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Submission + - Orangutans face complete extinction within 10 years (independent.co.uk)

campuscodi writes: Orangutans will be extinct from the planet within 10 years unless action is taken to preserve forests in Indonesia and Malaysia where they live, a conservation charity has warned.

The Bornean orangutan was officially listed as critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) last month, joining the only other kind, the Sumatran orangutan, in that classification. In just 25 years, more than a quarter of Indonesia's forests – 76 million acres, an area almost the size of Germany – have disappeared. One of the main reasons is to clear land to make way for palm oil plantations.

Submission + - 20% of Scientific Papers On Genes Contain Conversion Errors Caused by Excel (winbeta.org)

An anonymous reader writes: A new report from scientists Mark Ziemann, Yotam Eren, and Assam El-Osta says that 20% of scientific papers on genes contain gene name conversion errors caused by Excel. In the scientific article, titled “Gene name errors are widespread in the scientific literature,” article’s abstract section, the scientists explain: “The spreadsheet software Microsoft Excel, when used with default settings, is known to convert gene names to dates and floating-point numbers. A programmatic scan of leading genomics journals reveals that approximately one-fifth of papers with supplementary Excel gene lists contain erroneous gene name conversions.” It’s easy to see why Excel might have problems with certain gene names when you see the “gene symbols” that the scientists use as examples: “For example, gene symbols such as SEPT2 (Septin 2) and MARCH1 [Membrane-Associated Ring Finger (C3HC4) 1, E3 Ubiquitin Protein Ligase] are converted by default to ‘2-Sep’ and ‘1-Mar’, respectively. Furthermore, RIKEN identifiers were described to be automatically converted to floating point numbers (i.e. from accession ‘2310009E13’ to ‘2.31E+13’). Since that report, we have uncovered further instances where gene symbols were converted to dates in supplementary data of recently published papers (e.g. ‘SEPT2’ converted to ‘2006/09/02’). This suggests that gene name errors continue to be a problem in supplementary files accompanying articles. Inadvertent gene symbol conversion is problematic because these supplementary files are an important resource in the genomics community that are frequently reused. Our aim here is to raise awareness of the problem.”

Submission + - The Neuroscience Behind Bad Decisions (quantamagazine.org)

An anonymous reader writes: Economists have spent more than 50 years cataloging irrational choices like these. Nobel Prizes have been earned; millions of copies of Freakonomics have been sold. But economists still aren’t sure why they happen. “There had been a real cottage industry in how to explain them and lots of attempts to make them go away,” said Eric Johnson, a psychologist and co-director of the Center for Decision Sciences at Columbia University. But none of the half-dozen or so explanations are clear winners, he said.

In the last 15 to 20 years, neuroscientists have begun to peer directly into the brain in search of answers. “Knowing something about how information is represented in the brain and the computational principles of the brain helps you understand why people make decisions how they do,” said Angela Yu, a theoretical neuroscientist at the University of California, San Diego.

Comment Re:We're All Dying (Score 2) 510

Because humans work in groups in certain ways, and the open source organizational structure generally doesn't work. It's the same reason people tend to paid up in couples, and organizations of people that work well tend to have strict hierarchies. It's basic sociology, and the open source high priestesses believe that they're somehow more special than most people and the human organizational paradigms don't apply to them. They were (and still are) wrong.

Comment Re:Good! (Score 1) 239

I agree with you on the pricing issue. Price wasn't the issue for us. We ended up spending 4x what the Cisco hardware cost, and we would've been happy spending even more to get the right equipment. The problem was that the Cisco hardware didn't do what it was supposed to do. If their low and mid-end stuff doesn't do what it's supposed to, there's really no reason to think that their higher-end stuff will be any better.

In terms of reliability, these products all have a 3-ish start rating on most web sites, because our complaints were very common among other users, as well.

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