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Comment Re:Well that was 7 minutes I won't get back (Score 1) 156

Agreed. This was an article with many low points, but I think the following two excerpts highlight the flawed reasoning quite well:

The underlying platforms and infrastructures we develop on top of should take care of [ensuring security], and leave us free to innovate and create the next insanely great thing.

The other major factor in why things are so bad is that we don't care, evidently. If developers refused to develop on operating systems or languages that didn't supply unattackable foundations, companies such as Apple and Microsoft (and communities such as the Linux kernel devs) would get the message in short order.

This article is missing even a gesture towards explaining why "the infrastructure" should be responsible for security while developers create their masterpeices, and boils down to mere whining: "Security isn't fun so someone else should do it for me!" Perhaps the worst part is that there is a good argument to be made that the OS and hardware should take of security, and a fundamental limit to how much security they can offer; the blog author just doesn't make it. Having the OS plug a given security hole once is more efficient than having each application duplicate the effort of plugging the hole. On the other hand, security is necessarily a trade-off for functionality, so the only fully secure application is one with no permission to do anything.

Comment Re:OK, so... (Score 1) 93

In the time you took to complain you could have RTFA.

Reread my post. I clicked through and read the article before posting my comment.

I understood it the first time I read it yesterday.

No you didn't. As the summary contains no actual information, you filled it in with your own prejudices and preconceptions, no doubt because you are not in the habit of reading things carefully. cf My first point.

Today, listening to complaints, I read it again and still understand it.

What is this supposed to prove? Of course you "still" understand it after having read the full article, unless you think people habitually lose all knowledge of their previous experiences after sleeping for eight hours.

Maybe you're not bright enough to either a) read it carefully

Ha! cf My first point again.

or b)understand it.

cf My second point.

No problema - there are plenty of jobs as janitors and car salesmen.

What do you do that's so prestigious and intellectually demanding?

Comment Re:OK, so... (Score 5, Insightful) 93

You know, I read the summary without understanding it, and just clicked through to read the article, but only after reading your comment did I realize just how little sense the summary really made.

In a blog post, Steve Hanov explains how 20 lines of code can outperform A/B testing.

It starts off talking about a nobody who did something that is apparently so trivial that it can be outdone by 20 lines of code. You might think that the following sentence will answer at least one of the questions raised by this sentence: Who is Steve Hanov? What is A/B testing? What do Steve's 20 lines of code do? But you'd be wrong.

Using an example from one of his own sites, Hanov reports a green button outperformed orange and white buttons.

Because the next sentence jumps to a topic whose banality and seeming irrelevance to the matter at hand defies belief. Three coloured buttons, one of which 'outperformed' the others, with nary a hint as to what these buttons do, or how one can outperform the others.

Why don't people use this method?

The third sentence appears to pick up where the first left off. Why don't people use the A/B testing method? Or are we talking about the three coloured buttons method?

Because most don't understand or trust machine learning algorithms, mainstream tools don't support it, and maybe because bad design will sometimes win.

The final sentence is a tour-de-force of disjointed confusion. It skips from machine learning algorithms that haven't been discussed, to tools with unknown purpose, to the design of something which was never specified.

It's like the summary is some kind of abstract art installation whose purpose is to be as uninformative as possible. It is literally the opposite of informative: Not only does it provide no information, it raises questions which you can't even be sure relate to the purported topic at hand, because you don't know what the topic at hand is.

It is either a bizarrely confused summary or one of the most artful trolls ever to grace Slashdot's front page

Comment Re:It's a gamble either way (Score 1) 419

The title and summary are poorly worded, even for Slashdot. From the bill:

These rates shall only be determined using historical data, and these data shall be limited to the time period following the year 1900. Rates of seas-level rise may be extrapolated linearly.

Specifying that only historical data may be used is one thing. Explicitly dileniating the time used for extrapolation, as well as the method used for extrapolation is quite another. The real point of contention is that sea level rise is exponential, not linear, at least according to the Scientific American blog posting.

Comment Re:This is an outrage (Score 1) 164

Dictionaries are not authoritative, but style guides are even less so. A style guide is merely someone's opinion as to what is clear and/or aesthetically pleasing. Much to the dismay of many with strong opinions about how language should be used, myself included, the concept of correct language is mostly just a lie we tell to children to avoid having to explain the ugly truth: that no two people have exactly the same mental schema of English, and that we're just trying to make sure they line up well enough that we can understand one another.

