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+ - The powerful cheat for themselves, the powerless cheat for others.: ArsTechnica-> 1

Submitted by SternisheFan
SternisheFan (2529412) writes "(From by Cathleen O'Grady — Feb 7 2015

The powerful cheat for themselves, the powerless cheat for others The upper class isn't less ethical, just more likely to lie for selfish reasons.

Research has previously shown that upper-class individuals are more likely to behave unethically than lower-class people. But, says David Dubois, lead researcher of a new paper in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, it’s not that simple: both groups behave unethically in different contexts.

Dubois’ research group found that people with higher socioeconomic status (SES) were more likely to behave unethically when the behavior benefitted themselves, while lower-SES people were more likely to be unethical to benefit other individuals. "Many people think of unethical behaviour in terms of selfish behavior—violating moral standards to give yourself an advantage," explains Jared Piazza, who was not involved with the research. "But the researchers here draw a distinction between violating a moral standard like 'it’s wrong to steal' to benefit others, and violating a moral standard to benefit yourself."

This distinction is important, says Dubois. Previous research has only tested unethical behavior that is selfish—it turns out that when unselfish unethical behavior is tested too, lower-SES individuals are just as likely to be unethical......

......There's also a question about what actually counts as wrong in people's minds, Piazza notes. Past research has shown that powerless people think that working for the welfare of others is the highest moral value, while powerful people care more about rules and order. "It may be that powerless individuals are less inclined to view actions that help others as actual transgressions even though a moral rule has been violated," he suggests.

Beyond clarifying these points, there are questions to follow up in the future, Dubois adds. For one, this paper didn’t look at the effect of power or SES on the amount of unethical behavior. That is, the researchers looked at how people would behave in a single test, but not at whether a certain group was more likely to be unethical more of the time. There’s also the possibility that different cultures with different moral codes and ideas about power and responsibility might respond differently.

It could have useful application in persuasion, he adds: communicating with different audiences about ethical behavior could emphasize different consequences, either for the self or for others, to discourage the behavior."

Link to Original Source

+ - NASA confirms results for 'impossible' space drive that uses no rocket fuel-> 1

Submitted by MarkWhittington
MarkWhittington (1084047) writes "Last August, NASA’s Eagleworks, an advanced space propulsion lab located at the Johnson Spaceflight Center south of Houston, created a great deal of excitement when it announced that it had tested a prototype of something called a Cannae Drive. Using microwaves, the device seemed to exert a minute but measurable degree of thrust when mounted on a pendulum in a vacuum chamber. NextBigFuture provided an update on the experiments on an engine that uses no fuel and seems to violate Newtonian physics.

In essence, the team at Eagleworks has been able to replicate the results of the original experiment, exerting a thrust in the area of 50 micro-Newtons. The team has been hampered by a lack of funding to fight through equipment failures. Nevertheless, they are working, very slowly, to scale up the thrust to 100 micro-Newtons. At that point, they intend to take the device to the Glenn Research Center for another replication effort."

Link to Original Source

+ - Gmail is no longer acceptable - Slashdot, please opine on alternatives! 8

Submitted by Press2ToContinue
Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes "Bettering security, I enable a VPN now (Avast Secureline) before accessing my banking and any other financial sites. Difficulty: gmail then thinks I'm a bot, and requires a captcha. In the past, after a few days of answering captchas, Google disabled access to my gmail, without recourse. It lasted 48 hours. I don't need this happening again. So, Google has now gone far enough IMHO. I need a reliable, secure email provider, with calendaring. So, (ahem, apprehensively) /.r's, you know the history (and can you see into the future?) of this sordid tale, what email service do -you- recommend to keep -my- email communications private? Or do you succumb idly to the false sense of security that accompanies the services of the almighty Goog?

