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Comment Re:Nope (Score 1) 125

2014 called -

Forget Makerbot - did you warn them about the Paris attacks? The Ankara bombings? The Metrojet bombing? Did you tell them to have Robin Williams visit a psychiatrist? Did you tell them to have Carrie Fisher visit a cardiologist? Did you have them warn Ukraine not to underestimate Russia in Donbass? Did you tell Germanwings to up their game on psych evals? Did you tell them to teach Podesta basic email security? Did you tell about Brexit? Did you warn them about Trump? Did you have anyone tell Clinton that she'll be best known for email servers and a conspiracy theory about a pizza parlor's occult child pornography dungeon? Did you warn Bowling Green about the horrific terror attack, and the cruel irony that people will forget about it?

Comment Re: Nope (Score 2) 125

Is it really that expensive? I know some people who had run a small startup automaker that raised 30-something million. They were about 3 months out from first commercial deliveries (having made a couple dozen prototypes to various degrees, ranging from empty shells to full builds), with about $10m still left in the bank - when the board decided to bring on a guy from Detroit (Paul Wilbur, the guy responsible for the Chevy SSR, and a bunch of other train-wrecks-in-car-form), who then proceeded to run the company into the ground.

Are aircraft that much more expensive than cars, that you can't even build a demonstrator for that kind of money? To be fair, the automaker's vehicle was technically classified as a motorcycle, so their regulations weren't as onerous as for most cars (but they still did full crash and crush tests anyway, voluntarily). But, I mean, they just churned out prototypes one after the next.

Comment Re:Tracking (Score 1) 246

Well, if you can't keep track of your spending, I suppose that'd be a reason to want to have others do it for you. I don't have that problem, personally, so it's difficult for me to emphasize with your use case.

While I share your concerns about tracking, let's not pretend that there isn't a convenience factor to financial tracking software for those who are willing to give up some potential privacy.

It's not just for people who can't keep a budget. Electronic transactions that can easily be imported and auto-classified into categories can be really helpful for seeing where your money goes in detail. Sure, there are "old school" methods of budgeting (like the "envelope" model where you create envelopes of cash for each budgetary category each month or pay period or whatever and spend cash out of them), but financial software makes this all a heck of a lot easier.

I was skeptical of all of this too, until a close friend (who actually is quite financially savvy and has no problem keeping within his budgets) told me what happened when he started using Mint and discovered how much money he was actually paying Starbucks every year. He was really shocked, but if you're just using cash, it's not an easy question to answer unless you're really keeping detailed records in a relatively laborious fashion.

As for needing to show where you were... who do you need to show this to? The very fact that you think you need to show it to someone is worrisome, and speaks more to the problem than any solution.

Again, although I share your privacy concerns, I also completely understand why someone would find this convenient for all sorts of things -- extra documentation of reimburseable business expenses, proving things if you got audited by the IRS, etc.

Because the government thinks it's perfectly okay to directly violate the constitution that authorizes its existence, that's why.

While I am horrified by the government surveillance, in this particular instance, I think your paranoia may be misdirected. Personally, I'm a lot more concerned presently about what companies may be aggregating my purchasing data and in what ways than I am about the government monitoring my financial records.

Comment Re: Poor business (Score 1) 389

By the way, I realized my final paragraph just restated a point you made too. Sorry -- should have re-read your post again before submitting, but my point stands. Mostly, I think even very low scores on RT can be less useful for certain genres which tend to have high "B movie" or cult status, though there are other outliers; reading reviews can help give a sense of whether the criticism is directed at the genre as a whole vs. the specific film.

Comment Re: Poor business (Score 2) 389

There is something wrong with a movie that is less than 50%. Maybe you will like it, but there is a flaw in there somewhere that caused most people that review movies to not like it.

I agree with the last statement that there is something that caused most people that review movies to not like it.

But movie reviewers don't always accurately reflect the tastes of the public. There are lots of times I've seen significant mismatches on review aggregator sites between critics' reviews vs. reviews by average viewers. Granted, it's pretty rare to see a HUGE disparity (say, more than 30%), but it's quite common to see stuff where only 40% of reviewers liked it, but it has a 65% audience approval or whatever.

But, why on earth would I bother going to see it, when there are movies with 70, 80, 90% ratings to go see?

I guess I agree to the extent that I'm only going to actually pay to GO SEE a movie with really high potential. Given the expense and inconvenience, I'm going to a theater for a guaranteed winner these days. For the rest, I'll wait and watch at home (maybe).

That said, there are a number of prominent "critically acclaimed" films that I've really disliked. And I've had plenty of surprises where I've found films with less than 50% scores that have turned out to be a favorite. I may not take a chance in a theater on one, but I might for home viewing.

