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Comment Re:Imaginary benefits of social media advertising (Score 1) 35

I work in the marketing analytics and attribution space and can confidently speak to this topic. While Social isn't the BEST performer, it doesn't carry with it the dire statement of a "complete lack of results" as you state.

With dependencies on vertical and how the advertising is used in known conjunction with other channels, Social definitely does have an assister effect on those other channels. The problem you may be encountering is relying solely on outdated analysis methods which do not appropriately track credit for known users across the entirety of their path to purchase or you're simply just looking at in effective ad buying behavior resulting in poor ROAS.

Done right, Social is definitely valuable for relatively low cost when compared to the much larger channels (based on investment) and can absolutely jack up your return on those other channels as an assister but definitely is not going to be a 1:1 return as the only advertising channel you should leverage if you are hoping for conversion.

Transportation

Transportation Department Proposes Allowing In-Flight Phone Calls (go.com) 101

Yesterday, France's Le Monde newspaper issued a report, citing documents from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, that says American and British spies have since 2005 been working on intercepting phone calls and data transfers made from aircraft. Assuming the report is accurate, national security agencies may soon have their hands full if a new proposal by the Department of Transportation becomes official, which would allow each airline to decide whether its passengers will be permitted to make in-flight phone calls using the aircraft's onboard Wi-Fi system. ABC News reports: The Department of Transportation's proposal leaves it up to airlines whether to allow the calls. But carriers would be required to inform passengers at the time they purchase a ticket if the calls are allowed. That would give passengers the opportunity to make other travel arrangements if they don't want to risk the possibility of sitting near passengers making phone calls. The Federal Communications Commission prohibits using mobile phones to make calls during flights, but not Wi-Fi calls. There is a minimum 60-day comment period and the proposal leaves the door open to an outright ban. The Wall Street Journal first reported on the proposal.

Comment Re:Another spam ad (Score 1, Informative) 84

I am not a shill and I have a Tap because a friend of my had an Echo and I loved it, mostly b/c I use Prime Music a ton and my young kids can easily interact w/the device to play what they want. Several of my friends have purchased the devices after using mine.

I mean, popular? No, not nearly as much as Amazon may like you to believe; however, they are pretty great devices for what they are and I think the recognition software is world's better than Siri (which, IMO, is completely and utterly useless and I never use on my Mac or phone).

By all means, be skeptical, however it doesn't mean they're not being used by people and they're not any good.

Comment Re:I still don't want it (Score 1) 280

Its built-in linux-like commands don't appear to work as expected, I guess due to aliasing. "ls" is fine. But with any arguments, and I get stuff like this:

PS C:\mingw\bin> ls -l
Get-ChildItem : Missing an argument for parameter 'LiteralPath'. Specify a parameter of type 'Sys
again.
At line:1 char:4
+ ls -l
+ ~~
        + CategoryInfo : InvalidArgument: (:) [Get-ChildItem], ParameterBindingException
        + FullyQualifiedErrorId : MissingArgument,Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.GetChildItemCommand

I've been happy enough with cmd + mingw/msys. That got me ls, make, and all the same goodies with the same syntax as linux. But if Windows PS is going to have "ls", it should work like "ls" or get out of the way. (Just like they evidently do in linux and macos powershell.)

Comment Moving to another star? (Score 2) 522

In the span of 1000 years, I can certainly see humans being able to travel and inhabit other nearby planets but do we really think we'll be at a point where we can move large groups of humans >25 trillion miles away? Or does he see this more as we'll be putting civilization into space for centuries-long travel toward those other systems?

Medicine

Nurses In Australia Face Punishment For Promoting Anti-Vaccination Messages Via Social Media (medicalxpress.com) 656

HughPickens.com writes: Medical Express reports that nurses and midwives promoting anti-vaccination messages in Australia could face punishment including being slapped with a caution and having their ability to practice medicine restricted. Serious cases could be referred to an industry tribunal, where practitioners could face harsher penalties such as having their registration suspended or cancelled. The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia released the vaccination standards in response to what it described as a small number of nurses and midwives promoting anti-vaccination via social media. The statement also urges members of the public to report nurses or midwives promoting anti-vaccination. Promoting false, misleading or deceptive information is an offense under national law and is prosecutable by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. "The board will consider whether the nurse or midwife has breached their professional obligations and will treat these matters seriously," the statement said. However Dr. Hannah Dahlen, a professor of midwifery at the University of Western Sydney and the spokeswoman for the Australian College of Midwives, worries the crackdown may push people with anti-vaccination views further underground. "The worry is the confirmation bias that can occur, because people might say: 'There you go, this is proof that you can't even have an alternative opinion.' It might in fact just give people more fuel for their belief systems."
Portables (Apple)

