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Comment And it only took them 7 years! (Score 5, Insightful) 88

It only took them seven years to make these changes, too. And what a coincidence that they roll these out right after G+ launches with these features out of the gate.

In terms of privacy, their problem is not a lack of features. Their problem is trust. And after years and years of hard work to make me never trust them they have succeeded. New privacy features just can't fix that. Too little, too late

Comment Most "Duh" Research Isn't "Duh". (Score 5, Insightful) 299

Most "Duh" research isn't "Duh" at all. It only sounds that way because of the atrocious state of science reporting in the popular press. Challenging, technical research has to be translated into terms regular folks can understand, and that often means making ridiculous comparisons or analogies, or just giving an explanation of the research so dumbed down that the researchers themselves would hardly recognize it.

Another contributing factor is the political motivations of people with large audiences who don't know better. For example, Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) released a "report" making fun of a number of studies supposedly representing wasting spending on stupid research. It turns out his examples are actually pretty nuanced and important after all--hardly "duh" science.

The general population just isn't equipped to judge which research is important and worth spending money on. That is exactly why we have organizations like the NSF to evaluate grant proposals for us.

Comment Completely Google's Fault (Score 5, Insightful) 327

This is completely Google's fault. Google Wave is a great product as it currently is, but Google completely failed to communicate to people why. But more to the point, Google itself failed miserably to leverage its own idea in the ways the first demo at Google I/O promised. Why can't I integrate gmail with Google Wave? Why after all this time does it still not work on my phone? Why doesn't it work with Google Docs? Why doesn't it work with Google Buzz?

More importantly, why would someone waste so much time, money, and manpower on a product they have no intention of supporting through interoperability with their own product line and through advertising and public exposure? What did they think would happen?

This is yet another huge screwup for Google indicative of their inability to build social networking products. Maybe it's time to sell my Google shares.

Comment Take this data with a large grain of salt. (Score 2, Interesting) 1285

The sexiest part of this article is the data from the Counterpoint survey, which is pure fiction. See, for example, Emily's comments to the original article:

When that MIT/Wellesley Counterpoint survey came out, I had recently graduated from MIT and was still around campus working as a research assistant. To put it bluntly, most everyone I knew considered that article rather funny... (And Counterpoint is often looked at as an unintentional humor publication...) First off... two words: sample size. More specifically... it said that at one of the dorms at MIT there was a 100% rate of virginity. I knew people who could vouch otherwise. Going back to sample size, it turns out the survey had only been taken by 4 freshmen at that dorm. Secondly, the wording on many of the survey questions was apparently vague and open to interpretation. Lastly, it's also good to keep in mind that students at MIT often find it amusing to deliberately mess up statistics, particularly if it's for a campus publication.
I first saw this on the mathsex livejournal community where the Counterpoint numbers were similarly dismissed.

Submission + - Texas A&M Atmospheric Sciences Dept. Endorses (

Geurilla writes: "The entire faculty of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M recently signed a document unanimously endorsing the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that global warming is happening, that we're causing it, and that if we don't do something there may be serious consequences for our environment and society. (The document text can be found here.) Department head Richard Orville explains, "I think it is significant because as far as I know, we are the first department to release a statement." From the article: "[Professor Gerald] North said this should be a strong statement to people outside the scientific community and said there is absolutely no debate within the geosciences community about the realities of global warming.""

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