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Comment Re:None of this solves real world problems (Score 1) 53

The discussion was the appropriate use of game sims in training. Game sims are very useful in expensive training to get basic operations skills and certain techniques down, but they tend to have certain flaws, due to the nature of how we design the sims.

If, for example, we expect to be continuing operations in certain desert and mountain terrains, which we will (unless something happens), we need to account for the actual extremes in actual operations in those climates.

We can do those in sims, to a certain extent, or we can realize those work better in actual physical training exercises supplemented by sims to teach basic operations, basic faults, highly likely combat impacts (stoppages and immediate actions), and highly likely environmental impacts (excessive heat, visibility and temperature control failure).

And, I served. Carp happens. Sims only work so far. Failure to train for that leaves one vulnerable, or like the stupid movies and commercials walking on a ridge so that everyone in the world can pick up your exact location from heat IR UV and basic line of sight silhouette optics. Or driving an armored vehicle into a bad situation you could have avoided.

Who do you think was in Afghanistan when the US Army bugged out off mission to Iraq? It wasn't unicorns, that's for sure.

Comment Re: None of this solves real world problems (Score 1) 53

I see you failed to read the post. I specifically referred to a number of environmental conditions most sims fail to accurately record.

Excessive heat. Inversion layers from heat. Rock stress from operations. Depends on the rock type or soil type. Some of these are partially simulated, but most aren't, even today.

It's wicked hot in a damaged MBT when the outside temp is 114 F and you're coated in black dust that's increased the sun's effect.

Could you simulate them?


But not very well.

Comment None of this solves real world problems (Score 1) 53

When we would send up Canadian reserve units against US active units, we found they had no idea their people would pass out inside the combat vehicles and tanks from extreme heat and dust, or deal with optical illusions from heated air, making it easy to trick them into going into tank traps that were covered by snipers with heavy and light mines. Or what happens when rocks crush your tank in a mountain pass because you fired your main gun next to an unstable rock face.

Sims only work so much.

You have to train for the bad things that happen, like your tank getting stuck in loose soil with water, and people who are actively trying to make you do the wrong thing. That requires actually taking vehicles into those actual types of terrain and obstacles.

Game that.

Comment Real scientists use R and S and C on Linux (Score 1) 301

Seriously, we have Terabytes of data storage, even in collapsed form, So we use shell scripts written by code in Perl and CGI to run against massive data files spit out by large databases.

Just do the Math.

Now, if you want to say small labs doing biological research have occasional false hits, due to open access searches against common repositories, I might believe you. To be frank, though, you should have read all the notes yourself.

I'm far more worried about a tired research assistant or grad student doing stuff like this and it not being caught before publication.

Comment Next up... (Score 1) 126

Coming next: Facebook tests out modal popup windows as a means of delivering the content - aka ads - people really want to see, rather than wasting their time taking them directly to things like profiles, pictures, or their wall.

And as a bonus, pop-under porn ads, so you can enjoy one last bit of joy from Facebook while desperately trying to close out of your browser as the boss approaches.

Submission + - Atomic bombs and oil addiction herald Earth's new epoch: The Anthropocene (

sciencehabit writes: Although the Anthropocene is already a widely popular shorthand for humanity's global environmental reach, for the past 7 years a small group of scientists has been mulling whether to propose the term as a formal span of geologic time. This month, the group voted to propose the Anthropocene as the Holocene's successor, with its start at the industrial boom that followed World War II. Before a formal submission can go to the International Commission on Stratigraphy, the bureaucracy that governs geologic time, researchers must still identify a stratigraphic section rich in geochemical markers of this postwar transition. They have a high bar to clear: Many stratigraphers are skeptical of their initiative and fear being drawn into a political statement.

Submission + - Japanese Government Plans Cyber Attack Institute

An anonymous reader writes: The government of Japan will create an institute to train employees to counter cyber attacks. The institute, which will be operational early next year, will focus on preventing cyber attacks on electrical systems and other infrastructure. The training institute, which will operate as part of Japan’s Information Technology Promotion Agency (IPA), is the first center for training in Japan to focus on preventing cyber attacks. A government source said that the primary aims will be preventing a large-scale blackout during the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in 2020, and stopping leaks of sensitive power plant designs. The source also stated that there is potential for a joint exercise in cyber awareness between the Japanese group and foreign cybersecurity engineers in the future.

