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Comment I contribute. But I do not code open source. (Score 1) 488

I contribute bug reports and questions to several forums. This is something all users can do. All users should understand this is a valuable contribution. Next is answering them. I have found all forums I use moderately responsive and I have no complaints about that side of things. In a conventional software production cycle you have a team of specialists collating and prioritizing that information from a user point of view. This is almost always absent in open source. The feedback is direct to developer.

Commercial software houses have achieved a closer relationship between developers and customers using online forums and similar forms of communication. Moving closer to open source communication style in this regard. Open source needs to consider how best to collate and prioritize user feedback and bug reports in a way that is not developer centric.

Open source interface to business requirements is good, development is good, but users are not yet so well represented. We will have to solve this.

Comment Dawkins is sometimes this Spockist you speak of. (Score 1) 937

Dawkins has been challenged on this point. He knows what scientism is enough to refute the charges. Dawkins does not use scientism in every argument but he often resorts to it when he is in a corner and refutes the charges later. This is a massive failing on his part and weakens his argument. Because Dawkins in a corner relies entirely on what is known science fact. The end result is that Dawkins appears to have no confidence in moral reasoning and cannot concede that science can only ever be a contributing science officer on the bridge of human reason. Spock is well aware of the limitations of his training and does not seek executive control of the bridge. Not so Dawkins. For more details on Dawkins occasional resort to scientism under pressure see: Btw, Bones is a kind of moral philosopher and also a theist. Agnostic atheist speaking ; ). The basic problem with Dawkins is that he cannot find a way to acknowledge that science is only a contributor to human enterprise and cannot yet be trusted with the position of first executive. Further he cannot understand there are good reasons for this.

Comment Is it tomb of the second letter of greek alphabet? (Score 3, Funny) 164

Internetogists have discovered a vast tomb that they believe is connected with the reign of Dice, who conquered vast swathes of the ancient Internet. The tomb, dating to around 2014AD, may have held the archive of pre-beta slashdot. It was found beneath a huge burial mound near the ancient site of in northern Cyberspace. Rick Astley visited the dig on Tuesday and described the discovery as "clearly extremely significant". A broad, five Tb pipe led up to the tomb, the entrance of which was flanked by two carved goatse.

Comment Genetics and heritability are not the same (Score 1) 157

Quoting an insightful comment on TFA: [quote] It is simply wrong to state that intelligence is 50% genetic and 50% environmental. This is probably the most common misconception about the meaning of the term "heritability". Heritability does NOT measure what fraction of a trait is genetic. It measures how much genetic variability contributes to the variability of that trait in that population. This sounds like a subtle distinction, but it is MAJOR. First of all, consider a thought experiment. What would happen if we made a herd of dolly's sheep (clones) that are genetically identical. Would they produce exactly equal quantities of milk? Of course not, because we all know that environment will influence milk production. So would we conclude that milk production has no genetic contribution? of course not! To quote my old friend Tim Tully "Of course its genetic. They are making milk for christ sake! (well, thats a rated G version of the quote anyway)" So this little example demonstrates that the quantity we call "heritability" does not measure genetic contribution to a trait in any meaningful or absolute sense. "Heritability" does not mean "inheritable". "Heritability" depends on the particular constellation of genetic variants in THAT POPULATION. And how those particular variants influence the trait. But there is a second and even deeper issue, which is that even when genes DO influence a trait, they do so by interaction with each other AND by interaction WITH THE ENVIRONMENT! so a given gene may or may not influence a trait depending on the environment, and depending the other gene variants that happen to be in that particular animal. And the magnitude of the gene's effect size will also vary depending on environment and the other genes too! This almost certainly contributes to the so called "missing heritability" problem that runs rampant in human genetic studies. Bottom line: its an interesting study and blog post. But the claim to quantify % of genetic influence on intelligence is dead wrong, and actually very dangerous. Josh Dubnau, Assoc. Prof. CSHL, geneticist.[/quote]

Comment Equal existing functionality +provide new features (Score 1) 427

A new watch just needs to do what my existing one does, only better, and for a similar price. Any new features are a bonus. This is how smart phones evolved. Every new phone I gained added new features to the basic phone functionality. In this area still we are still generating phones with additional features. We have not yet decidedly reached the era of computers that just happen to have a phone feature.

Comment Looks like FUD to me. (Score 1) 194

Underlying code of IE extensions too can be updated silently. Ignore browser use stats. Overall Chrome extensions have more users than IE extensions. There are more Chrome extensions that IE extensions. It's a bigger market. If you are shopping for extensions to convert which do you buy? The ones with the most users.

Comment She was fined an extra $360 for using uTorrent (Score 3, Informative) 102

The defendant acknowledged downloading the first song but without knowing it was from an unlicensed source. She says the download of the first song caused a a bit torrent client to be installed automatically. She was unaware of the download of the second song. She was given a notice for downloading the first song twice. She is not sure how that occurred since she believed she had downloaded it only once. Then the third strike was a completely different song. The $360 is a made up on the spot "deterrent" on very shaky ground. One of the aggravating factors the tribunal claims in setting this deterrent is: "The fact that the account holder had BitTorrent protocol (uTorrent version 2.2.0) software installed on her computer. It notes that the locating, downloading, installing and configuring of such software is a deliberate act and does not occur without direct action on behalf of a computer user"

At the source of every error which is blamed on the computer you will find at least two human errors, including the error of blaming it on the computer.