Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:Nokia phones did this years ago. (Score 2) 248

I came here to comment on this. There are services and botnets that can send millions of simultaneous texts. I once read a blackhat idea of rebooting millions of phones over and over or all at once to see if it would crash the next layers of the networks. Maybe the towers couldn't handle it and would go down. And then ...

Comment Missiles that reach Japan? (Score 1) 230

Remember, the new defense secretary backed a pre-emptive strike on North Korea in the case that they tested such a missile.

Writing in Time magazine and The Washington Post in 2006, Carter, a physicist with a Yale doctorate who had served as assistant secretary of defense under President Bill Clinton, and William J. Perry, former secretary of defense, argued that the U.S. should launch a "cruise missile or precision bomb with an ordinary high-explosive warhead" to destroy a planned test launch by North Korea of its Taepodong 2 missile, which would be capable of carrying a nuclear device to Hawaii, Business Insider reports.

The North Koreans at the time were preparing to launch the missile, which would violate an agreed-on moratorium, and both men felt that was sufficient provocation for President George W. Bush's administration to launch a "surgical strike" to take out the missile on the launch pad.

"If North Korea persists in its launch preparations, the United States should immediately make clear its intention to strike and destroy the North Korean Taepodong missile before it can be launched," Carter and Perry, both college professors at the time, wrote in the Washington Post.

Comment 5% reduction / year = 66% chance of 2C or 3.6F (Score 1) 261

We need to reduce our footprint by ~5% a year to keep have a 66% chance of staying below 2 degrees C of 3.6 degrees F of global warming.

Population growth is about 75 million people a year - like the population of Germany. We need to build a sustainable Germany every year just to break even!

But let's end with good news ... The Rockefellers announced they will divest over $600 million from fossil fuels, citing the moral imperative.

Comment phone app auto tracks, health, academics, behavior (Score 1) 64

New Dartmouth smartphone app reveals users' mental health, performance, behavior

Dartmouth researchers and their colleagues have built the first smartphone app that automatically reveals students' mental health, academic performance and behavioral trends. In other words, your smartphone knows your state of mind -- even if you don't -- and how that affects you.

The StudentLife app, which compares students' happiness, stress, depression and loneliness to their academic performance, also may be used in the general population – for example, to monitor mental health, trigger intervention and improve productivity in workplace employees.

"The StudentLife app is able to continuously make mental health assessment 24/7, opening the way for a new form of assessment," says computer science Professor Andrew Campbell, the study's senior author. "This is a very important and exciting breakthrough."

The researchers presented their findings on Wednesday at the ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing. The paper has been nominated for best paper at UbiComp, the top conference mobile computing. A PDF of the paper and a summary of the findings are available on request. They also released an anonymized version of the dataset in the hope that other social and behavioral scientists will use it in further studies.

The researchers built an Android app that monitored readings from smartphone sensors carried by 48 Dartmouth students during a 10-week term to assess their mental health (depression, loneliness, stress), academic performance (grades across all their classes, term GPA and cumulative GPA) and behavioral trends (how stress, sleep, visits to the gym, etc., change in response to college workload -- assignments, midterms, finals -- as the term progresses).

They used computational method and machine learning algorithms on the phone to assess sensor data and make higher level inferences (i.e., sleep, sociability, activity, etc.) The app that ran on students phones automatically measured the following behaviors 24/7 without any user interaction: sleep duration, the number and duration of conversations per day, physical activity (walking, sitting, running, standing), where they were located and how long they stayed there (i.e., dorm, class, party, gym), stress level, how good they felt about themselves, eating habits and more. The researchers used a number of well known pre- and post-mental health surveys and spring and cumulative GPAs for evaluation of mental health and academic performance, respectively.

The results show that passive and automatic sensor data from the Android phones significantly correlated with the students' mental health and their academic performance over the term.

Some specific findings: Students who sleep more or have more conversations are less likely to be depressed; students who are more physically active are less likely to feel lonely; students who are around other students are less likely to be depressed. Also, surprisingly, there was no correlation between students' academic performance and their class attendance; students who are more social (had more conversations) have a better GPA; students who have higher GPAs tend to be less physically active, have lower indoor mobility at night and are around more people.

The results open the door to the following breakthroughs for the first time:

        your phone automatically knows if you are depressed, stressed or lonely
        the phone sensor data can predict student GPA
        coupled with intervention software, students can track their mental health and academic performance indicators with the goal of improving both
        the app (and its methods) are applicable to non-student groups, such as workplace employees, with the goal of improving productivity or radically reducing stress -- your phone will know how productive you are on a daily basis.

"Under similar conditions, why do some individuals excel while others fail?" Campbell says. "What is the impact of stress, mood, workload, sociability, sleep and mental health on academic performance? Much of the stress and strain of student life remains hidden. In reality faculty, student deans, clinicians know little about their students in and outside of the classroom. Students might know about their own circumstances and patterns but know little about classmates. To shine a light on student life, we developed the first of a kind smartphone app and sensing system to automatically infer human behavior."

Campbell says the smartphone app raises major privacy concerns, but with proper protections in place, the app can provide continuous mental health evaluation for people from all walks of life rather than waiting for symptoms of stress and depression to become severe enough to visit the doctor.

The Dartmouth researchers' next step for the StudentLife app is to provide feedback and intervention to help students boost their academic performance while living a balanced life on campus. The app also could be used in other ways, such as real-time feedback on campus safety and stress levels, students at risk and the quality of teaching at any moment.

