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Comment Re:Why do they bother? (Score 1) 19

I doubt as much thought went into those riots. People have collectively forgotten why some Muslims disapprove of images of the profit Mohammed. If they thought about it, then they would realise that they disapprove of images of Mohammed because images are false idols, which should not be worshipped under some branches of Islam. Other branches of Islam do worship images of Mohammed. The original intent was for people to only worship the real Mohammed, not shitty little trinkets. Christianity also went through phases of banning images of Christ many centuries ago. Idolatry is forbidden in the ten commandments: "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image". Christians are a bit more relaxed about it these days. The same could be said about political dissent. We see it as keeping politicians honest. The Chinese see it as a great insult, but can't remember why.

Comment Re:Source? (Score 1) 251

As listed on pages 210 to 214 of the draft Investigatory Powers Act 2016.

Also, interesting titbit from page 37:

EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
[Name to be replaced] has made the following statement under section 19(1)(a) of the Human Rights Act 1998:
In my view the provisions of the Investigatory Powers Bill are compatible with the Convention rights.

Really? Who? And is that even relevant (not that it makes a difference) if you are not part of the EU?

Comment Re:hoho (Score 1) 137

You clearly don't work in science. I agree there is a problem with the way science is funded, but it's not the scientists fault. To get paid, you need to apply for funding. To get funding, you need to convince a funding agency that you have a great idea, and the skills to do the work. I have rarely seen anyone receive funding to reproduce someone else’s work. There is a limited amount of money to go around, so someone else will propose researching a novel idea, and the funding agency finds that more appealing than reproducing old work. There is simply no funding left to reproduce old work. You are most welcome to do that for fee. But I have bills to pay.

Comment Re: Dear Apple fans: (Score 2) 471

I saw something similar happen to a New Zealand semiconductor company. They built a factory in China, partly funded by a joint venture with a very large Chinese company. This Chinese company happened to own Chinese chip manufacturers who competed directly with the NZ company. Then as the factory neared completion, the Chinese manufacturers flooded the market and prices plummeted. The NZ company was desperate, they couldn't compete, even with a brand new factory. This is when the Chinese investor kindly offered to buy the new factory. For a hefty discount of course. Coincidence, or was the Chinese partner large enough to absorb a short term loss on one hand in order to make a profit on the other? Five years later and the NZ company still hasn't recovered.

Comment Re:Not automation (Score 1) 540

It's never all or nothing. ATMs and internet banking mean I walk into my bank twice a year. Banks will stay, but lets just say that retail banking is not a career with growth potential. Same for post offices. I think the last time I was in the local post office was over a year ago. Email and websites take care of most of that now. I don't feel the urge to visit high-end boutique post offices just to satisfy my need for human interaction.

Comment Seemed like a good idea at the time (Score 1) 12

It must have seemed like a good idea at the time, but this has to be the fastest, simplest, legal way ever invented to block all government sites. No court order means the allegations don't even have to be substantiated. I suspect this law will be repealed very quickly if copyright holders accuse Ukrainian government sites of infringing on their rights.

Comment In communist Russia (Score 4, Interesting) 80

This reminds me of a story I read where Stalin had a special toilet installed for a diplomatic visit from Mao. The toilet didn't drain into the sewer, but into a special tank. Then the Soviets did nothing with Mao but feed him as much food as he could possibly eat for ten days. At some point he angrily shouted that he was in Russia to do more than just eat and shit. Meanwhile Stalin had a crack team of scientists secretly collect and analyse Mao's stool samples for clues into his personality. They took it so seriously that they decided not to sign a trade agreement or something. Source.

Comment Re:dont censor (Score 1) 284

Margin of error != undecided. Not even close. 'Undecided' is a valid response, along with 'Republican', 'Democrat', 'other', and 'no vote'. Margin of error is an estimate of the range of possible values the true population mean could have relative to the sample mean. So when someone says the 95% confidence interval of a value is between x+y and x-y, that means they are 95% certain that the true population mean is within x +/- y of their estimate. Or if they ran the experiment 100 times, then they would expect to be reasonably close around 95 times, and fuck it up about 5 time. Scientists also use the confidence intervals to decide if the results are 'significantly' different or not. For example Clinton 47%, Trump 46%, margin of error 2%, means that the true values could be Clinton anywhere from 45% to 49%, and Trump anywhere from 44% to 48%, thus the confidence intervals overlap and the difference is not significant. True values could be 47% vs 46%, or 45% vs 47%, or 46% vs 46%...

I am sure most polls use statistically rigorous and valid methods. It's just really hard to get a truly representative sample. It's not feasible to poll the whole population, so you try to take a random sub-sample. Where do you even get a truly representative random sample of people? Many people don't answer the polls, but do vote. Some people answer the polls, but don't vote. Some people change their minds between polling and voting. Some people are simply not contactable (I don't have a phone for example). Some people lie to mess with the poll.

And when you add the electoral college system to a tight race, then all bets are off, because who most people vote for != who receives most votes!

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