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Comment: An example of cognitive bias. (Score 2) 353 353

Cognitive bias is a self-deceptive practice in which a person (unintentionally) selects data to support his or her hypothesis. Understanding this principle is central to the critical analysis of scientific research. Is the person influenced by what they are seeing (due to their position, etc) when seeing a subset of the universe? Is the person drawing conclusions, abstracting from the subset to the whole, without realizing that the subset is not a representative one?

There are many issues for concern when reviewing this article. First, Dr. Evans is embedded in a nonrepresentative world, is seeing two changes (increased cellphone use and increased identification of issues within children), and is stating a correlation on factors that may well be coincident. Second, there is the issue of the definition of mental illness in children. For autism (a general example, not one of mental illness), the definition and boundaries have shifted over time. This has been one of the causes of the increased incidence of autism. I will hypothesize that the definitions and boundaries of "mental illness" in children has also changed over time, and this may well be a critical factor in the increased incidence of the same.

Dr. Evans proposes an interesting hypothesis (and one we have heard before). But the evidence quoted in the article is circumstantial at best, consisting of anecdotes. She does not quote any general studies. She focuses solely on the negative aspects of a changing environment, without quoting on the positive. Without baselining the definition of "mental illness", without a complete and neutral analysis of the overall impact of the *change* (both positive and negative), Dr. Evans's proposal is at best a weakly supported hypothesis.

Comment: Gameplay? Story? (Score 2) 215 215

There is gameplay and there is story. There is story and there is art. There is business and profit and legacy.

Why do we want HL2E3? It isn't gameplay (for the most part). We can get that anywhere. Do you pull out HL2E1 or HL2E2 (or even Black Mesa) every now and then? Yeah. It is story. It is borderline art (though my artist-wife would guffaw to read that).

Story, give us story. If no one is interested in completing it, is it because no one is interested in the story, or because no one is interested in extending the gameplay? Would it be a fulfilling experience to take their existing framework, give it to new devs as an experimental/toy playground and treat it as a "have fun" environment? Would they be able to entice a team into a non-profit-driven, do-it-for-the-fan-accolades pro bono/cover the cost experience?

Do it, Gabe. How you sell it internally ("another game release in our catalog" vs. "art and glory for the ages") HIGHLY influences how it appears to potential team members. You can sell product outside, I'm sure you can sell it inside as well.

Comment: Re:Interesting (Score 1) 293 293

You obviously have never traveled on business. Most business travel for most of the business travelers I know works like this:
  • Pick a hotel chain that has points and is within the company's budget (that is, how much you can bill to the client).
  • Stick with that hotel chain forever and accumulate points to your personal account.
  • Use the points for your vacations.

We bill out the cost for our consultants. As long as the client is paying and it is within the contract budget, everyone is happy. And all of the hotels cost about the same, kind of like all of the gas stations at a corner costing the same. For company-supported travel, we establish a budget (yes, we are reasonable, we like to keep our employees happy) and go from there.

Comment: Re:Beards and suspenders. (Score 1) 637 637

Eww Octal??? My gosh, the PDP-11 is the purest of the pure! It is the excuse, the reason for Octal to exist!

Kiddies who haven't experienced the PDP-11, go find a primer on it. Learn its assembly code. Learn its addressing. Learn the octal form of its instructions. And you will be enlightened.

Comment: Re:Good luck with that. (Score 5, Funny) 317 317

Yeah yeah, I do it all the time. My car is my primary CD ripping device.

I take my CD out, rip it, then disassemble the car's audio system and pull the hard drive. Take it to my home computer and upload the files.

Piece'o'cake, why do you think I bought my car, anyway? Driving? Hahahahahahahaha.....

Comment: Arduino! (Score 1) 372 372

Pick up an Arduino and start playing. It's like a return to the 70s or early 80s. A simple, clean environment. An incredibly large number of frobs. Interface libraries and code is FREELY available by the ton. And you see a problem, you piece together sensors and effectors, and you solve it. Then you give the code away.

For me, a breath of fresh air.

Comment: Re:Almost as retarded as patenting 2 primes ! (Score 4, Informative) 264 264

Did you seriously read the patent? The patent is using the numbers in one of the claims as part of a mechanism. Schalfly is not patenting the numbers, just their use in a particular process. He is patenting the process, which involves using a designated set of primes to perform iterative calculations to compute "partial modular reduction of cryptographic variables."

The concept (using a designated something as a component in a patented invention) was the same in patent number 1. In this patent, gears and cogs were used to improve the efficiency of locomotives going up hills. What was patented was using gears and cogs in a particular configuration to accomplish a goal. Gears and cogs were not patented. The construction was patented.

The same thing here. The primes are not patented. You are free to use them however you want, as long as you do not use them in this particular machine to compute "partial reduciton[s] of cryptographic variables." Go ahead, use them as seeds in the dice roll generator for your RPG. Use them as dimensions of your mansion's living room. Print them out and use the paper to light a fire. You're allowed.

Comment: Re:Ivy League = theroy loaded classes with skill g (Score 1) 197 197

...until you have to write a truly complex system. Then, knowledge of correctness, algorithmic complexity, graph theory, functional and operational paradigms, etc., will separate the low end code generators from the people who actually design and build the system.

The skills you need are related to how to think about the system, find an appropriate approach to designing and implementing the solution, and being able to demonstrate that it is effective. Putting it into a language is a last step.

I can't tell you HOW MANY TIMES I've run into people who think they know how to build a system because they know a tool. And they are fine, until I ask them about timing and randomness, data complexity, parallelizing on a massive scale, and so on. And then I have to explain the CONCEPTS so they'll even begin to understand the questions I'm asking.

Learn the WHY of what's going on. You can always pick up a tool.

Comment: Re:rsync -- look at Unison! (Score 5, Interesting) 168 168

Rsync is a one-way synchronization. Check out Unison; it readily performs a bidirectional merge. You might have to do a little compiling, but hey, isn't that what the Family Geek is for?

I've been using Unison to sync a pair of Synology boxes that act as my cloud. (One in my office, one at home, each with a RAID-1 array.) I've also gotten it running on a pair of DLink DNS-323 boxes (yes, also RAID-1'ed). The Synology has cloud software; might be a good choice if you want to invest in a cheap small light unobtrusive (Linux) NFS/cloud/music server/etc box.

Comment: What makes a good manager? (Score 2) 249 249

A good manager keeps invasive outsiders away and makes sure that the workers have what they need.

Bidirectionally, this means understanding (of the needs of each group) and communication (both listening and answering). To the outsider, this means understanding their issues and communicating meaningful replies in terms they understand. It means making appropriate requests and supporting the requests using concepts that the outsiders understand. To the insider, this means understanding their needs and being able to re-frame them in a business sense (for the outsider). It means being able to answer why the insider can't have everything. It means being able to explain business needs and how the technology can meet it. Within the team, it means managing the dynamics of the group without being a babysitter or kindergarten teacher.

A business-oriented person who understands the implications of the technology can make as good a manager as a technical person with a strong understanding of the business needs. The most critical factor is the ability to translate and communicate.

Hold on to the root.

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