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Comment: Insurance and regulation problem (Score 1) 269

by Fotis Georgatos (#49276025) Attached to: Fraud Rampant In Apple Pay

This is a good example of what happens when a market is totally unregulated:

* big fish eats small fish; Interestingly, small fish here are the banks, and even smaller fish are the consumers

The remedy to this situation may be to force insurance costs across all transacting parties, so that there is an incentive for liability and correct behaviour.
Otherwise, what we have here is banks passing down the risks to consumers, who are little to not able to react and avoid their troubles.
Or, you can hope that one day the banks will automatically fix the problem. Oh, boy.

Laissez-faire, in the wild financial west, anyone?!

Comment: Just making shots here... (Score 2) 420

by Fotis Georgatos (#49156665) Attached to: Is That Dress White and Gold Or Blue and Black?

The eye pupil is known to exhibit interesting behaviour at times,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P...
one notable being photic reflex (which also affects a quarter of a population)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P...

IMHO, human vision is still incompletely understood at whole population (global) level,
with all sorts of exceptions and special trade-off cases being documented:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T...
http://discovermagazine.com/20... ### check this one!

Finally, let's not forget, that it is well known that manly colour vocabulary is 4-bit, while females have true colour sets ;-O
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/...
http://io9.com/5919311/some-wo...
https://www.google.be/search?r...

Last but not least: make sure you see the image of the OP in fractional ways (say, top 10th of the image),
along with another person that sees it in the alternative mode. You may come up with surprises. ;-)

Comment: Portfolio management, anyone? (Score 1) 480

by Fotis Georgatos (#49034707) Attached to: The Mathematical Case For Buying a Powerball Ticket

Although I only actually seek the cheap lottery ticket at the end of a year for the shake of a tradition, I can imagine that playing more often could be a rational act.

Under the premise of risk diversification [1] there should be a buying incentive, however low, for a high-risk act of huge potential pay-off. A lottery ticket stands normally little chance to make you rich, yet the rewards are potentially higher than most other every day rational acts (studying, working, saving money etc). A single win can reward more than a lifetime's earnings, or at least it happens so in quite a few well publicised cases. That's why the "first ticket" may just make sense.

Judicium: the rationalised *frequency* of buying lottery tickets is a low number, however it is NOT zero, for any rational player; Math included !
If somebody has been enough of a geek to calculate rationalised lottery playing (on GDP per capita per country basis?), kindly follow this up!

And for the record: "Death is a tax on people who do not play life"

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D...

Comment: Re:Khan Acadamy (Score 1) 94

by Fotis Georgatos (#48979437) Attached to: What Happens When the "Sharing Economy" Meets Higher Education

Couldn't agree more.

I happen to have both an Engineering degree and a postgraduate degree in relation to (Computer) Science Education; These are all good baggage to have, however after 100s of technical trainings assignments I can testify that nothing beats to be committed to the task of helping others through knowledge. It requires both self-reflection on how we learn and beyond average self-investment in gently pushing others through conceptual leaps and mental barriers.

If teaching was teachable, then who taught the first teacher?
and we may add: and who certified whom first as expert in education? ;-)

Comment: What if... (Score 1) 231

by Fotis Georgatos (#48873649) Attached to: The Paradoxes That Threaten To Tear Modern Cosmology Apart

...the universe is not expanding, but the observers instead are in an "apparent shrinking" process, which is only manifesting itself in the form of current observations?
Does that fly in the face of what is presently known?

Don't shoot the messenger, there is no physicist anywhere around here, just a thought challenger ;-)

Comment: Re:The truth is redundant... (Score 1) 187

Indeed.

I may testify that it is called Pythagorean merely because of the path via which the theory's proof got popularised in the western world. No more no less.
This does not make any other discovery paths any less or more important, just parallel efforts (and Chinese are certain to have had many parallel discoveries).

However, when somebody comes to contest the ordering and aetiology of events he better comes with proof about it; that kind of proof is yet lacking or weak at best.
The ancient greek world tends to get much of the credit, merely because the birth and death dates (years) of any people involved, innovators and story-tellers alike, tend to be well-defined or well-bound and as such allow for refutable statements, which is good ground for efforts to reconstruct scientific history. This certainly does not cancel the importance of any discoveries happening in co-developing cultures, yet let's remind that it took centuries back then for ideas to propagate around.

Comment: Peer-reject the top paper in distributed consensus (Score 1) 139

by Fotis Georgatos (#48664311) Attached to: Does Journal Peer Review Miss Best and Brightest?

Well, yes.

When we build distributed systems, the need to setup a distributed consensus algorithm is appearing in front of us, time and again. Leslie Lamport (of LaTeX & Time-Clocks fame) came up with a novel algorithm during early 90s about to solve this is a very competitive way (Paxos is its name). Sadly, the algorithm remained shunned for a number of years, due to rejection via the very same channel in which it was eventually published many years later. If you realise the immediate practical impact of that algorithm and what an 8 years delay means in the world of CS, and the cost putting all these together, the result is staggering and sobering at the same time.

So, yes, let's now all peer-review this statement: "peer-review systems are imperfect and provide no guarantee for any certain quality result".

Peer review is merely a compromise to increase throughput of papers, which are relatively median and more easily digestible, because this is what keeps the academia salary system in good lubrication. It provides no level of assurance that the most impactful paper gets noticed first, neither that it receives sufficient feedback in order to improve upon original concepts. In sort, human intellect won't be easily replaced via a procedural setup, yet.

To communicate is the beginning of understanding. -- AT&T

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