(with a semi-faux-sheepish, yet vaguely wicked grin)"

+ - Parents Investigated for Neglect For Letting Kids Walk Home Alone

Submitted by (3830033) writes "The WaPo reports that Danielle and Alexander Meitiv in Montgomery County Maryland say they are being investigated for neglect after letting their 10-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter make a one-mile walk home from a Silver Spring park on Georgia Avenue on a Saturday afternoon. “We wouldn’t have let them do it if we didn’t think they were ready for it,” says Danielle. The Meitivs say they believe in “free-range” parenting, a movement that has been a counterpoint to the hyper-vigilance of “helicopter” parenting, with the idea that children learn self-reliance by being allowed to progressively test limits, make choices and venture out in the world. “The world is actually even safer than when I was a child, and I just want to give them the same freedom and independence that I had — basically an old-fashioned childhood,” says Danielle. “I think it’s absolutely critical for their development — to learn responsibility, to experience the world, to gain confidence and competency.”

On December.20, Alexander agreed to let the children walk from Woodside Park to their home, a mile south, in an area the family says the children know well. Police picked up the children near the Discovery building, the family said, after someone reported seeing them. Alexander said he had a tense time with police when officers returned his children, asked for his identification and told him about the dangers of the world. The more lasting issue has been with Montgomery County Child Protective Services which showed up a couple of hours later. Although Child Protective Services could not address this specific case they did point to Maryland law, which defines child neglect as failure to provide proper care and supervision of a child. “I think what CPS considered neglect, we felt was an essential part of growing up and maturing,” says Alexander. “We feel we’re being bullied into a point of view about child-rearing that we strongly disagree with.”"

+ - Belief that some fields require 'brilliance' may keep women out->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Certain scientific fields require a special type of brilliance, according to conventional wisdom. And a new study suggests that this belief, as misguided as it may be, helps explain the underrepresentation of women in those fields. The authors found that fields in which inborn ability is prized over hard work produced relatively fewer female Ph.D.s. This trend, based on 2011 data from the National Science Foundation’s Survey of Earned Doctorates, also helps explain why gender ratios don’t follow the simplified STEM/non-STEM divide in some fields, including philosophy and biology, they conclude."
Link to Original Source

+ - Ask slashdot: What's the best wireless headset for around $50-$75

Submitted by Keybounce
Keybounce (226364) writes "What are good wireless headsets for around $50-$75?

This may seem strange, but the truth is, trying to find good descriptions of headphones is hard enough, let alone actual product reviews. The one that I found, that looked promising, turned out to only be stereo over a wire, and was mono over bluetooth.

1. Stereo audio playback.
2. Microphone (can be mono)
3. Wireless.

Desired: Sits on top of ear (so I can still hear the world around me)
Slightly negative: Envelopes ear.
Absolutely not: inserts inside ear."

Comment: Re:Battery capacity (Score 1) 56

by pijokela (#48419337) Attached to: Jolla Crowdfunds Its First Tablet

Their phone only has 1GB of memory and that works pretty well, so I think 2GB on tablet should be ok?

Anyway, with the price given this is in the cheap tablet category and not competing with the over twice more expensive iPads. I ordered it just because the phone has had regular software updates unlike the Samsung (tablet) and Nokia (phones) devices I have previously had.

Comment: Re:3 to 5 Years (Score 1) 187

by pijokela (#48348913) Attached to: I expect to be conventionally alive ...

That really depends on what killed your father and grandfather. One of my grandfathers died pretty young because of an infection is his appendix. My father had his appendix removed a couple of years ago in an emergency operation after it got infected. Looks like I need to keep this is mind.

But now that doctors know what to do about this, it doesn't mean that my father gets to live "a little longer" - there is no way to know what the next problem is or whether it comes before he's 80.

+ - SpaceShipTwo cost a life, so why do we still use human test pilots?->

Submitted by garymortimer
garymortimer (1882326) writes "Virgin Galactic has sold several hundred tickets for future flights to the edge of the atmosphere and there are proposals that SpaceShipTwo will be used to send research experiments briefly into space – all worthy endeavours.

But when we have advanced RPAs, why are we still testing new rocket motor and fuel combinations, with human pilots strapped just metres away from them flying at 45,000ft?

Combining spaceplanes with remote control and automation is not new.

Just a few weeks ago, a US Air Force robotic spaceplane came back to Earth after nearly two years in orbit. Its flight was either totally automatic or partially remote controlled; but we have no idea which, as it was a top-secret program.

In 1988, the former Soviet Union’s space program successfully flew their robotic space shuttle Buran, which performed two orbits of the Earth and landed back on a runway, just like the human piloted NASA space shuttles.

