not about being right or wrong? (Score: 2, Interesting)

by in Spotting Bad Science on 2014-04-27 05:05 (#16H)

Over the past decade or so, I have come to think that published bad science is shockingly common. I have tried to ruminate on the reasons for this and, while it is easy to identify many contributing factors in the way scientific communities and institutions work, I think the main reason is that science has two completely different functions in human life that work against one another. On the one had, science can be about challenging our own preferred, learned, or expert hypotheses (a la Feynman: "Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts" . On the other hand, science can be about presenting and defending our own preferred, learned, or expert hypotheses (a la Scientific American: Ask the Experts ). Both functions serve useful purposes in our lives at different times, but each can look bad from the perspective of the other. i.e., challenges to authoritative science can look bad and receive short thrift because we frequently have a lot of confidence in the authoritative accounts, but authoritative accounts can look bad when we stop prodding them for the ways they might be wrong or limited. Who gets to decide when it is appropriate to defend or challenge an authoritative account on some topic is a central issue. In my opinion, the commonness of published bad science is a consequence of spending too much attention focused on being right about nature and not enough attention focused on how we might be confirming our assumptions or biases.

calculated business choice (Score: 2, Interesting)

by in Linode Invests $45M In Slower Hosting on 2014-04-22 14:14 (#152)

I have enjoyed the yearly discount for the past three years... sad to see this go... but there is a certain amount of inertia with regard to researching and perhaps switching to another host service, so Linode may be calculating that most of their clients will just stay put... price was not my only or even main criteria when choosing to go with Linode...

Re: Manufacturing (Score: 1)

by in Micro Robots on 2014-04-19 15:49 (#14M)

...and lets not forget that you can use it to charge phones... which has its own problems...

like people phoning and texting you all the time until you develop mental disorders...
or cell phone use in cars and numerous deaths due to distracted driving...

I'm scared to learn what uses you would come up with for a bean bag? :)

Can't wait to try this new LTS (Score: 1)

by in Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr Released on 2014-04-19 15:43 (#14K)

I've been on 12.04 till now, but as soon as I have time to migrate I'm keen to see the latest innovations. I'm particularly interested in the new support added for high dpi displays because I really like the trend towards better display technologies, e.g., IPS, high dpi, etc.

Music is fun (Score: 1)

by in In these gloves, you are one with your music on 2014-04-19 15:37 (#14J)

I love making music -- the best kind is just with song, body percussion, etc. because it can be so spontaneous -- you don't need any special equipment.

This hardware innovation seems incredibly cool... I wonder how much it will cost and what kind of setup one will need to make it part of an afternoon jam session....

I use ubuntu right now (Score: 1)

by in Lucas Nussbaum re-elected as Debian Project Leader on 2014-04-17 04:08 (#13P)

But must be thankful for the great debian project that provides its foundation.

a gravity explanation? (Score: 1)

by in Cherry trees blossom six years early after a trip to space on 2014-04-17 04:06 (#13N)

Could gravity resist or regulate the growth rate? So that in the lower gravity environment the growth is less resisted and therefore faster. I did not rtfa.

this is where open source (Score: 1)

by in Audit of TrueCrypt disk encryption software reveals low source code quality on 2014-04-17 04:01 (#13M)

Probably ought not to mean free or volunteer only. I definitely feel that government agencies globally should be pushing for adoption of open source software with free licenses, but where public money is paid to drive forward the development and auditing and such.

security through obscurity (Score: 3, Insightful)

by in Xbox password flaw exposed by five year old boy on 2014-04-06 23:47 (#ZW)

Should possibly try and be a little more obscure

Re: Devil and the deep blue sea (Score: 1)

by in Teen Girls Face Charges After Beating Video Shared Online on 2014-04-01 17:30 (#XK)

I like your point, we should expect more from each other, male or female. However, here are two concrete examples from my life which feel more nuanced.

My very young son loves to dance, ideally I would like to put him in dance classes, maybe even ballet to learn the excellent technique. I quite likely won't though because I fear the stigma for a boy in dance classes more.

