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Comment: Re:Put it another way... (Score 3, Interesting) 157

by schnell (#47541461) Attached to: Soccer Superstar Plays With Very Low Brain Activity

News flash: basement-bound nerds think being a world champion-caliber athlete is easy. Film at 11.

Let go of your hatred of the dumb-ass jocks who got laid in high school but could never compete on a professional level, and consider that it might not be so brainless to be a world-class athlete. All this study says is that the very best athletes have learned to do it on autopilot, but for everyone else a lot of thinking is involved.

Geeks can actually simulate the experience to a certain degree, given that some modern video games have evolved to a high degree of realism. Play "Madden NFL" on an expert difficulty level, and you'll see just how hard it can be for a NFL quarterback to try to read the movements of 11 defensive players simultaneously and pick the best route to throw the ball... even when you don't actually have to have the arm strength to throw it. Play "MLB the Show" on an expert level and you'll see how hard it can be to react in a tiny fraction of a second whether you're swinging at a 100 mph straight-ahead fastball, an 85 mph changeup that looks just like a fastball, a 90 mph slider that stars out straight but breaks away from the pitcher's arm, or a 70 mph knuckleball that just floats all over the fucking place.

TL;DR - (some) video games these days are good enough to replicate just how hard professional level athletics are, even without the actual physical exertion. Please don't dismiss athletics as brainless if you don't know what the fuck you're talking about.

Comment: Re:These are the guys you voted for ... (Score 1) 224

by schnell (#47520259) Attached to: VP Biden Briefs US Governors On H-1B Visas, IT, and Coding

Why, because the Republicans - so notoriously unfriendly to business - would have cracked down and decreased H1Bs? Not bloody likely. At best, knowing today's Republican party, they would have upped H1B quotas but stipulated "no Mexicans" to assuage the Arizona contingent.

Note that I say this as someone who is a GOP apostate but nonetheless is technically one of the approximately four registered Republicans in the greater Seattle area. Today's GOP sadly fails to understand that, given the rest of their pro-business policies, they would have Silicon Valley in their pocket if they just learned to stop yammering on about eeeevilution, gay marriage and "Obamacare gave me leprosy!" A lot of the tech world would flock to their cause if they stopped clinging to idiotic social conservative policies that alienate everyone in America who isn't white, Christian and over 50 years old.

Long story short to the OP - don't use this as a tool to bash Biden/Obama, because the Republican ticket would have jacked up H1B quotas, not reduced them. If you're anti-H1B, you may not like the current administration policies but they are no worse than the alternative.

Comment: Re:Pft (Score 1) 962

by schnell (#47512607) Attached to: The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

"I hope someone rapes him in the ass." "I'm going to cut off your balls and rape your throat with them." And several other comments from women in various work places.

Are you saying that women have said this to you or about you in an actual business workplace setting? If so, where do you work? If not, what do you mean?

Comment: Re:Yeah, students will use bandwidth (Score 1) 285

by schnell (#47505281) Attached to: How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

Even your post suggests that teachers are to blame for poor educational outcomes

Teachers are a part of the equation of educational outcomes. Parents and economics, I agree, have far more to do with results. But barring extreme circumstances, you can't do anything about a child's parents. You can far more easily do something about their school and their teacher. And I had teachers growing up who ranged from those fostering my love of learning and enriching my young life... to those making every day a litany of scorn and drudgery.

My partner works in a primary school across town, and sees every day what leads to poor educational outcomes.

I'm sure your partner is a very good teacher, and deserves great praise for it. But sure she/he would admit that there are good teachers and bad teachers, just like there are people who are good and bad at any job.

Wouldn't she/he want to get paid more for being good at teaching vis-a-vis someone else who didn't put in as much effort or have the same skills? I'm not saying it's a panacea, but I cannot help but believe that paying better teachers more would make the profession more attractive and more rewarding. What's wrong with that and why won't teachers' unions even countenance the idea?

Comment: Re:Expensive? (Score 1) 285

by schnell (#47504657) Attached to: How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

you can get Shakespeare's works *FREE*

Is it the edition of Shakespeare's works that comes with tests & answers, definitions of archaic words, historical background and age-appropriate commentary and explanations? I always forget if that is the First or Second Quarto.

As an adult, I enjoy reading Shakespeare's works and have copies, both printed and electronic. But to teach Shakespeare you need textbooks, not just the source texts. Textbooks do actually add value in many cases, and it requires someone knowledgeable (e.g. not Wikipedia) to write, edit & proof them and get paid for it.

Comment: Re:Yeah, students will use bandwidth (Score 4, Insightful) 285

by schnell (#47504363) Attached to: How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

yet the most important people in society -- teachers barely make a decent salary??

I went to public school and had some great teachers who were worth their weight in gold. I also had other teachers who weren't worth a nickel and did a great amount of harm to their students.

If teachers' unions ever agree to let teachers be paid based on how good they are - rather than just by seniority - you might actually see more attractive salaries for good teachers. You might also see more bright people interested in taking up the profession if they knew they could make a better living doing so.

With that being said, my only experience in this is with US public schools and their teachers' unions. I'm curious if anyone else knows of examples where teachers are paid purely on merit and the effect (or lack thereof) it has had on educational outcomes.

Comment: Re:Do you have any hands-on experience ? (Score 3, Insightful) 667

by schnell (#47498291) Attached to: Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

When you perform a terrorist act you tell that YOU did it in order to intimidate.

