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+ - Tom Coburn slams International Space Station, other NASA programs as wasteful->

Submitted by MarkWhittington
MarkWhittington (1084047) writes "Sen. Tom Coburn, a Republican from Oklahoma, has released his 2014 “Wastebook” of what he regards as wasteful spending. Tucked inside the examples of monkey gambling studies and Swedish massages for rabbits, are several NASA programs the senator finds off-putting.

One example is a full-throated attack against the International Space Station, a facility that was started by President Ronald Reagan and has been in full operation for the past several years. “ISS is one of the greatest achievements in manned spaceflight. It is also the ‘single most expensive object ever created.’ And some scientists question if the space station’s out of this world costs can continue to be justified.” Coburn strongly implies that the ISS be immediately scrapped, and the money spent on what he regards as more productive research."

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Comment: Re:Pitney Bowes (Score 1) 121

by tomhath (#48199769) Attached to: The Future of Stamps

Why "stamp it with a device that uses a laser to etch it with your name and a unique identifying pattern". All it's doing is creating a mailing label, you can do that already.

The idea of auto-forwarding to the address in the post office's database is kind of different; but I'm not sure what that adds to filling out a change of address form and sending it to your post office.

+ - Ebola does not require an "Ebola Czar," nor calling up the National Guard->

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "David Ropeik explores risk-perception psychology and Ebola in the US. 'But officials are up against the inherently emotional and instinctive nature of risk-perception psychology. Pioneering research on this subject by Paul Slovic, Baruch Fischhoff, and others, vast research on human cognition by Daniel Kahnemanand colleagues, and research on the brain’s fear response by neuroscientists Joseph LeDoux, Elizabeth Phelps, and others, all make abundantly clear that the perception of risk is not simply a matter of the facts, but more a matter of how those facts feel. (Melissa Finucane, Slovic, and others have called this the “affect heuristic.”)'"
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Comment: Oversimplification by NPR (Score 1) 700

by tomhath (#48198075) Attached to: NPR: '80s Ads Are Responsible For the Lack of Women Coders
There were many other things going on during the '80s. The country was in the middle of a deep and prolonged recession. Women were given hiring preference in most technical fields. Comp Sci programs became more competitive. Maybe 0.1% of coeds ended up in other fields for various reasons.

+ - Verifying Evolving Software ->

Submitted by heidibrayer
heidibrayer (2976759) writes "When we verify a software program, we increase our confidence in its trustworthiness. We can be confident that the program will behave as it should and meet the requirements it was designed to fulfill. Verification is an ongoing process because software continuously undergoes change. While software is being created, developers upgrade and patch it, add new features, and fix known bugs. When software is being compiled, it evolves from program language statements to executable code. Even during runtime, software is transformed by just-in-time compilation. Following every such transformation, we need assurance that the change has not altered program behavior in some unintended way and that important correctness and security properties are preserved. The need to re-verify a program after every change presents a major challenge to practitioners—one that is central to our research. This blog post describes solutions that we are exploring to address that challenge and to raise the level of trust that verification provides.

As we strive to ease the burden of effort surrounding verification for practitioners, we attempt to answer this question:

How can we ensure that the amount of verification work is proportional to the size of the change, as opposed to the size of the system?"

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+ - Programming-Language Innovation Is Dead: Witness the rebirth with Java?->

Submitted by Peter Joh
Peter Joh (3886347) writes "Yes, there’s been a lot of stealing of features between languages (for example, closures), but for the past 15 years, programming-language development now moves in baby steps rather than the man-sized leaps of the days of yore. One ambitious, open-source organization called Project Hierarchy [*LINK1] is trying to push things forward with a simple idea: take what we developers work with the most, data, and add it directly into a language (in this case, Java). Hierarchy is not just some JSON ripoff, the Java language has actually been fused with the database (called a “NoDB”). They believe it’s the key we’ve been missing all these years and are reaching out to the dev community to donate to their newly launched Kickstarter [*LINK2] project to help them continue what they started.

*LINK1 — http://projecthierarchy.org/
*LINK2 — https://www.kickstarter.com/pr..."

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+ - 32 Cities Want to Challenge Big Telecom, Build Their Own Gigabit Networks

Submitted by Jason Koebler
Jason Koebler (3528235) writes "More than two dozen cities in 19 states announced today that they're sick of big telecom skipping them over for internet infrastructure upgrades and would like to build gigabit fiber networks themselves and help other cities follow their lead.
The Next Centuries Cities coalition, which includes a couple cities that already have gigabit fiber internet for their residents, was devised to help communities who want to build their own broadband networks navigate logistical and legal challenges to doing so."

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