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Comment: Re:Just let them test out! (Score 1) 307

(GP here) This is what I was referring to. Several of my undergrad classes were graded on a curve, where only the top percentage of students receive "A"s. If it happens to be an easy class or there are a lot of top performers, then nit-picky things become enough to push your grade down to a B.

That said, I don't know if Intro to CS was one of those classes. It was only an assumption. So, criticism of my earlier statement might be called for.

Comment: Re:Just let them test out! (Score 2) 307

Same thing happened to me. (Long story as a cross-over from Physics.) As a CSci senior, they made me take the Intro class - even though I knew the material inside-out and was a tutor for the class. I volunteered to take every test in one sitting and write every programming assignment the same day. Instead, I got to sit through boring lectures and steal an A from some deserving student.

+ - NASA Study: Ocean Abyss Has Not Warmed->

Submitted by bigwheel
bigwheel (2238516) writes "The cold waters of Earth’s deep ocean have not warmed measurably since 2005, according to a new NASA study, leaving unsolved the mystery of why global warming appears to have slowed in recent years.

Scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, analyzed satellite and direct ocean temperature data from 2005 to 2013 and found the ocean abyss below 1.24 miles (1,995 meters) has not warmed measurably. Study coauthor Josh Willis of JPL said these findings do not throw suspicion on climate change itself.

"The sea level is still rising," Willis noted. "We're just trying to understand the nitty-gritty details.""

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Comment: Re:I dunno about LEDs, but CFLs don't last (Score 5, Informative) 602

by bigwheel (#48002325) Attached to: The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

I've read that the Energy Star people admit they screwed up with CFL, but are determined to not make the same mistake with LED

In order to get the Energy Star label, a CFL bulb has to meet certain efficiency requirements. But the rating says nothing about longevity. In theory, fluorescent bulbs should last a long time. But the built-in electronics are the usual source of failure. This is particularly the case with ceiling lights and other bulbs where the electronics are on the top, and often in an area where they do not get much cooling. So, the cheap - or more importantly *Crappy* - bulbs can carry the same certification as the good ones. So, CFL got a bad name, which is also fail for the Energy Star folks.

With LED bulbs, the Energy Star people wanted to make sure that they don't make the same mistake. So, in order to get the label, a bulb has to meet the efficiency standards, plus demonstrate that they can handle the run-length requirements. And there are many different requirements, depending on the type of bulb and its intended usage. In order to get the Energy Star label, they are tested for something like 9 months.

So, the moral of the story is that if you buy an LED that carries the Energy Star label, it should not fail prematurely. But the down-side is that LED technology continues to improve, with the most recent chips putting out something like 250 Lumens/Watt. An agile manufacturer might be able to quickly get this technology to market with an excellent new bulb. But it cannot carry the Energy Star label until it has been through rigorous testing, which takes nearly a year.

+ - World's First Large-Scale Waste-to-Biofuels Facility Opens in Canada->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "Thanks to its extensive composting and recycling facilities, the city of Edmonton, Canada is already diverting approximately 60 percent of its municipal waste from the landfill. That figure is expected to rise to 90 percent, however, once the city's new Waste-to-Biofuels and Chemicals Facility starts converting garbage (that can't be composted or recycled) into methanol and ethanol. It's the world's first such plant to operate on an industrial scale, and Gizmag recently got a guided tour of the place."
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+ - Social Media Advertising A Dud->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "One of the great "paradigms" of the New Normal tech bubble that supposedly differentiated it from dot com bubble 1.0 was that this time it was different , at least when it came to advertising revenues. The mantra went that unlike traditional web-based banner advertising which has been in secular decline over the past decade, social media ad spending — which the bulk of new tech company stalwarts swear is the source of virtually unlimited upside growth — was far more engaging, and generated far greater returns and better results for those spending billions in ad bucks on the new "social-networked" generation. Sadly, this time was not different after all, and this "paradigm" has also turned out to be one big pipe dream.

According to the WSJ, citing Gallup, "62% of the more than 18,000 U.S. consumers it polled said social media had no influence on their buying decisions. Another 30% said it had some influence. U.S. companies spent $5.1 billion on social-media advertising in 2013, but Gallup says "consumers are highly adept at tuning out brand-related Facebook and Twitter content." (Gallup's survey was conducted via the Web and mail from December 2012 to January 2013. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 1 percentage point.)

In a study last year, Nielsen Holdings NV found that global consumers trusted ads on television, print, radio, billboards and movie trailers more than social-media ads.

Gallup says brands assumed incorrectly that consumers would welcome them into their social lives. Then they delivered a hard sell that turned off many people.

More recently, changes in how Facebook manages users' news feeds have hindered brands' ability to reach their fans. Rather than a largely chronological stream, Facebook now manages the news feed to feature items it thinks users will want to see.

The result: Brands reached 6.5% of their fans with Facebook posts in March, down from 16% in February 2012, according to EdgeRank Checker, a social-media analytics firm recently acquired by Socialbakers.


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From Sharp minds come... pointed heads. -- Bryan Sparrowhawk