I'm not that far from retirement but that job will disappear in the near future, the technology in IBM's Watson will "democratise" data analysis in the same way the PC has "democratised" programming. Experts will have a "conversation" with the computer in which man and machine will both "learn" something, Google style search engines will look as quaint as a "ready reckoner" book of maths tables. And yes, Watson relies heavily on statistics, it doesn't actually give you an "answer" it gives a range of answers with an associated probability. Sounds kinda flakey but the fact that it can beat the world's top trivia buffs in an open ended problem domain is old news.
When it won the Jeopardy championship a few years ago it needed 2 tons of air-conditioning alone and was an exclusive toy for IBM devs. Today it fits on a "pizza box" server and IBM have recently opened the API to the public.
Disclaimer: Worked for IBM in the 90's, not shilling, just my personal opinion that "cognitive computing" may turn out to be more significant to human history than anything else that's happened since WW2.
repeated attempts to get ANYTHING to grow on a Big Mac have predictably met with failure.
WTF? Have you not seen the size of the people who eat those things?
While on the subject there's a good chance that rocks that have an internal structure similar to cheerio are an essential part of the hypothesis that life emerged from volcanic vents on the sea floor. The tiny bubbles in the rocks (think charcoal,scoria,etc) are perfect for forming lipid bubbles - primitive cell membranes that spontaneously arise from the lipids found in clay, clay only forms under water. Volcanic vents are the #1 suspect in the hunt to find where life arose on Earth...interesting stuff, you can google the rest with "abiogenesis Harvard"
It a good thing to see the US is finally starting to moderate that socially destructive policy, I hope the numbers continue to drop.
Were people ever successful in those bio-dome experiments?
Nope, and we ain't going very far until someone solves that puzzle.
We won't know, unless we rearrange the house!
Nice try, but it's still your turn to do the dishes.
In a historical sense ISIS may have actually done something useful, they concentrated the command and control of islamic extremists into one place and have united the Sunni's, Shiites, and Kurds in a fight against a common enemy. They are penned in on all sides by nations that are hostile towards them, they have no hope of expanding beyond Syria/Iraq (and possibly Afghanistan) via military means. What happens after ISIS is gone I don't know, but the idea of a caliphate where they are not in charge is scaring the shit out of all of the tribal leaders right now and may just force the three tribes to find a more civilised way of disagreeing.
This war is a muslim war, if we charge in now boots and all it will revert to a muslim vs the west war which is precisely what ISIS wants, they want us to try and root them out because they believe that would line up the tribes behind them (better the devil you know and all that). The best thing the west can do now is work with Russia to avoid falling into the old cold war pattern of fighting proxy wars using impoverished nations as their pawns. If the west and Russia start openly fighting for influence in the region, we are in a different and much more deadly ball park.