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Comment: Re:Lets use correct terminology. (Score 1) 164

by lgw (#49498497) Attached to: MakerBot Lays Off 20 Percent of Its Employees

in the US, if you're laid off you can collect the unemployment insurance you've already paid for. If you're fired or leave voluntarily, you can't collect unemployment insurance.

Can you point to a single state's laws that use that terminology? I've never heard of one. It's all about "fired for cause" vs "fired without cause". You may prefer the terms "fired" vs "laid off", but that's a newish meaning for "laid off".

What really matters to me is "do you get a respectable severance package?" You don't necessarily get one even if you're 'laid off", as some companies are really broke, and some are complete assholes.

Comment: Re:Open Tech is closing? (Score 1) 108

The real question is, after 30 years of personal computers, why can't we simply hit the "off" switch or pull the power plug?

On my Windows boxes, the (soft) power switch works just fine, thanks. It's set up to do a graceful shutdown, so it won't shut down if an application foolishly needs to ask me whether or not to save changes, but that's mostly the application's fault (see Notepad++ for how to do it right), and I could set up the power button to do a "maintenance shutdown," which force closes everything, if applications were written better.

Powering off without any notice at all, safely, would really limit performance in many ways - I'm just as happy to wait a second or two for unsaved changes to be parked, all the write caches to flush and so on.

I want a computer that I can just switch off, then switch on and be instantly back at what I was working on, or at a login screen. Instantly.

Basic physics will keep persistent storage slower than volatile memory, but if you're content with 1990s performance, you could probably build a PC that worked that way. Heck, it probably exists for some exotic use case.

Comment: Re:30 day suspension of pilot's license for prev. (Score 1) 257

by ScentCone (#49496901) Attached to: Gyrocopter Pilot Appears In Court; Judge Bans Him From D.C.
I don't believe you actually need a pilot's license to fly anything characterized as an "ultralight" aircraft, as these tape-and-balsawood gyrocopters appear to be. Doesn't mean the FAA can't fine your ass, of course, when you do dumb crap like flying a possibly deadly set of large rotors right past crowds of tourists at low altitudes in an urban area like DC.

Comment: Re: deflate gate (Score 1) 73

by Straif (#49496657) Attached to: StarTalk TV Show With Neil DeGrasse Tyson Starts Monday

Real world tests duplicated the deflation of the footballs exactly; no extreme heating was required, just normal handling. Even the calculations back up the pressure changes when correctly applied.

Oddly enough, according to the NFL investigation the only ball that was under inflated by a full 2lbs was the ball that was at one point in the possession of the Colts, all other balls were under inflated by factions of that. It's also been noted that a lot of the initial reporting on the 'scandal' came from Indianapolis sources and not the NFL. Simply put this was a non-issue that some people in the Indy media wanted to make a federal case. Even the players themselves admitted they were simply outplayed by a better team.

I don't even like the Pats per se, I just like watching exciting football regardless of what teams are playing. I do occasionally root against the Seahawks simply because one of my friends is a rabid fan and it's always fun to push his buttons. You are sounding very much like him right now when even when the replay of a call clearly shows the penalty was deserved he will argue it till his last breath.

Comment: Re: deflate gate (Score 1) 73

by Straif (#49496365) Attached to: StarTalk TV Show With Neil DeGrasse Tyson Starts Monday

Each team can inflate their footballs as they want. The officials just ensure that at the time of testing they fall within the accepted psi range.

The Patriots have already said they like their footballs on the low side of the range while the Colts preferred their footballs inflated to the maximum allowable.

Since the NFL doesn't track the pressures of the balls they inspect, just make sure that they pass, their is no indication that the Colts balls also didn't lose similar pressure during the game.

There are also pictures of the Colts balls being stored near the sideline heaters which is a violation of the rules and would also help account for any differences in relative pressure drops between their footballs and the Patriots.

All this is moot since in real world testing similar deflation was found. That and as is mentioned in another response, this only affected the first half and the Patriots scored 28 points AFTER their footballs were replaced/re-inflated.

As Dwayne Allen tweeted:

They could have played with soap for balls and beat us. Simply the better team.

Comment: Re:Three puzzles (Score 1) 178

by lgw (#49495931) Attached to: Social Science Journal 'Bans' Use of p-values

He writes his paper and submits for publication: "Rats prefer to turn left", P 0.05, the effect is real, and all is good.

There's no realistic way that a reviewer can spot the flaw in this paper.

Actually, let's pose this as a puzzle to the readers. Can *you* spot the flaw in the methodology? And if so, can you describe it in a way that makes it obvious to other readers?

I guess I don't see it. While P 0.05 isn't all that compelling, it does seem like prima facie evidence that the rats used in the sample prefer to turn left at that intesection for some reason. There's no hypothesis as to why, and thus way to generalize and no testable prediction of how often rats turn left in a different circumstances, but it's still an interesting measurement.

