Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Submission + - Why winners become cheaters (washingtonpost.com)

JoeyRox writes: A new study from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem reveals a paradoxical aspect of human behavior — people who win in competitive situations are more likely to cheat in the future. In one experiment, 86 students were split up into pairs and competed in a game where cheating was impossible. The students were then rearranged into new pairs to play a second game where cheating was possible. The result? Students who won the first game were much more likely to cheat at the second game. Additional experiments indicated that cheating was also more likely if students simply recalled a memory of winning in the past. The experiments further demonstrated that subsequent cheating was more likely in situations where the outcome of previous competitions was determined by merit rather than luck.

Submission + - Windows 10 Passes 10% Market Share, Overtakes Windows 8.1 And Windows XP

An anonymous reader writes: Six months after its release, Windows 10 has finally passed 10 percent market share. Not only that, but the latest and greatest version from Microsoft has also overtaken Windows 8.1 and Windows XP, according to the latest figures from Net Applications. Windows 10 had 9.96 percent market share in December, and gained 1.89 percentage points to hit 11.85 percent in January. Aside from its first month, Windows 10 has gained about 1 percentage point each month, though December was particularly strong, likely due to holiday sales. Later this year, Microsoft plans to make Windows 10 a “recommended update” so that Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users are even more likely to install it.

Submission + - China to build floating nuclear plant by 2020 (channelnewsasia.com)

AmiMoJo writes: China has announced plans to build a float nuclear plant, capable of generating 200MW, by 2020. The plant is designed to provide mobile power for offshore oil and gas exploration, as well as electricity and heat where needed and even desalination for remote islands and coastal areas. The use of nuclear power at sea is not unknown — aircraft carriers and missile submarines are often nuclear-powered — but doing so for civilian purposes appears to be unprecedented, although a Russian project is reportedly already under construction.

http://www.marketwatch.com/sto...

Submission + - Math whizzes of ancient Babylon figured out forerunner of calculus (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: Tracking and recording the motion of the sun, the moon, and the planets as they paraded across the desert sky, ancient Babylonian astronomers used simple arithmetic to predict the positions of celestial bodies. Now, new evidence reveals that these astronomers, working several centuries B.C.E., also employed sophisticated geometric methods that foreshadow the development of calculus. Historians had thought such techniques did not emerge until more than 1400 years later, in 14th century Europe.

Submission + - The Future Of Astronomy: NASA's James Webb Space Telescope 2

An anonymous reader writes: In 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope was launched and deployed, becoming the first space-based observatory. In the years since, many others have followed, covering the entire electromagnetic spectrum, but with nothing superseding Hubble over the wavelengths it covers. That will all change with the James Webb Space Telescope, currently on schedule and almost ready for its October 2018 launch date. The science instruments are all complete, the final mirrors are being inserted into the optical assembly, the sunshield (a new, innovative component) is almost complete, and then it just needs assembly and launch. When it’s all said and done, JWST will be orders of magnitude greater than all the other observatories that came before, and will finally allow us to truly see the first stars, galaxies and quasars in the Universe, not limited by the obscuring neutral gas that currently blocks our view with other observatories.

Submission + - Top Republican congressman blames Paris attacks on encryption (dailydot.com)

Patrick O'Neill writes: Republican Rep. Mike McCaul (R-Texas), the chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security, blamed the Islamic State’s deadly terrorist attacks in Paris directly on encryption, a claim that went unchallenged on MSNBC. The facts of the Paris attack are considerably more complex than McCaul indicated, however. The attackers, several of whom were already known to French intelligence, also repeatedly used unencrypted text messages, phone calls, and emails in the lead up to the attacks.

Submission + - The Danger Of Terror Attacks Using Drones, And Possible Countermeasures

An anonymous reader writes: You can add terrorist-controlled drones to the list of dangers we need to be scared about in the future, the Oxford Research Group announced after publishing the latest report by Remote Control, a project of the Network for Social Change. The report contains information about over 200 current and upcoming unmanned aerial, ground and marine systems, and evaluates their capabilities for delivering payloads (e.g. explosive devices), imaging capabilities (e.g. for reconnaissance purposes), and their general capabilities. Even though the report notes that commercial drones have a limited flight time, range of movement, and payload capacity, and that their operators still have to be relatively close to a potential target, the researchers are particularly worried about the possibility of drones being used as remotely controlled explosive devices.

Submission + - Some physical properties are undecidable (nature.com)

wheelbarrio writes: In a paper titled "Undecidability of the spectral gap" published last week in Nature, three theoretical computer scientists demonstrate that at least one important characteristic of a physical system is axiomatically unprovable. Specifically, the presence or absence of a non-zero spectral gap — the difference in energy between the ground state and first excited state of a quantum system — cannot derived from first principles. The proof involves constructing a correspondence between the calculation of the spectral gap and the Turing machine halting problem. Unless a loophole is found this is a profoundly distressing result for physicists, and it means that the sixth Clay Millennium Prize problem (Yang-Mills mass gap) is insoluble.

Submission + - Paris Climate Deal Adopted

jones_supa writes: 195 countries have adopted the first global pact to fight climate change by reducing emissions. Countries will have to publish greenhouse gas reduction targets and revise them upward every 5 years, while striving to drive down their carbon output as soon as possible, under the ambitious climate-change pact announced Saturday morning at UN talks in Paris. The agreement commits countries to keeping global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius and hopes to limit it to 1.5 C, with the goal of a carbon-neutral world sometime after 2050. The 31-page text called the Paris Agreement (PDF) was distributed to countries for them to assess, then agreed to at a plenary session.

