# Posts by Vaidotas Zemlys

51 posts • joined 27 Feb 2007

### So despite all the cash ploughed into big data, no one knows how to make it profitable

#### Re: Math and Information Science failures

Nobody wants to predict individual accurately, because it is not possible. All everybody wants is to identify a profitable slice of a group of individuals. The basic limitations of Statistics 101 still apply, you cannot fit more parameters than there is individual data points. And yes I know about the regularisation, etc, but if noise is stronger than the signal, you are basically screwed.

### 8 out of 10 cats fear statistics – AI doesn't have this problem

#### Re: Stats is hard

Actually it is not that hard. Either use Stirling's formula, or method of characteristic functions. The proof of CLT for iid variables uses only few tricks and thus it is not hard to re-prove. I suspect any active mathematician can reprove all the theorems from the undergraduate courses in mathematics. Math.stackexchange.com is a living proof of this.

#### Oh the irony

Isn't it ironic that the article about misuse of the statistics uses one of the 6 incorrect interpretations of p-values, for explaining the statistical significance of chi square test. No, the p-value 0.043 does not mean that the probability of this particular data occurring by random chance is 4.3%. Google for "asa p-values" for ASA (American Statistical Association) statement on p-values. It lists 6 most common mistakes of p-value interpretation and the number 2 is used in this article.

### Who you callin' stoopid? No excuses for biz intelligence's poor stats

#### Learned any statistics lately?

Talk about facepalm. The author argues that BI should give more information to the users, and then gives the wrong p-value interpretation. It is especially ironic, as recently American Statistical Association made a statement of interpretation of p-values (http://amstat.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/00031305.2016.1154108). In that statement the list of wrong interpretation of p-values is given and the second statement is the following: "P-values do not measure the probability that the studied hypothesis is true, or the probability that the data were produced by random chance alone".

Yes, there are a lot of things where BI could improve. Hopefully not in the direction of claiming things that are not simply true.

### Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance

Special services are controlled by society? In Russia? Or for that matter any country? Who is mr Putin trying to fool?

### Oh those crazy Frenchies! Parisian cabbies smash up Uber-booked rival ride

#### Re: circumventing the heavily regulated systems

In other countries taxi companies are doing exactly that. For example in Vilnius, Lithuania, there is an app, etaksi.lt, where you can call a cab from the smartphone based on your location. You enter the destination and the app shows which route will be taken, and you can see on the map the location of taxi cab as it is arriving near you. Magic.

### Data scientists: Do they even exist?

#### Re: Hmm.

Well I think this is exactly what you get when you do not employ data scientist, but use "magical" software off-the-shelf.

### BURNING LUST for SEXY BUSTY BLONDES - Science explains

Is this the same Kanazawa, Andrew Gelman (famous Bayesian statistician) discredited, because his results where in fact statistically insignificant?

### App Store II: Steve Jobs sucks Mac's soul

#### Entertainment value?

So what is entertainment value of Aquamacs, Macvim, Mactex, R, midnight commander and bunch of other open source apps, I used to earn the money to buy my Macbook Pro? If apps will be used for entertainment only, does this mean that Apple will discontinue Pro line of its products? So in future if you'll be wanting to do some work with computer from Apple, and watch a movie on it afterwards you'll need either use dual boot, or buy a PC.

### Bloggers swallow iPhone 4 screen weakness claim

#### sampling error?

If we convert to proportions we are getting the jump from 1.5 percent to 3 percent of bad iphones in all population. If the sampling error is one percent, the increase is not so drastic. This looks more likely to usual pitfall of comparing small probabilities (compared to zero independently they are zero, though they can differ multiple times, think 0.01 and 0.001), than the actual problem with the new iphone model. I am a statictician, not the apple fanboy, so Į suspect that the probability of iphone 4 breaking is higher, but probably not by significant number to justify the decision to withhold the purchase.

