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Comment This is news? Look at human success rate (Score 1) 237

How many humans grow up to be geniuses capable of making a mark on society? Most -- not. How many grow up to be, to some slight or large amount, "bad apples"? It doesn't take much to cause humans to grow up to be "failures". Most won't make it big and most won't have any impact. So why should we be surprised when slight variations in input would cause a computer to start down a wrong track.

The different here, is that it is easier to pull the plug and start over again -- or possible erase bad input and overwrite with new -- something that can't be done with humans.

So far, we are proving how poorly humans do at the jobs we might use AI for. Any argument against AI can be turned into an argument against humans.

Really, its something more social leaders should be thinking about if we really want humans to not just evolve -- but survive.

Comment Re:Proxy Variables and multiple life factors... (Score 1) 238

Google has become rich for using Proxy Variables as a means to derive inferences. Whether or not its true, if your proxy-sample is representative of the population at large, you still get a valid sampling.

That Google wouldn't know about unconscious bias or how "objective
factors" can be correlated to physical sex sounds ludicrous.

While women taking off for having babies is cited as a reason for pay inequity, Google has provided on-site day-care and facilities to lower the effect of those problems.

Part of the problem is that while men may be given equal time off to bond & spend time with newborns, they may not take it as often. Should that be a positive trait that is rewarded? I.e. if someone works an extra 20-30 hours/week over a "40 hour week", should they be rewarded for the long term effects their work-life imbalance, statistically, is likely to cause.

In the case of professional football players, society says "yes" -- they get paid ludicrous sums in their prime so they don't have to make money past their 30's.

One begins to see the reason for having a 40-hour work week and requirements for 50-100% pay to be applied to work over 40-hours. Why shouldn't software engineers be on a similar pay-schedule? Then if it is the case that men earn more because they work more, it will be clear as to why.

As long as it is presumed men and women work @ similar "40-hour-a-week" jobs, then pay inequities can't be justified to the extent they exist, but for them to be documented, "professional positions" would need to have weekly hours documented like any "hourly" employee.

How much of the extra "productivity" that men produce is due to them being willing to give up any non-work life while they are younger -- with industry responding by discriminating against older workers who start to have families and realize that a life that is filled only with work isn't so fulfilling as they get older?

Earth

Graphene-Based Sieve Turns Seawater Into Drinking Water (bbc.com) 111

An anonymous reader quotes a report from BBC: A UK-based team of researchers has created a graphene-based sieve capable of removing salt from seawater. The sought-after development could aid the millions of people without ready access to clean drinking water. The promising graphene oxide sieve could be highly efficient at filtering salts, and will now be tested against existing desalination membranes. It has previously been difficult to manufacture graphene-based barriers on an industrial scale. Reporting their results in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, scientists from the University of Manchester, led by Dr Rahul Nair, shows how they solved some of the challenges by using a chemical derivative called graphene oxide. Isolated and characterized by a University of Manchester-led team in 2004, graphene comprises a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice. Its unusual properties, such as extraordinary tensile strength and electrical conductivity, have earmarked it as one of the most promising materials for future applications. But it has been difficult to produce large quantities of single-layer graphene using existing methods, such as chemical vapor deposition (CVD). Current production routes are also quite costly. On the other hand, said Dr Nair, "graphene oxide can be produced by simple oxidation in the lab." Graphene oxide membranes have already proven their worth in sieving out small nanoparticles, organic molecules and even large salts. But until now, they couldn't be used to filter out common salts, which require even smaller sieves. Previous work had shown that graphene oxide membranes became slightly swollen when immersed in water, allowing smaller salts to flow through the pores along with water molecules. Now, Dr Nair and colleagues demonstrated that placing walls made of epoxy resin (a substance used in coatings and glues) on either side of the graphene oxide membrane was sufficient to stop the expansion.
Earth

An Unexpected Relationship Between Nuclear Power and Low Birth Weight (arstechnica.com) 146

Applehu Akbar writes: Ars Technica reports on a Carnegie-Mellon study of an unexpected side effect of the slowdown in nuclear plant construction after Chernobyl and Three Mile Island. The pollution associated with replacing the power in places where nuclear plants were delayed or canceled has resulted in significantly lower birth weights for children born in the region. The impact on birth weight starts at 97g less in the second quarter after a nuclear shutdown and goes to 146g for in the third quarter, and of similar magnitude thereafter. Though the steady shift in recent years from coal to natural gas has probably slowed this trend down (no update to the study has been announced) because gas pollutes less, Trump's policy of bringing back coal may mean that micro-babies are back in fashion. Here's an excerpt from Ars Technica's report: "[Carnegie Mellon assistant professor of economics and public policy Edson Severnini] looked at the closure of the Browns Ferry nuclear plant in Alabama in 1985 as well as the Sequoyah plant in Tennessee, which was closed from 1985 to 1988. The closure of the two plants corresponded to increased coal burning at nearby coal plants -- in 1985, TVA noted in its annual report that coal plants had 'extraordinary performance' due to the shut down of the nuclear plants. He also gathered birth-weight data from the National Centre for Health Statistics (NCHS) and found that babies born in regions with the biggest increase in coal burning had lower birth weights than babies born in other nearby areas. Looking at data from 1983 to 1985, before the nuclear plant shut down, also showed that the largest change in birth weight occurred after the shutdown."

