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Comment: What old technology can't I give up? (Score 1) 635

by Hartree (#47789117) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?

Cooked food.

That's a very old technology that I just can't seem to give up.

Steak tartare just doesn't sit well with my tummy, and a glass full of raw eggs for breakfast is right out, regardless of what Rocky thought.

And don't even get me started about raw potatos.

(Clue: Technology is not just electronics.)


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."
The Internet

Comcast Tells Government That Its Data Caps Aren't Actually "Data Caps" 341

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the doubleplus-ungood-pirate dept.
mpicpp (3454017) writes with this excerpt from Ars Technica about Comcast's data caps that aren't data caps:Customers must pay more if they exceed limits — but it's not a cap, Comcast says. For the past couple of years, Comcast has been trying to convince journalists and the general public that it doesn't impose any "data caps" on its Internet service. ... That's despite the fact that Comcast in some cities enforces limits on the amount of data customers can use and issues financial penalties for using more than the allotment. Comcast has said this type of billing will probably roll out to its entire national footprint within five years, perhaps alongside a pricier option to buy unlimited data. ... Comcast's then-new approach was touted to "effectively offer unlimited usage of our services because customers will have the ability to buy as much data as they want."

Why Bhutan Might Get Drone Delivery Copters Before Seattle Does 102

Posted by timothy
from the go-where-they'll-let-you-in dept.
From Quartz comes the story of a Silicon Valley start-up trying to kickstart a delivery system using package-laden drones to overfly gridlocked traffic — in Bhutan. Bhutanese roads are slow, the weather can be brutal, and there are very few physicians to go around. That’s why, earlier this year, the Bhutanese government and the World Health Organization reached out to Matternet, a Palo Alto company backed by some big name American investors that develops transportation networks using unmanned aerial vehicles to reach hard-to-access places. ... The project in Bhutan, however, is the first big test for the startup. Matternet is aiming to build a network of low-cost quadcopters to connect the country’s main hospitals with rural communities. Matternet uses small quadcopters that can carry loads of about four pounds across 20 km at a time, to and from pre-designated landing stations. The company is able to track these flights in real-time, and aims to eventually deploy fully-automated landing stations that replace drone batteries, giving them extended range and flight time. The drones it uses typically cost between $2,000-5,000.

Comment: Re:Memory Troubles: (Score 1) 582

by Hartree (#47558887) Attached to: Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine

In response to shelling from South Ossetia which you somehow don't think of as a violation (of an agreement that only Russia recognized). The history behind that war is long, and each side can come up with justifications.

By your logic, the current war in Gaza wouldn't be considered aggressive because Israel was responding to rocket fire.

It's all aggressive. Your logic seems to be "My guys are good, so they are beyond criticism." Horse hockey.

Comment: Re:Memory Troubles: (Score 1) 582

by Hartree (#47547515) Attached to: Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine

Sounds like you don't just have memory troubles, but factual troubles as well.

Russia is indeed a major player in BRICS, but the Chinese economy is fully 4 times as large. Even Brazil's GDP is greater.

Now, how a dust up in the Ukraine will sink an economic union that the rest of outweighs Russia by 6 to 1 in GDP is beyond me. The Brazillians, Chinese, and Indians are not being heavily impacted by this.

Start learning some history. This is about the fact on the ground that it's extremely difficult to defend Western Russia without having at least a neutral Ukraine. It's just not far enough from Europe to Moscow. The military in Russia has a long memory, and it includes Napoleon and Nazi Germany invading. The Russian high command knows that the defense in depth and the long cold winter retreat in both cases was what let them win. Without the Ukraine they get very nervous.

This conspiracy theory that it's all to undermine BRICS at the behest of the Rothschilds or some other bogeyman/illuminati is laughable.

Comment: Re:The failure mode is transformer core saturation (Score 2) 91

by Hartree (#47536957) Attached to: The Truth About Solar Storms

Or, the grid operators could monitor space weather information. (Which they do.)

We have multiple satellite systems (ACE, SOHO, STEREO, etc.) that can detect CMEs nearly as soon as they happen. The travel time to earth, even for the Carrington Event was 18 hours.

With an even shorter warning, you can do a lot to minimize damage.

In that time, you can declare nationwide power emergencies, shed load and shut down vulnerable systems.

Yes, it's ugly and takes time to come back up, but it's a lot better than zapping the whole long distance transmission system.

Much of the really critical infrastructure can disconnect and run on internal generators.

Are there places that will get caught by it? Sure. Will it be a major pain in the kiester? Of course. But it'll hardly be the "Collapse of Civilization"(tm).


Wikipedia Blocks 'Disruptive' Edits From US Congress 165

Posted by Soulskill
from the history-no-longer-written-by-the-victors dept.
alphatel writes: Wikipedia has blocked anonymous edits from a congressional IP address for 10 days because of "disruptive" behavior. These otherwise anonymous edits were brought to light recently by @Congressedits, a bot that automatically tweets Wikipedia changes that come from Congressional IP addresses. The biography of former U.S. defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld was edited to say that he was an "alien lizard who eats Mexican babies." Mediaite's Wikipedia page was modified to label the site as a "sexist transphobic" publication.

Autonomous Sea-Robot Survives Massive Typhoon 47

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the ride-the-wave dept.
jfruh (300774) writes Liquid Robotics and its Wave Glider line of autonomous seafaring robots became famous when Java inventor James Gosling left Google to join the company. Now one of its robots has passed an impressive real-world test, shrugging off a monster typhoon in the South China Sea that inflicted hundreds of millions of dollars of damage on the region.

Black Hat Presentation On Tor Cancelled, Developers Working on Bug Fix 52

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-can't-say-that-on-television dept.
alphadogg writes A presentation on a low-budget method to unmask users of a popular online privacy tool Tor will no longer go ahead at the Black Hat security conference early next month. The talk was nixed by the legal counsel with Carnegie Mellon's Software Engineering Institute after a finding that materials from researcher Alexander Volynkin were not approved for public release, according to a notice on the conference's website. Tor project leader Roger Dingledine said, "I think I have a handle on what they did, and how to fix it. ... Based on our current plans, we'll be putting out a fix that relays can apply that should close the particular bug they found. The bug is a nice bug, but it isn't the end of the world." Tor's developers were "informally" shown materials about the bug, but never saw any details about what would be presented in the talk.

"Only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core." -- Hannah Arendt.