Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Blackberry, if you want to live... (Score 1) 141

When RIM was pushing all-in on the new OS, I wondered how any human could possibly think it was a good idea. How could they not see: it was clearly, obviously suicidal. Now, years later, after we know that it was a horrible idea - we've seen how it took away RIM's last real shot at continued relevance, now that we know people are not excited about it, that it didn't bring anything interesting or novel and has been panned resoundingly by critics and consumers pretty much everywhere, and people have demonstrated their preference by switching off RIM en masse... how can people still not see it? I mean, lots of people were stoked about the Playbook; it had every chance at success. Until people saw it and it was obvious garbage.

I know people who still like their BlackBerries, some have even gone back after experimenting with other smartphones. But they went back because of the hardware, in defiance of their hatred for the OS. My brother has one and is perpetually swearing at it and its unintuitive menus and crappy apps, but he keeps it on him because it gets a good signal, has a hardware keyboard, good battery life, and voices are clear.

He would instantly switch to an Android phone on BlackBerry hardware (sometimes he actually carries two phones so that he can have one that is a phone, the BlackBerry, and one that is everything else, the Android). I think it would be an OK idea, and said so years ago, once it was clear Android would win. I don't know anyone who would want BlackBerry OS on someone else's hardware.

Except you, I guess.

Comment Re:use wifi (Score 1) 250

Are you fucking with me, or what?

If you have ONE AP using ONE channel and you have ONE user, then the user can use (or at least approach) the full channel capacity. When you add a second node you have to add some back off time to avoid collisions. As you add nodes, there are more times when you have to back off. During back off time, no one is transmitting. Since capacity is a RATE, any TIME when no one is transmitting equals a LOSS of capacity.

So, for the third fucking time, without regard to power or interference, the aggregate capacity of a wireless network decreases as the number of nodes increase.

I'd be very happy to discuss this further. But if you just say the same thing again I will wish horrible, violent death on you.

Comment Re:use wifi (Score 1) 250

Interference is a different problem. And you're absolutely right that it can be mitigated with more APs (and smart channel assignments).

With a single AP and a completely (RF) quiet environment the aggregate capacity goes down as the number of nodes increases. More nodes means more time spent in backoff. This problem is unrelated to interference or transmit power.

Comment Re:A few incovenient truths... (Score 1) 462

It appears to show a decline.. hmmm, yeah... It's a log graph - it went from like 100,000 to 10, you fantastic, almost unbelievable idiot. That's not methodological differences or something. A whole bunch of people used to get measles, and then almost nobody did. Because they were getting vaccinated.

Your stupid, stupid mental agenda is preventing you from getting anywhere near the ballpark of sanity.

Comment Re:A few incovenient truths... (Score 1) 462

"There were people who were vaccinated that got this disease, but to blame it on the un-vaccinated, we excluded all those who did not get their vaccinations when we said so"

That, uh, is not what they're saying. It's implied from their statement that some people were vaccinated on time and still got the disease, yes. Clearly the vaccine is not 100% effective. We know this. But they're highlighting the fact that people who were not vaccinated are overrepresented in the infected group, a fact that is true and interesting.

They have no scientific data to prove that there are certain times that EVERY individual must be vaccinated - there are many medical reasons for why one would delay certain vaccinations.

That statement is not making the value judgement you are attributing to it. There could be a million reasons to not get vaccinated. It could be a horrible idea to get vaccinated. They're not doing any of the persecution you're imagining. They're just saying that people who didn't get vaccinated (a smaller group) makes up a disproportionate number of people who got infected.

Additionally, they have no studies to show that delaying vaccination has an increased risk of infection from the diseases

Measles vaccines are well studied. There are studies that prove the efficacy of the vaccine, and also studies that tell us how long vaccines take to start working. There's also studies on the effect of vaccination programs that are widely followed. Here - - is an article from the New England Journal of Medicine talking about how the vaccine effectively eliminated measles in Finland.

Of course there are negatives to vaccines, sure, but the vast majority of resistance to them is based on misunderstandings and ignorance of science. There's also a feeling that opting out has no negative consequences; this is dangerous, and something that becomes exponentially more dangerous the more people that buy into it. It's like people deciding not to vote. It's pretty much meaningless in small numbers, but it could become a real issue if too many people stopped at once.

Comment Re:A few incovenient truths... (Score 1) 462

You say that's a correlation == causation strawman argument?... So is the snide comment in the original post

Do you know what a strawman argument is? You're saying that the original post here is a strawman argument.. but where's the strawman? What is the other position that's being misrepresented?

