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Submission + - Calling All Data Do-Gooders

theodp writes: We're entering a new era of data-for-good, writes SAS CEO Jim Goodnight, who explains how SAS and the International Organization for Migration are using analytics and data for disaster relief efforts, but issues a broader call-to-action: "These projects just scratch the surface of what’s possible when new data, and those that know how to use it, are applied to humanitarian needs. Organizations such as DataKind and INFORMS, through its new Pro Bono Analytics program, are rallying data scientists to lend their time and expertise to helping people around the world. And there are many more data sets out there that could help with relief and other humanitarian efforts. It’s an exciting time to be in the world of big data and analytics. We’re just beginning to understand how technology can tackle society’s 'grand challenges." Please share your ideas on what unlikely data sources might help with disaster relief. And, how can we bring the world’s analytics talent to bear on these challenges?" So, who's ready to be the next John Snow?

Submission + - Amazon now collecting sales tax on purchases by Ohio consumers (

Fnord666 writes: According to a news article on, Amazon began collecting sales tax from Ohio consumers starting on June 1st, .

Ohio retailers and retail associations have spent years trying to persuade Congress to pass laws requiring online retailers to collect and remit the same state sales taxes that brick-and-mortar stores are required to.

"What great news for Ohio," said Gordon Gough, president and chief executive of the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants, which represents more than 6,400 members. His group is applauding the fact that not only is Amazon making a substantial commitment to the state by creating 1,000 jobs here, but "they're going to come to Ohio and play by the same rules as all the other retailers." According to Gough "Ohio will become the 25th state where the online retailer collects sales tax."

The article goes on to say that "In exchange, the Ohio Tax Credit Authority gave Amazon an exemption on sales taxes for equipment purchases at the data centers and a payroll tax credit for new jobs, according to Bloomberg News. The incentives are valued at about $81 million over 15 years."

Submission + - NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV Reviewed: Gaming And Possibly The Ultimate 4K Streamer (

MojoKid writes: NVIDIA officially launched its SHIELD Android TV set-top device today and it's sort of a "tweener" product, with far more horsepower than something like Roku or Apple TV, but on par with an average game console, and at a more affordable price tag of $199. What's interesting, however, is that it's powered by NVIDIA's Tegra X1 SoC which features a Maxwell-derived GPU and eight CPU cores; four ARM A57 cores and four A53s. The A57 cores are 64-bit, out-of-order designs, with multi-issue pipelines, while the A53s are simpler, in-order, highly-efficient designs. Which cores are used will depend on the particular workload being executed at the time. Tegra X1 also packs a 256-core Maxwell-derived GPU with the same programming capabilities and API support as NVIDIA's latest desktop GPUs. In standard Android benchmarks, the SHIELD pretty much slays any current high-end tablet or smartphone processor in graphics, but is about on par with the octal-core Samsung Exynos in terms of standard compute workloads but handily beating and octal-core Qualcomm Snapdragon. What's also interesting about the SHIELD Android TV is that it's not only an Android TV-capable device with movie and music streaming services like Netflix etc., but it also plays any game on Google Play and with serious horsepower behind it. The SHIELD Android TV is also the first device certified for Netflix's Ultra HD 4K streaming service.

Submission + - A Ph.D thesis defense 77 years late ( 1

Taco Cowboy writes: A story about a 102-year old lady doing her PhD thesis defense is not that common, but when the thesis defense was delayed by a whopping 77 years, that gotta raise some eyebrows

Ingeborg Syllm-Rapoport studied diphtheria at the University of Hamburg in Germany and at 1938, the 25-year old Protestant-raised, German-born Ingeborg Syllm submitted for her doctorate thesis defense

Ms. Ingeborg Syllm was denied her chance for her thesis defense because her mother was of the Jewish ancestry, making her an official 'cross-breed'

As a 'cross-breed' the Nazi regime forbidden the university from proceeding with her defense, for 'racial reasons'

She became one of the thousands of scholars and researchers banished from German academe, which at the time included many of the world’s most prestigious research institutions, on account of Jewish ancestry or opposition to Nazi policies. Many of them ended up suffering or dying in concentration camps

Rudolf Degkwitz, Syllm’s professor, was imprisoned for objecting to euthanizing children

Syllm, however, was able to reach the United States and earned her medical degree from the old Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia

Eventually she married a fellow physician named Samuel Mitja Rapoport, had a family, and moved back to Germany in the 1950s, where she achieved prominence in neonatology

Syllm-Rapoport, who is now 102 years old, might have remained just a doctor (if a very accomplished one) had not the present dean of the Hamburg medical school, Uwe Koch-Gromus, heard her story from a colleague of her son, Tom Rapoport, a Harvard cell biologist

Determined to do what he could to mitigate this wrong, Koch-Gromus arranged Syllm-Rapoport’s long-delayed defense

Despite failing eyesight, she brushed up on decades of developments in diphtheria research with the help of friends and the Internet. Koch-Gromus called the 45-minute oral exam given by him and two colleagues on 13 May in her Berlin living room “a very good test. Frau Rapoport has gathered notable knowledge about what’s happened since then. Particularly given her age, she was brilliant.”

Submission + - Lord Brittish announces Shroud of the Avatar as a Kickstarter project (

Thanatiel writes: Award-winning game designer Richard Garriott and creator of the highly successful Ultima® series of games announced today that he plans to reinvent the fantasy RPG genre during a simultaneous live stream on Rooster Teeth and the Shroud of the Avatar website.
The game will only be funded if at least $1,000,000 is pledged by Sunday Apr 7, 10:57am EDT.

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