UAE Police Claim BlackBerry Outage Made Roads Safer
Duh, just look to see if accidents increased again when service was restored.
Why Mars Is Not the Best Place To Look For Life
They're going to melt their way through. http://www.stoneaerospace.com/news-/news-valkyrie-phase-two-funded.php
Developer Calls Amazon Appstore a 'Disaster'
I've used the Amazon store and the only reason I have ever done so is to download the Free App of the Day (they drop a paid app to $0 for 24 hours) -- I have no intention of ever purchasing an app from it (too much hassle vs Android Market) so I can't quite fathom how developers are coming out ahead...
DirecTV Plans Netflix Competitor
Sounds good in theory, but it won't be a game changer because DirectTV's satellite internet access is simply pathetic. My in-laws live in a rural area and it's their only alternative to dial-up. After the first 3 to 5 minutes of use, the speed plummets and is only marginally better than 56k.
Feds Settle Case of Woman Fired Over Facebook Posts
There is while you're at work. I work at PepsiCo (my views are my own, standard legal disclaimer yadda yadda) and there's no requirement that I must consume only Pepsi/Frito-Lay products all the time. But when I'm at work, I would have to be a complete idiot to bring in Pringles and Coke for lunch. Same goes for work-related events or meals, which nearly always held at a "Pepsi pour" location. It's just good business.
We're obviously encouraged to visit Pepsi pour locations on our own time, but nobody's following us around with a clipboard. Even at work it's not a formal rule, there's just a very strong cultural taboo given our good-natured rivalry with that carbonated beverage producer in Atlanta... :)
Bill Gates Says Anti-Vaccine Effort Kills Children
I just read it and it said most (90%) of the autistic kids they tested also had the MMR vaccination. But haven't most kids had the vaccination? Isn't that like saying, "most of the autistic kids we tested ate cake on their 1st birthday, so eating cake at 1 year of age is correlated with autism". What am I missing here?
Behind-The-Scenes Superbowl Tech
Also, they have their own 5,000 sq ft data center in the stadium. Pretty cool, but I think I'll still wait until the game's over so I can watch the commercials online in one go!
How Chrysler's Battery-Less Hybrid Minivan Works
Yes, SCUBA tanks (in the U.S.) are supposed to undergo annual visual inspection (basically an interior/exterior idiot check for bad rust, chips, cracks, beat up valves, etc) as well as hydrostatic testing every 5 years*. The cylinders most likely to have a catastrophic failure (typically the neck) were a bunch of aluminum 80's manufactured something like 30 years ago. Back when I worked in a dive shop we would do an eddy-current test on the necks of ALL aluminum cylinders during the annual visual inspection even though it was only really necessary for the one batch. If you take halfway decent care of a tank and don't let moisture get in (by draining the tank too low), they'll last for ages. We had decades old steel cylinders in our rental fleet that had probably outlived many a valve!
The concern is probably warranted but I would imagine the auto industry's safety measures will be far greater than those of the average diver. If the vehicles only go in for maintenance once every few years, the tanks ought to be fine. I would worry more about them being punctured during a collision. Frankly though, assuming they've done at least a minor amount of planning with collisions in mind, the severity of a collision strong enough to puncture the tank would make a sudden release of pressure the least of your concerns.
* Disclaimer: I've been out of the dive industry a while, my numbers might be off.
US Army Considers a Smartphone For Every Soldier
Mod parent up, it's true! My corporate laptop sees very little direct involvement in combat operations...
A Blue-Sky Idea For the USPS — Postal Trucks As Sensors
They should close some of their excess branches. In rural areas/small towns where people might raise more of a stink, make the USPS an in-store mini-office at the nearest grocery store. If banks manage to have secure in-store branches, I imagine the USPS can figure it out too.
A Peek At the National Opt-Out Day Numbers
So um, I know we spout the correlation != causation line all the time around here, but maybe some airports opened up lines to old timey metal detectors because they were at max capacity and not because opt-outs were significantly disruptive.
Russia To Help NATO Build Anti-Missile Network
I get the joke and I laughed, but it's interesting to note that one of Turkey's conditions of cooperation was that additional nations (beyond Iran) shouldn't be singled out. So "Iran and elsewhere" is actually technically correct!
James Cameron Commissions Submarine To Visit Challenger Deep
... it gets dark pretty quick down there. Even at 100ft/30m you've lost a lot of the color spectrum. So they'll take a lot of lights with them. Okay, fine. Don't expect any sweeping vistas -- the background's going to be black.
What are they going to film for Avatar 2 that they can't film a few thousand feet shallower? Neat rock outcroppings? The only thing I can think of are bizarre critters, which will be done in CGI anyway.
I'm all for exploring the depths, but whoever said the Avatar 2 angle is a tax write-off was dead on.
Giant Planet Nine Times the Mass of Jupiter Found
I couldn't help but notice the astrophysicist's last name: Lagrange. Is she related to Joseph-Louis?
The Matrix For Businesses
Then how is it a useful business simulator? I think PvP (and the horrible learning curve of EVE) are helpful in modeling real world business behavior.
The Matrix For Businesses
EVE Online already has an elaborate player-driven economy, corporations, an elected council, and so on. Where's the value added in Empire & State?
iPhone 4's "Retina Display" Claims Challenged
How do they work?!?
Using Twitter Data To Approximate a Telephone Survey
I've collaborated on research using Twitter traffic as a predictor so I applaud their efforts, but a 79% correlation with telephone responses is not as high as it sounds. For example, the minimum acceptable correlation for interrater reliability is typically 80%.
Put simply, the Twitter data can only account for about two thirds of the variation in phone responses. That's useful but there's still a lot of unexplained variance -- we have a long way to go.
Innocent Until Predicted Guilty
Although the Pygmalion effect is typically thought of in a positive light (i.e., expect good performance, get good performance) you're right. Telling a kid they are going to be a criminal doesn't seem like a good way to keep them from becoming one.
Facebook Kills Dataset of Crawled Public Profiles
You are entirely correct. Social scientists don't need names or addresses (IP or physical). We can figure out who you are with a frighteningly small number of data points. Doubly so for individuals who have a public Facebook profile and therefore probably have public profiles elsewhere on the net. I suspect that this guy, despite his best intentions, did NOT anonymize the data well enough to hide at least 80% of the users.
Ed Peepers has no journal entries.