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Government

+ - Treasury Dept. Restricts Data with EULA->

Submitted by
Andurin
Andurin writes "The U.S. Treasury Department has imposed restrictions on the way Americans (and others) can use and analyze data developed about the Troubled Asset Relief Program. The "terms of use," which are subject to change at any time, require users to cite FinancialStability.gov when writing about the data, and to state that the government doesn't vouch for the authenticity of the data once it's been downloaded. The Sunlight Foundation's policy counsel writes that the terms are similar to an EULA and are inconsistent with the Administration's recently announced Open Government Directive."
Link to Original Source
Earth

Arctic Ice Extent Understated Because of "Sensor Drift" 823

Posted by samzenpus
from the give-it-a-few-taps dept.
dtjohnson writes "The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) has been at the forefront of predicting doom in the arctic as ice melts due to global warming. In May, 2008 they went so far as to predict that the North Pole would be ice-free during the 2008 'melt season,' leading to a lively Slashdot discussion. Today, however, they say that they have been the victims of 'sensor drift' that led to an underestimation of Arctic ice extent by as much as 500,000 square kilometers. The problem was discovered after they received emails from puzzled readers, asking why obviously sea-ice-covered regions were showing up as ice-free, open ocean. It turns out that the NSIDC relies on an older, less-reliable method of tracking sea ice extent called SSM/I that does not agree with a newer method called AMSR-E. So why doesn't NSIDC use the newer AMSR-E data? 'We do not use AMSR-E data in our analysis because it is not consistent with our historical data.' Turns out that the AMSR-E data only goes back to 2002, which is probably not long enough for the NSIDC to make sweeping conclusions about melting. The AMSR-E data is updated daily and is available to the public. Thus far, sea ice extent in 2009 is tracking ahead of 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008, so the predictions of an ice-free north pole might be premature."
Businesses

+ - How your keyboard was made

Submitted by kpw
kpw (750127) writes "The National Labor Committee's recently released report on working conditions in the Meitai keyboard factory in China carefully details the illegal and inhumane working conditions that go into making products for companies like Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Lenovo, Microsoft and IBM. The products that Meitai builds include the very keyboard used to write this post. Take a moment to look through the photographs made over the last several months by the undercover investigators and see if you can spot your own keyboard on the assembly line. Then read through some of the statements from factory workers and, on their behalf, consider contacting the companies responsible for this travesty (contact information is provided at the bottom of the report)."
Data Storage

The Case Against Web Apps 431

Posted by timothy
from the only-as-strong-as-its-weakest-data-link dept.
snydeq writes "Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister offers five reasons why companies should re-consider concentrating their development efforts on browser-based apps. As McAllister sees it, Web apps encourage a thin-client approach to development that concentrates far too much workload in the datacenter. And while UI and tool limitations are well known, the Web as 'hostile territory' for independent developers is a possibility not yet fully understood. Sure, Web development is fast, versatile, and relatively inexpensive, but long term, the browser's weaknesses might just outweigh its strengths as an app delivery platform."
Science

How the City Hurts Your Brain 439

Posted by kdawson
from the but-not-paris dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The city has always been an engine of intellectual life and the 'concentration of social interactions' is largely responsible for urban creativity and innovation. But now scientists are finding that being in an urban environment impairs our basic mental processes. After spending a few minutes on a crowded city street, the brain is less able to hold things in memory and suffers from reduced self-control. 'The mind is a limited machine,' says psychologist Marc Berman. 'And we're beginning to understand the different ways that a city can exceed those limitations.' Consider everything your brain has to keep track of as you walk down a busy city street. A city is so overstuffed with stimuli that we need to redirect our attention constantly so that we aren't distracted by irrelevant things. This sort of controlled perception — we are telling the mind what to pay attention to — takes energy and effort. Natural settings don't require the same amount of cognitive effort. A study at the University of Michigan found memory performance and attention spans improved by 20 percent after people spent an hour interacting with nature. 'It's not an accident that Central Park is in the middle of Manhattan,' says Berman. 'They needed to put a park there.'"
Technology

Why LEDs Don't Beat CFLs Even Though They Should 685

Posted by samzenpus
from the light-it-up dept.
TaeKwonDood writes "LEDs don't beat CFLs in the home yet, but it's not simply because PG&E is getting rich making people feel like they are helping the environment buying CFLs made in China that are shipped to the US using a lot more fossil fuels than they save. It's a problem of indication versus illumination. However, some new discoveries are going to change all that."
Earth

