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Comment: Re:DoE loan... (Score 1) 108

Perhaps someone who needed money soon, home was at risk, etc, is today employed by Tesla? This wasn't a bailout of a tired, failed company that's never going anywhere - this was a loan to a company that did quite well once it got past its cash crunch. Many jobs were saved, many were later created. Big win for taxpayers.

Comment: Re:Good for him and the world. (Score 1) 108

Adsense, gMail, Youtube, Android?

Never heard of em?

That seems to be the entire, comprehensive list of old Google products. Unlike, for example:

Google Answers
Google Reader
Send to Phone
Google Audio Ads
Google Catalogs
Google Ride Finder
Shared stuff
Page creator
GOOG-411 (which was awesome)
Google Labs
Google Buzz
Google Gears

and on, and on, and on (that's maybe 1/3rd of the graveyard)

Comment: Re:Well done! (Score 4, Insightful) 458

by lgw (#49513431) Attached to: George Lucas Building Low-Income Housing Next Door To Millionaires

The rule of thumb is lower - 100 months rent maximum (and lower in times of high interest rates). Anything above that is land price speculation, not investment. Rental stuff gets built in Cali precisely as speculation on rising house prices, not as a sound rental investment.

That 100-month rule is based on cost of money, property taxes, maintenance, property management, etc. You're doing well to keep your long-term-average ongoing costs down around 1% a month. At 100 months you can expect to break even for some years, so if you think conditions will improve it's a way to "get in early" without losing money every month to do so. In sensible markets you can usually do better, however.

Lucas is just using his "fuck you money" as such, not to make a profit here.

Comment: Re:should be higher (Score 0) 208

by lgw (#49510705) Attached to: Whoah, Small Spender! Steam Sets Limits For Users Who Spend Less Than $5

The 5 cents a bag thing is different, because it's a political statement. I switched stores immediately when that happened, as I find it politically offensive (and when my city passed a law requiring it, I moved to a new state - no joke). And I have/use re-usable bags since they work better, but it's a matter of principle.

Comment: Re:Lets use correct terminology. (Score 1) 175

by lgw (#49498497) Attached to: MakerBot Lays Off 20 Percent of Its Employees

in the US, if you're laid off you can collect the unemployment insurance you've already paid for. If you're fired or leave voluntarily, you can't collect unemployment insurance.

Can you point to a single state's laws that use that terminology? I've never heard of one. It's all about "fired for cause" vs "fired without cause". You may prefer the terms "fired" vs "laid off", but that's a newish meaning for "laid off".

What really matters to me is "do you get a respectable severance package?" You don't necessarily get one even if you're 'laid off", as some companies are really broke, and some are complete assholes.

Comment: Re:Open Tech is closing? (Score 1) 110

The real question is, after 30 years of personal computers, why can't we simply hit the "off" switch or pull the power plug?

On my Windows boxes, the (soft) power switch works just fine, thanks. It's set up to do a graceful shutdown, so it won't shut down if an application foolishly needs to ask me whether or not to save changes, but that's mostly the application's fault (see Notepad++ for how to do it right), and I could set up the power button to do a "maintenance shutdown," which force closes everything, if applications were written better.

Powering off without any notice at all, safely, would really limit performance in many ways - I'm just as happy to wait a second or two for unsaved changes to be parked, all the write caches to flush and so on.

I want a computer that I can just switch off, then switch on and be instantly back at what I was working on, or at a login screen. Instantly.

Basic physics will keep persistent storage slower than volatile memory, but if you're content with 1990s performance, you could probably build a PC that worked that way. Heck, it probably exists for some exotic use case.

Comment: Re:Three puzzles (Score 1) 202

by lgw (#49495931) Attached to: Social Science Journal 'Bans' Use of p-values

He writes his paper and submits for publication: "Rats prefer to turn left", P 0.05, the effect is real, and all is good.

There's no realistic way that a reviewer can spot the flaw in this paper.

Actually, let's pose this as a puzzle to the readers. Can *you* spot the flaw in the methodology? And if so, can you describe it in a way that makes it obvious to other readers?

I guess I don't see it. While P 0.05 isn't all that compelling, it does seem like prima facie evidence that the rats used in the sample prefer to turn left at that intesection for some reason. There's no hypothesis as to why, and thus way to generalize and no testable prediction of how often rats turn left in a different circumstances, but it's still an interesting measurement.

You have a null hypothesis and some data with a very low probability. Let's say it's P 0.01. This is such a good P-value that we can reject the null hypothesis and accept the alternative explanation. ...

Can you point out the flaw in this reasoning?

You have evidence that the null hypothesis is flawed, but none that the alternative hypothesis is the correct explanation?

The scientific method centers on making testable predictions that differ from the null hypothesis, then finding new data to see if the new hypothesis made correct predictions, or was falsified. Statistical methods can only support the new hypothesis once you have new data to evaluate.

Comment: Re:Is the math not towing the groupthink? (Score 1) 202

by lgw (#49495801) Attached to: Social Science Journal 'Bans' Use of p-values

Oh goodness, are people reading this headline to think they are removing p-values in favor of just accepting speculation with no statistical analysis!?!

This is a social science journal. Statistics are obviously a tool of the Patriarchy and should be shunned. (This mockery has become a meme now - you can buy "logic is a tool of the Patriarchy" t-shirts for goodness sake.)

Comment: Re:Lies, bullshit, and more lies ... (Score 1) 442

No, we're aware of it, as it fails on rare occasions. The point is: the company sucks it up - all large companies do - and it doesn't impede the candidate switching jobs (unless the lawyer screws up, but that happens less than losing candidates due to recruiter screw-ups).

Comment: Re:GOP Flash Cards (Score 1) 294

by lgw (#49479901) Attached to: Denver TSA Screeners Manipulated System In Order To Grope Men's Genitals

I think we're facing a test of [our flavor of representative-] democracy as a model this decade. The voters on the right have actually started to notice this, and care. But can they fix it? The Tea Party went from grassroots to establishment in one election, but it did briefly make a difference. There's a growing conservative group at least in the House, but still a minority of the GOP, and almost all lacking seniority. It still seems possible to reform the GOP, though the national debt will likely be too far gone by then.

Comment: Re:Low priority problem unfortunately (Score 2) 294

by lgw (#49476513) Attached to: Denver TSA Screeners Manipulated System In Order To Grope Men's Genitals

Yes, that distinction is everything. I think America would benefit hugely from an actual conservative party - in fact, it may be the only thing that can save us from some serious problems we face. I don't know that I'd necessarily vote for such a party - maybe. But we'd be having the right debates, and issues like this and Net Neutrality might actually get some airtime on the actual issues and content of the law, instead of everything being about earmarks and favors owed.

In a consumer society there are inevitably two kinds of slaves: the prisoners of addiction and the prisoners of envy.