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Comment: Re:biased algorith (Score 1) 177

by jellie (#47621279) Attached to: Algorithm Predicts US Supreme Court Decisions 70% of Time

In this particular case, future predictability doesn't work. The sample size is way too small (as SCOTUS only hears ~80 cases/year), and the cases are not evenly distributed. The last couple years, for example, the court has become very conservative and happens to hear a significantly higher percentage of business-related cases. It's hard to predict anything from that.

It would make more sense to divide the data into training and validation/cross-validation data sets like in a standard machine learning approach.

Comment: Re:3,458? (Score 2) 387

by jellie (#47240735) Attached to: California Whooping Cough Cases "an Epidemic"

It depends on how many cases you expect. Smallpox has been eradicated worldwide, so a single case is considered an epidemic. Ebola is so rare and deadly that a small number is needed for it to be called an outbreak or an epidemic. Whooping cough is more common, but this recent outbreak is at a much higher rate than normal.

Comment: Re:Why the Paywall Hate? (Score 1) 361

by jellie (#46162789) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Online News Is Worth Paying For?

That's a good point. But I don't think people would be paying for single articles because they're too lazy to pull out their credit card. But yes, most subscriptions wouldn't be useful unless you subscribe to a newspaper that you read every day.

It seems that many people nowadays consider their Facebook News Feed and Twitter to be "news." And that's just sad.

Comment: Why the Paywall Hate? (Score 3, Insightful) 361

by jellie (#46160881) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Online News Is Worth Paying For?

I pay for the NYT, Ars, and The Economist, although the last 2 really aren't newspapers. Why does everyone here hate "paywalls"? Running a newsroom is extremely expensive. From the beat reporters and copy editors all the way up to the editorial board, plus all the foreign bureaus with their own reporters, a "real" newspaper needs to support a ton of people. I'm also a huge fan of investigative reporting, which you rarely ever see outside of major newspapers because the paper and the reporters must invest a huge amount of time and money.

Aggregation sites are nothing like a real newspaper. But at least Ars Technica has a large amount of original content (including their great feature articles), instead of resorting to Huffington Post-style click generation with "articles" that summarize someone else's hard work.

Comment: Re:Good Start, But a Long Way to Go (Score 1) 162

by jellie (#45227777) Attached to: Finally, a Bill To End Patent Trolling

This could easily backfire, especially when patent trolls have an army of high-paid lawyers. Just the threat of having to pay millions of dollars for the plaintiff's legal fees means that you had better have some really good representation as well. And if you lose, you end up paying all of your own legal fees as well as the army of lawyers working for the patent troll. In most cases, it would just be cheaper to settle which actually strengthens the capabilities of patent troll racketeering.

Isn't it cheaper to settle in most cases anyway? Currently, the ones willing to fight a patent suit must have huge amounts of cash. Smaller companies don't have the resources to pay millions to defend a patent lawsuit to begin with. When beat that online "shopping cart" patent, did they win any money? Most of the other online retailers had settled earlier, and Avon and Victoria's Secret had lost even larger verdicts in court.

+ - Finally, a Bill to End Patent Trolling->

Submitted by jellie
jellie (949898) writes "According to Ars Technica, a new bill introduced by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has received bipartisan support and has a real chance of passing. In a press call, lawyers from the CCIA, EFF, and Public Knowledge had universal praise for the bill, which is called the Innovation Act of 2013. The EFF has a short summary of the good and bad parts of an earlier draft of the bill. The bill will require patent holders who are filing a suit to identify the specific products and claims to are being infringed, require the loser in a suit to pay attorney's fees and costs, and force trolls to reveal anyone who has a "financial interest" in the case, making them possibly liable for damages."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Banksters (Score 2) 116

by jellie (#44341281) Attached to: Jail Time For Price-Fixing Car Parts

Here's a recent example: Blythe Masters, an executive at JP Morgan Chase, may escape prosecution after having manipulated energy prices in California and Michigan. Officials have accused her of rigging prices, and they also accuse JP Morgan Chase of trying to cover up the evidence. Strangely, the recommendation was for a civil case, not a criminal case, against Ms. Masters.

