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Comment: In conclusion... (Score 1) 233

Finally, we see a big limitation: This data reveals only correlations, not conclusions. We are left with at least two different interpretations of the sudden spike in “iPhone slow” queries, one conspiratorial and one benign. It is tempting to say, “See, this is why big data is useless.” But that is too trite. Correlations are what motivate us to look further. If all that big data does — and it surely does more — is to point out interesting correlations whose fundamental reasons we unpack in other ways, that already has immense value.

And if those correlations allow conspiracy theorists to become that much more smug, that’s a small price to pay.

And the cost is going to be paid by some company or the other for the benefit of some class action house or another.

Comment: Graph is search results, not speed measurements. (Score 1, Informative) 233

The methodology of testing the hypothesis is to look for google searches about "iphone slow" or "samsung slow". Assumption made is if people search for "iphone slow" Apple might have done something to slow down iPhones. The control group is Samsung which has the same motive as Apple but not the means because it does not control the OS.

It is a big leap, there could be various other explanations of varying degrees of malice. As the new release comes through, bug fixes for older releases are put on back burner, apps are changed and tuned to take advantage of new version run slower in older version.. Or the way graphics subsystem is organized in iOS might have different bottlenecks based on the display resolution. So as new releases come in, default sizes for buffers and hashtables might change deep in the OS slowing down older apps.

And if you are going to postulate "Apple might slow down older versions deliberately", why can't you postulate, "Google might spike and skew the history of the past searches to make Apple look bad"?

Comment: I must be a coding superstar (Score 1) 143

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#47541053) Attached to: Soccer Superstar Plays With Very Low Brain Activity
My brain activity is abysmally low when I am coding. I must be engaging hardly 5% of my brain during coding. Often times when I am debugging my own code, "what the hell was I *thinking*?" But now I realize I must not have been thinking at all. I must have been a coding superstar unbeknownst to myself.

Comment: Re:Could be a different route involved for the VPN (Score 4, Insightful) 363

If I offer to sell you "unlimited" beers from my fridge for $50 a month, but I only resupply it at a rate of one six-pack per week, I have intentionally cheated you. That basic relationship doesn't magically change because of some hand-waving technobabble about peerage agreements and network congestion.

This analogy is a little flawed. Let me correct it. Let us say the local municipality has granted pla (258480) a local monopoly in selling beer to its residents. And you sell beer at different service level all unlimited number of trips to the fridge, but at 1 trip/hr, 1trip/6 hours, 1 trip/min, 1 trip/sec etc. And you stock it with brewed-by-your-local-sewage-company beer all the time, and stock Buds, Coors and Coronas one bottle a month. Then your analogy is complete.

What is really insidious is, pla is NOT buying any beer. All the beer companies come stock the fridge for free. Pla's only cost is keeping the beer cool. And it does not cost any more to cool a bottle of Corona than to cool a bottle of brew-from-sewer. Just because pla noticed people are drinking Corona more, pla wants Corona to pay him more money. Remember it is a monopoly. Corona has no other way of selling its beer without going through pla's fridge. Now you get the idea.

Comment: Re:Range is not the issue. Cost is. (Score 1) 120

I know about Musk and the giga factory. The giga factory for batteries are not exclusively focused on automobile batteries. They are going after residential solar energy storage. Those batteries do not have weigth, volume or crash worthiness requirements of auto batteries. So that problem is likely to be solved first. Musk is also promoting distributed solar utilities, companies that would own and operate solar panels in residences and sell the homeowner metered electricity just like a utility. Thus homeowner does not do any up front investment, nor has to do any break even point calculations. Solar PV is just coming around to a price point to make this viable. Giga factory is likely to benefit them first.

Comment: Range is not the issue. Cost is. (Score 1) 120

Almost everyone focuses on the limited range and the longer recharge times as the main reason why electric cars have not taken off.

I think that is not really the case. The initial extra cost of the battery is so high, even after subsidies the break even period for an electric car compared to gas car is very long. If this issue is addressed, some people will be interested in buying these cars, with 80 to 100 mile range.

Once people start buying electric cars purely on economic grounds, a whole array of secondary services will come up to alleviate the range problem. Charging stations would expand the commute distance from 30 mile max one way to 60 mile max one way. Gas car rental companies will come up with subscription plans to give access to a gas car a few times a year. Even car makers might offer such deals. BMW already offers gas car loaner for a few times a year for the buyers of BMW i3. Towed range extender batteries might show up. Towed range extender diesel packs might show up. Franchises offering charged battery swaps can happen.

Free market is a bitch. It is thwarting electric cars right now despite many great things about electric cars. No timing belt replacement, no oil changes, clean and simple cars, without any serious tranmission issues. Motor replacement is an order of magnitude simpler than IC-engine-transmission replacement. But battery cost is too high and the free market is emphatically saying thumbs down. Once the battery cost problem is fixed, the very same free market will turn around in a dime and nothing can stop electric cars from peeling of a significant market share. But it will happen only if the cost issue is addressed. It will not happen before that time.

