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Comment: MOD PARENT UP! (Score 1) 250

by Futurepower(R) (#48684505) Attached to: AirAsia Flight Goes Missing Between Indonesia and SIngapore
Quoting from the India Times:

"08:45 PM
In a separate incident later Sunday, an AirAsia flight carrying more than 150 passengers experiences a technical problem about 10 minutes after taking off from Penang, Malaysia, and has to return to the airport, AirAsia says. The flight takes off again for the short flight to Langkawi island and safely reaches its destination."

Comment: Re:"Unconventional research" is fine (Score 1) 138

by Namarrgon (#48664855) Attached to: Does Journal Peer Review Miss Best and Brightest?

Philosophy != Science, but both have their place.

There are plenty of avenues for creativity, discussion, unproved hypotheses etc, but peer-reviewed magazines are not one of them. That way, everyone can distinguish solid, confirmed results that can be relied upon, from unproved assertions or tentative conclusions that might be right - or might not.

Scientists are free to follow hunches or interesting leads; nobody is stopping that. But there has to be a clear indicator of the reliability of information, and solid peer review of methodology is the best method we've found of determining that.

+ - 'Citizenfour' Producers Sued Over Edward Snowden Leaks->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Hollywood Reporter reports, "Horace Edwards, who identifies himself as a retired naval officer and the former secretary of the Kansas Department of Transportation, has filed a lawsuit in Kansas federal court that seeks a constructive trust over monies derived from the distribution of Citizenfour. Edwards ... seeks to hold Snowden, director Laura Poitras, The Weinstein Co., Participant Media and others responsible for "obligations owed to the American people" and "misuse purloined information disclosed to foreign enemies." It's an unusual lawsuit, one that the plaintiff likens to "a derivative action on behalf of the American Public," and is primarily based upon Snowden's agreement with the United States to keep confidentiality. ... Edwards appears to be making the argument that Snowden's security clearance creates a fiduciary duty of loyalty — one that was allegedly breached by Snowden's participation in the production of Citizenfour without allowing prepublication clearance review. As for the producers and distributors, they are said to be "aiding and abetting the theft and misuse of stolen government documents." The lawsuit seeks a constructive trust to redress the alleged unjust enrichment by the film. A 1980 case that involved a former CIA officer's book went up to the Supreme Court and might have opened the path to such a remedy ... ""
Link to Original Source

+ - Comcast's Lobbyists Hands Out VIP Cards To Skip the Wait->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A lengthy story about how David Gregory lost his job hosting Meet the Press holds an interesting tidbit: Comcast's team of lobbyists regularly hands out VIP cards to influential (and influence-able) people in Washington that lets them bypass normal customer service and fast-track their support problems. "Its government-affairs team carried around 'We'll make it right' cards stamped with 'priority assistance' codes for fast-tracking help and handed them out to congressional staffers, journalists, and other influential Washingtonians who complained about their service. A Comcast spokeswoman says this practice isn't exclusive to DC; every Comcast employee receives the cards, which they can distribute to any customer with cable or internet trouble. Nevertheless, efforts like this one have surely helped Comcast boost its standing inside the Beltway and improve its chances of winning regulatory approval for its next big conquest: merging with the second-largest cable provider in the country, Time Warner Cable." (The David Gregory article is worth a look, too; it shows how Comcast's purchase of NBC has led to interference in NBC's attempts at real journalism.)"
Link to Original Source

Comment: "Unconventional research" is fine (Score 2) 138

by Namarrgon (#48657573) Attached to: Does Journal Peer Review Miss Best and Brightest?

"Unconventional methodology" is not.

Papers that don't use sufficiently rigorous methods should be rejected, regardless of their conclusions - even if those conclusions eventually turn out to be right. It's the only way to have any confidence about the research. If the authors are so sure of their results, they should do them more carefully, and submit again.

Far too often, rejections are taken as evidence of cronyism or groupthink (usually by those whose beliefs are contradicted by established science), when it's simply obvious flaws in methodology. When your methods are bulletproof, only then you can expect with confidence to pass review.

