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Submission + - Open Salaries: the Good, the Bad and the Awkward (

gollum123 writes: More employers, from Whole Foods Market, with 91,000 employees, to smaller companies such as SumAll and Squaremouth, are opening up companywide salary information to all employees. They generally don’t disclose it to the public—but one company, Buffer, posts all employees’ salaries on its website. The idea of open pay is to get pay and performance problems out on the table for discussion, eliminate salary inequities and spark better performance. But open pay also is sparking some awkward conversations between co-workers comparing their paychecks, and puncturing egos among those whose salaries don’t sync with their self-image.

Submission + - Chilly at work? Office Formula Was Devised for Men (

gollum123 writes: scientists (two men, for the record) are urging an end to the Great
Arctic Office Conspiracy. Their study, published Monday in the journal Nature
Climate Change, says that most office buildings set temperatures based on a
decadesold formula that uses the metabolic rates of men. The study concludes
that buildings should “reduce genderdiscriminating bias in thermal comfort”
because setting temperatures at slightly warmer levels can help combat global
warming. The study says most building thermostats follow a “thermal comfort
model that was developed in the 1960s,” which considers factors like air
temperature, air speed, vapor pressure and clothing insulation, using a version
of Fanger’s thermal comfort equation. But Dr. Kingma and his colleague, Wouter van Marken Lichtenbelt, write
that one variable in the formula, resting metabolic rate (how fast we generate
heat), is based on a 40yearold man weighing about 154 pounds.
Maybe that man once represented most people in offices. But women now
constitute half of the work force and usually have slower metabolic rates than
men, mostly because they are smaller and have more body fat, which has lower
metabolic rates than muscle. Indeed, the study says, the current model “may
overestimate resting heat production of women by up to 35 percent.”

Submission + - 3D Xpoint memory: Faster-than-flash storage unveiled (

gollum123 writes: A new kind of memory technology is going into production, which is up to 1,000 times faster than the Nand flash storage used in memory cards and computers' solid state drives (SSDs). The innovation is called 3D XPoint, and is the invention of Intel and Micron. The two US companies predict a wide range of benefits, from speeding up scientific research to making more elaborate video games. 3D XPoint does away with the need to use the transistors at the heart of Nand chips. If all goes to plan, the first products to feature 3D XPoint (pronounced cross-point) will go on sale next year. Its price has yet to be announced.

Submission + - US Christians numbers 'decline sharply', poll finds (

gollum123 writes: The number of Americans who identify as Christian has fallen nearly eight percentage points in only seven years, according to a new survey.
Pew Research Center found that 71% of Americans identified as Christian in 2014 — down from 78% in 2007.
In the same period, Americans identifying as having no religion grew from 16% to 23%. About 5 million less Americans now identify as Christian compared to when the study was conducted in 2007.
In the South, those not-affiliated with religion — or as the researchers call them, "nones" — rose to 19% of the population, while in the Northeast they climbed to 25%.
In the West "nones" are a larger group than any religion, making up 28% of the public.

Submission + - 80s ads are responsible for the lack of women coders ( 3

gollum123 writes: From NPR, Back in the day, computer science was as legitimate a career path for women as in medicine, law or science. But in 1984, the number of females majoring in computing-related subjects began to fall, and is now as low as 20 percent compared to those other three.It's a surprising trend that NPR's Planet Money has uncovered, and the show's latest episode seeks to answer a simple question: Why? According to the show's experts, computers were advertised as a "boy's toy," and combined with early '80s geek culture staples like the novel Hackers, as well as movies like WarGames and Weird Science, the knock-on effect was to exclude women.

Submission + - The American Middle Class Is No Longer the World's Richest (

gollum123 writes: The American middle class, long the most affluent in the world, has lost that distinction. While the wealthiest Americans are outpacing many of their global peers, a New York Times analysis shows that across the lower- and middle-income tiers, citizens of other advanced countries have received considerably larger raises over the last three decades. After-tax middle-class incomes in Canada — substantially behind in 2000 — now appear to be higher than in the United States. The poor in much of Europe earn more than poor Americans. The struggles of the poor in the United States are even starker than those of the middle class. A family at the 20th percentile of the income distribution in this country makes significantly less money than a similar family in Canada, Sweden, Norway, Finland or the Netherlands. Thirty-five years ago, the reverse was true.

Submission + - Physicists probe urination 'splashback' problem (

gollum123 writes: US physicists have studied the fluid dynamics of urine "splashback" — and found tips to help men and women with their accuracy and hygiene. Splashback was low when the jets were used close up with a narrow "angle of attack", said the Brigham Young University team. micturation is still a messier business than it needs to be, according to the research. The team fired coloured water at various target "toilets" at the velocity and pressure of average human urination. Then, using a high-speed camera, they captured the moment of impact in remarkable visual detail. the biggest thing you can do to reduce splashback — sitting or standing — is to alter the "angle of attack".

Submission + - Processed meat 'early death' link (

gollum123 writes: Sausages, ham, bacon and other processed meats appear to increase the risk of dying young, a study of half a million people across Europe suggests. It concluded diets high in processed meats were linked to cardiovascular disease, cancer and early deaths. The study followed people from 10 European countries for nearly 13 years on average. It showed people who ate a lot of processed meat were also more likely to smoke, be obese and have other behaviours known to damage health. However, the researchers said even after those risk factors were accounted for, processed meat still damaged health. One in every 17 people followed in the study died. However, those eating more than 160g of processed meat a day — roughly two sausages and a slice of bacon — were 44% more likely to die over a typical follow-up time of 12.7 years than those eating about 20g.

