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Comment Re:It's Been Said, But... (Score 1) 43

That is interesting... I think it's chalked up to a few different factors: animal blood != human blood; human testing often is done in larger bulk samples (for example, some disease tests pool small quantities of many samples. If it reacts, they then divide/test until they get to the offending sample); human tests are often subjected to multiple refinements or retests to meet FDA standards under one test umbrella. I'm not a doctor or lab tech, this is just what some quick Googling suggests.

Note that my statement wasn't that improvement isn't possible. It's just that it isn't a Eureka! idea. To me, it was the story of "she hated needles/blood draws, thought you should be able to do it with less volume and fuss, and then made that" like an app or a batch of bacon-maple cookies. The innovation is in neither idea nor execution, but in invention/innovation. That's tough stuff.

Comment It's Been Said, But... (Score 1) 43

One wonders at the (lack of) common sense here. The premise is, "we will do blood testing on incredibly small vials of blood, because some people have difficulty with large specimen collection, and large specimen collection is inconvenient or impossible."

What gets me is this is NOT a "Eureka!" moment like Uber or AirBnB or something.

This is not a combination of old idea + do it better + better marketing, like Facebook.

This is something that requires non-trivial technical invention in an area that is already attempting to innovate. Somehow, no one thought "gee, I'll bet labs already try to get specimens with minimal fuss." It's instead like they thought "wow, no one thought of this! Once we had the idea, we just had to do that instead of this."

This meant once Theranos said "hey, we thought of this, so we decided to invent that" everyone went along... like a Kickstarter for a better travel pillow or boredom toy, rather than a complex set of scientific processes designed to support other scientific processes. This, in turn, almost requires that you accept that the VC realized this, and only hoped that it went far enough for them to cash out before imploding. I mean, there's practically no way to assume they were that naive.... is there?

Comment Re:Let's go even further! (Score 5, Insightful) 181

Like ChipsChap, I've managed teams up to the hundreds on a global scale. I've also managed global product management and strategy. I started in the trenches, as a software engineer.

Two things come to mind: first, I'll echo ChipsChap's sentiment about the manager's job. I'll add that sometimes there just needs to be someone who can make an informed decision and move forward. In many cases - in spite of what individual contributors may think - there isn't a clear-cut or definitive "better" way/solution/approach. A good manager makes decisions in the face of ambiguity, on behalf of the individual contributors, in spite of the fact that some will be pissed off.

The second thing is the unfortunate cycle I see embodied in many comments here: individual contributors have a bad boss, and declare all management stupid and decide to forge their own path as much as possible. Managers have bad individual contributors, and declare them all ineffective and in need of more management. The sports team analogy is nice because it is fairly obvious to most people that forging your own path and deciding your individuals are ineffective doesn't work.

I'll add to that, many people also misunderstand the purpose of a manager or individual contributor. Too often, ICs look expect management to be some kind of "super" version of themselves. If you're an engineer and you expect your boss to be a smarter/faster version of you, you don't understand their role (note: this is not the same as having zero understanding of a position). If you're a manager and you expect your IC to understand (or care about) the big picture or things that aren't directly in line with their day-to-day (even others' day-to-day), you don't understand their value. Case in point: I am far from the best or smartest software engineer in my company (thank goodness), but I damned well wouldn't go to one of my leads and ask them to devise a market/strategy-based feature pipeline that includes allowances for where we expect *global* legislation differences to lead the industry I'm in (and please code them up lickity-split, if you don't mind).

Comment Re: What about electrical, plumbing etc? (Score 2) 315

- Anyone buying a house *must* have it inspected by their own inspector. Even if the house is brand new (see the previous point). For an older home, you never know what has happened during the life of the building. On top of that, inspect the house yourself. Trust-but-verify.

Fun fact from my experience:

We bought a brand-new tract home that someone else had spec'ed but their financing fell through. We got a very good deal because the builder wanted to get rid of it, and they were still building out the neighborhood so most people preferred to pick their own options. We wanted something ready to move in, so it was a win-win.