You have a null hypothesis and some data with a very low probability. Let's say it's P 0.01. This is such a good P-value that we can reject the null hypothesis and accept the alternative explanation. ...

Can you point out the flaw in this reasoning?

You have evidence that the null hypothesis is flawed, but none that the alternative hypothesis is the correct explanation?

The scientific method centers on making testable predictions that differ from the null hypothesis, then finding new data to see if the new hypothesis made correct predictions, or was falsified. Statistical methods can only support the new hypothesis once you have new data to evaluate.

Comment: Re:Is the math not towing the groupthink? (Score 1) 178

by lgw (#49495801) Attached to: Social Science Journal 'Bans' Use of p-values

Oh goodness, are people reading this headline to think they are removing p-values in favor of just accepting speculation with no statistical analysis!?!

This is a social science journal. Statistics are obviously a tool of the Patriarchy and should be shunned. (This mockery has become a meme now - you can buy "logic is a tool of the Patriarchy" t-shirts for goodness sake.)

Comment: Re:deflate gate (Score 1) 73

by Straif (#49495417) Attached to: StarTalk TV Show With Neil DeGrasse Tyson Starts Monday

If stating his conclusion was all he did than that would be fine but in his tweet he was essentially attacking the Patriots organization and accusing them of cheating.

When you are making accusations against a particular group or person you better double check your math and you shouldn't be surprised that there's blowback when it's shown that you were in fact wrong.

Comment: Re:deflate gate (Score 1) 73

by Straif (#49495393) Attached to: StarTalk TV Show With Neil DeGrasse Tyson Starts Monday

I think you missed a lot of deflategate. While Tyson and to a lesser extent Nye claimed what you say was required, it was shown the simple process of handling the ball in a regular fashion was more than enough to explain the discrepancies in psi. They were no extremes required, just simple normal NFL practices.

Comment: Radioactivity bogeyman (Score 1, Insightful) 162

The carrier itself was clearly "hot" when it went down and and it was packed full of fresh fission products and other radiological waste at the time it sank. The Independence was scuttled in what is now the Gulf of the Farallones sanctuary, a haven for wildlife, from white sharks to elephant seals and whales.

Better tell the residents of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to flee their homes. Those locations were also exposed to fresh fission products and other radiological waste just like this carrier.

Comment: Re:They're called trees. (Score 1) 120

by Solandri (#49495061) Attached to: Breakthrough In Artificial Photosynthesis Captures CO2 In Acetate
The referenced source from the wiki lists all the countries by their forested area (in thousand hectares), and in a handy spreadsheet no less. Add in the square km of the countries and you can calculate the percentages:

Country - percent - forested - total
Canada - 31.1% - 3,101,340 - 9,984,670
United States - 33.1% - 3,030,890 - 9,147,593
EU - 36.0% - 1,577,190 - 4,381,376

Austria - 46.1% - 38,620 - 83,855
Belgium - 21.8% - 6,670 - 30,528
Bulgaria - 32.7% - 36,250 - 110,994
Croatia - 37.7% - 21,350 - 56,594
Cyprus - 18.8% - 1,740 - 9,251
Czech Rep - 33.6% - 26,480 - 78,866
Denmark - 11.6% - 5,000 - 43,075
Estonia - 50.5% - 22,840 - 45,227
Finland - 66.5% - 225,000 - 338,424
France - 23.0% - 155,540 - 674,843
Germany - 31.0% - 110,760 - 357,021
Greece - 28.4% - 37,520 - 131,990
Hungary - 21.2% - 19,760 - 93,030
Ireland - 9.5% - 6,690 - 70,273
Italy - 33.1% - 99,790 - 301,338
Latvia - 45.5% - 29,410 - 64,589
Lithuania - 32.2% - 20,990 - 65,200 -
Luxembourg - 33.6% - 870 - 2,586
Malta - 0% - 0 - 316
Netherlands - 8.8% - 3,650 - 41,543
Poland - 29.4% - 91,920 - 312,685
Portugal - 40.9% - 37,830 - 92,390
Romania - 26.7% - 63,700 - 238,391
Slovakia - 39.3% - 19,290 - 49,035
Slovenia - 62.3% - 12,640 - 20,273
Spain - 35.5% - 179,150 - 504,030
Sweden - 61.2% - 275,280 - 449,964
United Kingdom - 11.7% - 28,450 - 243,610

The EU's percentage is skewed up by the Scandinavian, Baltic, and Slovakian countries. Though Germany, Spain, Portugul, Italy, and Austria are right around the EU average. Anyway, can we just drop this stupid penis measuring contest? It's close enough to call it a tie.

"There is such a fine line between genius and stupidity." - David St. Hubbins, "Spinal Tap"