So is the snide comment in the original post

What is the snide comment? The summary, which is all most of the posters would have read, is pretty much a list of facts. I mean:

Around 90 percent of the people who have had measles in this country were not vaccinated either because they refused, or were not vaccinated on time.

There's not really any spin there, that's just what happened.

And are you really, really taking the position that an increased number of measles cases, where we know that most of the infected weren't vaccinated, is just spuriously correlated to more people not getting vaccinated? That's really where you're at? Do you understand how impossible it would be to gain knowledge about the world if this is how you reasoned?

Hmm. There's no milk in the fridge. Also, I drank all the milk last night. But let's not go jumping to conclusions here. There seems to be correlation, but we can't reason based on that. I really want to choke whoever started the current "correlation is not causation" meme - it's true, but it's mostly used now as an excuse to discount reasonably valid evidence, often in favor of humanity-embarrassing stuff like this:

I'll buy that GW is dangerous when ALGORE sells his beach house and carbon-neutrally composts his $100*10^6 from Qatar

Yeah, this is how we should do reasoning. We should look at the behavior of people that espouse positions, and if we detect any hypocrisy then their position must be wrong.

Comment Re:Cheaper (Score 1) 495

Ummm, unsubsidized means more expensive.

Well, subsidized also means the price is effectively hidden for many people. If people normally had to pay for phones up front (instead of paying for them over time in an opaque way), they'd be more likely to demand cheaper phones. So the presence of "subsidized" phones (which aren't really subsidized, but amortized) means phones are often more expensive.

Comment Re:Double standards... (Score 3, Informative) 710

Wow. I mean, first, many textbooks DO talk about alternative explanations over the years - be they Lamarck's theories or creationism or whatever, and I've never heard of biologists making any kind of fuss.

But, more directly, if Creationism were introduced in these texts as "the old theory that evolution replaces", it's not the biologists that would be screaming. If they're complaining, it's because the accepted theory is being presented as being on par with the old ones.

Or maybe your other science textbooks do that too? Maybe your science textbook said "we don't know whether the Sun orbits the Earth or the Earth orbits the sun, but here's some reckoning people have done over the years on both sides". Is that what your science textbook says? Or does it say "here's how it is, and here's what people used to think?" And you really, legitimately think it's biologists that would be crying foul if that's how biology textbooks presented creationism vs. evolution?

Comment Re:Not seeing the issue (Score 1) 284

I think what the author wants is that "World Champion" is merely a result of the tally of rankings. Not established by an event... Everyone gets a trophy.

He wants events. He wants tournaments. Winning a tournament is a big goal. There's no reason some of the tournaments wouldn't be more prestigious (as Wimbledon is for tennis), and they would have reigning champions. Not everyone wins tournaments or gets trophies. His plan has nothing to do with watering down competition. His plan has nothing to do with the safety of the players, who would go on winning and losing (and, if anything, the bulk of them would be under more pressure more often).

All we're talking about is changing the sampling frequency. On one end, you have a measure like ELO that samples continuously. On the other end, you have championship matches years apart. In the middle, you have milestone tournaments a few times a year (like tennis or golf, which he mentions). There's benefits at each point on this continuum. Personally, I think that the "big tournament" structure of golf or tennis creates a lot of interest, and also gives us a useful, interesting way of comparing the success of different players over time (while still potentially rewarding short lived inspired play).

Comment Re:Shit article (Score 2) 284

You completely misunderstood the article. His complaint isn't about how Carlsen has arrived here or how long it's taken (it hasn't been long); it's that having a single, seldom-disputed title for Chess doesn't provide a fine-grained measurement for accomplishment. Through chance or deliberate "ducking", someone can end up being world chess champion longer or shorter than they "deserve". He believes that with more frequent sampling, you could get a more accurate "signal" in terms of player skill. He believes this would generate more interest, and give us better data to compare players over time. I think he's probably right, though he's missing the fact that his system would also reward a somewhat different skill set (it's different to win tournaments vs. matches).

Boxing actually has a fairly chess-like title system (though it's a mess). What he wants is a tournament system like tennis or golf. He thinks Carlsen, if he wins, would have standing to push through this kind of change. He probably would.

Comment Re:They are both wrong (Score 3, Interesting) 247

Well, that's the naive cynical view. The reality is that as societies become more wealthy (particularly, as they move out of starvation/subsistence) they have less children (not more), and an important part of getting out of the poverty trap is reducing disease (which destroys a tremendous amount of labor). It's not the only step, obviously, but it is a step in the right direction (even if we are trying to behave as idealized, heartless social planning robots, and ignore all the current suffering this could mitigate).

Slashdot Top Deals

EARTH smog | bricks AIR -- mud -- FIRE soda water | tequila WATER