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Stats

Statistics Losing Ground To CS, Losing Image Among Students 115

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the big-bad-data dept.
theodp (442580) writes Unless some things change, UC Davis Prof. Norman Matloff worries that the Statistician could be added to the endangered species list. "The American Statistical Association (ASA) leadership, and many in Statistics academia," writes Matloff, "have been undergoing a period of angst the last few years, They worry that the field of Statistics is headed for a future of reduced national influence and importance, with the feeling that: [1] The field is to a large extent being usurped by other disciplines, notably Computer Science (CS). [2] Efforts to make the field attractive to students have largely been unsuccessful."

Matloff, who has a foot in both the Statistics and CS camps, but says, "The problem is not that CS people are doing Statistics, but rather that they are doing it poorly. Generally the quality of CS work in Stat is weak. It is not a problem of quality of the researchers themselves; indeed, many of them are very highly talented. Instead, there are a number of systemic reasons for this, structural problems with the CS research 'business model'." So, can Statistics be made more attractive to students? "Here is something that actually can be fixed reasonably simply," suggests no-fan-of-TI-83-pocket-calculators-as-a-computational-vehicle Matloff. "If I had my druthers, I would simply ban AP Stat, and actually, I am one of those people who would do away with the entire AP program. Obviously, there are too many deeply entrenched interests for this to happen, but one thing that can be done for AP Stat is to switch its computational vehicle to R."
Japan

Iron Man 3 To Debut As a 4DX Film In Japan 158

Posted by timothy
from the wait-for-it-to-hit-the-basement dept.
adeelarshad82 writes "Marvel's Iron Man 3 will debut in select Japanese theaters later this month employing the 4DX system for the first time. Developed by South Korea's largest movie chain operator, the CJ Group, 4DX-equipped theaters deliver smells, seat motions, and additional effects such as strobe lights and fog, all in sync with events as they appear on the screen. Beyond South Korea, this full immersion approach to cinema is already in operation in countries such as Israel, Mexico, Brazil, and China."
Image

Woman Claims Wii Fit Caused Persistent Sexual Arousal Syndrome 380

Posted by samzenpus
from the can't-stop-playing dept.
Amanda Flowers always liked her Wii Fit but now she can't get enough of it. Amanda claims a fall from her balance board damaged a nerve and has left her suffering from persistent sexual arousal syndrome. From the article: "The catering worker said: 'It began as a twinge down below before surging through my body. Sometimes it built up into a trembling orgasm.' A doctor diagnosed her with persistent sexual arousal syndrome due to a damaged nerve."

Comment: More info (Score 1) 3

by 75th Trombone (#30123042) Attached to: Making old games look good on modern LCD displays?

More info on me, in case it helps:

I'm not a programmer, but I'm about as close as you can be to one without being one. I normally run Mac OS X, and Windows XP is handy. I'd rather not maintain a Linux install, but I'll do what I have to.

Discussion on this recent post inspired me to ask Slashdot. I've been trying to crack this nut off and on for months.

Thanks in advance to all non-snarky replies.

Graphics

+ - Making old games look good on modern LCD displays? 3

Submitted by 75th Trombone
75th Trombone (581309) writes "I'm a fan of several old PC games — the Myst series, Starcraft, Diablo, etc — with 2D graphics that run at a low, fixed resolution. These games all look horrible on modern LCDs. If you run them at their original resolution they're tiny, and if you upscale them they get all sorts of blurry, pixelly smoothing artifacts.

My ideal goal is to run these games at exactly double their original resolution — running 640 x 480 games at 1280 x 960, for example — so that each original pixel takes up exactly a 2 x 2 block of screen pixels, yielding graphics that are perfectly crisp and decently big.

I've tried arcane settings in graphics card drivers new and old, I've tried forcing the OS to run at a given resolution, I've tried PowerStrip, all to no avail.

