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Comment: Re:Heh. (Score 1) 250

Andrew Wakefield was deliberately fraudulent, and that is why the paper was retracted and his medical license revoked.

Odd that Wakefield's co-author, accused of the same things, had his indictment reversed on appeal. Wakefield did not have malpractice insurance, and his appeal was denied.

And, of course, the oft-quoted Danish study was conducted by a researcher now under indictment for fraud: Paul Thorsen.

Comment: Re:Heh. (Score 2, Informative) 250

People are still refusing to vaccinate children because they're afraid of autism even though the author of that study actually confessed having made the whole thing up.

Ummm... no, he didn't. There were a couple of issues with the study, the primary one being that a temporal association between the administration of the vaccine and the onset of autistic enterocolitis should never have implied causality. The study was important because it identified the colon symptoms present in a subset of patients with ASD as a distinct disorder. But it was misinterpreted in the press, especially for a study where the primary findings involved only 12 patients.

The main author never signed on to the minor retraction. There was nothing close to a confession of "making the whole thing up", but some (questionable) researchers from other institutions have made that accusation.

Comment: Switchers (Score 1) 342

by Curunir_wolf (#49793037) Attached to: The Tricky Road Ahead For Android Gets Even Trickier

Apple has not specified the rate of switching, but a survey found that 16 percent of people who bought the latest iPhones previously owned Android devices;

Well that's a pretty useless statistic without also knowing how many iOS users switched to Android - isn't it? And I was not able to find any surveys that provided those numbers.

Comment: Re:Switching?? (Score 2) 342

by fermion (#49790189) Attached to: The Tricky Road Ahead For Android Gets Even Trickier
Here is how i interpret this. A users buys a cheap android device, it does not integrate well with Google services, or becomes obsolete when the OS is not upgraded, so the user buys an iOS device. Here is how Google fixes this. Provide services to the end user. This is in fact how Google became the powerful ad company it is. Way back when, most ad companies did not provide a service, and were quite obnoxious. This meant that many people tried to avoid them. End users turned off cookies and blocked them outright. To counteract this, instead of provided services, the had name like 2o7 that less sophisticated users had trouble deciphering. Google was innovative in that it provided an increasing range of services in exchange for the end user not blocking ad service. What has happened now is that Google is not provided a high level of services. One of their products, Google docs, which cannot be that expensive to service compared to profits, has not been developed. We all know of other products that have been retired. For instance, MS has Skype and Office 365 for only $100 a year that integrates across all products? What is google offering now? Google, like Apple and MS has to develop a more compelling stack, and convince some users that it is worth money. However, as Google is an ad company, and people expect things for free with ads, this is the source of it's profit. Also, Google tends to not be able to hit a price point. This means that actual interesting products, like the glasses and the original google made phone tend to be far beyond the ability of the average user to purchase.

Comment: Re:Already has (Score 2) 157

by fermion (#49782389) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Will Technology Disrupt the Song?
Rock and roll came out the ability to overdrive amplifiers, electrical then electronic.

The crooning typical of music prior to that came about through the ability of microphones to pick up nuances in tone. Prior to this it was just a bunch of guys playing and singing as loudly as they could to try to get the sound recorded on wax.

The last major fight over the structure of music was 30 years ago when everyone was fighting over the right to sample. This, by and large, was due to the fact that for the first time we had a large archive of high quality recording, and the the technology to mix old and new to create a significantly different product.

I suspect that this revolution will be similar. The structure of music has changed. It has gone from an album format, in which most consumers buy and listen to a compilations of songs, to an a la carte format where listeners buy, or more often just stream, a selected song. This has minimized the importance of creating a cohesive album. While every album had one or two radio songs released as singles, most artists tried to make it part of a whole.

In the future I think software will make it possible to string parts of songs together to make something like a dance mix. Some radio DJS used to do this before it was all computer controlled. So like the album losing it status as the definitive unit, the song will also be a legacy concept, artist getting paid royalties only if a part of the song can be structured to fit in a longer musical composition.

Comment: Re:Eventually - but the lies do real damage meanwh (Score 1) 397

by Curunir_wolf (#49776455) Attached to: Can Bad Scientific Practice Be Fixed?

The MMR vaccine fiasco is of course the classic example of this;

How so? It seems, instead, to present a counter-argument. I would refer you to the comments of Richard Horton, of the Lancet. To wit:

"But there are fair questions to be asked about the style of government and expert response to claims about the safety of MMR. Three reactions have been discernable. First, there has been an appeal to evidence. The Department of Health's www.mmrthefacts.nhs.uk website contains a superb collection of materials designed to help parents make the “decision in your own time and on your own terms”. The difficulty is that in a post-BSE era, where government advice is no longer immediately taken on trust, the weight of accumulated evidence carries less force if it comes from government than it once did.