### The sound and the fury and the kettle

#### yay

As a local (i am lithuanian and i live in vilnius) į can confirm everything in this article. Yes 75 euros for the shuttle is a complete rip off, and decent lunch in the center of the town costs about 10-15 Litas. And yes the basketball thing was huge in Lithuania. Imagine English getting to the semis of the world cup, and multiply this by factor of 10. And yes prime-minister is used to being ignored, all country basicaly hates him, since economy is bad, and the guy is PR disaster.

#### market?

So social networks are markets now? What do they sell exactly? What kind of revenue they generate? I have a facebook account, but I do not buy anything, and I do not remember seeing adverts, so where do the money some from? Farms and mafia? Paris, cause she is also confused :)

### Windows Phone 7 Series launched

#### Office?

I see that Office is going to be pushed upon us. Let us hope that it at least will display the files properly. The utter shite that is Ms office for Mac, doesn't leave me very hopeful, that Ms is capable to produce something usable outside pc platform. Note I am not Mac fanboy, I just had the unfortunate opportunity to work with aforementioned pile of bodily waste products.

### Sci-fi and fantasy authors wade into Amazon spat

#### If you think about price it means that you do not want it

I happily spend whatever amount for a new Pratchett hardcover. I do not remember the price exactly, something around twenty pounds, and since I am from Estearn Europe (Lithuania to be precise) the relative price is really high. But I do not care, since I adore Pratchett. And I am not the only one, there are a lot of people who will pay good money to get their favorite author as soon as the new title is released. And please stop blathering about low manufacturing costs. Ink and paper is max 10 percent of the book costs. The design, the editing, proofreading drives the price.

### Survey: Only 1% of Torrents non-infringing

#### More details?

aHm a bit more statistical details would be nice to know. What was the cost of the sample for example? 10 samples of size 500 would have told us much more. How the uniformity of the sample was achieved? What was the error of the share estimates etc. And last but notes least, can these results be easily reproduced (at least the names of the files). I've sen too much examples of misused statistical methods to trust any kind of survey without some of the above mentioned details disclosed.

### Ingres goes after disgruntled MySQL customers, partners

#### stupid comparison

So if Google is Tiger Woods, who are waitresses Google is screwing around? Really will this nonsense ever end? Fail for stupid comparison.

### Ubuntu's Karmic Koala bares fangs at Windows 7

#### Hold your breath and wait

It seems I am the only one having the problems. I upgraded from Jaunty, so this may be the culprit. My main gripes are:

1. Boot time. To GDM it is really fast. Then it is a slugfest. 20 something seconds for GDM login prompt to appear, and whopping 50 seconds for usable desktop. My laptop has T7200 Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 2 GB of RAM, so clearly something is not right.

2. Empathy and notification area. Every review just mentions that Empathy is default. Since I use it since 8.10 I thought no problems. No luck. Before Empathy was happily sitting in the notification area. No more. Now to see whether you are online, you have to add to the panel the sesion indicator applet. To be notified of the messages you have to add indicator applet. The first applet displays your full login name and the status icon is non-colored. So instead of one unobtrusive icon to see your status and to open empathy window, now I have two applets which take up my precious panel space, and I have to click a smorgasboard of applets and whatnot to open the empathy window. A huge usability no-no from my point of view. And god forbid if you did not notice that you have a message. The panel will not indicate this now. Go to indicator applet, press it, and may be you will be lucky.

3. The password box. For some reason whenever I have to enter password anywhere, I have to use magnifying glass to see password signs. I checked all obvious places, all fonts are in order, dpi is reported correctly, so I must draw a conclusion that this was a design choice. Why display anything at all then?

So there. If you upgrade from Jaunty beware. You may have a rough ride. I made my mistake by trying too soon. Wait the usual month. And probably do a clean install. I for one will certainly do one, since ext4 seems worth it.

### Microsoft takes on Wet Willie's to punt Windows 7 in Paris

#### Reminded me of Soviet times

Then in every book review you had to had a part where you analyze how this book shows the class strugle, and why imperialist bastards are bad. Did not matter what kind of book, without such review it could not be published.

