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Businesses

Tesla Plans To Power Its Gigafactory With Renewables Alone 260

Posted by samzenpus
from the saving-energy dept.
AmiMoJo writes In his press conference, Elon Musk stated that the factory will produce all of its own energy using a combination of solar, wind, and geothermal. Engineering.com looks at the feasibility of the plans. Spoiler alert: it looks possible, though some storage will be required. Fortunately, if there is one thing the Gigafactory won't be short of it's batteries. From the article: "The numbers don’t lie. The site could realistically produce more than 2900 MWh of renewable electricity each day ... 20% more than it needs. These are conservative estimates on production and worst-case estimates on consumption, and it’s clear that there’s enough renewable energy to run the plant with some to spare."
Math

How Often Do Economists Commit Misconduct? 305

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the easier-this-way dept.
schwit1 (797399) writes A survey of professional academic economists finds that a large percentage are quite willing to cheat or fake data to get the results they want. From the paper's abstract: "This study reports the results of a survey of professional, mostly academic economists about their research norms and scientific misbehavior. Behavior such as data fabrication or plagiarism are (almost) unanimously rejected and admitted by less than 4% of participants. Research practices that are often considered 'questionable,' e.g., strategic behavior while analyzing results or in the publication process, are rejected by at least 60%. Despite their low justifiability, these behaviors are widespread. Ninety-four percent report having engaged in at least one unaccepted research practice."

That less than 4% engage in "data fabrication or plagiarism" might seem low, but it is a terrible statistic . ... 40% admit to doing what they agree are "questionable" research practices, while 94% admit to committing "at least one unaccepted research practice." In other words, almost none of these academic economists can be trusted in the slightest. As the paper notes, "these behaviors are widespread.""
Government

White House Worried About Discrimination Through Analytics 231

Posted by Soulskill
from the codifying-the-digital-divide dept.
Cludge writes "Describing concerns about the potential for big data methods to inadvertently classify people by race, religion, income or other forms of discrimination, the White House announced it will release a report next week that reviews the adequacy of existing privacy laws and regulations in the era of online data collection. The review, led by Obama's senior counselor, John Podesta, will outline concerns about whether methods used for commercial applications may be inherently vulnerable to inadvertent discrimination. 'He described a program called "Street Bump" in Boston that detected pot-holes using sensors in smartphones of citizens who had downloaded an app. The program inadvertently directed repair crews to wealthier neighborhoods, where people were more likely to carry smartphones and download the app.' 'It's easy to imagine how big data technology, if used to cross legal lines we have been careful to set, could end up reinforcing existing inequities in housing, credit, employment, health and education,' he said."

+ - US nuclear commander suspended over gambling->

Submitted by mdsolar
mdsolar (1045926) writes "The No 2 officer at the military command in charge of all US nuclear war-fighting forces has been suspended and is under investigation by the naval criminal investigation command for issues related to gambling, officials said on Saturday.

The highly unusual action against a high-ranking officer at US strategic command was made more than three weeks ago but not publicly announced.

Air force general Robert Kehler, who heads Strategic Command, suspended the deputy commander, navy vice admiral Tim Giardina, from his duties on September 3, according to the command's top spokeswoman, navy captain Pamela Kunze. Giardina is still assigned to the command but is prohibited from performing duties related to nuclear weapons and other issues requiring a security clearance, she said."

Link to Original Source

+ - GE Canada struggling to find PDP-11 programmers for its nuclear control systems 5

Submitted by AmiMoJo
AmiMoJo (196126) writes "A representative from GE Canada has posted a job offer to the Vintage Computer forum for a PDP-11 assembly language programmer. Apparently the original job posting failed to turn up any qualified candidates to support the nuclear industry's existing robotic control systems, which they say they are committed to running until 2050. If they are having trouble finding anyone now one wonders how hard it will be in 37 years time."

+ - First Cases of Flesh-Eating Drug Emerge in the United States

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Having spent the last decade wreaking havoc in Russia, Eliza Gray reports at Time Magazine that a flesh-eating drug called Krokodil has arrived in Arizona where the Banner Poison Control center has reported the first two users of the drug which makes user’s skin scaly and green before it rots away (Warning: Graphic Images). Made of codeine, a painkiller often used in cough syrup, and a mix of other materials including gasoline, paint thinner, and alcohol, Krokodil become popular in Russia, where it was first reported in 2002, because it costs 20 times less than heroin and can be made easily at home. Also known as Desomorphine, Krokodil has sedative and analgesic effects, and is around 8-10 times more potent than morphine and when the drug is injected, it rots the skin by rupturing blood vessels, causing the tissue to die. As a result, the skin hardens and rots, sometimes even falling off to expose the bone. ”These people are the ultimate in self-destructive drug addiction,” says Dr. Ellen Marmur. “Once you are an addict at this level, any rational thinking doesn’t apply.” The average life span of a Krokodil user is two to three years, according to a 2011 TIME investigation of the drug’s prevalence in Russia."

+ - Georgia Tech and Udacity to offer $7K Masters' degree in CS

Submitted by SysKoll
SysKoll (48967) writes "Is the college bubble about to pop for good? Georgia Tech and Udacity are offering http://www.omscs.gatech.edu/"> the first accredited Online Master of Science in Computer Science taught entirely online. The $7K cost is subsidized through a partnership with AT&T (who sponsors the program to the tune of $2M). Bonus: if you don't want to enroll for credits and a degree, you'll still be able to view the course for free on Udacity. $7K would not even cover a year if out-of-state tuition at many state colleges. Enrollment opens in Fall 2014. The exams will be proctored in one of 4500 facilities, so no cheating!"

