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Comment: Re:Can I pick two options? (Score 1) 469

by penguinbroker (#34421800) Attached to: WikiLeaks Should...

You are giving Wikileaks way too much benefit of the doubt here. Asange has publicly stated that they are getting so much stuff that they basically have shut down taking submissions. They are not just releasing everything they get, they are picking and choosing. This is obviously driven by a lack of resources but also creates a system which is very vulnerable to subjective decisions (ie. anti-American agendas).

And if you had read the article on slashdot today about the Wikileaks competitor that's in the works (and is being run by former Wikileaks members) you would have read this quote:

A group of former members of WikiLeaks is planning to launch its own whistleblowing platform in mid-December, according to a German newspaper. The activists criticize WikiLeaks for concentrating too much on the US and want to take a broader approach

Comment: Re:They're artificial limitations. That's the prob (Score 1) 1634

by penguinbroker (#30936554) Attached to: iPad Is a "Huge Step Backward"

This isn't a very fair analogy. You can't run a car without gasoline. You can have an iPhone/Touch without ever buying an app. You can fill it up with any and all mp3s. It's annoying but you can convert any video you want and put in on you iPhone/Touch.

The apps are more like upgrades. And if you want to upgrade a car you are many times limited by compatibility issues. The razor-blade revenue model isn't limited to Apple, it's pretty much prevalent in every industry. Clearly you have never needed to fix anything in your car. You wouldn't be so happy with the car companies then.

Also, gas stations are pretty consisten. The quality of the product is very homogeneous in gas stations across the country. Computer apps are not like that. I need to be sure my phone works as a phone at all times. I have no interest installing some wayward app that may or may not crash my phone and make me miss a call. I am happy to put this responsibility on Apple's shoulders

Now, if you were talking about the AT&T lockin you'd have a point.

Comment: so... (Score 5, Insightful) 146

by penguinbroker (#30317498) Attached to: Children Using Technology Have Better Literacy Skills
The biggest shortcoming of this research is that it appears the children graded their own writing in that their methodology was an online survey designed to ask the children which technology they use and then follow up with asking them how well they write to determine which children have better literacy skills

So, really, the only conclusion we can draw from this is that 'the more technology one uses, the better they think their literacy is." Great.

Comment: just sit down and do it (Score 1) 601

by penguinbroker (#28475145) Attached to: How To Get Out of Developer's Block?
Good programmers are, IMHO, natural perfectionists. We all want to write perfect code. We want to write code that anticipates every possible situation and, even in the worst case scenario, handle things gracefully. It's worth waiting another day because your code will then be that much better with a little more planning...

Sometimes it's not about being perfect however, it's just about getting it done (wait, they paid what for myspace?!!?!). Just tell yourself that you need to get something up, and that you'll improve it later. Most likely, you'll never look at that code again but who cares, it's all about tricking yourself into accepting 'mediocrity' (reality?). But you will, more often than you think, surprise yourself and end up writing code you are proud of.

Either that, or you're being a bitch and think you're too good a programmer to spend time writing 'these mundane' solutions. In that case, suck it up or shut up.

Comment: Re:Is this really "counting" (Score 1) 184

by penguinbroker (#27450189) Attached to: Baby Chicks Have Innate Mathematical Skills
I don't disagree with you... But if we follow this train of thought then I would argue that many insects demonstrate mathematical ability. Moths (and many other bugs) tend to flock towards the brightest source of light in their fields of vision. Therefore these insects are demonstrating mathematical ability by showing the ability to determine that one source of light has more than the other. I don't buy this.

My point is that the researchers claim these chicks have discrete mathematical capabilities in that they have some sense of integer arithmetic (all eggs were the same sizes). They did nothing to rule out other possible causes, namely by using different sized eggs.

Comment: Re:Is this really "counting" (Score 3, Insightful) 184

by penguinbroker (#27447817) Attached to: Baby Chicks Have Innate Mathematical Skills
The difference is not just semantics. If they are making decisions based on qualitative notions (more) as opposed to quantitative (2 more) then it is a difference between doing discrete mathematics vs. reacting to an analog signal. The latter of which is not what we normally consider math, at least in terms of the subject's thought process.

It would be interesting to use different sized eggs to create scenarios where one group has more individual eggs but the other group has a higher total surface area (maybe volume) of eggs. If the chicks still chose the group with more individual eggs than one could make a strong case that they are capable of counting.
Government

+ - DARPA Director, Tony Tether, Asked to Step Down

Submitted by penguinbroker
penguinbroker (1000903) writes "Tony Tether, the longest-serving chief of DARPA is being asked to step down February 20th. "The longest-serving chief of the Pentagon's premiere research agency is stepping down... Tether expected to remain in charge of the agency through the Spring, until the Obama administration named a successor. However, in a widely-circulated e-mail, Tether today announced that he had been asked to leave by the end of next week.""

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