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Comment: Re:This isn't a question (Score 1) 529

by vidnet (#49760511) Attached to: Ireland Votes Yes To Same-Sex Marriage

If you really think you can make one, go ahead,

The stated challenge is to make a reasonable argument against gay marriage, not against marriage inequality, so any arguments in favor of abolishing all marriage as a legal concept (gay, straight and others alike) would technically qualify.

I agree in spirit, but it wouldn't be slashdot without several pedantic, belaboured "well, actually" comments.

Comment: Re:How parallel does a Word Processor need to be? (Score 1) 449

by vidnet (#48718915) Attached to: How We'll Program 1000 Cores - and Get Linus Ranting, Again

How parallel does a Word Processor need to be?

Don't forget the complementary question, "How fast does each individual core have to be to run a single threaded Word Processor at an acceptable speed?"

Imagine if instead of 4x 3ghz Xeons you had 4,000x 486s or 4,000,000x 286s.

Comment: Re:Oh great (Score 4, Insightful) 549

by vidnet (#48134315) Attached to: Password Security: Why the Horse Battery Staple Is Not Correct

"rrrybgdts" is a nursery rhyme. It doesn't even have to be written on a sticky.

This is a really bad way of choosing passwords.

The number of verses of songs, nursery rhymes, poems and paragraphs that people would tend to think of probably number less than a million.

Your particular example has 946 hits on Google.

Comment: Re:Because... (Score 1) 253

by vidnet (#47973651) Attached to: Do Specs Matter Anymore For the Average Smartphone User?

CPUs have been fast enough for the mainstream users for 30 years now. It's by definition: nothing becomes mainstream if it's not "good enough".

Screencasting/bluetooth as a desktop replacement is still far too slow. LZMA takes seconds per megabyte. IDEs run like molasses. Video editing is awful. Offline voice recognition sucks. Heavy web apps are laggy. Stitching a photosphere takes minutes.

Let's not stop now.

Social Networks

Human Language Is Biased Towards Happiness, Say Computational Linguists 86

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the didn't-analyze-slashdot dept.
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes The idea that people tend to use positive words more often the negative ones is now known as the Pollyanna hypothesis, after a 1913 novel by Eleanor Porter about a girl who tries to find something to be glad about in every situation. But although widely known, attempts to confirm the hypothesis have all been relatively small studies and so have never been thought conclusive.

Now a group of researchers at Computational Story Lab at the University of Vermont have repeated this work on a corpus of 100,000 words from 24 languages representing different cultures around the world. They first measured the frequency of words in each language and then paid native speakers to rate how they felt about each word on a scale ranging from the most negative or sad to the most positive or happy. The results reveal that all the languages show a clear bias towards positive words with Spanish topping the list, followed by Portuguese and then English. Chinese props up the rankings as the least happy. They go on to use these findings as a 'lens' through which to evaluate how the emotional polarity changes in novels in various languages and have set up a website where anybody can explore novels in this way. The finding that human language has universal positive bias could have a significant impact on the relatively new science of sentiment analysis on social media sites such as Twitter. If there is a strong bias towards positive language in the first place, and this changes from one language to another, then that is obviously an important factor to take into account.

Comment: Re:This is telling (Score 1) 365

"And you can get a keyboard for it, and OF COURSE, it runs Microsoft Office"

'Cause THAT'S what people do with tablets...

It's what they did with the MBAs they're trading in, and it's what people can do with a tablet that isn't just an electronic etch-a-sketch.

It's sad that people are carrying around devices with multicore CPUs, several GB ram and storage, wifi and HD screens, and they still have to say "sorry, I can't -- I didn't bring my computer"

Comment: Re:No steering wheel? No deal. (Score 1) 583

by vidnet (#47105989) Attached to: Google Unveils Self-Driving Car With No Steering Wheel

What kind of judgement calls are more likely to be useful in an accident situation?

1. Solving hard ethical dilemmas, such as swirving to avoid a baby carriage at the cost of running over an elderly person.

2. Out-of-the-box ingenuity, such as ramping off of the guard rail and balancing on two wheels to avoid the accident.

3. Stomping on the brakes as early as possible.

Human judgement definitely excels at 1 and 2, but in all honesty, I think 3 is the most practical. It also happens to be the one a computer would be best at.

If you exchange the 1 second human reaction time for a 1ms computer reaction time, you will go about 18km/h (11mph) slower when you hit something, dramatically increasing your and their chances of survival.

Obviously I know that you personally would be able to deftly maneuver to avoid the accident and that you'd react way faster than 1 second because you're always alert and a better than average driver (and it's not illusory superiority, because you'd have to be an idiot to believe you're good when you're average).

However, you're just one incredibly good driver, while there are a hundred million average ones. Statistically, it makes way more sense to opt for the 11mph reduction in impact speed.

Comment: Re:WTF does it do for me? (Score 1) 272

by vidnet (#46993251) Attached to: Why Mobile Wallets Are Doomed

why is paying by phone so much better than with plastic?

Why is paying with plastic so much better than by phone? Here's a transaction I had yesterday at Toys'R'Us:

1. In line, I unlocked my phone and found my loyalty card
2. The cashier pointed a scanner at my phone and read it
3. I already had the phone unlocked in my hand, so I touched it to the payment terminal.

What would I have gained by putting down my phone and taking out and swiping my credit card instead?

Comment: Re:Still waiting.... (Score 1) 205

by vidnet (#46431099) Attached to: Firefox OS Will Become the Mobile OS To Beat

This is not an insightful, quirky observation about modern, overengineered gadgets that try to do everything but fail to do anything well.

It's a tired and overused rant being perpetually parroted by people who don't even want what they're asking for.

If you were actually looking for such a phone, you'd have done a simple web search and found plenty of phones in the $30 range with over a month of standby time, like the Nokia 105.

Comment: Re:Are you a creepy guy who wants to video tape pp (Score 5, Informative) 421

by vidnet (#46297279) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should I Get Google Glass?

You shouldn't try to find $1500 worth of value in the current product. If there was, they'd be selling it to everyone.

Take a look at a list of apps and see if this is a technology you'd find fascinating, and decide based on whether you have the time and resources to invest into exploring it.

Glass today is basically like Internet access in 1994. Slow, expensive, flawed and of no practical value -- but interesting and fun for those with the time and interest to tinker with it.

E = MC ** 2 +- 3db