Apple Rumored To Remove Old-School USB Ports On Next MacBook Pro (vice.com) 316

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: First the headphone jack, now the USB port? Rumor has it that Apple may get rid of the USB 3.0 port and the Magsafe port (where the charger plugs in) on the next generation of MacBooks. Japanese tech site Macotakara, which accurately predicted that Apple would kill the headphone jack on the iPhone 7, now also claims that the USB port is on the way out. The move would be similar to Apple's latest 12-inch MacBook and its streamlined profile. There's also word that Apple may discontinue the 11-inch MacBook Air to focus instead on the 13-inch laptop. Discontinuing the 11-inch MacBook Air would also potentially boost sales on the 12-inch MacBook. If these rumors are in fact true, then the new MacBooks will have only a USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 ports. Both of these ports are about the size of the part of an iPhone charger that plugs into the phone. But since most laptop accessories still plug in via the USB port, Apple owners might have to use an adaptor, or upgrade their technology. Meanwhile, the new MacBooks would likely be charged through the USB-C port or Thunderbolt 3 port. Currently, Apple already sells a USB-C dock with other USB and HDMI ports for $79. The USB-C port uses USB 3.1 Standard, according to PCWorld, which will connect to a wide variety of accessories, such as external hard drives, cameras, and printers. The USB 3.1 can also transfer data between the host computer and the peripheral accessories at a speed of 10 gigabits per second, which is twice as fast as the USB 3.0. Apple is expected to reveal the new Macs at an October 27th event in Cupertino, California.

Comment Judgement gives no protections! (Score 4, Insightful) 56

Privacy International said the judgment did not specify whether the unlawfully obtained, sensitive personal data would be deleted.

And, more importantly, it doesn't say who, how, or when the individuals responsible for the initial collection and later usage of those data will be prosecuted and/or fined for their actions.

So basically this is, "yup, we have your data and you know about it. Tough shit."

Sad.

Comment Re:You may be looking in the wrong place (Score 2) 537

Thanks for your reply. It's an interesting discussion, and indeed, I get a little fed up when even in academia, translational medicine morphs from meaning "translating theory into practice" to meaning "getting patents and making profitable startups." It's needed, but it can sometimes distort the field and culture when it becomes an ends and not a means.

I'm a little curious as to your definition of techie, because a lot of the discussion really boils down to how you define a techie.

I find my techie friends are more informed and intellectually curious than any other group. I'd put them at about equal to my academic friends in this area.

When you say this, this makes me think your Venn diagram for "technies" and "academics" has no intersection. But ask most any grad student, postdoc, or faculty in an engineering, CS, or applied math department (and increasingly many biology departments), and they'll likely regard themselves as techies.

It seems to me a reasonable definition that a techie is a technophile, particularly one who loves, uses, and improves technology in their daily work and hobbies. But if you restrict your label to Silicon Valley and tech startup types, you're lose most of the amateur techies, the open source people, and the citizen scientists.

Again, it's an interesting discussion, so thanks. (And great to meet you here on Slashdot!)

Comment You may be looking in the wrong place (Score 5, Insightful) 537

Most of us who entered science and academia did so to make the world a better place, and many of us are techies. You'd be amazed at home much coding and tech is required for pretty much every area of science today.

We're writing open source software to solve real problems in science and engineering. We're spending the last of our startups on open access for our papers because it's the right thing to do. We're contributing to open data repositories because sharing data makes all our work better. We're writing free content on blogs, code tutorials, and MOOCs for public outreach, because we view our roles as educators seriously.

Most people in academic endure years of low pay and job uncertainty as postdocs and entry-level faculty--and defer or postpone indefinitely having children and buying that starter home--rather than faster and better-paying paths in industry, IP law, and mathematical finance because we do want to make the world a better place, and we're actively working on it.

So, while I agree with your general feeling, take a look around, and you'll see more techies trying make a difference that you might have realized.

Encryption

FBI Director Says Prolific Default Encryption Hurting Government Spying Efforts (go.com) 367

SonicSpike quotes a report from ABC News: FBI Director James Comey warned again Tuesday about the bureau's inability to access digital devices because of encryption and said investigators were collecting information about the challenge in preparation for an "adult conversation" next year. Widespread encryption built into smartphones is "making more and more of the room that we are charged to investigate dark," Comey said in a cybersecurity symposium. The remarks reiterated points that Comey has made repeatedly in the last two years, before Congress and in other settings, about the growing collision between electronic privacy and national security. "The conversation we've been trying to have about this has dipped below public consciousness now, and that's fine," Comey said at a symposium organized by Symantec, a technology company. "Because what we want to do is collect information this year so that next year we can have an adult conversation in this country." The American people, he said, have a reasonable expectation of privacy in private spaces -- including houses, cars and electronic devices. But that right is not absolute when law enforcement has probable cause to believe that there's evidence of a crime in one of those places, including a laptop or smartphone. "With good reason, the people of the United States -- through judges and law enforcement -- can invade our private spaces," Comey said, adding that that "bargain" has been at the center of the country since its inception. He said it's not the role of the FBI or tech companies to tell the American people how to live and govern themselves. "We need to understand in the FBI how is this exactly affecting our work, and then share that with folks," Comey said, conceding the American people might ultimately decide that its privacy was more important than "that portion of the room being dark." Comey made his remarks to the 2016 Symantec Government Symposium. The Daily Dot has another take on Comey's remarks, which you can read here.

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