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Comment Re:Android not as big as it appears (Score 1) 331

They don't charge for thier app. They charge for the ads on the videos inside their app. So all of the above is just noise.

They make more money by hitting more people, so they should have an adroid app.

(Their list of advertisers is small, but they show over and over. I have "Viking River Cruises" DRILLED into my head by so many repititions of their ad while watching videos on the iPad PBS app.)

Comment Re:Mobile apps and screen sizes, legit problem (Score 4, Interesting) 331

I used to work with one of these people. I liked him a lot. But he came from the advertising world and from printed media. He was used (years of experience) to being able to start a project with a SIZE.

So the first thing he did on any web project was define a box of a fixed size, and float it in the middle of the page. Change the page size all you liked, the content stayed the same size.

Then he nailed down all the fonts so you couldn't adjust them. He used pictures for text all over the place, because they looked exactly like the fonts he was using, so there was no difference. You wouldn't change the font yourself, right? You'd never know.

And you see this all the time, on the web. Not sure if all the culprits come from print media, but they seem to have that same urge: Control the experience. Completely. Utterly ignore the fact that people have bigger and smaller screens, disabilities which cause them to prefer different font sizes or colors, etc.

Comment Re:The ipad app is superb? (Score 1, Flamebait) 331

The iPad app is crap.

It's missing the obvious, trivial user interface items like last broadcast date on shows that make finding new content other than the featured content REALLY painful. It's eye-candy heavy and usability light. The video player (the absolute core of the thing, really) has always crashed on my iPad, even though they've clearly changed their core player software (from one crashing system to another).

They should be making a much simpler, rock solid app. It's their fear of their eye-candy not looking the same which is driving this, or their fear of not being able to be sure that their ads will show.

NPR's iPhone app suffers from the same usability issues, though thanksfully isn't laden with eye-candy.

Comment Re:Oh, gag me. (Score 2) 564

Science/math folks easily understand when non-science folk get things wrong. It's obvious. And so we know they need better science ed.

What's harder to see and not as clear cut is when science/engineering people (usually the low to mid-level people) are boring people who cannot think. Dull, spudly people you don't want to work with.

They don't need to take the humanities for the reasons from the article, they need to take the humaninties because they want to. When you find you don't want to, change colleges, change courses. You're getting a crap education when history isn't fun.

Yes, skip Plato. Skip the oldest deadest white guys. You can read the cliff notes there. But when you go to IIT you know to do your damnedest to avoid the required COBOL class they taught until something like 10 years ago. You know to skip the into to programming class they still try to make you take. Colleges make money on the stock crap. Skip that when you can. Skip the intros. You can get that from a book.

Whereas small group seminars in the humanities are chances to try to think. They teach you how to talk and integrate information from the news and from different countries/cultures. Take a class on Melville. Take a class on the history of detective fiction. And take linguistics, polysci and art. Otherwise why the hell are you wasteing your money going to a University? Go to a trade school. Be a drone. Reach the mid-level and stagnate. Because that's who you want to be.

Don't bitch about the humanities versions of the COBOL class without bitching about the CS department's COBOL class in the same breath. It's the same thing. Don't bitch about well-educated humanities people being morons without looking in the mirror and seeing the disfunctional troll you personally sculpted by avoiding investigating culture all your life.

Comment Re:Idle speculation (Score 1) 290

Until we sequence a good representitive sample of Neanderthals, this is premature. You could look for mitochondrial progession, and make some judgements about that (see the complete cock-up the Eve hypothesis people made of this in the late 80's) but right now we have the genome of ONE Neanderthal. ONE!

This is a group of people which ranged across Africa, Asia, Europe and Australia and were there for a long time. There's a lot of genetic variation possible. We don't know how much, because we have nothing to compare against.

This is shoddy work.

Comment Re:Idle speculation (Score 1) 290

"Theories that modern humans simply outbred them and replaced them are viable"

Of course they're not. It impies that there wasn't enough food for Neanderthals, once the modern HS came on the scene. Humans (including Neanderthals) are omnivores with big enough brains to adapt to different food sources, and to move on when there's not enough food in one place. The Earth is BIG, and there were lots of prey animals and plants. There are plenty of places Neanderthals could have held out. Remember, the above hypothesis doesn't require them to starve on 99% of the planet. It requires them to starve EVERYWHERE.

They had to have been assimilated or killed. They may have been reduced in number by diminishing food sources, but that wouldn't have eliminated them.

Comment Re:This just in (Score 1) 290

No, if it does, then the data will reflect it. They might be right in their testable hypothesis, and wrong on their guess at causality.

You can't prove anything about the size f the visual cortex in the Neanderthals, so you'd be comparing apples to smoke anyhow. Their paper says "Big eyes means stupid." That's testable.

This is just another in a long string of pointless Neanderthal speculation articles. This one made the mistake of having a testable hypothesis. Finaly, one that can be shown to be a waste of paper!

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"The fundamental principle of science, the definition almost, is this: the sole test of the validity of any idea is experiment." -- Richard P. Feynman