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Comment: Re:vs. a Falcon 9 (Score 1) 52

by Bruce Perens (#49501071) Attached to: Rocket Lab Unveils "Electric" Rocket Engine

They can carry about 110kg to LEO, compared to the Falcon 9's 13150kg. That's 0.84% of the payload capacity. A launch is estimated to cost $4 900 000, compared to the Falcon 9's $61 200 000. That's 8.01%. That means cost per mass to orbit is nearly an order of magnitude worse.

Yes, this is a really small rocket. If you are a government or some other entity that needs to put something small in orbit right away, the USD$5 Million price might not deter you, even though you could potentially launch a lot of small satellites on a Falcon 9 for less.

And it's a missile affordable by most small countries, if your payload can handle the re-entry on its own. Uh-oh. :-)

+ - Is Google not able to search? 1

Submitted by ShopMgr
ShopMgr (1639595) writes "I just ran across the latest update in the Chrome Browser. Try and bookmark something, in the past you could search for the "folder". It was a lame search, wouldn't show you where the folder was at. Now it doesn't even find the folders. I had to stop using the new Google Mail, it doesn't let you search for "folders" either. So, what is a better tool for indexing my thousands of links?"

Comment: Read "Outliers" (Score 5, Informative) 253

by lkcl (#49500295) Attached to: Can High Intelligence Be a Burden Rather Than a Boon?

this is nothing new: i believe the same study was the basis of the famous book "Outliers", which is a fascinating study of what makes people successful. if i recall correctly, it's completely the opposite of what people expect: your genes *do* matter. your attitude *does* matter. your circumstances *do* matter. working hard *does* matter. and luck matters as well. but it's all of these things - luck, genetics, circumstances *and* hard work - that make for the ultimate success story. bill gates is one of the stories described. he had luck and opportunity - by being born at just the right time when personal computing was beginning - and circumstances - by going to one of the very very few schools in the USA that actually had a computer available (for me, that opportunity was when i was 8: i went to one of the very very few secondary schools in the UK that had a computer: a Pet 3032).

so, yeah - it's not a very popular view, particularly in the USA, as it goes against the whole "anyone can make it big" concept. but, put simply, the statistics show that it's a combination of a whole *range* of factors, all of which contribute, that make up success. just "being intelligent" simply is not enough.

+ - Is This Justice? EFF pushes Pasco County to be sensible with 8th Grade "Hacker"-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A 14-year-old eighth grader in Florida, Domanik Green, has been charged with a felony for “hacking” his teacher’s computer. The “hacking” in this instance was using a widely known password to change the desktop background of his teacher’s computer with an image of two men kissing. The outrage of being charged with a felony for what essentially amounts to a misguided prank should be familiar to those who follow how computer crimes are handled by our justice system.

Charging decisions and punishment should be proportional to the harm a person causes. The only thing that “making an example” out of Domanik Green accomplishes is to make an example of how out of whack our computer crime laws—and the prosecutorial discretion that accompanies it—are. We call on Pasco County to do the sensible thing and not ruin Domanik Green’s life. This is not justice.

Now what do you think?"

Link to Original Source

+ - Twitter moves non-US accounts to Ireland away from the NSA-> 1

Submitted by Mark Wilson
Mark Wilson (3799011) writes "Twitter has updated its privacy policy, creating a two-lane service that treats US and non-US users differently. If you live in the US, your account is controlled by San Francisco-based Twitter Inc, but if you're elsewhere in the world (anywhere else) it's handled by Twitter International Company in Dublin, Ireland. The changes also affect Periscope.

What's the significance of this? Twitter Inc is governed by US law, it is obliged to comply with NSA-driven court requests for data. Data stored in Ireland is not subject to the same obligation. Twitter is not alone in using Dublin as a base for non-US operations; Facebook is another company that has adopted the same tactic. The move could also have implications for how advertising is handled in the future."

Link to Original Source

+ - Good News! The DOJ Might Kill the Comcast-Time Warner Merger -> 1

Submitted by jriding
jriding (1076733) writes "The Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger has been in the works for so long, itâ(TM)s starting to feel like the impending monopolistic telecom Frankenbaby was inevitable. But the Justice Department may kibosh the deal for violating antitrust laws, according to a report from Bloomberg.
http://gizmodo.com/good-news-t...
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/...
http://www.ft.com/fastft/31000..."