Short of writing a new, modern engine for my favorite games, is there a reasonable solution to this problem?"
XBox (Games)

Next Console Generation Defined By Software, Not Hardware 177

Posted by Soulskill
from the console-two-point-oh dept.
Fast Company recent spoke with Microsoft exec Shane Kim about Natal and the future of the Xbox 360. Kim said they're very interested in continuing to build out support for social networking and digital distribution, and he also made some interesting remarks about their long term plans. Quoting: "It really has much more to do with ... the innovation and longevity that will be created when Project Natal is added to that mix and the value and the entertainment options that we continue to expand on Xbox Live. The 'next generation' will be defined by software and services, not hardware. In the past we would always get this question: 'Hey, there's a new console launch every five years and you're coming up on that time for Xbox, right?' That's the old treadmill way of thinking. Before you had things that were very obvious, from a hardware standpoint — pushing more pixels, the move from 2-D to 3-D, 3-D to HD, etc. We got a very powerful piece of hardware in Xbox 360. I am confident that we have more headroom available, in terms of developers and creators figuring out how to get more out of the system. So I worry less about new hardware having to enable us to move to a different level of graphics. It's much more about the experiences that you are going to deliver."

Comment: Mystery (Score 4, Interesting) 381

by 75th Trombone (#28154903) Attached to: What To Do With 78 USB Drives Next Christmas?

Create a puzzle that will require the cooperation of all the recipients to complete. The contents of each drive should be tailored to the individual. Computer-savvy people could have an encrypted document or image on their drive; computer dunces could have a simple text file that says "Call Joe at 870-555-1234 and tell him to give the password on his drive to Mark at 901-555-4567." Put hints on some drives, and images, and text files, and passwords, and instructions that, if all are followed, will result in the final unveiling of something cool.

The "something cool"? I don't know. If you have some money laying around, it could result in uncovering a bunch of $10 iTunes gift certificate codes on some web site somewhere. (But it'd have to be done in such a way that each person involved can claim exactly one certificate.)

Ideally, build some redundancy into the puzzle so that even if 10 or 20 people don't participate, the remainder can still get something cool in the end.

If you choose to do this (and I must say I think my idea is pretty awesome), keep me posted on what you do. My contact info is on my /. profile.

Comment: Re:For fuck's sake... (Score 4, Informative) 464

by 75th Trombone (#28152767) Attached to: EU Wants Multiple Browser Bundling On New PCs

The anti-competitive behavior is not the bundling of IE itself, but rather the conditions Microsoft imposed upon OEMs who wished to install/default to other browsers. It has at times entirely disallowed other browsers and at others given a substantial discount for making IE the only/default browser on new systems.

I don't know to what extent this crap is still the case today.

Software

Microsoft Office 2007 SP2 Released, Supports ODF Out of the Box 274

Posted by timothy
from the file-formats-rule-the-world dept.
shutdown -p now writes "On April 28, Microsoft released service pack 2 for Microsoft Office 2007. Among other changes, it includes the earlier-promised support for ODF text documents and spreadsheets, featured prominently on the 'Save As' menu alongside Office Open XML and the legacy Office 97-2007 formats. It is also possible to configure Office applications to use ODF as the default format for new documents. In addition, the service pack also includes 'Save as PDF' out of the box, and better Firefox support by SharePoint."
Earth

Antarctic Ice Is Growing, Not Melting Away, At Davis Station 633

Posted by timothy
from the weather-is-what-you-get dept.
schwit1 writes "A report from The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research says that Antarctic ice is growing, not melting away. Ice core drilling in the fast ice off Australia's Davis Station in East Antarctica by the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Co-Operative Research Centre shows that last year, the ice had a maximum thickness of 1.89m, its densest in 10 years. The average thickness of the ice at Davis since the 1950s is 1.67m. A paper to be published soon by the British Antarctic Survey in the journal Geophysical Research Letters is expected to confirm that over the past 30 years, the area of sea ice around the continent has expanded."
Social Networks

Academics To Predict Next Twitter and Its Pitfalls 150

Posted by samzenpus
from the peer-into-my-crystal-ball dept.
An anonymous reader writes "University researchers in the UK have put together a team tasked with predicting the next big thing in terms of communication technologies, in a bid to tackle ethical pitfalls before they become a problem. This is in the wake of the rise of social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace, which has led to a dramatic increase in the amount of personal information available online."

Comment: Re:They are NOT near a billion. (Score 1) 119

by 75th Trombone (#27543981) Attached to: Apple Promises Mother Lode to Billionth App Downloader

They sort of do get more chances to win; if the winner doesn't respond within 48 hours, they randomly draw a name from all entries. If the winner is an app downloader, who knows if they'll be paying enough attention to reply? They may even think it's SPAM and delete the "You won!" e-mail.

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