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Comment: Re:Why not fantasize about finding a winning ticke (Score 1) 480

by ttsai (#49035329) Attached to: The Mathematical Case For Buying a Powerball Ticket

I realize these comments are intended to be slightly humorous, but consider the annual inflation rate needed for that prediction to come true:


$9k in 40 years will be worth what, $500 bucks in today's money before taxes?

This would require an annual inflation rate of 7.5%! In the US, we haven't had monthly inflation that high since 1982!


$9,000 US dollars in 40 years will be about $5.00 US value. In fact a large Coffee at starbucks will cost $10,000

This would require an annual inflation rate of 20.6%! In the last 100 years in the US, the monthly inflation rate has only been in the 20% range for a few months and only after the immediate end of the two world wars.

Comment: Re:Pointing fingers at problems (Score 1) 493

by ttsai (#49021153) Attached to: Will Elementary School Teachers Take the Rap For Tech's Diversity Problem?

Upon reading the article, I had similar questions about the experimental methodology.

Why repeat the tests? Were these oral tests? If tests were repeated, did they account for time or fatigue-based effects? In elementary school (at least in the US), tests are going to be written, so such tests could easily have been sent to multiple graders without repeating the test.

Also, the tests must not have been objective (e.g., multiple choice, etc.) in order to present the possibility of subjective grading. I didn't get such tests during my schooling.

Finally, if the experimenters wanted to test their theory of gender bias, they should have taken the tests and swapped the names on a subset of tests to directly test the theory that the gender name was the critical factor. The could have easily tested their hypothesis but didn't.

Comment: FOIA DDOS? (Score 1) 136

by ttsai (#49020973) Attached to: DEA Hands MuckRock a $1.4 Million Estimate For Responsive Documents

Would it be possible to perpetrate what would effectively be a DDOS attack via the FOIA request mechanism? If the government were required to handle every single request without question, then could an anti-government group send a large number of requests that would waste human, machine, and dollar resources to an extent that was crippling? How should the good intent of the FOIA be balanced against potential misuse?

Comment: Re: Yay for "zero tolerance" (Score 1) 591

by ttsai (#48963011) Attached to: Texas Boy Suspended For "Threatening" Classmate With the One Ring

I love people who take pot shots and don't know what the fuck they're talking about. All school districts are taking tougher stances on punishment and more and more districts across the country are adopting zero tolerance policies.

Zero tolerance is an abomination. It teaches the exact opposite of what kids need to learn. Kids need to learn how to think, how to evaluate situations, and how to reason about the costs and benefits of available options. Zero tolerance is all about protecting schools against lawsuits and abandoning the hard job of teaching kids how to make decisions.

Comment: Re:Another blaming of the victims (Striesand Effec (Score 1) 512

by ttsai (#48769769) Attached to: Publications Divided On Self-Censorship After Terrorist Attack

A religion, or more broadly any religious or non-religious creed, that mandates capital punishment for blasphemy is problematic. Adherents of such a religion should be treated the same as any person who cries out death threats in response to perceived verbal offenses.

However, I wonder if this is more a matter of ethnicity rather than religion. Do the roughly half a million Muslim African-Americans hold the same views as those of Arab descent? How about the Muslims from India?

Comment: Re:To save you the click through trouble... (Score 1) 190

by ttsai (#48698037) Attached to: 6 Terabyte Hard Drive Round-Up: WD Red, WD Green and Seagate Enterprise 6TB

OK, I asked my friend who works as a reliability expert at one of the HDD manufacturers. The 2400 hours refers to the assumed duty cycle of the drive, and this assumption is used to obtain the estimated AFR of 1%. The corresponding MTBF would be around 250,000 hours. And, of course, MTBF is not the expected lifetime of the drive, since the number is based on qualification testing and field data for a population of drives where most of the drives have not yet failed.

So, to get back to the original point of this thread, as intuition would indicate, there is no drive sold that has an expected time to failure of 2400 hours. There may be some individual anecdotal stories of poor reliability, but the analysis of larger populations is a more accurate characterization of a specific HDD model.

