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Comment Banalities.. (Score 4, Informative) 109

First, for someone who has been playing chess competitively for the last twenty years, none of the results of the analysis is a revelation. Like so many "data" posts that seem to be in vogue, this one states quite the obvious viz the game of chess has evolved and has improved in quality. Hence opening colour matters, games are longer and many end in draws. DUH! As a secondary point, the OP makes a big show of the "steady increase" increase in length of game from the 1970s. On closer inspection, what is implied is that the average game has gone from 37 moves to 42 moves. For a chess player, that increase is hardly significant and can be attributed more as a result of prevailing opening theory and chess playing style than reflective of anything else. A clear case of data-blindness.

Comment Re:Overlooking an obvious fact (Score 1) 157

Automated cars will be a big source of revenue for google. The cars will be in constant communication with google's datacenters to provide mapping data - not just GPS street coordinates, but detailed imagery and geometry from lidar captured previously by the Street View cars - plus road conditions gleaned in real time from tens of thousands of cars (down to the level of street light timing a few intersections ahead on your path). Google may or may not produce any cars themselves, but all the automakers will license their data streams. How many other companies have gathered street-level lidar and imagery on practically every street in the world and have the datacenters to process and serve it globally in real-time?

I agree with you that automated cars are likely to be a source of revenue but there a huge slip between the cup and the lip, and the fact is that while these are good bets the surety that they will be profitable and financially sustainable is definitely not guaranteed!

Comment Overlooking an obvious fact (Score 3, Interesting) 157

It looks like she might have overlooked the glaringly obvious fact that the entire reason why Google X and her job position exist is because of "mind numbing" technologies that serve as ad serving platforms that get in revenue for Google. Ask her to get driverless cars, balloons and a headpiece to start generating income!

Comment Why is this news? (Score 2, Interesting) 235

There is absolutely nothing in the NYTimes story that points to any new development that justifies the headline. Google Apps has been chipping away at the incumbent MS Office for a few years now and, at best, could be building momentum. Like many "stories" released during the Christmas season, this most likely was one of those weak story ideas that had once been shelved and has come to the rescue of some lurking journalist.

Submission + - Pre To Postmortem: The Inside Story of the Death of Palm and webOS (

SomePgmr writes: "Thirty-one. That's the number of months it took Palm, Inc. to go from the darling of International CES 2009 to a mere shadow of itself, a nearly anonymous division inside the HP machine without a hardware program and without the confidence of its owners. Thirty-one months is just barely longer than a typical American mobile phone contract. Understanding exactly how Palm could drive itself into irrelevance in such a short period of time will forever be a subject of Valley lore."

Submission + - Foreign Workers Move In, US Workers Move Out (

An anonymous reader writes: A new academic study indicates that when highly skilled immigrants move to a region, native born individuals with similar skillsets move away. Xenophobia? Or unwillingness to be subject to H1b visa wage suppression? I would guess the latter, as the effect is most noted in smaller cities.

Submission + - Zeolite thermal storage retains heat indefinitely, absorbs four times more heat ( 2

MrSeb writes: "Hold onto your hat/life partner/gonads: Scientists in Germany have created small, zeolite pellets that can store up to four times more heat than water, loss-free for “lengthy periods of time.” In theory, you can store heat in these pellets, and then extract exactly the same amount of heat after an indeterminate amount of time. Zeolites (literally “boil stones”) aren’t exactly new: The term was coined in 1756 by Axel Cronstedt, a Swedish mineralogist who noted that some minerals, upon being heated, release large amounts of steam from water that had been previously adsorbed. For the last 250 years, scientists have tried to shoehorn this process in a heat storage system — and now, the Fraunhofer Institute, working with industrial partners, has worked out how to do it."

Submission + - Dept. of Homeland Security to build better cyber workforce (

coondoggie writes: "Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today said the agency will form a cybersecurity workforce task group that will consider strategies such as expanding DHS involvement in cyber competitions and university programs, enhancing public-private security partnerships and working with other government agencies to develop a more agile cyber workforce across the federal government. The new task force will be co-chaired by hacking expert Jeff Moss who now works for the Homeland Security Advisory Council and Alan Paller is director of research at the SANS Institute."

Submission + - World's Largest Biometric Database (

An anonymous reader writes: In the last two years, over 200 million Indian nationals have had their fingerprints and photographs taken and irises scanned, and given a unique 12-digit number that should identify them everywhere and to everyone. This is only the beginning, and the goal is to do the same with the entire population (1.2 billion), so that poorer Indians can finally prove their existence and identity when needed for getting documents, getting help from the government, and opening bank and other accounts. This immense task needs a database that can contain over 12 billion fingerprints, 1.2 billion photographs, and 2.4 billion iris scans, can be queried from diverse devices connected to the Internet, and can return accurate results in an extremely short time.

Submission + - Bing Search Overtakes Yahoo (

SharkLaser writes: Microsoft's Bing search engine has overtaken Yahoo for the first time. While both Bing, Yahoo and a bunch of meta-search engines like the privacy-oriented DuckDuckGo use Bing's back-end, it clearly shows Yahoo's declining market share. comScore has also released its search data for 2011 — overally, Bing gained 3.1% of market share while Yahoo lost 1.5% and Google lost 0.7%. Yahoo's new CEO Scott Thompson has lots to work with.

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