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Comment: Re:Business (Score 2) 190

by mrchaotica (#47951645) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Avoid Becoming a Complacent Software Developer?

JSON is a pretty significant force behind modern Web design. Without it, the Web would still be a pretty static place.

Nah, we'd just be putting actual XML in our XMLHTTPRequests instead. (All JSON does is represent the same data as the XML would, in a less verbose format.) We'd still have all the Asynchronous Javascript And XML.

Comment: Re:Business (Score 2) 190

by mrchaotica (#47949737) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Avoid Becoming a Complacent Software Developer?

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Software isn't always better because it's new.... So, color me unimpressed by Powershell, Agile, objective C, json and Azure.

What is Objective C doing in that list? Did you forget that it was invented more than 30 years ago (and not by Apple)? It predates both .NET and Java, and is almost as old as C++.

Objective C isn't the newfangled replacement; it's the thing that ain't broke!

Comment: Re:GIMP, Ubuntu, Xfce (Score 1) 183

by mrchaotica (#47949227) Attached to: TrueCrypt Gets a New Life, New Name

What better name would you suggest for the GNU Image Manipulation Program?


Or, what's the Zulu word for "Photoshop?" ; )

How is Blender (English for "food processor", referring to a 3D modeling app) any better than Ubuntu (Zulu for "humankind", referring to a Linux distribution)?

1. Artists blend colors and shapes. 2. Blenders and food processors are not the same appliance -- the former liquifies; the latter dices. 3. I agree that Ubuntu isn't a bad name.

Xfce (XForms Common Environment) used to be descriptive

Any new user: "WTF does 'common environment' mean, and why would I want one made out of 'Xforms' (whatever those are)?!"

Aside from that, you could do a lot worse than a random unpronounceable but short acronym when trying to come up with a name for something these days...


London's Crime Hot Spots Predicted Using Mobile Phone Data 61

Posted by timothy
from the gotta-get-my-car-out-of-this-bad-area dept.
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes A growing number of police forces around the world are using data on past crimes to predict the likelihood of crimes in the future. These predictions can be made more accurate by combining crime data with local demographic data about the local population. However, this data is time consuming and expensive to collect and so only updated rarely. Now a team of data experts have shown how combing crime data with data collected from mobile phones can make the prediction of future crimes even more accurate. The team used an anonymised dataset of O2 mobile phone users in the London metropolitan area during December 2012 and January 2013. They then used a small portion of the data to train a machine learning algorithm to find correlations between this and local crime statistics in the same period. Finally, they used the trained algorithm to predict future crime rates in the same areas. Without the mobile phone data, the predictions have an accuracy of 62 per cent. But the phone data increases this accuracy significantly to almost 70 per cent. What's more, the data is cheap to collect and can be gathered in more or less real time. Whether the general population would want their data used in this way is less clear but either way Minority Report-style policing is looking less far-fetched than when the film appeared in 2002.

Comment: Re:they will defeat themselves (Score 1) 947

by mrchaotica (#47932083) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

No, it's not an exaggeration. Rather than rehash arguments from the previous thread, I'll just link to some of them.

(Note that that is far from an exhaustive list of the arguments explaining how that politician is indeed trying to ban teaching science in general. I just can't be bothered to go re-read through and pick out all the good ones.)

Comment: Re:they will defeat themselves (Score 1) 947

by mrchaotica (#47931645) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

Social Conservatives are less than 25% of Republicans and are probably less than 20% of the total.

Then why do they get more than 50% of the vote in the primaries?

Being religious does not equal being a social conservative.

Sure, some people are religious but not socially conservative... but they're usually Democrats.

But Gary Johnson and others are/were pretty damn close to "coming out."

Sure, Gary Johnson was pretty great (I voted for him)... which is why he lost the Republican primary by a landslide. The Republicans are incapable of electing a reasonable candidate like Johnson precisely because they're overrun with authoritarian theocrats!

It's too bad, too, because unlike the rest of the Republican candidates, he was socially-liberal enough to have a chance of beating Obama in the general election (had he run as a Republican instead of a Libertarian).

Go to Red State and Legal Insurrection and you'll see that many are opposed to the leviathan state.

Maybe some people on those sites say that, but they are either A) a vocal minority, B) fail to actually vote, or C) claim to be for small government, until they realize such a position is a detriment to their pet special interest (usually Social Security or one of the talk-radio "rile up the dumbasses" issues, such as any involving religion, race, evolution or climate change) whereupon they vote for the authoritarian candidate anyway.

Comment: Re:they will defeat themselves (Score 1) 947

by mrchaotica (#47930245) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

most republicans are not social conservatives

This hasn't been true for at least a couple of decades, especially when you consider which Republicans are capable of actually getting elected (rather than losing the primary due to lack of support from the social conservative faction of their party -- clear evidence that it constitutes a majority).

If you can show me an atheist Republican in Congress, then I'll show you a flying pig. We can hold the show-and-tell in Hell (but make sure you bundle up, because it'll have frozen over)!

The key divides between republicans and democrats is over the size and scope and purpose of the Federal government.

No it isn't; they're both in complete agreement that the Federal government should be huge and authoritarian. They only differ in which departments they prefer the bloat to occur (e.g. war vs. welfare). Even the Tea Partyists who claim to be fiscally conservative hypocritically support Social Security, just like the Democrats.

Staff meeting in the conference room in 3 minutes.