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+ - The Scientific Method and the Art of Troubleshooting

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com writes: Karl Popper came up with the idea in the 1930's that scientists should attempt to falsify their hypotheses rather than to verify them. The basic reasoning is that while you cannot prove a hypothesis to be true by finding a number of different confirming instances (though confirming instances do make you more confident in the truth), you can prove a hypothesis to be false by finding one valid counter-example. Now Orin Thomas writes at WindowsITPro that you’ve probably diagnosed hundreds, if not thousands, of technical problems in your career and Popper's insights can serve as a valuable guide to avoid a couple of hours chasing solutions that turn out to be an incorrect answer. According to Thomas when troubleshooting a technical problem many of us “race ahead” and use our intuition to reach a hypothesis as to a possible cause before we’ve had time to assess the available body of evidence. "When we use our intuition to solve a problem, we look for things that confirm the conclusion. If we find something that confirms that conclusion, we become even more certain of that conclusion. Most people also unconsciously ignore obvious data that would disprove their incorrect hypothesis because the first reaction to a conclusion reached at through intuition is to try and confirm it rather than refute it."

Thomas says that the idea behind using a falsificationist method is to treat your initial conclusions about a complex troubleshooting problem as untrustworthy and rather than look for something to confirm what you think might have happened, try to figure out what evidence would disprove that conclusion. "Trying to disprove your conclusions may not give you the correct answer right away, but at least you won’t spend a couple of hours chasing what turns out to be an incorrect answer."

Comment: Better sources (Score 1) 1

TFA (technical):
Harsh Deep Chopra, Manfred Wuttig, 'Non-Joulian magnetostriction', Nature 521, 340–343 (21 May 2015) doi:10.1038/nature14459. http://www.nature.com/nature/j...
Read more:
http://www.science20.com/news_...
Plain language:
http://www.natureworldreport.c...
http://www.science20.com/news_...

+ - Student photographer threatened with suspension for sports photos->

Submitted by sandbagger
sandbagger writes: Anthony Mazur is a senior at Flower Mound High School in Texas who photographed school sports games and other events. Naturally he posted them on line. A few days ago he was summoned to the principal's office and threatened with a suspension and 'reporting to the IRS' if he didn't take those 4000 photos down. Reportedly, the principle's rationale was that the school has copyright on the images and not him.
Link to Original Source

+ - Worms From Space!!!->

Submitted by LeadSongDog
LeadSongDog writes: The Dragon capsule launched by SpaceX on April 14 has splashed down safely in the Pacific with 1.5 tonnes of cargo, including an experiment on roundworm aging in microgravity.
Link to Original Source

+ - The Brainteaser Elon Musk Asks New SpaceX Engineers-> 9

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster writes: The latest biography of Elon Musk, by technology journalist Ashlee Vance, provides an in-depth look into how the entrepreneur and tech titan built Tesla Motors and SpaceX from the ground up. For developers and engineers, getting a job at SpaceX is difficult, with a long interviewing/testing process... and for some candidates, there's a rather unique final step: an interview with Musk himself. During that interview, Musk reportedly likes to ask candidates a particular brainteaser: 'You’re standing on the surface of the Earth. You walk one mile south, one mile west, and one mile north. You end up exactly where you started. Where are you?' If you can answer that riddle successfully, and pass all of SpaceX’s other stringent tests, you may have a shot at launching rockets into orbit.
Link to Original Source

+ - Critical Vulnerability in NetUSB Driver Exposes Millions of Routers to Hacking->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett writes: NetUSB, a service that lets devices connected over USB to a computer be shared with other machines on a local network or the Internet, is implemented in Linux-based embedded systems, such as routers, as a kernel driver. Once enabled, it opens a server that listens on TCP port 20005 for connecting clients. Security researchers from a company called Sec Consult found that if a connecting computer has a name longer than 64 characters, a stack buffer overflow is triggered in the NetUSB service.
Link to Original Source

+ - NASA gives away over 1000 of its tool to the public->

Submitted by ganjadude
ganjadude writes: Once again NASA is giving back to the people. They just recently released over 1000 of the tools that it uses to the people in its second annual Software Catalog.
From the article :

The program tools are organized into 15 separate categories, which range in scope from aeronautics and propulsion, to system testing and handling, according to the catalog.
For example, the Vehicle Sketch Pad, or OpenVSP, is a tool NASA uses to design aircrafts by way of geometry modeling.

so go have a look and see what kind of use you can get from these tools
Link to Original Source

+ - European telecom firms may block all mobile ads, spelling trouble for Google->

Submitted by Mark Wilson
Mark Wilson writes: Google is facing something of a European revolution as mobile companies consider blocking ads on a massive scale. Israeli company Shine has developed software that blocks mobile ads, and it has gained the attention and support of a number of telecom companies in Europe.

Talking to the Financial Times, one wireless carrier said that the software had been installed at its data centers and could be enabled by the end of the year. With the potential to automatically block most ads on web pages and within apps, the repercussion of the ad boycott could be huge as mobile providers try to wrestle control from the likes of Google.

Link to Original Source

+ - State-Sized Ice Shelf In Antarctica To Disappear In 5 Years

Submitted by BarbaraHudson
BarbaraHudson writes: CBC is reporting on a study that predicts a chunk the size of Rhode Island will disintegrate around 2020.

The study's lead scientist, Ala Khazendar, said analysis of the data reveals that a widening rift in Larsen B will eventually break it apart completely, probably around the year 2020. Once that happens, glaciers held in place by the ice shelf will slip into the ocean at a faster rate and contribute to rising sea levels. The study also found Leppard and Flask, two main tributary glaciers of the ice shelf, have thinned by 20 to 22 metres (between 65 and 72 feet) in recent years, and the pace of their shrinking has accelerated since the immediate aftermath of the 2002 partial collapse of the ice shelf.

It's not so hard to lift yourself by your bootstraps once you're off the ground. -- Daniel B. Luten

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