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Comment: Re:Eat less than you burn (Score 2) 487

by njnnja (#49328245) Attached to: Hacking Weight Loss: What I Learned Losing 30 Pounds

Every other animal on this planet eats about as much as it can, whenever it can get it, because it doesn't know when the next meal will come by.

We evolved to do that too and so our brain (or at least the lizard part of it) is screaming at us to "EAT THAT ALL NOW!!!" and that is the problem.

Comment: Get a laptop and a desktop (Score 3, Insightful) 385

by njnnja (#49286311) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Choosing a Laptop To Support Physics Research?

For serious data analysis and development a laptop isn't the right tool. You want a really good keyboard and a large display (or 2) so get a desktop. For general data analysis you will still want a pretty beefy workstation (e.g. >16Gb memory) and to get those specs in a laptop gets pretty expensive. For heavy duty work she is going to ssh or vnc to a big server/cluster and she will really appreciate the extra real estate on the display(s).

She can get any laptop for general email, web surfing, etc while out and about (or maybe a tablet?). But it is much easier to query huge amounts of data or write serious code at a nice desk setup in her room (or office if she gets one).

Comment: Re:Yet another Ted Cruz bashing article ! (Score 3, Informative) 415

by njnnja (#49274713) Attached to: Politics Is Poisoning NASA's Ability To Do Science

The problem with that study is that it focuses on the HPV vaccine, where the conservative based objections revolve around the believe that giving the vaccine is akin to tacit approval of teenage sex (not dissimilar to the conservative objection to safe sex campaigns).

It is not an anti-science view, in that they believe that the vaccine does, in fact, prevent HPV transmission, and they do not believe in totally debunked theories such as the MMR/autism link. It does not appear that the survey attempted to break out the resistance to, say the MMR vaccine, which is clearly based on junk/psuedo science stoked by the Lancet article, versus Guardacil, where the resistance is based on moral objections.

I think one of the biggest problems that our modern democracies face is the confusion between science and morality. These are orthogonal bases but more and more they are being conflated into a single dimension where pro-science == moral and anti-science == immoral. There are lots of people who are anti-evolution, anti-climate change, yet perfectly good and decent people, and there are lots of people who are big supporters of all fields of scientific endeavors who are complete a$$holes. And they both have things to say, and in a democracy, get to have a voice in our joint decisionmaking process called politics. To paraphrase Churchill, it sucks but it's better than the alternative.

Comment: Re:Parody (Score 1) 255

by njnnja (#49174887) Attached to: Gritty 'Power Rangers' Short Is Not Fair Use

The whole point of Duchamp's Fountain is that it forces the observer to ask the question "What is art?" Can something be art despite the fact that the object itself has no artistic merit at all, and only could be art as a result of being in an art show? Which satisfies the definition of art, the object's artistic merit, or the opinion of the community (of artists and museum curators and patrons)?

Comment: Re:Psychology lesson (Score 1) 271

by njnnja (#49054251) Attached to: Peak Google: The Company's Time At the Top May Be Nearing Its End

I think you are confusing yourself by overthinking things. A 20% exponential growth function doesn't have a slope of 1.2x, it has a slope of ln(1.2)*exp(ln(1.2)*x). But if you miswrote and didn't mean to use the word "slope" and just meant "Y" then actually Y=X^2 is a closer way of thinking about exponential growth than Y=1.2X. I'm assuming your background is computer science, so think of big O notation. If someone mistook O(exp(n)) for O(n^2) you would think they were overly simplifying but for small n it probably not too bad. But if the mistook O(exp(n)) for O(n) (linear) then you would know they are totally off the mark. In the same way, mistaking an exponential for a quadratic is a silly, stupid error, but mistaking it for a linear function is really wrong

Comment: Re:Psychology lesson (Score 1) 271

by njnnja (#49050437) Attached to: Peak Google: The Company's Time At the Top May Be Nearing Its End

The process that gives you that fish size is in fact an exponential process, so in your example, fish size grows exponentially. It is because you say "bigger each year", which implies the recursive relationship S(t+1) = 1.2 * S(t) where S(t) is the size of the fish caught in year t. So if you catch a 1 pound fish in year 0, then you catch a 1.2 pound fish in year 1, and a 1.44 pound in year 2, a 1.728 pound in year 3, etc. S(t+1) = 1.2 * S(t) can in fact be represented as the exponential growth model S(t) = S0 * exp(lambda * t), but that is an exercise left to the reader.

