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Comment Re:R vs. Python vs. other (Score 4, Interesting) 105

R is kind of a shitty language compared to Python. It is based on S, which is itself an old statistics language. It isn't awful, but it lacks the refinement of a language that was developed from the ground up in the modern era. Syntax can be wonky or inconsistent....

But, R is all about stats. It has great charting and analysis libraries, far exceeding those that exist in Python or any other general purpose language.

SAS is kind of the corporate standard if you want long term maintainability and a large selection of potential workforce...but it is expensive and if I were starting out today, I am not sure I would pick it. It is however much more easy to scale to huge datasets than R...SAS pretty much works as long as you can fit the data on your hard drive. No need to fuck with breaking up projects into small pieces or investing in boxes with 1TB of RAM. Millions and billions of observations are totally OK as long as you are willing to wait for the program to finish running.

R has been making inroads at replacing SAS and Stata as the teaching language of choice (mostly because it is free) it is probably easiest to find straight college grads with some R experience than anything else.

Comment Re:Do Not Want (Score 2) 103

Hell, I just try to remotely control my computer from a distance and it will suck ass at random moments in time.

Some days I can load up a citrix desktop from across the country, RDP to a machine back in my state from that citrix session, and use it so well I almost forget I am remote (although for some reason, Chrome is barely functional over this connection...lags like hell, even if it is just in the background and not the active window ...IE works fine). Yes, I know a Remote Desktop Gateway Server would save me the shitty citrix layer that I use for absolutely nothing besides the RDP client...but I guess IT doesn't like it.

And then other days, somewhere in the middle, something chokes and even a bare citrix session is barely usable

Comment Re:Jarvis or Siri? (Score 1) 115

Google already does half of these things if you have an Android phone with Google Now.

It's not perfect...for instance, while I don't own a car, it often alerts me to traffic conditions that would slow my commute (but don't impact my train)... It works pretty well, but considering whenever I ask for directions, I ask for either Public Transit or Cycling, you would think it would stop giving me traffic alerts.

Or it will scan my email, notice that I replied to an email that appeared to be a party invite, and then notify me "You had better leave now to make it to this event by 8pm". Oddly, here it often gives me public transit directions instead of car.

It has some synchronization with your computer if you use Chrome, although it isn't complete.

Comment Re:star wars has marketing? (Score 1) 207

You guys are all missing the point.

Its not that they didn't market the shit out of star wars back then. Because we all know how much star wars merchandise there was.

The point is that they already did it--back in the 70s, someone came up with Star Wars, made some movies, and marketed the shit out of it. Now, here in 2015, instead of finding someone with a new idea and backing it, Disney has simply bought the franchise, rehashed it, and turned the marketing machine up to 11.

They don't want to take the risk anymore, so we don't get cool new things.

Comment Re:Wait, what? (Score 1) 57

I see this being used for more distributed tasks and for tasks not tied to the core business.

I can't quite envision exactly why you would need this, but lets say you have a compute cluster spread out across many locations. Additionally assume that you are using this for something internally on-demand rather than automated or in response to customer/user interaction. Things you might use AWS for like ad-hoc queries and machine learning exercises being run by your analytics team instead of whatever it is your company actually does for money..

If some of your systems are down, it doesn't have a real impact on the bottom line. Your data scientists might be delayed (or temporarily halted), but not your customer facing systems. Perhaps you can even mix and match within the same datacenter. Storage and processing for your core business go in the $$$ high-redundancy racks. Toys for the PhDs go in the cheaper low redundancy racks.

Comment Re:Looking forwards (Score 1) 181

These gentleman's agreements are bunk, making the very idea of sports competitions a joke. These are not the best of the best, they're the best of what they feel like allowing - for now.

Maybe they need to have both. For instance, in sailing, there are several types of competition. There is One Design racing, where the boats are all required to be pretty much identical. Different boats have different restrictions (some restrict costs by doing things like limiting how many sets of sails you can buy each year, others pretty much say no limits), but within a fleet, the boats are pretty much identical. At some events, boats are even provided and/or you rotate between boats. This really means that the best sailor wins since they can't do anything to significantly alter the boat.

Then there are classes where the boats are all similar, but not identical. They are built to a specific rule, e.g. "As long as the boat fits in X dimensions and has sail area less than Y and the ballast doesn't weight more than Z". The boats tend to be fairly even, since a fast design soon takes over the competition, so the best sailors still tend to win. But it also leads to innovation. For instance, the Moth class has evolved from a boat that looks like this, to a crazy high performance design that hydrofoils above the water like this. The old moth would never be able to compete with the new designs...but that's ok. That's the price of allowing people to innovate.

There are even events that really have no rules...but generally people don't care much about them since the competition completely turns into a money pit. Generally what happens there, is a standards body assigns a handicap to level the playing field. So the super rich dudes still compete for who can have the flat-out fastest boat, but everybody else (and the people who have the fastest boat from 10 years ago) just compete for the best corrected time according to handicap.

Comment Re:Is a JPEG at 0% compression a RAW image? (Score 1) 206

I think it is more like saying, they want a print and/or a negative that was handed off to a teenager at a 24 hour photo place.

