Author Topic: Episode #605  (Read 4432 times)

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Offline PatrickG

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Re: Episode #605
« Reply #30 on: February 13, 2017, 11:00:26 AM »
I'm not impressed by the concept of drones as a fireworks substitute. Sure, they'll be able to make cutesy pictures in the sky. Billboards already can make pictures. Real fireworks have a quality I don't think drones will be able to imitate in my lifetime.
Agree, its weak. The superbowl segment was cut together from several takes that were taped a week before.

Yesterday a swarm of 1000 drones were in the air in China, easily beating this Intel superbowl show. Cute, but it doesn't blow me away either:



This drone hype is designed by dudes in marketing departments, not by scientists or engineers. The hype works because it was talked about on the SGU. I think its moderately cool, but not much more than that.

It is not befitting a high-tech semiconductor company such as Intel, because drones are is rather low-tech and don't requiring heavy processing or any innovative technologies. Making a drone swarm is relatively easy with accurate GPS navigation. Here is some work at UPenn from over 5 years ago:

https://youtu.be/YQIMGV5vtd4?t=47s

Bob repeated the Intel talking point that the drones can make "4 billion color combinations". That is not special, nor is it a big deal. It simply meant that they used 32-bit to encode 2^32 color hues.... 
« Last Edit: February 13, 2017, 11:14:32 AM by PatrickG »

Offline lonely moa

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Re: Episode #605
« Reply #31 on: February 13, 2017, 11:49:12 AM »
The obvious answer to the claim that Trump isn't like Hitler because Trump doesn't have death camps, is that Hitler also didn't have death camps in 1933.

Trump is worryingly like Hitler in a number of ways.  In his narcistic personality disorder.  In his claim that he has greater support than he actually has.  In his habit of making large claims not supported by the evidence.  By his denigration of critics in the media and elsewhere.  Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera...

The more I think about it, the more worried I get.  Fortunately, America has a robust democracy, and hopefully he'll be gone in 4 years without causing too much damage.

You beat me to it! Hitler didn't have death camps one month into his administration.

On another topic:

I was flabbergasted that Cara hesitated before naming 60 Hz as the frequency of AC power on the North American grid. Of course AC does not have to be 60 Hz. That's just the arbitrary frequency used here, though it is probably a good choice. Still, I thought that everyone knew that we use 60 Hz.

I think they use 50 Hz, and 220 volts in Europe.

And, of course, DC didn't lose out, really.  It is a much more efficient way to transmit big voltage across big distances, before being changed to AC for general local use.
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Offline PatrickG

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Re: Episode #605
« Reply #32 on: February 13, 2017, 01:26:04 PM »
Having lived in a few countries outside the US, the length of time it's taken for chip and pin tech to get to US POS systems seems anachronistic. When it comes to banking, the USA is somewhat off the cutting edge of tech and security.

Important side note, the US STILL does not have Chip and PIN technology.  We have 'Chip and Signature' meaning all you do is sign.  If your chip card gets misplaced or stolen in the US, the thief can still run up the bill by just writing the equivalent of a big X on the pin pad.
Yup, and that is rather baffling. Any time you hand over your credit card to a waiter, (he/she) can write down the number, expiration date and CVC code on the back. And within hours a lot damage could be done. This happens, and its clearly getting worse. Apparently it is not bad enough to make a change...

Additional numbers like asking for the zip code isn't quite secure. For most names the zip code is a 3 second google search away.

The solution is connect the public card number to a secret PIN code. There are several incarnations:
  • Require the PIN code with each transaction. Everywhere in Europe that is standard practice. Restaurants have wireless payment devices. On-line each transaction redirects to a bank site that confirms the pin code.
  • Tie the pin code to the body, or some biometric fingerprint. Apple pay woks like that.
Smartphones should make the latter easy.

Offline DamoET

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Re: Episode #605
« Reply #33 on: February 13, 2017, 01:41:25 PM »

And, of course, DC didn't lose out, really.  It is a much more efficient way to transmit big voltage across big distances, before being changed to AC for general local use.

DC is more difficult to control.  Once you strike a decent arc with DC, it is MUCH harder to extinguish than AC.


Also, the first thing that popped into my mind when Steve was talking about some of his patients not following instruction of "Use this to prevent that." Not "Use this to treat that." would be sunscreen.  No use once you are burnt!


Damo
Do not fear God, fear ignorance.  For ignorance will lead you to fearing 'God' (and a whole bunch of other whacky shit!)

Offline Ah.hell

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Re: Episode #605
« Reply #34 on: February 13, 2017, 01:43:59 PM »
Not to mention that HV DC has very limited use, as noted by Moa, long distance High Voltage, its almost exclusively used to transmit power across large bodies of water.   It also has some advantage in linking differing grids so you don't have to synchronize power. 

Offline amysrevenge

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Re: Episode #605
« Reply #35 on: February 13, 2017, 01:45:00 PM »
I'm pausing at the very start of Cara's word segment on impedance, savouring the notion that for once I'm the trained expert who will have the knowledge (but probably not the will) to write in with clarification and correction.  It's a good feeling; now I know what all those biologists and physicists feel in other weeks.
Big Mike
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Offline PatrickG

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FTC's anti-trust operation
« Reply #36 on: February 13, 2017, 02:08:47 PM »
FTC Chairmanperson Maureen Ohlhausen discusses the guiding principle of 'regulatory humility':
When in doubt, don't act unless you are sure that real harm is done. And trust that free markets generally sorts itself out.