A husband of a friend is currently under-enemployed. She brings home the money and does most of the domestic stuff. He is deeply embarrassed to not be providing money for his family but is quite hostile to asking for help, especially from his wife, even if it could result in employment. Helping with the domestic stuff may not heal his sense of worth to his family either

There may be more to being a man than current conventions allow. It's not just about allowing weakness in some frail sort of way, I suspect. What do you think?

I liked the harry potter films (Score: 2, Interesting)

by in Harry Potter spin off to be a trilogy on 2014-04-01 17:16 (#XH)

If they make a good trilogy from the spinoff, more power to them. Hollywood seems to lack original story plots and material, so it is healthy when a new author's work breaks through to the mainstream.

I am still waiting for this generations Star Wars universe, though. I definitely think there is an opportunity for someone's grand vision with just enough depth to really capture the imagination.

Re: Devil and the deep blue sea (Score: 1)

by in Teen Girls Face Charges After Beating Video Shared Online on 2014-04-01 01:13 (#WX)

As the rights of women to be strong or masculine rises, at least in some parts of the world, it is interesting to ponder that the rights of men to be weak or feminine has not risen equally. It would seem that changing stereotypes and assumptions is not a zero sum game that is always in some sort of balance.

Re: 100 on the first day (Score: 2, Interesting)

by in Logo Contest and Other Updates on 2014-04-01 01:10 (#WW)

I wonder what the member to lurker ratio is on sites like slashdot, soylent and now pipedot?

Just checked out the EV3 Lego website (Score: 1)

by in Robot solves Rubik's cube in 3 seconds on 2014-03-28 17:19 (#VA)

I think I might need to take the plunge and buy a basic set... I think its hard to visualize what you might want it to do until you have one with which to play? I wonder the same thing about 3D printing as well.

hate to say it (Score: 1)

by in Bionic Olympics to be Hosted in 2016 on 2014-03-28 17:17 (#V9)

but I can see some "interesting" applications of this technology when the avatars can start to interact with one another...

Re: Good (Score: 2, Interesting)

by in Gunshot Victims Placed in Suspended Animation on 2014-03-28 17:11 (#V8)

I wonder if this would ever go mainstream as a kind of mind-body massage/cleansing sort of thing... I wonder how dangerous it is?

Microsoft, Apple, and Sun! (Score: 2, Interesting)

by in Bill Krause looks back on 35 years of networking revolution on 2014-03-28 17:09 (#V7)

I liked the anecdote about the founders of these three companies being 3com's first customers. Maybe these guys were on the ball or something...

Re: Amazing how long 'Continental Drift' was considered a crackpot theory (Score: 2, Insightful)

by in John Tuzo Wilson: a Canadian who revolutionized Earth Sciences on 2014-03-27 19:36 (#V3)

That is a really interesting point. Especially now that the theory of evolution is far more problematic for segments of the lay-population and plate tectonics is virtually unchallenged.

Re: Request for (Score: 1)

by in Pipedot Status Update on 2014-03-25 18:51 (#TN)

Thanks for some more background on how different roles in the community work... I too will look to submit some stories...

Wired... (Score: 1)

by in Tesla's Lithium-Ion batteries causing a ruckus in the USA and China on 2014-03-25 18:48 (#TM)

I have always intensely disliked the mobility part of most mobile technologies: cordless telephones, walkmen, mobile phones, laptops... because the battery is often dead or about to run out and you have to run to a cord somewhere for charging, but you've lost your charging cord, and then over time the battery wears out and so on... I've gotten interested in e-reader technology, in large part, because the battery life spans weeks and not just hours or days. I pretty much always use my laptop in a plugged-in state except for emergencies because I prefer the inconvenience of a wire then the inconvenience of my battery dying.

Anyway, I am curious if there are ways to return to wires in more applications to lower the demand for batteries across industries? In other words, would it be possible to innovate away from a dependence on batteries towards a different model of electricity access in those industries where mobility is a luxury rather than a necessity? Cars may need long-lasting batteries, but do all of our computing devices?

