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Comment Re:Hopefully a return to real science (Score 1) 87

Agreed 1000 times over. The same problem Big Data has faces statistics in general... a lot of people have been convinced that a tool created to aid human/scientific insight is now the insight itself. And these big-data/statistical insights are rarely useful, except in squeezing out extra business pennies at the expense of human agency.

Comment Re:Cost (Score 2) 143

This is absolutely true, especially if you work for a huge company. Big companies that are hooked get raked over the coals, and I guarantee that your SAS licenses are costing you millions every year - yes millions (unless you're academic...). The company I work for is stuck with this very dilemma, where the more programming oriented love and use R, whereas those trained in house with little programming background get stuck in the SAS rut (I do think it's easier for beginners to use SAS, but I wholly agree with you that it's likely stifling innovation). R is still a good intermediary, and will be easier to get up an running for many employees than Python. In fact, check out RStudio if you haven't.

Comment Re:He's right (Score 1) 487

Along similar lines of thought, anything one would want to do privately or openly on the internet can be done right now, given the right software. The author of the blog is envisioning some future where every single thing on the internet has been locked down and sold out, but if we ever reach such a future you can be damn sure it will be arbitrarily easy to declare an alternative net illegal or have it co-opted by corporations. Then will we create yet another one? The point is, you can't keep running to gaps to create the next utopia; you have to keep the main internet open/privacy-respecting and you have to do that within the confines of the system, which is created and changed by the people (us!).

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 206

Meaning if you sign up for an account with one, you cannot cash out to a US bank account. You would have to have a foreign bank account or work with a friend, and then we get into the issue of money laundering and even bigger crimes and punishments.

Wrong. For example, Pokerstars will send you a personal check that will have no problem clearing in any bank (it's from some non-descript LLC). If you win a large amount of money, you can have them wire the money directly to your bank. And I bank at Wells Fargo, the most hard-line opponent of working with the online poker sites.


Super-Earths Discovered Orbiting Nearby, Sun-Like Star 242

likuidkewl writes "Two super-earths, 5 and 7.5 times the size of our home, were found to be orbiting 61 Virginis a mere 28 light years away. 'These detections indicate that low-mass planets are quite common around nearby stars. The discovery of potentially habitable nearby worlds may be just a few years away,' said Steven Vogt, a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at UCSC. Among hundreds of our nearest stellar neighbors, 61 Vir stands out as being the most nearly similar to the Sun in terms of age, mass, and other essential properties."

The Mathletes and the Miley Photoshop 555

Frequent Slashdot contributor Bennett Haselton's essay this week is about "A Tennessee man is arrested for possessing a picture of Miley Cyrus's face superimposed on a nude woman's body. In a survey that I posted on the Web, a majority of respondents said the man violated the law -- except for respondents who say they were good at math in school, who as a group answered the survey differently from everyone else." Continue on to see how.

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