The Problem With Congress's Scientific Illiterates
"Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself." - Mark Twain
Creating "Homo Minutus" — a Benchtop Human To Test Drugs
What with April 1st and so on...
Everyday is April Fool's Day with Slashdot Beta....
Ex-Microsoft Employee Arrested For Leaking Windows 8
From the article:
Alex Kibkalo, a former Microsoft employee has been arrested yesterday for stealing and leaking company secrets..... Kibkalo is a Russian national and has worked for Microsoft for seven years; he has joined 5nine Software in August 2013 as Director of Product Management for Security and Management products after quiting his job at Microsoft.
I wonder how he worked for MS for 7 years as H1-B Visas are supposed to be limited to 6 years.
Ex-Microsoft Employee Arrested For Leaking Windows 8
Maybe he was trying to be the Paul Revere of Software?
Exploding Oil Tank Cars: Why Trains Go Boom
The Wall Street Journal just ran an article about why shipping oil by rail is more profitable than shipping by pipeline:
In Dakota Oil Patch, Trains Trump Pipelines - Flexibility of Shifting Crude to Higher Priced Markets Strands Proposed Projects (March 3, 2014)
Basically, shipping the oil by rail costs more, but using a train gives the oil producer the flexibility to ship to the refinery that will pay them them most for the oil. Shipping by pipeline only allows the producer to ship the oil to the refinery at the end of that pipeline.... and the oil producer has to commit to use the pipeline for a very long time.
Apparently, Warren Buffet figured this out years ago because he bought the BNSF Railway back in 2009. A BNSF train is shown in the picture attached to the Bloomberg article.
They've been trying to build one for years (Keystone XL) but have been stonewalled at every turn by Obama.
The WSJ points out that the proposed Keystone pipeline runs north-south, while the oil producers want to ship their oil east-west because the demand for oil is greater on the coasts than in Texas.
All In All, Kids Just Another Brick In the Data Wall
My partner is an elementary school principal. Her school has a small "data room", only accessed by teachers, in which she has posted "data walls". Her data walls are actually printouts of very large spreadsheets -- each row is a child, and the hundred of columns represent individual concepts that children have to master. For example, one column might represent "being able to add fractions", another might represent "being able to subtract fractions", another might be "being able to correctly conjugate verbs", etc.
The really cool thing is that these spreadsheets are generated (by software) after the children take computerized tests. Instead of just giving a numeric score, the software will show exactly *which* concepts the child does and does not know.
You would think teachers would love this technology because it would allow them to focus their instruction time on concepts their students have not mastered. Sadly, that's not the case -- instead, many long-time teachers who had always gotten "good" and "excellent" evaluations are suddenly being shown that they are not actually very good teachers. For example, the software can easily show that *none* of the students in a particular classroom have mastered a particular concept, such as adding fractions. If no student in that particular elementary classroom is able to add fractions, then it is pretty obvious that the teacher in that classroom does not know how to effectively teach adding fractions. Hearing that is pretty threatening to a teacher who has taught the same way for two or three decades.
Anyway, I posted because what the article calls a "data wall" is not really a data wall.
Ask Slashdot: Anti-Camera Device For Use In a Small Bus?
Dice.com is currently outfitting a bus for their upcoming "Tech Trek" tour: Dice is hittin' the road!
Maybe Paul server guy works for them? Presumably they would not want anyone taking pictures of the people responsible for Beta.
AOL Reverses Course On 401K Match; CEO Apologizes
On Gawker, Sam Biddle points out that while AOL claimed it couldn't afford its old retirement plan, it is able to afford "Shingy," who Biddle describe as a "professional nothing". Shingy's job title is "Digital Prophet," which means "he's gloating about the fact that he has a make believe job at AOL, unlike most tech charlatans, who try to conceal it":
This Man Is Representing AOL on Live Television
CmdrTaco: Anti-Beta Movement a "Vocal Minority"
The comment that wjwlsn posted to the WaPo blog at 1:05 AM EST sums it up well:
Look, you have to understand something: Slashdot discussions generate interesting content by allowing tons of garbage to be posted, mixed around, and evolved. Part of the evolution comes from the interactive nature of community discussion, and part of it comes from the moderation process. For this evolution process to work properly, you have to be able to see a lot of posts at once, all in one shot. You need to be able to see some contextual information about the people posting comments. When you post your own comments, you need to be able to quote or link to other posts easily. When you want to moderate, you need to be able to do it in place, at the comment you intend to moderate.
