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Submission + - Global-Warming Denial Hits 6-Year High

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Chris Mooney writes at Mother Jones that a new study, from the Yale and George Mason University research teams on climate change communication, shows a 7-percentage-point increase in the proportion of Americans who say they do not believe that global warming is happening. And that's just since the spring of 2013. The number of deniers is now 23 percent; back at the start of last year, it was 16 percent (PDF). The obvious question is, what happened over the last year to produce more climate denial? The answer may lie in the so-called global warming "pause"—the misleading idea that global warming has slowed down or stopped over the the past 15 years or so. This claim was used by climate skeptics, to great effect, in their quest to undermine the release of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Fifth Assessment Report in September 2013—precisely during the time period that is in question in the latest study. "The notion of a global warming "pause" is, at best, the result of statistical cherry-picking," writes Mooney. " It relies on starting with a very hot year (1998) and then examining a relatively short time period (say, 15 years), to suggest that global warming has slowed down or stopped during this particular stretch of time." Put these numbers back into a broader context and the overall warming trend remains clear. "If you shift just 2 years earlier, so use 1996-2010 instead of 1998-2012, the trend is 0.14 C per decade, so slightly greater than the long-term trend," explains Drew Shindell, a climate scientist at NASA who was heavily involved in producing the IPCC report. This is why climate scientists generally don't seize on 15 year periods and make a big thing about them. "Journalists take heed: Your coverage has consequences. All those media outlets who trumpeted the global warming "pause" may now be partly responsible for a documented decrease in Americans' scientific understanding."

Comment Besides the jokes (Score 3, Interesting) 215

Accenture (and the like) image in IT departments (technical side) is often illustrated thanks to some jokes, like the famous Why did the chicken cross the road?. While the IT department usually delivers practical and tangible services, these "consulting companies" made their way up to the management. The management, IT illiterate, is always keen on overpaying some comforting but useless lengthy overpriced reports from such a consulting company, stacked later on at the bottom of a cabinet, having a sticky note inserted on page 3/1000, page where the reader gave-up reading. Useless reports aimed at influencing high level decisions at the management level, that may not have a direct or lethal impact on IT productivity. Besides the heavy cost embedded in the management budget, usually no one really cares. The problem arises when a big entity, IT illiterate, does not have a solid IT structure yet, and assigns full responsibility to such a "consulting company" to manage a new IT service, from A to Z.

Comment Re:Initialize array to 0 (Score 1) 533

memset is part of the dev library - i.e. unlike the 'for' loop, when the processor or whatever other component allows a faster initialization, memset is likely to be rewritten to use that new feature, while the compiler - depending on the 'for' loop content - may not be able to guess the mere initialization, and may not use that new proc feature.

Comment Too bad for hackers (Score 1) 417

Hackers have to wait another year before showing their talent..
On a more serious note, it seems Microsoft, as often, didn't think through the process: halting XP security support in the blink of an eye would open a non closing door to security threats highly harmful to the company image. They gave XP another year, probably to build new update plans from XP to 7 / 8 (...) that would allow more/most companies to migrate in the meantime.

Comment Re:Some people deserve that (Score 1) 173

If Apple is 50% algorithms powerful + 50% design, Google is more something like 90% algorithms. What kind of complexity is the search algorithms, in your opinion? And Google Maps? There is a reason if nobody has reached that level yet. Google acquiring Nest is a good thing, as this should improve their - currently poor - design abilities.

Comment Some people deserve that (Score 4, Interesting) 173

I don't know his salary, but clearly someone like Petr, currently working at Google, deserves such an allowance (Petr is known for his genius talent in algorithmics). $3 million is 30 times what makes a good engineer - is it worth it? Or, should Google replace Petr with 30 engineers, for the same price? The thing is that at the level of Petr, none of the 30 engineers are likely to solve the complex problems that require complex algorithms. To be convinced, try to practice (or ask your best programmer friend) some of the Google Code Jam finale problems, or from topcoder...

Comment Business wise (Score 4, Insightful) 182

Will IBM's clients pay lots of money for all that cognitive power?

While TFA emphasizes the correlation between "cognitive" and the previous "jeopardy success", that jeopardy program was still extremely far away from human reasoning. The answer to that questions is: Of course. The ultimate goal of computing is the human reasoning. Once that step is reached, there is no reason the computer would not be able to improve that "cognitive power" by it(him)self, providing revolutionary reasoning power, thanks to almost unlimited potential hardware extensions which is available to the computer, contrary to the human brain, limited to relatively little progress thanks to hard learning and working.

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