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AI Predicts Manhole Explosions In New York City 213

reillymj writes "Every so often, a 300-pound manhole cover blows sky high in Gotham, followed sometimes by a column of flame and smoke. (There are a few hundred 'manhole incidents' per year in the city, not all of them this dramatic.) Researchers from Columbia University applied machine learning algorithms to Con Edison's warren of aging electrical wires and sewage access points around Manhattan. As the system learns where dangerous mixtures of sewer gas and decrepit wiring are likely to come in contact, it makes forecasts about trouble spots, including where the next explosion may occur. The team has just completed rankings for manholes in Brooklyn and the Bronx, and plans to return to Manhattan's grid, armed with the most recent inspection and repair data." The research was published in the July issue of Machine Learning.

Geologists Might Be Charged For Not Predicting Quake 375

mmmscience writes "In 2009, a series of small earthquakes shook the region of L'Aquila, Italy. Seismologists investigated the tremors, but concluded that there was no direct indication of a big quake on the horizon. Less than a month later, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake killed more than 300 people. Now, the chief prosecutor of L'Aquila is looking to charge the scientists with gross negligent manslaughter for not predicting the quake."

The White House Listed On Real Estate Website 123

Forget visiting the White House, if you have $10 million you can own it. At least that is the price for the president's home on the real estate website Redfin. From the article: "Obviously this is an error. It looks like Redfin software pulled an example listing from the website by mistake. That example listing was the White House. We have e-mailed Redfin for comment." I know it's historic but it still looks a bit on the high side according to the comparables in the area.

Google Stops Ads For "Cougar" Sites 319

teh31337one writes "Google is refusing to advertise CougarLife, a dating site for mature women looking for younger men. However, they continue to accept sites for mature men seeking young women. According to the New York Times, had been paying Google $100,000 a month since October. The Mountain View company has now cancelled the contract, saying that the dating site is 'nonfamily safe.'"

Comment Re:Interoperability doesn't have to be about radio (Score 1) 130

God Yes, NIMS training was by far the most useful and relevant training I've received in the fire the current era, the problem with interagency communications is not *tech*, it's *rules*, and I was thoroughly impressed by NIMS' common sense, 6th grade reading level, scalability, and "rules for new rules". It's a very realistic framework that accomodates, among other things, the fact that you and everyone else has other things to do and to remember, that your personnel are going to have IQs from maybe 85 on up to 150, that if you don't figure out how everyone gets paid you can't figure out anything else, etc. I kid you not, FEMA's NIMS 100 (or -700) training is the best free mini-MBA you could give yourself. Pushing old, unsexy NIMS will do more than any amount of shiny radios or infinite numbers of useless "command center" RVs,

Comment Re:US Air Force Ship? (Score 1) 169

So, ok, in that case - a WWII USAT - and in the brief interval when this was a USAFS - who's the crew? Merchant Marine? Or do people like get trained in the Navy and then transfer briefly to Air Force control? I know that the Army has a huge rotary-wing fleet and maybe some fixed-wing exec transports, that the Air Force has some limited rotary wing assets for Special Ops and rescue, and the Navy and Marines have lots of both, and I knew the USAF had like some fishing boats to pick up crashed drones with, but I gotta say I did think ships were an exclusive Navy province...any other counterintuitive intersections you know of?

Comment Social Good Perspective... (Score 1) 149

From the broad, shallow social perspective, I do think it makes a whole lot more sense to focus a lot of money on increasing the ability of the disabled to participate in the physical world unassisted (as through something like this, R&D $$ intensive or no,) than it does to spend an equivalent amount of resources on the converse - trying to make the phyiscial world more accessible to the disabled (via curb cuts, handicapped spaces, extra-wide bathrooms, etc.) I'm confident that the several billion $US / year focused on the latter could make some huge strides in the former at better cost...

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