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Comment Unsupervised learning techniques would be better (Score 1) 195

OK, my bet is they are using tensorflow or another neural network behind this with supervised training. NNs are great at performing classifications by basically correlating everything to everything, but they really rely on valid output data to match the input data. Saying some audience rated the post as 'toxic' is really a bad methodology of training such a network. They will likely have a ton of bias based on the audience they have, such that in a democratic website, probably anything that was said by trump will classify as toxic, but on the same exact input on a republican website, it would classify as the greatest thing ever. Not very useful in the real world.
Now in reality if you diversify the sample enough to account for this, it would end up as neutrally activated and if the correct NN were used, would end up as a wash. That is very hard to do, though, as you would need to account for a lot of community biases.
It would be far more interesting if they used unsupervised training and let the posts gather themselves using a technique such as bag of words or other such proven technologies to do more of a sentiment analysis type approach. Then you could be looking out for posts that tended to be 'extremist' in nature, 'low in content' that is not worth your time, etc. That would be far more interesting, allow you to get some idea about the quality of the post, and not be prone to the community bias as it would be based on what was actually written, rather than what some reviewer thought of it.
My guess is google knows this, but also realizes that this will play well with people, as it will introduce a confirmation bias into the results. The people who use this in their own communities will suddenly see all those posts they disagree with, and are thus toxic, disappear. See it works!
Instead what they should be filtering out is all of the posts that spout the same falsehoods again and again, which unsupervised learning would help with. I want to read ideas that are contrary to mine in order to debate and learn. What I don't want to read are the thousands of posts spouting the same false rhetoric again and again. It makes reading any comments on a news group almost intolerable, no matter what their political slant.

Comment Uber Chopper at Sundance (Score 1) 357

Uber tried this same stunt in Utah at the Sundance film festival. They decided they didn't need a permit to land choppers in a regular neighborhood right in town. For a whole day the damn things were flying low over people's houses and dropping off people in a field next to someone's house. No safety equipment, lights, nor even a proper walkway. Just some spray paint on a field

They claimed they had the right and didn't need a permit. It all stopped when the local sheriff informed the pilot of the chopper that if he landed one more time he would impound the chopper and that would be it. Uber then tried to claim they could use the helipad at the sheriff's office under FAA rules. You can guess at this point the pilot had enough and was not willing to continue.

Then we had to pass a bunch of explicit rules against this at the county level, all due to this foolishness and publicity stunt that clearly was not about actually starting an uber chopper business. I expect this will turn out the same.

Submission + - Girls Who Code Launches 'Satirical' video (

clifwlkr writes: Girls Who Code today launched a new 'satirical' video ahead of computer science education week. In it they claim to "call for Silicon Valley to solve real problems, stop replacing mom". So far the reviews on youtube are mostly less than favorable.

So what do you think? Is this an appropriate video to encourage women, or in fact anyone at all to code?

Comment Re:"showcase some of our new thinking" (Score 1) 84

Sounds like a response from an AC who maybe doesn't have a job and can take the time to queue up all songs manually..... Sometimes it is nice to just have songs chosen for you that you might not actually have thought of as related, while you are doing another task such as working or driving. I am sorry that my choice to enjoy this feature deserves my extermination in your eyes. AC's opinion is noted duly....

Comment Re:Plex Pass - for what? (Score 1) 84

There are several additional features available through it such as photo tagging, fingerprinting of music, better grouping of songs to give you a 'plex mix' option, and early access to new features.

The best reason to pay for the pass is the same reason as any other open source software. If you don't pony up some money when you find software like this useful, it will cease to exist. If you want new features and new capabilities down the road, the best way to ensure this is to give them the few dollars to help keep them going. It's not like their price is unreasonable for what they deliver.

Ultimately your choice, as the free version is definitely very capable, but I choose to support their efforts with real dollars.

Comment Re:"showcase some of our new thinking" (Score 4, Informative) 84

Honestly it is much more than that. Like a song you are listening to? You can queue up a 'plex mix' which queues other songs similar to the one you are listening to. Actually works pretty good. Need to transcode that video from a codec not supported on your playback device? Plex does this. I even have one running on a raspberry pi in my truck with my music on it. I have an android car radio, and run their client as my music in the truck. Can pick a genre, song, etc and queue a plex mix while I am driving. All running on Linux. Also downloads and manages trailers for movies, etc. Want to watch a movie or listen to a song while at your hotel on business, or on the road? Plex provides an interface for that as well, with bandwidth optimization with re-encoding.

BTW, most of this functionality is available in the free version. If you want some of the more advanced features, you can choose to pay them for it. I pay for the pass primarily because I want to support their development of a server that really is great for all your media.

Or you could simply use an SMB share for all your music and hunt around by filename. A very different experience. I haven't even scratched the surface on the organizational capabilities for large collections that plex provides.