As part of the anti-trust activities the FTC approves merges and goes after price fixing. But are they really doing a good job there? It appears that after mergers many areas have just 2-3 real competitors left. It is called 'industry consolidation', yet the result is always higher prices for consumers while providing and poorer service. There does seem to be clear evidence for near-monopoly markets the costs is much higher compared to Europe: 
  • Cell phone contracts. There are only 4 major networks after mergers. My mom in Europe pays $16/month, including 2Gb of data and no plethora of hidden charges. I pay many times as much for the same.
  • Internet: I pay $45 for cable-internet, my mom $10 for fibre which is 10x faster
  • Cable TV: Average american pays $99, my mom $20
  • Drugstores: dominated by CVS and Walgreens duopoly. Prices are at least 2x Europe for simple over-the-counter drugs.
  • Office supplies. Staples and Office Depot wanted to merge to create a near-monopoly. School supplies are an utter rip-off.
  • Airlines: loads of consolidation gave high profits and high ticket prices. Most local markets are near-monopolies.
  • Industrial gas: Linde buys Praxxair, wait for prices to go up


Offline werecow

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Re: Episode #605
« Reply #37 on: February 13, 2017, 02:30:28 PM »
Anyone else feel kind of like this for the first few minutes (until right around when Steve mentioned the words "hindsight bias")?:


Offline Diracian

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Re: Episode #605
« Reply #38 on: February 13, 2017, 02:53:37 PM »
Sorry but I think Evan's piece on chips being used in debit and credit cards not being linked to reductions in fraud seemed to display the mistaking of correlation for causation. I didn't hear evidence that linked increased internet fraud to the addition of chips to cards. I only heard that chips had been introduced and crime had still increased, driven by internet fraud. Sorry if I missed something but I didn't hear the link between the two and couldn't see it from the (web!) link in the show notes.

Offline amysrevenge

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Re: Episode #605
« Reply #39 on: February 13, 2017, 03:28:32 PM »
We'll see if the survey will accept my choices, "N/A", as the answer to the final question of "What's your 5-digit home ZIP code?"  Wouldn't accept a blank field, but did accept N/A.

Considering how many podcasts I listen to, it was amusing that SGU was the only one on their extensive list that I listen to.  :P
Big Mike
Calgary AB Canada

Offline lonely moa

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Re: Episode #605
« Reply #40 on: February 13, 2017, 03:40:35 PM »
Not to mention that HV DC has very limited use, as noted by Moa, long distance High Voltage, its almost exclusively used to transmit power across large bodies of water.   It also has some advantage in linking differing grids so you don't have to synchronize power.

NZ's large hydro schemes are at the south end of the South Island, the largest city, Auckland, and the bulk of the population is at the north end of the North Island.  DC works a treat.  The Cook Strait (underwater) was upgraded a few years ago.
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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Episode #605
« Reply #41 on: February 13, 2017, 04:04:13 PM »
Sorry but I think Evan's piece on chips being used in debit and credit cards not being linked to reductions in fraud seemed to display the mistaking of correlation for causation. I didn't hear evidence that linked increased internet fraud to the addition of chips to cards. I only heard that chips had been introduced and crime had still increased, driven by internet fraud. Sorry if I missed something but I didn't hear the link between the two and couldn't see it from the (web!) link in the show notes.

I agree with the above. I gather that chipped cards are indeed less prone to fraud for point-of-sale use. Internet fraud is another matter entirely, and is driven by the nature of the internet itself. Fraud involving purchase by phone is another matter, since all the fraudster needs are the numbers visible on the card and sometimes the billing address or zip code.

But banks apparently make so much money off of credit card use that they're willing to eat the losses. My cards have zero liability: If someone gets my cc info and uses it fraudulently, I pay nothing. Just the nuisance of canceling the card and waiting for a new one to arrive in the mail.
Daniel
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Offline amysrevenge

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Re: Episode #605
« Reply #42 on: February 13, 2017, 04:17:29 PM »
I'm pausing at the very start of Cara's word segment on impedance, savouring the notion that for once I'm the trained expert who will have the knowledge (but probably not the will) to write in with clarification and correction.  It's a good feeling; now I know what all those biologists and physicists feel in other weeks.

OK, I'm satisfied.  I think that delving briefly into complex numbers could possibly have been interesting without being too deep of a dive, but that's just my own bias.
Big Mike
Calgary AB Canada

Offline brilu34

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Re: Episode #605
« Reply #43 on: February 13, 2017, 06:45:24 PM »
Except for Jay, there seems to be a complete lack of understanding of sports & athletes. Professional athletes aren't so highly trained that they don't feel pressure. They are subject to the foibles everyone else is. Some athletes handle it better than others. Belichick & Brady obviously handle it better than most others in the history of the NFL. Not too mention that they also possess more skill than most as well. Nervousness & indecision play a part in sports. If a player makes a mistake or isn't feeling comfortable they can panic & start to lose their confidence, second guess, take gambles, change their stance or routine etc. all of which can lead to failure. I promise you that this happened to some of the Falcon players & coaches during the Super Bowl. Ability isn't always the indicator of performing well in the "clutch." I've played with guys who were mediocre who came through more often than better players. Anyone who has played sports knows this.

Offline mabell_yah

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Re: Episode #605
« Reply #44 on: February 13, 2017, 07:34:06 PM »
I think the troll study was way too loose. They basically described a troll as anyone who has some sort of emotional outburst. The real hallmark of a troll is their refusal to tone it down and resume a civilized discussion.

 

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