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Comment Re:HF Trading reduces spread, increases liquidity (Score 5, Insightful) 411

A high speed trader does not increase liquidity, because for a high speed trader to work it has to know that It can buy something now and sell it moments later. This means the initial seller and the final buyer already existed before the high speed trader got involved, they just hadn't found each other yet. The item being sold was already as liquid as it was going to get.


Sticky Rice Is the Key To Super Strong Mortar 194

lilbridge writes "For over 1,500 years the Chinese have been using sticky rice as an ingredient in mortar, which has resulted in super strong buildings, many of which are still standing after hundreds of years. Scientists have been studying the sticky rice and lime mortar to unlock the secrets of its strength, and have just determined the secret ingredient that makes the mortar more stable and stronger. The scientists have also concluded that this mixture is the most appropriate for restoration of ancient and historic buildings, which means it is probably also appropriate for new construction as well."

Comment Re:Why are these not being given to a Museum? (Score 3, Insightful) 96

I hope you are being ironic but I can't tell. If you're serious then it requires rebuttal. If a museum doesn't have interesting artifacts, then they don't attract visitors. If they don't attract visitors they don't have admissions income (or in the case of free museums have a hard time justifying the public funding they receive). Without income, they can't acquire interesting artifacts. It is a catch 22. If museums had to be run as a business and pull themselves up by their bootstraps, we wouldn't have any museums. All the great museums owe their existence to gift or public grant: The Louvre, The British Museum, The Smithsonian, American Museum of Natural History.

If these items are currently NASA property then transferring an asset from one government body to another has zero cost and the museum should not have to pay to acquire them. If these are not NASA property then there are one of two possibilities. 1) They are stolen US Government property. 2) NASA was wrong to transfer them to private ownership in the first place.

Comment Why are these not being given to a Museum? (Score 5, Insightful) 96

Gee if only we had a government body charged with the preservation of important historical documents. Oh wait! We do! I don't understand why these items aren't going to the National Archives. Its not like they are gonna raise enough money for a rocket or anything. The Smithsonian Institution would be a better home than some private collection.

Comment Re:Stupid score system (Score 1) 137

Item A is the only one that really matters. It doesn't matter if it is (C) made in the UK, by (D) EEA employees, if the end product is just an imitation of US culture. Item B is meant to prevent it from just being an non-diverse outsiders caricature of British culture, which is what a game about warm beer, bad cooking and drinking tea would be.

It's funny.  Laugh.

Could UK Tax Breaks Pave the Way For GTA London? 137

BanjoTed writes "An interesting — if tongue-in-cheek — bit of speculation is up at MCV about the possibility of a Grand Theft Auto title across the pond. 'Chancellor Alistair Darling's pledge to support the video games development industry with tax breaks could do more than simply protect the future of the UK dev sector,' the site claims. 'It could also have dictated the setting of the next Grand Theft Auto.' Its reasoning? That developers will only be eligible for new UK tax breaks if their games can be proven to be 'culturally British.' Being based in the UK alone is not sufficient for this — instead, the games in question must promote Britishness. Hence MCV's conclusion that Grand Theft Auto V may well be set in London — saving Rockstar an estimated $16m in the process."

Comment Re:Efficiency (Score 3, Interesting) 223

Your right that compressed air is a less energy efficient storage medium than Li-ion batteries, but only for the first couple of years. Li-ion battery storage capacity decreases at about 20% a year because of natural degradation. Consider the cost to frequently manufacture, replace and dispose of batteries compared to the wear cycles of a compressed air container which is probably measured in decades.

My point here is that the maintenance cost for compressed air energy storage is quite low compared to other options. You also have to consider the cost of making the storage devices. Steel tanks are mostly hollow and we are already really good at making them. We are good at recycling steel too. Air storage, unlike fuel cells or batteries options which consume lots of metals and require complex electronics to regulate, compressed air is extremely cheap and simple.

If our choice is cheap simple but supposedly inefficient storage of 50% via compressed air or storing 0% via other supposedly more efficient but unaffordable and unsustainable methods the choice is pretty simple.

