Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Universal algorithmic IQ test (Score 1) 384

“Sandra Wachter, a researcher in data ethics and algorithms at the University of Oxford, said: “The world is biased, the historical data is biased, hence it is not surprising that we receive biased results.””

The single most subversive thing that can be done in the present environment is to financially back lossless compression prizes. One such prize is the Hutter Prize for Lossless Compression of Human Knowledge — although it needs to be expanded to include all of Wikipedia. Perhaps a more immediate prize would be based on compressing a wide variety of social science data. Sandy can then show everyone how smart she is by modeling the “bias in the data” so as to better predict it — which is exactly why compression is _the_ unbiased universal algorithmic IQ test.


Comment Who Will Protect the Internet Archive Itself? (Score 5, Interesting) 590

If you have a domain name under which you have a lot of content -- an example is -- and, after a decade or so you find yourself impoverished and stressed to the point that you can't renew the domain registration (as did Rusty Foster), a domain squatter jumps on it and holds it hostage for thousands of dollars. When that happens, frequently even "The Wayback Machine" is told to deep-six the archived content by the simple expedient of placing a robots.txt file in the home directory of the hijacked domain. "The Wayback Machine" then dutifully removes public access to the content. OH but the fun doesn't stop there! So now let's say you fork over the ransom money to the domain squatter, get the domain name back and remove the robots.txt. Of course "The Wayback Machine" then restores public access to all those articles... right?

WRONG! does keep it stored and it is accessible to those with insider status, but no more public access EVER.

There really is value in hoarding history and if you can get away with it by doing it "on accident" all the better!

Submission + - SciAm Brains Fall Out Of "Open Mind" Toward Cold Fusion?

Baldrson writes: Close on the heels of Chemical and Engineering News' article "Cold fusion died 25 years ago, but the research lives on", Scientific American has published an article titled "Cold Fusion Lives: Experiments Create Energy When None Should Exist". Both of these articles prominently feature Brilliant Light Power's recent claims of reproducible, sustained, high-density power with 100x Coeffienct of Performance (COP). As Carl Sagan famously quoted James Oberg, "Keeping an open mind is a virtue but not so open that your brains fall out.." A quarter century ago the American Physical Society concluded, to a round of applause and laughter, that "cold fusion" was "incompetence and delusion". A year ago Idea Futures judged Cold Fusion false. Has Scientific American's brains fallen out of their "open mind"?

Comment Suspicious Treatment of Domain Drop Catching (Score 2) 42 plays it dumb when archived content becomes unavailable due to a domain drop catcher placing a robots.txt archiving exclusion on the domain.

This would not be quite so suspicious if it were not for the fact that when the original author of the material "memory holed" by pays the extortion to the domain drop catcher, and requests that restore the content for the public, will frequently (always?) fail to do sodo so.'s motive?

What is Google's motive for making its Usenet archives virtually unusable?

He who controls the past...

Comment Off-shore Off-shore Off-shore (Score 1) 248

Those who claim the US benefits by draining the best and the brightest from around the world are doing two things wrong:

1) They bad liars. Everyone knows they just want cheap labor. Just cut the noise already and accept the fact that they may have to send some mangers overseas.
2) Even if they happen to get someone particularly gifted to leave their native land and work cheap in the US, they're ignoring the negative impact this has on those -- usually developing -- economies which need their best and brightest in order to grow their economies to become importers of US goods and services.

Comment Sorting proponents of social theories to test them (Score 1) 609

The social sciences have tied themselves in a theocratic knot:

The politics of exclusion is evil therefore any attempt to exclude confounding variables in human ecology causality is evil.

Let's look at that word "ecology" for a moment:

There is something called "the ecological fallacy" that like the bromide "correlation doesn't imply causation" is trotted out or ignored at the convenience of the theologian posing as social scientist. The "diagnoses" of "fear" "xenophobia" "racism" are all modern day equivalents of "demon possession" in the moral zeitgeist of these theocrats.

Let me give you a contrasting example from the medical profession to illustrate exactly how intellectually, scientifically and morally bankrupt are social sciences by comparison:

My wife is dying of Huntington's Disease and there is a cure called ASO gene silencing. It has been tested in the entire pipeline of animal models up to and including primate models, and has been shown to be both safe and effective at slowing, halting and even partially reversing symptoms in moderate doses. It is undergoing human safety trials and even though her decline is accelerating toward death and she consents to treatment, she is denied the treatment. This cruel reality actually has _some_ ethical basis due to the need to ensure that before a treatment is unleashed on even a dying population, that it be shown to be both safe _and_ effective -- not by mere "empirical data" (compiled correlations of naturalistic observations) but by establishing causality with experimental controls to exclude confounding variables including placebo effect. Even after being so demonstrated, she would not be treated without her consent.

Compare and contrast "social science" imposing its "treatments" on massive numbers of people without their consent, let alone showing the treatment is both safe and effective through experimental controls.

I'm sure many if not most "social scientists" would give me some sort of "diagnosis" for rendering the foregoing opinion in favor of "the politics of exclusion" and, upon that "diagnosis" would judge me to be a danger to myself and others, hence, to be deprived of the kind of society in which I might prefer to live as a preventative action. This, in their esteemed expert opinion is not "prejudice" even though it removes from me a basic human right without so much as an accusation of commission of a crime, let alone trial let alone full _judicial_ proceeding which judges me after I've made the case for my innocence and/or sanity. No, _that_ is not "prejudice". What is "prejudice" is some personal preference I might exercise in my private life given limited information and limited resources to obtain that information.

Seriously, it's all falling down and good riddance.

Let's hope something like sortocracy replaces it.

Comment Achieving Escape Velocity From Perl5's Gravity (Score 2) 281

Perl6 seems to offer a lot in the base language, obviating many CPAN modules, but the network-effect of CPAN modules creates a gravitational field which, in combination with the differences in the base language, makes reaching escape velocity to Perl6 challenging.

What is the strategy for achieving escape velocity from Perl5's orbit to Perl6's?

Slashdot Top Deals

One good reason why computers can do more work than people is that they never have to stop and answer the phone.