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Comment Re:Interesting, Dave Chappelle. (Score 1) 552

So, smokers yes, races no.


In your fallacious example, you attempt to conflate an activity with a state of being. You cannot ban a black person for being black. Likewise, you cannot ban a smoker for being a smoker. However, you can ban the activity of smoking in your venue.

Comment Re:He was never really honored the first time arou (Score 5, Interesting) 91

This is what makes Sundar Pichai's tweet especially puzzling. When Steve Jobs passed away, Google gave over its home page to a memorial, with a link to a page on Apple's Web site. There wasn't even a discussion on whether this was appropriate; it was simply done, because of course it should be done.

A week later, DMR passes, who was arguably a greater contributor than Jobs, yet no memorial appeared on Google's home page. One of the excuses given was that potential destinations for a memorial link wouldn't be able to handle the traffic. Even after being called on it during a company meeting, Google management remained unswayed.

I thought their handling of the affair was rather ad-hoc and sloppy -- not in line with the company's image at all.

Comment SEO (Score 1) 113

You do realize, of course, that there exists an entire "industry" devoted to manipulating automated search systems to push snake oil and all manner of other bullshit in to your face. Once you remove the human element to identify and remove the obvious garbage, what you're left with is what the armies of trolls are furiously clicking on throughout the night.

Comment Sensors Detect Bullshit, Captain... (Score 1) 64

I just spent the last ten minutes crawling around AT&T's site looking for a concrete statement concerning available bandwidth, and came up empty. Their "Check Availability" page talks only about download speeds. Further, they are careful to say, "up to 1Gb/sec," which is code for, "You will not actually ever receive 1Gb/sec."

I can't find any page that discusses upload speeds, which are almost certainly crap.

Meanwhile, Google Fiber (if you're lucky enough to get it) starts at 1Gb/sec symmetric.

Comment Re:Useful, but not very accurate... (Score 2) 66

To be pedantic, I am certainly finding the data useful, as I am certainly using it. Whether the data is accurate/correct or not, I agree that I have no way to tell. I'm making the assumption that there is some reasonable level of accuracy to be expected from their testing (B12 doesn't use their Edison machines), and getting an expected smooth curve out of most of the independent trials implies some level of process control and precision, but the outliers suggest that individual measurements are suspect.

Of course, it's unclear how I'd get a "control" for this test. I could go to another blood analysis lab - but everytime I've had blood drawn in the last decade, the vials get drawn at a storefront "lab", then packaged up and processed at a backend lab somewhere else. It's not clear to me how to tell whether all the storefronts use a common backend lab, or which storefronts use which labs. A "control" could turn out to be verification of a lab's results by the same lab.

Comment Useful, but not very accurate... (Score 5, Insightful) 66

I loved being able to go to Walgreens, walk into the Theranos booth, and get a $10 B12 test without a prescription. Let me do all kinds of analysis that the standard physicians approach didn't.

But, with weekly B12 readings over the space of two months, there was 1 of the 8 readings that was obviously wrong. As an engineer, I'm used to noisy data so was still able to find the data useful.

Last month, went to Theranos (to one of their blood testing centers, as Walgreens had shut them down by then) and had another done. Another obviously, completely incorrect reading, confirmed by a doctor-ordered test at another lab.

So, even though I love the control they gave me (I could order any of a hundred tests on my own without having to convince my doctor to order it, or my insurance company to pay for it), I think it's best that they go away. Too much of modern medicine is conditioned on the results of a single, unverified test - the assumption is that the lab doesn't have an error rate. At least in my apocryphal case, Theranos grossly failed.

I'll go back to the fantasy land where the other, more traditional labs (that want to charge me $150 for the same B12 test) always have correct readings...

Comment Re:not limitless (Score 4, Interesting) 176

$200 per head seems about right on price, if I had to hire some consultants to throw together a network for 3 days, then tear it all down, seems like a bargain

I dunno what prices you've been conned into paying, but that parses as gouging to me.

Consultants aren't necessary; Hofstra already has an IT infrastructure and staff in place. At worst, they'd have to deploy a couple dozen more WAPs and maybe a 24-port switch if you don't already have the ports free -- maybe USD$4000.00 worth of HW. Set up a new SSID for the reporters with a WPA2 login, which lands you on a temporary VLAN and subnet that routes directly to the Internet and nowhere else. Takes maybe a day to set up, and most of that is CS interns/undergrads pulling Cat.6 and placing WAPs/antennas.

After the debate, turn off the SSID, VLAN, and subnet -- you can pull out the WAPs (if you must) at your leisure. Put the HW away; save it for the next big event, or when an endowment arrives for the next building.

How does this justify $200/head? (Seriously; what am I not figuring here?)

Comment Mediacom Are Full of Shit (Score 1) 229

Once again, we have an entrenched, meritlessly entitled incumbent trying to get you to pay attention to the wrong thing. In this case, it's an insultingly laughable analogy that any moderately aware shopper will see right through.

To illustrate this, here's a tray of regular Oreos(TM), and here's a similarly sized tray of double-stuf(TM) Oreos(TM). And if you were to consider the per-cookie cost, as Mediacom is clearly hoping you will, then yes, double-stuf(TM) Oreos(TM) cost more than regular Oreos(TM).

But foodstuffs such as cookies are not sold by the cookie. They're sold by unit weight (or unit mass if you want to be pedantic). Considered this way, the per-ounce cost of the regular and double-stuf(TM) Oreos(TM) is virtually identical (in this case, about $0.26/oz from this retailer). So if Nabisco(TM) has no reason to charge a premium simply because you consume the cookies in larger units, Mediacom has no such reason, either.

So Mediacom are full of shit.

Comment I Knew There Was Something Fishy... (Score 5, Insightful) 173

A couple years ago, I set up a FreeNAS box to solve the problem of, "the file I want to work with is not on the machine in front of me." Once set up, I also wanted a media server so I could watch stuff on the TV in the living room. Many of the comments in the FreeNAS discussion fora spoke well of Plex, which is available for FreeNAS as a plugin jail. So I installed it and gave it a spin.

I immediately knew something was fishy when I tried to connect to the local server, and the login page didn't work. I run Firefox with NoScript installed. I had the local server IP whitelisted, but the page ignored all button clicks. I click on the NoScript icon... And discover that it's trying to pull in boatloads of JavaScript from

"WRONG!" exclaimed I. The whole point of a local media server such as Plex is for all media-serving code and resources to be hosted locally on my server hardware. The moment you start reaching outside the LAN to do anything, you are no longer a local server.

This discovery basically shattered any alleged positive value Plex may have had, since its primary function -- the basis on which it was sold to me -- turned out to be a lie. I promptly uninstalled it.

Now, it seems Plex has dropped the pretense altogether, and are just another disk farm outside my control. Good luck with that, guys; I'm sure you'll be able to beat Apple, Google, and Amazon at that game.

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