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Earth

Mediterranean Sea To Possibly Become Site of Chemical Weapons Dump 174

An anonymous reader writes "The organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has proposed destroying at least 1000 tons of the confiscated Syrian chemical weapon stockpile out at sea, which some fear will destroy delicate ecosystems vital to sea and human life alike. The OPCW claims the plan is 'technically feasible' and is apparently willing to risk ecological disaster to destroy the toxic contents of the weaponry in or above the sea. Members of the press were told, 'the group is considering whether to destroy the chemical weapons in the ocean, either on a ship or by loading them onto an offshore rig.'"
IT

Ask Slashdot: Old Dogs vs. New Technology? 515

xTrashcat writes "I am 22 years of age and have been working in the IT field for over a year. I try to learn as much about technology as my cranium can handle; I even earned the nickname 'Google' because of the amount of time I spend attempting to pack my brain with new information. Being 22, it is, I speculate, needless to say that I am the youngest of my coworkers. If there is a piece of software, hardware, a technique, etc., I want to know everything about it. On the contrary, nearly all of my coworkers resent it and refuse to even acknowledge it, let alone learn about it. For example, we just started buying boxes from a different vendor that are licensed for Win7. A few months later, we decide that a computer lab was going to get an XP image instead of Win7. After several days worth of attempts, none of our XP images, even our base, would work, and it left everyone scratching their heads. We were on the verge of returning thousands of dollars worth of machines because they were 'defective.' I was not satisfied. I wanted to know why they weren't working instead of just simply returning them, so I jumped into the project. After almost 30 seconds of fishing around in BIOS, I noticed that UEFI was enabled. Switched it to legacy, and boom; problem solved. My coworkers grunted and moaned because they didn't have to do that before, and still to this day, they hate our new boxes. So in closing, I have three questions: What is the average age of your workplace? How easily do your coworkers accept and absorb new technology? Are most IT environments like this, where people refuse to learn anything about new technology they don't like, or did I just get stuck with a batch of stubborn case-screws?"
Education

Teaching Natural Sciences To Social Science Students? 265

An anonymous reader writes "As a calculus professor for a small undergraduate institution, I normally lecture students who are majoring in the natural (or 'hard') sciences, such as mathematics, physics, and computer science. In fact, I have done so for almost thirteen years. However, for the first time this fall semester, we have a shortage of professors on our hands. As a result of this, I have been asked to teach a general education statistics class. Such classes are a major requirement for the large psychology student body we have here. I have never lectured social science students in any mathematics-related classes. My question to the Slashdot community is as follows: What are your experiences with teaching natural science classes to social science students? How is the experience the same or different in comparison to natural science students who may be more adept to the nuances of mathematics and other similar fields?"
The Internet

Nicholas Carr Foresees Brains Optimized For Browsing 110

An anonymous reader writes "In the next decade, our brains are going to become optimized for information browsing, says best-selling author Nicholas Carr. According to Carr, while the genetic nature of our brains isn't being changed by the Internet at all, our brains are adapting 'at a cellular level' and are weakening modes of thinking we no longer exercise. Therefore, in 10 years, if human beings are using the Internet even more than they do today, says Carr, "our brains will be even more optimized for information browsing, skimming and scanning, and multitasking — fast, scattered modes of thought — and even less capable of the kinds of more attentive, contemplative thinking that the net discourages."" While Carr isn't making a case for Lamarckian evolution, the argument here seems weak to me; the same kind of brain change could be attributed to books, or television, or the automobile, couldn't it?
Earth

'Gaia' Scientist Admits Mispredicting Rate of Climate Change 744

DesScorp writes "James Lovelock, the scientist that came up with the 'Gaia Theory' and a prominent herald of climate change, once predicted utter disaster for the planet from climate change, writing 'before this century is over billions of us will die and the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Arctic where the climate remains tolerable.' Now Lovelock is walking back his rhetoric, admitting that he and other prominent global warming advocates were being alarmists. In a new interview with MSNBC he says: '"The problem is we don't know what the climate is doing. We thought we knew 20 years ago. That led to some alarmist books — mine included — because it looked clear-cut, but it hasn't happened," Lovelock said. "The climate is doing its usual tricks. There's nothing much really happening yet. We were supposed to be halfway toward a frying world now," he said. "The world has not warmed up very much since the millennium. Twelve years is a reasonable time it (the temperature) has stayed almost constant, whereas it should have been rising — carbon dioxide is rising, no question about that," he added.' Lovelock still believes the climate is changing, but at a much, much slower pace."
Android

Hardware Running Android Fails More Than iPhone, BlackBerry Hardware 357

hazytodd writes "Repairs to Android smartphones cost wireless carriers $2 billion per year according to a new year-long WDS study that tracked 600,000 support calls around the globe. Android's popularity and the introduction of a number of low-cost smartphones has put a strain on the wireless business model, WDS noted in its report. 'Deployment by more than 25 OEMs and lower-cost product coming to market is leading to higher than average rates of hardware failures and, in turn, return and repair costs.'"

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