Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:Misinformed (Score 1) 76

Gruber is only saying that 3rd party apps suck at this stage. Every thing else about the Watch he loves.

The iPhone didn't even have 3rd party apps when it launched. And it's first round of apps were web apps, which also sucked.

And yet the iPhone has been the most successful smartphone ever.

Comment: There is the small issue of academic freedom. (Score 1) 83

by hey! (#49498337) Attached to: Columbia University Doctors Ask For Dr. Mehmet Oz's Dismissal

You can't fire a faculty member because outside the scope of his duties he expresses an opinion you don't like -- even if it's a clearly crackpot opinion. If you could, Stanford would have kicked Linus Pauling out when he became a Vitamin C crackpot.

The difference, though, is that Pauling was a sincere crackpot -- brilliant people are often susceptible to crackpottery because they're so used to being more right than their neighbors. Dr. Oz is a snake-oil salesman; when he's faced with people who are educated -- not necessarily scientists but critical thinkers -- in a forum he doesn't control, he speaks in a much more equivocal fashion. That shows he knows the language he uses on his show and in his magazine is irresponsible.

So selling snake-oil isn't crackpottery, it's misconduct. But somebody's got to find, chapter and verse, the specific institutional rules of conduct Dr. Oz's misconduct violates. There will have to be due process, particularly if he's a tenured professor, which will probably require lesser disciplinary measures than dismissal be tried first.

Comment: Re:What's the problem? (Score 1) 163

by swillden (#49497259) Attached to: Social Science Journal 'Bans' Use of p-values

There really aren't any good ways to measure those other effects. If you knew how your experiment was biased, you'd try and fix it.

Randomized sampling goes a long way, but only if you have a large enough population. This is one of the problems of social sciences. A randomized 10% subsample from 100 subjects ain't gonna cut it. A randomized subsample from 10,000,000 people isn't going to get funded.

Why wouldn't a randomized subsample from 10M people get funded? The required sample size doesn't grow as the population does.

Comment: Re:Accepting a story from Florian Meuller? (Score 1) 92

They are committed when it impacts large contracts.

Seen stuff in the news lately regarding the push for open document standards on the web? Governments are now specifying published government documents can not be propriety formatted. This forced Microsoft to support open formats or lose large contracts because Microsoft Office is not meeting specifications of the document requirements.

Compatibility with internet standards has forced open standards onto Microsoft for a long time from TCP/IP over NetBios, to NTP, Remember when Microsoft had Windows for Workgroups? The Internet put them at risk of a end run past them. They had to adapt or die.

There are numerous other examples where Microsoft does not own the standard in use where their solution was forced to the back to die.

Comment: IRS - Taxes (Score -1, Troll) 31

by Archangel Michael (#49495625) Attached to: For the most recent tax year ...

Tax day reminds us, that all taxes are regressive.

The idea that a tax can be "progressive" is simply a fairy-tale lie to get people to pay more taxes, under the guise of "their fair share" (nebulous term meaning anything and everything). The reality is, taxes are falling on those that cannot afford to not pay, and those that cannot afford to avoid them (i.e. Middle Class).

Every time a liberal cries about the rich, just know it is your pocketbook that will be impacted.

Comment: Re:What's the problem? (Score 3) 163

by swillden (#49495247) Attached to: Social Science Journal 'Bans' Use of p-values

Actually, p-values are about CORRELATION. Maybe *you* aren't well-positioned to be denigrating others as not statistical experts.

I may be responding to a troll here, but, no, the GP is correct. P-values are about probability. They're often used in the context of evaluating a correlation, but they needn't be. Specifically, p-values specify the probability that the observed statistical result (which may be a correlation) could be a result of random selection of a particularly bad sample. Good sampling techniques can't eliminate the possibility that your random sample just happens to be non-representative, and the p value measures the probability that this has happened. A p value of 0.05 means that there's a 5% chance that your results are bogus in this particular way.

The problem with p values is that they only describe one way that the experiment could have gone wrong, but people interpret them to mean overall confidence -- or, even worse -- significance of the result, when they really only describe confidence that the sample wasn't biased due to bad luck in random sampling. It could have been biased because the sampling methodology wasn't good. I could have been meaningless because it finds an effect which is real, but negligibly small. It be meaningless because the experiment was just badly constructed and didn't measure what it thought it was measuring. There could be lots and lots of other problems.

There's nothing inherently wrong with p values, but people tend to believe they mean far more than they do.

Comment: Re:Because girls just can not hack it with boys. (Score 1) 546

If you think you can get an average 13-year old ready for college-level CS in one year, without sacrificing the rest of their usual middle school and high school education, you're severely deluded.

Absolute bullshit.

First of all, they're not trying to teach "average" 13-year-olds; they're trying to teach 13-year-olds who've applied to a special magnet school because they want to be software engineers (and presumably have at least some aptitude for it). That's a very different demographic.

Second, I coasted through my college intro to programming class (and the data structures / object-oriented programming class after that) on what I had taught myself back in middle school and high school. Anyone who can't do at least as well with a year (or less) of actual, dedicated instruction is completely unsuited to the field.

Comment: Re:Because girls just can not hack it with boys. (Score 1) 546

What, you mean with the trolling ACs spouting bullshit? Slashdot has always been that way.

More importantly, I'm right and you're wrong. Go use your reading comprehension skills to RTFS[ummary], specifically the sentence that says "Students in GALA will follow a six year sequence of computer courses starting in middle school that will culminate in AP Computer Science Principles."

Now fuck off.

Comment: Re:Youngest ever? False. (Score 1) 294

Um, you failed to actually answer the question I actually asked.

While you are 100% accurate about when "personhood" begins (being Philosophical), we do know that premature babies as young as 24 weeks of gestation have been born, and survived. Would you at least say that was at least one likely boundry of "personhood"?

This is not arbitrary boundary, it is one established by survivability outside the womb.

None of them allow aborting while in labor when the mother's life isn't in danger. Almost none allow it when close to labor.

"Almost" doesn't mean what you think it means. "Almost None" means some. Some isn't none. Lets rephrase your statement in the positive shall we?

None of them allow aborting while in labor when the mother's life isn't in danger. Some even allow it when close to labor.

How you phrase things to minimize the effect doesn't actually negate it at all, which is kind of what you were aiming for. I happen to be able to phrase the exact same meaning in a sentence (Almost None=Some) that conveys a completely different connotation. Since both terms are equally nebulous they are equal in meaning.

Comment: Re:Hasn't this been proven to be junk science? (Score 1) 294

To hope is to long for circumstances to change. That is to say, one rejects what is real and wishes instead for a fantasy.

Here is my refutation of this. Hope and being grounded in the Here and Now (present reality) are not mutually exclusive, nor did he present any argument suggesting they are.

I am FULLY AWARE that today's world sucks in many ways, I HOPE that the suckage will change when real grownups start to run the world instead of mental three year old who react based on emotional arguments, rather than logic and thought.

My hope is not fully dependent upon what is the "now". I realize that my chances of my hope coming to fruition is between slim and none, simply because the powers to be think the best person to run for president for the Democrats and Republicans are Clinton and Bush.

Have you ever noticed that the people who are always trying to tell you `there's a time for work and a time for play' never find the time for play?