Comment: Re:Universities or @home projects (Score 2) 237

by jellie (#44306701) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Scientific Research Positions For Programmers?

I agree. I would start out looking at university job postings first. My own field is genomics and bioinformatics, and there really is a huge need for programmers and data analysts. Actually, my first research assistant position was as a programmer in a lab in which I did MATLAB programming. MPI and GPGP programming is very useful too.

As someone else mentioned, you can also work for the large national labs or supercomputing centers as well. A lot of the supercomputers are publicly owned, and there's a fairly large staff of people who maintain the systems or develop for them.

Comment: Re:The bigger news here... (Score 1) 214

by jellie (#43997819) Attached to: Supreme Court: No Patents For Natural DNA Sequences

Judges also ask questions during oral arguments specifically to direct the subject or issues in a certain direction. For example, during the debate over Obama's health plan (PPACA), Scalia asked questions about the government forcing people to eat broccoli, while other justices asked questions about requiring car insurance payments.

Thomas is unusual because he almost never speaks, yet he clearly has a political bias. Back in January, he finally asked a question (or made a comment, no one is quite sure) for the first time in seven years. It was surprising enough that it was noteworthy.

Comment: Re:Wasn't It As Much Individual Photog & ID? (Score 1) 235

Wasn't it a combination of all of the above? The FBI collected video recordings and photos from all available sources, and identified two suspects. The FBI had one of the suspects putting the backpack on the ground right before one of the explosions, and also saw the two of them walk away from the scene afterward. That information was enough to pick those two and, for example, rule out the people identified by the NY Post and Reddit. But the images weren't clear enough, so they asked for the public's help for clearer images and for the suspect's names.

Comment: Re:This wasn't about privacy. Not entirely. (Score 1) 412

That's the thing about the case that bothers me the most. I'm not religious so I'm a little biased, but what exactly does the ID card have to do with the so-called "mark of the beast"? The school has a right (and well, responsibility) to know where students are during school hours, and takes attendance because it only receives money when students show up. The school even offered to disable the RFID, which should have dealt with the "mark" issue. And like the situation involving the nurse fired for refusing the flu shot, the policy is applied to everyone and isn't narrowly targeted at a small group. I fail to see how this is even a religious issue, other than some random defense against a rule that the girl and her father dislike. Or even another chance to claim "religious freedom!"

If the Antichrist were so evil, I think there would be more serious ways for he (it?) to make his presence known than as RFID. Business people and lawyers, for example.

Comment: Re:My worry is... (Score 5, Informative) 205

by jellie (#42116113) Attached to: US Congressman Wants To Ban New Internet Laws

Darrell Issa strongly opposes net neutrality, with a Republican platform that supports some ironic thing called "internet freedom". Last year, Issa ripped into FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski at a Congressional hearing, accusing him of doing Obama's bidding regarding net neutrality (wtf?).

In short, Issa is a conservative Republican who has been on a mission to destroy net neutrality.

Comment: Re:...what's the point? (Score 1) 156

Influenza is and has always been lethal. There are different types of influenzavirus A, and they are named based on the two main proteins that allow it to infect cells: hemagglutinin (H) and neuraminidase (N). A new strain can result from mutation after an influenza virus is transmitted from an animal species to humans. My understanding is that (small) viral mutations occur all the time; thus, we create a flu vaccine based on the three strains that we believe are going to be most common in the next year. These are the seasonal epidemics, and are caused by antigenic drift. The "old" strains will either have died out or many people will still have immunity to them. However, if a gene reassortment occurs involving strains from different animal species (antigenic shift), then a global pandemic can result. The pandemic ends after people begin developing immunity to the new strain, and new infections begin to drop, and this phase is called the post-pandemic phase.

(In response to your other post...) incidentally, I have narcolepsy, although it wasn't caused by the vaccine. I wonder how the vaccine may have lead to these cases, though.

If a thing's worth having, it's worth cheating for. -- W.C. Fields