Link to Original Source

+ - Why the Myers-Briggs Test is Totally Meaningless-> 1

Submitted by tazbert
tazbert (824165) writes "At one time, it seemed like every employee I talked with knew whether they were an "ENFJ", "INTP", or one of the other Myers-Briggs personality types. I never questioned the efficacy of using these categories to guide my interactions with my co-workers. Now, after reading this article, I wonder if it made any difference. Are companies really still using this as a valid tool?"
Link to Original Source

+ - Voting industry pushes online voting with assist from the Pentagon 1

Submitted by Presto Vivace
Presto Vivace (882157) writes "As states warm to online voting, experts warn of trouble ahead

WASHINGTON — A Pentagon official sat before a committee of the Washington State Legislature in January and declared that the U.S. military supported a bill that would allow voters in the state to cast election ballots via email or fax without having to certify their identities.

What could possibly go wrong>"

Comment: Re:What's the problem? (Score 1) 180

by buchner.johannes (#49495383) Attached to: Social Science Journal 'Bans' Use of p-values

p-values are not probabilities. What people would like it to be are probabilities that one hypothesis is correct compared to another. But that is not what it does, and because people ignore that gap and mis-interpret them it has become such a problem; that's why they are being banned. Many experiments with acceptable p-values (p0.05) are not reproducible.

Actually the inventor of p-values never intended them for a test, only to uncover that there is perhaps worth of further investigation.

p-values tell you, if you collected data under the current model, how frequently you will get data more extreme than the data at hand. p0.01 means, only in 1% of cases you will get such an "outlier". But it assumes that the model itself is correct. It varies the data!

Instead, what should be done is to compare one model versus another one, with the data we have. Bayes factors do that, and should be used and taught.

The problem came to be because social sciences do not have proper, meaningful models, which can be compared. So they have resorted to techniques that do not require specifying models (or alternatives) rigorously. In the physical sciences, you can precisely write a model for a planetary system with 2 planets and one with 3 planets, and the Bayes factor will be meaningful.

Comment: Re:The real extinction (Score 5, Informative) 87

Try these?

  • Firestone RB, West A, Kennett JP et al. (October 2007). "Evidence for an extraterrestrial impact 12,900 years ago that contributed to the megafaunal extinctions and the Younger Dryas cooling". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 104 (41): 16016–21. Bibcode:2007PNAS..10416016F. doi:10.1073/pnas.0706977104. PMC 1994902. PMID 17901202.
  • Loarie, Scott R.; Duffy, Philip B.; Hamilton, Healy; Asner, Gregory P.; Field, Christopher B.; Ackerly, David D. (2009). "The velocity of climate change". Nature 462 (7276): 1052–1055. Bibcode:2009Natur.462.1052L. doi:10.1038/nature08649. PMID 20033047.
  • Steadman, D. W. (1995). "Prehistoric extinctions of Pacific island birds: biodiversity meets zooarchaeology". Science 267 (5201): 1123–1131. Bibcode:1995Sci...267.1123S. doi:10.1126/science.267.5201.1123.
  • Steadman, D. W.; Martin, P. S. (2003). "The late Quaternary extinction and future resurrection of birds on Pacific islands". Earth Science Reviews 61 (1–2): 133–147. Bibcode:2003ESRv...61..133S. doi:10.1016/S0012-8252(02)00116-2.