Re: there is something different (Score: 2, Interesting)

by in TransPose algorithm writes the soundtrack to novels on 2014-03-21 15:47 (#RA)

Good point, I've used that approach in some simple videos of my own, in fact.

I think I also remember watching a documentary about John Williams where he conducts the orchestra while watching the final film to actually lay down the music in sync with the video, but obviously this takes more financial muscle to pull off.

Re: better service versus privacy (Score: 1)

by in Airlines using wearables to get more personal on 2014-03-21 15:44 (#R9)

Another interesting point.

I can see how the ripple effects of these changes might keep getting wider in our Brave New World.

I was thinking the other day that the Galapagos Island and Madagascar are biologically unique/diverse in part because they have been somewhat isolated from other continents in the past. One ripple effect I could imagine if everything gets connected, interlinked, and so on is if people and society start to lose the diversity of culture, opinion, language, etc. that makes us more interesting to each other because we have been isolated from one another, in part.

Re: Beginning of something more. (Score: 2, Informative)

by in Cable TV subscribers down for the first time on 2014-03-21 15:37 (#R7)

I looked at a few YouTube videos and "plugins for xbmc" does seem like a viable option; reminds me of my attempts to use Sopcast in previous years. I tend to like getting "official" streams/views, if possible though, so in some cases it looks like there is still a reason to subscribe and pay as you do with NHL Gamecenter.

Re: Beginning of something more. (Score: 1)

by in Cable TV subscribers down for the first time on 2014-03-21 15:34 (#R6)

Thanks for spelling out your calculations and thought process. Most informative... I particularly like the idea of taking the "saved" money and buying the "physical" copies, if you care too. I've thought about that but never got around to actually buying any, unless you count "Fawlty Towers" -- gosh, I love that show.

Re: being conned (Score: 1)

by in Canadian Bitcoin exchange defrauded of $100,000 BTC on 2014-03-21 12:35 (#R2)

I hear the -- it makes one callous part -- this is a great risk...

I am still frequently puzzled about how to manage the dual goals of "avoid being conned" but "remain being helpful" in lots of circumstances.

Re: being conned (Score: 1)

by in Canadian Bitcoin exchange defrauded of $100,000 BTC on 2014-03-21 12:24 (#R1)

Your inside job hypothesis is probably worth pursuing... I hadn't thought about that angle, but maybe that is how someone could portray knowledge that fit being the business owner.

Re: there is something different (Score: 2, Interesting)

by in TransPose algorithm writes the soundtrack to novels on 2014-03-21 12:21 (#QZ)

I was thinking that one of the big challenges for scores accompanying Hollywood movies is getting climaxes in the music to match the cutting/editing of the film sequences and action. I wonder if right now film composers actually use a hybrid system whereby they develop the theme, variations and scores for the music, but they use algorithms to find best fits for the music to the video?

the next thing (Score: 3, Funny)

by in Street Light Robots of Kinshasa on 2014-03-21 12:16 (#QY)

will be reading some article about how these robots will have algorithms for composing music to accompany the emotions of drivers who have gotten angry for having to wait at the intersections...

Re: where is intelligence located (Score: 2, Interesting)

by in Fruit Flies are Better at Calculus than You on 2014-03-21 12:12 (#QX)

Your linked article was really, really interesting.

One of the highlights for me was the experiments in mice taking 6 days of exercise before new "good nuclei" started to form. Usually my attempts to re-energize my exercise regimens trail off in 3 :).

The downside was having to read yet another article implying that I should have taken better care of myself prior to now...

there is something different (Score: 3, Insightful)

by in TransPose algorithm writes the soundtrack to novels on 2014-03-20 22:42 (#QJ)

about live performances and recorded performances even by the same musicians. While I think it is really cool that we can automate music making, I still believe for now that there will always be something vital and imperfect about natural and live music-making.

Part of it is that while there is a standard vocabulary for associating particular musical patterns with emotions, we are also always playing with these patterns to shift our associations. So I'm wondering if the algorithmic approach will be able to have this kind of exploration and growth element added and, if so, how?

where is intelligence located (Score: 4, Interesting)

by in Fruit Flies are Better at Calculus than You on 2014-03-20 22:28 (#QH)

in biological organisms. We typically think about the mind being in the brain, but studies like this suggest that intelligence can be distributed through the body.

