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Submission + - Study Finds That Attractive Female Students Earn Higher Grades

An anonymous reader writes: HughPickens.com writes

Scott Jaschik writes at Inside Higher Education that although most faculty members would deny that physical appearance is a legitimate criterion in grading, a study finds that among similarly qualified female students, those who are physically attractive earn better grades than less attractive female students. For male students, there is no significant relationship between attractiveness and grades. The results hold true whether the faculty member is a man or a woman. The researchers obtained student identification photographs for students at at Metropolitan State University of Denver and had the attractiveness rated, on a scale of 1-10, of all the students. Then they examined 168,092 course grades awarded to the students, using factors such as ACT scores to control for student academic ability. For female students, an increase of one standard deviation in attractiveness was associated with a 0.024 increase in grade (on a 4.0 scale).

The results mirror a similar study that found that those who are attractive in high school are more likely to go on to earn a four-year college degree. Hernandez-Julian says that he found the results of the Metro State study “troubling” and says that there are two possible explanations: “Is it that professors invest more time and energy into the better-looking students, helping them learn more and earn the higher grades? Or do professors simply reward the appearance with higher grades given identical performance? The likely answer, given our growing understanding of the prevalence of implicit biases, is that professors make small adjustments on both of these margins."

Submission + - Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov shot dead in Moscow.

An anonymous reader writes: BBC News Reports

An unidentified attacker shot Mr Nemtsov four times in central Moscow, a source in the law enforcement bodies told Russia's Interfax news agency. He was shot near the Kremlin while walking with a woman, according to Russian-language news website Meduza. "Several people" had got out of a car and shot him, it added. Mr Nemtsov, 55, served as first deputy prime minister under the late President Boris Yeltsin in the 1990s.

Meanwhile, various sources report a massive gathering of protestors at the site of the shooting.

Submission + - The Vanishing American Male Worker

HughPickens.com writes: Binyamin Appelbaum writes at the NYT that the share of prime-age men — those 25 to 54 years old — who are not working has more than tripled since the late 1960s, to 16 percent as many men have decided that low-wage work will not improve their lives, in part because deep changes in American society have made it easier for them to live without working. These changes include the availability of federal disability benefits; the decline of marriage, which means fewer men provide for children; and the rise of the Internet, which has reduced the isolation of unemployment. Technology has made unemployment less lonely says Tyler Cowen, an economist at George Mason University, who argues that the Internet allows men to entertain themselves and find friends and sexual partners at a much lower cost than did previous generations. Perhaps most important, it has become harder for men to find higher-paying jobs as foreign competition and technological advances have eliminated many of the jobs open to high school graduates. The trend was pushed to new heights by the last recession, with 20 percent of prime-age men not working in 2009 before partly receding. But the recovery is unlikely to be complete. "Like turtles flipped onto their backs, many people who stop working struggle to get back on their feet," writes Appelbaum. "Some people take years to return to the work force, and others never do "

A study published in October by scholars at the American Enterprise Institute and the Institute for Family Studies estimated that 37 percent of the decline in male employment since 1979 can be explained by this retreat from marriage and fatherhood (PDF). “When the legal, entry-level economy isn’t providing a wage that allows someone a convincing and realistic option to become an adult — to go out and get married and form a household — it demoralizes them and shunts them into illegal economies,” says Philippe Bourgois, an anthropologist who has studied the lives of young men in urban areas. “It’s not a choice that has made them happy. They would much rather be adults in a respectful job that pays them and promises them benefits.”

Submission + - The Search for a Fifth Force of Nature (bbc.com)

Jonathan Salinas writes: They're really beginning to consider killing SUSY because they are seeing that it has produced no concrete experimental evidence when it should have already. This sounds like quite the farce of force, but at least it's opening a path to the next step in uncovering the truth.

From the article: http://www.bbc.com/news/scienc...
"According to the simplest versions of the theory, supersymmetric particles should have been discovered at the LHC by now...Next year will be an important year for SUSY. The LHC will be smashing atoms together at almost twice the energy it did in its first run. Even those who are still strong advocates of SUSY, such as Cern's revered professor of theoretical physics, John Ellis, agree that if LHC scientists do not find super particles in the LHC's second run, it might be time for the hospital patient to be moved to the mortuary.

One of the alternative models being considered is the composite Higgs theory: "The composite Higgs theory also solves the fine tuning problem, albeit less elegantly and, just as with SUSY, there is no experimental evidence for it. It supposes that the Higgs is not a fundamental particle, but is instead made up of other fundamental particles bound together by a hitherto unseen fifth force of nature. This is similar to what is already known to happen with the strong nuclear force, which binds quarks together to produce nuclear particles like protons and neutrons."