We hired an independent inspector, and were promptly mocked by both our sales liaison and the construction project manager. After all, not only do they employ their own inspectors, but it passed city inspection. Meanwhile, our inspector found a multitude of minor things, and also that the construction team had not properly finished the roof or the inside attic soffits (for the pedantic, I may have the language a bit wrong - it's been ten years). This would have likely led to roof damage in heavy wind and water damage in heavy storms.

The builder fixed it, and it passed inspection. The sales liaison was a bit indignant and tried to minimize it, but their construction manager apologized and acknowledged sometimes things happen. Since then, several of our neighbors have had to have roof work done after storms. So far, we've been OK.

Always get an independent inspector. Even new construction.

Comment Re:Have they added DRM yet? (Score 1) 303

Two kinds of oversampling:

You're probably referring to upsampling upon playback (reconstruction). It is a "fix" in the sense that it obfuscates, it is not error correction. This only reinforces my point, which was that it is not impossible - or even implausible - that a human could distinguish in a blind test a recording made at a higher sampling frequency (than 44.1) compared to an identical one at CD quality.

If you're referring to sampling at a higher rate than the Nyquist frequency at recording, the reason that's done is because you can hear the difference if it isn't recorded at a higher rate. The big difference here is that post-processing allows storage of the smaller amount of information (frequency and bit rate) of the target. I'm simplifying a bit here, but that's actually my point: you can hear the difference.

Perhaps you're solely focused on playback frequency in the discussion? I'm not. I'm suggesting that, at any point in the chain, if you operate solely at 44.1kHz sampling rate, you will lose something, in spite of the fact that human hearing tops out at about 20kHz.


Comment Re:Have they added DRM yet? (Score 1) 303

But we're talking about CD sampling/recording rates, not turntables here.

The original frequencies aren't necessarily below the noise floor of the recording process, and can introduce harmonics during the playback process. Many do have enough "energy"; there's no magical cutoff at 20kHz just because that's pretty much the upper range of human hearing.

You can argue - somewhat correctly - that those harmonics within audio range would be captured by the lower (CD-quality) sampling rate.. but herein lies one of the things that, depending upon conditions, can be heard. It's not the same sound profile as playing back the actual higher frequencies because (shockingly enough) playback conditions impact how it sounds. Note I'm not saying one would sound better than the other, just noticeably different.

Also, if you have inferior AD conversion and low-pass filters when recording, anti-aliasing can be a problem caused by higher frequencies. Again, I'm talking strictly about higher sampler rates and storage at "better than we can hear" quality. AC (not sure if it was you) argued it was completely identical under all cases unless you were some kind of mutant. That just isn't true. It's mostly true, but not completely.

Finally, if we were to do what you suggest with a vinyl record, it... doesn't prove much of anything. Why? You're only passing the higher frequencies. The harmonics occur at a lower frequency in terms of the music. Ostensibly, you're playing inaudible frequencies against line noise, which will of course sound like line noise. This, of course, assumes that the recording wasn't at some point or another passed through some kind of EQ or digital recording (same sample rate discussion) that didn't remove them. Digital recording goes back much further than most people think..

Emphasis here on something that is mostly irrelevant: the difference between OP saying it's impossible for there to be any distinguishing characteristic for humans, and then talking about what the practical implications are. You really should read the short article I linked, it gives a fair, if high-level, explanation.

Comment Re:Have they added DRM yet? (Score 1) 303

I'll disagree with you ... mildly... about the CD versus higher resolution. It's about harmonics introduced by higher frequencies impacting the lower (and the reproduction of said harmonics during D/A conversion upon playback), and anti-aliasing of higher frequencies unable to be captured correctly (a la Nyquist). Does it mean higher frequency is better? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. A lot depends upon not only exactly what is being recorded, but the equipment and conditions for both recording and playback.

I'll agree it's mostly hype for little or no benefit, but it isn't entirely fiction.

