Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

+ - The Demographic Future of America's Political Parties

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com writes: Daniel McGraw writes that based on their demographic characteristics the Democratic and Republican parties face two very different futures. There’s been much written about how millennials are becoming a reliable voting bloc for Democrats, but there’s been much less attention paid to one of the biggest get-out-the-vote challenges for the Republican Party heading into the next presidential election: The Republican Party voter is old—and getting older and far more Republicans than Democrats have died since the 2012 elections. By combining presidential election exit polls with mortality rates per age group from the U.S. Census Bureau, McGraw calculated that, of the 61 million who voted for Mitt Romney in 2012, about 2.75 million will be dead by the 2016 election. About 2.3 million of President Barack Obama’s voters have died too but that leaves a big gap in between, a difference of roughly 453,000 in favor of the Democrats. “I’ve never seen anyone doing any studies on how many dead people can’t vote,” laughs William Frey, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who specializes in demographic studies. “I’ve seen studies on how many dead people do vote. The old Daley Administration in Chicago was very good at that.”

Frey points out that, since Republicans are getting whiter and older, replacing the voters that leave this earth with young ones is essential for them to be competitive in presidential elections. "Millennials (born 1981 to 1997) now are larger in numbers than baby boomers ([born] 1946 to 1964), and how they vote will make the big difference. And the data says that if Republicans focus on economic issues and stay away from social ones like gay marriage, they can make serious inroads with millennials.” Exit polling indicates that millennials have split about 65-35 in favor of the Dems in the past two elections. If that split holds true in 2016, Democrats will have picked up a two million vote advantage among first-time voters. These numbers combined with the voter death data puts Republicans at an almost 2.5 million voter disadvantage going into 2016.

+ - Oculus Has No Plans to Block Virtual Reality Porn->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 writes: Facebook-owned Oculus VR has no plans to prevent the adult entertainment industry from using its Rift virtual reality headset, which is scheduled to launch as a consumer product within the first quarter of 2016, according to Oculus founder Palmer Luckey.

Asked about plans to block any X-rated content or apps during a panel at the first Silicon Valley Virtual Reality Conference in San Jose, Calif., on Monday, Luckey responded: "The rift is an open platform. We don't control what software can run on it," adding: "And that's a big deal."

Luckey's remarks stood out as most of his fellow panelists tried to dodge controversial questions around topics like adult entertainment as well as motion sickness and other side effects of using virtual reality headsets.

Link to Original Source

+ - Top scientists start to examine fiddled global warming figures-> 1

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 writes: Last month, we are told, the world enjoyed " its hottest March since records began in 1880 ". This year, according to "US government scientists", already bids to outrank 2014 as "the hottest ever". The figures from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) were based, like all the other three official surface temperature records on which the world's scientists and politicians rely, on data compiled from a network of weather stations by NOAA's Global Historical Climate Network (GHCN).

But here there is a puzzle. These temperature records are not the only ones with official status. The other two, Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) and the University of Alabama (UAH), are based on a quite different method of measuring temperature data, by satellites. And these, as they have increasingly done in recent years, give a strikingly different picture. Neither shows last month as anything like the hottest March on record, any more than they showed 2014 as "the hottest year ever".


Link to Original Source

+ - Except for Millennials, Most Americans Dislike Snowden

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com writes: Newsmax reports that according to according to KRC Research about 64 percent of Americans familiar with Snowden hold a negative opinion of him. However 56 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 have a positive opinion of Snowden which contrasts sharply with older age cohorts. Among those aged 35-44, some 34 percent have positive attitudes toward him. For the 45-54 age cohort, the figure is 28 percent, and it drops to 26 percent among Americans over age 55, U.S. News reported. Americans overall say by plurality that Snowden has done “more to hurt” U.S. national security (43 percent) than help it (20 percent). A similar breakdown was seen with views on whether Snowden helped or hurt efforts to combat terrorism, though the numbers flip on whether his actions will lead to greater privacy protections. “The broad support for Edward Snowden among Millennials around the world should be a message to democratic countries that change is coming,” says Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union. “They are a generation of digital natives who don’t want government agencies tracking them online or collecting data about their phone calls.” Opinions of millennials are particularly significant in light of January 2015 findings by the U.S. Census Bureau that they are projected to surpass the baby-boom generation as the United States’ largest living generation this year.

