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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.

Comment: Re:Not a chance (Score 1) 631

by ttsai (#48253103) Attached to: Why CurrentC Will Beat Out Apple Pay

Note that there are two issues with CurrentC: the access medium (app and scanned QR code vs. NFC or mag stripe or smartcard) and the banking system (credit or debit card; Visa/Mastercard/etc with banks vs. debit card with banks). Theoretically all combinations are possible, so the discussions to view the various issues are not necessarily linked. They are currently linked due to the nascent nature of the offerings, but I wouldn't be surprised to see CurrentC paired with NFC in the future. That's a relatively minor technological issue.

The bigger issue is the underlying banking system and whether it's wise to cut Visa/Mastercard/etc. out of the loop. The benefits are cost savings to the merchants and ultimately to the consumer. The supposed drawbacks relate to security and consumer protections. There are differences in legal protections at the federal level as well as state level. It is an incorrect notion that debit cards have no legal protections. For example, for my Chase debit card, there is zero liability for unauthorized transactions and unauthorized charges are reimbursed by the next business day while the charges are investigated. Sounds similar to credit card protections.

There is also the issue of a grace period for repayment with credit cards, but that is relatively minor with today's very low interest rates. If I can delay payment of a monthly total of $2k for one month and keep that money in my 0.9% online savings account, I would gain about $1.50 each month. Not nothing, but close. And that assumes that I'm willing to continually transfer money back and forth between my 0% checking account and my 0.9% savings account.

There are differences between debit cards and credit cards, but I imagine that many people are not aware that the differences are less that what they might assume.

I personally use credit cards all the time, mainly due to the better rewards programs and my desire to limit the number of active payment accounts. However, if CurrentC offers better rewards, then maybe I would consider using it.

Comment: Re:Take the money and run (Score 1) 54

by ttsai (#48156241) Attached to: Tech Workers Oppose Settlement They Reached In Silicon Valley Hiring Case

Are you a plaintiff? Do you have to take time from work to testify, talk with lawyers, sign things, video deposition, or do any number of things that these people have had to do?

After a while, "Fuck this, gimme the 2 grand" also means "I can't fight for the moral side anymore"

If it were you, you would have given in a long time ago, statistically speaking. If you are 1 in 100, you would have given in before this appeal started. You would have to be 1 in 1000 at least to get this far. Basic stats means I don't believe you. And you shouldn't believe you until you have been through this.

Fighting for the right side takes more effort than most people have. It seems like once a year we get the odd "I lost $25k or more even though I won the lawsuit" story. One per year, in my unscientific anecdote, which might sound like a lot. But it's not enough to win any ground.

Do you want to bankroll the losers? You already are, so that's a trick question. But if it were you, you would really appreciate someone kicking in a few bucks so you and your unemployed ass could take time to fight the good fight. And when the donations don't add up, you give in and live your life.

Hence the legal concept of a class action lawsuit where a small set of named plaintiffs represent the rest of the class and taken on the time and resource burdens of presenting the case to the court. I'm not part of the certified class, but if I were, I'm not sure if I'd be willing to be one of the named plaintiffs, but I'm pretty sure I'd be willing to participate as part of the class. Yes, I know, very selfish of me.

Of course, despite your protestations, the only motivational consideration is whether the lawyers are willing to bankroll the lawsuit and that depends on their assessment of the payout. It has very little to do with how much any of the plaintiffs expect as payment or how justified their case is. And, no, I don't feel any pity for the majority of the class (almost no effort expended), the lawyers (no explanation needed), or the named plaintiffs (usually have emotional stakes in the process if not the outcome).

But that's all generalized mumbo-jumbo. The pertinent particulars of this specific case are (1) most of the class would benefit only marginally from the $1-2k settlement since they are as a class highly paid hi-tech workers that were sought out by successful tech companies (e.g., a $1-2k bonus for these workers would be a cause for complaint) and (2) the plaintiffs' case is strong, as has been mentioned by the judge when she rejected the settlement.

Comment: Re:Take the money and run (Score 1) 54

by ttsai (#48155723) Attached to: Tech Workers Oppose Settlement They Reached In Silicon Valley Hiring Case

What significant harm? The allegation is that they agreed not to recruit one another's employees. We were still free to apply where we wanted, they just wouldn't call us. Frankly, it bothers me not at all that I got less spam from douche bag recruiters.

For you and me, there was only indirect harm in that the high end of the salary spectrum was depressed for some workers, which in turn might have had some effect on the entire salary distribution. There was no direct harm because you and I (well, definitely me and probably you) were not in the select set of workers that were directly harmed by the collusion. So, our harm is minimal. However, for those who were affected, they either didn't get a promised job (like the guy in France) or didn't get the raises or increased benefits due to decreased employer competition. The harm for each affected worker can be monetarily quantified and is likely in the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Comment: Re:Take the money and run (Score 1) 54

by ttsai (#48154891) Attached to: Tech Workers Oppose Settlement They Reached In Silicon Valley Hiring Case

Good question. If it were me, I would definitely go for the 1-in-a-million chance for $100k versus a guaranteed $2k now.

I would love to play any game of chance with you. 1 in a million chance of $100k (expected value of $0.10) is preferable to a 100% chance of $2000?

Well, I wouldn't choose to play the $100k vs. $2k game at all, but these folks didn't have the choice to be mistreated by their employers. But given that these folks by the nature of their lawsuit class (i.e., "prized" hi-tech employees) are not poor, $2k should not be that significant to them.

Assuming that the $2k (or whatever the lower value is) is indeed noise and that I don't really need it now, absolutely I would take the chance for the higher payout. The choice is between an improbable, significant payout versus a guaranteed, insignificant payout. Another way of looking at this is that I would consider a $100 million powerball ticket to be much more worthwhile than a $50 scratch-off lottery ticket. One has a chance to affect my life, and the other doesn't help me that much even if I win.

Comment: Re:Take the money and run (Score 2) 54

by ttsai (#48154641) Attached to: Tech Workers Oppose Settlement They Reached In Silicon Valley Hiring Case

Do you want a new TV now, or a very(!) small chance to get a new car 5-10 years from now? That's what it comes down to.

Good question. If it were me, I would definitely go for the 1-in-a-million chance for $100k versus a guaranteed $2k now. The $2k is noise and makes no difference in my life. If I lose it, I lose nothing of significance. The significant harm has already been inflicted, so the additional $2k is lost compensation is irrelevant. The $100k can actually affect my life. So, this decision from the point of the victims is a no-brainer.

That's just the personal economic decision. Not even the larger $100k (or whatever it turns out to be) will adequately compensate for the past economic harm, but the satisfaction of a legal penalty may be more rewarding.

"Consequences, Schmonsequences, as long as I'm rich." -- "Ali Baba Bunny" [1957, Chuck Jones]