Beta breaks all of these vital features; without them, the nature of Slashdot discussion changes completely. People will read fewer comments because the new layout hinders rapid seeking, scanning, and comprehension of potentially valuable posts... all while making it much more difficult to skim past the stuff that doesn't interest you. When people read fewer comments, they post fewer comments. When the total number of comments starts to drop, the exploration of the discussion space becomes much less thorough. Potentially valuable or interesting discussion paths will be missed. Those rare, but highly sought after gems of insight and wisdom borne from the cesspool of chaos will become much more scarce.
You want to know why people hate the beta so much? It's because it kills the evolutionary discussion dynamic that makes the community what it is. There's nothing else like it, and many of us do not want to lose it.
(Adapted from my original post on Slashdot:http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=4761849&cid=46192975)
How Adobe Got Rid of Traditional Stack-Ranking Performance Reviews
Stack Ranking only works on a short term basis where you want to trim the fat.
Regarding the next performance ranking time at Dice, when someone will need to be scapegoated for the Beta Clusterfuck:
Who will Alice Hill "stack-rank" into unemployment: samzenpus, Soulskill, timothy, or Unknown Lamer?
Or all four of them?
Utah Bill Would Prevent Regional Fiber Networks From Growing
February 2014 will be forever known as Snuff February, when Dice Killed Slashdot.
Atlanta Gambled With Winter Storm and Lost
THIS is so true... (I'm from Buffalo) Good tires makes all the difference along with learning how to drive. And yes its been in the single-digits here too, with caked snow and ice.
November 21, 2000 newspaper article titled "Buffalo Snowstorm strands workers, students"
What excuses do you guys still left in Buffalo use when the same thing happens to you?
Atlanta Gambled With Winter Storm and Lost
That wasn't the worst of it. The worst was that some kids were trapped on school buses overnight. The National Guard had to go out Wednesday to rescue multiple busloads of kid who had spent the night stuck on the highways...
It was even worse than that. The bus drivers were not allowed to let kids off their buses for safety reasons, so they ended up having to use the back row of seats as toilets.
Atlanta Gambled With Winter Storm and Lost
(1) The storm did not seem to effect the US Postal Service. My mail was delivered yesterday and today, at its normal time.
(2) The local TV Meteorologists are all defending the National Weather Service. The on-air TV personalities have created fabulous graphics showing what the NWS announced prior to the storm and how accurate it was. They are going out of their way to defend the NWS. A meteorologist on the local FOX affiliate even said he is dependent on the NWS -- the NWS does the forecasting that the broadcasters use. He then said that what he does as a broadcaster is to explain to the public how weather conditions are changing; he does not do forecasts himself. (In his first press conference, Georgia Governor Deal claimed that local meteorologists he had talked to had done a better job forecasting the storm than the National Weather Service.)
I think it is AWESOME that the popular on-air TV personalities are all standing up and defending the NWS geeks. (I presume the term 'geek' is appropriate given how much data collection and computer modeling the NWS does.)
Atlanta Gambled With Winter Storm and Lost
There are actually two Atlantas: (1) The City of Atlanta and (2) The Atlanta Metropolitan Area.
The City of Atlanta has a population of 432,000 and its mayor is Kasim Reed. Reed is an up-and-coming politician in the Democratic Party; he has been on "Meet the Press" and other Sunday morning talk shows a lot. Reed looked very bad during the 2011 Snowstorm, so since then the City has purchased approximately 70 snowplows & salt trucks. It has also trained its crews to operate that equipment. City crews were out and about on Tuesday and City-owned arterial streets were pretty passable.
The City of Atlanta also owns the Atlanta airport, so the City actually has weather forecasters on its payroll.
The Atlanta metropolitian region that surrounds the City of Atlanta has a population of 4.5 million spread over 20 suburban counties and a couple dozen small cities. The majority of these suburbs are very Republican and are the base of voters that elected Governor Deal. For example, Cobb County, where the Atlanta Braves professional baseball team are planning to move to, is the home of former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. The Suburban counties and cities have not invested in snowplows and instead rely of the statewide Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT). GDOT does a really good job given what they have to work with -- they only have something like 120 snowplows for the *entire* state of Georgia. It never snows all over Georgia at once, so GDOT just moves its plows to where they are needed.
The other complicating factor is that about 1.2 million of the 4.5 million suburbanites commute into the City of Atlanta every day.