Notwithstanding the obvious other "brains" we might joke about having, I wonder how distributed human intelligence is and where we draw the line between a "mechanical" response versus an "intelligent" one from a given subsystem of the body.

what are the contexts where this is preferred? (Score: 2, Interesting)

by in Lightweight C library musl 1.0 released on 2014-03-20 22:24 (#QG)

when do you swap in a lightweight library to replace a more standard-bloated one? I'm curious about people's choices on this.

Re: better service versus privacy (Score: 2, Interesting)

by in Airlines using wearables to get more personal on 2014-03-20 18:18 (#QB)

I liked your explanation of "sector creep". The concrete examples help.

I was thinking about it mostly from the customer perspective -- maybe I'm okay sharing personal information on my terms if it gives me a better service experience. But you're right, if the providers and authorities start linking me to everything on their terms, maintain databases on their terms, and so on, the control is definitely out of my hands. Its probably too much to hope for a system where customers control the sharing and deleting of the information on their terms and not the other way around.

Re: better service versus privacy (Score: 1)

by in Airlines using wearables to get more personal on 2014-03-20 18:13 (#QA)

Mmmm... I think I like "Mr. Zafiro17" better than "Mr. Rocks". Maybe I should have thought about that when I was picking a username.

Re: Beginning of something more. (Score: 2, Interesting)

by in Cable TV subscribers down for the first time on 2014-03-20 18:10 (#Q9)

Live sports keeps me interested in cable subscriptions right now. I might watch 3-4 events a week (football game, basketball game, couple of soccer games, for example). $1/game would take me to $20/month pretty quick, whereas $5/game would take me to $100/month pretty quick. My interest in cable subscriptions falls closer to the $1/game, $20/month valuation which is what I am currently paying. I'm not sure that internet replacements actually compete with this yet. What they do boast are the premium and niche games which may not always make it onto cable channels. I like shows too, but I can live without these so they do not drive my willingness to pay for cable, in general.

Re: Effects on Linux? (Score: 1)

by in Gamemaker CryTek announces Linux support at GDC on 2014-03-20 12:47 (#Q5)

Although it potentially strikes me that it is better to have the problem of too much interest in the Linux platform than too little, even if its openness gets pushed around by some.

cloud computing (Score: 1)

by in IBM Scrambles To Stay In XaaS Race on 2014-03-20 12:42 (#Q4)

seems incredibly attractive in principle, i.e., outsourcing data backups and ubiquitous access to services are value-added features.

The risks are to data privacy and service lock-in, I suppose. It will be interesting to see which businesses and practices migrate towards or away from cloud computing going forward.

I wonder whether IBM will compete with offerings from Google, Amazon, and Apple, or attempt to differentiate its offerings for niche business categories. Any thoughts on niche business categories where cloud-computing services are not and, perhaps, will not be addressed by the big consumer-facing companies?

being conned (Score: 5, Insightful)

by in Canadian Bitcoin exchange defrauded of $100,000 BTC on 2014-03-20 12:35 (#Q2)

is something I have experienced a bunch of times, probably more times even than I know, some of the events being so ridiculous that I can't even picture myself doing what I did. Most of the time I am pretty sceptical and careful with strangers, but basically a variety of human conditions such as feeling happy and safe, being depressed, being very tired, being distracted, and so on can bring your guards down for external reasons and they don't get back up in time when a con arrives at your doorstep. I have since acquired a lot of sympathy for people who get conned because usually they are not ridiculously stupid. Instead, they generally had their guards down for external reasons and made a mistake, a mistake they can easily recognize in hindsight and not repeat in the future, and it usually accomplished little to berate the momentary stupidity.

That said, the discrepancy between the physical security and chat security in this case is remarkable for people managing a financial business. Secure protocols appear to have been missing in this case and could have helped?

better service versus privacy (Score: 1)

by in Airlines using wearables to get more personal on 2014-03-20 12:23 (#Q1)

Notwithstanding privacy concerns, one of the potential advantages of widely-shared personal information is the potential for better service exchanges between businesses and customers. This sounds like it could be an example of that.

