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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."
Math

New Company Seeks to Bring Semantic Context To Numbers 264

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the quick-create-another-standards-body dept.
A new company, True#, is seeking to bring extensive semantic context to numbers to give them obvious meanings just as certain words have obvious meanings to most readers. "Most of us can probably recognize 3.14159 and the conceptual baggage it carries, but how many of us would recognize 58.44? (That's a mole of sodium chloride, in grams, for the curious.) And the response that would work for words — look it up — doesn't work so conveniently for numbers. Only one of the top-10 hits in Google refers to salt, and Bing fails entirely (though it does offer 'Women's Sexy Mini Skirts by VENUS'). Clearly, we haven't figured out how to make the Web work for numbers in the same way it does for words."

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).

The Courts

Jack Thompson Spams Utah Senate, May Face Legal Action 319

Posted by Soulskill
from the get-some-popcorn dept.
eldavojohn writes "Yesterday, GamePolitics ran an interesting story about the Utah Senate President threatening Jack Thompson with the CAN-SPAM Act. You might recall Utah being Jack's last hope and hold-out after being disbarred in Florida and more or less made a mockery everywhere else. Well, from Utah's Senate Site, we get the picture of what Jack is up to now: spamming his last friends on the planet. The Salt Lake Tribune is reporting on Senate President Michael Waddoups' statements: 'I asked you before to remove me from your mailing list. I supported your bill but because of the harassment will not again. If I am not removed, I will turn you over to the AG for legal action.' The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Waddoups confirmed on Tuesday that he would attempt to pursue legal action under the federal CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 against Jack Thompson."
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."
Communications

Google Unveils First Android Phone 546

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the can-you-hear-me-now dept.
danieltdp writes "Google finally officially launched the first Android-enabled mobile device to hit the market. As expected, the first Android phone will be the HTC Dream (also known as the T-Mobile G1), a device with a large touchscreen and a slide-out physical keypad that will run Google's new mobile platform." You might also not be at all surprised to know that Google is working on an Android competitor to the Apple App store.
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."
Windows

Windows Genuine Advantage Servers Out 300

Posted by kdawson
from the single-point-of-disadvantage dept.
krewemaynard writes to let us know that Microsoft has been having major problems with its WGA servers since at least Friday evening. Quoting Ars: "Users of both Windows XP and Windows Vista were writing to say that they could not validate their installations using WGA, and one user even said that his installation was invalidated by the service... The Microsoft WGA Forums are full of problem reports, and Microsoft WGA Program Manager Phil Liu has acknowledged that there is a problem, and that MS is investigating." Update: 07/25 22:10 GMT by KD :Microsoft has identified and fixed the problem and posted instructions for anyone whose system mistakenly failed a WGA check. (The link posted earlier was to a 2006 article.)
User Journal

Journal: How Bush's grandfather helped Hitler's rise to power

Journal by markstevens09

How Bush's grandfather helped Hitler's rise to power

Rumours of a link between the US first family and the Nazi war machine have circulated for decades. Now the Guardian can reveal how repercussions of events that culminated in action under the Trading with the Enemy Act are still being felt by today's president

Ben Aris in Berlin and Duncan Campbell in Washington
Saturday September 25, 2004
The Guardian

User Journal

Journal: The Horrifying American Roots of Nazi Eugenics

Journal by markstevens09

The Horrifying American Roots of Nazi Eugenics
By Edwin Black

Mr. Black is the author of IBM and the Holocaust and the just released War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America's Campaign to Create a Master Race, from which the following article is drawn.

Hitler and his henchmen victimized an entire continent and exterminated millions in his quest for a co-called "Master Race."

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"

Some people have a great ambition: to build something that will last, at least until they've finished building it.

Working...