and

  • S.L. Pimm, G.J. Russell, J.L. Gittleman and T.M. Brooks, The Future of Biodiversity, Science 269: 347–350 (1995)
    Doughty, C. E., A. Wolf, and C. B. Field (2010), Biophysical feedbacks between the Pleistocene megafauna extinction and climate: The first humaninduced global warming?,Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L15703, doi:10.1029/2010GL043985
  • Pitulko, V. V., P. A. Nikolsky, E. Y. Girya, A. E. Basilyan, V. E. Tumskoy, S. A. Koulakov, S. N. Astakhov, E. Y. Pavlova, and M. A. Anisimov (2004), The Yana RHS site: Humans in the Arctic before the Last Glacial Maximum, Science, 303(5654), 52–56, doi:10.1126/science.1085219
  • Barnosky, Anthony D.; Matzke, Nicholas; Tomiya, Susumu; Wogan, Guinevere O. U.; Swartz, Brian; Quental, Tiago B.; Marshall, Charles; McGuire, Jenny L.; Lindsey, Emily L.; Maguire, Kaitlin C.; Mersey, Ben; Ferrer, Elizabeth A. (3 March 2011). "Has the Earth’s sixth mass extinction already arrived?". Nature 471 (7336): 51–57. Bibcode:2011Natur.471...51B. doi:10.1038/nature09678.
  • Zalasiewicz, Jan; Williams, Mark; Smith, Alan; Barry, Tiffany L.; Coe, Angela L.; Bown, Paul R.; Brenchley, Patrick; Cantrill, David; Gale, Andrew; Gibbard, Philip; Gregory, F. John; Hounslow, Mark W.; Kerr, Andrew C.; Pearson, Paul; Knox, Robert; Powell, John; Waters, Colin; Marshall, John; Oates, Michael; Rawson, Peter; Stone, Philip (2008). "Are we now living in the Anthropocene". GSA Today 18 (2): 4. doi:10.1130/GSAT01802A.1.
  • Vitousek, P. M.; Mooney, H. A.; Lubchenco, J.; Melillo, J. M. (1997). "Human Domination of Earth's Ecosystems". Science 277 (5325): 494–499. doi:10.1126/science.277.5325.494.
  • Wooldridge, S. A. (9 June 2008). "Mass extinctions past and present: a unifying hypothesis". Biogeosciences Discuss (Copernicus) 5 (3): 2401–2423. doi:10.5194/bgd-5-2401-2008.
  • Jackson, J. B. C. (Aug 2008). "Colloquium paper: ecological extinction and evolution in the brave new ocean" (Free full text). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 105 (Suppl 1): 11458–11465. Bibcode:2008PNAS..10511458J. doi:10.1073/pnas.0802812105. ISSN 0027-8424. PMC 2556419. PMID 18695220. edit
  • Elewa, Ashraf M. T. "14. Current mass extinction". In Elewa, Ashraf M. T. Mass Extinction. pp. 191–194. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-75916-4_14.
    Mason, Betsy (10 December 2003). "Man has been changing climate for 8,000 years". Nature. doi:10.1038/news031208-7.
    MacPhee and Marx published their hyperdisease hypothesis in 1997. "The 40,000-year plague: Humans, hyperdisease, and first-contact extinctions." In S. M. Goodman and B. D. Patterson (eds), Natural Change and Human Impact in Madagascar, pp. 169–217, Smithsonian Institution Press: Washington DC.
  • Lyons, S. Kathleen; Smith, Felisa A.; Wagner, Peter J.; White, Ethan P.; Brown, James H. (2004). "Was a ‘hyperdisease’ responsible for the late Pleistocene megafaunal extinction?". Ecology Letters 7 (9): 859–868. doi:10.1111/j.1461-0248.2004.00643.x.
  • Graham, R. W. and Mead, J. I. 1987. Environmental fluctuations and evolution of mammalian faunas during the last deglaciation in North America. In: Ruddiman, W. F. and H.E. Wright, J., editors. North America and Adjacent Oceans During the Last Deglaciation. Volume K-3. The Geology of North America, Geological Society of America
  • Martin P. S. (1967). Prehistoric overkill. In Pleistocene extinctions: The search for a cause (ed. P.S. Martin and H.E. Wright). New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-00755-8.
  • Lyons, S.K., Smith, F.A., and Brown, J.H. (2004). "Of mice, mastodons and men: human-mediated extinctions on four continents". Evolutionary Ecology Research 6: 339–358. Retrieved 18 October 2012.

Wikipedia also list a few books if you are interested.

+ - Netflix to set prices according to local piracy levels->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Media streaming giant Netflix has this week outlined plans to better structure its pricing dependent on the prevalence of piracy in a country. In an earnings call to investors, chief financial officer David Wells announced that the company would reduce subscription prices in countries with higher piracy rates in order to remain competitive. While the public admission makes sense in economic terms, it does seem that the new amended rates will only serve to encourage piracy. Knowing that pirating online media will reduce Netflix subscription rates, consumers will surely turn to sites such as Popcorn Time to stream more pirated content. During the same interview, the Netflix panel also referred to the controversial use of virtual private networks (VPNs) by international customers to access the American catalog from countries outside of U.S. borders. CEO Reed Hastings said that the company did not encourage the use of VPN but that it was “certainly less bad than piracy.”"
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:You Can See (Score 1) 110

Microminiature accelerometers are really cheap and very very light, and you don't have to wait for them to spin up or deal with their mechanical issues. I doubt you will see a gyro used as a sensor any longer.

Similarly, computers make good active stabilization possible and steering your engine to stabilize is a lot lighter than having to add a big rotating mass.

In case of injury notify your superior immediately. He'll kiss it and make it better.

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