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+ - Ask Slashdot: What Will Happen To All The Data Google Collects?

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "About two thirds of websites run Google code (mostly Analytics, AdSense, and +1) that tells Google what you do there and where you came from. Analytics is used by 63% of Fortune 500 companies and 71% of the top 10k websites. 800 million Android phones are in use (that's 11% of all humans), telling Google pretty much everywhere they go, everything they do, and everyone they talk to. Millions of people use Google Maps, telling Google their home and their destinations. Over 400 million people use Gmail, telling Google everything they write and receive by email. Plus untold millions use Google Toolbar. Does Google do anything with this data? And even if they "don't be evil" with it today, is there anything stopping them from "being evil" with it tomorrow? What about 10 years from now when Google's assets are up for sale to the highest bidder... what will they do with this data?"

+ - Big Bang's Final Prediction Directly Confirmed!

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang (3485481) writes "The Big Bang has, among its predictions, three cornerstones: the Hubble Expansion of the Universe, the Cosmic Microwave Background, and the abundance of the Light Elements due to Big Bang Nucleosynthesis. The first one has been confirmed to spectacular accuracy, and with the COBE, WMAP and Planck satellites, the spectrum and fluctuations in the CMB rule out almost every other feasible alternative. But detecting the abundance of the light elements directly has always run into a difficulty: the formation of stars in the Universe pollutes the intergalactic medium, ruining our ability to see anything "pristine." We'd have to get incredibly lucky, to find a region of molecular gas that had never formed stars in-between our line-of-sight to a quasar or bright galaxy. For nearly 70 years, that didn't happen, and then all of a sudden, we found two. The Big Bang stands tall after all!"

Comment: Re:This is not a new or unique problem (Score 2) 124

Though it is complicated by the government service issue, there are ways to measure performance...

- Salt the case load with fictitious, bogus applications intended to be declined. In fact, this can both detect work that is disingenuous, and start applying some quality checks. Applications that are so flawed as to be obvious can be expected to fall through as approved if examiners are just phoning it in.

- Break up the review process, no insight into the next step for any examiner. At some point, some examiners will be doing too little work to keep up, or the backlog will inspire some investigation. Perhaps.

- This is an oldie. Full tracking of the examiner's work, down to the keystroke.

- Even older, time to put up the performance chart. Peer pressure will probably not work in Civil Service, but it's a valiant try nonetheless.

Now, the real trick is how to measure performance. That scares me.

There's no need to salt the system with bogus applications. Simply review a sample of each employees work.

Comment: Re:Solution looking for a problem (Score 3, Insightful) 115

by Shavano (#47858337) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Robotics or Electronic Kits For Wounded Veterans?

It's possible that they thought that was what they were doing, but it wasn't what they were really doing, at least not if they got hurt in Iraq or Afghanistan after 2002. Nevertheless, I have sympathy for them because they got seriously screwed over the the government.

Comment: Re:Only a surprise if... (Score 1) 188

Well, I guess even Art Bell isn't always wrong.

But there's far more than just the government keeping you from getting useful news out of US news sources. They focus on what's cheap to produce and give you a steaming pile of it: sports "news", uninteresting "human interest" stories, commercials disguised as news, etc.

Comment: Re:No surprise here (Score 1) 188

It's interesting that you imagine this kind of behavior to be a new thing. As someone previously stated, this is what some reporters stoop to in order to get "access" that they hope other reporters won't have. It looks like Dilanian did it the wrong way, allowing the CIA to become his editors.

And if a news organization uses information from the government sources carefully, it can occasionally get information that you might not otherwise hear. Certainly what the CIA says about something that the CIA probably knows about is part of what the public ought to know, but it needs to be prefaced with something like, "according to official CIA sources" so the readers know they're reading what the government wants them to hear.

Comment: Re:Moon Ring Math (Score 1) 330

by Shavano (#46320587) Attached to: Japanese Firm Proposes Microwave-Linked Solar Plant On the Moon

adjustments:

At any time, half of it is iluminated, forming the equivalent normal illuminated area of 3500km x 200km. Supposing the area utilization within the band is 90%, that's 630,000 square kilometers or 630E9 square meter. Assuming they're Si-heterostructure cells, they can produce 126 terawatts. Then the problem becomes not do you have enough power, but can you get it to Earth in a practical manner?

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