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Comment Lies, damn lies and statistics... (Score 1) 348

This way of presenting the statistics seems a bit too sensationalist.

From TFA: "Accident rates up 68%"

Sure sounds serious, no? They could have written: "Accident rates rises 1.9%"

Not that interesting all of a sudden, but it's the same numbers.

Then the source of the title of this post: "iPhone 4 broken screen rate up by 82%"
Reading the fine print reveals that "3.9% of iPhone 4 owners reported a cracked screen within 4 months, as opposed to just 2.1% of iPhone 3gs owners."

From 2.1% to 3.9%. Again not that interesting, but no numbers for a headline.

What would be interesting is how accident rates compare between smarphone makers. This is just massaging numbers to get a headline.


Submission + - eMusic Switches Pricing Model, Adds Universal (

SlashdotOgre writes: The DRM-free, subscription based online music store eMusic has announced that it will be adding over 250,000 tracks from the Universal Music catalog in November and will be switching to a price per track model at that time. Previously, eMusic subscriptions provided their customer a number of credits each month (e.g. under the current system you receive 50 credits for $19.99) where each credit could be used for the download of a track. Under the new pricing model, each track will be priced between $0.49 to $0.89 which will be charged from the users subscription. For most plans this will translate to a significant reduction on the number of potential downloads (e.g. for $19.99 you will best case get 41 downloads of $0.49 each or worst case receive 22 downloads at $0.89). This is the first significant change to their pricing since July of 2009, when eMusic added Sony, their first major label; prior to that time, eMusic focused on independent labels which they still continue to offer. For historical comparison, eMusic's $19.99 plan prior to July 2009 provided 75 downloads a month.

Submission + - Video: Voodoo Software Removes Objects From Video ( 1

geoffbrecker writes: The effect is achieved by an image synthesizer that reduces the image quality, removes the object, and then increases the image quality back up. This all happens within 40 milliseconds, fast enough that the viewer doesn’t notice any delay.
The Courts

Submission + - LMSD Settles Laptop Webcam Litigation (

tekgoblin writes: Remember back in February when the Lower Merion School District had been accused of privacy invasion when they activated webcams on laptops issued to students. Shortly after the accusations the school had responded and said that the feature was installed as an anti-theft device and would only be activated if the laptop was stolen. Recently there was also an announcement that there would be no criminal charges filed against anyone involved in the incident.

Today LMSD has announced that they have finally reached a settlement with the plaintiffs and will pay out a total of $610,000 total to the effected students.

Submission + - Bell System Technical Journal online (

pademelon writes: Bell System Technical Journal is now online. This is the journal that published the invention of the transistor in 1947, Shannon's seminal paper inventing information theory, the invention of the CCD, of cellular communications networks, of MIMO communications, and much else in technology is now freely and easily available.



Submission + - Giant star disappears with poof, rather than POW! (

coondoggie writes: Researchers expecting to see a spectacular supernova explosion from a fading galaxy 3 billion light years from Earth instead were treated to a dust-encased whimper instead of the more typical bang. Using NASA's Spitzer space telescope researchers from Ohio State University classified the event as odd, but the treat was that it was the first one of its kind ever viewed by astronomers.

Submission + - Robot cars in German traffic 15 years ago (

emptywallet writes: Recent news about Google's robot cars should not make us forget that robot cars were already driving in German traffic 15 years ago — see this robot car history. In 1995 an autonomous vision-based robot Mercedes of Ernst Dickmanns drove more than 1000 miles on public highways from Munich to Denmark and back, up to 100 miles without intervention of a human safety driver, at up to 110 mph, automatically passing slower cars in the left lane, visually tracking up to 12 other cars simultaneously. It did not even need GPS navigation, the main feature of today's robot cars. It is also remarkable that back then computers were a thousand times slower than today.

Hawking Picks Physics Over God For Big Bang 1328

Hugh Pickens writes "The Guardian reports that in his new book, The Grand Design, Professor Stephen Hawking argues that the Big Bang, rather than occurring following the intervention of a divine being, was inevitable due to the law of gravity. 'Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist,' Hawking writes. 'It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.' Hawking had previously appeared to accept the role of God in the creation of the universe. Writing in his bestseller A Brief History Of Time in 1988, Hawking wrote: 'If we discover a complete theory, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason – for then we should know the mind of God.'"

Solving an Earth-Sized Jigsaw Puzzle 39

aarondubrow writes "Three years ago, researchers from Caltech and The University of Texas at Austin came together to create a computational tool that could model the Earth and answer the most pressing questions in geophysics: What controls the speed of plates? How do microplates interact? How much energy do the plates generate and how does it dissipate? Using a new geodynamics software package they developed, the researchers have modeled plate motion with greater accuracy than ever before. The project is also a finalist for the Gordon Bell Prize — high performance computing's Oscar — at this year's SC10 conference."

Apple Announces New iPods, iTunes 10, Social Network, AppleTV 579

Steve Jobs gave his iPod keynote this morning. He started with iOS 4.1 and Game Center which will be coming out next week. iOS 4.2 will add printing to the iPad and will be out in November. The new iPod Shuffle has buttons again, and costs $49. The new iPod Nano has a tiny multi-touch screen, and an FM radio, and starts at $149. The new (thinner) Touch has the iPhone 4 screen, an A4 chip, and FaceTime over WiFi, starting at $229 for 8GB. They all ship next week. iTunes 10 looks the same, but adds a social network called "Ping," which basically looks like integrated, and should be out today. AppleTV is updating: 1/4th the size, no purchases — only rentals. 99 cents for TV rentals (ABC & Fox), Netflix on Demand built in, and for $99.

Comment Re:An apt reminder... (Score 3, Informative) 215

Only, this is not acupuncture. This is just piercing the skin with needles and then twisting them to see if you get a response. There are plenty of known methods through which that could operate.

Acupuncture on the other hand supposes that the body has "meridians" and "acupuncture points" which you put needles into to manipulate the health of the body or parts of the body.

To this notion I will still say that "there aren't any known methods through which it could operate."

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