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Submission + - Why Does Science Appear to Be Getting Things Increasingly Wrong?

azaris writes: Recent revelations of heavily policy-driven or even falsified science have raised concern in the general public, but especially in the scientific community itself. It's not purely a question of political or commercial interference either (as is often claimed when it comes to e.g. climate research) — scientists themselves are increasingly incentivised to game the system for improved career prospects, more funding, or simply because they perceive everyone else to do it, too. Even discounting outright fraud or manipulation of data, the widespread use of methodologies known to be invalid plagues many fields and is leading to an increasing inability to reproduce recent findings (the so-called crisis of reproducibility) that puts the very basis of our reliance on scientific research results at risk. Of course, one could claim that science is by nature self-correcting, but the problem appears to be getting worse before it gets better.

Is it time for more scientists to speak out openly about raising the level of transparency and honesty in their field?

Submission + - The fiddling with temperature data is the biggest science scandal ever ( 1

schwit1 writes: New data shows that the “vanishing” of polar ice is not the result of runaway global warming

When future generations look back on the global-warming scare of the past 30 years, nothing will shock them more than the extent to which the official temperature records – on which the entire panic ultimately rested – were systematically “adjusted” to show the Earth as having warmed much more than the actual data justified.

“How we are being tricked by flawed data on global warming”

Submission + - Woman of 24 found to have no cerebellum in her brain (

Diggester writes: DON'T mind the gap. A woman has reached the age of 24 without anyone realising she was missing a large part of her brain. The case highlights just how adaptable the organ is.

The discovery was made when the woman was admitted to the Chinese PLA General Hospital of Jinan Military Area Command in Shandong Province complaining of dizziness and nausea. She told doctors she'd had problems walking steadily for most of her life, and her mother reported that she hadn't walked until she was 7 and that her speech only became intelligible at the age of 6.

Submission + - DNA reveals history of vanished "Paleo-Eskimos"

An anonymous reader writes: The earliest people in the North American Arctic remained isolated from others in the region for over 4,000 years before vanishing around 700 years ago, new analysis shows. The study also reveals that today's Inuit and Native Americans of the Arctic are genetically distinct from the region's first settlers. "A single founding population settled, and endured the harsh environmental conditions of the Arctic, for almost 5,000 years — during which time the culture and lifestyle changed enough to be represented as distinct cultural units," explained Dr Maanasa Raghavan, first author of the new paper.

Submission + - It's Dumb to Tell Kids They're Smart 1

theodp writes: Over at Khan Academy, Salman Khan explains Why I'm Cautious About Telling My Son He's Smart. "Recently," writes Khan, "I put into practice research I had been reading about for the past few years: I decided to praise my son not when he succeeded at things he was already good at, but when he persevered with things that he found difficult. I stressed to him that by struggling, your brain grows. Between the deep body of research on the field of learning mindsets and this personal experience with my son, I am more convinced than ever that mindsets toward learning could matter more than anything else we teach." According to Dr. Carol Dweck, who Khan cites, the secret to raising smart kids is not telling kids that they are. A focus on effort — not on intelligence or ability — says Dweck, is key to success in school and in life

Submission + - 'MythBusters' drop Kari Byron, Grant Imahara, Tory Belleci 1

rbrandis writes: In a video announcement Thursday on Discovery Channel, "MythBusters" hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman revealed that longtime co-hosts and fan favorites Kari Byron, Grant Imahara, and Tory Belleci are no longer on the show.

"This next season we're going back to our origins with just Adam and me," Hyneman said in the video, which explained that the change took hold as of the season's last episode on August 21.

Submission + - Minecraft Creator Markus 'Notch' Persson "Officially Over Being Upset About Face (

An anonymous reader writes: Despite backing the Oculus Rift Kickstarter for $10,000 and subsequently being one of the first people to get his hands on the Oculus Rift DK1, the creator of the wildly popular Minecraft (2011), Markus "Notch" Persson, quickly spoke out against the Facebook purchase of Oculus VR, saying that the social media giant “creeps me out.” Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey responded shortly thereafter. “He had the Rift for a year and had not even tried the Minecraft mod (which is really good), much less done any exploration work. I think Notch is a super cool guy, but it is really easy to “cancel” a project that was never started as an out,” he wrote in a Facebook comment. Nearly six months later, the dust has firmly settled and Persson says he’s over it.

Submission + - Reading, Writing, 'Rithmetic, and Blockly

theodp writes: As teachers excitedly tweet about completing their summer CS Professional Development at Google and Microsoft, and kids get ready to go back to school, is inviting educators to check out their K-5 Computer Science Curriculum (beta), which is slated to launch in September (more course details). The content, notes, is a blend of online activities ("engineers from Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Twitter helped create this tutorial," footnotes explain) and 'unplugged' activities, lessons in which students can learn computing concepts with or without a computer. It's unclear if he's reviewed the material himself, but Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is grateful for the CS effort ("Thank you for teaching our students these critical skills"). By the way, if you missed Lollapalooza, the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) will partner with Google next week to offer the two-day CPS Googlepalooza Conference.

Submission + - Figuring Out Where To Live Using Math (

An anonymous reader writes: Dave Munson was thinking about moving, and had a couple broad requirements for a new home: it must be affordable, and its neighborhood must be walkable. Price is easy to chart, but how do you compare the walkability of hundreds of cities? Simple: use math. A website called Walk Score provides rough walkability ratings, but doesn't tell you much about affordability. Munson downloaded the data that went into a city's Walk Score, weighted the relevant variables, and mapped the top results. Then he looked for overlap with the map of areas in his price range. He says, "Capitol Hill, Seattle led the pack. To be honest, I was expecting something a smaller, affordable Midwest town or something, but it the highest scoring areas were usually just outside of major downtowns. Other top areas included Cambridge and Somerville outside of Boston, and the South End in Boston; Columbia Heights, Washington, DC; The Mission District, Lower Haight, and Russian Hill, San Francisco; Midtown, Atlanta; Greenwood, Dyker Heights, Kensington, and Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn; Graduate Hospital in Philadelphia, where we used to live; Lake View, Chicago; and Five Points, Denver."

Submission + - IRS lost Lois Lerner's emails in tea party probe ( 1

ABEND writes: The IRS claims it cannot access Director of the IRS Exempt Organizations division Lois Lerner's email prior to 2011 due to a crash of Ms. Lerner's PC during that year. These emails are considered to be important for the investigation into IRS targeting of specific organizations based on their political affiliations. The specifics of the "crash" have not yet been revealed but, anecdotally, my PC has crashed many times without the loss of any email. What could have caused Ms. Lerner's emails to have been lost?

Submission + - Dell Exec Calls HP's New 'Machine' Architecture 'Laughable' (

jfruh writes: HP's revelation that it's working on a radical new computing architecture that it's dubbed 'The Machine' was met with excitement among tech observers this week, but one of HP's biggest competitors remains extremely unimpressed. John Swanson, the head of Dell's software business, said that 'The notion that you can reach some magical state by rearchitecting an OS is laughable on the face of it.' And Jai Memnon, Dell's research head, said that phase-change memory is the memory type in the pipeline mostly like to change the computing scene soon, not the memristors that HP is working on.

Hotels are tired of getting ripped off. I checked into a hotel and they had towels from my house. -- Mark Guido