Submission + - US programmer arrested for others misuse of his software! (thedailybeast.com) 1

Highdude702 writes: This is an outrage, and is a push too far, also in the wrong direction. A programmer from Arkansas was arrested for being an accomplice to a crime committed by people he had never met, let alone knew well enough to commit crimes with. If you will excuse my copy and paste skills because you can tell by now that I suck at writing and the such.

"It’s a dual-use technology case, And you typically don’t get criminal liability in dual-use technology cases unless there’s a pretty clear intent to promote the criminal use instead of the legitimate ones." Was quoted from a Cornell Law Professor.

If you decide to RTFA they do a lot better job at telling the story of a script kiddie gone big time. I don't think it's time to play jury as there are too many cases where items intended for malicious use were used by the general public for havoc and the creators were not held responsible.

Submission + - An unexpected relationship between nuclear power and low birth weight (arstechnica.com)

Applehu Akbar writes: Ars Technica reports on a Carnegie-Mellon study of an unexpected side effect of the slowdown in nuclear plant construction after Chernobyl and Three Mile Island. The pollution associated with replacing the power in places where nuclear plants were delayed or canceled has resulted in significantly lower birth weights for children born in the region. The impact on birth weight starts at 97g less in the second quarter after a nuclear shutdown and goes to 146g for qquatres thereafter.

Though the steady shift in recent years from coal to natural gas has probably slowed this trend down (no update to the study has been announced) because gas pollutes less, Trump's policy of bringing back coal may mean that micro-babies are back in fashion.

Comment Win10 fanboys? (Score 1) 239

I never knew there were win10 fanboys (re: getting marked down).
Marking someone Troll because they hurt your feelings in not a correct usage of moderation points. If only you had explained why what I said was 'untrue', or refuted it you might have some impact, but from someone who had to rescue their 80+y/o mom from a "Welcome to Windows 10" who thought MS had forced the move to win10 without even asking her.

Of course that *is* what happened to many when they tried to get out of that fake screen. If it was really an "Upgrade", why would MS feel a need to deceive people to opt in to the conversion?

Upgrades are things people want, not something you have to trick them into installing.

Comment Stop calling every update an 'upgrade' (Score 0) 239

Win10 was a downgrade in so many ways, its hard to see how they can continue to claim it is an "upgrade".

Maybe when Win10 supports the *option* for the same features of the Win7 Desktop, and stops trying to dumb down Desktops to the level of a smartphone, it would *start* to be an "upgrade", but it really is an "upgrade" to move to Win10, it's NOT an upgrade.

Win10 has been about supporting a lower level of OS, to *rent* and never own (can you turn off ads: no) and business Win10 is only available on a 1/person/year basis.

All the functionality that was in XP -- moved to the appstore, where you can repurchase it ... again and again...

Upgrade? Ha!

Comment Conflicting base article (caught in lie?) (Score 1) 181

Um... how can this be true:

"Most American teenagers who abuse opioid drugs first received the drugs from a doctor,... and the majority of them had been prescribed opioids previously, the researchers found"

and later the pediatric report said:

"of all 188,468 prescription opioid exposures reported for youth under 20, [most] occurred among children under 5, [who got] the medication because it was improperly stored or was in a purse".

Has anyone else noticed the increase in bogus new releases, that don't jive with established facts. The above says most teen abusers got them for medical reasons from a doctor -- AND the 2nd part says most (60%) were under 5 and *took* (stole) them from someone else who was taking the medicine.

You can't claim most abusers are getting them for medical reasons and then claim that 60% are stealing them.

Comment Trumpeting threats w/o being responsible (Score 1) 202

Who said it did? However, giving extremists a worldwide platform in which to spread their alternate news is not the responsibility of a social media platform.

It seems, that if you are a social media platform, you might want not want to be a battle ground for extreme points of view. If you were, it might make many users uncomfortable and harm your ability to be an inviting social platform.

Most users don't want to be in the middle of a flamefest. Besides that, governments might have cause to restrict access to the social platform on the basis that it gives a ready platform to idiots blowing their trumpet just to bully others irresponsibly.

Now if they only had the temerity to shut down all those using the platform as a means to trumpet "jibes" without taking official responsibility for, or positions on what is said.

Comment What causes a shortage of NAND flash? (price fix?) (Score 1) 167

Shortage of NAND flash?

Did we have a bad crop this year? How can you have a
sudden "shortage" -- or is it that no one bothered to expand capacity in a growing market to meet demand? Is that normal market strategy?
(maybe it is, but having paid $60 for an optical drive that cost $40 about 5 years ago and $25 for a comparable about 5 years before that, AND seeing big BluRay drive manufacturers had to pay large fines and 10-30$? rebates to end-buyers of computer manufacturers like Dell for illegal price fixing, I was surprised to see such a large price tag on the retail market.

Maybe the price fixing remedies only address manufacturers of computers and not retail sales?

Now how long before we get a 30$ rebate for flash price fixing?>

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