Host the party and do not forget to mention all the PR, microsoft marketing guys thought of. Watch the videos before hand and memorize. Sheesh.

### Novell fannies about with Open Enterprise Server 2

#### public beta

Read the title very carefully. One letter iš missing...

### Acer Timeline 4810T

#### Where is the picture of the keyboard?

If you complain about keyboard, please then include picture of it, so we can complain together :)

### The Long Fail: Web 2.0's faith meets the facts

#### Wrong math

Lognormal is not exp(-x^2), but exp(-log (x)^2). Pareto is x^(-alfa), yes, but long tail is for alfa close to one. Plot standard lognormal density and Pareto with alfa=3, and you will see that the tails are similar (for a given value of similar of course).

### Apple MacBook Pro 15in

#### @ Law

I am a creature of habit. I started with Ctrl when there was no FN, or windows key or anything else besides Ctrl and Alt (there were no other computers besides PCs where I come from). So I can make my peace with the keys between Ctrl and alt, which I rarely use, but not with Fn instead of Ctrl, because my muscle memory says, the key at the far left is the Ctrl (I am glad that I came across Suns late in my life, and thanks to Linux, I was prepared). By the way, I keep in my mind following layouts: US, Lithuanian numeric on US, Lithuanian standard, Lithuanian standard on US, French, Lithuanian standard on French, my custom Lithuanian on French, so one key renamed will not make me more confused. Nor missing, or swapped keys (type mama on French layout using US keyboard and you will be surprised). However one must have draw the line somewhere. For me the line I realised is the position of Ctrl and Fn keys and Home, End, PgUp and PgDown keys in a nice column at the far right of the keyboard.

#### keyboard revisited

Thanks for all the answers. I did know about Fn+Cursor keys, but that was not the answer I was looking for. I use these 4 keys too often, so to use two keypresses instead of one, seems a bit of an overkill (and yes I know it is not hard to get used to it). Pity that there is no option to have these keys. For me their omission is the same story as swapped Fn and Ctrl, which I noticed is present also.

#### keyboard

Where are PgUp, PgDown, Home and End keys? How can you work without them? Or is there something I do not know?

### Celebrity publicist develops mathematical 'fame formula'

#### typesetting error?

F(t) = b + p(1/(10t) + 1/(2t^2))

Then at t=0, F is infinity. It is not that hard to typeset simple math formulas so their meaning is not ambiguous. I am amazed how many times people get it wrong. I am also amazed why such type of "magical" formulas usually restrict to simplest relationships: sums, polynomials, power functions and etc. Why nobody uses the inverse of hyperbolic sine for example? It is much more impressive :)

### Woman finds Lithuanian living in shed

#### wilibox

Shame, shame and shame again, for not finding connections with another El Reg story with Lithuanian motives, the one about Lithuanian firm selling Wifi products named Wilibox (http://www.wilibox.com/). How do you call a shed with Lithuanian living in it? Wilibox :)

For those keeping score (poor sad bastards like me) it is the third lithuanian story in el Reg :) Whoo-hoo :)

### Spain dodges Zapatero kiss of death

#### @Mark Splinter

I did not try to disguise it, eh? :) Actually Lithuania has more to boast than only 2003, though that was truly special. We won Euro in 37 and 39, though nobody cares, and our Olympics record can be considered second only to USA. 4 Olympic games, 16 years, 3 bronze and a fourth place for the country, with population of 3.5 million. For the team sport I think it is unmatched achievement, though I have big bias and could be wrong.

#### Zapatero not at fault

In Eurobasket 2007, spaniards could blame only themselves. The schedule and organisation was ridiculous. The semifinals and the finals were on back-to back days. And two of the quarterfinals games were scheduled the day before the semis, and the other two the day before that. Surprise, surprise, the teams that made to the finals were the teams who had the rest day before the semis. Another surprise, one of these teams were Spain. And another surprise, the host of the games were Spain. It is only fair that they lost, albeit by very small margin and in the last seconds of the games. If the schedule was a bit more even, the final could have been the rematch of Eurobasket 2003, and probably the winner would have been clear after the half-time, Zapatero or no Zapatero. Spain has both good basketball and football teams, capable of winning. Why do they resort to such stupid measures to ensure the win, one can only guess.

