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Comment I'm in awe (Score 1) 120

I really should have brainstormed more before deciding on my 8th grade science fair project.

This is actually pretty cool, and it was cool of WDW for allowing them to do the research. The fact that there was such a stark contrast between the front and rear positions and that it was so reliably reproducible definitely invites further study on precisely which movements best facilitate passage.

Earth

Study: Earth Is At Its Warmest In 120,000 Years (washingtonpost.com) 160

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Washington Post: As part of her doctoral dissertation at Stanford University, Carolyn Snyder, now a climate policy official at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, created a continuous 2 million year temperature record, much longer than a previous 22,000 year record. Snyder's temperature reconstruction, published Monday in the journal Nature, doesn't estimate temperature for a single year, but averages 5,000-year time periods going back a couple million years. Snyder based her reconstruction on 61 different sea surface temperature proxies from across the globe, such as ratios between magnesium and calcium, species makeup and acidity. But the further the study goes back in time, especially after half a million years, the fewer of those proxies are available, making the estimates less certain, she said. These are rough estimates with large margins of errors, she said. But she also found that the temperature changes correlated well to carbon dioxide levels. Temperatures averaged out over the most recent 5,000 years -- which includes the last 125 years or so of industrial emissions of heat-trapping gases -- are generally warmer than they have been since about 120,000 years ago or so, Snyder found. And two interglacial time periods, the one 120,000 years ago and another just about 2 million years ago, were the warmest Snyder tracked. They were about 3.6 degrees (2 degrees Celsius) warmer than the current 5,000-year average. Snyder said if climate factors are the same as in the past -- and that's a big if -- Earth is already committed to another 7 degrees or so (about 4 degrees Celsius) of warming over the next few thousand years. "This is based on what happened in the past, Snyder noted. "In the past it wasn't humans messing with the atmosphere."

Submission + - U of Calif. San Diego chancellor is a director of outsoucer hired by UCSF (computerworld.com)

dcblogs writes: The offshore outsourcing planned at the University of California's San Francisco (UCSF) campus is following a standard playbook. The affected employees expect to train their replacements as a condition of severance. Their jobs will soon be in India and they'll be out of work. But the chancellor of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), Pradeep K. Khosla, may still be getting compensated by HCL Infosystems. It is one of the units of India-based HCL, the IT services contractor hired by the university. Khosla is an independent and non-executive director on the HCL Infosystems board of directors. Khosla has reported his HCL compensation to the university at $12,000 last year for 56 hours of total time served. He also earns $12,000 from Infosys Science Foundation as chair of the engineering and computer science jury, according to the compensation report. When asked if the university's contract with HCL creates a conflict for Khosla, a UCSD spokeswoman,replied: "The contract was negotiated between UCSF and HCL; it did not involve Chancellor Pradeep Khosla in any way, nor was it discussed at any HCL meeting that Chancellor Khosla attended." But the HCL contract can be leveraged by any UC campus. The "HCL agreement is UC-wide," according to notes from the university's system-wide Architecture Committee. "Other CIOs looking at UCSF experience before other folks dip in. Wait for a year before jumping in with HCL." Another issue for the university may be having an association generally with the offshore outsourcing industry, which works at displacing U.S. IT workers, including computer science grads of institutions such as the University of California.

Submission + - F-35A Catches Fire at Mountain Home Air Force Base (defensenews.com)

theweatherelectric writes: Writing for Defense News, Valerie Insinna reports that another F-35 has caught fire during an exercise. She writes, "The incident took place at around noon and involved an F-35A aircraft from the 61st Fighter Squadron located at Luke Air Force Base, the service said in a statement. No serious injuries seem to have been sustained by the pilot or nearby crew.

'The pilot had to egress the aircraft during engine start due to a fire from the aft section of the aircraft,' Air Force spokesman Capt. Mark Graff said in an email. 'The fire was extinguished quickly. As a precautionary measure, four 61st Aircraft Maintenance Unit Airmen, three Airmen from the 366th Maintenance Group and the 61st Fighter Squadron pilot were transported to the base medical center for standard evaluation.'"

Comment Re:The size of the farm shouldn't matter.... (Score 2) 185

We just need someone insightful and ingenious to find a way to deal with machine learning in an 'offline' way, and be able to present the user interface in a quick fashion.

