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Comment hyberbole (Score 1) 284

The article linked is just click bait.

The analyst said that Twitter's data quality is "horrible". Chowdhry said that many pollsters used Twitter data to predict a Hillary Clinton win in the U.S. election but the fact that Donald Trump won shows that data quality is poor. One reason for this is too many fake users on the platform, Chowdhry claims.

Twitter has had issues with monetization, but the idea that the platform is somehow flawed because some idiot used it as a source polling is nuts. You can't determine an election from reading tweets.

Twitter differentiated itself from other social sites by embracing simplicity and mobile. The simplicity of twitter has also hurt it, because it keeps failing at expanding the platform beyond tweets making it a poor growth stock since its user growth has stagnated.

Comment Re:yes they should (Score 5, Insightful) 1081

Why do we level the playing field between rural and urban, but not along any other axes? There are plenty of demographics that are disenfranchised by their relative size, and they would gain important safeguards against oppression by having a louder voice. But we don't, for example, count black people's votes eight times to put them on a level playing field with whites. The electoral college doesn't make the whole system more fair, it just tips the scale in one particular direction.

Also, the idea that if you don't like a state you can just move is meaningless in this case -- we're talking about the results of a federal election. You can't move anywhere to escape those, so that suggestion doesn't weigh on electoral college considerations.

Comment Re:should or could? (Score 2) 1081

Yes, the goal of the electoral college was to make sure that sparse rural areas weren't disenfranchised. However, if we really wanted to follow that logic through then we'd have to re-enfranchise other minorities that might get overrun in a pure one-person-one-vote democracy: why don't we count each black vote as eight, for example? That seems another important safeguard. The answer seems to be that we're not seeking to equalize the playing field, but to tip it in a particular direction. I think we'd be better off with a straight popular vote.

Comment Former Director of Software Development Here (Score 5, Interesting) 587

For my dollars, I'd much rather work directly with people who are a committed part of a team. It's tough enough to achieve that with direct hires; I don't think you can do it with outsourcing.

I think part of this relates to the nature of software. People always talk about writing software - but that's the easy part. The hard part is *expanding* and *maintaining* software. And generally speaking people who have a history with the code are going to do a better job of it: faster, and more precise. You can also have a much tighter development loop between developers, testers, and users if you have them all in-house. I used to have my developers spend some time using the tools they built with the people who actually used them for the job (I did this myself as well). You learn practical details that are hard to communicate any other way. And speaking of communication: I had a few outsourced workers (forced on me by upper management) and communication was always inferior.

I'm not saying that there's no use for outsourcing, or that it's always the wrong choice. But my experience is that proximity matters. And history matters. And personal familiarity matters. So one needs to factor all that in when making the choice. And yeah, I think I got about 4x the quality and productivity out of my in-house people as my outsourced people.

Comment RACHEL (Score 5, Informative) 47

Wow, thanks so much for mentioning RACHEL and World Possible. I've been working with them for a several years as a volunteer and recently joined as VP of Tech. It's such a satisfying project -- to see the stuff we put together being used in classrooms around the world a few weeks later -- and the Pi makes it all possible. Thanks for making such an amazing and useful piece of hardware :)

Comment Re:WTF??! (Score 1) 125

Emacs users have more time for commenting on slashdot. What else are they going to do while waiting for Emacs to load?

I don't know about the rest of them, but while I waited for Emacs to compile and load, I wrote a major made for posting Slashdot comments. Of course, I used Vim to write it because it has better syntax highlighting for Lisp code than Emacs does.

Comment Re:Seems this topic is stuck in the roundabout. (Score 4, Insightful) 364

I like how everyone assumes people make carefully considered, rational decisions in a high-speed crisis.

People probably choose to veer away from hitting people because they don't realize they might kill themselves - they just see what is in front of them and sure to happen, and don't have the time or wherewithall to consider the unknown consequences.

People will reach out to catch a falling knife, too, but that doesn't mean that they thought about the implications.

Comment Re:A preview of President Trump's upcoming win. (Score 1) 693

I'm afraid you're living under the delusion that people use new information to adjust their worldview. Sadly, no matter what happens to GB, most people will find ways to twist the information to justify their socioeconomic dogma.

There's a reason why Mississippi continues with their policies despite having the example of 49 other states on how you can do it better. Individuals here and there may learn a thing or two, but large scale social learning is phenomenally rare.

Comment Re:I'd argue we need more humanities (Score 2) 352

You misunderstand the goal of public education. The goal is to provide a basic level of education in the cases where parents will drop the ball. This is exactly as needed with social values as it is with academics. If you are a good, educated, socially conscientious parent, then public school will be relatively easy for your kid and you'll supplement what they don't teach with regular life lessons at home. But sadly there are a huge number of kids that get little to nothing in the way of lessons at home, and a significant number that get bad lessons at home. Public education gives these kids a tiny something in the way of outside influence to counter their bad luck at being born to a struggling family.

