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+ - Internet Census 2012 Data Examined: Authentic but Chaotic and Unetical->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A team of researchers at the TU Berlin and RWTH Aachen presented an analysis of the Internet Census 2012 data set in the July edition of the ACM Sigcomm Computer Communication Review journal. After its release on March 17, 2013 by an anonymous author, the Internet Census data created an immediate media buzz, mainly due to its unethical data collection methodology that exploited default passwords to form the Carna botnet.
The now published analysis suggests that the released data set is authentic and not faked, but also reveals a rather chaotic picture. The Census suffers from a number of methodological flaws and also lacks meta-data information, which renders the data unusable for many further analyses. As a result, the researchers have not been able to verify several claims that the anonymous author(s) made in the published Internet Census report. The researchers also point to similar but legal efforts measuring the Internet and remark that the illegally measured Internet Census 2012 is not only unethical but might have been overrated by the press."

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+ - New tools help neuroscientists analyze 'big data'->

Submitted by mspohr
mspohr (589790) writes ""New technologies for monitoring brain activity are generating unprecedented quantities of information. That data may hold new insights into how the brain works — but only if researchers can interpret it. To help make sense of the data, neuroscientists can now harness the power of distributed computing with Thunder, a library of tools developed at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Janelia Research Campus.
"Freeman chose to build on a new platform called Spark. Developed at the University of California, Berkeley's AMPLab, Spark is rapidly becoming a favored tool for large-scale computing across industry, Freeman says. Spark's capabilities for data caching eliminates the bottleneck of loading a complete data set for all but the initial step, making it well-suited for interactive, exploratory analysis, and for complex algorithms requiring repeated operations on the same data. And Spark's elegant and versatile application programming interfaces (APIs) help simplify development. Thunder uses the Python API, which Freeman hopes will make it particularly easy for others to adopt, given Python's increasing use in neuroscience and data science.
Researchers can find everything they need to begin using the open source library of tools at http://freeman-lab.github.io/t...
To make Spark suitable for analyzing a broad range of neuroscience data — information about connectivity and activity collected from different organisms and with different techniques — Freeman first developed standardized representations of data that were amenable to distributed computing. He then worked to express typical neuroscience workflows into the computational language of Spark.""

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+ - STEM worker shortage is IT industry fantasy-> 1

Submitted by Tailhook
Tailhook (98486) writes "Ron Hira, professor of public policy at Howard University and Paula Stephan is a professor of economics at Georgia State University; `As longtime researchers of the STEM workforce and immigration who have separately done in-depth analyses on these issues, and having no self-interest in the outcomes of the legislative debate, we feel compelled to report that none of us has been able to find any credible evidence to support the IT industry's assertions of labor shortages.' — `there is a remarkable concurrence among a wide range of researchers that there is an ample supply of American workers (native and immigrant, citizen and permanent resident) who are willing and qualified to fill the high-skill jobs in this country. The only real disagreement is whether supply is two or three times larger than the demand.'"
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+ - Collaboration isn't what they taught you in school->

Submitted by jenwike
jenwike (2888285) writes "Throughout most of my education, I was taught that collaboration was cheating. With the exception of teacher-sanctioned group projects, I had learned that working with others to solve problems was not acceptable. So, when I got to college and the first assignment in my computer science class was to read an article about the benefits of pairwise programming and open source, I was very confused. Fast forward about nine months. I applied for a marketing internship at Red Hat and had just been offered the job. Here's what I learned about real collaboration in the workplace. (by Kristen DeMaria)"
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+ - Why We Said Goodbye to Fossil-Fuel Investments->

Submitted by mdsolar
mdsolar (1045926) writes ""This spring, after considerable study, Pitzer College announced a comprehensive and ambitious climate-action plan, including a commitment to divest the endowment of substantially all fossil-fuel-company stocks by the end of 2014. It was not a decision made lightly, but one that we felt was a key step in more fully aligning the college’s actions with its mission and values.

Our deliberations began last October, when the Board of Trustees formed a working group, which I chaired, composed of students, faculty and staff members, and trustees. In the course of our discussions, we confronted a wide variety of objections to divestment, many raised by other colleges and universities that have rejected it. Taking the road less traveled required much research and soul-searching, but, personally, I can say it was well worth the journey.

As other colleges consider fossil-fuel divestment and confront those objections, I would like to share the objections and our responses, which helped shape Pitzer’s decision...""

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Comment: Re:I know you're trying to be funny, but... (Score 1) 725

by mspohr (#47545077) Attached to: Linus Torvalds: "GCC 4.9.0 Seems To Be Terminally Broken"

I thought the rant was a very creative use of language.
I'd give him an A+ in creative writing.
If I was the target of the rant, I might be a bit upset but would probably admit that I deserved it.
He could have said something like, "Nice code, Johnny, but that part in the middle will need some adjustment (but you're really a fine person deep inside)."

Comment: Re:Simple, block all ads (Score 3, Informative) 96

by mspohr (#47543895) Attached to: Nasty Business: How To Drain Competitors' Google AdWords Budgets

I am trying to understand your logic here and it just isn't happening.
I appears that you are postulating that companies spend money on advertising only to reduce their income and not to increase sales.
I would think that companies would rather have the extra profit than waste money on pointless advertising.
Besides, there is a lot of research showing that advertising works which is why companies advertise.

Comment: Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (Score 1) 140

by mspohr (#47538825) Attached to: The Army Is 3D Printing Warheads

I agree that we should all strive for more freedom and that, of course, some societies are more free than others. The more egalitarian a society, the less "authority" is needed.
My comment was more about the futility of getting into a war and being manipulated to support wars. Post WWII, I can't think of a war that was started by the US or joined by the US that benefited its citizens. There have certainly been great costs in lives, morbidity and dollars as well as loss of freedom. The war on terror has exacted a great toll on our freedoms. Politicians and corporations have largely profited from the wars.

Comment: Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (Score 3, Insightful) 140

by mspohr (#47535319) Attached to: The Army Is 3D Printing Warheads

Most wars are started when one group of greedy bastards wants to take over from another group of greedy bastards. These greedy bastards (generally politicians and their corporate sponsors) are the "elite" of societies. Since they control the wealth, they have the most to gain (or lose) by war. Everyone else is just cannon fodder and will end up worse off after the war regardless of who wins. There are a few interesting probes of this rule. I just finished reading George Orwell's "Homage to Catalonia" which is an account of his experiences in the Spanish Civil War. Apparently, the faction Orwell was fighting for (apparently by chance), POUM, did try to establish an egalitarian workers society. However, they were sold out by the Russian Communists and other factions.
I think it's really difficult (?impossible) to establish a truly egalitarian society anywhere which would actually improve the condition of the peons. The usual result in just about every political system is that you end up with a few greedy bastards in charge fighting the greedy bastards next door.
I'm not sure it would make much difference to be speaking German or Russian or Japanese or Chinese or have to profess belief in a different god. If you survived the war, you will still have the same shitty job living hand to mouth... just a different master.

"I got everybody to pay up front...then I blew up their planet." "Now why didn't I think of that?" -- Post Bros. Comics

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