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Facebook

FB Reveals Woeful Diversity Numbers 256 256

theodp writes: There's more work to do," said Facebook's Global Director of Diversity Maxine Williams, who issued a straight-out-of-How-to-Lie-With-Statistics diversity update on Thursday that essentially consisted of a handful of bar charts labeled with only percentages for select measures of the social networking giant's current demographics. In search of real numbers, the Guardian turned to Facebook's most recent Equal Employment Opportunity report filing, which showed that the ranks of black employees swelled by a grand total of seven (7) (1 woman) in the year covered by the filing, during which time Facebook saw an overall headcount increase of 1,231. Comparing Facebook's new bar charts of US tech employees to those issued last year shows the proportion of Hispanic and Black employees remained flat at 3% and 1% respectively, while a decline in the proportion of white employees from 53% to 51% was offset by an increase in the proportion of Asian employees from 41% to 43%.
Earth

Judge Orders Dutch Government To Finally Take Action On Climate Promises 242 242

New submitter Errol backfiring writes: Although the Dutch government has promised to make sure carbon emissions are lowered considerably, they have consistently failed to take action. Dutch climate group Urgenda and Dutch citizens have gone to court to force the government to take action, and the verdict (linked page is in Dutch) is that the government must reduce emissions by at least 25% compared to 1990 leves.

This 25% cut is seen as the minimum effort needed to keep the people safe from climate change dangers. 25% to 40% is the norm in international climate policy. The verdict is also important for similar climate groups in other countries.

Comment: Re:Local and small (Score 1) 268 268

This is still a terrible measure, because bible-belt Southerners average close to 7%, while New Englanders average under 3% (source [philanthropy.com]).

It's also a terrible measure because giving to a church is not always the same as giving to a charity. Not saying that all churches aren't charities, just that some spend quite a lot less on charitable works than some other charities.

Comment: Netcraft Confirms It (Score 1) 371 371

It is now official. Netcraft has confirmed: recycling is dying

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered environmental community when IDC confirmed that recycling market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all waste. Coming on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that recycling has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. *Recycling is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last in the recent urban priorities poll.

You don't need to be the Amazing Randi to predict recycling's future. The hand writing is on the wall: recycling faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for recycling because recycling is dying. Things are looking very bad for recycling. As many of us are already aware, recycling continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

/Obligatory

Comment: Re:Nuclear Solutions... (Score 1) 419 419

Renewables are far more *energy* efficient, so yes, I do want reduced *energy* use.

If I drive a mile in a petroleum fuelled car, I get (say) 30 mpg, in an electric car, it's >100 mpg(e). So: lower energy.

And heating; it takes a lot less energy to use a heat pump than it does to heat a building with fossil fuels, or nuclear. So again, yes, lower energy.

Energy is NOT the same as comfort, or economics.

And I don't trust nuclear power; and I say this as someone qualified in physics; there's no known way to stop nuclear reactors that are sized for generating power from melting down at least sometimes. They've said that it was 'safe' too many times before, it's like the boy the cried wolf, in reverse.

But it doesn't really matter; renewables are growing far too fast for nuclear to ever see a resurgence. Renewables are growing with double digit growth, nuclear is basically shrinking overall.

Comment: Re:Proof (Score 1) 546 546

Ridiculous why?

He explicitly said that that was what the cache was for; otherwise he would have been assassinated to silence him, but the existence of the cache meant they couldn't do that: presumably someone, somewhere would have released the key if he'd gone missing (i.e. a "dead man's handle").

Snowden deliberately filtered what was released to minimise the risks to agents. That cache is the really bad stuff.

Comment: Re:Proof (Score 2) 546 546

Well, there's a way to know, if they really have cracked it Snowden would be assassinated/kidnapped and repatriated soon. That cache was what was keeping him alive.

Failing that he'd have to go into hiding; and the Russians will be able to tell him whether that's necessary or not.

If that doesn't happen, it probably hasn't been cracked.

So we just have to watch what Snowden does.

Still, maybe it has been, the security agencies would have to be pretty damn stupid to not realise that gaping whole in the plan. But if Snowden doesn't disappear one way or another, then yup; they're that damn stupid.

Comment: Re:Second leading cause of death in the US... (Score 1) 193 193

You're completely wrong on every point, flu is fucking scary to epidemiologists. I had swine flu, that was *awful*; but that was only slightly worse than normal flu.

But flu killed more people in 1918 than the whole of WWI; and there's no reason to think that's worse case. The 1918 flu took fit, healthy soldiers and people and left them dead surrounded by blood they'd coughed up within a day. It had something like a 10% deathrate.

Nobody can even predict earthquakes right now. An accurate series of predictions that were within one on the Richter scale would actually be a great triumph.

And earthquakes don't mutate; the doctors were terrified that Ebola would become more infectious, and then it could have spread into the West. For example, it did reach the West, but luckily when it becomes infectious, it gives obvious symptoms. What if that changed? What if it became more infectious and less obvious symptoms? Then we'd be fucked.

And they thought at one point that the Ebola outbreak had been ended; but it suddenly came back. That also terrified the doctors, when you don't understand your enemy, your enemy can kill you in huge numbers.

You just have no clue what you're talking about.

Comment: Re:Second leading cause of death in the US... (Score 1) 193 193

Cars aren't a contagious disease that grows exponentially.

You might think there's a big difference between 20,000 deaths and 200,000 deaths, but with exponential phenomenon you have to take logarithms, it's the difference between 4.3 and 5.3; the models were only off by 20%.

If the international response hadn't been what it was, it could have been 6 or 7, tens of millions of deaths.

Really, this whole post is the most dangerously stupid thing I've ever read. The modelling didn't fail, and even if you live in the West, if you weren't scared rigid by the Ebola outbreak, you didn't understand what just happened, and if you think the modelling failed, you don't understand what modelling can, and does do.

The Ebola outbreak wasn't just a single disease, Viruses evolve very quickly, and some previous versions of Ebola seem to have been infectious by inhalation. If Ebola had evolved to better do that, it could have been a worldwide pandemic with a 50% death rate.

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