And certain genres often tend to produce low ratings. If you're into stereotypical action, horror, slasher, even dumb rom-coms, expect a lot of your genre to get less than 50% approval, because critics as a whole like something a little less full of standard tropes. But some people like those genres. (Note that I'm not one of them -- I'm not into ANY of those genres, but I realize that there's a HUGE market for many of them.)

Basically, to me again it comes down to the fact that critics are not necessarily representative of the public at large. If you understand the ways they are sometimes not representative, you can more accurately use their reviews. But just because 50% of critics don't like something doesn't mean there can't be a huge market for it... a fact that has been proven again and again.

And really, if you want to use reviews, you need to actually read reviews. Rotten Tomatoes and other aggregators just assign scores to reviews, but often what matters is NOT just whether the review is overly "positive" vs. "negative." Some things that are a turn-off for you might be a positive for me and vice-versa, and actually reading the review may help you understand why critics don't like it. A Rotten Tomatoes score is just a very crude and unnuanced metric.

Comment Re:In before global warming whiners... (Score 4, Insightful) 207

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/02/how-culture-clash-noaa-led-flap-over-high-profile-warming-pause-study

Rose's story ricocheted around right-wing media outlets, and was publicized by the Republican-led House of Representatives science committee, which has spent months investigating earlier complaints about the Karl study that is says were raised by an NOAA whistleblower. But Science Insider found no evidence of misconduct or violation of agency research policies after extensive interviews with Bates, Karl, and other former NOAA and independent scientists, as well as consideration of documents that Bates also provided to Rose and the Mail.

Instead, the dispute appears to reflect long-standing tensions within NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), based in Asheville, North Carolina, over how new data sets are used for scientific research. The center is one the nation’s major repositories for vetted earth observing data collected by satellites, ships, buoys, aircraft, and land-based instruments.

In the blog post, Bates says that his complaints provide evidence that Karl had his “thumb on the scale” in an effort to discredit claims of a warming pause, and his team rushed to publish the paper so it could influence national and international climate talks. But Bates does not directly challenge the conclusions of Karl's study, and he never formally raised his concerns through internal NOAA mechanisms.

Tuesday, in an interview with E&E News, Bates himself downplayed any suggestion of misconduct. “The issue here is not an issue of tampering with data, but rather really of timing of a release of a paper that had not properly disclosed everything it was,” he told reporter Scott Waldman. And Bates told ScienceInsider that he is wary of his critique becoming a talking point for those skeptical of human-caused climate change. But it was important for this conversation about data integrity to happen, he says. “That’s where I came down after a lot of soul searching. I knew people would misuse this. But you can't control other people,” he says.

At a House science committee hearing yesterday, Rush Holt, CEO of AAAS (publisher of Science and ScienceInsider) stood by the 2015 paper. "This is not the making of a big scandal—this is an internal dispute between two factions within an agency," Holt said in response to a question from Representative Lamar Smith (R–TX), the panel’s chairman, and a longtime critic of NOAA’s role in the Karl paper. This past weekend, Smith issued a statement hailing Bates for talking about “NOAA’s senior officials playing fast and loose with the data in order to meet a politically predetermined conclusion.”

Some climate scientists are concerned that the hubbub is obscuring the more important message: that the NOAA research has generally proved accurate. “I’m a little confused as to why this is a big deal,” says Zeke Hausfather, a climate scientist with Berkeley Earth, a California nonprofit climate research group that has examined surface temperatures. He’s the lead author of a paper published in January in Science Advances that found Karl’s estimates of sea surface temperature—a key part of the work—matched well with estimates drawn from other methods.

Researchers say the Karl paper’s findings are also in line with findings from the Met Office, the U.K. government’s climate agency, which preceded Karl’s work, and findings in a recent paper by scientists at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, an alliance of 34 states based in Reading, U.K. And although other researchers have reported evidence that the rise in global temperature has slowed recently, they have not challenged the ethics of Karl’s team, or the quality of the data they used.

Read on. It's worth it. The short of it: Bates was demoted by Karl several years back. Bates accepts both AGW, and the conclusions of Karl's paper, but decided to post a nitpicking complaint that he had used the ISTI land data in addition to the base NOAA data (the former of which isn't as high quality), without specifically commenting about the data source quality difference:

The Science paper would have been fine had it simply had a disclaimer at the bottom saying that it was citing research, not operational, data for its land-surface temperatures, Bates says.

