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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


+ - Malls track shoppers' cell phones on Black Friday -> 2

Submitted by
antdude writes "CNNMoney report that "... your cell phone may be tracked this year. Starting on Black Friday and running through New Year's Day, two United States/U.S. malls ... will track guests' movements by monitoring the signals from their cell phones.

While the data that's collected is anonymous, it can follow shoppers' paths from store to store.

The goal is for stores to answer questions ...

While U.S. malls have long tracked how crowds move throughout their stores, this is the first time they've used cell phones.

But obtaining that information comes with privacy concerns..."

Seen on Blue's News."

Link to Original Source

Comment: No causal link (Score 1) 376

by Thaddeus (#30831324) Attached to: Sitting Down Too Long Is Bad Even If You Exercise

I hate reading about studies only in mass media outlets because of the lack of critical evaluation. Unfortunately the real study isn't showing up in the Circulation journal's past three issues and they never did give the complete title.

However, even the LA Times article states "researchers found a statistical relationship between long hours of TV viewing and a shortened life span, but the study did not go so far as to find a direct cause".

This means the results are interesting and the subject should be further evaluated in a controlled study, but are useless for practical purposes. We don't know if it was the sedentary behavior or something else, like the potato chips and soda that often go with watching TV. It may be that their conclusion is correct, but it's impossible to know from this type of study.


One Variety of Sea Slugs Cuts Out the Energy Middleman 232

Posted by timothy
from the would-never-leave-the-house dept.
dragonturtle69 writes with this story, short on details but interesting: "These sea slugs, Elysia chlorotica, have evolved the ability to gain energy via photosynthesis. Forget about genetic modifications for sports enhancements. I want to be able to never need to eat again — or do I?"

Simulation of Close Asteroid Fly-By 148

Posted by Soulskill
from the close-enough-to-feel-the-vacuum-breeze dept.
c0mpliant writes "NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory have released a simulation of the path of an asteroid, named Apophis, that will come very close to Earth in 2029 — the closest predicted approach since humans have monitored for such heavenly bodies. The asteroid caused a bit of a scare when astronomers first announced that it would enter Earth's neighborhood some time in the future. However, since that announcement in 2004, more recent calculations have put the odds of collision at 1 in 250,000."

3D Blu-ray Spec Finalized, PS3 Supported 157

Posted by Soulskill
from the but-at-least-one-dimension-will-have-drm dept.
Lucas123 writes "The Blu-ray Disc Association announced today that it has finalized the specification for Blu-ray 3-D discs. The market for 3-D, which includes 3-D enabled televisions, is expected to be $15.8 billion by 2015. Blu-ray 3-D will create a full 1080p resolution image for both eyes using MPEG4-MVC format. Even though two hi-def images are produced, the overhead is typically only 50% compared to equivalent 2D content. The spec also allows PS3 game consoles to play Blu-ray 3-D content. 'The specification also incorporates enhanced graphic features for 3D. These features provide a new experience for users, enabling navigation using 3D graphic menus and displaying 3D subtitles positioned in 3D video.'"

Yellowstone Supervolcano Larger Than First Thought 451

Posted by timothy
from the even-superer dept.
drewtheman writes "New studies of the plumbing that feeds the Yellowstone supervolcano in Wyoming's Yellowstone National Park shows the plume and the magma chamber under the volcano are larger than first thought and contradicts claims that only shallow hot rock exists. University of Utah research professor of geophysics Robert Smith led four separate studies that verify a plume of hot and molten rock at least 410 miles deep that rises at an angle from the northwest."

Bing Search Tainted By Pro-Microsoft Results 582

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the first-be-evil dept.
bdcny7927 writes "Just as Bing is gaining popularity, some disturbingly pro-Microsoft and anti-Apple search results are rearing their ugly heads. Case in point: a search on Bing for the phrase, 'Why is Windows so expensive?' returned this as the top link: 'Why are Macs so expensive.' That's right. You're not hallucinating."

Bitterness To Be Classified As a Mental Illness 511

Posted by samzenpus
from the that-should-fix-everything dept.
Some psychiatrists are trying to get excessive bitterness identified as a mental illness named post-traumatic embitterment disorder. Of course this has some people who live perfect little lives, and always get what they want, questioning the new classification. The so called "disorder" is modeled after post-traumatic stress disorder because it too is a response to a trauma that endures. "They feel the world has treated them unfairly. It's one step more complex than anger. They're angry plus helpless," says Dr. Michael Linden, the psychiatrist who put a name to how the world works.