Comment: Re:this is also known by a different name (Score 3, Insightful) 198

Apathy is the greatest danger to democracy. If the voters did not care to know the issues, if the voters could be bamboozled by a few million dollars spent on an ad campaign and turn against the mayor who tried to help them, how can the be helped?

Comment: It is their fault. (Score 2, Interesting) 299

They were delicious. And we were hungry. God did give them tooth and claw. Despite it they did not defend themselves. May be they wanted to be eaten.

You may not agree with this statement. But shockingly there is a strain of political thought in America that applies exactly this principle to the human society and the poor people. And ironically those who profess these "maker vs taker" are shocked when they are told they are practicing social Darwinism.

Comment: yeah, why can't they suck boundary layer ...? (Score 1) 136

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#47529735) Attached to: Will Your Next Car Be Covered In Morphing Dimples?
All that complexity of wrapping an airtight skin around sheet metal with holes, a vacuum system to create dimples on the fly... All to get some fuel efficiency through lower drag? An plug in electric car effectively buys as at some 2$ a gallon. Still, the extra price of battery makes the break even time longer than the life of the car. And what kind of pay back period for ugly looking warty lumpy bumpy car?

There are tons of complex technologies to reduce drag. Boundary layer suction for example. Drill small holes all along the skin of the aircraft or the car. Create channels below, connect to a pump and suck air. This controls the growth of boundary layer and it could delay the "separation" way beyond what a dimpled surface can. Typically smooth ball flow separates two or three degrees past the poles, and dimpling can delay it by another 10 degrees. Boundary layer suction can delay it way past 45 degrees. NASA experimental aircraft with boundary layer suction showed drag reduction by a factor of 2 or 3, can't remember. Remember the airliner makers are fighting in the third significant digit of the drag coefficient. Do you see any boundary layer sucking aircraft around?

Moral of the story, there are tons and tons of complex technology that can do wonderful things. Most will not get beyond a couple of papers in Journal of Thingamajigger, a tenure track position for a post-doc, and may be, if it is really interesting and really unusual, a 2 inch side bar in Popular Mechanics. (BTW does it still exist? Popular Mechanics, I mean).

Comment: Why would they conserve? (Score 1) 367

What is the real incentive for any one to conserve the ground water? If some one owns a square inch of land, he/she gets to suck out as much as he/she can out of the "his/her" ground. It is private property rights, stupid. If the owner did not do so, the neighbor will do so. So all it takes is a few short term "my property, my way, you go to hell" people, and it will be a race to the bottom in the earnest.

Half the congress is corrupt and is paid to keep quiet. The other half makes some half hearted noises and then it too keeps quiet. Gutless administration is not able to arrest and throw in jail a defiant scofflaw who did not pay taxes for decades, who owes millions of dollars and a few rag tag militia with some rifles drove off the BLM officials.

How can there be any water conservation?

Comment: aaargh! pinheads in the IT. (Score 0) 233

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#47501829) Attached to: Verizon Boosts FiOS Uploads To Match Downloads
One of my friends was complaining about his VPN. Fellow has 50 Mbps/25 Mbps FiOS set up. But the corporate official VPN uses some strange protocol. Once the VPN is connected ALL the traffic from the local machine will go the corporate VPN host. The host sends the packet out. And the corporate VPN host connection is something similar 100/100 Mbps. But that connection is divvied up into fixed slices per VPN connection. Between 50 and 75 users at a time. So each connection gets 1 Mbps or 2. But the site is drawing ALL the traffic from all the VPN users. The damned thing crawls to snails place. So his pricey 50/25 connection is useless as far as the VPN is concerned.

Symmetric upload/download will help him a lot because he runs OpenGL 3D graphics clients displaying CAD/CAM geometry over this connection. So this automatic upgrade to 50/50 should be a great news for him. Except he is in ISP giveth IT taketh away situation. Should call him, send this link and rub some salt into his wounds. Schadenfreude never felt this delicious.

Comment: Plain business as usual. (Score 1, Insightful) 172

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#47500607) Attached to: California In the Running For Tesla Gigafactory
California was not in the running. Suddenly it is in the running. Looks like it is a simple bargaining strategy to extract more pounds of flesh from whoever is despo enough to want that factory. Expect 20 year tax abatement on property taxes, pledge to improve road/rail access to the factory site by local municipalities, some "flexibility" in enforcement of some regulations...

Or typical evil big business as usual.

As long as we coddle these "big" guys, they will take it all and come begging for more.

"An arm and a leg? That was last year? What are you giving me this year? How about the other arm and the leg?"

"Both arms and legs? That was last year? What about this year? Look, as business we are supposed to look for profit and not feel stupid things like gratitude. I hear the other state has both legs and arms. If I don't extract it from them, my shareholders will sue. So see ya."

APL hackers do it in the quad.