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Comment Further studies? (Score 2) 158

I think that an interesting follow-up study would compare subject matter and typeface pairing. That is, I believe that an article in physics is more likely to be taken seriously if it is set in a typeface (not a font, btw) like Baskerville than in comic sans. But what if you're subject matter is meant to be humorous? I suspect that people find it funnier if it is written in the comic sans than if it is written in Baskerville. Also, what typeface are people accustomed to reading such material in? Experience may play a large factor.

Anyway, it’s an interesting result, all the same. I'm sure the marketers will be thrilled to discover that they could grab another 1.5% if they'd just use the proper type.

Comment Re:The next question is... (Score 1) 193

If you had a graph of phenomenon A and it matched exactly phenomenon B and the sampling was pretty large, you'd at least want to see if there was some causal relationship.

Definitely, you'd want to see -- and that would take more than a graph showing CORRELATION. That's because it's prefectly possible that phenomenon A causes a completely unmeasured phenomenon C, and it is phenomenon C that causes phenomenon B. You don't want to go around waving your correlation and raving about how A causes B, because you look kind of silly when phenomenon D shows up and independently wipes out C. Because then you've still got your A, but B doesn't come to the party, and you get discredited and loose your grant. It's also possible that A & B are results of some other cause C, and when D shows up and crushes A, you look silly again when B is still hanging around. Also, B might be the cause. And, even though these guys happen at the same place and time... they really might have absolutely nothing to do with each other.

So... let's repeat. Correlation does not imply Causality. Good.

Comment Re:The next question is... (Score 4, Insightful) 193

That kind of bias is present in any self-reported survey. The findings should discuss what the population 'reported' and not what they 'believe.' Obviously, the article is also biased in it's title -- declaring that ideology shapes perception. It could also be concluded that perception determines ideology. In one paradigm, your affiliations warp what you perceive, and in another paradigm, you chose to affiliate with those who share your perceptions-- accurate or otherwise. So they need to remember that correlation doesn't imply causality.

Comment Re:The real problem ... (Score 2) 233

Although I appreciate the frustration that comes from shopping for flights, I have to point out that this describes one of the basic fallacies of worth. Value is not inherent goods or services; it is inherent in the perception of those goods and services. Most people are going to agree, after a few moments of consideration, that an equal volume of water isn’t going to be worth the same thing to just any person, in any situation, at any time. The same is true for your airline ticket. We must expect that the airline will charge as much as they can and still sell tickets. The reasons for the disparity are probably a lot more complicated than most of us (including myself) expect.

The second thing that should be mentioned in conversations about the ‘global economy’ is that we’re all using currencies that are rarely pegged to any concretely traded commodity. Each currency is owned and regulated by a government, and the value of that currency floats on a certain amount of trust – basically the trust that the currency’s future value will continue to be what it basically is worth right now. Governments must, therefore, protect that value. They do it with tariffs, and trade agreements, and interest rates, and adding/removing actual currency, and all kinds of machinations that are dizzying to us, the mere mortals without advanced economics degrees. Allowing citizen’s ‘worth’ to flow without restraint to the best available price worldwide creates a problem because the currency is participating in supply and demand in a larger scope than the regulatory bodies controlling the currency. Let’s look at Greece to have a good example of where this kind of thing can cause problems (NOT saying that this is all bad, just pointing out that it’s not simple).

The Geo-IP blocking is a way to handle serious economic concerns with exposing end consumers to international markets. Basically, it forces the same geographic limitations that were always there. There may be better ways to do it, but just tearing down all the barriers is probably too reckless.

Comment Re:Still an impressive record (Score 2) 327

This argument is as old as the sun. Apple has had a very minor part of the personal computing market share for a very long time. The distribution of 'apple' viruses was really not worth anybody's time. Virus writers are looking for huge impact -- why would they limit themselves to the smaller piece of the pie? Now Apple's got themselves a much bigger piece the action than before. And guess what, people have started writing Apple viruses. Their claims of immunity have always been inappropriate. The problem isn't that they 'quitely switched a statement'-- it's that it was ever there to begin with.

Comment Really exciting (Score 4, Interesting) 42

This is fascinating! I wonder if this will prove to not only identify patients currently expressing symptoms, but have a predictive quality for determining who will suffer from the disease before other tools can detect it. Having an earlier look at patients and charting the developments in their brain would really improve doctors' understanding and probably advance research into treatments quite a bit! if voice can be found to accurately indicate or even predict a disease like parkinsons... what else can it demonstrate? This might be the beginning of a new form of diagnostic sciences.

Comment Re:Caching? (Score 5, Interesting) 292

Aging textbooks were not old because they didn't need updating -- they were old because the publication, printing, and distribution an entire volume to modify a few elements was foolishly expensive. Therefore, textbooks were carefully written so as to exclude information that was would quickly become obsolete. We don't have to keep doing it that way. Examples can be current and relevant, and provide for a much more enriching experience. Links to web resources can be perpetually maintained. It's a very exciting new paradigm and we should be looking for ways to capitalize on its strengths rather than hobble it with the limitations of different media.

Comment It's a different kind of search (Score 2) 102

Search listings that should be prioritized by popularity and relevance will be heavily skewed by 'paid' listings. But this is a different case, I think. Most of the information is supplied by the vendors. Therefore, it's easy for it to become out of date because the vendors have no accountability for maintaining it. However, if the vendor has to pay a little, then they're more inclined to either keep the values updated, or let the listing expire. It's quite possible that this will do exactly what Google claims: improve the data integrity. Of course, they're gonna put a little in their pockets in the process. But... don't most people expect to get paid in exchange for providing a service? A little revenue means there will be available funds for improvements. It's how things work. Advertisement has always had a cost. Why would Google's listing be ruined by it?

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