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Comment: Re:Good data first, then maybe big data later (Score 1) 98

by dotancohen (#48951749) Attached to: Cutting Through Data Science Hype

Data cleanup will take twice as long, cost twice as much, and you will lose at least 10% of your data when you decide to finally give up scrubbing the data.

I actually independently came up with the 10% figure today as well, and mentioned to my project manager that unless he wants to invest real money chasing the long tail of data, he was going to have 10% of the records with bogus values in some fields. I will certainly adopt the rest of your quote!

I have since added a corollary: I do not do IT projects unless you pay me enough to retire on.

Here you lost me. Why were you even in this business if you didn't love the challenge? Don't take other peoples' bad data personally. Take it as an opportunity.

Comment: Re: This is junk science (Score 1) 220

by dotancohen (#48951547) Attached to: There Is No "You" In a Parallel Universe

It contains inaccuracies and is a clear troll. The poster knows enough terminology to sound smart, and deliberately twists it.

Oh, and the username begins with the word "Troll". Whoever went on to moderate that post as "Insightful" (as it now stands) does not understand cosmology, and additionally does not know how to identify an obvious troll.

Comment: Re: Planetary migration due to tidal forces? (Score 1) 61

by dotancohen (#48950473) Attached to: How Gaseous, Neptune-Like Planets Can Become Habitable

The fine article suggests that it does in fact affect orbit. Truth be told, it is the first time that I hear this, and _perhaps_ it is the case for gaseous worlds, for which slowing down the rotation is not as straightforward as for rocky worlds.

I've asked on space.SE, your input and comments are welcome on that discussion:

Comment: About time (Score 4, Interesting) 214

by mbone (#48949313) Attached to: NASA Looking At Nuclear Thermal Rockets To Explore the Solar System

At the Europa day on the Hill last summer, I ran into a 90 yr old Harry Finger (the former head of NERVA) who remains absolutely convinced that this technology (which was ready for flight tests back in the Apollo period) is essential for human travel to the planets, and needs to be revived.

Looking at the delta-V requirements for a human Mars mission, I can't say I disagree with him.

Comment: If you can't add without a calculator... (Score 1) 177

by tlambert (#48949135) Attached to: Can Students Have Too Much Tech?

If you can't add without a calculator 33 and 84 in your head and get an answer instantly, then you are fucked up.

If you have to think about it at all, then your education has been wrong.

There is value to pages and pages of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division work. And in not being able to access a calculator to do it.

Comment: The tests are the problem. (Score 3, Insightful) 177

by blue trane (#48948769) Attached to: Can Students Have Too Much Tech?

Students can be motivated in other ways than by tests and grades. Using tests and grades really teaches kids that they should dislike school.

Alfie Kohn makes The Case Against Grades.

A favorite passage:

although teachers may be required to submit a final grade, there's no requirement for them to decide unilaterally what that grade will be. Thus, students can be invited to participate in that process either as a negotiation (such that the teacher has the final say) or by simply permitting students to grade themselves. If people find that idea alarming, it's probably because they realize it creates a more democratic classroom, one in which teachers must create a pedagogy and a curriculum that will truly engage students rather than allow teachers to coerce them into doing whatever they're told. In fact, negative reactions to this proposal ("It's unrealistic!") point up how grades function as a mechanism for controlling students rather than as a necessary or constructive way to report information about their performance.

Comment: Re:Stop rape in India? (Score 1) 240

by Rei (#48948429) Attached to: Indian Woman Sues Uber In the US Over Alleged New Delhi Taxi Rape

Actually, disabling substances are used in the vast majority of rapes. The most common is alcohol (trying to get the victim too drunk to resist or looking for someone who already is, in about two thirds of rapes), but drugs are used in about 20% of additional rapes. Very, very few rapes follow the classic Hollywood script of "stranger leaps out of the bushes with a knife" - so vanishingly few that the scenario is statistically almost nonexistant. Disabling substances are extremely popular because 1) they work very well, 2) the victim often can't remember the attacker well if at all, 3) the victim is not in a state to be making a report until long after the event, 4) the victim's ability to make legally reliable testimony is compromised. Why would people choose the Hollywood way over that?

And I'm sorry, but if you think that you can watch everything you consume every second of every evening you're out and not slip up, you're an idiot. And yes, the reason people get mad at people like you is that the problem is that there are people out there drugging other peoples' drinks en masse and thinking that this is acceptable behavior, not that victims haven't gained supernatural abilities to hyperfocus on everything they may potentially consume at all times and never slip up. "Look, I'm sorry that you're dying of pancreatic cancer, but you should have been getting pancreatic function tests daily and working two jobs to pay for weekly MRI scans to find it before it could have posed a threat to you, and because you weren't, it's your own damned fault, and don't act like I'm a jerk for pointing this out!" That's how you come across when you take that tack. The problem is the f***ing cancer, not the victim.

Comment: Re:How (Score 1) 240

by Solandri (#48947741) Attached to: Indian Woman Sues Uber In the US Over Alleged New Delhi Taxi Rape

if you ever are the victim of a newsworthy accident/ crime, you will get cold called by a number of lawyers, who want to represent you pro bono

because such cases gild their CV, get their name out there. free advertising

They represent you pro bono because they think you have a good chance of winning, and standard lawyer's fee is 33% of any award or settlement. They're not doing it out of the goodness of their hearts. The dozen or so lawyers in the $200 billion tobacco company master settlement became instant billionaires.

Comment: Re:Create a $140 billion business out of nothing? (Score 1) 414

by Solandri (#48947701) Attached to: How, and Why, Apple Overtook Microsoft
Close, but you're not thinking big enough. Microsoft committed the same blunder as the Maginot line. They built their empire on PC (x86+x64) dominance - making sure Windows dominated the architecture, and making sure their software dominated Windows. Their defenses were built around x86, and their warning tripwires were set up to detect anyone encroaching on their x86 territory.

They were blindsided when iOS and Android sprang up outside of x86, essentially creating their own Microsoft-free playing fields. They actually had a mobile OS long before iOS and Android (Windows CE, which eventually became Windows Phone after about 5 different renamings), but they were so focused on bringing it into the x86 fold (some of the WinCE PDAs look like Win XP clones) that they completely missed the opportunity for a new mobile sector.

Comment: Re:Create a $140 billion business out of nothing? (Score 1) 414

by Solandri (#48947621) Attached to: How, and Why, Apple Overtook Microsoft
I'm kinda like you. I jumped aboard Sprint's "unlimited data" plan way back around 2000(?) when they first implemented it. I've been tethering ever since (I got aboard before they changed their ToS to say you can't tether). Had to plug in with a cable at first, but on my rooted Nexus 5 I just use the built-in hotspot.

If you want my (biased) opinion, we're getting to the point where we're trying to jam too much functionality into our phones. Smartphones are great (I've had a PDA since 1998), but there are certain things which pretty much require a bigger screen. The way cellular data should be working is that you pay for it on your phone, and it shares it with your tablet and laptop via a hotspot. Instead, the cellular companies are so hell-bent on milking people for as much money as they can they're forcing the adoption of the more complicated and expensive solution of putting a cellular radio in your tablet and laptop, and getting a new service accounts for them.

Programmers used to batch environments may find it hard to live without giant listings; we would find it hard to use them. -- D.M. Ritchie