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Comment: Best source(s) about your work on sunk submarines? (Score 2) 40

by SysKoll (#48330577) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Robert Ballard About Ocean Exploration

Your work on a certain luxury liner is very well documented. However, it's harder to find details about your work to locate and study the wrecks of U.S.S. Thresher and U.S.S. Scorpion.

How much of this is still classified? What good publicly available source(s) would you recommend to learn more about these missions?

Comment: Re:PETA! HELP! (Score 1) 164

by powerlinekid (#48329157) Attached to: Discovery Claims It Will Show a Man Being "Eaten Alive" By an Anaconda

We do not know that they can eat a person. We know they can kill a person however our shoulders cause issues for any snake trying to swallow us whole. Beyond that they tend eat things smaller than us. Consuming a 200 pound animal makes it very difficult for the snake to react defensively or flee from any threats.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E...
Relevant passage:
Many local stories and legends report the anaconda as a man-eater, but little evidence supports any such activity.

Regardless, this is stupid and it seems incredibly unlikely to be successful unless they found a horse jockey whose "snake proof suit" somehow can withstand the constriction while still being small enough to swallow.

Comment: Whoah, wait a minute... (Score -1, Flamebait) 232

by SysKoll (#48033413) Attached to: Antarctic Ice Loss Big Enough To Cause Measurable Shift In Earth's Gravity

The article barks at the wrong tree. The cryosphere page at University of Illinois-Champagne shows that we are currently seeing 1.3 million sq. km more sea ice than the average, and the levels have been sharply rising the last few years.

There is a fine balance between trying to increase awareness and being a downright propagandist. Unfortunately, this article doesn't help the cause. This is exactly the kind of thing that make people believe environmentalists are exaggerating and grasping at straws.

Wired: Stop. You are not helping.

Comment: IBM CLM publicizes their bug backlog on jazz.net (Score 1) 159

by SysKoll (#48014263) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Software Issue Tracking Transparency - Good Or Bad?
IBM Rational has a product called CLM, an expensive software lifecycle management system, for which the bug and backlog lists are public. So your marketing might want to consider this. Then again, CLM is targetting developers, a crowd that is used to the notion that software has bugs. If you are selling your product to marketing, sales and other professional liars, you might want to hide the bugs. Reality frightens these guys.
Businesses

Tesla Plans To Power Its Gigafactory With Renewables Alone 260

Posted by samzenpus
from the saving-energy dept.
AmiMoJo writes In his press conference, Elon Musk stated that the factory will produce all of its own energy using a combination of solar, wind, and geothermal. Engineering.com looks at the feasibility of the plans. Spoiler alert: it looks possible, though some storage will be required. Fortunately, if there is one thing the Gigafactory won't be short of it's batteries. From the article: "The numbers don’t lie. The site could realistically produce more than 2900 MWh of renewable electricity each day ... 20% more than it needs. These are conservative estimates on production and worst-case estimates on consumption, and it’s clear that there’s enough renewable energy to run the plant with some to spare."
Math

How Often Do Economists Commit Misconduct? 305

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the easier-this-way dept.
schwit1 (797399) writes A survey of professional academic economists finds that a large percentage are quite willing to cheat or fake data to get the results they want. From the paper's abstract: "This study reports the results of a survey of professional, mostly academic economists about their research norms and scientific misbehavior. Behavior such as data fabrication or plagiarism are (almost) unanimously rejected and admitted by less than 4% of participants. Research practices that are often considered 'questionable,' e.g., strategic behavior while analyzing results or in the publication process, are rejected by at least 60%. Despite their low justifiability, these behaviors are widespread. Ninety-four percent report having engaged in at least one unaccepted research practice."

That less than 4% engage in "data fabrication or plagiarism" might seem low, but it is a terrible statistic . ... 40% admit to doing what they agree are "questionable" research practices, while 94% admit to committing "at least one unaccepted research practice." In other words, almost none of these academic economists can be trusted in the slightest. As the paper notes, "these behaviors are widespread.""

Comment: Re:Article summary doesn't match article content (Score 2) 103

by powerlinekid (#46920989) Attached to: ISS Studies Show Bacteria From Earth Could Colonize Mars

Yes but are there any microbes that survive all of those in an active form at the same time? I don't disbelieve that some inactive microbes could essentially hibernate on Mars indefinitely. However certain conditions need to exist for those microbes to flourish.

The little critters near the thermal vents in the bottom of the ocean are pretty tough but ultraviolet light isn't something they've ever had to deal with and its unlikely they have any protection against it. Same with anything in antartica. They can do -40 and they can do ultraviolet light but can they do 0 oxygen?

Its not about saying "Huzzah this can survive 3 out of the 4 requirements!". They need to survive all of them and that seems unlikely. Unless we were planning on digging a hole, dropping them in there and covering them back up. Again assume the soil isn't too different for them to adapt.

Government

White House Worried About Discrimination Through Analytics 231

Posted by Soulskill
from the codifying-the-digital-divide dept.
Cludge writes "Describing concerns about the potential for big data methods to inadvertently classify people by race, religion, income or other forms of discrimination, the White House announced it will release a report next week that reviews the adequacy of existing privacy laws and regulations in the era of online data collection. The review, led by Obama's senior counselor, John Podesta, will outline concerns about whether methods used for commercial applications may be inherently vulnerable to inadvertent discrimination. 'He described a program called "Street Bump" in Boston that detected pot-holes using sensors in smartphones of citizens who had downloaded an app. The program inadvertently directed repair crews to wealthier neighborhoods, where people were more likely to carry smartphones and download the app.' 'It's easy to imagine how big data technology, if used to cross legal lines we have been careful to set, could end up reinforcing existing inequities in housing, credit, employment, health and education,' he said."

Comment: Devs don't want to maintain old versions (Score 5, Insightful) 199

by FlamerPope (#46516189) Attached to: A Call For Rollbacks To Previous Versions of Software

Developers don't like having a lot of different versions of their software out in the world because it means they have to maintain those versions. Adding some sort of default rollback ability implies that devs will have to continue to support those old versions. That's not going to be very popular.

Comment: Re:Logging non-computerized equipment use (Score 1) 130

This only tracks the amount a device is used, not who is using it. If you want to prevent (or at least discourage) unclaimed use, you'd have to tie this to some sort of alert system. You'd probably have to write software that notices increased power draw, checks for a sign-up, and alerts someone if no one is signed up to use the device.

This could work; however, it would only serve to notice violations after the fact. With real-time monitoring, it could catch violations in progress, but someone would have to go, check the device, and yell at the offending party (which mightn't be reasonable). This system probably wouldn't prevent unclaimed use before it happens.

Comment: Physical locks on devices? (Score 1) 130

Hm. If you don't want to restrict access to the room, and don't want to restrict access to power, you'll have to restrict access to the machines themselves. You could apply a padlock to a moving part of the device (or perhaps a cage around its controls). You'd then store the keys in a central place and require people to sign out those keys when they want to use the device.

If you don't want to rely on people's good faith in signing things out, you could have someone else control the keys. This would require some manual work, but it could probably be done by a department secretary or someone else who's already at a desk - you wouldn't have to put someone in the room itself, and it would presumably be a very small part of their job.

You could conceivably store the keys in some sort of container with electronic access control as well, but that may be more trouble than it's worth.

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