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Comment: Re:Land costs (Score 1) 356

by VorpalRodent (#49241957) Attached to: New Solar Capacity Beats Coal and Wind, Again

Have there been any studies regarding the climate impact of solar installations themselves? Cities, with all their concrete and glass and whatnot, affect their local climate. It seems like adding a crap ton of shiny things across huge swaths of land would have a similar impact (or, when in an urban area, exacerbate the effect).

I'm neither a climate scientist nor particularly familiar with the research on the effects of urban areas, and while CO2 emissions have a global impact, I'd be interested in the tradeoff of a lessened global impact alongside a stronger local impact.

Input Devices

The Algorithm That 'Sees' Beauty In Photographic Portraits 76

Posted by timothy
from the see-truth-and-extrapolate dept.
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But what if the beholder is a machine? Scientists from Yahoo Labs in Barcelona have trained a machine learning algorithm to pick out beautiful photographic portraits from a collection of not-so-beautiful ones. They began with a set of 10,000 portraits that have been rated by humans and then allowed the algorithm to "learn" the difference by taking into account personal factors such as the age, sex and race of the subject as well as technical factors such as the sharpness of the image, the exposure and the contrast between the face and the background and so on. The trained algorithm was then able to reliably pick out the most beautiful portraits. Curiously, the algorithm does this by ignoring personal details such as age, sex, race, eye colour and so on and instead focuses only on technical details such as sharpness, exposure and contrast. The team say this suggests that any subject can be part of a stunning portrait regardless of their looks. It also suggests that "perfect portrait" algorithms could be built in to the next generation of cameras, rather like the smile-capturing algorithms of today."

+ - What Are the Rational Pros and Cons of Homeschooling 1

Submitted by VorpalRodent
VorpalRodent writes: I went to a private school for about 6 years, then completed my education at the local public school, going on to get a couple undergraduate degrees and a postgraduate degree. My wife dropped out of high school and got her equivalency many years later. Now, she wants to homeschool our son.

There is a significant body of literature which indicates that homeschoolers outperform their traditionally schooled counterparts academically, regardless of the level of education of the parent, and she certainly cares more now that she's older. I don't like anecdotes, but I certainly haven't seen the research borne out in any of the people that I know who were homeschooled, and more importantly, it seems like the only reason my wife wants to homeschool is because she doesn't want to let go.

Our son would be going into Kindergarten this coming year. I'm interested in some rational discussion on this, since it seems like the only viewpoints I've ever seen on the matter are "Better academics" vs. "Social interaction", both of which are gross oversimplifications. It doesn't help that I can't find any statistical information on post-schooling outcomes.

Work expands to fill the time available. -- Cyril Northcote Parkinson, "The Economist", 1955

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