Comment: Re:To save you the click through trouble... (Score 1) 190

I understand the relationship between MTBF and AFR. Of course, no one HDD will last 100 years, let alone on the average. However, think about it. How in the world would an HDD manufacturer come up with an expected 2400 lifetime? Qualification tests involve tests of 1000 drives for 1000 hours, from which a few drives will fail and the AFR and MTBF are derived. There is no way a 2400-lifetime squares with a 1% AFR. AFR numbers are clear. I'm not sure what "power-on hours" mean. It's obviously not MTBF. Is it max lifetime?

Comment: Re:To save you the click through trouble... (Score 1) 190

For the exact opposite, check out the Seagate Barracuda Data Sheet. Scroll down to where they're rated for 2,400 power-on hours. In other words, they're built to survive a whopping 3 months in a NAS.

If you're buying something to stick in your gaming computer, read the performance specs. If you actually care about the data you're writing, the reliability numbers are way more interesting.

Look at the AFR on the data sheet. It's less than 1%. So, obviously the MTBF is not 2400 hours. It's >875,000 hours. An MTBF of 2400 hours translates to an AFR of 97.4%, which is obviously not going to fare very well in a prototype lab, not to mention the marketplace.

Comment: Re:who cares how many children (Score 1) 275

by ttsai (#48687731) Attached to: AirAsia Flight Goes Missing Between Indonesia and Singapore

Why shouldn't the news to targeted to what is of greatest interest to the viewers of that particular newscast? Italians should be interested to know if any Italians were on board, and that interest doesn't necessarily indicate that Italian lives are of greater worth than non-Italian lives. If my friend or family member might have been on that flight, the importance of that piece of information trumps all other facets of the situation.

I find this type of sentiment to be fairly common, for example, when Europeans complain about the scarcity of soccer coverage on American TV news, with the implication that subjects of high global interest as gauged statistically should be of interest to all people.

Comment: Re:"Science denier" is sensationalism (Score 1) 719

by ttsai (#48638949) Attached to: Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

I see that my post got moderated as a troll. Seriously?! There are many intelligent individuals utilizing science and reasoning to support climate change, but there are also idiots who for some reason try to match some of the mudslinging of the anti crowd. Hotheads on either side of the issue are still hotheads and serve to discredit their respective viewpoints.

Comment: "Science denier" is sensationalism (Score 0) 719

by ttsai (#48637225) Attached to: Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

I personally think there is some human influence on climate change. However, the use of the term "science denier" is plain sensationalism, and it's ridiculous. "Science" does not equal climatology. To say that someone who rejects one set of scientific theories or results necessarily rejects all scientific ideas is pure propaganda. Worse yet, it's unnecessary and makes such speakers appear ignorant. It's best to keep the appearance of idiocy on the target of one's criticism.

Comment: I do not think it means what you think it means .. (Score 1) 150

by ttsai (#48607279) Attached to: Want To Influence the World? Map Reveals the Best Languages To Speak

If you want to communicate via language and language alone, then this type of study shows the connectivity of those linguistic works. However, there are many more influences in life than pure linguistic works, including economic, political, technological, military, cultural, and religious power. Considering these other powers probably leads to very different conclusions concerning the best languages for influencing the world. Sometimes the pen is mightier than the sword, and sometimes the sword has more influence.

Comment: Re:COG (Score 3, Insightful) 143

I don't doubt the goodness of Apple's heart. However, of that $100 million, about $50 million or less is actual COGS. And, they get a huge multi-million dollar tax deduction. And, they are clearing out their old inventory of last generation hardware that is now worth less due to newly introduced versions, and they place that inventory in the hand of customers who wouldn't necessarily pay for those products on their own (i.e., poor families and schools) and therefore don't fully steal from their own market share. And, they are continuing their strategy of putting their products in the hands of students so that those students become future customers, i.e., fantastic marketing. So, Apple is to be commended for their generosity, but they are to be venerated for their business acumen.

The more they over-think the plumbing the easier it is to stop up the drain.