They want to stop people from screwing with photos...but their solution is basically to say "let the camera make its best guess at what you were trying to capture". So instead of spending time in the dark room trying to get the best print possible (starting from a raw file), you are handing it over to to a pimply kid to run through an automated machine (letting the camera guess at brightness/contrast/white balance/etc).

Sure, you could do some unacceptable retouching in the darkroom...but most of what you are trying to do is get the photo to come out right. Same with raw don't need a raw file to Photoshop an extra explosion into the background (although it might make it a little easier to make it hard to detect)...but you do want the raw file when you are trying to correct your exposure. This is particularly important for photojournalists who are not working in studio conditions. Maybe you were shooting in a combat zone and your only non-blurry shots came out way under-exposed...having the raw file gives you the most detail and ability to correct the image back to something usable.

Comment Re:NYC taxi system could DESTROY uber (Score 4, Informative) 210

Plenty of cab companies and taxi associations have tried to create "official" taxi apps.

They are all god awful. People use uber partly because it is cheaper (is it even cheaper in NYC? I thought it cost more than a yellow cab there)...but they also use it because it is seamless, the cars are clean, and the drivers aren't smelly dudes yammering away on their phone. See the use of the more expensive "Uber Select" and "Uber Black" as proof that it is not just about undercutting the taxis.

Most NYC rides aren't dispatched anyways...they are flagged down on the street.

Comment Re:Let the Public Decide (Score 2) 439

Classic mentality of someone who thinks they understand money but really doesn't.

If I needed a new car, I could walk into a dealership and pay cash for it tomorrow. But why the hell would I do that if I could finance the purchase over several years at a rate less than 1%?

OPM. Other People's Money. Sure, in this case, I am not using it to buy a potentially appreciating asset...but why would I drop 30K today when I could drop 3k and keep the rest invested? You shouldn't use a car loan to buy a car you can't afford, but there are tons of reasons you should still take advantage of dealers and manufacturers who are desperate to sell you a car and will let you stretch out your payments over a few years for FREE. Heck, even if you don't invest it, I'd still rather keep the cash on hand. If an emergency comes up a year from now, you still have like $20k extra cash. Yeah, you might eventually need it to make the payments, but you don't need to replace it immediately. And hey, there are even banks paying just over 1% on savings accounts right now (not even CDs). You're an idiot to not take the financing at less than at least lets you have the money just in case.

Comment Re:So? (Score 1) 259

Evanston just seems like kind of a bad example here. It's great that they are putting resources into this, but Evanston is certainly not a typical suburban enclave.

Evanston has a huge college student population. Like any other college town, most of those students don't own cars and need to be able to walk or bus everywhere.

Evanston is also integrated into Chicago's public transit system. This isn't one or two "park and ride" stations on a commuter rail line like most suburbs that have train access. This is the Chicago "L" and it covers the entire suburb from north to south. Except for the furthest corner of Evanston, you are never more than 1.5-2 miles away from a train station. So even if you live in Evanston and work in Chicago, you can totally live without a in a way, the suburb us just nurturing the population that is choosing to live there.

If you took Evanston, removed the university, and dropped it out of reach of Chicago mass transit, I am not quite sure all of these things would work. You might be able to get to more of a "Park Once" downtown than those shitty suburbs that don't even build sidewalks in their commercial districts, but it would be pretty hard to make it car-free.

Comment Re:Sync to the audio (Score 1) 103

Did you guys even read the post? That is exactly how the $200 software he mentions does it.

It will sync up the crappy audio from the camera with the fancy audio from the recorder (and also can sync multiple video streams based on their audio).

His problem is that it costs $200 and doesn't run on linux. Also, probably that he has a single-camera setup and thus the features that sync video frames are not really necessary for him.

He isn't asking for some magical software that lip reads his video and syncs the audio (or even knows how to find the frame where a clapboard closes and sync it with the audio spike). He just wants something that will line up the audio. And, as others have mentioned, there may be clock-sync drift issues...would be nice if the software fixes that too.

Comment Re:Actually, they didn't learn anything new. (Score 1) 74

Ashley is a fantastic resource for learning which knots work for a task (although it has notable flaws when it comes to certain modern synthetic ropes...would love to see someone update the text), but it does not teach you how and why those knots work.

These knots have all been thoroughly tested. We know their breaking strength, we know their ease of untying, etc. But I don't think anyone knows how to predict the forces besides testing. If I designed a new knot, would anyone be able to model the attributes? What about if I designed a new kind of rope--would anyone be able to model knot performance on that rope without physical testing? This is similar to what goes on with un-sheathed dyneema--a bunch of old knots, that worked great on old ropes, are entirely useless because they slip on dyneema.

This is like saying "we already know which natural medicines work in which situations, no sense in actually studying why they work"

Comment Re:No description (Score 3, Insightful) 174

Yeah, but I've got to say that it is nice to see a bunch of comments actually talking about the compression algorithm.

The tiny bit of slashdot community that is left still talks about the actual things. If this were on Reddit, it would just be a stream of lame, overused references to the Silicon Valley show. Somebody would say "This guy fucks". Somebody else would make a joke about "Optimal tip-to-tip efficiency". Then somebody would ask "Do you know what tres commas means".

Those things were hilarious when put forth by a group of comedic actors. They are incredibly lame when they are overused every single time something even comes tangentially close to referencing them.

So while this particular story still could be a lot worse.

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