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Comment Re:Not surprising. (Score 2) 725

"That's not a scientific statement, it's a political one." How else can you convince a layperson at all? Wikipedia tells me that Fermat's last theorem was proven after hundreds of years but when I look at the proof it is 150 pages long and inaccessible to me. If you tell me that 97 of 100 mathematicians who reviewed this proof stated it is correct I would happily agree that the problem has been solved. Essentially what it does is show you that the vast majority of individuals in the environmental sciences have evaluated the evidence and came to the conclusion that human activities are causing global warming. Because I know I cannot possibly properly evaluate the existing evidence without years of study, I need to rely on them to make this judgment. (This is not debatable by the way, imagine laypeople trying to argue over a book-length assembly program and if it is as fast as it could be...)

Comment Re:Go after em Nate (Score 1) 335

There is a fundamental difference in how debate works in science VS anything else. In science you do *not* have the right to your personal unique viewpoint, while retaining credibility, if you cannot defend it properly. It's a bit like discussing with your friends which actors were in a movie: perfectly acceptable to have your opinion on this but as soon as someone shows you that you were wrong you move on. If the article used poor data he needs to be able to defend his choice or expect to lose its credibility, simple as that. In science you have to be a bit more thick-skinned than you are prepared to be, you have to expect that people will continuously attack your conclusions and your data. The fact that climate scientists agree so much should really be a clue as to how much evidence there is for climate change. If anyone could actually show data that disagrees they would be superstars at this point for upsetting the current best evidence. Science is by no means perfect but it's not high-school gossip either, something a lot of people here seem to think.

Comment Re:Wrong, study shows disfavor with science. (Score 1) 482

That is because you are confusing scientists with policy-makers and spokespeople trying to interpret science. We are quite far removed from politics and care deeply about the subjects we spend all of our professional lives on. It's sad bordering on insulting that you think that we don't care about the truth and are somehow connected to politics. It's true that we don't care about your best interests, that has nothing to do with science.

Submission + - 41% Of San Francisco's Serious Crime Is Gadget Theft (itworld.com) 1

jfruh writes: Between November 2012 and April 2013, 579 people in San Francisco had cell phones or tablets stolen from them — making up 41% of what San Francisco police consider "serious" crimes. A quarter of those robberies involved the display of a knife or a gun. On several days in that period, cell phone thefts were the only serious crimes that occured. San Francisco is a particularly gadget-happy place, of course, but similar numbers come from police departments in Washington D.C. and New York. Smartphones are in some ways the perfect thing to steal: they're small, they have a high resale value, and the people using them are often not paying attention to their surroundings.

Submission + - Study suggests Google Glass could be a smash hit (bgr.com)

zacharye writes: Google Glass is expected to be a pretty big focus at Google I/O this year, but it’s still unclear how the public at large will receive Google’s connected eyewear when it launches next year. In an effort to assess its odds in the U.S. market, BiTE Interactive commissioned YouGov to conduct a study on the matter. According to a poll of 1,000 American smartphone owners aged 18 and above, “only” one in 10 respondents said they would be willing to wear Google Glass regularly, regardless of the device’s price. The study also found that 45% of those polled said they believe Google Glass is “too socially awkward” or “too irritating” to wear, and 44% said they simply don’t find any of Glass’ known features to be desirable. But the numbers tell a different story...

Comment Re:Psychology VS Psychiatry (Score 1) 329

If you actually read my argument instead of instantly feeling threatened as a "non prescribing" healthcare provider, you would have noticed that I simply stated the difference between professions, never made the "argument of "They are just jealous"". What I *did* do was show how outlandish their actual claims were and people replying to me posted great evidence for that. You saying "I put more faith in psychologists" really shows your ignorance of how they work. Psychology and psychiatry are not two mutually-exclusive options, they are both part of the healthcare team. You say that doctors will always prescribe, well that's pretty much the point to be fair. A patient that requires medication is more likely to see a psychiatrist than a psychologist. Many times they are referred to a psychiatrist by their psychologist - precisely as it should work as we all pull together to help the patient.

Comment Psychology VS Psychiatry (Score 5, Informative) 329

It is worth noting that the central distinction between psychiatrists and psychologists is that generally psychiatrists can prescribe medications (they are doctors). It's therefore not surprising that some psychologists would issue a statement like this. Honestly, this single statement by what appears to be a spokesperson discredits their entire ramblings: "it was unhelpful to see mental health issues as illnesses with biological causes". It's quite shocking to see professionals show such ignorance of their own field, just because they specialize in one aspect of it. While we are certainly still in the dark ages of neuroscience and psychiatry, there is a reason why we can control a ton of psychiatric illnesses with medications. We have many decades worth of research that specifically shows you what goes wrong in a person's brain with many psychiatric illnesses.

Comment Re:National Academies of Sciences Report (Score 1) 1063

Unless I am missing something fundamental, this is simply a book published by the NAS (National academy press). NAS is by no means the be all end all of peer review you seem to imply. In fact, the NAS has journals which are peer reviewed (of course) but this appears to simply be a compiled report. Peer review also does not mean that they are reviewed by the NAS before publishing but by outside sources that are intimately familiar with the subjects. A peer reviewed report of 400some pages would be quite unusual.

