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Comment Re:Echo-chamber fake news (Score 2) 408

Don't forget Tufte's Challenger graph, which provides really the best visualization of the data. He's a master of visual communication.

If the information was presented in his fashion, a no-launch decision would have clearly been a no-brainer. This is why the soft arts are essential for engineers too.

Comment Re:Everyone's saying it, so I will too... (Score 1) 119

- It's one-sided -- no one posts about the totally uninteresting, crappy boring parts of their lives. Unless you're rich beyond imagination or a celebrity, everyone will have down moments in their lives, periods of disappointment, and very sad things happen to them.

Are you kidding? One of the primary reasons I cannot stomach Facebook is the endless parade of food posts, selfies, religious quotes and other masterbatory re-posts which are the "totally uninteresting, crappy boring parts of their lives". Not everyone needs a bullhorn to inform the world what they had for lunch. It reminds me of that bumper sticker "I pooped today!". And. Yes. So has every healthy person on the planet.

I would be very interested to see an analysis of what kinds of posts these "depressed" people are making on all these networks, because unless they are a misunderstood fount of insightful wisdom, I'm betting that that they are in an echo chamber of loneliness: They feel alone so they post something meh. No one responds. They post more. ("This is what the celebrity's post, why do I not have a million followers"). (crickets) They post more. Rinse, lather, depression.

Some say it's fascinating that we created technology that puts the knowledge of the world at your fingertips just for the asking, but it's largely ignored. Can't be bothered to fact check! Forward that truthy email! It's common sense!

An ironic corollary is that we have created networks which allow anyone to communicate with vast populations, yet its primarily used as a mouthpiece for demagogues and as a playground for narcissists.

Would someone please think of the poor suffering narcissists!

Comment Re:Sorry, Tim... (Score 1) 394

He misspoke.
ApplePay is a substitute for physical credit cards, not cash.

Those damn chip cards take almost 10 seconds to do whatever validation they require. Used to be: whip out card, swipe, sign and go. Now I find myself standing there waiting the additional time for the damn card to be approved.

ApplePay w iWatch is now faster than swiping a card. It only takes a second or two to validate and you are done, with the added bonus of not needing the dig out your wallet at all. It's faster and easier. It's convenient.

I wouldn't go out and buy a Watch for this purpose, but it's a slick value add.

Cash is not about convenience. You have to get it, carry it, make change with it. Cash is a different tool.

Comment 25 years late to the game (Score 2) 115

It's nice that GE is thinking about this now, but this is far from a new idea.

Predictive maintenance was a new thing 25 years ago. Companies like Computational Systems Inc (CSI), which was later acquired by Emerson, pioneered this technology.

CSI's first product line used accelerometers placed on each axis to analyze vibrations, which was then graphed and analyzed by software. Based on vibrations, they were able to tell when ball bearings were wearing out so that they may be replaced as part of scheduled line maintenance and avoiding downtime often rated in the $100Ks per hour.

They branched off into other products such as oil analysis, where they magnetically detected metal in engine oil to determine wear. Etc.

Very interesting stuff. (Disclosure: I worked for them in the early 90s.)

Comment Re:Or, it might simply be... (Score 2) 121

Seems to me this finding supports:

Epiphenomenalism --
An approach to the mind-body problem that is a form of dualism and one-way interactionism (1), assuming as it does that mental experiences are real but are merely trivial by-products or epiphenomena of one particular class of physical brain processes, real but incidental, like the smoke rising above a factory, so that physical processes can cause mental experiences but not vice versa. Compare psychophysical parallelism. [From Greek epi on + phainein to show + -ismos indicating a state or condition]

Comment Re: Programming (Score 2) 616

It's more important to be useful and productive than to be formally trained.

This is not an excuse for lack of depth. It's as important to understand your own limitations and to seek expert advice (or to more adequately research) when you know that you do not know the best implementation.

There are very few experts, even among those who claim to understand a technology.
Joke: There is a special name given to the person who graduates bottom of their class in medical school: doctor.

It's turtles all the way down.
Know your limitations. Embrace your ignorance. Use that knowledge to extend your knowledge, whilst providing usable solutions.

Comment Re: You don't need to tell a smart kid they're sma (Score 1) 243

It hurts me to watch /. slowly die like this. Used to be only the editors sucked, but I never came here for the articles but for the discussion. Used to be, there would be a zillion well thought and documented responses illustrating all angles of a topic. I found this site to be an excellent forum to expand my understanding of issues surrounding a topic through informed, rational discourse. But the quality over the last few years has just trended ever lower and lately the quality of comments have just gone through the floor. If anyone knows where all the smart contributors went please consider throwing me a link. I'll keep it a secret from all these bigoted morons.

Comment Re:Server & Tools too... (Score 1) 497

This is just my opinion, but I believe the only reason most people are willing to shell out several hundred bucks for Office is because they are either too cowardly to learn new software or wealthy enough to afford the higher quality that it offers. Strictly speaking, I don't think the vast majority of people who use office actually need MS Office because of some critical or irreplaceable feature it has.

They buy it because MS Office keeps its file format incompatible, and it's easier/more polite to use the files from your customer without asking them to "Save As to Excel 97 xls format". Not using MS is barrier to commerce, and until that changes MS will keep its grip.

Comment Re: Not Trek (Score 1) 514

Best summation yet.

What I HATE about this reboot is that they failed to re imagine the series in a modern context.

What does a post-economic earth look like? With transporter technology anything can be immediately manufactured. How did this transform earth and people? This is the Trek universe. Minds engage.

If I wanted some dumb action adventure movie I have a zillion options. I expect more from Trek.

Comment Re:Are they on some older software that can't hand (Score 1) 91

Owning 4 shares in a company gives me about as much say as a voter in an election. No I don;t get to decide who the senator of my state is, but I do have influence over it, even if that influence is small. All the voters added up completely determines the outcome. It's not important that the smallest shareholder always affects the outcome of every decision, it only matters that this is possible. Just like I don't need to cast the deciding vote in an election for my vote to count.

Have you ever actually voted your proxy? It does not work like a government election.

You can vote or withhold your vote for a select list of directors. They are more often than not the current board of directors. You do not get to choose between contenders for the same board seat. Since the directors on the ballot are nominated by shareholders with far more shares than you, your vote is mostly symbolic and meaningless.

Unless you are CALPERS, manage a large trust or investment fund, or are otherwise a .1%-er with a heavy stake, you cannot dictate board nominees, and therefore have no say in oversight.

Bottom line: You can vote for or against, but do not get to choose your oligarchs.

Comment Re:Mac Mini is flagrantly unsuitable as a server (Score 1) 367

Why not OS X for a mail server?

Because its really no simpler to set one up on OSX than on Linux. Its not really any harder either, but why pay for OSX and Mac mini hardware when you can take your pick of free operating systems, with a wider array of more capable hardware than a mac mini.

Doing postfix and dovecot on OSX is going to involve editing config files, terminal command line interface work, and so on. So if you are comfortable with that on OSX... you might as well use BSD or Linux, and you'll have a lot better community support.

That's a complete crock. For $50 you add OSX Server software atop OSX, which has all services already installed with noob-friendly GUI configuration panels for setup. The only time you need to get into terminal and the actual config files is if you need something unusual.

Mail, spam filtering, Open Directory, FTP, file sharing, calendar and contacts server, wiki, web server, database: it's all already there awaiting you to turn it on with a checkbox. It's such a good value proposition for small business that needing only one of these services makes it compelling.

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