But Mike Tanner, director of NOAA’s Center for Weather and Climate at NCEI, says there’s no NOAA policy that requires such a disclosure. “There's nothing. That doesn’t exist,” he says

The article also goes into the split within NOAA over how strongly to focus on new data and approaches that capture effects which old data and approaches might have missed, vs. old ones which are less accurate but more validated. The land data people tend to fall into the former category while the satellite people tend to fall in the later category. Karl was a land guy and Bates was a satellite guy.

It's interesting to read Bates' blog post with "Karl" replaced by "The guy who demoted me":

The most serious example of a climate scientist not archiving or documenting a critical climate dataset was the study of the Guy Who Demoted Me et al. 2015 (hereafter referred to as the Guy Who Demoted Me study or K15), purporting to show no ‘hiatus’ in global warming in the 2000s (Federal scientists say there never was any global warming “pause”). ... In the following sections, I provide the details of how the guy who demoted me failed to disclose critical information to NOAA, Science Magazine, and Chairman Smith regarding the datasets used in K15. I have extensive documentation that provides independent verification of the story below. I also provide my suggestions for how we might keep such a flagrant manipulation of scientific integrity guidelines and scientific publication standards from happening in the future. Finally, I provide some links to examples of what well documented CDRs look like that readers might contrast and compare with what the guy who demoted me has provided.

Comment Re:The actual real problem with Mars... (Score 4, Insightful) 103

The profit (a minority of their profit, it should be added) is coming from saving taxpayers money. What the heck is your problem with that?

If they were making some amount of launches cheaper - sure - but that's not the case.

Yes, it is the case; they cost vastly less than ULA.

Comment Re:The actual real problem with Mars... (Score 2) 103

What I *do* have a problem with is him parlaying this success into a full blown cult of personality

I'm sorry, I must have missed the speech where Musk announced that he is the savior of humanity and its new lord and master.

I'm sorry it gets under your skin that people appreciate the man and what he's doing, but that's hardly something he's been actively "parlaying this success into".

Comment Re:Maybe I'm missing something. . . (Score 2) 103

Most of SpaceX's launches are for private companies. And their real profit plan is satellite internet; these random couple dozen launches per year for the government and private companies is nothing compared to the value of being able to provide cheap high speed internet access everywhere on Earth without having to lay wires. But that requires thousands of satellites to be launched.

Interestingly enough, this also appears to be Blue Origin's profit plan, via their work with OneWeb.

Comment Re:The actual real problem with Mars... (Score 5, Insightful) 103

What's the problem with SpaceX getting government launch contracts? No, seriously. They're charging less than ULA and thus saving the government a ton of money. What's your huge problem with saving money and having the money that is spent go to a company that's focused on great things rather than some conglomerate of huge military-industrial giants?

I've never understood this animosity.

Submission + - SPAM: Quicken Bill Pay is No Longer Safe to Use 1

Bruce Perens writes: I don't usually make security calls, but when a company makes egregious and really clueless security mistakes, it's often the case that the only way to attract their attention and get the issue fixed is to publicize it. This one is with Quicken Bill Pay, a product of Metavante (not Intuit). It's from personal observation rather than an expert witness case, and the company has been unresponsive through their customer support channel.
Link to Original Source

Comment Re:think of the children! (Score 4, Insightful) 150

Actually yes. Scientific or not, a list short enough for kids to learn in grade school is a damn good idea

Well, then, it's time to start teaching that there's only 8 rivers in the world, and all others are dwarf rivers and don't count as rivers. And 8 bones in the human body, the rest being dwarf bones that aren't really bones. And 8 particles in physics, and all others dwarf particles and don't count as particles. And 8 galaxies in the universe.... you get the picture.

. And for fuck's sake, Pluto and the other KBOs ARE DIFFERENT ENOUGH from the asteroids

Since we're apparently going into shouting mode, Pluto IS FAR MORE LIKE THE TERRESTRIAL PLANETS THAN THE TERRESTRIAL PLANETS ARE LIKE THE GAS GIANTS. If anything should be kicked out of the planet club, it's the gas giants.

The issue isn't whether KBOs should have their own classification. They do: KBOs. The question is whether it makes sense to group dissimilar objects (terrestrial planets and gas giants) but artificially exclude other objects in hydrostatic equilibrium, objects with active geology, internal differentiation, fluids, and all of the other hallmarks we associate with planets. Nature has given us a very clear dividing line: objects in hydrostatic equilibrium are where you go to see tectonics, mineralization, fluids, search for life, etc, while objects not in hydrostatic equilibrium are where you go to learn about the formation of the solar system, find its building blocks, learn about what life was built from, etc. Nature rarely gives us such meaningful dividing lines, but in this case, it has, and we should respect it.

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