Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Robotics

Technologies Like Google's Self-Driving Car: Destroying Jobs? 736

Nerval's Lobster writes "For quite some time, some economists and social scientists have argued that advances in robotics and computer technology are systematically wrecking the job prospects of human beings. Back in June, for example, an MIT Technology Review article detailed Erik Brynjolfsson (a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management) and a co-author suggesting that the evolution of computer technology was "largely behind the sluggish employment growth of the last 10 to 15 years." Of course, technological change and its impact on the workforce is nothing new; just look at the Industrial Revolution, when labor-saving devices put many a hard-working homo sapien out of economic commission. But how far can things go? There are even arguments that the technology behind Google's Self-Driving Car, which allows machines to rapidly adapt to situations, could put whole new subsets of people out of jobs."

Comment Re:"Slowdown" = Stop (Score 1) 510

You might have noticed that the press release was dealing with predictions, not the past record. If I was a serious opponent, I could try pointing out that it states "we will continue to see temperatures like those which resulted in 2000-2009 being the warmest decade in the instrumental record dating back to 1850," but that isn't inconsistent with global warming ending in 1998. http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/media/pdf/q/0/Paper2_recent_pause_in_global_warming.PDF does argue that global warming stopped, although in 2000, not 1998.
Earth

How Human Psychology Holds Back Climate Change Action 530

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Cass R. Sunstein writes at Bloomberg that an understanding of human psychology — specifically, what human beings fear and what they do not — helps to explain why nations haven't insisted on more significant emissions reductions even as scientists warn that if the world continues on its current course, we will face exceedingly serious losses and threats including a significant rise in sea levels by century's end. First, people tend to be especially focused on risks or hazards that have an identifiable perpetrator, and for that reason produce outrage. 'Warmer temperatures are a product not of any particular human being or group, but the interaction between nature and countless decisions by countless people. There are no obvious devils or demons — no individuals who intend to create the harms associated with climate change.' The second obstacle is that people tend to evaluate risks by way of 'the availability heuristic,' which leads them to assess the probability of harm by asking whether a readily available example comes to mind. For example, an act of terrorism is likely to be both available and salient, and hence makes people fear that another such event will occur. A recent crime or accident can activate attention and significantly inflate people's assessment of risk. Finally, human beings are far more attentive to immediate threats than to long-term ones. They may neglect the future, seeing it as a kind of foreign country, one they may not ever visit. For this reason, they might fail to save for retirement, or they might engage in risk-taking behavior such as smoking or unhealthy eating that will harm their future selves. 'All the obstacles are daunting skepticism about the science, economic self-interest, and the difficulties of designing cost-effective approaches and obtaining an international agreement,' concludes Sunstein, 'But the world is unlikely to make much progress on climate change until the barrier of human psychology is squarely addressed.'"

Comment Re:"Slowdown" = Stop (Score 1) 510

Bug

Xerox Photocopiers Randomly Alter Numbers, Says German Researcher 290

First time accepted submitter sal_park writes "According to a report from German computer scientist D. Kriesel, some Xerox WorkCentre copiers and scanners may alter numbers that appear in scanned documents. Having analyzed the output of two such devices, the Xerox WorkCentre 7535 and 7556, Kriesel found that "patches of the pixel data are randomly replaced in a very subtle and dangerous way": in particular, some numbers appearing in a document may be replaced by other numbers when it is scanned."
The Media

New York Times Sells Boston Globe At 93% Loss 178

An anonymous reader writes "The New York Times announced this morning that it has sold the Boston Globe newspaper and related assets, including the Boston.com website and the Worcester Telegram & Gazette daily paper, to John Henry, the principal owner of the Boston Red Sox. The price was $70 million in cash, a small fraction of the $1.1 billion the Times paid to acquire the Globe in 1993, and does not include assumption of the Globe's pension liabilities, estimated at $110 million, which will remain with the Times. Since then the paper's weekday circulation has fallen from 507,000 to 246,000 (including digital), mirroring the declining fortunes of many other daily newspapers across the country. Henry, who also owns the Liverpool FC and various other sports- and media- related properties, made his fortune in the investment industry; however, his hedge fund company recently closed after several years of poor performance."
Earth

What's Stopping Us From Eating Insects? 655

Lasrick writes "Scientific American has a really nice article explaining why insects should be considered a good food source, and how the encroachment of Western attitudes into societies that traditionally eat insects is affecting consumption of this important source of nutrients. Good stuff." Especially when they're so easy to grow.
Education

Every Public School Student In LA Will Get an iPad In 2014 393

Jeremiah Cornelius writes "After signing a $30 million iPad deal with Apple in June, the Los Angeles School Board of Education has revealed the full extent of the program that will provide tablets to all students in the district. CiteWorld reports that the first phase of the program will see pupils receive 31,000 iPads this school year, rising to 640,000 Apple tablets by the end of 2014. Apple previously announced that the initiative would include 47 campuses and commence in the fall." Certain companies (not just Apple) stand to benefit from this kind of outlay.
Government

Obamacare Employer Mandate Delayed Until After Congressional Elections 600

theodp writes "If you hoped your employer would finally provide health insurance in 2014, take two aspirin and call your doctor in the morning — the morning of January 1st, 2015. The Obama administration will delay a crucial provision of its signature health-care law until 2015, giving businesses an extra year to comply with a requirement that they provide their workers with insurance. The government will postpone enforcement of the so-called employer mandate until 2015, after the congressional elections, the administration said Tuesday. Under the provision, companies with 50 or more workers face a fine of as much as $3,000 per employee if they don't offer affordable insurance."
Censorship

Greek Government Abruptly Shuts Down State Broadcaster 230

An anonymous reader writes "The Greek government shut down broadcasting of all TV and radio channels operated by the state-owned broadcaster ERT at midnight local time, with police ejecting journalists and other employees occupying the building. The above link is a prominent Greek economics professor's (and Valve's in-house economist) analysis of the political motivations for the move."
Biotech

Reversible Male Contraception With Gold Nanorods 160

MTorrice writes "Men's options for birth control have significant downsides: Condoms are not as effective as hormonal methods for women, and vasectomies require surgery and are irreversible. Doctors and scientists have for decades searched for more effective and desirable male contraception techniques. Researchers in China now propose a nonsurgical, reversible, and low-cost method. They show that infrared laser light heats up gold nanorods injected into mice testes, leading to reduced fertility (abstract) in the animals."
Security

Hacker Releases 1.7TB Treasure Trove of Gaming Info 293

mvar writes "According to Kotaku, a hacker named SuperDaeE who breached multiple gaming companies (Valve, Sony, MS to name a few) has released a 1.7TB treasure trove file for download. The file which contains source code for older titles plus development kits for the PS4 and Xbox One consoles, is encrypted and SuperDaeE claims that it is his insurance in case he gets arrested."
Earth

Scientists Explain Why Chairman of House Committee On Science Is Wrong 476

Lasrick writes "Michael Oppenheimer and Kevin Trenberth take apart Rep. Lamar Smith's (R-Tex.) Washington Post op/ed on climate science saying: 'Contrary to Smith's assertions, there is conclusive evidence that climate change worsened the damage caused by Superstorm Sandy. Sea levels in New York City harbors have risen by more than a foot since the beginning of the 20th century. Had the storm surge not been riding on higher seas, there would have been less flooding and less damage. Warmer air also allows storms such as Sandy to hold more moisture and dump more rainfall, exacerbating flooding.'"

Slashdot Top Deals

"The trouble with doing something right the first time is that nobody appreciates how difficult it was." -- Walt West

Working...