Second, public-health officials have disparaged as “poor science” evidence that appears to contradict their official message. This approach has a cost. The reason that today's retraction is partial and not total is that the discovery of a possible link between bowel disease and autism is a serious scientific idea, as recognised by the MRC,8 and one that deserves further investigation. Although dismissing the entire 1998 Lancet paper as poor science gives a clear and correct message to the public about the status of any claim regarding the safety of MMR, in scientific and clinical terms it is both wrong and damaging. The autism-bowel disease link was considered part of a series of physiological observations judged by the MRC to be “interesting and in principle worth investigating”. Subsequent research has yielded conflicting findings.13, 14 This work should be supported.

Third, there has been an effort to starve critics of legitimacy by refusing to engage them face-to-face."

there are still people acting on the assumption that the lies were true, and that's getting people killed.

There were no "lies", only misunderstandings, misinterpretations, and misrepresentations OUTSIDE of the scientific community, and a failure to disclose associations and funding on the part of ONE of the many researchers, which turned out to be irrelevant to any of the research conducted or findings reported.

Further, I think you would be as hard-pressed to show a direct causal link between any specific refusal of the MMR vaccine and any specific death as researchers have been to show a causal link between any specific vaccine and autistic enterocolitis.

Comment: Montessori (Score 1) 232

by fermion (#49776295) Attached to: Elon Musk Establishes a Grade School
Constructivist, free form, hands on education. It works for many students. This may have relevance because there are not some many things to take apart anymore. We are not on farms where things needs to fixed and children can observe, help, participate, then do it themselves. Hell, even cookies are bought prefab, at most you have to cut them. Kids do not see that if procedures are not followed, the cookies are not good. Even making a loaf of bread would benefit them. Even when I was a kid, you still had things you could solder and actually build, not just plug and play. That said, specific teaching methods for specific students is not the silver bullet for the making sure we pick out the students who are going to be tomorrows tech leader. Unless you are being very selective in the kids to get the top 1% motor skills of anyone under 10 is limited and they are not going to have a great deal of motor skills and the abstractions skills are going to be very limited. We see this in spelling bees. These involve a lot of memorization and a limited amount of abstraction. There is no cause and effect because applying the rules incorrectly does not guarantee failure. But it is an age appropriate way to predict future ability to accomplish high paid simple tasks. Likewise a Rube Goldberg machine is a great way to teach cause and effect to older kids, but again it is concrete. Because concrete is the where the kids are at. Development varies, that is why some kids can learn algebra at 10, and some can't even deal with it at 20, but when one is teaching algebra one starts with hands on concrete, and use the subject to move the student to a more abstract view. So, yes, if we are talking top students, this is a viable method to bring kids up to very high expectations by the time they are 13, but I think it might lack pedagogical validity. Like focusing on the ability to pass a multiple guess reading test. Resourceful kids will complete the task without ever learning anything.

Comment: Re:This is why adultery is wrong (Score 1) 173

Either that or be open about it. It is hard to blackmail someone over something that is public knowledge.

Huh. Apparently, you're right. You can be a 50-something politician and have an affair with the 17-year-old daughter of one of your law clients, get a plea deal to misdemeanors instead of a felony, and it's okay as long as you come out with it a couple of years later, present your new baby, and talk about your ambitions to be a leader in the state senate. Truth is stranger than fiction.

Comment: Re:why the quotes (Score 1) 383

by Curunir_wolf (#49749993) Attached to: What Was the Effect of Rand Paul's 10-Hour "Filibuster"?

oh look, its the garbage rag the Washington Examiner, dedicated to excusing and covering up the right's mistakes.

Oh, sorry, should I have found some garbage rag dedicated to excusing and covering up the left's mistakes? There are certainly a LOT more of those to choose from.

and yes youre still a crackpot who doesn't know what hes talking about concerning vaccines or pretty much any other topic.

Actually, you are an ignorant douchebag with no clue about anything, and a shill for the vastly harmful pharmaceutical industry.

Comment: Re:forever and ever? (Score 1) 382

by fermion (#49749979) Attached to: How Java Changed Programming Forever
Also think about Pascal. It too changed programming as it let a new generation of not very good coders generate applications. Who does Pascal now?

Not sure if Java is better or worse than Pascal. A similarity is that part of it's popularity is that it is a teaching language, perhaps more than a production language.

Comment: Re:Why the quote marks around "filibuster"? (Score 1) 383

by Curunir_wolf (#49749813) Attached to: What Was the Effect of Rand Paul's 10-Hour "Filibuster"?

he has also demonstrated significant ideological inconsistency as he navigates the mine field created by his libertarian leanings (they themselves inconsistent)

Clearly if you try to compare one libertarian's ideas with another, you may view them as inconsistent - but you can say the same about "progressive" or "liberal" or "conservative" or any other. However, the core principles of libertarianism itself is the most consistent of any other philosophy I know of. It's really simple too. You seem ignorant of what it's about.

Yes, Rand Paul is a politician. And "pure" libertarians have grown to distrust him, too, since he tries to express his views in a way that doesn't scare people. Even if he believes there should be no laws against possession of heroin, cocaine, and that the state should repeal any law that defines a "marriage", expressing such an idea would marginalize him to such an extent that he'd be unable to influence ANYTHING in Washington.

"The Street finds its own uses for technology." -- William Gibson