I'm sure some people will call out that our schools are doing a bad job at academics so why expect them to do a good job at social values? To counter that let me give a bit of advice: never judge anything without a comparison point. If you think the schools are doing a bad job at providing a base level education for a huge, diverse population without turning anyone away, please tell me what you're comparing it to. Private schools that can select their pupils? Magnets schools that only get kids from families that are concerned about education? Home schooling that is well beyond the means of most families? These are all better options, but they are only options to a minority of children. The rest need public education and most of those need social value education in addition to academics.

Comment Re: What BS (Score 5, Insightful) 192

Based on my personal experience, that's not quite how it works. Programmers don't usually stay long hours because they're told to - they stay long hours because they are into what they're doing. There are crunch-time exceptions, of course, but if the company is making people stay long hours regularly and they don't care about what they're doing, they'll burn out and leave. So to some degree, people staying late at work regularly has some correlation with work engagement, which for coders is a good thing.

Personally, if I'm sucking at code, I'll try to escape earlier. If I'm deep in flow, I'll be coding until 2AM. And that's when I do my best work.

YMMV, of course.

Comment The Missing Post (Score 5, Informative) 133

He posted a blog post yesterday and it's currently cached but essentially he promises to move BTC from early blocks to do the final verification. This was up yesterday before his stupid wah wah redirect went up. I'm reposting it here in case it's ever removed from google cache (I hate scammers):

Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Proof
May 3, 2016

Yesterday, Andreas Antonopoulos posted a fantastic piece on Reddit.

Andreas said something critically important and it bears repeating: “I think the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto does not matter”.

He’s absolutely right.

It doesn’t – and shouldn’t – matter to the Bitcoin community.

I cannot deny that my interest in bringing the origins of Bitcoin into the light is ultimately and undeniably a selfish one – the only person to whom this should matter is me. In the wake of the articles last December in which I was ‘outed’, I still believed that I could remain silent. I still believed that I could retreat into anonymity, sever contact, go quiet, and that the storm would eventually pass and life would return to normal. I was right and wrong. The story did eventually retreat, but not before it ‘turned’ and the allegations of fraud and hoax (not to mention personal threats and slurs against me and my family) clung to me.

I now know that I can never go back.

So, I must go through to go forward.

Mr. Antonopoulos’ post also notes that if Satoshi wants to prove identity, “they don’t need an “authority” to do so. They can do it in a public, open manner.” This is absolutely true, but not necessarily complete. I can prove access to the early keys and I can and will do so by moving bitcoin, but this should be a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for such an extraordinary claim.

And this is why I wanted to speak with Gavin weeks ago. Gavin was in a unique position as we dealt with each other directly while we nurtured Bitcoin to life in 2010. I knew that Gavin would remember the content of those messages and discussions, and would recall our arguments and early interactions. I wanted to speak with Gavin first, not to appeal to his authority, but because I wanted him to know. I owed him that. It was important to me that we could re-establish our relationship. Simply signing messages or moving bitcoin would never be enough for Gavin.

And it should not be enough for anyone else.

So, over the coming days, I will be posting a series of pieces that will lay the foundations for this extraordinary claim, which will include posting independently-verifiable documents and evidence addressing some of the false allegations that have been levelled, and transferring bitcoin from an early block.

For some there is no burden of proof high enough, no evidence that cannot be dismissed as fabrication or manipulation. This is the nature of belief and swimming against this current would be futile.

You should be sceptical. You should question. I would.

I will present what I believe to be “extraordinary proof” and ask only that it be independently validated.

Ultimately, I can do no more than that.

Comment Re:I can see this as an environmental disaster (Score 1) 460

Sure it's legal for a semi with four tanks to drive around, but is it legal (and reasonably safe) for them to pump gas back out of those tanks? With what equipment? Is it legal to sell whatever is in theses tanks as x-octane gasoline in precise quantities? Isn't this asking for rampant fraud?

Comment Re:What about the Methane???? (Score 2) 84

The wells in that region produce mostly crude oil and natural gas. Crude oil is easy to store in tanks, put into tanker trucks, and otherwise get off the well site to the market in a variety of ways that you can use from day 1 of drilling the well. Natural gas must either go into a pipeline, be vented into the atmosphere, or be flared (burned) into the atmosphere. Pipelines can take years to catch up to drilling (not really due to regulation as others have pointed out, but rather due to rapid drilling for profitable oil outpacing thousands of miles of pipeline construction to sell much less profitable natural gas, along with lack of enforcement of regulations intended to restrict flaring to a certain time period after drilling a new well). So a lot of gas has to be vented or flared. Venting is considered worse than flaring for the atmosphere (because methane is a worse global warming gas than CO2 as you pointed out), so it all gets flared. Perhaps flaring burns the methane but not the ethane, or at least not all of it, which is why ethane is the problem we are focusing on here?

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