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Math

Daily Kos Pollster Made Up Numbers 546

Posted by kdawson
from the transparency-wins dept.
jamie found a story up on Daily Kos revealing that the polling firm they had contracted with for 18 months, Research 2000 or R2K, apparently made up or at least manually tweaked its polling results. The blog published a preliminary report by a team of statistics gurus (Mark Grebner, Michael Weissman, and Jonathan Weissman), and it is an exemplar of clarity and concision. The team reports, "We do not know exactly how the weekly R2K results were created, but we are confident they could not accurately describe random polls." Daily Kos will be filing a lawsuit against its former pollster. "For the past year and a half, Daily Kos has been featuring weekly poll results from the Research 2000 (R2K) organization. These polls were often praised for their 'transparency,' since they included detailed cross-tabs on sub-populations and a clear description of the random dialing technique. However, on June 6, 2010, FiveThirtyEight.com rated R2K as among the least accurate pollsters in predicting election results. Daily Kos then terminated the relationship. One of us (MG) wondered if odd patterns he had noticed in R2K's reports might be connected with R2K's mediocre track record, prompting our investigation of whether the reports could represent proper random polling. ... This posting is a careful initial report of our findings, not intended to be a full formal analysis but rather to alert people not to rely on R2K's results."
Privacy

Palm Pre Reports Your Location and Usage To Palm 314

Posted by Soulskill
from the caught-palm-red-handed dept.
AceJohnny writes "Joey Hess found that his Palm Pre was ratting on him. It turns out the Pre periodically uploads detailed information about the user to Palm, including the names of installed apps, application usage (and crashes), as well as GPS coordinates. This, of course, is without user consent or control. The only way he found to disable the uploads was to modify system files."

Comment: Re:They're called digital cameras (Score 1) 443

by Juergen Kreileder (#28105739) Attached to: Polaroid Lovers Try To Revive Its Instant Film

There's no need for instant film anymore.

Only if you see it from a pure technical standpoint. Photography also is art though, and instant films are the medium some people prefer due to the involved process and style of results. Take a look at sites like POLANOIR, Polanoid, or the various groups on Flickr (my polaroid set).

Space

Saturn's Rings May Be Very Old 125

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the even-older-than-bob dept.
Kristina from Science News writes "Combining computer simulations with data about the way starlight shines through Saturn's rings suggests the individual grains are big and thus could have been around a good 4 billion years, not the mere 10 million to 100 million previously suspected. What may have thrown earlier observations off is the chance that the grains aren't evenly distributed, but clump here and spread out there."
Security

US Responsible For the Majority of Cyber Attacks 205

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the we're-number-one-we're-number-one dept.
Amber G5 writes "SecureWorks published the locations of the computers from which the greatest number of cyber attacks were attempted against its clients in 2008. The United States topped the list with 20.6 million attempted attacks originating from computers within the country, and China ran second with 7.7 million attempted attacks emanating from computers within its borders. This was followed by Brazil with over 166,987 attempted attacks, South Korea with 162,289, Poland with 153,205, Japan with 142,346, Russia with 130,572, Taiwan with 124,997, Germany with 110,493, and Canada with 107,483."
Power

+ - Germany is getting serious on climate change

Submitted by cagrin
cagrin (146191) writes "From the article: "Gabriel told reporters that a progress report on a renewable energy law (EEG) passed in 2000 showed that the country had already surpassed the quota of 12.5 percent set for 2010. He said Berlin was now setting a more ambitious target to produce at least 20 percent of electricity used in the country with renewable resources such as wind and solar power by 2020 and 45 percent by 2030." Nearly half of electricity from renewable resources by 2030: Berlin"
Media

+ - Dutch kidney reality television show a hoax

Submitted by
PigIronBob
PigIronBob writes "It turns out that the entire dutch kidney donor show was a hoax, aimed at getting nation (if not world) wide attention for the shortage of organ donors,
The donor herself is a fighting fit actor, the 3 patients involved all do have kidney problems but where part of the plot.

seems like they got their attention alright.
english dutch"
Businesses

+ - Verizon Adds 5GB Limit to Unlimited Data Plan

Submitted by
Jason
Jason writes "For years there have been stories about people getting their unlimited Verizon accounts terminated because of excessive data usage, but Verizon never explicitly said that there is a limit. Now if you dive a into the terms of the Unlimited Data Service plan they have put a section in that specifically states that anything over 5GB of data usage in a one month period is considered abnormal. Since when does 5GB per month equal unlimited? Does Verizon need to hire some new mathematicians?"
Music

+ - Why I Switched to iTunes from Musicmatch

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "I've always been one to root for the underdog. In this case, I picked Musicmatch five years ago. But for all my time spent with Musicmatch, I was somewhat disconnected from that group of friends big into using iTunes. So I decided to give iTunes a test run, and now I don't think I can go back. Here's why: http://www.computers.net/2007/04/why_i_switched_.h tml"

FORTUNE'S FUN FACTS TO KNOW AND TELL: A guinea pig is not from Guinea but a rodent from South America.

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