There's a pretty good, albeit partial, explanation here:

Comment Re:Managing Expectations (Score 5, Interesting) 114

There's a lot of truth in this, and in visuals anyway. Case from my own experience:

Early in my career, I led a small team to create a product to monitor operations of a physical system. This system was geographically situated in a such a way that different locations were located on a map. The top-level view of the system might refer to different geographic locations (e.g. "First St node" and "Highway 3 node").

This was during the time that Google Earth was New! Exciting! AJAX?! For a prototype, we lifted *the customer's own marketing map graphic* and overlaid a colored disk at each location representing current status.

Two side effects of the prototype demo: first, the sheer wonderment of "how did you get that?! Is it a satellite?! IS IT GOOGLE EARTH?!" Second: "How does it know the status?" "Holy crap! Maple Ave node IS RED ZOMG CALL SOMEONE WHAT DOES IT MEAN?!"

The best part: explaining it was (1) a simple .jpg we lifted directly from their marketing swag, and (2) it was just a prototype and didn't mean anything *did not do a damned thing*. They still believed we had satellites monitoring the systems (why satellites? How would satellites know the status?)

Seeing is, indeed, believing.

Comment Happened to Me in Brisbane (Score 1) 170

I travel a lot for work (~175K miles a year). One a flight from Dallas-->Brisbane-->Sydney (before Sydney direct), I left my laptop in Brisbane, in the DMZ (area in airport for international flights, after deplaning and before immigration/passport control/customs). This itinerary stopped in Brisbane to refuel, but you left the plane and (interestingly) went through security immediately after, then waited in a special area to get back on the plane and resume to Sydney.

I left my laptop at security. Didn't notice until I was in my hotel in Sydney. Call the airport, and they said "leave a message for customs/security, they will call you back." Yeah, right. I did and... ten minutes later they called.

The guy found it, then explained the problem was that it hadn't been through customs. I had a co-worker coming through the same flight in a couple of days; he agreed to give it to the co-worker. I figured that this was unlikely to actually occur, and started backup planning.

My co-worker gets off the plane in Brisbane, announces himself.... and is handed a laptop, complete with a note taped to it explaining it had been left and to give it to him on this date.

I still have the note on my laptop to remind me how stupid I can be.

Comment Conclusions Can Be Amusing (Score 2) 80

I was intrigued (I suppose that I still am) until the comment about sunscreen and being outdoorsy. Herein lies the danger of such things, but I assume it is poor journalism rather than poor science (or, at least, I hope the scientists aren't concluding this).

You see, I wear sunscreen. Religiously. I am not terribly "outdoorsy". I am paranoid about skin cancer (runs in the family) and wrinkles (I'm a bit vain, what can I say).

I think what they meant to say is, given a population with certain characteristics, one can infer certain probabilities about the population. While this is interesting in a population, it's also the same horse s#!t that results in me getting Facebook ads centered around marijuana because I align closely with libertarians (but I don't smoke pot. At all). I long for the day when our marketing overlords start sending me phone ads for paddle boarding or tennis or outdoor yoga because I wear sunscreen. It's so much easier to tune out stuff that has zero relevance.

Comment Re:We can date the jump into the U.S. in about 197 (Score 1) 380

I remember this! Interesting... there was an article in "Hustler" (yes, that Hustler) that put forth the theory that petroleum jelly was being absorbed in the system, and causing a breakdown of immune cell production. I think it even said something about "coating" cells or something like that. The Hustler article quoted some professional/scientific hypothesis white paper on how the mechanism could work, etc etc. I also think it went on to talk about how amyl nitrate usage exacerbated the problems, leading to a collapse of the immune system.

Comment Re:Blameless (Score 1) 380

...except that this is hearsay (at best), and quoted in a book ("And the Band Played On") that also disregarded information that he wasn't some mythical Patient Zero. They were selling books.

Not saying he didn't do this, but there isn't any compelling evidence he did.

Comment Re:Interesting radio lab episode on epidemics (Score 2) 380

Except the statements about him intentionally attempting to infect people are, at best, anecdotal. They're also from a source ("And the Band Played On") that disregarded the misinformation around patient zero (actually being patient O, or "Outside Southern California") because it made good narrative.

He may have been an asshole, but it's not verified.

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