Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Medicine

Scientists Themselves Play Large Role In Bad Reporting 114

Posted by samzenpus
from the but-I-have-people-skills dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "A lot of science reporting is sensationalized nonsense, but are journalists, as a whole, really that bad at their jobs? Christie Wilcox reports that a team of French scientists have examined the language used in press releases for medical studies and found it was the scientists and their press offices that were largely to blame. As expected, they found that the media's portrayal of results was often sensationalistic. More than half of the news items they examined contained spin. But, while the researchers found a lot of over-reporting, they concluded that most of it was 'probably related to the presence of ''spin'' in conclusions of the scientific article's abstract.' It turns out that 47% of the press releases contained spin. Even more importantly, of the studies they examined, 40% of the study abstracts or conclusions did, too. When the study itself didn't contain spin to begin with, only 17% of the news items were sensationalistic, and of those, 3/4 got their hype from the press release. 'In the journal articles themselves, they found that authors spun their own results a variety of ways,' writes Wilcox. 'Most didn't acknowledge that their results were not significant or chose to focus on smaller, significant findings instead of overall non-significant ones in their abstracts and conclusions, though some contained outright inappropriate interpretations of their data.'"
EU

Apple Sued By Belgian Consumer Association For Not Applying EU Warranty Laws 290

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the regulation-is-only-ok-if-it-benefits-us dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Following the recent Italian case, Apple is now being sued by the Belgian consumer association 'Test-Achats' (french/dutch website) for not applying the EU consumer protection laws by only giving a one-year warranty on its products. At the same time, Apple is not only refusing to give the mandatory two-year warranty but is also selling the additional year of warranty with its Applecare products. If the consumer association wins its case, Apple could be forced to refund Applecare contracts to its Belgian customers while providing the additional year of warranty for free."
Programming

Tetris In 140 Bytes 215

Posted by samzenpus
from the a-little-code dept.
mikejuk writes "Is it possible to write a JavaScript program in no more than a tweet's length? A website called 140byt.es says it is and has an implementation of Tetris to prove it. Ok, it only has two types of block — hence its title "Binary Tetris" — and there's no rotate, but it works. The blocks fall down the screen and you steer them into place. You can try it out by playing the demo. Of course the real fun is in figuring out how it works and there is lots of help on the site — so if you're bored how about the 140 character challenge?"
Android

Google's Nexus One, a Steal At $49 Unlocked? 311

Posted by kdawson
from the such-a-deal dept.
gjt writes "I initially posted a piece ragging on the Nexus One. But then a commenter pointed out a problem with my initial logic, and after doing some math I concluded that the $529 unlocked/unsubsidized Google Nexus One gPhone is much cheaper than it appears to be. In fact it's only $49 over two years — and that's unlocked! Google likes to say that the Nexus One represents 'Our new approach to buying a mobile phone.' But it actually seems as though T-Mobile deserves most of the credit by providing a $20/month discount to customers who purchase an unsubsidized phone, a fact that didn't seem to get much attention when T-Mobile created the plan last October."
Media

MPEG LA Extends H.264 Royalty-Free Period 260

Posted by timothy
from the now-how-much-would-you-pay? dept.
Sir Homer writes "The MPEG LA has extended their royalty-free license (PDF) for 'Internet Video that is free to end users' until the end of 2016. This means webmasters who are registered MPEG LA licensees will not have to pay a royalty to stream H.264 video for the next six years. However the last patent in the H.264 portfolio expires in 2028, and the MPEG LA has not released what fees, if any, it will charge webmasters after this 'free trial' period is over."

Apple Orders 10 Million Tablets? 221

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the pricepoint-better-be-right dept.
Arvisp writes "According to a blog post by former Google China president Kai-Fu Lee, Apple plans to produce nearly 10 million tablets in the still-unannounced product's first year. If Lee's blog post is to be believed, Apple plans to sell nearly twice as many tablets as it did iPhones in the product's first year."
Power

Record-Breaking Solar Cells Tailored To Location 133

Posted by samzenpus
from the new-and-improved dept.
Urchin writes "The quality of sunlight varies depending on where you live, but off-the-shelf solar cells are all identical. A new solar cell designed by UK firm Quantasol is easily tuned to adapt to the local light conditions, which boosts its long-term performance. Its short-term performance isn't bad though — the single junction solar cell has a peak efficiency greater than any previous device, beating a world record that's stood for 21 years."
Transportation