It would have to start out very dumb, but with some great key algorithms I expect an open source option could move a lot faster than anything out there in this regard.

Precisely. I don't get what the misunderstanding is here among the Slashdot crowd.

Natural Language Processing is neat tech. Mechanics of speech recognition is neat tech. Integration of the two via a dispatch engine and scriptlets to go off an search Google, run a command, or whatever else one can script, is neat tech.

I'd use this ALL THE TIME if the data didn't leave my network, and I'm sure I'm not alone.

We can't duplicate a zillion far off machines running a Google-scale cluster, but it's hard to see why we need to in OSS land. I have a spare 32 core box and God-knows-how-many GPUs sitting here. Where's the project that can let me get up and running on my own, and that we can all use to iterate over as public algorithms (inevitably) improve and storage/memory/processing costs (inevitably) decrease.

Frankly, it's difficult to see why that type of infrastructure is really needed in the first place. NLP is hard, but it's not like these building blocks aren't already there. Apple's dictation software (PlainTalk) was running on System 7.1 Pro 20 years ago, using local hardware 100's of times slower than what I have in my pocket. Basic NLP code was running on the Newton, which was 1000x slower and still managed to handle the basics on top of the handwriting recognition. "Speakable Items" let me run user-writable AppleScripts to automate tasks and was just missing dictatable variable names.

None of this required cloud-level processing, especially not voice recognition, which even Apple lets you do locally w/o using Siri.

Comment Re:No they aren't denying it (Score 5, Interesting) 648

Climate Change is not a religious issue for those who "deny" it. (The other side, arguably yes...) You're confusing it with Evolution.

But interestingly, the "reasoning" and rhetoric of global warming denial is almost identical to that of evolution denial.

E.g., both promote the notion that they are up against a global conspiracy of scientists.

Space

Cisco Blamed A Router Bug On 'Cosmic Radiation' (networkworld.com) 142

Network World's news editor contacted Slashdot with this report: A Cisco bug report addressing "partial data traffic loss" on the company's ASR 9000 Series routers contended that a "possible trigger is cosmic radiation causing SEU [single-event upset] soft errors." Not everyone is buying: "It IS possible for bits to be flipped in memory by stray background radiation. However it's mostly impossible to detect the reason as to WHERE or WHEN this happens," writes a Redditor identifying himself as a former [technical assistance center] engineer...
"While we can't speak to this particular case," Cisco wrote in a follow-up, "Cisco has conducted extensive research, dating back to 2001, on the effects cosmic radiation can have on our service provider networking hardware, system architectures and software designs. Despite being rare, as electronics operate at faster speeds and the density of silicon chips increases, it becomes more likely that a stray bit of energy could cause problems that affect the performance of a router or switch."

Friday a commenter claiming to be Xander Thuijs, Cisco's principal engineer on the ASR 9000 router, posted below the article, "apologies for the detail provided and the 'concept' of cosmic radiation. This is not the type of explanation I would like to see presented to the respected users of our products. We have made some updates to the DDTS [defect-tracking report] in question with a more substantial data and explanation. The issue is something that we can likely address with an FPD update on the 2x100 or 1x100G Typhoon-based linecard."

Comment Re:So basically... (Score 1) 635

That's their right. Luckey's right is to speak against Hillary, VR devs' right is to be intolerant to Luckey, a consumer's right is to boycott those VR devs because of their siding with Hillary and so on.

As long as we all have those rights and are exercising them legally it works itself out. It's sad that so much hate is going on but you can't blame Trump or Hillary for that -- it's the state of the world at the moment that created the conditions for it. In a wiser world such conditions would be prevented before Trump or Hillary would rise to prominence, but it is what it is.

While this is absolutely true, it doesn't mean it's good -- in the long term -- for American culture to slide into "I'll boycott anyone I disagree with about anything" mentality, because it reduces social cohesion and increases social friction.

As a libertarianish conservative, I agree 100% with people's free speech, and free speech about others free speech, and economic boycotts about others' free speech. I still lament that it has come to this and hope this age passes quickly. There's a resonant effect that will kick in once the folks who grew up in a "not my president!" post-2000 mentality start having and training kids of their own; if this dumb political intolerance of other Americans doesn't stop, it'll be that much harder to turn around.

We haven't seen a first-world country devolve into civil war. I'd hate to start it now.

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