It's not trickery, it's just a label for the particular math used to model the process. And if a process satisfies that model then there is nothing wrong with using that term. But if you are pointing something else out then please reply.

Comment: Re:Soap Box time! (Score 4, Informative) 271

by njnnja (#49047947) Attached to: Peak Google: The Company's Time At the Top May Be Nearing Its End


Rx = revenue in year x
R0 = revenue in base year (year 0)
then 20% growth means: Rx = R0 * (1 + .2)^x

represented as:

Rx = R0 * exp[(log(base e)(1 + .2)) * x]

Which is exponential growth as seen at Wolfram where lambda = log(base e)(1.2) (and every mathematician I have ever known). Not sure what you mean when you say exponential growth, but it's not the mathematical definition.

Your soap box is quite misinformed.

Comment: Re:Another silly decision (Score 1) 480

by njnnja (#49038143) Attached to: The Mathematical Case For Buying a Powerball Ticket

A depression is a TERRIBLE time to own any asset. You can move to follow a job if you own a house by simply selling your house. You will probably do so at a loss during a depression, but if you were renting you wouldn't get any money out when you move either. And if you were renting, and saving money on the side, whatever you invested in would also have also gone down because *it's a depression*.

Comment: Re:So presumably..... (Score 2) 208

by njnnja (#49033203) Attached to: Elementary OS: Why We Make You Type "$0"

No of course not. They only keep a prorated part of their contributions to reflect the work that they have actually done and pass the bulk of it to the original writers of the code (or Canonical, the Linux Foundation, or FSF to the extent that they can't track down the original authors). It says right there in the blog posting...

Hmmm it's there somewhere...they say

"We believe that if we want to see the world of open source software grow and compete at the same level as closed source software, we should encourage users to pay for its development;"

so I'm sure they are doing their part to pay for its development.

Comment: Re:"Not intentional". Right. (Score 2) 370

by njnnja (#49029753) Attached to: Samsung Smart TVs Injected Ads Into Streamed Video

The fact is that in general, people want to own their stuff, not have their stuff own them. Apple taught manufacturers a very poor lesson; namely, the way to make huge profits is to create and cultivate a walled garden that the manufacturer controls and collects the tolls. But Apple wasn't successful because it has a walled garden, it is successful because plenty of people with lots of disposable income like the Apple user experience. You can argue that the walled garden is a necessary condition to the iPhone user experience, and at the very least it makes it easier to define the user experience when you control everything, however necessary != sufficient.

Good UI takes lots of hard work from talented developers, designers, and artists. Apple may not always succeed at this (e.g. maps) but it seems that no other big manufacturer is willing to put in the hard work to make a product that people actually like. So instead of making money by "locking" people into a system that they choose of their own free will, they try to make money by 1) making crap software to save money on costs, and 2) monetizing everything the possibly can, from DRM on a coffee pod to putting commercials into locally stored video.

Comment: Re:If only the UK navy could follow suit (Score 1) 517

by njnnja (#48997621) Attached to: The US Navy Wants More Railguns and Lasers, Less Gunpowder

Because the US has the most to lose if every shipment of iphones from China or oil tanker from the Gulf had a big bulls-eye on its stern. International trade becomes very expensive without overwhelming naval power to deter every two bit dictator and warlord who can afford to put a 50mm cannon on an old fishing vessel from trying to steal a big boat every once in a while. And standing navies are a lot cheaper than arming every merchant ship, even more so if you aren't the country that's supporting it.

"Be *excellent* to each other." -- Bill, or Ted, in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure