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Journal Journal: Interesting Numbers 3

I've never been a particularly normal person, and I guess my hobbies are a reflection of that. I'm a programmer by trade, but I've recently taken an interest in historical statistics in light of the current financial crisis. I'll say up front that stats were never my strong point, so feel free to tell me if you think I'm doing anything out of line here, but I think it's pretty straightforward.

Comment Re:What a sad world (Score 1) 140

Wow. I don't even know where to start.

You start by telling me I'm arguing against human progress (WTF?), and then proceed to apologize for a group of people whose behavior was obviously and apologetically out of line for the better part of a year, and even call their work "credible." You then suggest that more people of this caliber are necessary, ignoring the fact that more people will not diffuse the laziness or alleviate the stretched budgets you claim are the source of the problem.

No, the problem is groupthink, editors who refuse to run stories contrary to their political views, and news stations who position their organization for ratings rather than their informational value.

Yes, I'm saying that simple, unfiltered data is preferable to lies and spin. The fact that reporters spin and lie to fit their personal and organizational agendas is well-known. To call them on their dishonesty is never "stale."

Comment Re:What a sad world (Score 1) 140

They are inadequate on their own. Unfortunately, many "reporters" have gone outside of their charge of "getting to the meat of the issue" and have become propagandists and king makers. When that happened, their value was lost and the simple transcript is of greater informational value.

Real reporters dig in no matter who is the center of the controversy - not just when it's someone they don't agree with. They don't ask political figures loaded questions and insult them, they chase the truth. They don't push agendas, they tell you what all of the agendas are and tell you the implications with an even hand.

Modern reporters are closer to tabloid writers and publicists, and their value is on par with those professions.

Comment Re:eat my shorts, slashdot !! (Score 2, Interesting) 326

I don't see how a failed discussion site about general technology has anything to do with "failing with Linux." I went to his site a few times, but found that it was missing a sort of critical mass that is necessary to make it an interesting discussion.

Yes, I know I'm feeding the trolls. They just look so cute and I'm still in the holiday spirit, I guess.

Comment Re:Common Sense (Score 1) 656

This stuff doesn't happen overnight, assuming it happens at all. If we're talking a hundred years, people move around. If Manhattan starts having flooding problems, people will sell off and leave it. Not really a big deal -- certainly no different than has happened countless times in other former boomtowns. Honestly, the idea of fitting 3 million people on an island is a little wacky to begin with.

Comment Re:Common Sense (Score 1) 656

Also kind of strange how the climate does not cycle over 11yrs in tune with the cosmic rays from sunspots.

Why is that strange? You've got two phenomena, oscillating at different frequencies. Earth's cycles don't affect those of the sun's, and the sun's don't affect the Earth's so drastically as to force a significant change in the Earth's rhythm.

So what happens? I'd hazard a guess that they add up. When the cycles both peak, you get a particularly hot year. When they're both low, you get a cold year. Most of the time they're out of sync, where a low sun cycle cools off a high point in the Earth's cycle, or a high sun cycle warms up what would have normally been a particularly cold winter.

The Internet

Towards a World Wide Grid? 105

Roland Piquepaille writes "In recent months, the concept of 'cloud computing' was all the buzz. European researchers think about another name, the World Wide Grid, which could run on top of the Internet. In an article to appear soon, ICT Results will report about the g-Eclipse project. As the scientists said, 'the g-Eclipse project aims to build an integrated workbench framework to access the power of existing Grid infrastructures. The framework will be built on top of the reliable eco-system of the Eclipse community to enable a sustainable development.' The project started in July 2006 and was successfully completed in June 2008 for a total cost of €2.5 million, including a EU contribution of €1.96 million."