Comment Re:Yeah, but we're very productive (Score 5, Insightful) 1063

While statistics do show that the US is uniquely productive, it certainly comes at a cost. You present this as a binary choice (Greek lifestyle VS US) whereas there are plenty of highly successful countries (think Germany or Switzerland) that work less. Most people likely can relate to this but for many white-collar jobs the number of hours worked dont correlate perfectly with productivity either.

Comment Re:Well... (Score 2, Informative) 1063

That is simply not true for two reasons: First, this is appears to not be peer-reviewed, and thus does not count as "medical research" by any means. It's a book / report they are publishing, it doesn't have the same weight as a peer-reviewed article in a medical journal. Second, while there definitely is commercial money in medical research, these studies are scrutinized very carefully before being accepted by the community. For every publication each author has to disclose financial interests and where all the money for the study came from. This is taken very seriously and these safeguards are working quite well. People often get confused by independent reports or white-papers by "think tanks" and think this is the same as peer reviewed academic research: it's not and the medical community knows that. One of the reasons why it's so hard to have an argument online and somebody posts a "study" that "debunks" a concept without keeping the above in mind.

Comment Re:SkyDrive (Score 3, Insightful) 153

For 99.9% of all users a backup is simply that, a failsafe in case their main HD gets lost / damaged. So what if dropbox or skydrive suddenly were to go out of business (as unlikely as that is, youd know in advance)? You suddenly lose access to that safety copy of your data and will know right away because the client cannot connect anymore. But you still have your primary copy of everything, nothing was lost, you can just switch providers or change your backup strategy. The chances that something would happen right then in the time-frame that the cloud provider fails and you make another copy with another provider are incredibly low. If you can't take that risk then you'd have a third backup anyways.

Comment Re:Citation please (Score 1) 938

Reductio ad absurdum, you are taking the argument to a nonsensical extreme. Distractions while driving are dangerous, however mostly on a statistical level. That's why it's so simple for people to argue against bans like these, because on a personal level your chances are hardly increased if you let yourself get distracted. However the number of fatalities and serious accidents is quite ridiculous given our modern times (accidents are the biggest killers for young people). We are simply discussing for which level of safety to settle until cars drive themselves.

Submission + - New Dutch Public Transport card claimed unhackable (www.nu.nl)

TESTNOK writes: Since traveling daily by public transport because of a new job half a year ago, my interest in the dutch public transport card system ("ov-chipkaart") has been more than casual. In the past few years, this card system has attracted quite some attention because of the friendly opportunity it offers for fraud.

As early as 2008, before it was introduced for real outside some pilot projects, the card's chip was spectacularly hacked by some German researchers, as posted back then on slashdot (thank goodness for search) with link to bbc-news article and wikipedia entry. This hack ended up in the international news (PCworld article, with links to video demonstration and paper of University of Virginia).

A similar hack on the same chip was published by Dutch researchers from Radboud Univeristy in Nijmgen, in the Netherlands. This case attracted additional attention because the company making the Mifare chip, NXP (formerly Phillips semiconductors), tried to block publication of the hack and was denied this in a Dutch court of law (security guru Bruce Schneier on this).

Even more recently, the " improved" system, but still using the same chip on the cards, was targeted by Dutch investigative journalist Brenno de Winter who was cleared from prosecution by a judge as recently as three weeks ago. His research showed that hacking was possible by using some freely downloadable windows programs and a reader (you-tube video of his sadly over-long presentation at DefCon 16)

Today it became public that the company responsible for the system, Trans Link Systems (not very informative site) has silently been introducing cards using a different chip for two months now. It uses the Infineon SLE-66 chip, that can have software installed. The software that was installed by TLS is to block any tampering. Dutch news site nu.nl has had such a card for two weeks and was not able to hack it with the currently known methods (their article, dutch only, I'm afraid. Old cards are still in production until he end of the year for subscriptions (linked to personalized accounts) but the new cards are used for the anonymous day cards. Equipment of public transport personnel has been adapted to reveal hacking attempts.

So, the big question to all the security experts hovering around slashdot: how realistic is the claim that this card will prevent fraud? Let's be realistic and assume that it can eventually be hacked in the lab, but that practical application of this hack is not feasible. The interesting case is a hacking method that would make free transport available on a large scale, as is the case now. Can chip-installed software block such tampering attempts?

Phew. First post. I feel like I've handed in exam papers ...


Submission + - does being 'loyal' pay as a developer? 11

An anonymous reader writes: Does loyalty pay as a developer?

As a senior developer for a small IT company based in the UK that is about to release their flagship project, I know that if I was to leave the company now it would cause them some very big problems.

Mostly because I’m currently training the other two ‘junior’ developers , trying to bring them up to speed with our products. Unfortunately however they are still a long way from grasping the technologies used – not to mention the ‘interesting’ job the outsourced developers managed to make of the code (but I’ll leave that for another post)

Usually I would never have considered leaving at such a crucial time, I’ve been at the company for several years and consider many of my colleagues, including higher management, friends.
However I have been approached by another company that is much bigger, and they have offered me a pay rise of £7k to do the same job, plus their office is practically outside my front door (as opposed to my current 45 minute commute each way)

This would make a massive difference to my life, and naturally the other half wants me to snatch their hands off!
But I can’t help but feel that to leave now would be betraying my friends and colleagues, some friends have told me that I’m just being ‘soft’ – however I think I’m being loyal.

Some of you fellow slash-dotters must have had similar experiences over the years, any advice?

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