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Comment Is there any evidence that web ads work? (Score 3, Interesting) 380 380

I mean the ones served "in passing". It just seems so counter-intuitive that someone would open a page to read an article or see pics and then ignore that thing and go read or watch the ad and click on it and remember any of it, let alone actually buy something.

I don't have AdBlock in one of the four browsers I run (Sandboxied Chrome -- the others are Sandboxied FF with no flash, non-Sandboxied FF with Noscript, and non-Sandboxied Chrome that I only use for 3-4 sites), and don't remember seeing anything remotely relevant or interesting, except for a couple of youtube ads, or ads for goods I already found and bought on Amazon. And I have clicked on an ad and bought something a number of times when I was searching for the item on Google, in the mindset of wanting to buy. Though I often end up going to Amazon and buying the item there.

Facebook in that sense seems the worst, no one is in a mindset to buy, they are just looking to score a bit of interesting info or pic from "friends". Imagine watching porn and seeing an ad on the side for 15% off for iphone cases. Well you most likely wouldn't even see the ad.

Anyway that's one datapoint. The 1st google search on "do web ads work" gives this ("A Dangerous Question: Does Internet Advertising Work at All?") Prob. another case where Betteridge's law holds.

Comment Re:No Foul play... (Score 1) 173 173

Paid for the law in its current strict form by content owners and distributors. And btw if 99% were to vote for abolishing the copyright law, you can't attribute it to no one understanding the complex issue -- that's a valid argument only when the perception is split.

If people would be really as disappointed as you describe, then have another referendum in 10 years and ask them do they want the copyright law back. Given the latest formulaic crap that's been made in the last few years, I don't think we'd be at much of a loss for that decade. And artists who just had to make art would make it anyway.

Comment Re:Mechanism? (Score 1) 184 184

Well, listed SAR values seem to be higher for your average phone today. Here's the 2005 listing: http://cellphoneradiationprote...
and here's the 2014 (flagship) list:

Most people in the US and Europe seem to have smartphones and most of those are high up SAR-wise.

Comment Re:Mechanism? (Score 2) 184 184

But smartphones with stronger radiation and ultrafast processors and whatnot have been around for a relatively short time.

Here, I just randomly picked a popular phone from 2006, Morotola Razr, and Motorola Turbo Droid, from 2014:

Razr SAR rating:

0.31 W/kg
Measured in:
1900 MHz
0.35 W/kg
Measured in:
1900 MHz

Droid Turbo SAR rating:
SAR US 1.39 W/kg (head) 0.50 W/kg (body)

Just two points but I imagine more search would show the trend is that SAR is getting higher.

I assume there is a point where harm begins to show -- imagine you build a phone with SAR rating of 100W/kg and use it every day. Would the effect show in 100 years, 50 years, 10, 1, six months...? So the question is where that point is for the what seems like a very common 1.39W/kg.

And then there is the question how reliable SAR is as a measure of effect of radiation on the tissue. From the Wiki page: "SAR limits set by law don't consider that the human body is particularly sensitive to the power peaks or frequencies responsible for the microwave hearing effect.[5][6] Frey reports that the microwave hearing effect occurs with average power density exposures of 400 w/cm2, well below SAR limits (as set by government regulations)"

I don't think it's unreasonable to say that not enough time has passed for the new generation of phones to rely on it as evidence of safety.

Comment Re:As Compared to What? (Score 1) 296 296

As compared to no experience, and no degree, I'd say yes.

I think it's an even stronger no. If the person wanted to learn say JavaScript, and they chose the most formal, most rigid and the least creative and inspiring way to learn it by working to get a certificate -- instead of building a project and putting it up out there, for instance -- shows what kind of developer they will be: someone who cares less for making good software and more for playing carefully within the system.

I'd trust more someone who spent the time to train for a marathon than to get a certificate.

Comment Too little, too late (Score 2) 163 163

Their entire line of product is sugary junk -- Cocoa Puffs and the like. I think the decades long movement of making our food chemically better is now starting to swing in the opposite direction, with the likes of Paleo diet that won't even look at organic whole grains, let alone processed cereals with added sugar and artificial ingredients.

What's interesting is that just as the US was the first in terrible food and bad eating habits, with the rest of the world catching up, it appears it's also the first to lead on the way back.

Comment Re:They've nailed it (Score 3, Interesting) 75 75

It's true. And we know the physical texture does extend fractal-wise into infinity... I'm thinking the opposite is when one is not on psychedelics and is further stressed out, texture details disappear if they are not relevant for the stressful situation. (E.g a sponge becomes a yellow block, no holes or pores.) As if psychedelics open the valve and stress closes it, like many people have said.

Comment Re:It's not the adverts in themselves (Score 1) 127 127

Ah everything is code. Even jpeg data is a sequence of instructions for the jpeg decoder FSM. Therefore nothing from the advertisers should run on my computer! But in seriousness, I agree. I think though that channel is doomed, exhausted forever. On the PC, I run noscript and adblock. On the phone, if I can't close an intrusive ad in half a second I close the page. I downloaded a stupid puzzle game (research, I swear) for the phone and the game asked me mid-play. "interested in annuities?" That's sheer desperation. It's game over for ads. (Uninstalled the game a second later.) The only "ad" I remember clicking on in years -- when I wasn't searching for something to buy on Amazon or Google -- is ArsTechnica's "tech deals" post. And the difference between us and non-tech folks is they are only slightly more patient waiting for the ads to be over b/c they don't know they have the technology that could bypass the ads. Only the outliers click and outliers' outliers buy. And the multibillion empires like FB seem to be based on the premise that there are enough of the latter.

Comment Re:And so the cycle of "reform" continues (Score 1) 851 851

There are heuristics that could help us make fewer mistakes, and we have not been followed them much in the last few decades.

- when it comes to food, innovation is usually bad and research is often wrong; instead it is safer to assume that the way people have been eating something for hundreds or thousands of years is likely evolved to be optimal; treat all proposed changes very conservatively.

- when it comes to government, less is more, as long as the rules are in place to protect the weak. So healthcare for example shouldn't be designed to save money to the middle class but to make sure those who can't afford essential treatment nevertheless receive it.

Comment Re:what will you treat with these robots (Score 1) 27 27

They don't necessarily have to treat, but can act as a seeing eye into what's happening in the body. Especially if they are actually tiny nanobots, capable of flowing to any part of the body and self-organizing into a vision device that takes images and wirelessly sends them to the instrument outside of the body. OK that's from Michael Crichton's "Prey."

"If a computer can't directly address all the RAM you can use, it's just a toy." -- anonymous comp.sys.amiga posting, non-sequitir