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Comment Vocab Debates, El Yawno. [Re: Nefarious uses? (Score 2) 97

Unless the polls were hacked, then the election wasn't hacked.

That's a matter of interpretation of words. English is ambiguous, it has nowhere near the precision of say a programming language. I tried to keep it short rather than more accurate but fastidious and verbose because most readers in this context like it that way (for good or bad).

If a country exposes internal documents from one party but NOT the other party, and creates mass fake news stories in order to influence voter decisions, that is arguably still "hacking the election". If I wanted to say hacking the voting machines, I would have said hacking the voting machines. "Election" is a more general word/concept than "

I did not objectively say it wrong.

Comment "Unemployment rate" isn't simple (Score 1) 357

I personally remember when government data back early in the Reagan presidency went from reporting nearly 15% unemployment nationwide to well under 6% by redefining what "unemployed" meant. So . . . has government data ever been trustworthy, and is it still so?

This is a tricky topic with no easy answers or fixes.

The US government actually publishes several different metrics on unemployment. They don't make any ONE of them "official".

There has been one that has been by convention used as the unemployment rate by most of the press. But any politician or pundit can and often do cherry-pick which metric they want to use to spin things their way.

There are many gray areas to measuring. For example, there many people who would enter the work-force if offered enough, but otherwise are not actively seeking. "Domestic spouses" often fall into this category. They may be perfectly happy being a domestic spouse, BUT would probably take a job if it paid well enough. Same with retirees. That's why "actively seeking" if often a component of preferred metrics. However, some are down and out and have given up actively seeking. The reasons and motivations for not actively seeking vary greatly and have no clear cut-off points.

Compare it to trying to measure who is the best basketball player. Points-per-game is often used, but leaves out a lot of other details, such as passing ability, defense, rebounds, turnovers, shooting percentages, etc.

Shooting percentage is a fairly nice metric, but it often skips out the fact the best shooter is often given the ball when the play-clock is running down and they have to take desperate, well-defended shots because the defense knows they have to shoot very soon (as opposed defending against passing or driving toward the hoop, since there's no time for those). That's likely to lower their shooting percentage. We can perhaps compensate by splitting shooting percentage into those made with more than say 6 seconds to go and those made with less than 6. But as you see, it's difficult to find a single simple metric. Composite metrics can be formed, but few will agree on how to weigh and construct the various sub-metrics that go into such.

Comment Re:Begging popups (Score 1) 215

every time I start up a browser that isn't Edge, it pop ups a little warning saying how Edge is a better and safer browser.

Clippy lives!: "It looks like you are trying to use an inferior non-sanctioned browser..."

Have Vivaldi display a counter popup that says Microsoft is a lying greedy bastard. Make it only periodic and fade by itself so it's not a lasting annoyance.

Comment Re:Dynamic Relational [Re: That's not how it works (Score 1) 225

Yes, it can use joins. It can do just about anything one can do with typical SQL and even use SQL (with some minor adjustments in the way comparisons are done).

It's not a new query language, I would note, but more of a new data model for tables (or table-like things). While I'd prefer other query languages, SQL is good enough, as explained in a sister message per learning curves.

I'll assume your dev/null comment is intended as a joke, and file my reply under dev/null.

Comment Re:Dynamic Relational [Re: That's not how it works (Score 1) 225

Think of it as a prototyping tool.

Let me clarify that. The proposal is to allow for a "loose" initial style, but a database instance can gradually be tightened as the requirements settle by adding various existence, type, parsing and/or lookup constraints. It probably cannot be as "tight" as a traditional RDBMS, but perhaps close enough.

It can be "loose" and "medium tight". Few other tools/ideas can straddle even that much.

(Throwing features at it could perhaps allow a really tight database, but I suspect there would be side-effects, such as excess complexity, and/or performance problems.)

Comment Re:Bubble timing (Score 1) 379

Computer technology has always been boom and bust, and therefore fairly likely to pop again.

The "Sputnik scare" created a spark in the late 50's and 60's, and then a lull in the 70's. Late 70's sparked again by microcomputers and Star Wars enthusiasm. Then the "game crash" in 1983/84 (remember ET-Cartridge-gate?) Windows/GUI's/desktop-publishing then sparked it in the early 1990's, and then the dot-com mega-spike, which burst nastily in 2000/2001. Now we are in the Mobile Boom. I expect it to either pop, or at least hit a lull.

Comment The ballad of Solyndra (Score 4, Interesting) 295

Solar power is showing a nice pattern of gradual gains and is becoming quite competitive with fossil fuel. As much as conservatives complained about the bungling of Solyndra, the govt's general investment in multiple solar companies sparked the industry and made solar cheaper.

China's gov't jumped into the field also, creating a kind of solar "space race", which cranked up the rate of R&D. It's a good "fight". (China was later caught under-pricing their solar products to drive out foreign competitors, but that's another story. I took a nasty stock hit due to that.)

Thus, even though Solyndra was a lost battle, it seems Obama won the solar war. Over-focusing on the failures has made many conservatives miss the bigger picture.

Solyndra was a really cool idea: paint the roof white and use regularly spaced solar-collecting tubes. It was especially useful for low sun angles, resulting in fairly even power throughout all seasons . It just didn't pan out because flat panels eventually got fairly cheap due to flat panel R&D such that flat panel INefficiency at low sun angles mattered less.

Comment Enterprise & custom hardware [Re:Good Riddance (Score 1) 164

It's not the they sell "bureaucracy", it's that they lock you in and charge too much.

Their products are indeed targeted toward "enterprise" applications, where you want stability and reliability, which is sometimes called "bureaucracy". If you are a smallish risk-taking start-up, then Oracle products are probably not for you.

However, Oracle's problem in the enterprise arena is that they gradually trick you into paying an arm and leg over the longer run. Now that MS-SQL-Server is focusing more on the high-end, and there are open-source products like PostgreSQL and MariaDB, customers are migrating to alternatives, at least their low/mid-sized systems. Oracle will bleed customers if they continue their vice grip ways.

I thought DB-centric hardware was a potential growth industry for them: custom-built database servers that are optimized for Oracle databases potentially could kick the competition's rear ends, kind of like how custom/dedicated neural net (AI) hardware is now "big".

But for some reason it didn't pan out and they are laying off DB hardware people. Any server hardware experts out there who can explain why AI-dedicated hardware is paying off BUT NOT dedicated database hardware?

Why can neural net custom/dedicated hardware kick generic server arse while DB hardware cannot? Is it something about RDBMS's in general, or does Oracle simply suck at hardware?

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I THINK THEY SHOULD CONTINUE the policy of not giving a Nobel Prize for paneling. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.