of my papers that I have relating to the two? And I have no standing to contest the warrant, because it's served "against" Alice and Bob even though it's going after papers that are in my possession and of interest to me?

Is this what the Framers meant by "papers" in the phrase "Persons, Papers and Effects"?

Comment Re:Clean room implementation? (Score 4, Informative) 223

Yes. Exactly.

It's all about the term of copyright versus the term of patent. Patent lasts only twenty years at present, while copyright is effectively perpetual (whenever Pooh and Mickey might enter the public domain, the legislators fix it). If copyright governs interfaces, that part of the law will keep the government from stealing IP away from its rightful owners after twenty years.

Comment Re: We Remember things which Affect Us (Score 1) 301

While the full extent of atrocities was not known until after the war, that massive atrocities focussed on Jews were being committed was in fact known to the allies by the end of 1942. For example, the Polish government in exile submitted a report on the extermination of the Jews to the United Nations in December, 1942.

Comment p-value research is misleading almost always (Score 5, Interesting) 208

I studied and tutored experimental design and this use of inferential statistics. I even came up with a formula for 1/5 the calculator keystrokes when learning to calculate the p-value manually. Take the standard deviation and mean for each group, then calculate the standard deviation of these means (how different the groups are) divided by the mean of these standard deviations (how wide the groups of data are) and multiply by the square root of n (sample size for each group). But that's off the point. We had 5 papers in our class for psychology majors (I almost graduated in that instead of engineering) that discussed why controlled experiments (using the p-value) should not be published. In each case my knee-jerk reaction was that they didn't like math or didn't understand math and just wanted to 'suppose' answers. But each article attacked the math abuse, by proficient academics at universities who did this sort of research. I came around too. The math is established for random environments but the scientists control every bit of the environment, not to get better results but to detect thing so tiny that they really don't matter. The math lets them misuse the word 'significant' as though there is a strong connection between cause and effect. Yet every environmental restriction (same living arrangements, same diets, same genetic strain of rats, etc) invalidates the result. It's called intrinsic validity (finding it in the experiment) vs. extrinsic validity (applying in real life). You can also find things that are weaker (by the square root of n) by using larger groups. A study can be set up in a way so as to likely find 'something' tiny and get the research prestige, but another study can be set up with different controls that turn out an opposite result. And none apply to real life like reading the results of an entire population living normal lives. You have to study and think quite a while, as I did (even walking the streets around Berkeley to find books on the subject up to 40 years prior) to see that the words "99 percentage significance level" means not a strong effect but more likely one that is so tiny, maybe a part in a million, that you'd never see it in real life.

Comment Re:Disturbing. (Score 1) 106

Not true. In Japan statements that are harmful are actionable even if they are true, if they are not in the public interest. If you reveal defects in a product, for example, that's in the public interest. If you say that the CEO wets his bed, even if true, that's just gratuitously embarassing him - it doesn't have anything to do with whether people should buy the company's products, so it is actionable.

Submission + - Yet another government software failure, nominated for award

belmolis writes: The Victoria Times-Colonist reports that British Columbia spent C$182 million on a new case management system for social services, whose system was so bad that in 2012 Judge Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, Special Representative for Children and Youth, issued a public safety warning. According to a report by the Auditor General, the system only performs 1/3 of the functions of the systems it is intended to replace and fails to protect private information or monitor inappropriate usage. The defective system was nominated by its managers for the Premier's Award for Innovation and Excellence in the Civil Service.

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We can found no scientific discipline, nor a healthy profession on the technical mistakes of the Department of Defense and IBM. -- Edsger Dijkstra