Comment: Putin's crackdown on human rights (Score 4, Insightful) 195

by SysKoll (#43727657) Attached to: Russia Captures Alleged American CIA Agent In Moscow

Yeah, as the OP said, there is a lot of concern about Putin's crackdown on human rights. Why, the rumor is that he is using the tax administration to harass opponents and that his chief Justice has grabbed phone records from news agencies that don't tow the line.

Fortunately, such things would never happen in the US.

Comment: Biologist Remy Chauvin (Score 1) 130

by SysKoll (#43692635) Attached to: Transfusions Reverse Aging Effects On Hearts In Mice

I remember reading similar research in the 1980s. Biologist Remy Chauvin was observing rejuvenating effects of transfusions in animals and trying to generate interest for seriously studying and understanding the phenomenon. The ossified "scientific community" laughed him out of the room. He was very bitter about it because he knew he was up to something.

Even if this doesn't translate into a fountain of youth, this is still a major scientific breakthrough.

Government

Richard Stallman's Solution To 'Too Big To Fail' 649

Posted by Soulskill
from the tax-each-line-of-unreleased-code dept.
lcam writes "A Richard Stallman opinion piece appears at Reuters addressing the 'Too big to fail' view that has recently caused large corporations to be bailed out by taxpayer dollars. His solution is elegant: 'We tax a company’s gross income, with a tax rate that increases as the company gets bigger. Companies would be able to reduce their tax rates by splitting themselves up.' However, it could use some refining. For example, his measure would create a required minimum 'Return on Investment' scale that corporations need to follow to be viable, and these types of metrics are very industry specific. Another issue is that many large corporations stay in business because they don't take unnecessary risk. Companies like Intel, Lockheed, Walmart are very large and have a very low chance of failure, yet Stallman would have them split up as a result of the excessive risks that banks and insurance companies were seen to have taken. It also has the potential to cause problems with the global market; some multinationals may find it better to simply 'move out' to a country that doesn't compromise their business models. How can this idea be made better?"

Comment: Failed operation (Score 4, Informative) 100

by SysKoll (#42599937) Attached to: Rare Earth Elements Found In Jamaican Mud
The Chinese government had grabbed the rare earth market by cutting down prices (yes, labor camps and lax pollution rules help). Then they restricted supply, attempting to force Western manufacturers to bring to China all productions of materials using rare earths. Within months, out-of-China RE production that was shut down because of cost resumed, and prices actually went down. It's all in this amusing article written by a guy who used to trade this stuff.
United States

3D Printable Ammo Clip Skirts New Proposed Gun Laws 1862

Posted by timothy
from the they'll-3d-print-you-a-fine-and-a-cell-door dept.
Sparrowvsrevolution writes "Over the past weekend, Defense Distributed successfully 3D-printed and tested a magazine for an AR semi-automatic rifle, loading and firing 86 rounds from the 30-round clip. That homemade chunk of curved plastic holds special significance: Between 1994 and 2004, so-called 'high capacity magazines' capable of holding more than 10 bullets were banned from sale. And a new gun control bill proposed by California Senator Dianne Feinstein in the wake of recent shootings would ban those larger ammo clips again. President Obama has also voiced support for the magazine restrictions. Defense Distributed says it hopes to preempt any high capacity magazine ban by showing how impossible it has become to prevent the creation of a simple spring-loaded box in the age of cheap 3D printing. It's posted the 3D-printable magazine blueprints on its website, Defcad.org, and gun enthusiasts have already downloaded files related to the ammo holders more than 2,200 times." Update: 01/15 23:15 GMT by T : Mea culpa; please blame my flu for mistakenly letting through that headline with "clip" where it should say "magazine." I know the difference — and I don't own any clips.
Piracy

Hollywood Agent Ari Emanuel Wants a Magic 'Stop Piracy' Button 269

Posted by Soulskill
from the take-two-they're-small dept.
closer2it writes "At this week's All Things D conference, Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher invited Hollywood agent Ari Emanuel. He spoke about things like TV not dying, cord-cutting being some kind of myth, and that googlers are smart guys and they should do something about the stealing of content. Josh Topolsky, from The Verge, apparently challenged him (video) on this point, asking: 'Aren't you saying that the road is responsible for the fact that someone drove on it before they robbed my house?' Emanuel didn't like this analogy, and even ended the reply asking Topolsky where he works. Mike Masnick also wrote a piece about the interview. I guess that if the Internet has enemies, I'd say Emanuel gives them a face."

Comment: "New study"? It was published in 2001! (Score 1) 243

by SysKoll (#39167283) Attached to: Study Suggests Climate Change-Induced Drought Caused the Mayan Collapse

Some new study. It was "new" when it was first published in Science in 2001? http://www.sciencemag.org/content/292/5520/1367.short

This is one of many papers showing that 1. The Mayan empire was subject to a series of droughts that finally offed them, and 2. That variations of solar activities caused these droughts.

It doesn't "suggest" anything, it forcibly affirms it with tons of data to accompany it.

Physician: One upon whom we set our hopes when ill and our dogs when well. -- Ambrose Bierce

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