+ - AdBlock Plus Wins in German Court in Setback for Microsoft and Google

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com writes: Andrew Patrizio reports at Network World that a German court has ruled that the practice of blocking advertising is legal, throwing a wrench into the plans of advertising and publishing giants like Microsoft and Google to stop AdBlock Plus, a simple add-on to Chrome and Firefox, that has about 144 million active users (PDF), up 69% in a year. German publishers Zeit Online and Handelsblatt brought the suit against Eyeo, the company that owns Adblock Plus saying Adblock Plus should not be allowed to block ads on their websites. Microsoft, Google, and some French publishers were reportedly considering a suit against AdBlock Plus as well, with the chief of a French publisher's association telling AFP that its members lose 20% to 40% of revenue due to AdBlock Plus, which has 144 million users worldwide. "The Hamburg court decision is an important one," says Ben Williams, a director of Eyeo, "because it sets a precedent that may help us avoid additional lawsuits and expenses defending what we feel is an obvious consumer right: giving people the ability to control their own screens by letting them block annoying ads and protect their privacy."

+ - German Airbus A320 plane crashes in French Alps ->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 writes: Germanwings A320 aircraft flying from Barcelona to Düsseldorf goes down in southern French Alps with 148 on board

A distress call was made by the aircraft at 10.47am, while the plane was “in an abnormal situation”, the French transport ministry said. The crash happened shortly afterwards, it added. The aircraft disappeared off the radar at around 11.20am, Le Figaro reported. The plane dropped from 11,500 metres to 2,100 metres (38,000ft to 6,925ft) in nine minutes between 10.31am and 10.40am, air radar services said. The distress call to air traffic control in Marseilles was “mayday, mayday, mayday” and the pilot requested an emergency descent, meaning all air space had to be cleared below the route of the aircraft.

Link to Original Source

+ - 'No Survivors' Expected In France Plane Crash->

Submitted by johnsnails
johnsnails writes: A passenger plane has crashed in France, with all 148 people on board thought to have died.

The Airbus A320, operated by Lufthansa's Germanwings budget airline, came down in the southern French Alps between Barcelonnette and Digne.

Flight 4U 9525 sent out a distress signal at 10.45am (9.45am UK time) on its route from Barcelona to Dusseldorf.

Link to Original Source

+ - 35-Year Drought Forcast For US South West, Great Plains 1

Submitted by BarbaraHudson
BarbaraHudson writes: From the im-setting-up-a-bottled-water-franchise dept.

"Imagine a naturally occurring drought, such as the one occurring in California ... imagine that going on for decades ... that's kind of a mega-drought," said lead study author Benjamin Cook, a climatologist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

They used historic tree ring data and three drought measures to conclude that there was at least an 80 percent chance of a 35-year-long drought occurring in the American Southwest and Great Plains during the second half of the century.

+ - Drones don't faze birds->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit writes: In an effort to establish ethical guidelines for observing our feathered friends, scientists approached mallards, flamingos, and greenshanks with a quadcopter drone more than 200 times and watched for signs of disturbance. The researchers varied the color of the drone from black to blue to white; they approached at speeds of 2, 4, 6, and 8 m/s; and they approached at angles of 20, 30, 60, and 90. According to the results published online today in Biology Letters, the drone’s speed and color had no effect on whether the birds were bothered by the drone. The only variable that perturbed any of the three species was the angle of approach: When the drone dropped down on the birds from directly overhead (90), all three species showed signs of disturbance such as moving away from the drone or flying away entirely.
Link to Original Source