Comment Re:This is an outrage (Score 1) 164

"Gift" is not a verb. You cannot create a gerund from a noun.

First, 'electronic gifting' is not a gerund. A gerund is the '-ing' form of a verb used as a noun. 'Electronic gifting' is pretty clearly an adverb and a verb. Second, the ability of a verb to serve as a noun, and vice versa, is so widespread in English, is so fundamental to how the language works, that I can't imagine why you people keep bringing this up. Go look at a list of common verbs or nouns in English and see how many are also a noun or verb

Comment Re:How is that different from any search engine? (Score 1) 168

Here is a search of the ACL Anthology for Speech recognition. As you can see, the term is widely used by actual computer scientists. Linguistic Audio Parsing, by contrast, is a term you coined just now.

Converting speech to text does have some drawbacks, but it has many advantages as well. First among these is the ability to apply the vast amount of work which has been put into parsing and understanding text. Furthermore, there's no need to lose the additional information carried by tone and other speech patterns, you can simply annotate the text you produce with tags denoting, for example, sarcasm. The actual problem with translating speech to text then applying the usual sentence parsing algorithms is that spoken text and written text actually have distinct grammars. They are like different dialects of the same language.

Comment Re:How is that different from any search engine? (Score 1) 168

Your error was not "parse" vs "recognize"; it was "speech" vs "text". Watson deals with text, not with speech. Parsing speech is quite difficult--it would require entirely different algorithms from what Watson already uses, introducing additional computation time and additional errors. The difference is not at all trivial.

Comment Re:How is that different from any search engine? (Score 1) 168

[It] does in a kind of weird sense.

No it doesn't.

It "recognizes" complex speech patterns (natural language) to analyze and produce an answer. It doesn't "recognize" sounds of speech (phonemes) and turn them into text to then analyze.

In Computer Science, speech recognition refers specifically to translating spoken words and sentences into text, so you have entirely contradicted yourself. Watson does parse the text of the clues; but that is sentence parsing, and has nothing to do with speech.

Comment Re:Not natural (Score 2) 910

No, Occam's Razor does not suggest that there is a powerful, sinister organization which is ruthlessly stamping out any leaders who even start to surface--that's your false dilemma talking.

At least two much more reasonable possibilities present themselves immediately. The survey may have been worded poorly (or suffered from some other methodological flaw) such that it grossly overstates the degree to which American and dissatisfied with their government; or, to address your particular claim, the problems which America face may be too intractable to be solved by any one leader, no matter how competent.

Comment Re:What about Jesse Jackson... (Score 1) 1208

Sorry, but many slashdot posters have an IQ of 140+.

First of all, 'many' is not 'most', nor is it any other meaningfully quantifiable term (e.g., the average slashdoter has IQ of 140+; 20% of slashdotters have an IQ of 140+); so unless you have detailed statistics about the distribution of IQs within Slashdot's population you have not shown that the average slashdoter will be smarter than any other random person. See: Many Canadians have an IQ of 140+. That puts Canadians well into the top percentage of IQ across whatever reference group you care to name. Odds are thus pretty damn high that a random person a Canadian bumps into will be less intelligent than him or her.

Second, I don't know how you know the IQ of 'many' slashdoters, but if you're basing that on the self-reported IQ here in the comments, then you really need to shake off the groupthink.

As for my second paragraph, I was adding some thoughts about the problems with relying on statistical trends about a large population, even when those trends are true, which Derbyshire does in some of his more reasonable bullet points. It wasn't directed at you, and there's no need to get so angry about it.

Comment Re:What about Jesse Jackson... (Score 1) 1208

Hmm. Many slashdot posters are almost certainly smarter than any random black person they're going to meet.

Almost certainly smarter than any random white, yellow, purple or green person too. That's an unfortunate downside of being intelligent.

If you actually believe this you need to stop reading so much Slashdot and shake off the group-think.

Furthermore, even if you accept Derbyshire's assertion that whites have statistically higher IQs than blacks, it's still racist to assume that you, or any other random white, is smarter most black people you'll meet. First, because such attitudes do real and lasting harm to society; and second, because in any actual interaction you'll have much more immediate and telling evidence about your black interlocutor's intelligence than some extremely broad statistical generalization. You ought to judge people based on specific facts pertaining to the individual--any thing less is lazy and, in some circumstances, racist.

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