Comment: Re:deniers come out in 3 .. 2 .. 1 .. (Score 1) 658

by Thaddeus (#27986325) Attached to: Ocean Circulation Doesn't Work As Expected

Here's a discussion of a study that supports my point nicely.

As I stated, fully half of people with heart disease have normal serum cholesterol levels. No one denies this. So it's a poor indicator - anyone with a good cholesterol test result still needs to be told that there's an equal chance they have heart disease anyway. There are better indicators such as C-reactive protein that are largely ignored. Even the recent, terminally biased JUPITER study gives that method of detection a backhanded compliment.

Comment: Re:deniers come out in 3 .. 2 .. 1 .. (Score 1) 658

by Thaddeus (#27971177) Attached to: Ocean Circulation Doesn't Work As Expected

The data in the Framingham study does agree with me. And so does the data in every other study out there - there is not a single one that demonstrates causality.

The meta-analysis you link to does no better - it shows only a correlation (their word: "association") that is useless to any practitioner. Meta-analyses are always suspect because the input studies and parameters are cherry-picked to have the desired outcome.

Comment: Re:deniers come out in 3 .. 2 .. 1 .. (Score 5, Insightful) 658

by Thaddeus (#27967693) Attached to: Ocean Circulation Doesn't Work As Expected

Please. Researchers ignore data that break their theories all the time.

It may be worst in the medical world. For example, why do you think that cholesterol is targeted as enemy number one for heart health? There is no study that has ever demonstrated causality; 50% of people with heart disease have "normal" cholesterol; nearly all studies on the subject show that all-cause mortality is higher with low cholesterol; much better working theories exist.

So why is that hypothesis still treated as correct? Because reputations and huge amounts of money would be lost. Prominent people and institutions may even be found liable. Good science goes out the window in the face of that.

Regarding the subject at hand, you might want to look at what an ad hoc hypothesis is.

Linux Business

He's a Mac, He's a PC, But We're Linux! 508

Posted by timothy
from the those-other-people-are-blenders dept.
davidmwilliams writes "Earlier this year the Linux Foundation launched a competition for budding writers, film makers and just general Linux enthusiasts to make their own grassroots advertisement to compete with Apple's highly-successful 'I'm a Mac' series of adverts. The winner has now been announced."
Social Networks

Facebook Users Get Lower Grades In College 284

Posted by timothy
from the but-doodlers-do-fine dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "According to a survey of college students Facebook users have lower overall grades than non-users. The study by Aryn Karpinski, an education researcher at Ohio State University, found that Facebook user GPAs are in the 3.0 to 3.5 range on average, compared to 3.5 to 4.0 for non-users and that Facebook users also studied anywhere from one to five hours per week, compared to non-users who studied 11 to 15 or more hours per week. Karpinski emphasized that correlation does not equal causation and that the grades association could be caused by something else. 'I'm just saying that there's some kind of relationship there, and there's many third variables that need to be studied.' One hypothesis is that students who spend more time enjoying themselves rather than studying might tend to latch onto the nearest distraction, such as Facebook or that students who use the social networking site might also spend more time on other non-studying activities such as sports or music. 'It may be that if it wasn't for Facebook, some students would still find other ways to avoid studying, and would still get lower grades. But perhaps the lower GPAs could actually be because students are spending too much time socializing online.' As for herself, Karpinski said she doesn't have a Facebook account, although the co-author of the study does. 'For me, I think Facebook is a huge distraction.'"

Microsoft Shoots Own Foot In Iceland 476

Posted by kdawson
from the blood-from-a-stone-middleman dept.
David Gerard writes "The Microsoft Certified Partner model is: an MCP buys contracts from Microsoft and sells them to businesses as a three-year timed contract, payable in annual installments. Iceland's economy has collapsed, so 1500 businesses have gone bankrupt and aren't paying the fees any more. But Microsoft has told the MCPs: 'Our deal was with you, not them. Pay up.' The MCPs that don't go bankrupt in turn are moving headlong to Free Software, taking most of the country with them. (Warning: link contains strong language and vivid imagery.)"

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