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Comment: Re:GUI (Score 1) 75

by logistic (#43368323) Attached to: R 3.0.0 Released

R is an example of the best and worst of FOSS.

Every time I switch institutions I can use it. No problem with lack of site license,no grant money for a license or activation problems on a new machine. I can use it on whatever OS the organization owns. I can get it up and running in about 5 minutes and it will work.

Awsome community. If you have a problem there's a good chance there's something in the CRAN that solves it.

But super steep learning curve. Begginner documentation is at best suboptimal ("go buy a book on S" is not the most helpful advice) The cost of entry to steep. It will take you a while to figure out how to import your flat text file for analysis.
The GUI's are hard to find and are limited in capability compared to something like SPSS. R commander is great but pretty limited and counter intuittive.
It's hard for me to recommend it to people to use for intro stats.

That said R I love and it's great to see it continue to thrive with a new milestone release.

Comment: Re:Sorry, no (Score 1) 841

by logistic (#42901443) Attached to: Elon Musk Lays Out His Evidence That NYT Tesla Test Drive Was Staged

Really this is a computer site, how do we know the logging software works. who knows if the logs match the readouts presented to the driver. Musk of course has no motivation to alter the logs... are they fingerprinted by the system for us?

Lets look at the logs. The climate control graph at 182 miles doesn't "match " the story, but the same graphic shows the climate control off for long streches of the the trip which does "match" the story. Who drives in the east with the climate control off if they have a choice?

Other points born out by the graph - big drop in charge overnight.

What Musk isn't really refuting are the basic problems that are improved but not solved with these newer cars. 40 minutes is a lot shorter charge time than in the past but it's a long time and the limits of infrastructure make road trips more complex than with a gasoline or diesel vehicle. Something the Tesla guys admit to.

For now these are niche products and will remain so.

Comment: Re:negatory, cut them back, hard (Score 1) 605

by logistic (#42696209) Attached to: Senators Seek H-1B Cap That Can Reach 300,000

If there weren't a shortage of doctors they wouldn't be making 10 times the median income.

Lets import 300,000 doctors and get that problem under control. Much more urgent since they charge so much more.

It's called a J-1 Visa (there are actually several programs including H1-B). They have there share of strict restrictions and limitations on who you can work for and significant hoops to get a green card or permanent residents.

from the ama (http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/international-medical-graduates/imgs-in-united-states.page)
"In 2006, out of 902,053 physicians, 228,665 IMGs received medical degrees from 127 different countries, accounting for 25.3% of the total physician count."
Where IMG is international medical graduate.

The net result overal is the the US gets many of the best medical minds (along with a bunch of the regular kind) in the world educated at a subsidy in there home country. We pay relatively little and they do a disproportionate amount of indigent and rural care.

Comment: Re:Invasive? (Score 1) 139

by logistic (#41441011) Attached to: Cheap, Portable Ultrasound Could a Be Lifesaver .

"GE’s Vscan is a handheld, pocket-sized visualization tool that allows for non-invasive ultrasounds."

I can only imagine the military-grade ultrasound cannon required for an invasive ultrasound exam.

No cannons ( they didn't say invasion ultrasound...) but :

Transesophageal echocardiograpy (heart) : http://pie.med.utoronto.ca/TEE/TEE_content/TEE_standardViews_intro.html

Endobronchial ultrasound (lung and mediastinum) : http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/455720_7

Endoscopic ultrasound (pancreas liver etc) : http://www.asge.org/patients/patients.aspx?id=380

Intravascular ultrasound (coronoary arteries etc) : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intravascular_ultrasound

Transrectal ultrasound(guess) : http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/457757-overview

As mentioned by others trans vaginal is pretty common.

Most of these are usefull technologies but not the priority for resource constrained environments. The device featured in the TFA is intriguing. The question is how flexible a crystal they'll put in it, eg how specialized a device will it be will it see only very shallow structures only deep? Can they make a device at this cost with a useful resolution? The answer is probably yes but it will be interesting to see.

Comment: Re:The Emperor's New Cloths (Score 1) 112

by logistic (#38987185) Attached to: Double Fine Raises $700,000 In 24 Hours With Crowdfunding

I don't consider forum access and access to the making of to really be a feature. The only thing I left out is beta access, which I guess you could argue is a feature. Clearly that's their pitch and clearly there are people willing to put up money for it. That's cool it's a free country. I'm free to think it's silly.

