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Submission + - PostgreSQL Outperforms MongoDB in Second Round of Tests

RaDag writes: PostgreSQL outperformed MongoDB, the leading document database and NoSQL-only solution provider, on larger workloads than initial performance benchmarks. Performance benchmarks conducted by EnterpriseDB, which released the framework for public scrutiny on GitHub, showed PostgreSQL outperformed MongoDB in selecting, loading and inserting complex document data in key workloads involving 50 million records. This ushers in a new developer reality with freedom to combine structured and unstructured data in a single database with ACID compliance and relational capabilities.

Submission + - Figuring Out a Decent Computer-Science Degree (dice.com)

Nerval's Lobster writes: There's the longtime and pervasive myth of the self-taught developer, the autodidact who toils away at their craft for years with only a few textbooks and some online advice to guide the way. It's a good myth with a lot of basis in fact, as many developers will tell you. But for every intrepid soul who learns a new programming language and builds something amazing out of it, a whole lot of other people need some formal schooling. Dice (yes, yes, we know) has updated its advice about computer-science degrees in 2014, which includes the need to find a CS program that's heavy on practical experience in addition to theory, and making sure you choose a program that offers a decent rate of return for its graduates.

Submission + - Miss a Payment? Your Car Stops Running

HughPickens.com writes: Auto loans to borrowers considered subprime, those with credit scores at or below 640, have spiked in the last five years with roughly 25 percent of all new auto loans made last year subprime, a volume of $145 billion in the first three months of this year. Now the NYT reports that before they can drive off the lot, many subprime borrowers must have their car outfitted with a so-called starter interrupt device, which allows lenders to remotely disable the ignition. By simply clicking a mouse or tapping a smartphone, lenders retain the ultimate control. Borrowers must stay current with their payments, or lose access to their vehicle and a leading device maker, PassTime of Littleton, Colo., says its technology has reduced late payments to roughly 7 percent from nearly 29 percent. “The devices are reshaping the dynamics of auto lending by making timely payments as vital to driving a car as gasoline.”

Mary Bolender, who lives in Las Vegas, needed to get her daughter to an emergency room, but her 2005 Chrysler van would not start. Bolender was three days behind on her monthly car payment. Her lender remotely activated a device in her car’s dashboard that prevented her car from starting. Before she could get back on the road, she had to pay more than $389, money she did not have that morning in March. “I felt absolutely helpless,” said Bolender, a single mother who stopped working to care for her daughter. Some borrowers say their cars were disabled when they were only a few days behind on their payments, leaving them stranded in dangerous neighborhoods. Others said their cars were shut down while idling at stoplights. Some described how they could not take their children to school or to doctor’s appointments. One woman in Nevada said her car was shut down while she was driving on the freeway. Attorney Robert Swearingen says there's an old common law principle that a lender can’t “breach the peace” in a repossession. That means they can’t put a person in harm’s way. To Swearingen, that would mean “turning off a car in a bad neighborhood, or for a single female at night.”

Submission + - Protecting America's Processors

aarondubrow writes: The National Science Foundation and the Semiconductor Research Corporation announced nine research awards to 10 universities totaling nearly $4 million under a joint program focused on Secure, Trustworthy, Assured and Resilient Semiconductors and Systems. The awards support the development of new strategies, methods and tools at the circuit, architecture and system levels, to decrease the likelihood of unintended behavior or access; increase resistance and resilience to tampering; and improve the ability to provide authentication throughout the supply chain and in the field.

"The processes and tools used to design and manufacture semiconductors ensure that the resulting product does what it is supposed to do. However, a key question that must also be addressed is whether the product does anything else, such as behaving in ways that are unintended or malicious," said Keith Marzullo, division director of NSF's Computer and Network Systems Division.

Comment Re:Consumer feedback removes need for certificatio (Score 2) 139

Uber is showing, how the consumer feedback, that's easy to provide and is immediately available to anyone with a smart phone,

Right- anyone. That's exactly the problem. All you need to do to game the system as an Uber driver is put together a network of colluders to give you good reviews after you give them "rides". In the past, you only needed to find a few bad actors within the government- now literally anyone can help you with your racket.

Comment Silicon Valley Rebrands Correspondence Courses (Score 4, Informative) 182

Attitudes towards correspondence courses don't change. News at 5.

For the record, correspondence courses have been around since 1892. But somehow MOOCs are "disruptive" (have classrooms and disruption ever gone well together?). Here's a quotation from Wikipedia to add context:

In the United States William Rainey Harper, first president of the University of Chicago, developed the concept of extended education, whereby the research university had satellite colleges of education in the wider community. In 1892 he also encouraged the concept of correspondence school courses to further promote education, an idea that was put into practice by Columbia University.[12][13] Enrollment in the largest private for-profit school based in Scranton, Pennsylvania, the International Correspondence Schools grew explosively in the 1890s. Originally founded in 1888 to provide training for immigrant coal miners aiming to become state mine inspectors or foremen, it enrolled 2500 new students in 1894 and matriculated 72,000 new students in 1895. By 1906 total enrollments reached 900,000. The growth was due to sending out complete textbooks instead of single lessons, and the use of 1200 aggressive in-person salesmen.[14][15] There was a stark contrast in pedagogy:

The regular technical school or college aims to educate a man broadly; our aim, on the contrary, is to educate him only along some particular line. The college demands that a student shall have certain educational qualifications to enter it, and that all students study for approximately the same length of time, and when they have finished their courses they are supposed to be qualified to enter any one of a number of branches in some particular profession. We, on the contrary, are aiming to make our courses fit the particular needs of the student who takes them


Comment Statistics has always had difficulty with usurpers (Score 5, Insightful) 115

Most notably psychology, economics, mathematics and beer brewing. In fact, most of the developments in stats have come about as a result of a need arising in a different discipline. Stats is inherently an applied discipline, so this is not unusual.

What is concerning is how many statistical tools, each with their own set of assumptions, have blossomed up within the past few decades. There are so many stats now that stats can no longer be an ancillary to other disciplines- it needs to be given its own space and statisticians need to be given respect for their unique expertise. There is simply too much knowledge in that domain for those in more theory-driven fields to be able to claim both expertise in the conceptual models of their fields and statistics.

A right is not what someone gives you; it's what no one can take from you. -- Ramsey Clark