Comment Re:Not being listened to, but rather shouting (Score 2) 204

And oddly people continue to shout, rather than being listened to in a hidden manner.

This is why I do not participate in things like Facebook. This is a wealth of information about what you do that is freely out there for the government to use for this kind of activity. They don't even have to have a listening device in your house, people voluntarily put all of this up there for them to parse and monitor on a daily basis. This is what the government (and never mind your future employer) will use to make the determination about where your loyalties lie.

Of course then what does posting nothing on these sites say about you as well then? :-)

Comment Re:Why? (Dr. Strangelove) (Score 1) 1028

As Dr. Strangelove put it: 1) How is it possible for this thing to be triggered automatically and at the same time impossible to untrigger? 2) Mister President, it is not only possible, it is *essential*! That's the whold idea of this machine, you know. Deterrence is the art of placing in the mind of the enemy the *fear* to attack! So because of the automated and irrevokable decision making process which rules out human meddling, the Doomsday Machine is terrifying, simple to understand, and completely credible and convincing. 3) Gee, I wish we had one of them Doomsday Machines! (full quote)

And of course don't forget:

Of course, the whole point of a Doomsday machine is lost if you keep it a secret! Why didn't you tell the world?

Mutual Assured Destruction makes little sense....

Comment Re:Female CS Grads were only 18%.... (Score 1) 415

Then they aren't really tech or STEM hires, like the article is talking about..... Giving them more exposure to STEM at a younger age is not going to help them much at getting hired as marketers, sales, or HR.... Anyone can do support and I sure hope we are not trying to get more of our young minorities working at call center jobs.....

Comment Female CS Grads were only 18%.... (Score 4, Insightful) 415

Given this statistic:

In 2013, 18% of bachelor’s degrees in computing were earned by women

How in the heck do they expect to get equal numbers of female and male people into programming jobs in the field. It would seem 'equal' hiring would be around 18% of the population of programmers to make it apples to apples. That would indicate 'fair' hiring.

That said, I do believe in encouraging everyone to get more experience in STEM at a younger age, then to make informed decisions about if this is a career they would like to pursue. It is nuts to me that they are trying to hire 50% of the work force out of 18% of the graduates. That is just not going to work. Just goes to prove we really do need better math education at all levels.....

Comment Re:Sometimes a parting of ways is best (Score 5, Insightful) 239

You could say that about any profession. My wife is a physician and she tells people who say they want to be a doctor that "if you can imagine yourself doing anything else you probably should". That job is too hard and takes too much from you to bother with if it isn't a calling. Furthermore that pretty much contradicts your point above. If they don't have a passion for software development why are you pushing them into it if it isn't their thing? I'm an engineer and I've done enough programming to know that it isn't what I want to do for a living and also that I'm not particularly good at it.

Because I hear about all of those physician layoffs that are happening and how they are being replaced with over seas workers and young kids out of college. And I always hear about how older physicians can never learn and how they age out at 40.... Again, it is the crappy attitude of the industry I am talking about, and the sad state of the code. If you are really, really passionate about coding (such as I am) you can muddle your way through it, but you have to be ultra passionate. I think every professional career requires dedication, but most have a lot more longevity and actually respect people who have been at it for a bit.

Comment Re:And when do they start training their replaceme (Score 3, Interesting) 239

Because they will then turn around and say they can not find any software engineers, and then have to hire H1-B workers. The definition of an H1-B worker is pretty much a beginner-level software developer, if that. Having worked with many who claim 'senior level', I can state this as a generality. So instead invest in the workers you already have, who know your culture, and give them a chance. If they fail, so be it and part your ways. If they do not want to enter software at all, then again, they can leave and not even have to get a severance package.

It is about giving people opportunities and investing in people. May sound silly to many on this board, but I firmly believe in mentoring people. Give me someone who is the best coder in the world but has a crappy attitude vs someone who wants to learn and is passionate, but maybe has some what of a way to go, and I will take the passionate one.

Comment And when do they start training their replacements (Score 5, Insightful) 239

I am amazed at the number of layoffs in the tech industry these days, yet we continue to dump money into these code camp programs, and other STEM initiatives of dubious value. Here we have 14,000 tech workers who probably could be retrained to work with software and yet we will dump money into these programs to train the next generation, and hiring H1-B workers instead. You know these people are likely intelligent and could use the leg up to fill the gaps the company has, and instead it is just dump them on the street.

This is the real tech world folks. Keep your kids out of it unless they absolutely love it on their own. It is an ageist world which has no loyalty to workers at all, and falsely believes that people can't be retrained. It is not the kind of place you want to make a career out of unless it is your absolute passion, and even then you will be discouraged every day by things like this.

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