Researchers Test Drive Bus With Automated Steering 180

Posted by Soulskill
from the watch-out-for-the-t-rex dept.
An anonymous reader tips us to news that researchers at University of California, Berkeley, have successfully test driven a 60-foot bus that controlled its own steering. Sensors on the bus detected magnets that had been embedded in a San Leandro road, and it was able to reach stops within one centimeter of its desired position. Acceleration and braking during the test were controlled by a human operator, but the system is capable of handling those as well, and has done so on test courses. "... sensors mounted under the bus measured the magnetic fields created from the roadway magnets, which were placed beneath the pavement surface 1 meter apart along the center of the lane. The information was translated into the bus's lateral and longitudinal position by an on-board computer, which then directed the vehicle to move accordingly. For a vehicle traveling 60 miles per hour, data from 27 meters (88 feet) of roadway can be read and processed in 1 second. Zhang added that the system is robust enough to withstand a wide range of operating conditions, including rain or snow, a significant improvement to other vehicle guidance systems based upon optics."
Debian

Ubuntu Dev Summit Lays Out Plans For Hardy Heron 261

Posted by Zonk
from the hee-such-humorous-names dept.
Opurt writes "On the first day of the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Boston this week, a roundtable session focused on the vision for the upcoming Hardy Heron Ubuntu release. Unlike Gutsy Gibbon, which brought a handful of experimental features along with some new functionality, the focus with Heron will be on robustness as it will be supported on the desktop for 3 years. 'The Compiz window manager, which adds sophisticated visual effects to the Ubuntu user interface, will be a big target for usability improvements. Keyboard bindings and session management were noted as two areas where Compiz still needs some work.' PolicyKit and Tracker will also be significantly tweaked, while Heron is also likely to see a complete visual refresh."

Comment: Re:Superdemocracy is a terrible idea. (Score 1) 293

by themadhamster (#20985997) Attached to: Australians Running On-Line Poll Based Senators
You do need a supermajority to pass legislation in the US. First of all, the senate and the house has to agree. A minority of 40 senators can filibuster a bill, making sure it never reaches a vote. Moreover, you need support from certain key committee members. So you need at least

(1) Support from key senators and representatives.
(2) Support (or not too strong opposition) from 60% of senators.
(3) A majority in the house.
(4) Avoid a veto from the president, or much higher support to override a veto.

Maybe that's why things rarely get done in the US.
Yahoo!

Yahoo! Asks That Chinese Rights Suit Be Dismissed 248

Posted by Zonk
from the your-justice-online dept.
Eviliza writes that Yahoo! is asking that the suit filed against it over the infringement of a Chinese journalist's civil rights be dismissed in US courts this week. The company has stated that it had no choice but to give up the journalist's information, as it's Chinese subsidiary is subject to Chinese laws. "'Defendants cannot be expected, let alone ordered to violate another nation's laws,' the company said in its filing. But Morton Sklar of the World Organization for Human Rights said the company had failed to meet its ethical responsibilities. 'Even if it was lawful in China, that does not take away from Yahoo's obligation to follow not just Chinese law, but US law and international legal standards as well, when they do business abroad,' he said."
Movies

DeLorean to Come Back (Sorta) 263

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the my-childhood-dream dept.
Alcibaides writes "DeLorean Motor Company, a suburban Houston company that rebuilds DeLoreans, is laying plans to bring the car back into limited production. The last DeLorean rolled off the assembly line in Northern Ireland in 1982. But like Duran Duran, the Rubik's Cube and other Reagan-era icons, the car retains a following. Of the 9,000 built in 1981 and 1982, about 6,500 are still on the road, according to James Espey, vice president of DeLorean Motor."

Five Things You Can't Discuss about Linux 662

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the but-what-if-i-wanna dept.
gondwannabe writes "Here are Five Things You Aren't Allowed to Discuss About Linux. With considerable chutzpa, an insightful Rob Enderle takes on what he considers five dogmas in the OSS community and explains why they're wrong. Examples: Linux is secure, "communes" actually work in the long haul, and that Linux is "pro-developer."
Novell

Novell and Microsoft Claim Customer Support 158

Posted by Zonk
from the quite-a-spin dept.
munchola writes "Novell and Microsoft have commissioned a survey to prove that customers love their interoperability and patent deal. According to the survey 'Ninety-five percent approve of the collaboration between Novell and Microsoft,' while 'four out of five believe their organization would consider doing more business with Linux dealers if Linux providers establish an alliance with Microsoft.' As CBRonline notes, however: 'Few people have claimed the deal is bad for Novell or Microsoft's customers. The question has been whether it is good for the open source movement, open source developers, or indeed Novell itself. Those issues do not appear to have been addressed by the survey.'"

IBM Challenges Microsoft With an Ad Campaign 210

Posted by Zonk
from the draw-sabers-and-duel dept.
Rytis writes "IBM is about to spend $300 Million dollars on a campaign to win customers and to convert them from Microsoft Exchange to Lotus Notes and Domino under Linux. IBM is also said to offer resellers a bounty of $20,000 for switching customers to its Linux-based e-mail programs from Microsoft server software. It seems that the concurrence Microsoft Corp. is facing is getting tighter and tighter. The Penguin gets more and more support from the two biggest rivals that Microsoft have ever had."

The trouble with the rat-race is that even if you win, you're still a rat. -- Lily Tomlin

Working...