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Comment: Re: (Score 2) 71

Coke doesnt cause obesity any more than chocolate cake does. Consuming a lot of those certainly might cause obesity, however.

people don't usually eat 3 slices of chocolate cake every day though, or casually eat chocolate cake while sitting at their desk, then going and getting another slice when the first one is gone.

Comment: Re:Japanese Cars versus rearmament (Score 1) 341

by neurovish (#47973003) Attached to: US Revamping Its Nuclear Arsenal

As a former Cold Warrior (both launch officer side and staff analytical mathematician side), I now appreciate the bitterness I saw in former WW2 warriors when they would see a Japanese car.

Grumbling at a Japanese car because "We beat the Japs, now you won't buy American cars!" isn't quite the same as "I manned a US nuclear silo during the Cold War, and now the USA is refreshing the nuclear weapons stockpile". Maybe "we beat the Ruskies, and now you order brides via mail from Russia!" or "I manned a US Flying Fortress during WWII and now the USA is refreshing the Air Force with new bombers" might be closer to the two expressed sentiments. One is "I've been trained to hate a particular enemy", the other is "War. War never changes."

I read the whole summary trying to find why the author appreciates the bitterness of the former WW2 warriors. I kept expecting to see that the US was contracting with Russians or buying all Russian gear to maintain/refresh the stockpile, but nothing. I am still wondering why that is. It's not like he was *fighting* the nuclear weapons or that the Cold Warriors were working day and night to get rid of the US stockpile. This is going to keep me up at night.

Comment: Re:Consumer feedback removes need for certificatio (Score 1) 139

by neurovish (#47916979) Attached to: Uber CEO: We'll Run Your Errands

Historically, governments justified the "certification" requirements imposed on people wishing to pursue various professions by the consumers' inability to share the information required to make an informed choice of a service provider.

For example, arriving to a new city, you don't know, what taxi company is decent and which hires serial rapists — the city hall should issue "medallions" to the good drivers and fight attempts by the non-vetted to provide the same services without paying the authorities their due.

Uber is showing, how the consumer feedback, that's easy to provide and is immediately available to anyone with a smart phone, obviates the need for such certifications — along with the associated costs and the abuse-potential.

Unfortunately, somebody will have to be the first person to write the "Woke up in the morning upside down in a ditch with my pants missing. Would not use again." review.

Comment: Re:Uber Fresh? (Score 2) 139

by neurovish (#47916913) Attached to: Uber CEO: We'll Run Your Errands

Honest question - in the 21st century, why do we still have trained and licensed pharmacists? Why can't a monkey with basic training operate a computer that has access to up-to-date pharmacy database containing information on interactions and etc. dispense pills?

An obsolete profession if I ever saw one.

If it's an honest question, I'll give you an honest answer. The pharmacist is not just dispensing pills. They know more about drugs and medication than the doctors prescribing them in the first place, and are kind of the last check in the healthcare industry to make sure that you don't end up with a drug combination that will kill you. A lot of pharmacists have doctoral degrees, so they've spent 8 years studying chemistry and drugs compared to the semester or two required for an MD. You can also talk to a pharmacist and they'll recommend a course of treatment for you or steer you in the right direction. Pharmacists can give immunizations (you've noticed all of the flu shot, etc signs outside of Walgreens this time of year, haven't you?). It's also within a pharmacist's right to not give you drugs if, say, you're all whacked out and show up with a prescription for 100 vicodin, or you give them another reason to suspect that you are abusing or about to sell whatever you just showed up to purchase. There's a lot more judgement and critical thinking involved in the job than filling bottles with pills, and also a shit-ton of paperwork that monkeys are not very good at. That critical thinking part is where a database of drug interactions comes short.

Comment: Re:I can simply ignore all health and diet advice (Score 1) 291

by neurovish (#47881335) Attached to: Link Between Salt and High Blood Pressure 'Overstated'

Just about everything that is bad for you today is being negated a few years later. Can't find the link today, but at one point "research" showed that jeans were responsible for higher risk of cancer. So I will just continue to live my life and enjoy it to the fullest. If something kills me, at least I had a good time.

I remember that one...I was in middle school at the time. In response, I refused to wear denim for a couple years until I realized that it really didn't make any sense sometime in high school.

Comment: Re:How quickly will they run back to Oracle? (Score 1) 198

acid isn't so important when the unit is a patient's records. there is also no need for a rigid data model.