Submission + - Swiss referendum backs executive pay curbs (

gollum123 writes: Swiss voters have overwhelmingly backed proposals to impose some of the world's strictest controls on executive pay, final referendum results show. Nearly 68% of the voters supported plans to give shareholders a veto on compensation and ban big payouts for new and departing managers. The new measures will give Switzerland some of the world's strictest corporate rules Shareholders will have a veto over salaries, golden handshakes will be forbidden, and managers of companies who flout the rules could face prison.The "fat cat initiative", as it has been called, will be written into the Swiss constitution and apply to all Swiss companies listed on Switzerland's stock exchange. Support for the plans — brain child of Swiss businessman turned politician Thomas Minder — has been fuelled by a series of perceived disasters for major Swiss companies, coupled with salaries and bonuses staying high

Submission + - Brutal July heat a new U.S. record ( 1

gollum123 writes: The July heat wave that wilted crops, shriveled rivers and fueled wildfires officially went into the books Wednesday as the hottest single month on record for the continental United States. The average temperature across the Lower 48 was 77.6 degrees Fahrenheit, 3.3 degrees above the 20th-century average, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration reported. That edged out the previous high mark, set in 1936, by two-tenths of a degree, NOAA said. n addition, the seven months of 2012 to date are the warmest of any year on record and were drier than average as well, NOAA said. U.S. forecasters started keeping records in 1895. And the past 12 months have been the warmest of any such period on record, topping a mark set between July 2011 and this past June. Every U.S. state except Washington experienced warmer-than-average temperatures, NOAA reported.
Lord of the Rings

Submission + - Hollywood Acts Warily at Comics Convention (

gollum123 writes: Peter Jacksonwowed the crowd with 13 minutes of highly anticipated footage from the first of his two ultraexpensive “Hobbit” movies. But he also played it safe — very safe — by not so much as mentioning, much less demonstrating, the filmmaking wizardry at the heart of the project. That left big questions about the movie industry’s future unanswered and added to a theme of this year’s Comic-Con: Hollywood has come to fear this place. Mr. Jackson is shooting his two “Hobbit” movies, the first of which is to arrive in theaters in December, at an unusually fast 48 frames a second, twice the standard rate. But an estimated 6,500 fans did not have that experience when they gathered in Comic-Con’s cavernous Hall H moments earlier to see the new footage.Still, Mr. Jackson, one of Hollywood’s boldest directors, made the unexpectedly timid decision to present “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” in a standard format here — it was not even in 3-D — because he feared an online outcry that could hurt box-office results.

Submission + - The surprising impact of the iPhone on AT&T and Verizon's rivalry (

zacharye writes: AT&T paid dearly for iPhone exclusivity that started in June 2007 and ran for nearly four years. What did it buy? Back in 2Q07, AT&T Wireless generated $10.4 billion in sales, and Verizon Wireless did $10.8 billion. Verizon Wireless edged out AT&T by just 4%. This was a very interesting point in time to inject a revolutionary new smartphone — and the iPhone debuted just two days before the end of 2Q07...

Submission + - Past 12 months warmest ever recorded in United States (

gollum123 writes: The mainland United States, which was largely recovering Monday from a near-nationwide heat wave, has experienced the warmest 12 months since record-keeping began in 1895, a top government science and weather agency announced Monday. The report from the National Climatic Data Center, which is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, does not take into account blistering heat from this month, with 2,116 high temperature marks either broken or tied between July 2 and July 8 in communities nationwide. But it does incorporate the warmest March recorded as well as extreme heat in June, which also helped make the first six months of 2012 the warmest recorded of any January-June stretch.

Submission + - Immigrants Are Crucial to Innovation, Study Says (

gollum123 writes: Arguing against immigration policies that force foreign-born innovators to leave the United States, a new study to be released on Tuesday shows that immigrants played a role in more than three out of four patents at the nation’s top research universities. Conducted by the Partnership for a New American Economy, a nonprofit group co-founded by Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York, the study notes that nearly all the patents were in science, technology, engineering and math, the so-called STEM fields that are a crucial driver of job growth. The Partnership for a New American Economy released a paper in May saying that other nations were aggressively courting highly skilled citizens who had settled in the United States, urging them to return to their home countries. The partnership supports legislation that would make it easier for foreign-born STEM graduates and entrepreneurs to stay in the United States. the study notes that nine out of 10 patents at the University of Illinois system in 2011 had at least one foreign-born inventor. Of those, 64 percent had a foreign inventor who was not yet a professor but rather a student, researcher or postdoctoral fellow, a group more likely to face immigration problems.

Submission + - Asian-Americans, more than Latinos, are largest group of new arrivals in U.S. (

gollum123 writes: Asians have now taken over Latinos as the largest group of new arrivals every year. In 2010, 36% of new immigrants were Asians compared to 31% for Hispanics, according to a report released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center. Pew's exhaustive new report on Asian-Americans found important differences between Asian-Americans and other population groups in America. The Pew survey showed that across the board, Asian-Americans are more satisfied than any other Americans with their lives, finances and direction of the country. They also place more value on traditional marriage, family and parenthood and usually possess a strong work ethic. Nearly seven in 10 respondents said people could get ahead if they are willing to work hard. And 93% of Asian-Americans describe people of their origin as "very hard-working," whereas only 57% said the same about Americans as a whole. Asian-Americans also attain college degrees (61%) at about double the rate of recent non-Asian immigrants (30%), Pew found.

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