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Comment Re:Wait... Who got that other half of the $$$ rais (Score 2) 18

I spent about fifteen years of my career in the non-profit sector, so I have some perspective on this.

Raising money in a non-profit is just like selling stuff is for a for-profit. Generating gross revenue is relatively easy -- if you spend a lot of money you can rake in a lot of dough. What's a bitch to generate is net profit. In the non-profit sector we don't use the term "profitability" very much, so the metric that's often used to describe financial is "cost to raise a dollar." For typical fundraising activities cost-to-raise-a-dollar runs from 0.25 to 1.5 dollars/dollar.

Take junk mail. The cost to raise a dollar for a well-run direct mail campaign is in the range of $1.25 to $1.50, so if I want to raise $115,000 to spend on other things I have to scale my direct mail campaign to bring inover $258,000 gross. As you can see I chose a net target that was exactly 1/1000 the size of the ALS bucket challenge net, so you can compare the efficiency of the processes readily. The cost to raise a dollar for the ALS bucket challenge is actually better than a well-run direct mail campaign -- $0.91.

And it should be more efficient than direct mail, because direct mail is about the least efficient method there is. The marginal costs are huge because you pay for the names and addresses as well as printing and mailing of each piece, and most of those pieces will end up in the landfill unopened. So if direct mail is so inefficient, why use it? Because the financial inefficiency doesn't matter to the organization doing the fundraising. The end result of my hypothetical direct mail campaign is that my organization has $115,000 it didn't have before. That probably pays for one and half full time staff positions (at the low do-gooder wages we pay) for a year.

So the ALS challenge was in the financial efficiency range of methods normally used by non-profits, albeit a little towards the inefficient end. That doesn't really tell us if the campaign was responsibly run or not; to know that you'd have to look at all the expenses and compare those to costs in other viral Internet fundraising campaigns. But the bottom line is that the ALS association ended up with $115 million it didn't have before.

Can you think of a way of raising $115 million in a few months? I thought not. So presuming the guys who ran the campaign didn't spend the money on hookers and blow, I wouldn't be unduly concerned by a cost-to-raise-a-dollar of $0.91 if I was on the board.

Should donors care that the ALS challenge was a little high on the cost-to-raise-a-dollar metric? Well, I look at it this way. People did it because it was fun and for a good cause, and two years later we can point to concrete and significant scientific results from the money raised. That's not only pretty good, it's pretty damned awesome.

Comment Re:so much for Prime (Score 1) 16

This is for successful Kickstarter products, that is ones that have already shipped to their backers and are ready to start selling the product to others.

All startups who participate in Launchpad receive custom product pages, a comprehensive marketing package, and access to Amazon's global fulfillment network, the retailer notes.

Given that I see no reason why they couldn't be included in prime, and browsing through the page, most of them are.

Unless your post was a joke, in which case: /swoosh.

Comment Re:anti-science environmentalists (Score 1) 170

Actually, it's thoroughly impossible to tell how the new standards work based upon by the linked articles, but it sounds like in plain language that Florida is using a computer model that could allow more flexibility in discharge permitting. This can lead to better results, whether your definition of better is "more rationally defensible" or "more in line with what my donors want." Determining which way it is better requires review by a competent expert. It might be both.

The real issue here is this phrase from TFA: "one of a kind." That's not so good.

It's important in managing environmental data to do things in the usual way. This is contrary to the way public thinks about new technologies. If there's a new iPhone, you expect it to be better in every way or at least as good. It's not like that with scientific methods; new techniques are proposed because they have certain advantages, obviously. But they always have one big disadvantage: their results are hard to compare with what you already know. You need to do a lot of work to justify doing things a new way, otherwise you can find yourself unable to compare what is happening now to what was happening before.

Fortunately Florida can't do this on its own; it has to get EPA approval. Since this is an administration that is generally favorable to environmental regulation, if they can get this past Obama's EPA that will help give these new methods more credibility.

