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An Algorithm To Prevent Twitter Hashtag Degeneration 162

Bennett Haselton writes The corruption of the #Ferguson and #Gamergate hashtags demonstrates how vulnerable the hashtag system is to being swamped by an "angry mob". An alternative algorithm could be created that would allow users to post tweets and browse the ones that had been rated "thoughtful" by other users participating in the same discussion. This would still allow anyone to contribute, even average users lacking a large follower base, while keeping the most stupid and offensive tweets out of most people's feeds. Keep reading to see what Bennett has to say.

Snapchat Says Users Were Victimized By Their Use of Third-Party Apps 90

Lucas123 writes: Reports that the servers of photo messaging site Snapchat were hacked are being denied by the company, which is now is saying its users were instead victimized by their use of third-party apps to send and receive Snaps. Hackers on 4chan have said broke into the site and they're preparing to release 200,000 photos or videos in their own database that will be searchable by Snapchatter name. According to one report, the third-party Snapchat client app enabled access for years to the data that was supposed have been deleted. The hackers have said they have a 13GB photo library. For its part, Snapchat in a statement reiterated its Terms of Use Policy, that "expressly prohibits" third-party app use "because they compromise our users' security."

New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100 326

vinces99 (2792707) writes Using modern statistical tools, a new study led by the University of Washington and the United Nations finds that world population is likely to keep growing throughout the 21st century. The number of people on Earth is likely to reach 11 billion by 2100, the study concludes, about 2 billion higher than widely cited previous estimates. The paper published online Sept. 18 in the journal Science includes the most up-to-date numbers for future world population, and describes a new method for creating such estimates. "The consensus over the past 20 years or so was that world population, which is currently around 7 billion, would go up to 9 billion and level off or probably decline," said corresponding author Adrian Raftery, a UW professor of statistics and of sociology. ... The paper explains the most recent United Nations population data released in July. This is the first U.N. population report to use modern statistics, known as Bayesian statistics, that combines all available information to generate better predictions.

Most of the anticipated growth is in Africa, where population is projected to quadruple from around 1 billion today to 4 billion by the end of the century. The main reason is that birth rates in sub-Saharan Africa have not been going down as fast as had been expected. There is an 80 percent chance that the population in Africa at the end of the century will be between 3.5 billion and 5.1 billion people.

Comment Unfortunate, but Just (Score 1) 491

He is definitely guilty. He did the things with which they're accusing him. The punishment of that crime is straightforward.

However, I think he is a patriot and should be lauded for his efforts. When he did it, he knew that this was what he risked. He obviously felt that it was worth it to provide such a tremendous service to his country. I applaud him and consider him a national hero for making such a sacrifice for me and everyone else. I would like to think I would do the same, but without being placed in that situation, I obviously can't say for sure. He can. His moral character was tested and he passed with flying colors.

This is the way things should/need to work. If there weren't consequences, we'd have all sorts of deluded people releasing classified documents (that they - possibly errantly - felt needed to be released) because they thought they'd just be allowed to go on their way (the world needs to know that we use slightly too weak of bolts on our drones, so here are the plans to prove it!).

The best possible timeline for this type of situation in my opinion:
1. He releases documents and is exposed as doing so
2. He is arrested and tried for the crime
3. He is found guilty and sentenced
4. If the public good that came from the action is so dramatic as to warrant it, he should receive a pardon (but that doesn't mean he shouldn't have been found guilty to begin with).

Of course, I won't hold my breath for the pardon, though. Politicians are too concerned with appearances to risk being "soft" on "terrorism" (everything bad is "terrorism", don't you know).

I salute you Bradley Manning. Serve your sentence with pride.


Submission + - Google Denies Android Botnet Claim

An anonymous reader writes: After a Microsoft engineer claimed he discovered an Android botnet sending out spam on an international scale, Google has denied the allegations. "The evidence does not support the Android botnet claim," a Google spokesperson said in a statement. "Our analysis suggests that spammers are using infected computers and a fake mobile signature to try to bypass anti-spam mechanisms in the email platform they're using."

