Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:ironically (Score 1) 320

After reading the first line of your comment I was ready to fire off a reply along the lines of 'fuck off you callous...etc'

However, given what you thought happened does really put it into perspective and I likely would have felt the same. I never had to live with the fear of nuclear war, so it's hard to imagine the kind of stress and fear that could cause. To think that the 'unthinkable' had happened must have been a gut-punch.

Comment In Utero (Score 3, Informative) 320

I personally was about 5 months shy of dropping out, but my father-in-law was best friends with the pilot of the Challenger. They grew up together in Beaufort, NC and both went to the Naval Academy (my father-in-law went into submarines though). He and my mother-in-law were invited to go down to the launch but couldn't because she had just given birth to my wife!

He's still pissed off about it. It was a purely political decision to launch that day. The engineers said they shouldn't and said there was an unnecessary risk due to exact problem that ended up happening. But because it was already delayed several times before, they were pressured to launch against the engineer's recommendations. Because of that people needlessly died.

Comment Something Useful/Relevant?! (Score 1) 41

Holy crap! Yahoo released something actually useful and arguably innovative? I'm genuinely surprised.

This could be an interesting direction for Yahoo.

ML is the bee's knees.

PS-I just looked up the etymology on 'the bee's knees' and it's moderately interesting:


Autonomous Cars Aren't As Smart as They're Cracked Up To Be (computerworld.com) 258

Gill Pratt, executive technical adviser at Toyota, offers a note of caution, even as more car companies start putting AI elements into their cars. Speaking in Tokyo at the announcement of a Silicon Valley AI research center that Toyota is to open in early 2016, Pratt pointed out the big shortcoming in an AI system as applied to automobile: Autonomous cars might look great in controlled tests or on pristine highways, "but soon fail when faced with tasks that human drivers find simple." From the article: Drivers, for example, can pretty much get behind the wheel of a car and drive it wherever it may be, he said. Autonomous vehicles use GPS and laser imaging sensors to figure out where they are by matching data against a complex map that goes beyond simple roads and includes details down to lane markings. The cars rely on all that data to drive, so they quickly hit problems in areas that haven't been mapped in advance. ... A truly intelligent self-driving car needs artificial intelligence that can figure out where it is even if it has no map or GPS, and manage to navigate highways and follow routes even if there are diversions or changing in lane markings, he said. I regularly drive a stretch of road that's just a few miles long, but between construction, accidents, poor marking, bicycles, and heavy traffic I'd be nervous about letting an AI system navigate. In what real-world driving scenarios would you most want humans to take over?

Controversial Company Offers a New Way To Make a Baby (sciencemag.org) 80

sciencehabit writes: A controversial fertility company called OvaScience is preoccupied by an enduring mystery in human biology--why eggs fail--and the palpable hope that we can do something about it. The company offers a new treatment, called AUGMENT, based on what it considers to be egg precursor cells found in a woman's ovaries. AUGMENT, which costs UP TO $25,000, along with thousands more in clinic fees and roughly $25,000 for the IVF cycle that must accompany it, relies on mitochondria from putative egg precursor cells to boost the success of in vitro fertilization (IVF). Seventeen babies have been born so far. The company, which has attracted hundreds of millions of dollars from investors, is poised to introduce a second treatment. But many scientists doubt that egg precursor cells actually exist.

The Diversity Issue Silicon Valley Isn't Trying To Fix: Age Discrimination (medium.com) 362

An anonymous reader writes: The tech industry has recognized it isn't as welcoming to women or minorities as it should be, and is loudly taking steps to solve that issue. Major companies are now releasing diversity reports to highlight their efforts. But as Stephen Levy points out, none of them seem interested in doing something about a different diversity issue that's been pervading Silicon Valley for years: age discrimination. He says, "One company, Payscale, does supply some estimates. Looking at its numbers in 2012, Payscale noted, 'The typical tech employee wasn't around for the original release of Star Wars. And as of last year, the average age at Google was 30; at Facebook, 28; LinkedIn, 29, and Apple, 31. In comparison, the average age in more traditional tech industries like data processing or web publishing was almost 10 years higher than Silicon Valley/Internet firms. In my view, age information should be included in those diversity reports, to underline the need for change— and, even more important, those in charge of company cultures should view age diversity as a plus. Right now, that's not happening."

Where the Tech Industry's Political Donations Are Going 130

An anonymous reader writes: Early estimates suggest the 2016 U.S. presidential election will result in $5-10 billion in spending by candidates and organizations — much more than ever before. To support this, they need lots of contributions, and the tech industry is becoming a significant player. (Not as much as the financial industry, of course, but tech's influence is growing.) Re/Code breaks down which candidates are getting the most money from the tech sector so far. Right now, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) has gotten the most tech money by far — more than the rest of the field combined, thanks in large part to Larry Ellison. Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida, is a distant second, followed closely by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT). New Jersey governor Chris Christie and Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) are the only other candidates with significant tech contributions so far. Carly Fiorina, a tech industry veteran, has only managed about $13,000 in donations.

Slashdot Top Deals

"Life is a garment we continuously alter, but which never seems to fit." -- David McCord