What happened Tuesday was the perfect clusterf---. About noon, all of the 1.2 million commuters all attempted to leave Atlanta at about the same time.... this was actually documented by the Georgia Navigator traffic system (http://www.511ga.org). These commuters managed to leave the City of Atlanta because the City had treated its roads, but then they hit the Interstate highways and expressways that are plowed and sanded by the GDOT. .... GDOT simply could not keep up because GDOT's statewide crews were also being used elsewhere around the state. The roads clogged and then what GDOT snowplows and sanders that were out got stuck in that traffic.
IBM's PC Junior Turns 30, Too
That is where the similarities —
Also the sentence. :-)
That was my fault; the word was missing in my Submission
IBM's PC Junior Turns 30, Too
A 12 year old that didn't know better sure enjoyed his PCJr
My parents bought a PC/AT when I was 14 or 15. It had a 1.2 meg floppy and a 20 meg harddrive. I learned a lot on that machine and was very happy with it because I just didn't know better. I lost my innocence in 1988 or 1989, when I saw the (discontinued by then) Amiga 1000 in person for the first time.
It is still hard for me to believe that the first Amiga came out only 18 months after the PC Jr.
Facebook Mocks 'Infection' Study, Predicts Princeton's Demise
In the long run we are all dead.
- John Maynard Keynes
A Rebuttal To Charles Stross About Bitcoin
All the government needs to do to make it worthless is to ask the NSA to mine with their resources for a while. That would quickly make the government the richest in terms of Bitcoin, and therefore gain even more power!
What makes you sure that Satoshi Nakamoto was *not* actually the NSA?
Firewall Company Palo Alto Buys Stealthy Startup Formed By Ex-NSAers
An Air force pilot? really ? no history ? nothing anywhere on the web including the seclists /waves hand....charlatans everywhere
AC's allegation about Raj Shah being a charlatan really intrigued me, so I just wasted two hours doing a little digging... and I now suspect Raj Shah is lying about having been a USAF F-16 pilot. Here are a few different versions of Raj Shah's CV:
Khabar: Georgian Raj Shah Wins Soros Fellowship for New Americans (April 2007)
Raj Shah is among 31 finalists in the 10th annual competition for the Paul & Diasy Soros Fellowships for New Americans (immigrants and children of immigrants). They were selected from over 800 applicants representing 141 nationalities and 360 colleges and universities. Shah is currently the Special Assistant to the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for International Technology Security in the US Department of Defense. He plans to attend Wharton in the fall to study business. Shah holds an AB from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. Upon graduating from Princeton, he took a job at McKinsey and Company but left 4 months after 9/11 to join the United States Air Force. Shah flew eighteen combat missions in Iraq as a captain and F-16 pilot. After four years of active duty, he transitioned to the reserves and rejoined McKinsey & Co.; from there he embarked on his present work.
Times of India: Business honcho bombed Iraq for US Air Force
He flew US Air force F-16 over Iraqi air space in 2006 and as recently as in March to May in 2010 for nearly 200 hours in 38 combat missions at a speed of Mac 2 (twice the speed of sound). Thirty-three-year-old Gujarati American Raj Shah, then a combat pilot, said, "The biggest fear in a pilot's mind is the fear of making a mistake. If we err, innocent people die." This Wharton School MBA, now vice-president of a defence focused investment firm, is a battle hardened soldier turned business executive.
"From 500 feet above the sea level to 50,000 feet, I flew as per the requirement. The altitude depended on the targets and in Iraq we flew very low for precision target hitting," said Raj, who joined the US Air Force in 2000 and took his first flight school in December, 2001.
He flew every third day on missions in Iraq and volunteered himself at Airport Theatre Hospital at Bagdad to help out the medical teams.
"In January 2006, it was 3 am in Bagdad when the US Air Force base sirens went off. I was sleeping in my flight suit. I ran to the jet and and in five minutes was flying 500 feet over Bagdad where a number of people were trying to block the path of US-Iraqi troops, who were on rescue mission," he said.
Those quotes about his missions are really strange.... and the the timeline in the 1st article (joined USAF 4 months after 9/1) contradicts the timeline in the 2nd (joined USAF in 2000). Also, in the first article (from 2007), he is described as having flow 18 combat missions, but in the next piece, posted four years later, he claims he flew 38 combat missions:
NetIP: Vote for Raj Shah (August 2011)
A reserve F-16 Pilot in the US Air Force, Raj is also is the Vice President of Federal Systems, a defense-focused investment firm. Now in its 6th year, Nanubhai impacts 8,000 students in rural India and has sent over 25 American teachers to India. In the USAF, Raj served two tours of duty in Iraq flying 38 combat missions. Raj has also worked as a Special Assistant in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Previously Raj worked at McKinsey & Co. serving both private and public sector clients. Raj has had a life-long passion for adventure – he has led a 4,000-mile flying safari through Africa, completed a marathon, and motorcycled through the Himalaya. Raj holds an AB from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School and an MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, where he was a Soros Fellow.
