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Comment: 80% is unusably bad! (Score 1) 279

by Khopesh (#49463151) Attached to: Researchers Developing An Algorithm That Can Detect Internet Trolls

The 80% figure, which is the AUC (area under the curve), refers to threshold tuning. In order to make that usable in the Real World, you'd have to crank it so that it has nearly zero false positives (and thus very few detected trolls) or else you'd have to make it flag posts non-fatally, perhaps with nearly impossible captchas, which immediately defeats its anti-troll utility (not to mention angering all of the falsely identified trolls!).

The article, like the paper itself, ends on this note:

Regarding the possibility of developing automated methods for identifying and even banning trolls, the researchers are circumspect, since 1 in 5 of users were misclassified by their analysis system, which otherwise claims to spot a persistent comment pest within as few as ten posts. “While we present effective mechanisms for identifying and potentially weeding antisocial users out of a community, taking extreme action against small infractions can exacerbate antisocial behavior (e.g., unfairness can cause users to write worse)“

Comment: HBO has loved piracy for 20+ years – full qu (Score 1) 148

by Khopesh (#49462921) Attached to: Nearly Half of <em>Game of Thrones</em> Season 5 Leaks Online
In Time Warner's quarterly earnings call on 2013/08/07, Tuna Amobi of S&P U.S. Equity Research Services asked CEO Jeff Bewkes about piracy and Game of Thrones. The end of the call, as transcribed (and emphasized) by Business Insider:

Tuna Amobi: Game of Thrones has obviously had a phenomenal performance, but one other issue that has come up with regards to that title is the online piracy. I think by all accounts one of the highest pirated shows and I'm not aware what you guys have done to kind of address that. It seems that you have viewed it as kind of a compliment in terms of looking the other way so much. Is that the right way of thinking? Kind of a paradigm shift with the piracy and its impact on shows going forward that what you've done.

[...]

Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes: To end on Game of Thrones on HBO, I have to confess I think you're right. I have to admit, our first reaction to how much people want to watch it — now first of all it's got ratings of 14, 15 million — a lot of it is VOD [video on demand] on your TV system, an increasing amount of it is VOD on your [HBO]Go Service.

It's just really strengthening not just the image, but the engagement of our subs [subscribers] with HBO programming, it's also getting them familiar and more involved with using the video on demand capabilities of HBO and don't forget, the television part. The part where you go to your house and you turn on that big screen TV watching it over the video plan, also the HBO Go service where Game of Thrones is the leading introduction manual for how to use HBO Go which more and more people are doing.

Then go to people watching it who aren't subs, it's a tremendous word of mouth thing, the issue would be if they were doing it and because they could get it not subscribing, we don't see much of that.

Basically, we've been dealing with this issue for years with HBO, literally 20, 30 years, where people have always been running wires down on the back of apartment buildings and sharing with their neighbors.

Our experience is, it all leads to more penetration, more paying subs, more health for HBO, less reliance on having to do paid advertising — we don't do a whole lot of paid advertising on HBO, we let the programming and the views talk for us — it seems to be working.

If you go around the world, I think you're right, Game of Thrones is the most pirated show in the world. Well, you know, that's better than an Emmy. (laughter)

Comment: Net neutrality has nothing to do with promotion! (Score 1) 489

by Khopesh (#49440461) Attached to: Reason: How To Break the Internet (in a Bad Way)

one of the best ways to route around a big firm's brand recognition is to buy special treatment in the form of promotions, product placement and the like (payola, after all, is how rock and roll circumvented major label contempt for the genre)

Promotions and product placement are not shoving unsolicited third-party ads into Google or throttling Netflix, they are buying ads from Google or getting characters in movies to use the promoted brand. If you happen to see a movie on Netflix in which the characters are talking about a show on Hulu, you'll know it works (and works well).

This has nothing to do with net neutrality, which is a far better tool at doing the opposite; a big player like Netflix can pay the ransom and get special treatment, a up-and-coming startup video streaming service can't pony up the resources to do that, but perhaps they can get a celebrity to name-drop their brand in an ad-libbed line of a hot movie.

Comment: Re:here's some statistics (Score 1) 765

by Khopesh (#49324061) Attached to: A Software Project Full of "Male Anatomy" Jokes Causes Controversy

This is the fallacy of small numbers, a.k.a. hasty generalization. There weren't many CS majors (of either gender) in the 80s, so the gender ratio will be less representative of a real trend (consider flipping ten coins. Your probability of getting 50% heads isn't as good as it would be if you flipped a thousand coins). Most of my software engineer peers who got degrees in that era actually studied other fields, such as math or electrical engineering.

That said, the drop from 10-15 years ago is completely valid and this is indeed a problem.

(disclaimer: I did not listen to that story and I don't have stats at the ready to prove my observations)

Comment: Project onto a TABLE for restaurants and games (Score 2) 57

by Khopesh (#49286641) Attached to: Project an Interactive Game on Your Floor or Wall (Video)

They had one of these (not necessarily this vendor) on the floor of one of the wings of the Burlington Mall in Massachusetts 5+ years ago (it may still be there). It's a fun toy, but it has little practical applications beyond games and promotions. There's no reason this couldn't be on a wall or table though.

Restaurants: I see this technology as the future of table service at restaurants; consider your white tablecloth as your touchscreen, capable of breaking down into one screen per patron (the camera notes where people are seated) or one big screen for everybody to watch a video presentation. This becomes your menu. The camera can also note when you are running out of drink, when it's appropriate to bring out your next course, and when to clear your plates, which allows the wait staff to better optimize their time. Perhaps the bussers are even drones.

