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Comment Re:Voodoo Science (Score 1) 684

Regardless of whether they're just fear mongering or not, from a statistical standpoint, it makes senses. They're just marginalizing over the uncertainty of the expert.

p(blackhole = 1 | expert opinion) = p(blackhole = 1 | expert opinion, expert=correct) + p(blackhole=1 | expert opinion, expert = wrong)

It's the type of calculation that happens every day. E.g., what's the probability that I'll die in a car accident given I have an airbag in my car

p(survive = 0 | airbag in car) = p(survive = 0 | airbag in car, airbag works = true) + p(survive = 0 | airbag in car, airbag works = false)

If you don't take into account the uncertainty of the expert (or airbag malfunction, etc.), the you're ignoring what could be a large contribution to the actually outcome.

Comment Re:states rights! (Score 1) 270

Or you walk into the contract negotiations with a red pen and cross out the 12 month extension beyond employment termination.

The problem with non-competes is that they are so vaguely written that it can cover pretty much any new job in the field you're trained for. Sure, you can bring it to litigation to prove otherwise, but what employer would be willing to risk taking a new employee that might have a possible contractual obligation?

The Internet

Submission + - US Defense Dept blocking YouTube, MySpace, and 11

mcgrew writes: "On the heels of yesterday's Slashdot storyabout The US military launching its own channel on YouTube, today the Chicago Tribune reports that the Defense Department is blocking YouTube, as well as MySpace and '11 other sites world wide'. From TFA:

The armed services have long barred members of the military from sharing information that could jeopardize their missions or safety, whether electronically or by other means.

The new policy is different because it creates a blanket ban on several sites used by military personnel to exchange messages, pictures, video and audio with family and friends.

Members of the military can still access the sites on their own computers and networks, but Defense Department computers and networks are the only ones available to many soldiers and sailors in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Submission + - Is Google making us dumber?

franticindustries writes: "Does this happen to you a lot: you try to remember something, but then you give up quickly and just Google it? Google is so effective in retrieving information that our brains are telling us this information is not needed. Therefore, we're forgetting things like unit conversion, basic calculus, addresses and phone numbers. This might be an evolutionary step towards forgetting what's irrelevant and focusing on what's important; or maybe Google is just making us dumber."

Submission + - USPTO Examiner Rejects 1-Click Claims as 'Obvious'

theodp writes: "Faced with a duly unimpressed USPTO examiner who rejected its new 1-Click patent claims as 'obvious' and 'old and well known', Amazon has taken the unusual step of requesting an Oral Appeal to plead its case. And in what might be interpreted by some as an old-fashioned stalling tactic, the e-tailer has also canceled and refiled its 1-Click claims in a continuation application. As it touted the novelty of 1-Click to Congress last spring, Amazon kept the examiner's rejection under its hat, insisting that 'still no [1-Click] prior art has surfaced' to a Judiciary Committee whose members included Rick Boucher (VA) and Howard Berman (CA), both recipients of campaign contributions from a PAC funded by 1-Click inventor Jeff Bezos, other Amazon execs, and their families."
The Courts

Submission + - Internet use from work may be protected

athloi writes: "A Welsh university employee has successfully sued the UK government in the EU court of human rights over monitoring of her personal internet use from work. "According to the complaint, the woman's e-mail, phone, Internet, and fax usage were all monitored by the Deputy Principal (DP) of the college, who appears to have taken a sharp dislike to her. The woman claimed that her human rights were being abused, and pointed specifically to Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (PDF), which governs private and family life." Amazingly, the courts agreed. This could set a precedent for internet use as a right independent of location."

Submission + - Thai government shuts down political chat rooms

patiwat writes: "Less than a week after censoring Youtube, the military government of Thailand has shut down the Kingdom's most popular web discussion board,, for reasons of national security. Other webboards were warned not to allow political messages to be posted, lest they also be shut down. Thailand currently censors over 10,000 websites, including sites of the deposed government and sites containing censorship circumvention software and links anonymous proxy servers."

Submission + - New Bill Gives US Workers First Dibs on H-1B Jobs

linumax writes: "One of the longest-running defenses of the hotly debated H-1B temporary worker visa program is that there are simply not enough U.S. workers to fill out many corporations' programming, engineering and back-office positions, leaving them no choice but to hire workers from overseas. eWeek reports that a new Senate bill takes this argument to task, demanding that employers make a "good faith" effort to hire a U.S. worker before bringing in a H-1B worker. It would require that employers prove not only that they tried and failed to hire a U.S. worker, but that hiring a foreigner would pose no cost advantage."
Media (Apple)

Submission + - 64-bit Vista is hard to get

daria42 writes: For some crazy reason, Microsoft makes you firstly buy the 32-bit version of Vista, then order a CD of the equivalent 64-bit version online. The issue has started to grate on some users. "Imagine going into a shop and buying a music CD only to get it home and open it up and find a bit of paper inside telling you to go online to pay to have the actual CD mailed out to you at an additional cost," wrote one.

Submission + - HP voids warrenty if linux is installed

ShadowHywind writes: Having Hardware failures, I decided to call the HP tech support for help. They asked If i Had any other operating System installed, other then Windows. Because I duel boot, I said yes, I have linux and windows installed. He then quickly stated that If you install another operating system other then Windows, It will void your warranty. I quickly hung up the phone hoping that he wouldn't create a file sense i am working on month 4 of 3 years of my warranty. Is it right for a company to void a warranty just because you decide to install something other then windows?

Submission + - Ocean Planets on the Brink of Detection

ZonkerWilliam writes: Seems, at least theoretically, that there may be water planets, and that we may be close to detecting them. Excerpt from the article; "Imagine a world with no land at all, merely the impenetrable depths of a seething ocean. Models of planet formation predict the existence of such worlds, even though our own solar system has none. Indeed, their formation should actually be rather common — and new satellites may soon detect them around other stars."

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