Submission + - NASA contracting development of new ion/nuclear engines

schwit1 writes: NASA has awarded three different companies contracts to develop advanced ion and nuclear propulsion systems for future interplanetary missions, both manned and unmanned.

These are development contacts, all below $10 million. However, they all appeared structured like NASA’s cargo and crew contracts for ISS, where the contractor does all of the development and design, with NASA only supplying some support and periodic payments when the contractor achieves agreed-upon milestones. Because of this, the contractors will own the engines their develop, and will be able to sell them to other customers after development, thereby increasing the competition and innovation in the field.

Submission + - Google: Too Many White/Asian Males Play Computer Scientists on TV and in Movies 2

theodp writes: In partnership with Gallup, Google has released a second report with its take on the state of U.S. K-12 CS education. Entitled Images of Computer Science: Perceptions Among Students, Parents and Educators in the U.S., the report suggests tech's woeful diversity can be traced back to Hollywood's portrayal of Computer Scientists. "Students and parents perceive that there are few portrayals of women, Hispanic or Black computer scientists on TV or in movies," the report explains in its Key Findings. "These groups are much more likely to see White or Asian men engaged in computer science. They also often see computer scientists portrayed wearing glasses." In an accompanying post at the Google for Education blog, Google's Head of R&D for K-12 Education adds, "The results show that there's high value and interest in CS among all demographics, and even more so for lower-income parents. But unfortunately perceptions of who CS is for and who is portrayed in CS are narrow-White, male, smart with glasses. Even though they value it, students often don't see themselves in it." As a result of this and other factors, the report notes that "among the 49 states with at least one student taking the [AP] computer science exam, 12 had no Black students participating in 2014." It's an alarming factoid, but also a misleading one. As Gas Station Without Pumps explained two years ago, it is hardly surprising from a statistical standpoint that there are no Black student test takers in a state if there are essentially no test takers at all. So, let's not forget about girls and minorities, but let's also not forget that pretty much everyone is underrepresented if we look at the big AP CS picture — only 46,344 AP CS scores were reported in 2015 for a HS population of about 16 million students. So, shouldn't the goal at this stage of the game really be CS education for all? Towards that end, perhaps Google might want to look into commissioning a free programming book for kids from O'Reilly instead of another point-the-finger report from Gallup. But if Google wants to continue its search for things that have discouraged kids from coding, it might want to look in the mirror. After all, dropping a programming language for kids — as Google did with App Inventor in 2011 after CEO Larry Page ordered the plug pulled on projects deemed unworthy of Google 'wood' — didn't exactly send kids (and their perplexed teachers) the message that CS was for them, did it?

Submission + - Georgia gives personal data of 6 million voters to Georgia GunOwner Magazine (ajc.com) 1

McGruber writes: A class action lawsuit alleges that Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp's office released the personal identifying information of Georgia voters to twelve organizations, "including statewide political parties, news media organizations and Georgia GunOwner Magazine".

According to Kemp, his office shares "voter registration data every month with news media and political parties that have requested it as required by Georgia law. Due to a clerical error where information was put in the wrong file, 12 recipients received a disc that contained personal identifying information that should not have been included."

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution independently confirmed the inclusion of the personal data in the October file. The AJC did so by accessing the October data disc, looking up information for an AJC staffer and confirming his Social Security number and driver’s license information was included. The AJC has returned its copy of the disc to the state.

Submission + - Texas narrowly rejects allowing academics to fact-check public school textbooks (csmonitor.com)

jriding writes: AUSTIN, Texas â" Top Texas education officials rejected Wednesday letting university experts fact-check textbooks approved for use in public-school classrooms statewide, instead reaffirming a vetting system that has helped spark years of ideological battles over how potentially thorny lessons in history and science are taught.

Submission + - Don't Fall for Drone Registration Scams, Warns FAA (cio.com) 1

itwbennett writes: It's not exactly news that there's an abundance of confusion over what owners of consumer drones can do, can't do, and need to pay for. And it doesn't help matters that the FAA and Department of Transportation in early November said they intend to set up a registry that will likely cover many small consumer drones, but it's yet to happen. Because while the government is notoriously slow, scammers are notoriously fast. 'At least one company is already offering to help people register their drones for a fee,' the FAA said. 'Owners should wait until additional details about the forthcoming drone registration system are announced later this month before paying anyone to do the work for them.'

Submission + - Prison Hack Show Attorney-Client Privilege Violation (theintercept.com)

Advocatus Diaboli writes: "An enormous cache of phone records obtained by The Intercept reveals a major breach of security at Securus Technologies, a leading provider of phone services inside the nation’s prisons and jails. The materials — leaked via SecureDrop by an anonymous hacker who believes that Securus is violating the constitutional rights of inmates — comprise over 70 million records of phone calls, placed by prisoners to at least 37 states, in addition to links to downloadable recordings of the calls. The calls span a nearly two-and-a-half year period, beginning in December 2011 and ending in the spring of 2014."

"Particularly notable within the vast trove of phone records are what appear to be at least 14,000 recorded conversations between inmates and attorneys, a strong indication that at least some of the recordings are likely confidential and privileged legal communications — calls that never should have been recorded in the first place. The recording of legally protected attorney-client communications — and the storage of those recordings — potentially offends constitutional protections, including the right to effective assistance of counsel and of access to the courts."

Slashdot Top Deals

Computers can figure out all kinds of problems, except the things in the world that just don't add up.

Working...