+ - Gamma-ray bursts may explain Fermi's paradox->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: A new study confirms the potential hazard of nearby gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), and quantifies the probability of an event on Earth and more generally in the Milky Way and other galaxies over time: "[Evolved] life as it exists on Earth could not take place in almost any galaxy that formed earlier than about five-thousand-million years after the Big Bang." This could explain the Fermi's paradox, or why we don't see billions-year old civilizations all around us.
Link to Original Source

+ - Ancient human jawbone surfaces off coast of Taiwan->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit writes: A fisherman who pulled in his nets 25 kilometers off the coast of Taiwan got a surprising catch: the lower jawbone of an ancient human. The bone is robust and sports unusually large molars and premolars, suggesting that it once belonged to an archaic member of our genus Homo. The Penghu jaw and teeth most closely resemble a partial skull of H. erectus from Longtan Cave in Hexian on the mainland of China, as well as earlier H. erectus fossils. Although it wasn’t possible to date the jawbone directly, it was found with an extinct species of hyena that suggests this archaic human was alive in the past 400,000 years and, most likely, in the past 200,000 years. If so, the find suggests that H. erectus persisted late in Asia, or that there were several other types of humans still alive at the time in this region. It might even be a member of the mysterious Denisovan people, a close relative of Neandertals known only from a finger bone and two teeth from Denisova Cave in Russia and its ancient DNA.
Link to Original Source

+ - Koch Brothers Budget $889 Million for 2016 Election

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com writes: Nicholas Confessore reports at the NYT that the Koch Brothers and their political network plan to spend close to $900 million in the 2016 election, an unparalleled effort by coordinated outside groups to shape a presidential election that is already on track to be the most expensive in history. The group’s budget reflects the rising ambition and expanded reach of the Koch operation, which has sought to distinguish itself from other outside groups by emphasizing the role of donors over consultants and political operatives. Hundreds of conservative donors recruited by the Kochs gathered over the weekend for three days of issue seminars, strategy sessions and mingling with rising elected officials. These donors represent the largest concentration of political money outside the party establishment, one that has achieved enormous power in Republican circles in recent years. “It’s no wonder the candidates show up when the Koch brothers call,” says David Axelrod, a former senior adviser to Mr. Obama. “That’s exponentially more money than any party organization will spend. In many ways, they have superseded the party.”

Espousing a political worldview that protects free speech and individual and property rights with equal protection for everyone under the law Koch says: “It is up to us. Making this vision a reality will require more than a financial commitment. It requires making it a central part of our lives.” Told of the $889 million goal, Mark McKinnon, a veteran GOP operative who has worked to rally Republican support to reduce the role of money in politics, quipped: “For that kind of money, you could buy yourself a president. Oh, right. That’s the point.”

+ - When Einstein met H.G. Wells

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang writes: When we talk about dimensions, we’re used to thinking of three: something like length, width and depth, or x, y and z. But there’s a fourth dimension as well that’s of paramount importance for our Universe, otherwise everything would simply be static: time. H.G. Wells brought this idea to life in his story The Time Machine in 1895, and years later Einstein brought forth special and general relativity into the world, bringing scientific validity to this theoretical conception. Here's the fascinating background, story and aftermath of when they met in 1929.

+ - A castaway from ancient Mars->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: It's the oldest rock on Earth--and it's from Mars. A 4.4-billion-year-old martian meteorite, found in a dozen pieces in the western Sahara, has ignited a frenzy among collectors and scientists; prices have reached $10,000 a gram, and museums and universities are vying for slivers of it. It is the only known martian meteorite made of sediment, a conglomerate of pebbles and other clumps of minerals from when the planet was warm, wet, and possibly habitable.
Link to Original Source

Comment: Published vs Personal Best Photos (Score 3) 35

by tsuliga (#48370927) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Rachel Sussman About Photography and the Oldest Living Things

I am curious if your own best photos are different than your best published photos. I would think published photos would need to appeal to a larger audience while personal best photos only need to appeal to you. Have you ever had an editor say no to a photo that you thought was brilliant or amazing?

If you suspect a man, don't employ him.

Working...