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Comment Science "reporting" for the masses (Score 1) 86

This is a wonderful example of what happens to probably so many science reports. Even the the original article admits "The researchers say they need to do more work to parse the connection. For instance, it may be that moods affect energy levels and focus, thus altering a person's interests or abilities to do certain tasks." The headline is nothing but pure speculation and an attempt to grab eyeballs. But the headline is certainly what anybody is going to remember about this. Even without looking at the original research, I can be almost certain that it doesn't say anything like "people actively sabotage good moods by seeking out tasks that aren't fun."

I don't have time to read it right now (but yeah, I'm on /., go figure), but based on the abstract, I'd bet the paper *only* draws a correlation between peoples moods and the type of tasks they perform - and no causation or specific relations.

Comment Re:Hmm, Canada got this one right. (Score 1) 349

Okay, that's cool. I hadn't actually noticed the code on the assessment. I'll have to take a look at my previous assessment and see if I can find it (or my next one, soon enough).

I can help your memory with the online access one though - I did that not that long ago. And yes, you're right. They send you a code by mail when you decide to sign up. Not only that, the code is only valid for a short time, and it's only valid for the type of sign-up you decided to do. You have an option (for the last couple years at least) to log in with a sign-in partner (such as your bank). When you tell them whether you want to use a partner, or create a new login, they send you a code that *only* works to activate an account that way. And that mail will only go to the address of your last tax return. So if you've moved and haven't set up your account (or forgot your login - there's no "reset my password" option last I knew), you have to call in, confirm your identity, including knowing randomly chosen *lines* from your previous tax return, and update your address first.

Comment Re:Boys are naturally curious... (Score 1) 608

A few months ago she declared "girls can't do physics". Where the hell did that come from?

Granted, I can't presume to speak for your niece, but I'm pretty sure if my parents had tried to pressure me at a young age in to something I wasn't interested in, such as nursing (to pick a similar parallel, as my mom was one, but it's definitely not my thing), I would have looked around at the abundance of women in the field, and the lack of men, and declared that men can't be nurses. Kids are very good at finding excuses.

So there could be social pressure for her to believe girls can't do physics. I won't claim there is or isn't. But just because she said that, especially because there's pressure for her to go in to physics, doesn't require that there be something holding her back other than her own interests/lack thereof, and or just pushing back. I've seen kids lose interest in things they should have been enjoying just because their parents wanted it more than the kids did, and put (to quote you) "inappropriate pressure" on them.

Now, if she's actually interested in physics (which I expect is hard to gauge at that age) and appreciates her dad's "encouragement", but honestly believes she can't do it because she's a girl, then yeah, there's a big problem there. But I'd be surprised if the pressure to go in to it isn't exactly the reason she said what she did. In fact, having written this, I have to wonder if too much pressure at an early age to go against the stereotypes might actually be doing as much harm as the stereotypes... Wonder if there are any studies on that...

Comment Re:"just think if you could" (Score 2) 190

The US absolutely has heard of number portability. In fact they had it before Canada did. I used to work in a call center for a US mobile provider, and I was hired in a ramp up they were doing *because* almost all of their existing agents in that center had moved in to dealing with number portability. They started actually doing it just months after I was hired (which would have been late 2003 if I remember).

Now, I escaped from there, so I don't know if anything has changed - but I seriously doubt they've stopped offering it (I live in Canada, and basically ignore everything the US decides to do, unless forced to deal with it).

Comment Re:My superior algorithm: (Score 1) 127

I used to work for a call center that outsourced to a mobile phone company that also had its own in-house representatives. Apparently (from what I heard) the IVR and the company's own computers were connected so that the in-house representatives actually had user accounts automatically loaded for them. We outsourced lackeys were not connected to that system however, so we got to ask the customers for all the information all over again.

Comment Re:Spotify (Score 1) 151

I don't believe anything was said about forcing artists to work for free. Simply that if they are going in to it for the money, they are doing it for the wrong reasons.

Music and art and writing (far more so than other jobs like accounting, programming, politics, etc) requires much more of a personal and emotional investment than just simply plugging in formulas or flipping the right switches in the right order. If all you want is to make money, then it's certainly possible to simply produce some mass-market claptrap that people will eat up (probably backed by the driving forces in the mass-market claptrap music industry - but then good luck seeing much of that money of course, but that's a different rant altogether).

Or you can create music. You can create something that makes a connection with your audience. Something has shares something between you and the people listening. And if it's good, and it connects with people, it may even make you some money.

But given how difficult it is to make money in music, if you go in with the intention of making money, that will be your focus, and it will show through your music - because music is communication.