Submission + - Radiohead Says Album Sales Numbers False

An anonymous reader writes: Radiohead has come out to say that the news that only 38% of those who signed up to get In Rainbows actually paid for it is wrong. "In response to purely speculative figures announced in the press regarding the number of downloads and the price paid for the album, the group's representatives would like to remind people that, as the album could only be downloaded from the band's website, it is impossible for outside organisations to have accurate figures on sales...The figures quoted by the company comScore Inc are wholly inaccurate and in no way reflect definitive market intelligence or, indeed, the true success of the project." Radiohead declined to release the actual sales figures.

Submission + - Fox News Bans Ron Paul from Debate

nunya_bizns writes: Fox News and the Republican Party of Iowa are trying to keep Dr Ron Paul out of IOWA's Decemter Debate — http://sianews.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=3282

The debate will be limited to those candidates who have satisfied the following criteria:
1. Announced a formal campaign for President; and
2. Filed the necessary paperwork with the Federal Election Commission; and
3. Met all U.S. constitutional requirements; and
4. Garnered at least 5% of the national electorate as determined by an average of the most recent national telephone polls of registered voters conducted by non-partisan public opinion polling organizations leading up to the registration deadline as determined by Fox News Channel and the Republican Party of Iowa or garnered an average of at least 5% in the most recent polls of Iowa voters conducted by the American Research Group and the Des Moines Register.

Sign the Petition to rightfully have Ron Paul participate in the debate — http://www.petitiononline.com/r0npau1/petition.html

Submission + - Battle Over RIAA Expert Reliability Continues

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "The battle over the "reliability" of the RIAA's expert witness, Dr. Doug Jacobson of Iowa State, continues, with the RIAA defending its expert by arguing that "everyone in his field proceeds the same way he did", to which the defendant responded by reminding the judges of the witness's own testimony that his "method" was invented by himself a year and a half ago, and has never been shared with, much less accepted by, anyone else in the "scientific community".... a prerequisite for admissibility of expert testimony in federal court under the Daubert case."
The Internet

Submission + - Make a viral video, lose your job

Raul654 writes: "Philip de Vellis, the author of the Hilary Clinton viral video was outed today on the Huffington Post. The company he works for, Blue State Digital, has now fired him as a result. Said Vellis: "I made the 'Vote Different' ad because I wanted to express my feelings about the Democratic primary, and because I wanted to show that an individual citizen can affect the process.""

Submission + - Judge: Pattis Santangelo Has Right to Day in Court

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "Judge Colleen McMahon in Elektra v. Santangelo, in White Plains, NY, federal court has rejected the RIAA's attempt to dismiss "without prejudice", ruling instead that she is "entitled to have her legal status resolved one way or the other." (pdf). The judge ordered the RIAA to dismiss with prejudice by April 1st, or be ready to go ahead with a plan for the trial on April 13th. The judge rejected the RIAA's claim that Ms. Santangelo had defrauded the court, ruling that "Nothing in any papers filed by plaintiffs suggests IN THE SLIGHTEST that Mrs. Santangelo has ever perpetrated any fraud on this court." (capitals in the original)."

Submission + - Small Developer Feels Pinch of Software Patents

Penguinisto writes: A business has so far felt the very real pain of sotware patent enforcement — but this time, it is a large company who extinguished the little guy. Reyes Infografica had recently sent a Cease and Desist notice to a small Poser hobbyist programmer named Phil Cooke for his "Clothing Creator" program, claiming that it violates one of their patents (Phil's own site/support forum contains the copy of Reyes' C&D, Phil's announcement, and relevant discussions.) Clothing Creator has been out for a couple of years now. Basically, it builds quick custom clothing for humanoid 3d figures within the 3d compositing/rendering program called Poser. Recently, E-Frontier, the current owner of Poser, had partnered with Reyes to sell a competing product in E-Frontier's online store, called "Virtual Fashion". To E-Frontier's credit, they recently announced that they would stop selling the Reyes product until the dispute is settled, though at time of writing the product is still available for sale. So is this the "innovation" that software patents were supposed to foster?

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