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Science

Bill Nye Explains That the Flooding In Louisiana Is the Result of Climate Change (qz.com) 256

Reader mspohr writes: Our favorite science guy has an interview (and video) in Quartz where he explains how Louisiana flooding is due to climate change:
"As the ocean gets warmer, which it is getting, it expands," Nye explained. "Molecules spread apart, and then as the sea surface is warmer, more water evaporates, and so it's very reasonable that these storms are connected to these big effects."
The article also notes that a National Academy of Sciences issued a report with the same findings: "Scientists from around the world have concurred with Nye that this is exactly what the effects of climate change look like, and that disasters like the Louisiana floods are going to happen more and more. According to a National Academy of Sciences report published earlier this year, extreme flooding can be traced directly to human-induced global warming. As the atmosphere warms, it retains more moisture, leading to bouts of sustained, heavy precipitation that can cause floods."

Comment Re:How dare they hack NY Times reporters! (Score -1, Troll) 61

So...it's NSA's fault when foreign intelligence services conduct espionage against US political parties, media organizations, etc., and actively try to influence the outcomes of US elections, and manipulate the opinions of US citizens? You realize that no matter who wins in November, possibly millions of Americans will believe the election was stolen or rigged, and possibly by foreign influence?

I know, I know -- in this crowd, the US is the enemy, here, and we don't actually need to have any kind of foreign intelligence capability; NSA's sole purpose for being is to figure out ways to illegally spy on Americans so it can solidify the power base of shadowy elites. Or something. Whenever I need to be reminded of just how out of touch many people are with history, reality, or both, I read Slashdot comments.

Microsoft

Microsoft Apps Will Be Pre-loaded On Lenovo and Motorola Android Devices (betanews.com) 76

An anonymous reader writes: There was a time when Microsoft was seen as the enemy of Linux and Apple communities. Understandably, at the time, the company only wanted Windows to succeed. Nowadays, however, the operating system is sort of inconsequential. Microsoft seems happy to have its software succeed on 'competitor' platforms such as iOS, Android, macOS, Ubuntu and more. Today, Microsoft announces that it has partnered with Lenovo on a new mobile initiative. The Windows-maker's productivity apps will be pre-loaded on Lenovo and Motorola-branded devices running Google's Linux-based Android operating system.As of earlier this year, Microsoft had over 74 Android OEM partners. As for submitter's take on this, it's pretty simple. Microsoft is going where users are. If they are not going to purchase Windows Phones, Microsoft will go to Android and iOS.
Power

New Mexico Nuclear Accident Ranks Among the Costliest In US History (latimes.com) 308

mdsolar quotes a report from Los Angeles Times: When a drum containing radioactive waste blew up in an underground nuclear dump in New Mexico two years ago, the Energy Department rushed to quell concerns in the Carlsbad desert community and quickly reported progress on resuming operations. The early federal statements gave no hint that the blast had caused massive long-term damage to the dump, a facility crucial to the nuclear weapons cleanup program that spans the nation, or that it would jeopardize the Energy Department's credibility in dealing with the tricky problem of radioactive waste. But the explosion ranks among the costliest nuclear accidents in U.S. history, according to a Times analysis. The long-term cost of the mishap could top $2 billion, an amount roughly in the range of the cleanup after the 1979 partial meltdown at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania. The Feb. 14, 2014, accident is also complicating cleanup programs at about a dozen current and former nuclear weapons sites across the U.S. Thousands of tons of radioactive waste that were headed for the dump are backed up in Idaho, Washington, New Mexico and elsewhere, state officials said in interviews. "The direct cost of the cleanup is now $640 million, based on a contract modification made last month with Nuclear Waste Partnership that increased the cost from $1.3 billion to nearly $2 billion," reports Los Angeles Times. "The cost-plus contract leaves open the possibility of even higher costs as repairs continue. And it does not include the complete replacement of the contaminated ventilation system or any future costs of operating the mine longer than originally planned."
Bitcoin

'SingularDTV' Will Use Ethereum For DRM On A Sci-Fi TV Show (rocknerd.co.uk) 77

It's "an epic sci-fi adventure about the human race's journey into a theoretical technological Singularity." Or is it an "entertainment industry boondoggle...part DRM snake oil marketing, part pseudo-Bitcoin scam and part sincere Singularitarian weirdness?" Long-term Slashdot reader David Gerard writes: SingularDTV is an exciting new blockchain-based entertainment industry startup. Their plan is to adapt the DRM that made $121.54 for Imogen Heap, make their own completely pre-mined altcoin and use that to somehow sell two million views of a sci-fi TV show about the Singularity. Using CODE, which is explicitly modeled on The DAO ... which spectacularly imploded days after its launch. There's a white paper [PDF], but here's an analysis of why these schemes are a terrible idea for musicians.
'Singular' will be a one-hour adventure/drama "that explores the impact technology will have on the future of our planet and how it will shape the evolution of our human race," set in the years 2021 to 2045, "as an unprecedented technological revolution sweeps over the world..."
Twitter