Scientist Patents New Method To Fight Global Warming 492

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the and-we-will-need-an-additional-10,000-coal-plants-to-power-this dept.
SUNSTOP writes to tell us that a relatively unknown Maryland scientist has proposed a public patent that he claims could combat global warming. The proposed plan would require massive amounts of water to be sprayed into the air in an effort to bolster the earth's existing air conditioning system. "First, the sprayed droplets would transform to water vapor, a change that absorbs thermal energy near ground level; then the rising vapor would condense into sunlight-reflecting clouds and cooling rain, releasing much of the stored energy into space in the form of infrared radiation. Kenneth Caldeira, a climate scientist for the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology at Stanford University whose computer simulation of Ace's invention suggests it would significantly cool the planet. The simulated evaporation of about one-half inch of additional water everywhere in the world produced immediate planetary cooling effects that were projected to reach nearly 1 degree Fahrenheit within 20 or 30 years, Caldeira said."
Power

Google Demands Higher Chip Temps From Intel 287

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the because-they-can dept.
JagsLive writes "When purchasing server processors directly from Intel, Google has insisted on a guarantee that the chips can operate at temperatures five degrees centigrade higher than their standard qualification, according to a former Google employee. This allowed the search giant to maintain higher temperatures within its data centers, the ex-employee says, and save millions of dollars each year in cooling costs."
IBM

+ - Solectron Torpedoes Lenovo/ThinkPad's Repuation

Submitted by ntesla
ntesla (750127) writes "It appears that support for Lenovo products (e.g. ThinkPad laptops) has imploded in recent months. This once venerable product's reputation has been tarnished, at least in part, by outsourced support services managed by Solectron. Customers now routinely experience multi-week waits for machines to be returned from depot service. The Lenovo forums are littered with complaints from customers, including gems like this where after weeks of delays Lenovo had to intervene to take the machine back from the Solectron depot and have a Lenovo field-technician service it instead. In another case, a "database error" caused the service records on a machine to be switched such that the problem request and return shipping information was exchanged with another customer. Phone support reps are unable to address problems, or even track status, and customers are now seeking help on Lenovo forums by sending private messages to Lenovo staff — meanwhile it appears other Lenovo employees are anonymously posting messages to clarify the distinction between Lenovo issues and problems with services outsourced to Solectron."
The Internet

6% of Web Users Generate 50% of Ad Clicks 341

Posted by kdawson
from the born-to-click dept.
pcause writes "A recent study finds that 6% of Web users generate 50% of the click-throughs. Worse news for advertisers: these clickers are not representative of the population as a whole, most have incomes under $40K, and their clicks are not related to any offline buying. (They are mostly males between 25 and 44 years of age.) The number of clicks on an ad campaign is also not strongly correlated with brand awareness for the ads' subject, according to the study. This is bad news for ad-supported Web sites and businesses, as rates should drop if the Net economy begins to take these findings seriously."

Netcraft Says IIS Gaining on Apache 666

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the trolls-rejoice-in-netcraft-story dept.
benjymouse quotes this month's netcraft survey "In the August 2007 survey we received responses from 127,961,479 sites, an increase of 2.3 million sites from last month. Microsoft continues to increase its web server market share, adding 2.6 million sites this month as Apache loses 991K hostnames. As a result, Windows improves its market share by 1.4% to 34.2%, while Apache slips by 1.7% to 48.4%. Microsoft's recent gains raise the prospect that Windows may soon challenge Apache's leadership position."

US Government Checking Up On Vista Users? 291

Posted by Zonk
from the security-theatre-in-your-home dept.
Paris The Pirate writes "This article at Whitedust displays some very interesting logs from Vista showing connections to the DoD Information Networking Center, United Nations Development program and the Halliburton Company; for no reason other than the machine was running Vista. From the article 'After running Vista for only a few days — with a complete love for the new platform the first sign of trouble erupted. I began noticing latency on my home network connection — so I booted my port sniffing software and networking tools to see what was happening. What I found was foundation shaking. The two images below show graphical depictions of what has and IS trying to connect to my computer even in an idle state'."
Wireless Networking

Duke Wireless Problem Caused by Cisco, not iPhone 195

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the egg-on-someone's-face dept.
jpallas writes "Following up to a previous Slashdot story, it now turns out that the widely reported problems with Duke University's wireless network were not caused by Apple's iPhone. The problem was actually with their Cisco network. Duke's Chief Information Officer praises the work of their technical staff. Does that include the assistant director for communications infrastructure who was quoted as saying, "I don't believe it's a Cisco problem in any way, shape, or form?""
The Internet

New Web Metric Likely To Hurt Google 226

Posted by kdawson
from the bye-bye-page-views dept.
StonyandCher write(s) with news that one of the largest Net measurement companies, Nielsen/NetRatings, is about to abandon page views as its primary metric for comparing sites. Instead the company will use total time spent on a site. The article notes, "This is likely to affect Google's ranking because while users visit the site often, they don't usually spend much time there. 'It is not that page views are irrelevant now, but they are a less accurate gauge of total site traffic and engagement,' said Scott Ross, director of product marketing at Nielsen/NetRatings. 'Total minutes is the most accurate gauge to compare between two sites. If [Web] 1.0 is full page refreshes for content, Web 2.0 is, "How do I minimize page views and deliver content more seamlessly?"'"

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