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Earth

Numerous Methane Leaks Found On Atlantic Sea Floor 273

Posted by samzenpus
from the bubbling-up dept.
sciencehabit writes Researchers have discovered 570 plumes of methane percolating up from the sea floor off the eastern coast of the United States, a surprisingly high number of seeps in a relatively quiescent part of the ocean. The seeps suggest that methane's contribution to climate change has been underestimated in some models. And because most of the seeps lie at depths where small changes in temperature could be releasing the methane, it is possible that climate change itself could be playing a role in turning some of them on.
Education

Professor Steve Ballmer Will Teach At Two Universities This Year 179

Posted by samzenpus
from the teaching!-teaching!-teaching! dept.
redletterdave (2493036) writes "When Steve Ballmer announced he was stepping down from Microsoft's board of directors, he cited a fall schedule that would "be hectic between teaching a new class and the start of the NBA season." It turns out Ballmer will teach an MBA class at Stanford's Graduate School of Business in the fall, and a class at USC's Marshall School of Business in the spring. Helen Chang, assistant director of communications at Stanford's Business School, told Business Insider that Ballmer will be working with faculty member Susan Athey for a strategic management course called "TRAMGT588: Leading organizations." As for the spring semester, Ballmer will head to Los Angeles — closer to where his Clippers will be playing — and teach a course at University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business. We reached out to the Marshall School, which declined to offer more details about Ballmer's class.
Microsoft

Ballmer Leaves Microsoft Board 142

Posted by Soulskill
from the retirement!-retirement!-retirement! dept.
jones_supa writes: After leaving his position as CEO of Microsoft a year ago, Steve Ballmer has still held a position as a member of the board of directors for the company. Now, he is leaving the board, explaining why in a letter to fresh Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. "I have become very busy," Ballmer explains. "I see a combination of Clippers, civic contribution, teaching and study taking up a lot of time." Despite his departure, the former-CEO is still invested in the company's success, and he spent most of the letter encouraging Nadella and giving advice. Nadella shot back a supportive, equally optimistic response, promising that Microsoft will thrive in "the mobile-first, cloud-first world."

Comment: Re:That seems fair (Score 1) 371

by eclectro (#47689867) Attached to: Companies That Don't Understand Engineers Don't Respect Engineers

If you are a good engineer, you have something that no business person will ever have (except at the very top maybe): You are really hard to replace. Use that!

And this is the reason that Cisco and IBM can lay off thousands of engineers, so they can replace them with either contract workers or cheap oversees engineering?

Being a "good" engineer is hardly a defense anymore, which in part is what this article alludes to.

Comment: Re:Courage... (Score 1) 207

but it really rubbed me the wrong way to see him refer to layoffs as an act of courage.

Real courage would have been to retrain those fired workers for what they needed. But he much rather pull in H1B workers who really do not have the skills either, but are a whole lot cheaper.

This really does set off the BS flag.

Comment: Re:ROI for drug development (Score 1) 390

by eclectro (#47604269) Attached to: "Secret Serum" Used To Treat Americans With Ebola

where was the incentive for the drug company to create this drug?

Their unique (if not stellar) accomplishment will quickly bring more capital into their company which will enable them to develop other more profitable medications - perhaps using the same or similar technology behind this serum.

And it should not be forgotten that this is the kind of thing Nobel prizes are made out of.

+ - The Amazon Fire Is the Dirtiest Smartphone

Submitted by Jason Koebler
Jason Koebler (3528235) writes "The biggest thing that sets the Amazon Fire Phone apart from its Android and Apple competitors probably isn't the clean interface or the unlimited photo storage—it's the dirty power behind it. When Fire users upload their photos and data to Amazon's cloud, they'll be creating a lot more pollution than iPhone owners, Greenpeace says.
Apple has made a commitment to running its iCloud on 100 percent clean energy. Amazon, meanwhile, operates the dirtiest servers of any major tech giant that operates its own servers—only 15 percent of its energy comes from clean sources, which is about the default national average."

+ - The Earth barely missed solar storm equal to the Carrington event

Submitted by eclectro
eclectro (227083) writes "NASA is reporting that in July 2012 that a huge solar storm crossed the path that the Earth takes, with Earth missing it by a week. If the storm had occurred a week earlier it would have at least equaled the 1859 Carrington event. It would have sent civilization back to the 18th century costing the world economy 2 Trillion dollars. A scientist has calculated that the odds of this happening in the next ten years is 12%."

+ - ScummVM 1.7.0 Released

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "It's been a while since a new ScummVM release, but version 1.7.0 is now here with many exciting features. New games supported are The Neverhood, Mortville Manor, Voyeur, Return to Ringworld and Chivalry is Not Dead. The Roland MT-32 emulator has been updated, there is an OpenGL backend, the GUI has seen improvements, AGOS engine is enhanced, tons of SCI bug fixes have been applied, and various other improvements can be found. This version also introduces support for the OUYA gaming console and brings improvements to some other more exotic platforms. Please read the release notes for an accurate description of the new version."
Technology

Texas Town Turns To Treated Sewage For Drinking Water 242

Posted by timothy
from the says-something-about-the-west-texas-average dept.
Scientific American reports that Wichita Falls, Texas has taken an unusual step, precipitated by the years-long drought that Texas has faced: it's using treated sewage for drinking water. From the article: To launch what it calls its "Direct Potable Reuse Project," the city pipes water 12 miles from its wastewater treatment plant to this treatment facility where it goes through microfiltration. A pump pulls water through a module filled with fibers that removes most of the impurities. Then it is forced through a semi-permeable membrane that can remove dissolved salts and other contaminants. The process, called reverse osmosis, is used by the U.S. military, in ships and in the manufacture of silicon chips. The water then gets blended with lake water before going through the regular water treatment system. ... At 60 cents per 1,000 gallons, it's far cheaper than any other source of water, [Wichita Falls' public works director Russell] Schreiber said. ... He said there have been few complaints so far. A glass of the finished product, sampled at a downtown restaurant, tasted about average for West Texas.

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