Twitter Announces New Blocking and Filtering Features (wired.co.uk) 117

Twitter just began rolling out "new ways to control your experience," promising the two new features "will give you more control over what you see and who you interact with on Twitter." An anonymous Slashdot reader quotes a report from Wired UK: First up, notification settings will allow those using Twitter on the web or on desktop to limit the notifications they receive for @ mentions, RTs, and other interactions to just be from people they follow. The feature can be turned on through the notifications tab. Twitter is also expanding its quality filter -- also accessible through notifications. "When turned on, the filter can improve the quality of Tweets you see by using a variety of signals, such as account origin and behavior," the company's product manager Emil Leong said in a blog post.

In December 2015, the company changed its rules to explicitly ban "hateful conduct" for the first time, while back in February last year, Twitter's then-CEO Dick Costolo admitted the network needed to improve how it handled trolls and abuse. In a leaked memo he said: "I'm frankly ashamed of how poorly we've dealt with this issue during my tenure as CEO. It's absurd. There's no excuse for it. I take full responsibility for not being more aggressive on this front. It's nobody else's fault but mine, and it's embarrassing."

Meanwhile, the Twitter account of Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales was hacked on Saturday.
Earth

Every Month This Year Has Been the Hottest In Recorded History (vice.com) 407

Slashdot reader iONiUM quotes an article from Vice that calls attention to the fact that record-setting temperatures in July are just part of the story: On Wednesday, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that July was the hottest month ever recorded on our planet, since modern record-keeping began in 1880. NASA has reached the same conclusion. July smashed all previous records... "We should be absolutely concerned," [NOAA climatologist] Sanchez-Lugo said. "We need to look at ways to adapt and mitigate. If we don't, temperatures will continue to increase"...

But the truth is that record-breaking temperatures, month after month, year after year, are starting to look less like an exception, more like the norm.

In fact, CityLab reports that the earth has now experienced 14 consecutive months of unprecedented hotness. Although July stands out, Vice notes that "each consecutive month in 2016 has broken its own previous record (May was the hottest May, April the hottest April, etc.)..."

Comment Re:More proof (Score 1) 414

Here's a radical idea: why don't we do a decent job of educating early teens of what fields are hiring out there and how rewarding they are, then leave them the hell alone and let them choose what they want to do? This whole "diversity is our goal" crap is morphing into a grand social engineering project where young girls are going to be told "you must be an engineer so you can better represent females!" and young men are going to be told...well, I'm not sure other than "you represent oppression and the male patriarchy and must be punished."

Comment Re:More proof (Score 1) 414

What I see is that women who are very smart get hired, average and dumb women don't get hired. However average and dumb men do get hired. Just look around and see all the idiots you have to work with and ask yourself if those idiots are more qualified than every woman or minority who wanted those jobs.

Given that hiring an unknown is always something of a gamble, wouldn't this outcome be the EXPECTED outcome when there's an oversupply of male candidates and relative scarcity of female candidates? By Jove, yes it is! The scarcity of female candidates virtually guarantees the vast majority of them are in the field because it is a passion for them. The overabundance of males also virtually guarantees many are there because "I need the money" and have no real interest in what they do. Certainly there are outliers in each category but they are, after all, outliers; they make the exception, not the rule.

Comment Re:More proof (Score 1) 414

The hiring managers have no incentive to do anything other than pick the candidate they think is best.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that the point of hiring one candidate over another, because one of them is the better candidate?

Put another way, if you're about to have life-saving brain surgery and you're given the choice between a highly-skilled, top-of-his-field, well-paid neurosurgeon and a diversity hire who made it in to fill a quota, who are you going to choose? High-flying ideals are all fine and dandy when it's someone else's skin on the line, but they crumple when made to apply to those same idealists.

Comment Re: Get over it (Score 2) 181

If it's fair use, then we're talking about re-implementing the API being fair use, not how it's used after the fact. How that re-implemented API is used is not part of the discussion of whether re-implementing the API is fair use. The copyrighted elements were solely the API method signatures, and not any source code. If this had been a court case over patents (which is a whole other level of ridiculous, when talking about software, so thankfully it wasn't), then how the APIs were used and what they did would be at issue. The fact that Chrome has the ability to execute android application bytecode doesn't impact that argument.

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