Comment A Meta-Analysis of bad studies creates a bad Meta (Score 4, Informative) 587

My wife's PhD thesis was a Meta-Analysis, and I helped her create some new tools for doing the math behind the analysis so I feel like I have a pretty good grasp on the topic. The process (greatly simplified) is this. Dig through hundreds of articles published in peer reviewed journals on the topic you are examining, and find as many as you can that test the specific theory you are studying. All the articles included in the meta-analysis must test the same theory. Next you need to reverse engineer the numbers reported in the article. This can be a bit tricky since each article may have reported their result using different statistical tests. Occasionally some articles don't have all the relevant numbers and you have to contact the author. Once you have all that data together the math is relatively straight forward.

Presuming that all the other articles that you feed into the process are based on high quality research, then a Meta-Analysis can give you an insight to the overall strength of the results of the theory being tested. As you might imagine this process can easily be a Garbage In Garbage Out sort of situation. The researcher performing the meta-analysis must have the ability to identify bad studies that overlooked key moderating variables, or were simply done poorly and remove these bad studies from their analysis. If you want to attack this meta-analysis, attack the articles it was based off of. A meta-analysis by itself is not 'conclusive' just because of the method it represents. The analysis itself must be performed on many many well done studies in order to have any credibility of its own.


Submission + - PageRank-type algorithm from the 1940s discovered (

KentuckyFC writes: The PageRank algorithm (pdf) behind Google's success was developed by Sergey Brin and Larry Page in 1998. It famously judges a page to be important if it is linked to by other important pages. This circular definition is the basis of an iterative mechanism for ranking pages. Now a paper tracing the history of iterative ranking algorithms describes a number of earlier examples. It discusses the famous HITS algorithm for ranking web pages as hubs and authorities developed by Jon Kleinberg a few years before PageRank. It also discusses various approaches from the 1960s and 70s for ranking individuals and journals based on the importance of those that endorse them. But the real surprise is the discovery of a PageRank-type algorithm for ranking sectors of an economy based on the importance of the sectors that supply them, a technique that was developed by the Harvard economist Wassily Leontief in 1941.

Submission + - Time Bomb May Have Destroyed 800 Norfolk City PCs (

krebsonsecurity writes: The City of Norfolk, Virginia is reeling from a massive computer meltdown in which an unidentified family of malicious code destroyed data on nearly 800 computers citywide. The incident is still under investigation, but city officials say the attack may have been the result of a computer time bomb planted in advance by an insider or employee and designed to trigger at a specific date, according to "We don't believe it came in from the Internet. We don't know how it got into our system," the city's IT director said. "We speculate it could have been a time bomb waiting until a date or time to trigger. Whatever it was, it essentially destroyed these machines.
The Internet

Submission + - FCC proposes 100Mbps minimum home broadband speed

oxide7 writes: The U.S. Federal Communications Commission unveiled a plan on Tuesday that would require Internet providers to offer minimum home connection speeds by 2020, a proposal that some telecommunications companies panned as unrealistic. The FCC wants service providers to offer home Internet data transmission speeds of 100 megabits per second (Mbps) to 100 million homes by a decade from now, Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski said.
The Internet

Submission + - Powerful Linux ISP Router Distribution?

fibrewire writes: I'm building a Wireless ISP using commercial grade, low cost equipment. My main stumbling block is that I cannot find a decent open source ISP class routing distribution. Closest thing to even a decent tool is Ubiquiti's AIRControl — but even it doesn't play well with other network monitoring software. I've used Mikrotik's RouterOS for 5 years, but it just isn't built for what i need. I don't mind paying licensing fees, but $300K for a Cisco Universal Broadband Router is out of my budget. Has anyone seen any good open-source/cheap hardware/software systems that will scale to several thousand users?

Submission + - Pay the Debt or Save Away (

ekochman writes: Unexpected money can help get rid of an outstanding debt — but have you considered the reasons you might be better off putting the money into an investment, even at a lower interest rate?

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"The eleventh commandment was `Thou Shalt Compute' or `Thou Shalt Not Compute' -- I forget which." -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982