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Comment Re:Who Gives A Flying Fuck (Score 2) 145

You have no right to tell them what is right or wrong to delete.

I'm never good at this--is it irony when someone thinks they have a right to tell people they don't have a right to tell other people to do or not do stuff, or when someone makes it their business to tell someone else, whom presumably they don't know, that something else is none of their business?

Comment Re:Phasers: How about longbows? (Score 1) 158

That's a good point.

I'll add that muskets were also very expensive, but that might not be a downside. Given many British soldiers didn't actually own their weapons, by training on guns they had to return and couldn't afford to buy for themselves they became incapable of rebellion. At the same time, training on longbows, which had been required previously of many men in England, was outlawed.

Presumably this is specifically what the Second Amendment is about--militiamen must be able to own their weapon, and militias are the more democratic form of army. Of course, the point became moot once Federal armies were drawn up and we routinely had soldiers practice with weapons they couldn't afford and, nowadays, can't legally own. What good do your tank, fighter jet, mortar, grenade skills do you when you're not in uniform? You'll never have access to those weapons to use against the government. Therefore, the government doesn't have to worry about you using those skills against it.

That might be the point of the phaser. In the "peaceful" world of Star Trek, phasers have replaced guns specifically because they're more technologically advanced, expensive, and less lethal.

Comment Re:Yeah, so? (Score 1) 520

Then the problem isn't Facebook; it's the FBI, it's your employers, it's your neighbors.

I'm not going to hide my associations with people because I'm terrified the FBI will use them against me, or because my employer might fire me if the FBI calls them, or because my neighbors will hassle me if the Feds deign to visit them.

Why are you prepared to do that?

Comment Amazing (Score 2) 80

Previously, I had to buy two sodas, and then hand one of the sodas to friend.

With the magic of social networking and Pepsi, now I only have two buy two sodas, enter a phone number, enter a greeting, record a video, and send a free soda code to a friend's mobile device, which they can use to access the same machine and retrieve a free soda.

Comment Re:Great points (Score 1) 414

I'm not arguing this gives Apple any legal ground at all (it's not a case I'd like them to win), but I think their role in changing our use of the word "app" to mean "smartphone program," and increasingly only "smartphone program," shouldn't be ignored.

The case is a bit different than your example, because they branded a subset of the application market (perhaps the original "app") as "app," a subset that previously hadn't been very profitable or popular. For example, if I decided to sell an emerging, but not original coffee product as "java," (bad example, I know) and called my marketplace "The Java Store," if another company, seeing my success, decided to create its own "Java Store" that sold the special kind of coffee product I had been selling, it would be painfully obvious they were trying to ride my coattails because I, through painstakingly precious and irritating marketing, built the associations between "Java" and some silly little coffee product, instead of coffee at large. The fact that some competitors may have tried to use "Java" to describe their somewhat different coffee products (i.e., Google and "Google Apps") but failed to brand that connection in our collective lexicons, to some extent demonstrates that my marketing was special (because it turns out Apple is "cooler" than Google) and I deserve credit for that.

But again, I don't think that should have a legal basis, but I think we all do know that Apple has changed how we can use the word "app," at least for the time being. If you tell your boss "I'm thinking of developing an app for brewing coffee" s/he is going to think "new $0.99 (I have no idea how much they cost) smart phone program," not "big Windows application." At least that's my hunch. Especially for the kind of people who will make most use of this new "app store."

Comment Re:Great points (Score 1) 414

But would you call WordPerfect an "app" today? Would you refer to Word as an "app" in an official document? I'm sure smartphone developers refer to their products as "apps" in official documents.

Perhaps more than polysemy, the concept of semantic drift is relevant. I suspect Apple has been the driving force behind that semantic drift, with their incessant (and obnoxious, IMHO) "there's an app for that" ads.

That said, I'm not sure if this is legal ground, but I do think Apple deserves some credit for the semantic drift that has taken place, for better or worse. I choose worse.

Comment Re:Great points (Score 0) 414

Still, I don't believe products were marketed as "apps" before Apple.

Google searches ignore polysemy -- when I think "app," I don't think Photoshop or Microsoft Excel, I think "a program for a smartphone." If you do too, then that's because Apple cultivated that word usage via the App Store.

"App" can mean a job application, a computer program (although typically non-entertainment), a great computer program (including entertainment) when following "killer," or a smartphone program. They're slightly different meanings. But while few people regularly referred to Microsoft PowerPoint as an "app," nearly everyone calls all smartphone applications "apps." More and more, the word "app" is synonymous with smartphone programs, and fewer and fewer people will use it outside of that context. Including me, and I don't have a smartphone--I've just seen many advertisements Apple made and paid to run.

Comment Re:Or you can use Excel (Score 1) 64

If you're talking about the ridiculous row limit, that went away in Excel 2007.

However, like many researchers I have used several versions of Excel to produce publishable graphs from summary data--means, SEMs, etc. I love R, but it was only recently that I decided to spend enough time learning the ins and outs of its graphing capabilities that I felt comfortable producing even a bar chart in R for publication. Since I had been producing my tables in Excel anyway--and I'm still not entirely in love with using Sweave or other LaTeX packages in R, so I still find myself going to Excel for producing summary tables--it's trivial to then tell Excel to plot away.

That said, this book would seem very cool had the review actually talked about what sort of graphing capabilities are described in the text. I'm personally curious about its lattice graphing packages, which R has good support for but for which I haven't seen any great instructional resources. Those are the sorts of graphs I imagine you are referring to, which are exploratory or diagnostic or just too sophisticated for Excel, and work over entire datasets using models you specify.

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