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Comment Just use the odds from any sportsbook to beat them (Score 1) 111

Just go to Vegas or look up the current World Cup odds at any online sportsbook and it is very likely that these odds are better predictions than whatever they came up. These sportsbook odds are based on actual money bet by people who know something about sports betting instead of financial types. If these quants were actually confident that they had some sort of an edge, they would put their money where their mouths are (and affect these sportsbook odds). Of course, these sportsbook odds are also affected by amateurs, but the same is true with almost anything else, like the stock market. Another issue is the smaller liquidity compared to the stock market, but the amount of money bet on the World Cup should be large enough to make it less of an issue.


Venezuela's Last Opposition TV Owner Arrested 433

WrongSizeGlass writes "AP is reporting the owner of Venezuela's only remaining TV channel that takes a critical line against President Hugo Chavez was arrested Thursday. 'Guillermo Zuloaga, owner of Globovision, was arrested on a warrant for remarks that were deemed "offensive" to the president,' Attorney General Luisa Ortega said. This comes on the heels of last week's story titled Venezuela's Chavez To Limit Internet Freedom."

Bill To Ban All Salt In Restaurant Cooking 794

lord_rotorooter writes "Felix Ortiz, D-Brooklyn, introduced a bill that would ruin restaurant food and baked goods as we know them. The measure (if passed) would ban the use of all forms of salt in the preparation and cooking of food for all restaurants or bakeries. While the use of too much salt can contribute to health problems, the complete banning of salt would have negative impacts on food chemistry. Not only does salt enhance flavor, it controls bacteria, slows yeast activity and strengthens dough by tightening gluten. Salt also inhibits the growth of microbes that spoil cheese."

Claims of Himalayan Glacier Disaster Melt Away 561

Hugh Pickens writes "VOA News reports that leaders of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have apologized for making a 'poorly substantiated' claim that Himalayan glaciers could disappear by 2035. Scientists who identified the mistake say the IPCC report relied on news accounts that appear to have misquoted a scientific paper — which estimated that the glaciers could disappear by 2350, not 2035. Jeffrey Kargel, an adjunct professor at the University of Arizona who helped expose the IPCC's errors, said the botched projections were extremely embarrassing and damaging. 'The damage was that IPCC had, or I think still has, such a stellar reputation that people view it as an authority — as indeed they should — and so they see a bullet that says Himalayan glaciers will disappear by 2035 and they take that as a fact.' Experts who follow climate science and policy say they believe the IPCC should re-examine how it vets information when compiling its reports. 'These errors could have been avoided had the norms of scientific publication including peer review and concentration upon peer-reviewed work, been respected,' write the researchers."

Comment Hard drives fail much more often than claimed (Score 1) 238

The big issue is that you cannot take the word of hard drive manufacturers about drives' reliability at a face value. Google's study (PDF) and CMU's study show much higher real-life HDD failure rates than you would get from manufacturers' MTBF claims. RAID 1 or higher is not the full solution - multiple failures, controller failures or data corruption can still occur. Your drives will most often fail without any warning.

Submission + - MS loses European anti-trust case (europa.eu)

Tom writes: "The court has spoken in Microsoft's case against the EU anti-trust commission, and the result is even more damaging to the monopoly company than analysts expected.
The court upholds all major decisions of the commission, including the record half a billion Euro fines. Most importantly, it smacks down MS entire defense line of "we can't make interoperability possible because we need to protect our copyrights and patents"."

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