  This is a downgraded version of preordering the super deluxe version of a game which frequently comes with a poster and a making of the game DVD. The only think missing is collectable figure or night vision goggles or something. It's downgraded because the product doesn't exist, you pay before you even know what it is, and the lag from money to product is longer.

  I said NO commitment on not to use DRM. There's the steam base DRM and some publishers add significant additional pain and suffering. My point is you don't even have DRM free as .

Comment: The Emperor's New Cloths (Score 2) 112

by logistic (#38986625) Attached to: Double Fine Raises $700,000 In 24 Hours With Crowdfunding

This is great for Double fine. I don't see why they've gotten such a brisk response. It's worse than a Gamestop preorder. Give over your money now, for maybe a game in a year. Oh you can watch us make it and join our forums. The game target selling price, not mentioned. Topic: adventures game that's it . I don't see any more detail on the website.. Not even a commitment to not use onerous DRM. This isn't some tiny scrappy Indie, it's a house with AAA titles under it's belt. I like adventure games too but I'll just buy if it gets made and if it's good. To me this is giving charity money to a for profit entity, and there's lots of causes more worthy than the charity home for widows and adventure games.

Comment: Chose Wisely. (Score 1) 277

by logistic (#36214892) Attached to: Testing Geiger Counters

There are lots of caveats as most of these meters are for detecting contamination rather than dose rate.

The CDV -700 has a pretty thick window so not super sensitive. They are all pretty old so you would be wise to check it carefully before using.

To reliably detect small amounts of radiation contaminating food you will need to spend a fair bit of money on something more sensitive that most of the survivalist supply stores:
http://www.ludlums.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage_ludlum.tpl&product_id=300&category_id=115&keyword=3_with&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=95
(they will also do calibration)

Eberline made very good instruments but I can't find them on the web as making them currently. They made also very good equivalent products. You may find a good used one of these.

Proper NIST traceable calibration may be worth your time the meters are generally calibrated for dose rate or energy from a standard Cesium-137 source Cobalt-60 is commonly used and they are both major fission products so they are good choices for the stated application):

One vendor near NY I found on web: http://biomedphysics.com/survey-meter-calibration-and-repair

The Reed College Reactor Facility might also do it. This will likely be the cheapest method (website quotes $50 per probe +shipping): http://reactor.reed.edu/metercal.html

As others have mentioned most smoke detectors use Americium which is an alpha emitter. You need a very thin window and large surface area probe to detect this reliably. These don't make great test sources.

If you can find an older colman style lantern mantle made of thorium (the newer "safer" ones do NOT have thorium) they make great test sources and will set off most Geiger counters and are really useful as you should check to make sure it's working with every use. The probes are delicate, the batteries die etc so if it's important check every time. Keep them in a plastic bag so they don't contaminate your detector!

Good Luck!

DRM

+ - Steam Sells Games with Broken Activations-> 2

Submitted by logistic
logistic (717955) writes "Yet another collision of digital delivery, DRM and multiple vendors in every transaction. Steam puts game on sale but serves a bunch of CD keys that don't work. EA and Valve point the finger at each other when you contact support. According to the forums this happens on steam occasionally but the blogosphere is a bit quiet about it. If it were MS we'd be reading about this in the NY times. After you pay for digital content how long should you have to wait to access it without compensation? If you'd stolen the game you'd be playing by now."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:mobile platform (Score 1) 424

by logistic (#34638610) Attached to: Why Android Is the New Windows

For a significant subset of applications that don't need access to specific hardware and have not been written with dependency on other software that does not form a core part of the OS, this is already true. Your expectation that all software will run on all hardware and all versions of the OS is unrealistic, and is not true of any OS or platform.

You are over reading. That's not my or anyone's expectation.

Currently with Android it's not true that if you buy any current Android phone you cannot be sure it will run certain high profile applications, much less a more obscure one you might really care about. For a consumer device this is a serious problem.

Comment: Re:mobile platform (Score 1) 424

by logistic (#34637862) Attached to: Why Android Is the New Windows

In what way is the same thing happening again? Android devices released so far are all ARM devices, and the Android platform is a VM that runs byte code anyway, so for most apps that do not need native libraries it isn't a concern. The graphics libraries are designed to be resolution independent, and for applications like games where pixel level detail is required, there is support for multiple resources targeting different resolutions. Apple has this problem now too in case you haven't noticed.

