7,329 reputation
23060
bio website knowing.net
location Kailua Kona, HI
age 50
visits member for 3 years, 3 months
seen 6 hours ago

Contributing Editor and Columnist, SD Times. Editor of now-defunct magazines including Software Development, Computer Language, and AI Expert. Founding Editor of Game Developer, which still totally rocks.

On Twitter at @lobrien

Sr. Software Engineer at Gemini Observatories.

Not a bad coder.


Feb
19
revised Can the UltimEyes app improve distance vision?
Added link to paper and procedures
Feb
15
awarded  Custodian
Feb
15
reviewed Approve suggested edit on Will Lego people outnumber people by 2017?
Jan
29
comment Is it better to wake up in between sleep cycles than during one?
Remember that individual variances of just a few minutes (John has cycles of ~87 minutes, Jane has cycles of ~93 minutes), multiplied by 5-6 cycles per night, will lead to significantly different "best waking" times. So don't rely on online calculators: measure your own behavior. P.S. Related skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/4864/…
Jan
9
comment Was 9-11 planned by the US Government?
I'm hating myself for voting to reopen, but "Was it a false-flag operation?" is not a duplicate of "Was this a controlled implosion?" (OTOH, "was it false-flag?" may be un-falsifiable.)
Dec
30
awarded  Enlightened
Dec
30
comment Do longer work weeks result in less productivity for knowledge workers?
Towards an answer: the long hours traditionally(?) assigned to medical residents and interns have been studied (nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa041406) and might contain some relevant data.
Dec
25
awarded  Necromancer
Dec
25
awarded  Revival
Dec
24
comment Dragon NaturallySpeaking's accuracy improvement over versions
I tend to that there will be peer-reviewed studies of the efficacy of the commercial product, especially one that is in constant development. Anecdotally, I can say that the quality of dictation has improved between Dragon generations, but the software still makes frequent errors, some of which are easy to fix, others, not so much. <- This comment transcribed by Dragon dictate without correction.
Dec
18
awarded  Good Question
Dec
17
comment Did Muslim immigrants rape over 300 Swedish children in seven months of 2013?
It seems to me that the salient point is that the linked post, which is just a few sentences long, broadly misrepresents the original Swedish report. If the linked site cannot be trusted to do even sentence-level translation with some integrity, the statistical feasibility of that site's hypotheses are hardly worth wasting time on.
Dec
17
comment Did Muslim immigrants rape over 300 Swedish children in seven months of 2013?
@Oddthinking's point is reasonable that if 300 is the total amount of crimes reported, it's unjustified to say something about near-100% of the circumstances. As efficient as the Swedish police may be, they certainly don't solve every rape within a matter of months.
Dec
14
comment Was Christian Europe the first place to abolish slavery?
I'm out of my depth now, but for the sake of argument, I imagine that one could point to Marco Polo (13th century) as establishing that Europe might have had an influence by then...
Dec
14
comment Was Christian Europe the first place to abolish slavery?
Yes, but the question has to be taken narrowly: it's clearly the case that the definition of slavery is somewhat gray: forced labor as a punishment, inherited slavery, serfdom, indentured servitude, etc. and it's clearly the case that slavery was criticized by, for instance, Stoic philosophers. If you broaden the question to be "first long-lasting societal condemnation of humans as chattel" or what-have-you, I think it becomes unanswerable by this site.
Dec
14
answered Was Christian Europe the first place to abolish slavery?
Dec
12
comment Why do we not have vehicles that meet or exceed the MPG ratings of vehicles that were available in the 1990s
Hmm... According to wikipedia, gasoline contains 34.8 Gross Mj/L while ethanol contains 21.2. Same article says that USA gas is "up to 10%" ethanol. My back-of-the-envelope says that should be about a 4% reduction, not the 12.5% claimed in the answer. (I have no idea if there's more to the issue, but it's an intriguing suggestion.)
Dec
9
comment Was “bug” used to refer to software bugs before being popularized by Grace Hopper?
It might be worth remembering that at the time, working with computers was not easily divided into software and hardware realms. I've been told that on the EDSAC, they held up a ruler to the oscilloscope and said essentially "That's a 1, that's a 0, that's a...call it a 1..."
Dec
6
comment Does storing powdered coffee in the fridge preserve its flavor better?
Good heavens, my friend! If you consider coffee important, what in the world are you doing with pre-ground coffee? No matter how you store ground coffee, it's going to lose its oils once it's not vacuum-sealed. (Open a fresh bag/can beside one that was opened and resealed for 2 weeks -- you'll see.) Switching to grinding your own coffee (takes 20 seconds) is probably the single biggest quality jump there is (short of moving next door to a roaster). (Even roasted whole-ground coffee loses its oils and flavors, but not as rapidly.)
Dec
4
awarded  Good Answer