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Comment Re:Simple really... (Score 1) 489

Why would a corporation care about a grieving widow, unless there was some sort of bad publicity to arise out of... oh dear.

The better corporations realize that money isn't made from getting a customer, but maintaining good customer relationships with current customers. In this economy, no one can afford to provide poor customer service. I hope Verizon changes its policy to deal with the deaths of its current customers.


Women Dropping Out of IT 706

Women's eNews has an interesting look at women in tech, with numbers showing that women are bailing out of the IT field at a rapid pace. "Technology jobs are predicted to grow at a faster rate than all other jobs in the professional sector, up to 22% over the next decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Compensation is also good. In 2008, women in tech made an average salary of $70,370. ... But women's stake in that rosy outlook is questionable. For starters, men's pay during the same time period was $80,357. A study by the National Center for Women and Information Technology ... also finds that women are leaving computer careers in staggering numbers. 'Fifty-six percent of women in technology companies leave their organizations at the mid-level point, 10-20 years in their careers,' said Catherine Ashcraft, the senior research scientist who authored the report. In 2008, women held only 25% of all professional IT-related jobs, down from 36% in 1991, according to the group's report, 'Women in IT: The Facts.'"

Comment Re:also: more doctors, less pay, more compassion. (Score 1) 584

This will take science. It will take art. It will take innovation. It will take ambition.

It will also take the realization that the leading causes of death in the USA are all preventable:

  • tobacco usage
  • poor diet and physical inactivity
  • alcohol consumption


There's only so much a doctor can do to stop the damage if the patient is already physically in poor health.

Comment This is actually a rather political issue. (Score 1) 311

The political issue at hand is this: Should the government allow people to make irrational decisions when the mistakes can be costly or deadly? There is a movement called "soft paternalism" ( that basically argues that many people are making irrational decisions, so the government should gently nudge them into making rational ones. There are many books promoting this idea, including Nudge, The Paradox of Choice and Free Market Madness.

This sounds all nice and wonderful until you realize that it's ultimately politicians and bureaucrats that is deciding what is "rational" for a person to spend their money on -- like they're such great role models :p

Comment Re:Interesting... (Score 1) 584

I'll admit that my concept of our spending is probably skewed by intentionally misleading infographics and such, but this doesn't seem to jive with anything I've ever seen. Can someone explain how this is true, or point to something that does?

The cost of health care driving the US deficit and federal debt is actually old news: (30-minute version of the film film, highly engrossing) (Summary in PDF format)

Submission + - SPAM: The science is in: Marvin Gaye better for love

An anonymous reader writes: French researchers have provided scientific backing to would-be seducers who instinctively know they have to swap rap or heavy metal for Marvin Gaye to improve the odds for love.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - SPAM: The Doctrine Of Hot News and why it troubles me

rorybaust writes: Hot news is a long recognised but seldom used common law doctrine that assigns a temporary property right to the reporting of a hot news item, similar to copyright but obviously with a much shorter expiration period.

It dates back to a 1919 US Supreme Court decision, and has the following five factor test.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - New Air Conditioner Process cuts energy use 50-90% ( 2

necro81 writes: The U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory has announced that it has developed a new method for air conditioning that reduces energy use by 50-90%. The DEVap system cools air using evaporative cooling, which is not new, but combines the process with a liquid dessicant for pulling the water vapor out of the cooled air stream. The liquid dessicant, a very strong aqueous solution of lithium chloride or sodium chloride, is separated from the air stream by a permeable hydrophobic membrane. Heat is later used to evaporate water vapor back out — heat that can come from a variety of sources such as solar or natural gas. The dessicants are, compared to typical refrigerants like HCFCs, relatively safe for the environment.

Submission + - Why Being Wrong Makes Humans So Smart 1

Hugh Pickens writes: "Kathryn Schulz writes in the Boston Globe that the more scientists understand about cognitive functioning, the more it becomes clear that our capacity to make mistakes is utterly inextricable from what makes the human brain so swift, adaptable, and intelligent and that rather than treating errors like the bedbugs of the intellect — an appalling and embarrassing nuisance we try to pretend out of existence, we need to recognize that human fallibility is part and parcel of human brilliance. Neuroscientists increasingly think that inductive reasoning undergirds virtually all of human cognition. Humans use inductive reasoning to learn language, organize the world into meaningful categories, and grasp the relationship between cause and effect in the physical, biological, and psychological realms and thanks to inductive reasoning, we are able to form nearly instantaneous beliefs and take action accordingly. But our use of inductive reasoning comes with a price. "The distinctive thing about inductive reasoning is that it generates conclusions that aren’t necessarily true. They are, instead, probabilistically true — which means they are possibly false," writes Schulz. "Because we reason inductively, we will sometimes get things wrong." Schulz recommends that we respond to the mistakes (or putative mistakes) of those around us with empathy and generosity and demand that our business and political leaders acknowledge and redress their errors rather than ignoring or denying them. "Once we recognize that we do not err out of laziness, stupidity, or evil intent, we can liberate ourselves from the impossible burden of trying to be permanently right. We can take seriously the proposition that we could be in error, without deeming ourselves idiotic or unworthy.""

Submission + - EMI says Copyrights more valuable than Music (

vampire_baozi writes: An article and the Economist notes that EMI is reshuffling its top management, and the new head honcho is coming with a new mission: " itself as a comprehensive rights-management company serving artists and songwriters worldwide. Rough translation: owning and exploiting the copyright to songs, rather than selling recordings of songs, is where the money’s going to be from now on." Guess this means the war is over, the lawyers won, and future battles will be very expensive.

Submission + - Geologists to be charged for not predicting quake? (

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.

Neuromancer Movie In Your Future? 239

An anonymous reader pointed out a link talking about how Vincenzo Natali, writer/director of Splice, has written a screenplay for Neuromancer. The article says he even ran it by Gibson. No studio is attached to the project, but at least Natali promised "No Keanu."

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