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Comment Re:nerd news? (Score 1) 467

Yes, because everyone knows that war didn't exist until the United States was created....

The US has done plenty of stupid things, but war has always existed and always will. The US is the whipping boy only because it is the biggest. Go look at the atrocities committed by Russia, Japan and Germany (and others) over the last 100 years, then see see how much you still cry about America. There are plenty of crimes to go around, saying America is the "worst" just shows you don't know how to crack open a history book.

Comment Have We Lost the War to Quid Pro Quo Complacency? (Score 3) 359

Time and time again I see news articles that seem to herald the idea that users are willing to sacrifice something like privacy for the use of software. Take Facebook for an example. You get a robust and snappy storage and website for communication at the cost of control over your life and privacy. And as I try to explain to people the tradeoffs most of them seem to be complacent. Even I myself use GMail, there's just no better mail service. Even if there were, I'd have to run the server from my home to be sure that I'm in control in it and it's truly free (by your definition). So given that much of the populace isn't even prepared technologically to harness truly free software, don't you think they have slowly accepted the trade offs and that the pros of your arguments -- though sound -- are only possibly realized by those skilled enough to edit source code or host their own mail server from their home?

Comment Companies Selling Actually Free Software? (Score 5, Interesting) 359

I found your piece on selling free software to be pretty logical on paper. However, has it ever worked in the wild? Can you name companies or revenues that currently operate on this idea (and I'm not talking about services or support of the software)? I simply can't come up with a widely used monetized piece of software licensed under the GNU GPL whereby the original software was sold at a single price and shipped with the source code -- free for the original purchaser to distribute by the license's clauses. Can you list any revenue generation from that? I must admit I'm not exactly enamored with paying for free software (as in your definition of free) before it's written yet I cannot think of any other way this would fairly compensate the developer.

Comment Re:Colour me suprised (Score 1) 285

I look younger than my age and smoked until I was 45, partied my ass off in the 20s (award winning partying...), sleep 4 hours a night most of the time. I don't doubt that these things can affect how old you look, but they aren't the defining things. Like with most things, genetics is probably the key.

Comment Re: Really ? (Score 2) 256

No, we don't. If you don't have the water, or at least the hydrogen and oxygen, you don't have a large body of water to moderate the temperature and host cyanobacteria to create oxygen, which takes hundreds of thousands to millions of years, assuming you have enough bound oxygen to begin with. We don't have the technology. We can't even filter out a little carbon dioxide in our own atmosphere.

Comment Re:Why force her to do something she doesn't want (Score 1) 250

No, she doesn't. He specifically said:

"but she is just not very passionate about coding or IT in general."

So yes, it does look like he's trying to push her. Most women I know take a few months of maternity leave, not a few years, so maybe that is why he is pushing, but he's pushing her in the wrong direction.

Comment Baidu Team's Apology Appended to Official Notice (Score 3, Insightful) 94

From the official announcement found in the NYT article (full of details we mostly already know) there comes an update with the team's response:

Message from the team in question:

Dear ILSVRC community,

Recently the ILSVRC organizers contacted the Heterogeneous Computing team to inform us that we exceeded the allowable number of weekly submissions to the ImageNet servers (~ 200 submissions during the lifespan of our project).

We apologize for this mistake and are continuing to review the results. We have added a note to our research paper, Deep Image: Scaling up Image Recognition, and will continue to provide relevant updates as we learn more.

We are staunch supporters of fairness and transparency in the ImageNet Challenge and are committed to the integrity of the scientific process.

Ren Wu – Baidu Heterogeneous Computing Team

So, while they deserve the year ban, the apology is nice. It's a shame we can never know what results a fair competition could have yielded ... and an even bigger shame that the media misreported Baidu as overpowering Google. I suppose the damage is done and the ILSVRC has made the right choice.

Perhaps I'm misunderstanding the classification problem but why isn't this run like most other classification problems (like Netflix and many other data challenges) where you get ~80% for training and the remaining 20% are held back for the final testing and scoring? Is the tagged data set too small to do this? Seems like wikimedia would contain a wealth of ripe public domain images for this purpose ...

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