The Soros Fellow part is confirmed by the Soros website:
The Paul and Daisy Soroso Fellowships for New Americans - Spring 2007 Fellowships
RAJ SHAH is the Co-Founder and CEP of Morta Security, a stealth mode start-up developing a new paradigm to counter advanced network threats.
Raj is the son of naturalized US citizens of Indian origin. They currently reside in Bonaire, Georgia.
Raj received an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in May. He holds an AB from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.
Previously, Raj served as the Special Assistant to the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for International Technology Security in the US Department of Defense. Upon graduating from Princeton University, he took a job at McKinsey and Company but left 4 months after 9/11 to join the United States Air Force. A distinguished graduate of both United States Air Force pilot training and Officer Training School, Raj flew eighteen combat missions in Iraq as a captain and F-16 pilot. After four years of active duty, he transitioned to the reserves and rejoined McKinsey and Co., followed by his stint in government.
Raj also has started a nonprofit foundation dedicated to improving education in his father's village in India; as a result of his fundraising efforts, the village now has a 30-unit computer lab, scholarship programs, and English tutoring programs - and the graduation rate of the village high school has tripled.
Raj's career goal is to create a global technology company focused on aerospace and to eventually serve in a leadership capacity in the government
Nanubhai Educational Foundation - Our Team, EXECUTIVE TEAM
Raj Shah, Founder & Chairman
Raj is the Founder of the Nanubhai Education Foundation. Previously, he was a Special Assistant in the US Department of Defense. Raj serves as a reserve F-16 pilot in the United States Air Force where he completed a tour in Iraq. He has also worked as consultant at McKinsey & Co., assisting clients in both the public and private sectors. Raj holds degrees from from Princeton University and The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, where he was a Soros Fellow. On a lighter note, Raj loves traveling through India – on his last visit he survived a motorcycle trip from Delhi to Leh on an Enfield Bullet.
Another contradiction - on his foundation's website, he says he completed a single tour of Iraq, but in the NetIP biography above, he claimed to have had two Iraq tours. That is a big red flag in my eyes -- I've worked with several real combat veterans and on the rare opportunities that they open up and talk about their service, they do not contradict themselves about when and where they served.
He also shows up in this piece on the Time Magazine website, writen by an Army platoon leader: Time Magazine: What To Thank a Vet For: Compassion - Veterans Day can be awkward when civilians don't really know what they're thanking soldiers for/ (Veteran's Day, November 11, 2011)
My good friend, Maj. Raj Shah is an F-16 fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force who, in his free time during his first Iraq tour, donned scrubs to help in the trauma station at Balad Air Base. One night he was assisting in the operating room when the tell-tale thumps of a landing Blackhawk helicopter signaled the arrival of an emergency casualty. Two injured men were quickly wheeled into the tent-covered operating room. One was an American Marine, the other an Iraqi. Raj was asked to assist with the Iraqi, who was being treated for gunshot wound. As he handed scalpels and bags of saline to the surgeons, Raj watched as the doctors across the room frantically worked to save the Marine’s life. Much of the Marine’s leg had been decimated by a roadside bomb. Several hours into the effort, one of the surgeons called out to Raj, “Take a look at this bullet.” He handed Raj an M-16 round he had extracted from the Iraqi and then dropped a bombshell — the Iraqi they were working on was the trigger-man for the bomb that had blown off the Marine’s leg! While the Marine was eventually sent to Walter Reed for recuperation and the Iraqi to the penal system, during their time in the hospital, both equally received the finest medical care our nation could muster. No other fighting force in history has provided such a level of care for its enemies. I shudder to think of the outcome had the roles of fighter and captor been reversed.
This also strikes me as really strange -- a USAF combat pilot in a warzone had time to volunteer in a ER? Really? Plus the parable he tells about his ER volunteering is too good to be true.
Also notice how the author, his "good friend", in August 2011, used the current tense when describing him as a USAF pilot, when multiple other sources indicated he was out of the reserves by then.
It would be great if other slashdotters could check with the USAF or VA to see if he really served or not. If you could show he was fraud you would easily have a front-page slashdot story.