Gaming: A ceiling-mounted camera and projector are far cheaper than a coffee-table sized tablet, and you don't have to worry about spilling drinks on your tabletop destroying your system. This can replace board game equipment and other tabletop games and activities. Giant jigsaw puzzles and multi-day wargames can be saved and cleared to make room for something else, then resumed on demand.

Comment: What if he gives 100% of his profits to the FAA? (Score 2) 239

by Khopesh (#49253997) Attached to: FAA Says Ad-Bearing YouTube Drone Videos Constitute "Commercial Use"

It does not appear that this drone operator was making money himself. The FAA doesn't want a cut of the profit (even 100% of $0 is zero), so this is perhaps more complicated than it may seem.

That said, even if they were to demand a cut of Google's profits from the YouTube ads, the collection process would cost the FAA more than the take-home.

Comment: It's because YouTube has ads (Score 0) 239

by Khopesh (#49253947) Attached to: FAA Says Ad-Bearing YouTube Drone Videos Constitute "Commercial Use"

The FCC says this is "commercial" because the drone's videos were posted to YouTube and because YouTube has advertisements, even though the drone operator gets zero profit from those ads.

... what if the drone were flying a banner (and not recording a video)? Is that an advertisement? What if the banner said "Vote for Joe Candidate" and nothing else?

Comment: Re:DICE OWNS SLASHDOT, disclaimer needed! (Score 1) 292

by Khopesh (#49220473) Attached to: Do Tech Companies Ask For Way Too Much From Job Candidates?

Yeh, seriously, Nevral's Lobster shows an exceptional lack of journalistic integrity by being an employee of dice.com and posting nothing but dice.com stories--WITHOUT A DISCLAIMER.

Hm, I hadn't realized that Nevral's Lobster was exclusively a Dice.com sock puppet. That's fine for the submissions, but not so fine for the accepted stories, which an editor (ideally) more affiliated with Slashdot than other Dice holdings should have curated and appended the standard disclaimer after Nevral's Lobster's quote.

Comment: DICE OWNS SLASHDOT, disclaimer needed! (Score 5, Informative) 292

by Khopesh (#49216551) Attached to: Do Tech Companies Ask For Way Too Much From Job Candidates?

Dear Slashdot editors,

Don't forget your journalistic rigor. I know it's so very often forgotten these days, but I've chosen Slashdot as one of my last "traditional" news outlets (in the sense that it the editors, including Nevral's Lobster, are paid to curate the content) because it used to be better about this. It is irresponsible of Slashdot to omit the fact that Dice owns Slashdot in the article summary.

Comment: No, it is NOT free (as in freedom) software (Score 2) 143

by Khopesh (#49167155) Attached to: Unreal Engine 4 Is Now Free

I can't find references to the actual license text, but the expectation of paying royalties back to Epic certainly makes it non-free with respect to software freedom. This makes it incompatible in the same sense that the Creative Commons License's "noncommercial" clause is incompatible; most copyleft licenses insist on unrestricted redistribution (which would be broken by a requirement of paying royalties).

The video notes that this is "unprecedented," yet Epic's competitor Id Software used to release all of its engines as GPLv2 once they were ~two generations obsolete (e.g. Doom 3). No royalties expectations necessary.

Science

What Does It Mean To Be a Data Scientist? 94

Posted by samzenpus
from the a-day-in-the-life dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes What is a data scientist? "To be honest, I often don't tell people I am a data scientist," writes Simon Hughes, chief data scientist of the Dice Data Science Team. "It's not that I don't enjoy my job (I do!) nor that I'm not proud of what we've achieved (I am); it's just that most people don't really understand what you mean when you say you're a data scientist, or they assume it's some fancy jargon for something else." So how do Simon and his team define "data scientist"? In this blog posting, he breaks it down along several lines: solid programming skills, a scientific mindset, and the ability to use tools are just for starters. A data scientist also needs to be a polymath with strong math skills. "All good scientists are skeptics at heart; they require strong empirical evidence to be convinced about a theory," he writes. "Likewise, as a data scientist, I've learned to be suspicious of models that are too accurate, or individual variables that are too predictive." His points are good to keep in mind right now, with everybody throwing around buzzwords like "Big Data" without fully realizing what they mean.

Comment: More intervention, earlier (Score 1) 289

All studies I've seen have suggested that more intervention, as early as possible, is ideal. The idea of play groups and other less formal types of socialization seems pretty good to me, perhaps it would serve as a better control for future studies (I'm not that well read, perhaps some research paper has already done this?).

The main point to all of this is that your son needs as much social opportunity as possible, and it needs to be NOW. That said, you can't really afford not to use as much of each option as you can. There is no opportunity to "fix" this later.

Comment: Firefox Hello, Pidgin (Score 1) 296

by Khopesh (#49001627) Attached to: Firefox Succeeded In Its Goal -- But What's Next?

Firefox Hello bundles this kind of thing right into the web browser. I kind of like this idea for allowing basic functionality (think of the browser-based IM in Google and Facebook) and even extending that to voice and video (the way Google Hangouts does), but I'd ideally like to see a more powerful stand-alone client for people that want more than just a few casual conversations here and there. (This is an even better idea for Thunderbird, since your contact list lives there.)

Fortunately, we have pidgin, a stand-alone IM client with a great feature set and wonderful cross-platform support (Adium is merely an OS X implementation of Pidgin). Pidgin desperately needs help, as it hasn't successfully had an easy-to-use voice (let alone video) capability. I'm hoping that WebRTC (which powers Firefox Hello and, I think, Google Hangouts) can provide this, at least for using Firefox Hello and/or bridging between two Pidgin/Adium/Libpurple users.

Fear is the greatest salesman. -- Robert Klein

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