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Comment: Re:Not expensive for an audiophile device (Score 1) 391

by j33px0r (#48745705) Attached to: Sony Thinks You'll Pay $1200 For a Digital Walkman

Nice observations, especially in the marketing scale! I would also add that if the wealthy didn't buy all those disproportionately priced items then no one would be making them, loss of jobs, etc. In some ways it reminds me of art benefactors. The benefactors simply throw a little disposable income away for a moment of pleasure. Not so different from buying a expensive bottle of Champagne at a restaurant, an expensive suit/purse, or other items associated with prestige.

Comment: What about the STEM shortage? (Score 1) 283

by j33px0r (#48088563) Attached to: Glut of Postdoc Researchers Stirs Quiet Crisis In Science

So what about the STEM shortage I keep hearing about? How is it that we can keep pushing for more careers in STEM but at the same time have a surplus? I've read a number of articles that have touched on this topic but would love to hear some of the opposing arguments by individuals with real knowledge on the topic.

Comment: Re:headline fix (Score 0) 426

by j33px0r (#46070501) Attached to: Kentucky: Programming Language = Foreign Language

Don't take this badly but I think you have a misconception of what the concept of "language" means...perhaps look into the concept of semiotics? As far as mental dexterity goes, the mind is not a muscle and it does not demonstrate any traits associated with physical activity from a traditional sense. It does not grow stronger or more nimble no matter how much you study or learn. Memorizing a thousand poems will not make your mind sharper or improve your ability to memorize; you improve your ability to memorize by learning memorization, recall, and other study techniques. Foreign language teaches nothing; it is a concept, not an actual being. Saying the word house in English, Spanish, or French does not provide additional worldviews. You increase your stance on worldviews by studying culture, not the language per say.

Comment: We don't read poetry... (Score 2) 240

by j33px0r (#46029211) Attached to: Code Is Not Literature

We don't read poetry, we decode it. Or maybe you would say that we interpret it? Depends upon your point of view. We don't read the original article, we skim it.

The original author is romanticizing the term literature, not that there is anything wrong with that of course, but literature is a term applied to everything from Dostoevsky to instructions for assembling a toy. Beautifully/Dreadfully written code could be labeled as art, poetry, literature, garbage, puzzling, cryptography, and a whole variety of other terms.

With all that being said and putting aside that I do not agree with the original author's definition of literature, I do appreciate their perspective.

Comment: Let's get something straight you non-staticians (Score 4, Insightful) 182

by j33px0r (#45408553) Attached to: Weak Statistical Standards Implicated In Scientific Irreproducibility

This is a geek website, not a "research" website so stop talking a bunch of crap about a bunch of crap. I'm providing silly examples so don't focus upon them. Most researchers suck at stats and my attempt at explaining should either help out or show that I don't know what I'm talking about. Take your pick.

"p=.05" is a stat that reflects the likelihood of rejecting a true null hypothesis. So, lets say that my hypothesis is that "all cats like dogs" and my null hypothesis is "not all cats like dogs." If I collect a whole bunch of imaginary data, run it through a program like SPSS, and the results turn out that my hypothesis is correct then I have a .05 percent chance that the software is wrong. In that particular imaginary case, I would have committed a Type I Error. This error has a minimal impact because the only bad thing that would happen is some dogs get clawed on the nose and a few cats get eaten.

Now, on a typical experiment, we also have to establish beta which is the likelihood of committing a type II error, that is, accepting a false null hypothesis. So let's say that my hypothesis is that "Sex when desired makes men happy" and my null hypothesis is "Sex only when women want it makes men happy." It's not a bad thing if #1 is accepted but the type II error will make many men unhappy.

Now, this is a give and take relationship. Every time that we make p smaller (.005, .0005, .00005, etc.) for "accuracy," then the risk of committing a type II error increases. A type II error when determining what games 15 year olds like to play doesn't really matter if we are wrong but if we start talking about drugs and false positives then the increased risk of a type II error really can make things ugly.

Next, there are guideline for determining a how many participants are needed for lower p (alpha) values. Social sciences (hold back your Sheldon jokes) that do studies on students might need lets say 35 subjects/people per treatment group at p=.05 whereas with a .005 might need 200 or 300 per treatment group. I don't have a stats book in front of me but .0005 could be in the thousands. Every adjustment impacts a different item in a negative fashion. You can have your Death Star or you can have Luke Skywalker. Can't have 'em both.

Finally, there is a statistical concept of power, that is, there are stats for measuring the impact of a treatment. Basically, how much of the variance between the group A and group B can be assigned to the experimental treatment. This takes precedence in many peoples minds over simply determining if we have a correct or incorrect hypothesis. Assigning p does not answer this.

Anyways, I'm going to go have another beer. Discard this article and move onto greener pastures.

Comment: NSA tie in? (Score 2) 38

by j33px0r (#45123245) Attached to: Facebook Buys Israeli Mobile Analytics Startup Onavo

So my questions are: Does being based in Israel provide Facebook's Israeli "subsidiaries" with the ability to use the data from Facebook users differently, that is, in a way that is similar in some aspect to how Israel has access to raw collect NSA data on American citizens in ways that American law doesn't allow? Not to be all conspiracy theory driven but is there a Facebook / NSA connection in this?

I'm thinking back to the earlier /. post on "NSA Shares Intel On Americans With Israel"

Comment: Re:Broad Application (Score 1) 648

by j33px0r (#43214381) Attached to: Supreme Court Upholds First Sale Doctrine

I agree with you but consider this:The publisher lost the right to control the aftermarket sale, not the copyright of the content of the book itself. Perhaps from that perspective, the ruling does align with the restrictions on the modification of a product such as an Xbox or cell phone.

Just trying to figure out their goofy logic.

Comment: You need to learn to design first (Score 2) 218

by j33px0r (#43194559) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best 3-D Design Software?

Since this is /. I'll start with a programming analogy. Imagine someone saying: "Hey, I got one of those rasberry pi computers and a bunch of stepper motors and I want to build a robot." Sure you could do it but you would need to be ready to put in some time and a lot of hard work.

CAD design is a field, just like programming. You need to learn some basics of design (drafting in the days of old) first. This doesn't mean that you need a degree but it does mean that you should be a bit organized in how you approach it. Here's my suggestion:

1. Pick a program that will let you do 3d modeling that you can easily aquire. Pick wisely so that you only waste 1 strike if caught =)
2. If you do spend money, don't spend a lot. This could be a momentary interest/hobby
3. Get a book that teaches the basics of design with the program that you chose
4. Start simple
5. Be patient

Comment: Not enough information here. (Score 1) 605

by j33px0r (#42912603) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is the Bar Being Lowered At Universities?

What's wrong with writing blogs? Journals have been a viable alternative to short papers for a long time, probably the last century at least.

Otherwise, there's not enough information here to determine if the activity is a waste of time or not. I can say that many students in online courses are resistant to discussion board posts, weblogs, asynchronous group activities; or in other words, work in general.

As far as your assessment of other students having poor writing skills, your professor is probably in agreement. You should probably keep in mind that blog writing is a personal or subjective process. It is difficult to conclude that someone has poor writing skills if the assignment allows for them to freely write whatever comes to mind without specific criteria. If you actually have to read other student's lousy blogs then I would suggest putting on some rose-colored glasses and try to find the silver lining in the muck.

"Anyone attempting to generate random numbers by deterministic means is, of course, living in a state of sin." -- John Von Neumann