Al Qaida never formally accepted responsibility for the 9/11 attacks. Some things you do as a ragbag organization with grandiloquent revolutionary blather, but then realize, "Oh shit, that actually happened. Yay us and all, but I really don't want to deal with the ensuing sh*tstorm of admitting it was us."

Comment: Re:But scarcity! (Score -1, Troll) 390

by schnell (#47482259) Attached to: Verizon's Accidental Mea Culpa

Ugh. We're back to the same knee-jerk reactions and slanted clickbait stories. Shame on Slashdot.

This is not a one-sided story (very few stories in the real world are) as the summary attempts to show it. This isn't about wantonly deciding to screw over paying users, it's about a peering dispute. Of course Verizon has bandwidth to spare, that's not the problem. The issue is that they don't think of a much smaller ISP like Level3 as a peer, and don't want to give them settlement-free peering - they don't peer for free with lots of other ISPs for the same reason. Level3 offering to pay for the hardware is completely disingenuous, since that is a drop in the bucket of what paid transit costs as a monthly service. (By the way, Level3 played the role of Verizon to Cogent in the exact same kind of dispute a few years ago.) But clearly if Verizon cared about the experience of its end users it would find another solution that didn't involve free peering, like CDN installations to support Netflix. So they are being jerks as well.

So Verizon doesn't want to peer for free with Level3 even though it would help their customers; and Level3 wants to peer for free instead of paying like everybody else. This goes on all day every day in the ISP world. People only notice this particular instance because unfortunately users can see the negative effects directly. Long story short, there are no white hats in this story, only gray ones on both sides, both trying to spin public perception. Stories like this one on Slashdot do no favors to a reasonable understanding of the situation.

Comment: Re:Maybe, maybe not. (Score 1) 749

by schnell (#47453403) Attached to: Obama Administration Says the World's Servers Are Ours

everybody needs to have more than one passport

Why? The numerical majority of people on the planet will never have a passport, let alone use one. Personally, I have been all over the planet using the USA one that I have without any problem (although, to be fair, I've never felt like visiting Cuba or North Korea).

So why should everybody have multiple passports? What's the pressing need for that?

Comment: Re:quelle surprise (Score 1) 725

by schnell (#47393833) Attached to: When Beliefs and Facts Collide

what is the scientific doctrine that Democrats typically reject?

I wouldn't call these doctrines, but liberals (by the US definition) tend to be mistrustful of big corporations and the military, and as a result tend to show selection bias in seeing threats from them even where it may not scientifically warranted. Examples might be the hysteria over banning GMOs and nuclear power, or advocacy for scientifically dubious ideas like homeopathy or most "new age" thinking. It's not science per se, but there are also various liberal ideas about things like welfare and education that continue to be championed despite significant research indicating that these programs are in fact harmful in the long run.

Personally, I find the Democratic rejections of science less troubling than some of the typically Republican ones, but that doesn't mean they aren't there.

+ - When Beliefs and Facts Collide

Submitted by schnell
schnell (163007) writes "A New York Times article discusses a recent Yale study that shows that contrary to popular belief, increased scientific literacy does not correspond to increased belief in accepted scientific findings when it contradicts their religious or political views. The article notes that this is true across the political/religious spectrum and "factual and scientific evidence is often ineffective at reducing misperceptions and can even backfire on issues like weapons of mass destruction, health care reform and vaccines." So what is to be done? The article suggests that "we need to try to break the association between identity and factual beliefs on high-profile issues – for instance, by making clear that you can believe in human-induced climate change and still be a conservative Republican." But given the propensity of all humans towards cognitive bias and even magical thinking, should we just resign ourselves to the idea that democracies will never make their decisions based purely on science?"

Comment: Re:I can't imagine... (Score 1) 109

I did recognize the fake in 10 Minutes by numerous inconsistent things and numbers that did not add up and did not make sense at all. None of the reviewers apparently did.

This isn't intended to be disrespectful, so please don't take it the wrong way: why were you, as a PhD student, able to find this error when the reviewers (and theoretically other scientists in the field) weren't?

Is yours a small field with few people to review? Were the reviewers of this paper lazy or cowed by celebrity or influence? Was this published in a seldom-read journal? Or what? I'm honestly very curious about how a lapse like this happens.

Comment: Re:Boards or ROM's (Score 1) 133

who regularly uses emulators on a Mac as well

You must be a glutton for punishment. I was very active in the Mac emulator scene many years ago (provided hosting for, etc.) and recently looked into it again, only to be very depressed by what I found. I had assumed that with the growing mainstream popularity of Macs over the past decade that emulator availability would increase but I found just the opposite. In fact, it seems like it's a PITA just to get a current version of MAME up and running, let alone MESS. The old sites and message boards I had visited long ago had vanished, and it just didn't seem like there was much of a community for Mac emulators any more.

Any suggestions on where the hub of the Mac emulator scene is these days? Or is it just gone?

Comment: Re:Who CARES what non-science approaches "think"? (Score 1) 567

Both sides deny science, if it fits their politics.

Internet FOUL! How DARE you introduce logical and rational statements into an Internet argument, sir.

The next thing you know, people will be equating the same degree of "magical thinking" with conservative farmers denying the evidence of climate change and liberal farmers touting the lack of evidence of benefits of non-GMO produce. Have you no shame?

For every bloke who makes his mark, there's half a dozen waiting to rub it out. -- Andy Capp