bricko writes: Greenland Enters 2017 Adding Massive amount of Ice
DMI reports the Greenland ice sheet’s “mass surface budget” has been growing significantly since October.
Greenland’s “surface mass budget” for winter 2016-2017 is already more than two standard deviations higher than the northern ice sheet’s mean snow and ice accumulation over the last 24 years. DMI data shows the ice sheet added 8 gigatons of ice and snow Jan. 1, well above the standard deviation for that day.
bricko writes: Early explorer logbooks reveal Antarctic sea ice has barely changed in 100 years
Logbooks from the likes of Captain Robert Scott and Sir Ernest Shackleton — key figures in the 'Heroic Age' of Antarctic exploration — have revealed that sea ice levels in Antarctica have barely changed over the past century, despite global temperatures hitting record highs year after year.
bricko writes: The Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee have launched a probe into tax incentives paid to solar companies, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Already grossly subsidized, Musk’s SolarCity has become an albatross of waste, fraud, and abuse of tax payer dollars. As legitimate earnings and cash become even scarcer for SolarCity, its entanglement in the Tesla empire suggests that a drastic reckoning not only is imminent, but in fact emboldening Musk to become more outlandish and reckless.
Notably, SolarCity is run by Musk’s cousins, Lyndon and Peter Rive. During his chairmanship at SolarCity, Musk’s family enterprise has taken in billions of taxpayer dollars in subsidies from both the federal and local governments. But the subsidies and sweetheart deals were not enough, as losses and missed projections continued to mount.
bricko writes: New report emerged Wednesday that the culprit might not be the lithium-ion batteries themselves, which Samsung initially suspected. Rather, the problem might reside in the underlying technology — tweaks made to the processor in the smartphone.
Attributing an unnamed source who has spoken to Samsung chiefs, the Financial Times reported, “Problems with the phone appeared to have arisen from tweaks to the processor to speed up the rate at which the phone could be charged.”
bricko writes: Tesla Knows When a Crash Is Your Fault
trying to hide what really happened in any kind of car accident could soon become just about impossible.
That’s the lesson of an incident over the weekend in which the owner of a Tesla Model X SUV crashed into a building and claimed it had suddenly accelerated on its own. But Tesla vehicles are constantly connected to their manufacturer via the Internet and was found not to be so.
bricko writes: US military uses 8-inch floppy disks to coordinate nuclear force operations
The Defense Department's 1970s-era IBM Series/1 Computer and long-outdated floppy disks handle functions related to intercontinental ballistic missiles, nuclear bombers and tanker support aircraft, according to the new Government Accountability Office report.
bricko writes: Why are journalists and tech workers paying so much attention to the IBM layoffs? One reason is the strong suspicion that IBM’s secrecy about the cuts—the company is making numbers public only when local laws require, and has refused to break down its head count regionally—is designed to cover some less than admirable behavior.
Perhaps, it’s been suggested, the whole “rebalancing” effort actually means pushing jobs to low-cost regions. Writes Steve Pitcher in MC Press Online: “Leaked documents show IBM India now has more workers than IBM in the U.S. Why? Take a guess. The average IBM India employee is paid $17,000 per year.”
Or, perhaps the effort is designed to remove older, more expensive workers: Journalist and IBM watcher Robert X. Cringely is trying to determine whether IBM has violated age discrimination laws with this year’s layoffs. He’s trying to gather evidence, and suggests that soon-to-be-former employees over 40 force an investigation by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), by filing a charge of age discrimination against the company.
bricko writes: Congress has bill up this week, HR 2666 that will kill NN and stop you from complaining. Big Cable and ISP behind it and its worse than thought, Need all call your reps NOW. TechDirt has nasty details
bricko writes: The ‘Human Computer’ Behind the Moon Landing Was a Black Woman
She calculated the trajectory of man’s first trip to the moon by hand, and was such an accurate mathematician that John Glenn asked her to double-check NASA’s computers. To top it off, she did it all as a black woman in the 1950s and 60s, when women at NASA were not even invited to meetings.
And you’ve probably never heard of her.
Meet Katherine Johnson, the African American woman who earned the nickname “the human computer” at NASA during its space race golden age.
bricko writes: The problem, argues Northwestern University Professor Alice Eagly in a recent paper in the Journal of Social Issues, is that such claims—while usually backed by the best of intentions—simply don’t hold up under scrutiny.
They are based on a combination of substandard research, a misreading of that research by impassioned political activists, and the failure of social scientists to act as “honest brokers” when they “produce findings that are not what advocates want to hear.”