Study Shows How Humans Can Echolocate
This topic was covered about a decade ago in the truly excellent Up From Dragons: The Evolution of Human Intelligence. One of the authors is Dorion Sagan, son of Carl Sagan, who wrote the also-excellent Dragons of Eden. A bit outdated, perhaps, but the concepts and ideas stand. I cannot recommend them enough.
Signed-In Maps Mean More Location Data For Google
It seems you can have convenience or you can have privacy.
We're just figuring this out now? Convenience means letting someone do something in your place. If you want it to be at all useful then some information has to be passed on. A drive through may be convenient, but it requires letting people know your meal preferences; not a major deal for most but it's there. The issue becomes the balance of the two and ensuring that you aren't "forced" out of your own comfort level, but it's certainly not news that there is a give and take between convenience and personal privacy.
NASA's HI-SEAS Project Results Suggests a Women-Only Mars Crew
Indeed. And it appears that women are more affected by radiation than men, and that fact can affect how far we travel in space. Depending on the mission profile it may not be a big deal, but on the order of a decade and there could be some significant difference.
Apple Fixes Shellshock In OS X
I actually like this piece which makes the argument that it's not a bug, but a feature:
I would argue that the bash security concern is not a bug. It is clearly a feature. Admittedly, a misguided and misimplemented feature, but still a feature. The problem is that it was designed 25 years ago. ...The problem we have is not a bash bug, but is basically similar to the Ariane 5 bug: using a component from an earlier systems out of specifications.
Aereo To SCOTUS: Shut Us Down and You Shut Down Cloud Storage
Buggy whip makers went out of business because people did not want buggy whips.
Exactly. Nobody stopped cars (or highways) because the buggy whip makers weren't allowed to restrict development and innovation. That would've been crazy. The argument the GP is making is that to allow ABC et al. to shut down Aereo would be akin to letting buggy whip makers prevent cars. Which would be absurd. Reductio ad absurdum, some might say.
UN: Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple To Save Climate
Nuclear is cleaner than coal barring an accident. Coal is guaranteed to kill and hurt people. With Nuclear you at least have a chance of everyone being healthy.
I beg to differ: nuclear is cleaner than coal even if you include accidents. The calculations on that page are admittedly from early 2011, but it accounts for 4,000 deaths from Chernobyl. I could add up a bunch more from Wikipedia, but screw that, lets just throw in Hiroshima and Nagasaki into the mix - about 250,000 deaths. And then let's round that to an even one million for the heck of it.
The death rate is still lower than coal by an order of magnitude. Nuclear is cleaner than coal even if you include 4x the deaths of atomic acts of war.
That whole piece is fascinating, especially for insights such as
Coal and fossil fuel deaths usually do not include deaths caused during transportation. The more trucking and rail transport is used then the more deaths there are. The transportation deaths are a larger component of the deaths in the USA than direct industry deaths. Moving 1.2 billion tons of coal takes up 40% of the freight rail traffic and a few percent of the trucking in the USA.
Those who talk about PV solar power (millions of roofs) need to consider roof worker safety. About 1000 construction fatalities per year in the US alone. 33% from working at heights. Falls are the leading cause of fatalities in the construction industry. An average of 362 fatal falls occurred each year from 1995 to 1999, with the trend on the increase.
Ask Slashdot: Preparing For Windows XP EOL?
I work in a lab in a large research university, and they are taking it very seriously. All of our lab machines are being swapped out for Windows 7 - a non-trivial task given some of the individual software for certain lab machines is... clunky at best. Any computer that must stay running XP (because the instrument's software requires it) will be removed from the network. Personally, I only run XP (for said lab purposes) in VirtualBox, completely cut off from the web. There has even been serious discussion amongst school administrators to proactively block any machine running XP from even connecting to the school's network. Drastic, perhaps, but I can understand it from their point of view.
Happy Pi Day
This is the first Pi day that Americans can co-celebrate with their international brethren.
03/14/14 Vs. 14/03/14
Iran's Hacking of US Navy 'Extensive,' Repairs Took $10M and 4 Months
Asymmetrical? Heard of a little thing called Stuxnet? Centrifuges, uranium, and control systems aren't exactly cheap either.
Google's Motorola Adventure: Stinging Defeat, Or Semi-Victory?
Well, according to Variety it is:
YouTube is expected to generate about $5.6 billion in gross advertising revenue worldwide this year, according to a report from research firm eMarketer — an estimate considerably higher than previous Wall Street forecasts.
Google doesn’t break out financial results of YouTube, the Internet’s No. 1 video destination by a wide margin. The eMarketer analysis, based on data points gathered from multiple research reports, tops previous projections for 2013 from firms including Jefferies & Co.’s $4.5 billion and Barclays Capital’s $3.6 billion.
YouTube will net $1.96 billion in ad revenue, up 66% from 2012, after paying content and ad partners, according to eMarketer. YouTube’s projected $1.1 billion in U.S. net revenue would represent 6.3% of all of Google’s net ad revenues for the year, the firm estimated.
About 79% of YouTube’s U.S. ad revenue is from video advertising, with an estimated $850 million in for the year. That would give it a 20.5% share of the overall $4.15 billion U.S. video ad market. In 2014, eMarketer estimates YouTube video-ad revenue to hit $1.22 billion taking a 21.1% share.
To analyze YouTube revenue, eMarketer said it developed forecasting models based on third-party research on its ad revenue, ad impressions, rates, usage, partner fees and other figures.
The Mystery/Myth of the $3 Million Google Engineer
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2012, the average salary for an application software developer was $93,000, with only 90% of such developers making more than $139,000 in salary.
That should be 10%, from the BLS data he quotes.
Regex Golf, xkcd, and Peter Norvig
Some favor trickiness, some favor just listing possibilities, but it's fun. I'm at 3651.
Watch Out, Amazon: DHL Tests Drug-Delivery Drone
You may be joking, but Samy isn't:
Today Amazon announced they're planning to use unmanned drones to deliver some packages to customers within five years. Cool! How fun would it be to take over drones, carrying Amazon packagesor take over any other drones, and make them my little zombie drones. Awesome.
Using a Parrot AR.Drone 2, a Raspberry Pi, a USB battery, an Alfa AWUS036H wireless transmitter, aircrack-ng, node-ar-drone, node.js, and my SkyJack software, I developed a drone that flies around, seeks the wireless signal of any other drone in the area, forcefully disconnects the wireless connection of the true owner of the target drone, then authenticates with the target drone pretending to be its owner, then feeds commands to it and all other possessed zombie drones at my will.
SkyJack also works when grounded as well, no drone is necessary on your end for it to work. You can simply run it from your own Linux machine/Raspberry Pi/laptop/etc and jack drones straight out of the sky.
Facebook Patents Inferring Income of Users
Whenever someone uses a correlation statistic? What about when someone uses a set of data to infer something about other populations?
It may sound an awful lot like they patented statistics, correlations, and sampling, but it's different 'cause it's on a social network. Totally different.
King James Programming
Given their repository it should be trivial.
Facebook Building a Company Town
Facebook Building a Company Town
For those who haven't read it yet, the NYT Magazine has an excerpt from a new Dave Eggers book named Circles . It captures this sort of thing eerily well.
You're Invited: Take a Look At Slashdot's New Beta
I know the poll was never really valid, but now when I vote it takes me to the results, and presents me with the same poll but I'm not blocked out. Voting again immediately does in fact update the numbers.