Submission + - Researchers Design A Chip That Checks For Sabotage (

An anonymous reader writes: Siddharth Garg, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, and fellow researchers are developing a unique solution: a chip with both an embedded module that proves that its calculations are correct and an external module that validates the first module’s proofs. While software viruses are easy to spot and fix with downloadable patches, deliberately inserted hardware defects are invisible and act surreptitiously. For example, a secretly inserted “back door” function could allow attackers to alter or take over a device or system at a specific time. Garg’s configuration, an example of an approach called “verifiable computing” (VC), keeps tabs on a chip’s performance and can spot telltale signs of Trojans.

Comment Re:The game needs more stuff to do (Score 1) 185

That's exactly what would NOT work here as you're supposed to play in a setting that's recognizably your own town/city/island.

Taking things a biiit too literal here, friend. Who says "your own town/country/planet" doesn't belong to "Dainisekai zone"? Or if it offends you that much, call them "leagues" - Up to CP500, you will only see and battle "shojo" league players.

However they frame it, Niantic has a really, really simple way to segregate players by skill, thereby keeping it fun for noobs and old-timers, fun for casuals and hardcore grinders. Hell, under that model, they could even allow "cheaters" (or even rurals) to play in their own league, rather than outright banning them.

Submission + - Something "Unexpected" Happened When Seattle Raised The Minimum Wage

schwit1 writes: The latest research comes from the University of Washington which researched the impact of Seattle's recent minimum wage hike on employment in that city (as background, Seattle recently passed legislation that increased it's minimum wage to $11 per hour on April 1, 2015, $13 on January 1, 2016 and $15 on January 1, 2017). "Shockingly", the University of Washington found that Seattle's higher minimum wages "lowered employment rates of low-wage workers" (the report is attached in its entirety at the end of this post).

Yet, our best estimates find that the Seattle Minimum Wage Ordinance appears to have lowered employment rates of low-wage workers. This negative unintended consequence (which are predicted by some of the existing economic literature) is concerning and needs to be followed closely in future years, because the long-run effects are likely to be greater as businesses and workers have more time to adapt to the ordinance. Finally, we find only modest impacts on earnings. The effects of disemployment appear to be roughly offsetting the gain in hourly wage rates, leaving the earnings for the average low-wage worker unchanged. Of course, we are talking about the average result.

More specifically, we find that median wages for low-wage workers (those earning less than $11 per hour during the 2nd quarter of 2014) rose by $1.18 per hour, and we estimate that the impact of the Ordinance was to increase these workers’ median wage by $0.73 per hour. Further, while these low-wage workers increased their likelihood of being employed relative to prior years, this increase was less than in comparison regions. We estimate that the impact of the Ordinance was a 1.1 percentage point decrease in likelihood of low-wage Seattle workers remaining employed. While these low-wage workers increased their quarterly earnings relative to prior years, the estimated impact of the Ordinance on earnings is small and sensitive to the choice of comparison region. Finally, for those who kept their job, the Ordinance appears to have improved wages and earnings, but decreased their likelihood of being employed in Seattle relative other parts of the state of Washington.

Still not convinced? How about a recent report from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco that finds that "higher minimum wage results in some job loss for the least-skilled workers—with possibly larger adverse effects than earlier research suggested."

Submission + - Facebook Is Testing Autoplaying Video With Sound (

An anonymous reader writes: Facebook is testing a "feature" that autoplays video clips on your feed with sound. It's not a very big test, but there's a possibility the company could roll it out to a larger group of users. The Next Web reports: "The company is currently trying two methods of getting people to watch video with sound in Australia: the aforementioned autoplaying, and an unmute button on the lower right corner of videos, like Vine videos on a desktop. The latter certainly sounds more reasonable; the last thing you want is to be checking Facebook quickly during a meeting or class, and suddenly have your phone blaring out an advert because you happened to stop on a video. Thankfully, you can disable the 'feature' from your settings, but the point is there's nothing wrong with the current opt-in approach, especially considering how many companies are embracing video captioning, and that Facebook even has its own auto-caption tool for advertisers."

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