Comment Re:Why not? (Score 1) 778

In context, with Trump denying the DNC hack was Russia trying to help Trump out, yes, this one can be seen as a very obvious joke. Just because he frequently makes horrific statements doesn't mean he doesn't occasionally also make jokes.

I don't think he's ever claimed that the wall comment was a joke. I don't think he ever will.


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Comment Re:Why not? (Score 0) 778

He was making a f---ing joke. He has brushed off the notion that Russia was doing the hacking in the first place. He made the comment at a press conference intending to ridicule the concept, not via a semi-secret text message to Vladimir Putin.

I'm no Trumpist, I mean, I'm going to vote for Hillary Clinton in November and you have NO IDEA how little I want to do that, but I'm in Florida, so my vote may make a difference between Trump or Clinton, and Trump really is THAT BAD. But, in this one instance, the collective left and political establishment has lost their minds, and apparently their sense of humor.

Comment Re:74 at time of crash (Score 2) 564

I'm not so sure that a simple software fix can fix it. Some key notes:

About 4:40 p.m. eastern daylight time on Saturday, May 7, 2016, a 2015 Tesla Model S, traveling eastbound on US Highway 27A (US-27A), west of Williston, Florida, struck and passed beneath a 2014 Freightliner Cascadia truck-tractor in combination with a 53-foot semitrailer. At the time of the collision, the combination vehicle was making a left turn from westbound US-27A across the two eastbound travel lanes onto NE 140th Court, a local paved road. As a result of the initial impact, the battery disengaged from the electric motors powering the car. After exiting from underneath the semitrailer, the car coasted at a shallow angle off the right side of the roadway, traveled approximately 297 feet, and then collided with a utility pole. The car broke the pole and traveled an additional 50 feet, during which it rotated counterclockwise and came to rest perpendicular to the highway in the front yard of a private residence. The 40-year-old male driver and sole occupant of the Tesla died as a result of the crash.

US-27A is a four-lane highway with a posted speed limit of 65 mph. A 75-foot-wide median separates the two eastbound lanes from the two westbound lanes. Additionally, at the uncontrolled intersection with NE 140th Court, both eastbound and westbound lanes incorporate left turn lanes, allowing for a median opening of about 132 feet. At the time of the crash, it was daylight with clear and dry weather conditions.

Eastbound. Afternoon. May. Aka, the sun was right behind him. Clear and bright outside. This is a perfect recipe for light-colored objects ahead to be overexposed, against other overexposed objects, potentially including the road and the sky. If you have a big block of RGB(255,255,255), how do you determine the boundaries? The best you can do is recognize that it's a threat and disable autopilot, while warning the driver.

A more appropriate solution, if this was indeed the case, would be a hardware fix: read the *raw* data from the camera. A potential alternative, if the frame exposure time can be adjusted, would be to read out alternating short and long exposure frames and combine them.

Comment Re:That's 129.2F if you're interested. (Score 1) 348

Yup, I think you're right. Keeping an answer which matches the number with the least significant digits is used when multiplication and division, giving us the 97. (Technically speaking the 9/5 has infinite significant digits since it comes from the defined boiling and freezing points of water at STP in degrees Fahrenheit and Celsius).

For addition the rules is to round to least precise number being added. Both 97 and 32 are precise to the "ones" place, and so the answer is 129. Just like you and the AC stated. My bad. :(

Comment Re:Doesn't the CEO's recent comments counter this? (Score 1) 92

It is NOT a "given" that they've done this.

It's a FACT.

http://www.zdnet.com/article/c...

They've basically turned over their master encryption key to law enforcement.

And they not only did not tell investors or device owners about it, they used legal shenanigans to try and stop the fact that they'd done this from leaking!

Right now I'd put more trust in dropping the soap in the presence of an unrepentant serial prison rapist than in Blackberry security right now.

Fuck, I'd trust HILLARY CLINTON before I'd trust Blackberry!

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