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Comment: Re:So what? (Score 1) 391

by minstrelmike (#49529809) Attached to: Using Adderall In the Office To Get Ahead
A social worker friend of mine said that Ritalin was a _diagnostic_ drug. If you had ADD symptoms and they went away with Ritalin, then you had ADD. IF the symptoms didn't go away, you had something else. I thought that was interesting and weird, but if you think about it, actually useful too in a backasswards kind of way.

Comment: Gaia (Score 3, Interesting) 58

by minstrelmike (#49529653) Attached to: NASA Teams Scientific Experts To Find Life On Exoplanets
NASA will use all sorts of experts, but they will of course ignore the discoveries of the first expert they hired to help find life on Mars, James Lovelock.

Hired to build machines to search for life on Mars, he investigated biology and quickly realized that over geologic time, extremophiles such as bacteria found in hot springs or in the arctic could not survive without all the rest of life creating the free oxygen and other elements and compounds necessary for life. NASA ignored The Gaia Hypothesis completely yet that was a discovery they paid for.

Comment: Re:Idiot writer - Uber driver notes (Score 2) 96

by minstrelmike (#49506129) Attached to: How Uber Surge Pricing Really Works
I appreciate your on-the-spot insight, but it seems as if there would also be facts to back up your assertion. Granted, it would be hard to discriminate between the folks who drive for Uber every Saturday vs the ones who drive only on the Saturdays they "think" there might be surge pricing.

With prices changing every 5 minutes, seems to me the astute driver would foregoe the first surge that attracts other drivers to an area and try to be in the vacant area that receives the next surge 5 minutes later.

By the way, he isn't poking holes in anybody's approach. Everyone agrees there are three ways surge prices address scarcities. Uber says their approach worksby doing option 1 but the researcher says it works by doing option 3. It thought it was pretty clear in both the summary and the article but apparently not.

Comment: Re:Summary; Uber solves some but not all economics (Score 2) 96

by minstrelmike (#49506105) Attached to: How Uber Surge Pricing Really Works
Actually, it is Uber that says their surge pricing puts more drivers on the road and the researcher who says that is not true, that Uber's surge pricing merely redistributes the current drivers, it does not add new drivers.

I'm so sorry you confuse explanation of facts with conspiracies.

+ - Measuring Millennials->

Submitted by minstrelmike
minstrelmike writes: Zipcar has noticed that the desires of millennials tend to match those of urbanites of any age. The writer of the Washington Post article says "we evoke the word "millennial" to describe a subset of people born after 1980 who hold college degrees and live in cities. We're not talking about 20-year-old single moms in small towns, or fast-food workers in the suburbs trying to get by on only a high school diploma. This bias skews how we think about the entire generation, and it obscures the fact that a 28-year-old professional in the city has more in common with the 42-year-old living in the apartment next door than a 28-year-old mom who chooses to live in a subdivision."
Link to Original Source

+ - How Uber Surge Pricing Really Works->

Submitted by minstrelmike
minstrelmike writes: "At the core of Uber’s wild success and market valuation of over $41 billion is its data and algorithmically fueled approach to matching supply and demand for cars. It’s classic economics, supposedly....but is Uber’s surge pricing algorithm really doing what they claim? Do surge prices really get more cars on the road?

My analysis suggests that rather than motivating a fresh supply of drivers, surge pricing instead re-distributes drivers already on the road."

The writer goes on to analyze 4 weeks of pricing info from 5 areas in D.C. and plotted prices versus wait times. "Price surging can work in any of three ways: by reducing demand for cars (less people want a car for a higher price), by creating new supply (providing an incentive for new drivers to hit the roads), or by shifting supply (drivers) to areas of higher demand."

It moves current drivers from one side of town to the other. It does not put new drivers on the road. It can't because the prices change every 3-5 minutes.

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:No need to be a genius (Score 2) 385

by minstrelmike (#49500877) Attached to: Can High Intelligence Be a Burden Rather Than a Boon?

Actually, studies show that the higher one's intelligence, the more they hold on to their positions, even if shown to be wrong. It is the idiot, that is more readily swayed, than the genius.

That's who demagogues rely on for their support.
There are upsides and downsides to _everything_.

The smarter you are, the more that fact hits you in the face every place you look. There actually are benefits to mankind from religion, not just costs. Same with Capitalism, science and whatever pet aspect of life you completely hate or love.

Comment: Re:The third factor (Score 2) 385

by minstrelmike (#49500855) Attached to: Can High Intelligence Be a Burden Rather Than a Boon?
I think it's pretty damned easy to tell how smart someone is, child or adult, after being with them for a few hours.
Smart people don't really need to give tests to determine this (within a reasonable range).
If you can't tell how smart someone is without a test, I'll bet I can predict your own IQ test score ;-)

Comment: Re:Expensive (Score 1) 117

by minstrelmike (#49500677) Attached to: UK Company Wants To Deliver Parcels Through Underground Tunnels

"What would happen if they scaled that same excavation technology down so that the tunnel was something like 2 meters in diamater for a miniature train..."

The word you're searching for is a 'mine'.

Or for smaller diameter holes, there are things called oil drills (that can be drilled sideways).

Comment: Re:Can we stop pretending this isn't low level war (Score 1) 81

We've seen attack upon attack on various countries by the government of China. These attacks are way beyond simple con jobs for access to government servers or trade secrets. Why the hell do they have MFN status again?

Probably for the same reason the US does.

Comment: Re:Why not let him know what to do (Score 1) 279

by minstrelmike (#49386925) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Dealing With User Resignation From an IT Perspective?
Except if you immediately remove one who gives notice, that is _exactly_ identical to having an employee quit without notice, which is one of the things disgruntled employees can do to cause as much pain as possible (see posts above).
I think it depends on the employee and what they do.

People who give notice tend to be more trustworthy and responsible than those who do not give notice.

Comment: Re:LOL .... (Score 1) 71

by minstrelmike (#49359341) Attached to: US Air Force Overstepped In SpaceX Certification
I think the waste of too much bureaucracy is a direct result of voters/pols wanting to "prevent" waste.
Counting anything costs money. If we're going to make people apply for something, we need to read all the damned applications. And we need to have rules for what is successful and what isn't on the application. And we need to advertise it to everybody who might be eligible. The laws about hiring contractors and putting out bids are stultifying.

But in a democracy, we make rules based on fantasy and belief implemented by immediate desire.
Let's stop this current example of fraud and abuse (one example out of 4,000 purchases) regardless of how much it costs.
That's how bureaucratic policies get implemented and ossified.
And it isn't necessarily bad. If you want "your" property rights enforced, some governmental entity someplace has to have a meticulous record of that.

The sweet spot is finding the correct amount of bureaucracy for each aspect of the job, something the article directly addresses.

Comment: Re:They should go (Score 1) 198

It's actually odd plates on odd days, even plates on even days.

Over the long run, that's statistically unfair to the even-plated people since the odd-plated folks can drive consecutive days on
Jan 31/Feb 1 (Feb 29/Mar 1 looooong run ;-) Mar 31/Apr1 May 31/Jun1 July 31/Aug 1 Aug 31/Sep 1 Oct 31/Nov 1

The clash of ideas is the sound of freedom.