I suppose a potential downside is if you are on record as "frugal", and if businesses identify you as such and they actually lower the quality of service they provide to the frugal-ites.

First time cable subscriber (Score: 4, Insightful)

by in Cable TV subscribers down for the first time on 2014-03-20 12:19 (#Q0)

I believe a large proportion of the general populations wants to watch TV and movies in general. The main thing is we want to watch what we want, when we want, at a fair price relative to income.

If cable companies can compete, subscriptions will stay up. If not, they will drop. What I find interesting is that as internet subscriptions rise in cost without cable added, and basic cable subscriptions drop when added to internet, the value proposition of a cable subscription can rise, especially for live sports, which is why I just got into my first cable subscription.

good corporate citizenship (Score: 1)

by in Ten Years of Google's Summer of Code on 2014-03-18 12:16 (#N6)

Sounds like this program is one way Google gives back.

Does it give them a chance to identify future employees as well? If so, its win-win.

Sounds really exciting (Score: 1)

by in Nano-scale Laser Amplifier Could Lead to Ultra-sensitive Radio Wave Detection on 2014-03-18 12:14 (#N5)

I am often envious of the people who get to play in laboratories to figure this kind of effect out.

Re: fragmentation at its finest (Score: 2)

by in Mozilla pulls the plug on Win8 version of Firefox, citing lack of demand on 2014-03-18 12:11 (#N4)

Thank you for the clarification.

fragmentation at its finest (Score: 3, Interesting)

by in Mozilla pulls the plug on Win8 version of Firefox, citing lack of demand on 2014-03-18 11:12 (#N2)

Is between the different corporations who want to control the computing platform whether Microsoft, apple, Google, or any other player.

Application developers have to choose sometimes. Amazing to think that windows is what gets dropped in this choice. Changing times.

Re: 2016 (Score: 1)

by in How America Celebrates Pi Day on 2014-03-17 19:53 (#MP)

Okay, that does trump my first suggestion :), rounding debates aside.

Re: Hospital bed (Score: 1)

by in What do you use for an ergonomic workstation? on 2014-03-17 19:52 (#MN)

Good office chairs appear to cost enough to warrant them being a business need and a business expense rather than having to pay for one out of salary, for example. I fight for myself or any of my colleagues to get good ergonomic equipment at work though. I think it impacts performance and thus can be justified on entirely economic grounds.

Re: the devil (Score: 1)

by in U.S. to relinquish remaining control over the Internet on 2014-03-17 19:48 (#MM)

That seems like a reasonable projection of recent history. I'm hoping that we end up with a greater democracy through greater exchange though. Maybe things have to get worse before they get better.

Re: Incredible (Score: 2, Informative)

by in Planet Mercury is Slowly Shrinking on 2014-03-17 19:45 (#MK)

"The innermost world has shrunk as it has cooled over time, its surface cracking and wrinkling in the process." from the BBC

The amount of cooling/shrinking depends on the composition of the planet and is being used to estimate the radius of its core.

Re: If only (Score: 2, Informative)

by in Planet Mercury is Slowly Shrinking on 2014-03-17 17:08 (#ME)

This the messenger website (messenger = MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging) which gives links to various resolution images for Mercury and the latest DEM (digital elevation model) for its northern hemisphere.

GMT (Generic Mapping Tools) scripts would provide one simple way to generate oblique views down on the DEM.

Re: If only (Score: 3, Insightful)

by in Planet Mercury is Slowly Shrinking on 2014-03-17 13:00 (#M9)

comment truncated even after preview for some reason. Is there a problem with the "less than" symbol?

if only unravelling the pre-plate tectonic (greater than 2-3 Ga) and plate tectonic (less than 2-3 Ga) evolution of Earth were as straightforward as unravelling the shrinking of Mercury. Preservation of a complete record of past surface changes on Earth is a dreamer's paradise.