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Comment 240% ?? Come on ... (Score 3, Informative) 41

Sorry, but a change from 235 requests to 564 is an increase of only 140%, not 240%. Doesn't anyone at the Washington Post know how to calculate percentage changes correctly? I find this is a common problem with journalists. Maybe they have a point about the nature of the problem, but to claim an increase of 240% when it is only really 140% is just hype. Incorrect and preventable errors of journalism.

... had 235 requests in 2012 ... By 2013, requests in the District had climbed 240 percent, to about 564 ...

Comment Re: $300 or $400 for map update (Score 1) 310

And you absolutely DON'T actually need to buy a new Garmin every six months (though it is a good comparison!). Most Garmin devices for cars come with free lifetime map updates. My wife and I own a Garmin 2360LM and a 40LM and they work just fine, mounted on our cars' dashes. I check a couple of times a year to download the available updates and the data rarely lets us down. (Only ever due to new construction.) The only times we ever lose signal to navigate is while driving in tunnels or slowly under large bridges, and we have always known exactly where we were at the time so we weren't bothered by LOS (loss of signal).

Comment "Using the deep learning algorithms ..." (Score 1) 178

I suppose their intent is that this fridge will be able to manage supplies and demands the same way that my mother so effortlessly and effectively managed our ice box and pantry in our very dynamic household when I was a kid. She had learned her stuff from my grandmother and added a few tricks and neat solutions to the repertoire, doing all of it everyday in her head and without blinking an eyelash in the face of last-minute changes in the number of chairs around the table and last-minute confessions to the "Who ate all the ..." question. And today we need a computer to do this? What a waste of resources!

Comment Waxed or unwaxed?? (Score 1) 257

I am sure that unwaxed floss is more effective at "cleaning" the surface of the teeth than waxed floss. Waxed floss glides effortlessly over the surface and there is little or no friction. Without friction, how can waxed floss scrape the surface of the tooth?? Any study on the effectiveness of flossing has to distinguish between the use of waxed and unwaxed floss. But try to find unwaxed floss when you need to buy some! Most drugstores sell only waxed floss or keep very little unwaxed floss in stock. If a proper study finds that flossing is not effective, I would bet money on their subjects using mostly or entirely waxed floss. By definition, waxed floss will do no work.

Comment Re:When brains work for the wrong boss ... (Score 1) 96

No, Ms. Caracristi worked at the right place at the right time (I had met her too). During the Cold War the rules were very different from what they are today and little consideration was given by anyone in the intelligence community of collecting against domestic targets unless they had a specific target in mind and unless they were prepared to get a court warrant first. And there were very strict rules in the CANUKUS community for handling what was called "incidental intercept" of domestic comms. But it all seemed to change when the Cold War ended and the ECHELON satellite collection system made it so very easy to collect against non-military targets.

Comment Re:Giving your life away (Score 1) 23

You're flat-out an idiot if you give your DNA to any database of any kind anywhere.

I disagree. The "standard" 67 Short Tandem Repeat (STR) Y-chromosome markers used for paternal-line genealogy are perfectly safe, with one exception. The exception is an extremely rare mutation of one of the markers (DYS410) which carries significant medical information, but it is so rare I have never heard of anyone having this mutation (although someone must have or we wouldn't know about it). So Y-chromosome testing for genealogical purposes is pretty safe. Dozens, hundreds, even thousands of men all share the same values for these 67 markers.

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