Is today opposite day? Of all the bits of my life stored in databases, I think my medical records and financial data are the two where I absolutely want those things.

Comment: Re:How quickly will they run back to Oracle? (Score 1) 198

I can't help but get the feeling that within a few months they'll be running back to Oracle or some other real database system.

At this point, anyone who works with databases in industry knows that "NoSQL" has come to mean inconsistent data, corrupted data, and silently lost data.

One just can't throw away atomicity, consistency, isolation and durability without running into some serious problems.

And that's totally ignoring how it becomes damn near impossible effectively query NoSQL databases. Sorry, writing complex queries in some imperative subset of JavaScript is totally the wrong way of doing things. Intentionally not learning SQL takes more effort than learning how to use it!

I was hoping to learn why/how they might be doing this somewhere in this thread, because their implementation seems to be the exact thing that you want a relational database for, and not where NoSQL shines. I also don't see what implementation they used since NoSQL is pretty non-descriptive, and at this point seems to basically mean that they aren't using Oracle, DB2, MySQL, Postgres, or MSSQL.

Comment: Re:Holy shit! (Score 1) 198

Whilst I'm all for open source in government, I can;t help thinking every time they come out with press releases saying "we used " describes a process where being different with the technology stack is an end in itself.
You could write an open source application in C++ rather than the much less mainstream R language and you'd have lots of people ready skilled to maintain it. Using R just seems like it was the choice of the devs who persuaded the agency to adopt their tools rather than an agency who thought about what they needed up front.

I wonder in 5 years if we see headlines "Immigration Agency dumps open source for Oracle. A spokeperson said,'we used a bunch of obscure languages and tools for the old system that served us well we had difficult finding people skilled in them, so we successfully outsourced the system to our new partners who will deliver increased performance and efficiency savings over.blah blah blah". If they'd done it "maturely" in the first place, this kind of nightmare scenario wouldn't happen.

(and I speak of experience - currently discussing details with a company that has a system "built with a mix of Erlang, Scala and Ruby on Rails". You know its been cobbled together by a bunch of hacks more interested in whatever language seemed coolest at the time.

R isn't obscure, and for statistical analysis and data analytics is more likely the Right Tool for the Job. I was helping my stats friends in college setup Linux desktops and servers for R 14 years ago, so it isn't really a trendy language du jour either.
Your Erlang, Scala, and Ruby on Rails system sounds like a nightmare though.

Comment: Re:Holy shit! (Score 1) 198

Is this a big IT project that actually worked? Where's my fainting couch???

Here's another one. Wonder what they have in common?

What Immigration did with just $1m and open source software

The Department of Immigration has showed what a cash-strapped government agency can do with just $1 million, some open source software, and a bit of free thinking.

Speaking at the Technology in Government forum in Canberra yesterday, the Department's chief risk officer Gavin McCairns explained how his team rolled an application based on the 'R' language into production to filter through millions of incoming visitors to Australia every year.

Despite working for one of the largest bodies in Canberra - and one of the most security conscious - McCairns put his endorsement firmly behind the use of open source.

I'm going to wager that the open source project successes are more due to the people involved than open source itself. Usually when somebody does that they have an open source cheerleader in a position of influence and a staff already familiar with open source. So you end up with a project led by somebody who is invested in the project's success at a level beyond "this will make the bosses happy". From my limited experience, the proprietary implementations result from those influential people going "we don't know how to do this, but this is what everybody else seems to be doing, and these guys we are paying to tell us what to do are saying to do that". The open source project is much more likely to have implementers and architects with more of a "let's figure this out" attitude instead of "this is what people say to do".

Comment: Re:So what exactly is the market here. (Score 1) 730

by neurovish (#47864797) Attached to: Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments

A gigantic set of the population is no longer even used to the concept of wearing a watch, because they have their phone. This device doesn't replace their phone. What exactly is the reason to have this as well, as opposed to pulling your phone out of your pocket?

Unless some company comes up with a functionally independent wearable device that replaces the need for keeping your phone with you I do not see the appeal. I don't understand what the pitch is supposed to even be. Literally every functionality can be responded to with "but i have my phone right here, it also does that and better"

Isn't it inconvenient to keep pulling something out of your pocket whenever you want to check the time though? Wouldn't it be better if you could do the same exact thing by just looking at your wrist?

Somebody ought to cross ball point pens with coat hangers so that the pens will multiply instead of disappear.