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Submission + - NASA has proposed building an artificial magnetosphere for Mars. (phys.org)

Baron_Yam writes: Apparently it is no longer necessarily science fiction to consider terraforming the red planet in a human lifetime.

  NASA scientists have proposed putting a magnetic shield at the Mars L1 Lagrange Point, diverting sufficient solar wind that the Martian atmosphere would thicken and heat the planet to the point of melting the ice caps and causing what remains of Martian water to pool on the surface. While not enough of a change to allow walking around without a space suit, this would make human exploration of the planet a much easier task.

Submission + - Blame Uber for Taking Hellbanning to a New Level. But Not for Inventing It. 2

theodp writes: With its widely-denounced "Greyball" tool, Uber was able to effectively give The Sixth Sense treatment to its pests, including law enforcement. Quincy Larson observes that "Greyball" is Uber's evil-software-genius take on Hellbanning (Wikipedia definition), a deceptive practice that has been called "the cruelest punishment of them all" to mete out on unsuspecting users, although variations on the practice have reportedly been embraced by some of tech's most admired. Like Hacker News, a go-to place for future Travis Kalanick's, whose use of Hellbanning was noted by but drew no real criticism from Pando or TechCrunch. Or Reddit. Or Twitter — in 2013 and 2017. Or Craigslist. So, blame Uber for taking Hellbanning to a whole new level, but not for inventing it or being the only one who used it.

Comment Re:Guess what Elon has never seen (Score 1) 231

We get hail storms, tornadoes, heat waves, flooding, and blizzards here.

In $DEITY's name, where the hell do you live? WHY are you still living there?

That describes a huge portion of the central USA and Canada. I live in Chicago, we get all of that. When I lived in LA we had earthquakes, mudslides, fires, riots, kale shortages, etc. In Florida it was hurricanes, flooding, lightning storms, and elderly drivers. Every place has its disasters.

Comment Re:Something's missing (Score 2) 151

Yeah, same here. We have a 3GB/line plan, but they've always been clear that you can use more than that but at a slower speed. I've only ever seen marketing to this effect. Were they offering something somewhere without including that disclaimer? That'd be surprising to hear, as they're generally quite up-front about the conditions. As for those saying "unlimited means unlimited, and any limit of any kind means they're lying", well, no, they've specifically said the amount of data is unlimited, not the speed. Two different things.

More worrisome to me is that they just announced they're going to implement throttling of wi-fi tethered data when the network gets "busy", which seems a clear violation of net neutrality. What happened, T-Mobile? You use to be cool!

Comment Re:guilty! (Score 1) 80

Here is the argument that the DOL is making:

"For the QA Engineer position, from a pool of more than 730 qualified applicants, approximately 77% of whom were asian, Palantir hired six non-Asian applicants and only one Asian applicant. The adverse impact calculated by OFCCP exceeds three standard deviations. The likelihood that this result occurred according to chance is approximately one in 741.

That is, they are making an argument (in statistical terms) about random samples from the population of applicants, and that argument is utterly wrong.

So if I understand correctly, the DOL is saying that when presented with qualified candidates of this racial distribution, the odds that the "best 7" would consist of one Asian and six non-Asians are 1 in 741? As far as odds go, that's not so low as to be mathematically impossible. Consider the number of companies hiring for a position at any given time, and the odds of one of those companies facing a 1-in-741 scenarios is not that low. I think you'd need to actually examine the particulars of the applicants to determine whether the chosen candidates were not actually a better choice in some way than those not chosen, but allowing the federal government to nitpick individual candidate evaluations is a can of worms. Absent actual material evidence, a statistical analysis is not evidence of wrongdoing. Stranger things have happened.

This isn't to say they didn't do anything wrong, just that "there's a 0.135% chance you're not racist" shouldn't be enough for a conviction.

Comment copying to new media (Score 1) 348

The earlier media seem to have a kind of timeless longevity while modern media from the 1800s forward seem to have shrinking lifetimes. Just as the monks and Muslims of the Middle Ages preserved content by copying into new media, won't we need to do the same for our modern content...?

Well, I don't know about Vint Cerf, but every time I upgrade my hard drive, the old one gets copied to a subdirectory of the new one. It's "C:\OLD_C_DRIVE\..." all the way down!

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