Sure there are exceptions, but I know a lot of musicians. None of them are big international (or even national) names, but I think none of them would be as good as they are if they were trying to be rich and famous. They're good because they enjoy it, and they do it because they enjoy it. And it shows.

Should they make money for what they do? Sure. I know some I'd like to see get rich and famous. But do I ever want to see the money become the reason why they do it? No.

Comment Re:Give me good services (Score 1) 369

I think you misunderstood. The post to which you responded wasn't saying that the music industry would buy the rights, what was meant was that the music industry needs a simple way to allow people to buy the rights to songs people want to use. I'll grant the first thirteen words make it sound otherwise, but after that it becomes clearer who the actor is for the verb "buy".

But please, don't let me inject comprehension in to a fun rant. I'd hate to ruin it. (and to be fair, yeah, from what I've heard at least those contracts are absurd, but still irrelevant to the discussion at hand)

Comment Re:Looks like it's time to: (Score 1) 139

No, it's the device. They are talking about a way to create a digital equivalent of a fingerprint for the device. The article talks about "device fingerprinting". And, try paragraph 5 of the article and see how it tastes:

It might seem that one computer is pretty much like any other. Far from it: Each has a different clock setting, different fonts, different software and many other characteristics that make it unique."

That's talking about identifying and tracking a specific computer, not fingerprinting a user.

Comment Re:Even the linked article claims they were mistak (Score 1) 260

The page (& link) for Settings>Privacy>News Feeds and Wall>Facebook Ads now has NO OPTIONS. It is currently empty, perhaps because of all the upset customers.

I still see an option when I just checked now, so either it's back or maybe you have some plugin that's hiding it? I've heard ad/script blocking plugins might hide some options (haven't confirmed that myself though), and I know one person who hid some Facebook stuff via Stylish and if I heard him right had to disable some of the style mods in order to see the Terms of Service later - so if you've tried to hide some things (like annoying ads, or pictures that are cluttering up the home page) other stuff may be caught in the crossfire.

Comment Re:They had permission; headline wrong. (Score 4, Informative) 260

Well, actually, they do say a "[...] transferable, sub-licensable [...] license", so yes, they are asking to extend it to other people (otherwise applications couldn't use it if they were (for example) posting your profile photo in a competitive ladder, or perhaps Facebook uses a 3rd party caching server).

HOWEVER, they do also say that it is "subject to your privacy and application settings" which puts a fair limit on what they are allowed to do with it - basically it says who they or anyone to whom they sub-license can only use it in ways that your privacy settings allow (which along with all their other terms basically says that you don't need to worry about advertisers using - or even having - your information unless the advertiser isn't following the rules).

Comment Even the linked article claims they were mistaken (Score 5, Informative) 260

Okay, first off, the article has a follow-up posted at the top of it saying they made a mistake and were corrected. But for the interest of people who would rather read comments than articles, here's what I've been telling everyone on Facebook who keeps passing around this foolishness:

First off, the claim that Facebook is allowing 3rd party advertisers to use people's photos isn't quite the case. In fact, Facebook Terms of Service ( state (section 10.2) "We do not give your content to advertisers."

Yes, Facebook may pair up your name and profile photo with an ad that gets sent to your friends, and yes, that can be blocked with the option mentioned in the message going around (Settings->Privacy->"News Feed and Wall"->"Facebook Ads" and select "No One" - or this link might work to get you there faster, since I'm feeling useful )

This is not, however, 3rd party advertisers using your photo. Section 15 of the advertising guidelines for Facebook ( state that an ad won't even be accepted if the advertiser is using photos for which they don't own copyright.

Now for the useful: A Facebook application that has not been authorized by you or a friend cannot access any information about you other than what's in your public search listing. This means, though, that if you have a public search listing displaying your photo, an unscrupulous advertiser could get your profile photo.

Any application you have authorized will be able to access information it requires to work. Definition of "requires to work" may vary. If you play a lot of 3rd party Facebook games, or do a lot of those quizzes going around, remember to check the Privacy Policies and Terms of Use for the application if your worried (or if you're really worried, don't do them).

Any application your friends have authorized may be able to access any information about you (on behalf of your friend) that your friend can access. To limit what the applications can see, go to Settings->Privacy->Applications and go to the Settings tab (or have another link ). pointed out what more likely happened and downloadsquad corrected their position.

And apparently, as jdigital noted already, even the official facebook blog says that's what happened. So yeah, if you've posted stuff online, somebody may take it and abuse it.. but no, it wasn't Facebook's doing in this case. RTF....Retraction?

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