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Comment: Re:Trivial observation (Score 1) 130

by retchdog (#47553249) Attached to: A Fictional Compression Metric Moves Into the Real World

It was designed as a background prop for a TV show. Not a very high bar.

It might be adequate as an artificial evaluation metric for homework in an "Intro to Data Compression" class. It might be, because it hasn't even been used for that yet.

I wouldn't exactly call this a tool. For example, it would be really easy to game this 'score' if there were any significant incentive for doing so. That's usually a bad thing.

Comment: Re:Useless without measure of lossiness/distortion (Score 4, Informative) 130

by retchdog (#47553055) Attached to: A Fictional Compression Metric Moves Into the Real World

it's for lossless compression only.

anyway, you can just add a term representing the lost information and throw it into this "score". hey, why not? just figure out how important the lossiness is relative to compression rate. if it's very important, take the exp() of the loss metric; if it's unimportant (like time is), take the log(); finally, if it's just kind of important, leave it linear, or maybe square or square root. whatever.

seriously, just make some shit up and throw it in. you won't compromise anything. it's already just made-up shit.

Comment: freemasons run the country (Score 4, Interesting) 130

by retchdog (#47552879) Attached to: A Fictional Compression Metric Moves Into the Real World

The so-called Weissman score is just proportional to (compression ratio)/log(time to compress).

I guess the idea is that twice as much compression is always twice as good, while increases in time become less significant if you're already taking a long time. For example, taking a day to compress is much worse than taking an hour, but taking 24 days to compress is only somewhat worse than taking one day since you're talking offline/parallel processing anyway.

The log() seems kind of an arbitrary choice, but whatever. It's no better or worse than any other made-up metric, as long as you're not taking it too seriously.

Comment: Re:Incomplete data (Score 1) 173

by retchdog (#47549619) Attached to: For Half, Degrees In Computing, Math, Or Stats Lead To Other Jobs

put away your 'clever' strawman and grow up. mathematicians do, in fact, think of all of these things. i know several mathematicians working in statistical mechanics as well as others doing binary static analysis. rigorous, formalized thinking helps with almost everything. the halting theorem is an old, essential result; no one believes that it's the final word on what's (im)possible.

Comment: Re:Incomplete data (Score 1) 173

by retchdog (#47531213) Attached to: For Half, Degrees In Computing, Math, Or Stats Lead To Other Jobs

hogwash. a lot of modern topics in CS are basically statistics: natural language processing; computer vision; most of machine learning; data mining; most of bioinformatics; etc.

statistics just has terrible marketing (at least in the US) and they've been a bit too focused on silly things, so they ceded a lot of ground to CS for no really good reason.

as for the other topics, if you follow the links you'll eventually come to the definitions. the article itself is terrible.

Comment: Re:Four year engineering degrees- great (Score 1) 173

by retchdog (#47525005) Attached to: For Half, Degrees In Computing, Math, Or Stats Lead To Other Jobs

uh, yeah, a Ph.D. in mathematics might once have been a death sentence, but nowadays it's more like a license to print money (almost literally, in the case of Wall Street) if you're willing to hold your nose, check your ego, and get back out of pure math.

similarly, a four year math degree from a respectable (not even necessarily great) university, coupled with the right research experience, extracurriculars, and/or job experience/internships, is a solid credential. maybe not as much of a sure bet as engineering, but pretty damned good and much better for certain specialized areas.

Comment: Re:um (Score 2) 173

by retchdog (#47523033) Attached to: For Half, Degrees In Computing, Math, Or Stats Lead To Other Jobs

Yeah, I can tell you that a CS "degree" which involves being "specialized" in a particular programming language is a bullshit trade diploma. It's not surprising that such an applicant is garbage; degrees in programming are for idiots. Smart people program on their own, or go to college for formal maths/sciences, or ideally both.

Comment: Re:Huge Issue (Score 1) 102

given your ridiculous hypothetical, i think i'd take the one with the minor arrest. it shows that he is willing to socialize and take moderate risks in a social setting, while still performing equally to the poindexter.

on the other hand, even a 5-minute interview would probably give me more information than a list of mostly-bullshit "accomplishments", so whatever.

A committee is a group that keeps the minutes and loses hours. -- Milton Berle

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