"We purposely provided students with no feedback in this first study because we didn't want to use StudentLife as a behavioral change tool. We simply wanted to 'record' their time on campus," Campbell says. "Providing feedback and intervention is the next step. For example, we might inform students of risky behavior, such as partying too much, poor levels of sleep for peak academic performance, poor eating habits or being too socially isolated."

Professor Andrew Campbell is available to comment at campbell@cs.dartmouth.edu

Comment Re:magnet link to the video - 2 more from tbp (Score 1) 391




Comment Is prestige an incentive for pure cooperation? (Score 1) 245

You say ...

Pure "communism" has failed every place it has been attempted, even when completely voluntary. The reason is because there is no incentive in pure cooperation.

I think prestige is an incentive for pure cooperation.

Prestige can be viewed as selfish since it may lead to increased breeding or other benefits for the individual. So, I don't really know what you mean by "pure" cooperation. If I am seeking prestige, is my cooperation pure? What if I am not seeking prestige, but people bestow it upon me anyway?

Surely there is an evolutionary incentive here, even if it is not and internal one.

Comment The WTO make divestment illegal in 1999. (Score 1) 591

The WTO made divestment illegal in 1999.

The "Massachusetts Burma Procurement Law" is one of the early cases.

WTO rules prohibit the use of environmental, human rights or labor practices to be considered as criteria in awarding public contracts.

Yep. We've entered into treaties that allow private corporations to challenge and overturn democratically enacted laws using secret courts.

I participated in the 1999 WTO protests in Seattle.
You geeks know about WIPO right?

Comment How much extra heat escapes into space? (Score 1) 448

You say that hurricanes cool the oceans by about 3 degrees C.

Heat escaping the ocean to the atmosphere is similar to heat escaping the atmosphere to space.

Does anyone know how much extra heat escapes into space as a result of a hurricane stirring the atmosphere compared to if the same area was calm?

The satelite images seem to show extra heat escaping. Does it? If so, How much?

I ask because if it's a significant amount, then maybe we could use atmospheric vortex engines to create artificial hurricanes. Then we could generate energy (like a solar updraft tower without glass) and cool the Earth at the same time. Maybe we could put AVE's above the ocean gyres and filter the microplastic out of the water as it moves under the hurricane too.

Comment We already exceed global H20 replenishment rate (Score 1) 118

According to Jeff Fulgham, the CEO of Banyan Water and the ex-lead of General Electric's ecomagination division, the global replenishment rate is about 4,200 km3 while 2010 use was at least 4,300 km3. This is only possible by drawing down surface reserves like lakes and aquafirs.

Water use also limits the amount of CO2 that we can sequester in soils and plants to an additional 500 GT or so because we'll sequester water with it and not have enough for us. 500 GT is about 15 years worth at the current burning rates. IIRC (Rockstrom et al I think ... too lazy to check).

Comment Cover and remove Ads (Score 1) 322

I'm not like that women in Snow crash who sanded the logo for the jeans she was wearing off the metal buttons but I do remove labels from containers in my home and usually use nice aesthetically pleasing or simple reused containers. My computer has the ad facing me on the screen bezel covered and the one on the lid too. I know that they paid money to put those there and wouldn't do so if they weren't making their money back. I don't want corporate ads in my house. I don't like to be imprinted. I try to avoids ads in the first place and I buy used. The corporations can pay me if they want me to advertise for them. Someone once said that advcertising is the penalty you pay for not being innovative enough. I do advertise for a few co-ops, businesses or products that I think are sustainable and ethical or honestly trying to be. The one down side is that when I go outside (I know, I know, I never leave my basement) I realize how much of our visual environment and space has been captured by corporations without our permission. After all the problem is that people other than ourselves are making the decisions that effect our lives, and that applies to regulating advertising too. Oh yeh ... I used to be an extreme anti-corporate and materialism type. I spent four years without using money.

People should go watch "The Corporation"

Comment Global water limit and others too. (Score 1) 209

There are many planetary boundaries.

Rockstrom et al estimate global water use is already over the 4,300 km3 estimated global replenishment rate. If only 600 GT of additional carbon are sequestered in biomass (including forests, algae and other biofuels and so on) there will not be enough water for agriculture even using intensive means because of the water sequestered with the carbon. Green tech won't change this because building a sustainable energy system will release enough greenhouse gases to raise the global mean surface temp 2.0 C (Myhrvold and Caldeira) which will in turn decrease food production by at least 40%. (Rockstom et al). CO2e is another limit. Known carbon reserves on the market are about 2900 GT but we'll heat the planet 2 C for every 500 GT we burn. Exxon alone spends $100 million a day looking for more. There are now at least nine planetary boundaries reasonable quantified beyond which lie great risk of global catastrophe. We have exceed 3 of them already.

Search John Rockstrom - Planetary Boundaries.

on google scholar.

Comment Powder on fruits is yeast = B vitamins (Score 1) 342

I have ripe plums rolling into my yard right now from my neighbors trees. The light colored powder on the outside of them (easy to see on grapes and so on too) is yeast. I eat it. Lots of B vitamins. Plus I use the yeast for sourdough and wine and such. I just wash some off into the juice or flour and water mix.

There are plant sources for ALL needed nutrients. I was vegan for a long time.

Slashdot Top Deals

"Being against torture ought to be sort of a bipartisan thing." -- Karl Lehenbauer