Submission + - Ask slashdot: If and when do bonus's actually improve your coding-> 1

An anonymous reader writes: A new blog post argues that compensation for programmers that relies heavily on individual incentive payments (typical bonuses, for example) are a fools errand because economic and psychological theory suggest that they're tough to implement correctly, and because most hackers earn enough that they won't kill themselves for a little more. Do you get bonuses at your job? Do you do better work because of it? Can your manager really tell the difference? Have you ever taken short cuts with quality to earn a bonus?
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Android Upgrade Report Card: Who Failed in Q2?->

CWmike writes: "Google's Android 4.1 Jelly Bean release may be making all the headlines these days, but for many users, Android 4.0 — Ice Cream Sandwich — is still the object of desire. Android 4.0 started rolling out to devices last December. As of early July, though, it's on just 11 percent of devices, according to Google's own measurements. And that means the vast majority of people are still waiting for a taste. It's inevitable that upgrade availability and timing will vary to some extent from one device to the next; Nexus devices aside, after all, it's up to manufacturers to prepare and provide Android OS upgrades. For better and sometimes for worse, that's the nature of Android's open source model. There may not be a centralized system for upgrade standards, but there is a level of accountability. Many manufacturers make promises for when their devices will be upgraded — and with the second quarter now behind us, it's time to check up on those promises once again to see who followed through and who let us down."
Link to Original Source

Submission + - MIT Researchers Develop Needle-Less, Painless Way To Inject Drugs->

redletterdave writes: "MIT researchers unveiled a prototype device on Thursday that uses a new way to administer drugs, replacing the common needle with a tiny, highly-controllable jet injector, which sends a high-pressured stream directly into the skin. The jet can both inject into and aspirate from tissue, and the device is controlled via a computer interface, which can control the volume of the drug delivery, and the velocity at which it moves. But besides giving doctors better control over injections, the best part of this technology is that it is virtually painless — in fact, patients won't feel much of anything at all. The fine jet that comes out of the device is about the same diameter as a mosquito proboscis, which makes it perfect for those with needle phobias or those who inject frequently. The device's technology can also deliver drugs through the eye and into the retina, through the tympanic membrane and into the middle and inner ear, and it can even vibrate powder so it behaves like a liquid to be injected."
Link to Original Source

Digital Face-Swapping Getting Cheaper 62

Zothecula writes "If you've seen the film The Social Network, then you might have wondered about the identical Winklevoss twins — were a real-life pair of twins cast for the roles, or was it a bit of Hollywood magic? Well, it was magic. Although two different actors' bodies were used, their faces both belonged to actor Armie Hammer. After the movie was shot, the body double's face was digitally replaced with Armie's. While such computer-enabled face-swapping trickery has so far been available only to feature film-makers with deep pockets, that could be about to change, thanks to research being conducted at Harvard University (PDF)."

Submission + - Chrome Set To Take No. 2 Spot From Firefox->

CWmike writes: "Google's Chrome is on the brink of replacing Firefox as the second-most-popular browser, says the Web statistics firm StatCounter, which shows that Chrome will pass Firefox to take the No. 2 spot behind Microsoft's IE no later than December. As of Wednesday, Chrome's global average user share for September was 23.6%, while Firefox's stood at 26.8%. IE, meanwhile, was at 41.7%. The climb of Chrome during 2011 has been astonishing: It has gained eight percentage point since January 2011, representing a 50% increase. During that same period, Firefox has dropped almost four percentage points, a decline of about 13%, while IE has also fallen four points, a 9% dip. That means Chrome is essentially reaping all the defections from Firefox and IE."
Link to Original Source

Comment Re:Publicity whore for a "scientist" (Score 1) 286

Certainly, intriguing, but not "dead ringer proof". It could also be that fraternal twins are more likely to be tested for autism if their twin is diagnosed than a non-twin sibling. You have to keep in mind that those statistics aren't giving chances of _having_ autism. Instead, they're giving changes for being _diagnosed_ with autism.

Comment Re:Pure Arrogance (Score 1) 495

Yes, you were opposing certain code review comments, not opposing having code reviews. Which is what the conversation is about.

Of course you don't have to blindly make every change that comes up in a code review. That's almost as bad as having no code review. You have a conversation with the person who made the comments and provide a compelling argument on why they should complete the code review without those changes being made.


Could the US Phase Out Nuclear Power? 657

mdsolar writes "In the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, [German Chancellor] Merkel announced that her country would close all of its 17 existing reactors by 2022. Other nations, including Japan, Italy, and Switzerland, have announced plans to pare back nuclear power, but none have gone as far as Germany, the world's fourth-largest economy. Merkel vows to replace nuclear power with alternatives that do not increase greenhouse gases or shackle the economic growth. Could the US do the same? An increasing number of reports suggest it is not beyond the realm of possibility, and Germany could provide a road map."

"I have not the slightest confidence in 'spiritual manifestations.'" -- Robert G. Ingersoll