### Hellboy helmsman to direct The Hobbit

#### @ Graham Bartlett

There was no shining portals, but only magical teleportation explains presence of the elf army in Two Towers and Elrond in The Return of the King. Think, the army and Elrond could only come the way the Fellowship came, and the size of the Fellowship was chosen to improve the speed. So either elves followed the Fellowship, or they used teleportation. Neither of the elves were present in the books. Only small company of Rangers with Elrond sons came, but this was after the battle in Two Towers. These were two the most obvious idiotic discrepancies, I will not mention others. Mine's the coat with Elven runes spelling out Tolkien fanboy in Quenya:)

#### OMG

The sad part that he will only contribute to LOTR notoriety, not legacy. The sequel is set to be about 60 years between events of The Hobbit and LOTR. Tolkien didn't write anything about that period, so judging from the films where we had magical teleportation going on in The Two Towers (elf army) and The Return of The King (Elrond) I will not be surprised to see Jar Jar Binks and ewoks. Plague upon your house Mr. Jackson.

### Samsung M110 Solid rugged phone

#### Yeah, but

Is it children-proof? I have a little monster, who already ate (chewed to death to be more precise) my wife's Nokia, can this samsung endure him?

### Ballmer bitch slaps Vista

#### Still learning

So Microsoft is still learning? I am sick of hearing the excuse about learning. Instead of saying we messed up, firms always talk about learning process. Come on, the this is not school, Microsoft released a bunch of OSes, it is about time to finaly stop learning and starting to create some quality products.

### El Reg celebrates 10th birthday

#### Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday El Reg, you are by far the best site of news, and not only IT. Enrich the world further with your prolonged existence :) Cheers!

### Max Mosley loses battle to get sex video off web

#### Missing the point

I think people are missing a point here. Mosley should resign, not because he indulges in argy bargy with 5 prostitutes dressed up like Nazi, but because he started to deny it like crazy and dug a nice big hole, and there is a little chance that he will get out it now. All last F1 season he preached the message, that Mclaren should have owned up imediately, now he fails to that himself. That is the main reason why he should quit. He needs more of ze punishment!

Oh and by the way F1s boss is Bernie Ecclestone, not Max Mosley, Mosley is the boss of FIA.

### French won Waterloo, says Italian telecoms chief

#### Hm

Can anybody get the inspiration from such type of speeches in these times of cynism? Loosely translated this speech says, work your asses off, so I can get big fat bonus and continue doing nothing except talking bollocks on the stage from time to time.

Paris, cause this speech would not fool even her :)

### Want to get into 10 Downing Street? Get a Lithuanian ID card

#### Hooray!

I predict an influx of Lithuanian tourists to UK. Imagine the advertising slogans: Meet PM of UK for free, just do not forget your ID card :) Since I am Lithuanian and I do have my ID card, I am tempted also, maybe it works as a free pass to museums also :)

### Kids brought up by technology not parents, quango claims

#### OMG

I do hope that this photo is Photoshopped. It is not safe neither for baby, nor for xbox. Baby could fall off, xbox overheat.

### BOFH: Impatience

#### Anihilation

Correct me if I wrong, but I thought atomic bomb comes nowhere near E=mc^2. Only by anihilation of particle and antiparticle you do get all the energy released by this formula. No?