+ - How Venture Capitalist Peter Thiel Plans to Live 120 Years

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Bloomberg News reports that venture capitalist and paypal co-founder Peter Thiel has a plan to reach 120 years of age. His secret — taking human growth hormone (HGH) every day, a special Paleo diet, and a cure for cancer within ten years. "[HGH] helps maintain muscle mass, so you’re much less likely to get bone injuries, arthritis,” says Thiel. “There’s always a worry that it increases your cancer risk but — I’m hopeful that we’ll get cancer cured in the next decade.” Human growth hormone also known as somatotropin or somatropin, is a peptide hormone that stimulates growth, cell reproduction and regeneration in humans and other animals. Thiel says he also follows a Paleo diet, doesn’t eat sugar, drinks red wine and runs regularly. The Paleolithic diet, also popularly referred to as the caveman diet, Stone Age diet and hunter-gatherer diet, is a modern nutritional diet designed to emulate, insofar as possible using modern foods, the diet of wild plants and animals eaten by humans during the Paleolithic era. Thiel’s Founders Fund is also investing in a number of biotechnology companies to extend human lifespans, including Stem CentRx Inc., which uses stem cell technology for cancer therapy. With the 70 plus years remaining him and inspired by "Atlas Shrugged," Thiel also plans to launch a floating sovereign nation in international waters, freeing him and like-minded thinkers to live by libertarian ideals with no welfare, looser building codes, no minimum wage, and few restrictions on weapons."

+ - Anthropologist Gusterson on the language of torture->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Powerful piece on the torture report: 'As an anthropologist, I am fascinated by the term “enhanced interrogation.” It must surely take pride of place in the American lexicon of government euphemisms for violence, alongside such phrases from nuclear discourse as “collateral damage” (for the mass killing of civilians), “event” (for a nuclear explosion), “countervalue strike” (for the nuclear destruction of a city), “surgical strike” (a targeted strike with nuclear weapons), and “clean bombs” (nuclear weapons designed to optimize blast over radiation).'"
Link to Original Source

+ - Ask Slashdot: So now that .NET's going open source...? 1

Submitted by Rob Y.
Rob Y. (110975) writes "The discussion on Slashdot about Microsoft's move to open source .NET core has centered on

1. whether this means Microsoft is no longer the enemy of the open source movement
2. if not, then does it mean Microsoft has so lost in the web server arena that it's resorting to desperate moves.
3. or nah — it's standard MS operating procedure. Embrace, extend, extinguish.

What I'd like to ask is whether anybody that's not currently a .NET fan actually wants to use it. Open Source or not. What is the competition? Java? PHP? Ruby? Node-js? All of the above? Anything but Microsoft? Because as an OSS advocate, I see only one serious reason to even consider using it — standardization. Any of those competing platforms could be as good or better, but the problem is — how to get a job in this industry when there are so many, massively complex platforms out there. I'm still coding in C, and at 62, will probably live out my working days doing that, but I can still remember when learning a new programming language was no big deal. Even C required learning a fairly large library to make it useful, but it's nothing compared to what's out there today. And worse, jobs (and technologies) don't last like they used to. Odds are, in a few years, you'll be starting over in yet another job where they use something else.

Employers love standardization. Choosing a standard means you can't be blamed for your choice. Choosing a standard means you can recruit young, cheap developers and actually get some output from them before they move on. Or you can outsource with some hope of success (because that's what outsourcing firms do — recruit young, cheap devs and rotate them around).

To me, those are red flags — not pluses at all. But they're undeniable pluses to greedy employers. Of course, there's much more to being an effective developer than knowing the platform so you can be easily slotted in to a project. But try telling that to the private equity guys running too much of the show these days...

So, assuming MS is 'sincere' about this open source move (big assumption),

1. is .NET up to the job?
2. Is there an Open Source choice today that's popular enough to be considered the standard that employers would like?
3. If the answer to 1 is yes and 2 is no, make the argument for avoiding .NET."

The confusion of a staff member is measured by the length of his memos. -- New York Times, Jan. 20, 1981

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