You are correct in that they are all ARM. In this case it seems to me more variability in what parts of Android are used and what a given vendor adds to it.
The early Android tablets are notably a mess as to what runs where (velocity micro I'm looking at you). In this case it's not so clear what defines "Android"

On one side there are a bunch of devices that won't talk to the android marketplace, they are not official, a tablet shipped before the tablet version is out.
On the other side key vendors release apps for specific devices not platform wide (Netflix being a notable example.)

I don't expect write once run anywhere will ever really be true but It's a fair expectation that something written for a specific os will run on that os.

Comment: Re:mobile platform (Score 1) 424

by logistic (#34633434) Attached to: Why Android Is the New Windows

Tight control is clearly the advantage of the apple approach, that's what they do well. Love or hate it it works for them.

I just think there's plenty of precedent for interoperability without so much lockdown being required to maintain compatibility. (though more in the hardware world than software) I personally would like something somewhere in the middle (my current hopes are staked on Meego but that's just hope at this point.)

Win CE was great example of how not to make things work and I'm surprised to see Google fail to learn from that. (just spec out the platform, include certain code required to be the base and then offer those platforms as "certified" android. Or be less confusing only standards compliant be called android and the full OSS bleeding edge wild west roll your own code be called Robot or whatever.

There's other greats stupidity they're replaying from CE like the need to run a task manager on a phone..

Comment: Re:mobile platform (Score 3, Interesting) 424

by logistic (#34630984) Attached to: Why Android Is the New Windows

Remember Windows CE hand held devices! You would run around the net looking for applications and they would not run (oh sorry was compiled for MIPS and you have and ARM device, or some other screen size or assumed a physical keyboard or was complied for V 2.11 and you running some minor incrementally different version).

It's weird to see the same thing happening all over again. It's great to have an open platform but like an electrical outlet all the plugs fit, or USB or PCI (yes there are occasional incompatibilities) having standards that the developers can rely on is what makes things useful. Android is not even close to Windows (or any good modern desktop Linux Distro that will run on just about any hardware that meets spec and the applications for said OS for the most part will run)

I think many of us would like that kind of reliable application experience sans Apple's vendor lock in on hardware and OS.

As an aside I don't know why we're so willing to welcome Google as our mobile overlords. I personally don't see how the community can catch every bit of data gathering they've built into the code and then make a stable usable version you can compile for whatever hardware you've got. eg I'm unaware of tinfoil hat Android.

Comment: Re:United Nuclear Rare Earth Magnets! (Score 1) 458

by logistic (#34296626) Attached to: Thought-Provoking Gifts For Young Kids?

While expensive a bit better set up for the little ones (though definitely the over 3 crowd) a set of a ton of little rare earth magnets.:
http://www.getbuckyballs.com/
I have yet to have any adult or child come to the house who could resist playing with them. You make coils rings, try to get them back into a cube. The kids learn about magnetism and polarity but it doesn't scream I'm a science toy and they have fun.

On the same theme as set of large ball bearings 10mm or more in diameter are lots of fun but hard to keep track of.

for electronics
http://www.elenco.com/snapcircuits.html are a bit simplified from the old standby radioshack 150 in 1 kits but are easier for younger children.

seamonkeys are still fun though sad when they die.

Gyroscopes are still fun, though good quality ones are hard to find.

A set of rope and pulleys secured to the ceiling are surprisingly fun. It's a crane, it's an elevator for the toy bear, it's whatever the kid comes up with. I was really surprised with how much fun they have with a pulley.

Games they may not have : dominos, go

Comment: Terminal Degree and Biostat's (Score 3, Informative) 150

by logistic (#32944052) Attached to: Cool, Science-y Masters Programs For Software Devs?

In alot of scientific disciplines Master's degree's are consolation prizes for people who get part way through the PhD and realize they're in the wrong field. (eg a master's in biology basically qualifies you for a pay raise as a lab tech but not much else) You want to pick a discipline where master's degree in itself is a useful credential. Most fields of engineering, Master of Public Health, Medical informatics are examples. If you're willing to get a PhD there are a million fields where your skills will be rare and valuable (most chemist's neuroscientist;s etc are not coders but would build themselves better tools if they were, fish biology, oceonography you name it just about. )

Look really hard at biostatistics. Pretty much all clinical medical research needs a biostatistician to be published but the Ph.D's don't get promoted checking the work of the clinical researchers and consulting for them. As a master's level statistician you could likely find work in a statistics "core" and get to help lots of different groups analyze their data at a given institution. It stay's pretty interesting because you don't get bogged down working for one group on the same project forever.

Good luck!

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