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Comment Alien Inquisition! (Score 2, Funny) 400

People continue to talk about aliens at Area 51 for 2 reasons:

1. They are mentally incapable of stopping. (And need help.)
2. They enjoy it, and think it's entertaining.
3. They just don't know any better.

People continue to talk about aliens at Area 51 for 3! 3 reasons:

1. They are mentally incapable of stopping. (And need help.)
2. They enjoy it, and think it's entertaining.
3. They just don't know any better.
4. They have been abducted by aliens at Area 51

The 4 reasons people continue to talk about aliens at Area 51 are:

No, wait, start over...

Comment Re:If that's how they lay off people at your job.. (Score 4, Interesting) 613

Having been on a few sinking ships, I haven't found that to be the case. What I've seen, oddly, is the opposite. People get nicer once the realize there's no future in it for anyone. At that point, it becomes about who remembers you and how, and whether they can get you into wherever they land next.

At a certain point, it just becomes collecting your paycheck until its your turn. No point in being a dick about it.

Comment Re:Work is overrated (Score 1) 613

There's a lot to this. Sometimes people are doing what they do, not because they enjoy it, but because it's a stable source of income and they don't want to jeopardize it. A layoff can be painful, but a smart, positive-thinking person can use it as the kick in the ass they need to do what they've been wanting to do, now that the old gig is gone no matter what.

Comment Re:With such a long time series (Score 1) 3

Thanks for taking the time to help me out. You're right -- inflation is a difficult problem to solve and does need to be taken into account.

I tried to get a handle on inflation using the stats.pct_dev column, which is the ratio of the stddev to the avg Dow for the year.

The idea is that I could sort based on the percentage stddev/avg, and that would show me years with the highest proportional volatility. So a 100-point swing in 1920 would have been disastrous, and would rank very highly, but a 100-point swing in 2008 would be toward the bottom of the list -- occurring almost daily.

That doesn't totally deal with the inflation problem, but it does help to put the numbers in better perspective. I have another query that I didn't post -- essentially the same, but where I ran the numbers grouped by month. I wrote about the results of that query when I was talking about how the different months rank with history. In this query, I don't think inflation would be much of an issue.

Either way, the effect of inflation on the rankings should be fairly well contained, because percentage change, stddev, and pct_dev (stddev/avg) were all calculated on yearly or monthly basis. The % change between years was only ever compared between consecutive years, and there could definitely be some inflationary skew there, but I'm thinking it's also generally pretty reasonable and doesn't make the comparison unfair.

Comment Re:Double Duh! (Score 0) 711

A common solution is replication.

Which misses the point of this article: Mirroring is not a backup solution. Replication is essentially mirroring, but via the database instead of on the disk/controller level. If someone issues a "delete from important_table" on your database, it'll be replicated down to the slaves. Replication solves the problem of availability -- not the problem of data backups.

Databases are all about consistency, and your concerns about snapshots are unwarranted if your app is correctly using transactions. The backup process will not see partial transactions -- only complete ones. The in-flight changes will be picked up in the next snapshot. Every database worth its salt has a way of dumping internally-consistent (committed) data to a file for later restoration.

Comment Re:They can't have it both ways... (Score 1) 904

You're right. No sane woman would see the difference between full nudity and breasfeeding. It truly is black and white issue to women. Thank you for helping us to better understand this "woman" creature we've so often heard of.

In fact, I've seen several times in this discussion where people claim that breastfeeding does not evoke a sexual response in observers, so I'm glad to hear that completely naked women would not evoke a sexual response either. This being the case, I vote to allow women to completely disrobe in public.

You gotta draw the line somewhere. For most people, allowing public breastfeeding is an accommodation afforded to nursing mothers. That doesn't mean that women don't see the difference between breastfeeding and nudity, or could not reasonably draw a distinction between the two.

User Journal

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.

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