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Comment Not a good voting system (Score 1) 128

That's really a terrible voting algorithm. For many, many reasons:
  • First, there's the whole issue of averaging 1-10 ratings. First, those number will not be uniformly distributed. Rather, they'll be clustered in the 1-2, 5, 8-10. Second they aren't ratio quantities, so you just can't average them. By this I mean that 1/10+2*10/10 = 21/30 scores the same as 3*7/10. That really doesn't make sense. A reddit style voting system will address this, but requires a larger sample size.
  • Ignoring the first issue, your first round has fairly low confidence of selecting the best stories for review. Let's be generous and assume that of your initial 20 reviewers half actually review it. Let's further assume none of them lie and just call it e.g. a 7/10 without reading it. You still have a sample size of 10. By terribly misusing the CLT because the sample is too small, we would assume the results are normally distributed about the "true" mean with a standard deviation of approximately 1.68. That means that if a score averages 8/10 after 10 reviews, there's a 17% chance that it's really 6.3 or worse. Similarly, a 6/10 average has 17% chance of really being 7.68. Not very encouraging.
  • The above makes some very, very bad assumptions (e.g. nobody just says "Screw it; i'm putting down 7.") and misapplies the CLT. In reality, you have no idea what your confidence interval is, other than that it's not tight.
  • You can increase the sample size for part 1, but that loses the benefits of your scheme and, as people are bothered to review more, they'll participate more rarely unless you reward them well.

In short, it's a pretty meaningless system based on a flawed average with unknown, but low, confidence in the scores.

Comment Re:Will it have a button... (Score 1) 71

I absolutely agree that there shouldn't be repercussions for mistakenly reporting somebody as a sockpuppet. However, if an accusation appears baseless and motivated by personal feelings (and this guy's accusation clearly was, based on his absurd portrayal of my "edit" as being "an attack on the legitimacy of scholarly interpretation"), somebody should look at the entire situation. In a case like this, where it was pretty clearly an admin abusing his status and better knowledge of the system to coerce a result, there should be an official response in the form of a public reprimand/apology with the admin potentially losing his status. Having an elevated status means that admins should have to behave better.

Comment Re:Will it have a button... (Score 1) 71

That would have helped, but I would have still walked away upset that basically an admin can try to abuse the system without any sort of consequence. I think a more appropriate response would have been, "here's a pretty baseless accusation of sockpuppetry; let's look into this some more."

Comment Re:Will it have a button... (Score 1) 71

I would have liked it had one of the other admins investigating the sockpuppetry allegation would have taken a moment to say, "this guy is clearly out of line; maybe we should address this somehow." Basically, I'm left with the impression that admins (or at least certain ones) view their articles as their own private turf and use their positions as admins and their better knowledge of the system (or appearance of better knowledge) to bully people trying to help. Some sort of pro-active check on this would be a nice start. I know I'm not the first person to experience this, but I still have no idea how to file a complaint against an admin, nor do I have any reason to assume it would be handled in an open and impartial manner.

Comment Re:Will it have a button... (Score 0) 71

I can give you an example. There was what seemed to be to be an outlandishly strange interpretation of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" included in the song's page. I joined a discussion in the comments (not in the page proper!) advocating removing it. Turns out, it was added by a wikiadmin and he liked the pseudo-intellectual veneer it added, so, rather than admit he's super-outvoted in the comments page, he accuses me of running sockpuppets (because, of course, there's no way multiple people could think he's wrong!). I had to write a responses defending myself. The "case" against me stalled for lack of evidence, but it was never officially dismissed and can be reopened. Since then, I've mostly stuck to typo-fixing, because, frankly, improving wikipedia isn't worth that sort of time and aggravation.
Music

Man With World's Deepest Voice Can Hit Infrasonic Notes 173

An anonymous reader writes "The man who holds the Guinness record for the world's lowest voice can hit notes so low that only animals as big as elephants are able to hear them. American singer Tim Storms, who also has the world's widest vocal range, can reach notes as low as G-7 (0.189Hz), an incredible eight octaves below the lowest G on the piano."

Comment There's also the question of who's going to rent.. (Score 1) 195

It seems many of the car-owners have an inflated opinion of their cars' worth. Looking at the prices people in my area want to charge, they tend to be at least double what ZipCar would charge me (and ZipCar includes gas!). That kind of kills their business model in major cities.

Comment Re:Ironic (Score 1) 606

Your claim that housing and fuel are not in the CPI is categorically false. Housing alone is over 41% of the CPI calculation, and motor fuel is another 5.5% You can read it for yourself: http://www.bls.gov/cpi/cpid1205.pdf (page 4). Now, if you want to say the CPI under-estimates inflation, the place to start is with the hedonic adjustment factors...

Comment Re:Great!!! (Score 2) 119

From the linked article:
Because we will only launch KickSat into a low-altitude orbit, we can guarantee that all of the Sprites will re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere within a few days or weeks, leaving no trace of space debris. KickSat itself will last somewhat longer, but should burn up in the atmosphere within a few months.

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