### Boozed Belarusian dodges birthday train squish

#### Those crazy belarussians

Lately belarussians seem to have a knack for extremes. I read a story recently that belarussian police catched speeding car by blocking the road with other cars with people in them. They just ordered them to stop, block the road and wait. Apparently they did not want to damage their own cars :)

### Germany to Nokia: Give us back our subsidies

#### @ Simon Ball

Do not forget the taxes. After tax salaries in Romania may be 3.5 times lower, but the taxes may add to the missing 6.5 portion. If employer pays all the taxes and social security for the employee the difference may scale up. I do not know the tax system in Romania and Germany, so I will take Lithuania as an example. To pay 1000 € to employee, in Lithuania, the cost for employer is roughly 1600 €, since the income tax is 24 pc, and the employer must pay the same amount for social security. (brutto salary is ~1300€, income tax 300€, social security ~300€, employee gets 1000€, goverment takes 600€). If we assume similar tax system in both Germany and Romania, but different tax rate, 40pc and 15pc, then if employee in Germany gets 3500 €, and 1000€ in Romania, the costs for employer are ~8222€ and ~1350€ respectively. Difference rises from 3.5 times to 6 times. Knowing that Germany is socialist state with higher tax rate and better social security system, tenfold difference does not seem so out of the blue. Count in shorter vacations, longer labor week, possibility to find people working for minimum wage, weak unions and you get major savings.

### EC jacks up Microsoft fine by €899m

#### Burn microsoft, burn

Ah we should all go to the streets and burn the manekens of Gates and Balmer. Not that it would change anything, but it surely would be fun :)

### Consumer group slams 'unfair' software licenses

#### @ James Condron

You CAN sell used toilet paper. The problem is to find a buyer:)

### Intel's fifth-gen Centrino to launch as Centrino 2

#### A lot of 2s

So the sticker on the laptop wil be Centrino 2 Core 2 Duo? Intel is very fond of number 2, eh?

### Thais rate rat 'better than chicken'

#### Discworld

These comments sure bring a tear to the eye of ardent Pratchett fan.

### AMD ATI Radeon HD 3870 graphics chip

#### And drivers?

And what about drivers? Judging from my experience with ATI Mobility on Ubuntu, I would not touch another computer with ATI graphics with ten foot pole. Can not say anything for Windows users, but all I hear is complaints.

### Canadian Taser death caught on camera

#### 10 hours wait?

I still cannot understand, what was that guy doing for 10 hours in airport. I have not travelled a lot, is 10 hours of waiting for no apparent reason is normal? On my first flight I flew to Charles de Gaulle airport, and I had an appointment in 2 terminal, my plane landed in 1 terminal. I do not have a history of mental illness (I hope :)), and I knew basic French, but I got a bit anxious, since I assumed that I can get to the other terminal by foot, so I was searching for some directions how to get there on foot. It took me about 30 minutes of wandering inside and outside the terminal, to figure out that there is a bus, that goes to terminal 2. If I had to wait for 10 hours, with nobody taking any interest in me, I for sure would have freaked out big time, possibly not like that guy, but something similar. Yes the police maybe did not do anything really wrong, by tasering that guy, but why nobody explains, why that guy was left for 10 hours, and did the police know that before they tasered him. Cause if they knew, that is for sure not cool. OK lets keep this guy for 10 hours for no reason, oh he got a little upset, let's TASER HIM. That will teach him for sure. That is surely not proper police behaviour.

### Britney's new album title - can you help?

#### OMG!

I thought that El Reg is kidding, and presenting its choice of Britney's album titles. But oh boy, how was I mistaken. My suggestion for Britney would be to use her initials. So the new album title should be simply in huge letters:

BS

This way I think the cover will exactly correspond to the insides of the album.

#### Only for english

If you choose French language for the gmail interface you are not presented with such option. Change back to English (US) and voila. Take that you frog-eaters!

### EU poised for vote on roaming cap

#### Cannot make money from 0.65€?

I remember when I got my first mobile phone 8 years ago, the priciest tariff was 0.57€ per minute. Now I am paying 0.14€ per minute. Of course this takes place in Lithuania, but still, mobile operators survived four-fould decrease in price, and judging from the amount of adverts I see, they are not intending to bankrupt any time soon. So please do not give us crap about how it is not possible to make money.

### Cisco инвестирует в России

#### Godawful Russian

I am not a native Russian speaker, but oh my god this sentence sounds like "Cisco has prepared new business solutions in Russia". English words made Russian just do not sound good.