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Comment Re:For the americans (Score 1) 305

For the EU soccer fans, attent a US sports event once and make it clear you are a foreinger, the Americans will welcome the newbie and show you everything, just remmeber that they like to play pranks and so will offer you a drink of cooled piss and pretend it is beer. Just smile politely and drop it somewhere. It is all part of the experience.

Dear God, this is so true.

Comment Find an itch and scratch it (Score 2, Interesting) 293

Write a program that tries to help to solve one of your everyday problems. It mustn't be the best in general, but it should be as good and as well suited for your own needs as possible. It could be something for you personal finance tracking, something for entertainment, a better interface for data that you can download from the web (dictionary? thesaurus?). The most important thing is that the problem must be interesting enough for you to finish the task so you should be able to at least get the software to a certain level of usability. Then write documentation for it.

Comment Re:Berlin Wall (Score 1) 1698

Let me put it this way. Have you seen the Berlin Wall? I have. In some places there were actually two walls, with a no-man's land in between. In that space were machine-gun towers, spaced so close that the guards could kill each other. And people were willing to sprint through a machine-gun killing ground, just to escape from communism.

I have lived on the other side of the wall. It wasn't so bad and, to stay on topic, health care was quite good and universal. Very important for societies growing from the ruins of WWII. The reasons for people sprinting through the killing ground in Berlin were much more complex than just communism. (Which hasn't been implemented anywhere in the pre-1989 socialist states of Europe anyway).

Comment Re:Bothered Slightly (Score 2, Interesting) 319

i.e. if a boolean poll has 49% for one side (9) the other answer has to be 51% (1) The last digits (1 and 9) are completely dependent.

He could just as well pick the lowest number of the two and check distribution of 0-5 digits. I have a bigger problem with his analysis, from TFA:

I did not include "non-response responses" like "other" or "undecided", nor did I include a tally for third-party candidates in races beteween the two major parties.

Given the dependence between the possible outcomes of the poll, I'm more curious about results with this data included.

Comment Re:Handwaving math. (Score 1) 319

I'll concede the numerical distributions where base 10 is important, e.g. your $10K tax cutoff, are not going to obey Benford's law.

If there are artificial constrains to the data, like $10K cutoff or some maximum level, the Benford's law is not the right tool. For example there is no point in applying that method to prices of single products. There are many goods at level x.99â. However, you could apply the Benford's law to the turnover.

Comment Re:laser pointer (Score 1) 208

very clever how hey grab info using a laser pointer and measuring the vibrations. i'm afraid you might notice the big red dot on your computer though. sienfield flash backs.

You might not notice if they move from proof of concept with laser pointer to a real device. Are you able to see infrared?

Use the Force, Luke.