The reasons we still sometimes use human test pilots are complex. The SpaceShipTwo vehicle was inspired from SpaceShipOne. That vehicle won the US$10 million Ansari X-Prize in 2004 when Mojave Aerospace Ventures showed that it was possible to launch a non-government developed or funded spaccraft into space with a pilot onboard, twice within two weeks.

SpaceShipTwo’s core business will be to take passengers into sub-orbital space, so of course having human pilots onboard makes sense as eventually there will be human passengers. Would you be prepared to board a commercial jet now if you knew their were no human pilots onboard? Knowing that the pilot’s own safety is twinned with that of the passengers means we feel safer with experts at the helm.

But the SpaceShipTwo disaster was not a commercial flight – it was the first flight-test of a particular engine and fuel combination. Could the engine and fuel have been tested in a rocket first? Could SpaceShipTwo have been designed with an autopilot capability?"

Link to Original Source

+ - EU Sets Goal To Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions 40% by 2030->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The 28 nations in the European Union agreed Friday to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40% (going by 1990 levels) by the year 2030. The deal received widespread criticism; industry bosses said the 2030 targets were too extreme, while many environmental groups said the goals weren't ambitious enough. The deal requires each nation to achieve the goal independently — earlier targets could use international offsets to avoid or reduce action. EU officials hope the deal will encourage the U.S. and China to take a more aggressive stance on fighting climate change."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Some justice (Score 3, Informative) 120

by pijokela (#48018691) Attached to: Apple Faces Large Penalties In EU Tax Probe

EU actually does have minimum and maximum levels for some taxes. So as a member of EU they are not completely free to choose the level of their taxes. I also think that Ireland has been one of the countries opposing a raise in the minimum tax paid by companies. But anyway, the current beef is like you said.

+ - Billionaire Agarwal Gets Inspired By Gates' Philantrophy->

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "Anil Agarwal, the billionaire founder of Vedanta Resources Plc, said he and his family decided to donate 75 percent of their wealth to charity after meeting Bill Gates. Agarwal said Gates and his wife, Melinda, discussed their philanthropic causes with him in Seattle last summer. "What we earn must be returned for the greater good of society," the 62-year-old said at an event yesterday to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Vedanta's (VED) listing on the London Stock Exchange. "Life is not only about wealth." Agarwal has a fortune of $3.3 billion that includes an almost 70 percent stake in his company."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Failure tolerance is a mortal sin (Score 2) 101

by pijokela (#47958971) Attached to: 'Reactive' Development Turns 2.0

On the Play webserver the user "session" is a signed cookie. So if you have very little data, you can store it there and you always have it regardless of the server rendering the response. If you need more user specific data you can store keys in the cookie and get the session from a backend mongodb or memcached or akka cluster or something else that scales easier then an RDBMS. With the Plays ability to easily fetch data concurrently from multiple backend systems, this is actually a good way to go. Or you can just have all the user specific stuff fetched with ajax from some other servers to distribute the load.

Comment: Re:Failure tolerance is a mortal sin (Score 4, Interesting) 101

by pijokela (#47957549) Attached to: 'Reactive' Development Turns 2.0

I don't think it means what you think it means. Obviously the manifesto is so short on details that it can be interpreted in many ways. I think the failure tolerance is more about e.g. tolerance of losing machines or tolerance of overloading - and that seems to be working.

I have previous experience about J2EE/JEE application servers and they always seemed to have the problem that when overloaded with traffic they might do anything. And after being severely overloaded they often do not recover back to normal. Also people often did not use J2EE session replication, because it was considered a pain.

Now I'm building an app with Scala/Play framework and we don't have user sesssions or the web servers so scaling and server failures are not a problem. Also we just ran some performance / load tests and the servers work fine up to 100% load and then just start to lose some requests. This is much preferrable to the "all bets are off" that I have seen on Tomcat or other servlet containers. Another reactive benefit from the Play server is that it is super easy to use many threads for building a single http reply and this really helps in giving users timely replys.

So while the manifesto is of course marketing, there are some good things in the new ways of doing things.

A man is not complete until he is married -- then he is finished.