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Comment *despite* the data (Score 1) 472

It's difficult to fathom how the authors interpret the data on page 14 as *not* supporting the hypothesis that there is a male/female variance ratio of about 1.1. Figure 1A is a bell-like curve which is clearly centered around 1.1. In Figure 1B, almost all of the points are below the 1:1 line, whereas if you plot a 1.1:1 line, its a perfect fit for the data. In Figure 1C, the x value where the regression line intersects a zero gender gap (i.e. no evidence of cultural bias), is at a variance ratio of about 1.1. All of the evidence the authors present points to an underlying variance ratio near 1.1, yet somehow they conclude the opposite.

Comment Re:Why is this a problem? (Score 1) 376

For a fairly mature project like wikipedia (everybody knows about them, they have more pagerank than god, ignorance is unlikely to be the reason behind most non-contributors), focusing on anomalies in your contributor statistics is a good way of identifying potential issues that might be standing in the way of your growth.

I'm pretty sure that god is not the gold standard when it comes to PageRank. Yup: god — top hit, wikipedia.


Submission + - Car Tech: Building The Zero-Fatality Car (computerworld.com)

CWmike writes: In the future, new cars might include an appealing sticker: This car is rated for zero fatalities. John Brandon reports that Volvo, for instance, has launched a program called Vision 2020, which states, 'By 2020, nobody shall be seriously injured or killed in a new Volvo.' It includes not just new protective measures in the car, but technology for communicating dangers to and from the car. Other car companies have similar, less formalized programs. As ambitious as it seems, Ed Kim, an analyst at automotive research firm AutoPacific, says the zero-fatality goal is achievable. In the next 10 years, there will be a confluence of safety technologies — such as road-sign recognition, pedestrian detection and autonomous car controls — that lead to safer cars, says Kim. Will your next car look something like this?

Submission + - Bosch Builds Non-Hybrid Engine Stop-Start System (greencarreports.com)

thecarchik writes: Autonomous engine stop-start systems, designed to save fuel by turning off a car’s engine when at a standstill, are increasing in popularity, especially in Europe, where fuel prices are often double what they are here. In many cases, the addition of an engine stop-start system can net fuel savings in the range of 5-10 percent. The challenge for engineers was to make the start process faster and more dynamic, as the time for declutching, changing gear, and re-engaging the clutch done in manuals is not available in an automatic vehicle. Early last year, German transmission specialist ZF showed off a new eight-speed automatic designed with engine stop-start capability and soon after that Audi launched a version of its dual clutch equipped A3 hatcback overseas with an engine stop-start system. Now automotive parts supplier Bosch has developed its own engine stop-start system that can be used reliably in automatics.

Submission + - Researcher addresses Google Street View privacy (physorg.com)

alphadogg writes: Imagine encountering leashed dogs without dog walkers, or shoes filled just with ankles — when scoping out potential apartments using Google Street View. These are the sorts of visual hiccups that an experimental computer vision system occasionally generates when it automatically removes individual pedestrians from images that populate Google Street View.

A University of California, San Diego grad student developed this proof-of-concept system, which is explained in a paper called “Removing pedestrians from Google Street View images.” http://vision.ucsd.edu/sites/default/files/IWMV_13.pdf The UC San Diego project explores one way that computer vision could be used to preserve privacy in public environments in our digital age.

The as-yet unnamed system removes pedestrians from urban scenes pulled from Google Street View — which provides panoramic views of cities, towns and rural areas across the world. Street views are constructed by stitching together overlapping images taken from a moving vehicle.


Submission + - Antilasers: Coherent Perfect Absorbers (aps.org)

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes: "Researchers Y. D. Chong, Li Ge, Hui Cao, and A. D. Stone have designed a coherent perfect absorber—the 'antilaser.' While an ordinary laser emits light, the antilaser does the opposite: it is like a laser tuned to perfectly absorb light of a particular wavelength. To do this, they replace the gain medium of an ordinary laser with something that absorbs light, causing the process to look like a laser run backwards in time. So far, though, it's only a theoretical description and their next step is to actually construct one. Their research is available in their submission to the Physical Review Letters (abstract only, a subscription is required to view the PDF of the paper itself)."

Comment computer science beach reading (Score 5, Informative) 18

I'm a data scientist at company that is big enough to have a six-person data science team. Our CTO bought the data science team all copies of this book (mine is sitting on my desk right now). The best thing about this book is the cover. Which is not to say that the book is terrible —the cover is a really pretty picture of a kiwi. The only chapter in this book that was really interesting was Chapter 5, "Information Platforms and the Rise of the Data Scientist", by Jeff Hammerbacher, who edited the book. The rest is pretty fluffy. Nice easy reading, but nothing really useful or all that interesting.

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