Submission + - Public Citizen sues KlearGear.com for $75,000 over $3500 fine... 1

BUL2294 writes: Public Citizen has followed through on their threat to sue KlearGear.com over their decision to "fine" Utah resident John Palmer $3500 over a negative review posted by his wife, Jennifer Palmer. The review, posted to RipoffReport.com in 2009 when the $20 order was not received & the couple had difficulties in getting a refund, was made 3 years before a "non-disparagement" clause was added to KlearGear's Terms of Sale and Use, to which all customers agree to before purchasing from them. In 2012, KlearGear informed credit reporting agencies of the $3500 "debt", sent a debt collection agency against the Palmers, and validated the "debt" to credit reporting agencies (adding a $50 dispute charge) when John Palmer attempted to dispute it. Since then, the Palmers have had difficulties obtaining credit, which included going 3 weeks without heat while trying to obtain a new furnace. KlearGear has publicly stated on KUTV and CNN that the fine was valid and would stand. Now, on behalf of the Palmers, Public Citizen is suing KlearGear 'after KlearGear.com ignored a Nov. 25 demand letter sent by Public Citizen on behalf of the Palmers requesting that KlearGear.com contact the relevant credit agencies immediately and inform them that the debt it had reported concerning John was in error. The letter also asked for compensation of $75,000 and permanent removal of the “non-disparagement clause” from its website’s terms of use. // Today’s complaint seeks punitive damages as well as damages for the economic, emotional and other harms that the Palmers suffered as a result of KlearGear.com’s actions.'

Submission + - New Links Found between Bacteria and Cancer (bytesizebio.net)

Shipud writes: A recent study by a group at the University of Maryland School of Medicine shows that bacterial DNA gets transferred to human cells, in a process known as lateral gene transfer, or LGT. LGT is known to occur quite commonly between bacteria, including bacteria of different species. In fact, that is how antibiotic resistance is transferred so quickly. The team has shown that certain types of tumor cells acquire bacterial DNA that may play a role in tumor progression. Another group at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill has shown that gut inflammation leads to a radical change in the microbial population there, which encourages growth of E. coli that can disrupt the inflamed cells' DNA, leading to cancer. Both studies enable us to ask new questions such as: how does inflammation change the landscape for bacterial colonization? Can bacteria indeed harness inflammation — and then cancer — to flourish and remove competitors from their newly found ecosystem? And can we use this information to fight cancer?

Submission + - How to deal with or perhaps replace Tivo?

Bomarc writes: "On Friday, Tivo release a patch with had a critical bug. The bug causes the ability to transfers any (ALL) recordings to fail. Last time I called TiVo support they (still) claims that the problem is with an update to Windows 7, which I know to be false, for these reasons: First — the system that I use for transferring files from TiVo uses Windows XP, and hasn’t been updated in two weeks. Direct transfer (also known as back-door or web transfer) also does not work. The bug has impacted both of my TiVo boxes (a ‘Series 2’ and a ‘HD box’).

A Google search of the error message returns another person that has the same problem, and no other relevant results. And a bit of history of TiVo: They will frequently release an update on Friday, and with an annoying degree of regularity, the update will have bugs. Sometimes the bugs are just annoying, sometimes the bugs will be critical.

So my question: can I get away from TiVo? I need a solution that is workable (regular and HD), allow me to record, to let my wife watch TV, and for me to record 3+ shows at a given point in time. I’m not trying to receive non-legal channels, but to watch and record and (optionally) keep the recordings that I’ve made. I don’t mind paying for the service. Most of my searches on this topic don’t end well. Does someone have a viable solution that – when implemented is legal and doesn’t require a masters degree in computer science to understand 'how to make it work'? Something that has the features of TiVo, without the headaches? (I can’t even find a media player to effectively replace the TiVo player’s abilities)

History and background: My wife is NOT a techie. She is still trying to figure out the “URL” vs. the “search box”. I’m a techie. I’ve been working with computers for many years now. Several years ago, I migrated to TiVo for two key reasons The first is that it is simple to use. Though TiVo can be annoying for me, my wife can use it and understand it. The second is its ability to transfer and save recordings to a standard format. Every morning I start my daily transfer of files from TiVo to a local hard drive. Expected usage: Recording and keeping about one TB per month, library of about 65 TB of video (at this time). I use Binaryworks.it Extreme Movie Manager to track and organize my video collection."

Submission + - Killing Your Sexual Desires for Academic and Intellectual Pursuits? 6

An anonymous reader writes: In the past few months, I have been applying to a multitude of graduate schools. Recently, I was accepted into a Ph.D. in computer science program at a fairly prestigious and demanding institution. Like most Slashdot readers, I have always been an exceptional student throughout high school and my undergraduate studies. However, as a heterosexual male individual, there has always been a persistent desire to associate myself with females in an effort to find love, have sex, and to be in a relationship. I have learned the hard way that this is often a colossal distraction from one's schooling and I would like to train myself to become more apathetic to such desires in preparation for the difficult but intellectually awarding years of graduate school that lay ahead. So, fellow Slashdot users, I ask you a rather odd but serious question on none other than Valentine's Day: How do you kill your sexual desires to enable you to focus more on academic and intellectual goals?

Submission + - Oracle shuts older servers out of Solaris 11 (theregister.co.uk)

PCM2 writes: The Register is reporting that Oracle has decided not to allow Solaris 11 to install on older Sparc hardware, including UltraSparc-I, UltraSparc-II, UltraSparc-IIe, UltraSparc-III, UltraSparc-III+, UltraSparc-IIIi, UltraSparc-IV, and UltraSparc-IV+ processors. The Solaris 11 Express development version released in November did not have this restriction, which suggests that the OS would likely run on these models. Unfortunately, the installer won't. All generations of Sparc T series processors and Sparc Enterprise M machines will be able to install and run Solaris 11, however.

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