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Submission + - Neil deGrasse Tyson urges America to challenge China to a space race (

An anonymous reader writes: According to a Tuesday story in the UK edition of the International Business Times, Neil degrease Tyson, the celebrity astrophysicist and media personality, advocated a space race between the United States and China. The idea is that such a race would spur innovation and cause industry to grow. The Apollo race to the moon caused a similar explosive period of scientific research and engineering development.

Submission + - Journalist fools media into publishing chocolate weight loss story (

dinfinity writes: "“Slim by Chocolate!” the headlines blared. A team of German researchers had found that people on a low-carb diet lost weight 10 percent faster if they ate a chocolate bar every day. [...] It was discussed on television news shows. [...] My colleagues and I recruited actual human subjects in Germany. We ran an actual clinical trial, with subjects randomly assigned to different diet regimes. And the statistically significant benefits of chocolate that we reported are based on the actual data. It was, in fact, a fairly typical study for the field of diet research. Which is to say: It was terrible science. The results are meaningless, and the health claims that the media blasted out to millions of people around the world are utterly unfounded."

Submission + - What happens when corporations replace major labels as patrons of independent mu (

An anonymous reader writes: As the recording industry and its flagship major labels wither on the vine, a new hand has come to tend to independent music scenes. From rock to hip-hop, corporations such as Red Bull, Hyundai and Converse are supporting independent, often niche, artists by providing them with recording studios, bookings and promotion. Often seen as a continuation of the centuries-old practice of patronage, the involvement of corporate brands in music continues to be tainted with negative connotations of selling out. And yet, what could be more natural than the replacement of one capital-driven enterprise with another in support of the arts?

Comment understanding of OO, not just the syntax of C++ (Score 1) 336

when i interview for developers (we are a C++ shop, mostly), i certainly expect people to understand the syntax of the language, but more importantly to me, to understand what the language is providing. what is OO, what does OO provide over functional... in addition what is class hierarchy? what does it provide to the developer? what are templates? when are templates useful, and when should templates not be used, for example they should not be used to provide hierarchy (which i have seen done). what is overloading (other than syntactic sugar!), these questions can be answered for any OO type language. another huge concept that most interviewees do NOT understand is exceptions. even the basic "throw and get out of the way" concept is lost on them. and they truly don't understand that exceptions decouple normal program flow from error recovery. i'll have them write a method that generates an error and they'll start by returning an error code!! that will pretty much end the interview at that point. another area is order of construction of objects that contain members that also have constructors, as well as order of destruction of objects and what happens when a base class's destructor is not virtual. and lastly, how do they hold up when trying to design an algorithm for a difficult problem. i don't even expect the interviewee to complete the algorithm, what i'm looking for is how they attack the problem, do they ask me questions to help themselves out, do they use the whiteboard to get an understanding of the problem... the individuals in our group do not work in a bubble and if you're not willing to ask for help when you're stuck, then i have no use for you...

Submission + - Gene Testing Often Gets It Wrong 1

BarbaraHudson writes: From the you-pay-your-money-and-you-take-your-changes dept

ABC is reporting that gene test for risk of specific diseases are not as accurate as were thought, with different labs giving different interpretations.

At least 415 gene variants now have different interpretations that could sway a medical decision, such as whether to have healthy breasts or ovaries removed to lower the risk of cancer, or to get a medical device such as an implanted defibrillator to cut the risk of sudden cardiac death.

"The magnitude of this problem is bigger than most people thought," said Michael Watson, executive director of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics, one of the study's authors and a partner in the data pooling project.

And it can harm patients. Rehm described a woman who had genetic testing and wrongly was told she did not have elevated risks for breast cancer. She later developed the disease but could have had preventive surgery had the right gene analyses been done.

Submission + - Thanks to the Montreal Protocol, we avoided severe ozone depletion (

hypnosec writes: Concentrations of ozone depleting chemicals was at its peak in 1993, but over the years they have declined and a new research points out that the Montreal Protocol, which came into force in 1987, has played a major role in not only ensuring that use of these chemicals is reduced, but has also helped us avoid a severe ozone depletion.

Submission + - Prospects and limits for the LHC's capabilities to test string theory

StartsWithABang writes: The Large Hadron Collider has just been upgraded, and is now making the highest energy collisions of any human-made machine ever. But even at 13 TeV, what are the prospects for testing String Theory, considering that the string energy scale should be up at around 10^19 GeV or so? Surprisingly, there are a number of phenomenological consequences that should emerge, and looking at what we've seen so far, they may disfavor String Theory after all.

Submission + - Global business leaders say they don't know enough about technology to succeed

Lemeowski writes: New Harvard Business Review research finds that only 45% of business leaders surveyed say they personally have the technology knowledge they need to succeed in their jobs. What's more, the survey of 436 global business leaders finds that only 23% are confident their organizations have the knowledge and skills to succeed in the digital aspects of their business. The report says that given the low levels of digital knowledge and skills outside of IT "it's troubling that close to half of all respondents (49%) said their department occasionally or frequently initiaties IT projects with little or no direct involvement of IT."

Submission + - How Does the iPhone Do That: Behind the Downfall at BlackBerry writes: Ian Austen has an interesting interview in the NYT with the Jacquie McNish and Sean Silcoff, authors of "Losing the Signal: The Untold Story Behind the Extraordinary Rise and Spectacular Fall of BlackBerry," that offers details about the emotional and business turmoil surrounding the collapse of the once-dominant smartphone maker’s fall into near market obscurity. Most interesting is Balckberry's initial reaction to the iPhone. "It was an interesting contrast to the team at Google, which was working on smartphones at the time. Google seemed to realize immediately that the world had changed and scrapped its keyboard plans. At BlackBerry, they sort of dismissed the need to do anything about it in the short term," says McNish. "One thing that they misunderstood is how the game had changed when AT&T announced its deal with Apple," added Silcoff. "BlackBerry had built its whole business model on offering carriers products that worked efficiently on their networks. The first thing Mike Lazaridis said when he saw an iPhone at home is that this will never work, the network can’t sustain it. What they misunderstood is that the consumer demand would make carriers invest in their networks."

"One of the big reveals for us in the book was the enormous power wielded by carriers in the smartphone race," says McNish. "In the wake of Apple’s ascendency, carriers have seen their clout and economic value significantly diminished as customers spend more of their smartphone money on Apple phones, apps and other content than they do on carrier bills. It is one of the greatest wealth transfers in our generation."

Submission + - Ballistic Wallpaper to Help Protect Soldiers Seeking Temporary Shelter (

Zothecula writes: It sounds like an old Goon Show joke, but soldiers may one day protect themselves from blasts by wallpapering temporary shelters. It may not be very decorative, but the new ballistic wallpaper under development by the US Army Corps of Engineers uses a special fiber inlay to help prevent walls from collapsing under blast effects.

Submission + - Computer chips made of wood promise greener electronics

alphadogg writes: U.S. and Chinese researchers have developed semiconductor chips that are nearly entirely made out of wood-derived material. Aside from being biodegradable, the chips could be produced for only a fraction of the cost of conventional semiconductors, according to the group of 17 researchers, mostly from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with others from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Comment Re:How about speed arrestors, instead? (Score 1) 294

exactly my thought. so the webcam is going to slow the train down????? no, but we can watch the train run off the tracks and if we're REALLY lucky, the lead car will be thrown 180 degrees around and we can watch all the passengers be ripped apart as the rest of the cars are thrown from the track.. as long as they get those youtube hits.... schleprock

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