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Will Fiber-To-the-Home Create a New Digital Divide?

Required Snark Re:You are the 1%, asshole. $115/month avg person (289 comments)

Go and live in the 3rd world on $115 a month yourself, asshole.

Your attitude is the root cause of the ever increasing divide between the rich and the rest in the US.

I can't figure it out. Do you want to be a member of the lower strata of society with no upward mobility and no ability to change your status? Do you want to be a surf in the 21st century?

Either say something useful and back it up, or go back and hide in your mother's basement and leave the adults alone.

2 days ago
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Will Fiber-To-the-Home Create a New Digital Divide?

Required Snark Third World America (289 comments)

This is another symptom that the US is sliding out of the first world and into the third world. It goes along with our creaky unmaintained road, water and sewage infrastructure, along with our badly out of date airports and crappy passenger rail system.

And then there's our overpriced and underperforming health delivery system. (Note: ACA/Obamacare is a part of the solution, not a part of the problem.) And our failing K-12 education, which is severely underfunded and strangling on bureaucracy.

Along with the steadily declining state level college/university systems. (And before the right wingers start screaming about foreign students, remember that they come from places where it's much harder to get into any school and a lot of the higher educations options are not as good as the US, even with our decline. Both public and private schools love out of country students because they pay full tuition.)

But it's all OK, because the upper 10%, and mostly the upper .01% and above are doing really good. For example six members of the Walton family had the same net worth as either the bottom 28% or 41% of American families combined (depending on how it is counted).

Of course historically low corporate tax levels have nothing to do with this, right?

Although taxes paid by corporations, measured as a share of the economy, rose modestly during the boom years of the 1990s, they remained sharply lower even in the boom years than in previous decades. According to OMB historical data, corporate taxes averaged 2 percent of GDP in the 1990s. That represented only about two-fifths of their share of GDP in the 1950s, half of their share in the 1960s, and three-quarters of their share in the 1970s.

The share that corporate tax revenues comprise of total federal tax revenues also has collapsed, falling from an average of 28 percent of federal revenues in the 1950s and 21 percent in the 1960s to an average of about 10 percent since the 1980s.

The effective corporate tax rate — that is, the percentage of corporate profits that is paid in federal corporate income taxes — has followed a similar pattern. During the 1990s, corporations as a group paid an average of 25.3 percent of their profits in federal corporate income taxes, according to new Congressional Research Service estimates. By contrast, they paid more than 49 percent in the 1950s, 38 percent in the 1960s, and 33 percent in the 1970s.

So it it any wonder that the US is at best standing still, and more likely moving backwards when it comes to national infrastructure spending? And guess where the money goes?

2 days ago
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First Evidence of Extrasolar Planets Discovered In 1917

Required Snark Data, not evidence (58 comments)

Evidence is the loaded term here. It's only evidence in the context of a hypothesis, otherwise it is an observation, i.e. data.

The Hertzsprung–Russell diagram was proposed in 1910. It wasn't until the 1930's that it was understood how fusion was the energy producing mechanism for stars. Without understanding fusion and stellar evolution, there was no context in which to fit the observation of enhanced metallic elements in the star's spectrum.

So this only became evidence decades after the initial observation. It's interesting that the observation was made so early, but only retrospect makes it significant.

2 days ago
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The Future of Stamps

Required Snark Dr. Evil's Delivery Service (130 comments)

So are the postal workers sharks with lasers on their heads that burn stamps? Or do you get a tank with a shark with a laser on it's head to burn the stamps? I'm confused.

2 days ago
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NSA CTO Patrick Dowd Moonlighting For Private Security Firm

Required Snark Department of Homeland Pork (83 comments)

Secret budgets, no oversight, no accountability to any external body. What else would you expect?

They might as well be Wall Street bankers.

about a week ago
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Fusion and Fission/LFTR: Let's Do Both, Smartly

Required Snark There is no such thing as a "safe" fission reactor (218 comments)

Safety is not about technology, it's about human error. As long as people do dumb things, no design will prevent a catastrophe.

Look at the three big reactor failures: Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, and Fukushima. All three were caused by human error. For Chernobyl, it was a dangerous design and running dangerous tests. For TMI, it was a less dangerous design, and they still screwed it up with bad procedures. For Fukushima, they made a series of globally bad design choices because they refused to consider realistic worst case external events. Plus they uncovered a flaw in the containment structure design that lead to the hydrogen explosions.

All of these are human error.

And it's not just reactors. The British Petroleum oil platform blowout in the Gulf of Mexico was human error. The sinking of the ferry Sewol in Korea was human error, as was the sinking of the Concordia off of Italy. BP also had a refinery blow up in Texas because of bad operations and ignoring a known problem with volatile fume leakage.

So no matter how secure a technology looks, it will still suffer a complete worst case failure. Assuming anything else is wishful thinking.

What's the worst case for LFTR? No one seems willing to even talk about it. It's remarkably like the head in the sand attitude that lead to the Fukshima disaster.

So here's a question: what happens when a molten salt containing fluorine, uranium, thorium and other miscellaneous radioactive elements comes in contact with water? Does it explode? Does it burn in air? How toxic are the substances entering the environment? (Trick question: both uranium and fluorine are very toxic elements. Fluorine forms many toxic compounds with carbon.) What is the equivilant explosive energy of tons of molten uranium salts?

If it is burning, how do you put it out? (Note: with fluorine compounds water is a bad idea. It's explosive.) How do you build a containment vessel that will withstand all of that? How will the cost of proper containment and emergency planning and equipment impact the economics of power generation?

A burning LFTR makes a burning graphite reactor seem like a campfire for a marshmallow roast. Good luck with that.

about a week ago
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How Nigeria Stopped Ebola

Required Snark Re:It only takes one ... (381 comments)

Don't you understand, if you just have enough guns you are safe from everything including infections. Rember, guns make you safe.

This is even more true in Texas, which is great news for keeping an ebola epidemic from spreading in the USA.

about a week ago
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Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project

Required Snark Re:Other things they said couldn't be done... (566 comments)

You're observation about Slashdot is correct. The attitude of a large fraction of posts is, for want of a better word, stupid.

Teh Stupid is characterized by mindless criticism, nitpicking, absolutist rhetoric, and willful negation of facts. All of which are on display in the response to this thread.

The aspect I find most disturbing is a clear anti-intellectualism. Comments are not based in fact or logic, but self centered illogic: if I say something is right/wrong, that all I have to say.

As for the "agenda driven posters", I think the agenda is egomania. That would explain the obsessive negative attitudes. Being relentlessly negative is a way of asserting yourself if you don't have anything else to say.

Is this getting worse? I'm not sure. I think I see more of it, but don't know if that is because I am more aware of it, rather then an real increase.

At any rate, when I become annoyed enough, I respond with evidence oriented responses. I find references to uphold my position, and include quotes and links. Now someone may disagree with me, but at least I am not making assertions based solely on my individual position. I am generally disappointed because very few people respond with their own external references.

In this case I don't feel the need quote very many examples, because the behavior in this thread is rather self evident.

about two weeks ago
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NASA Finds a Delaware-Sized Methane "Hot Spot" In the Southwest

Required Snark Re:Relative sizes (213 comments)

The first building constructed for the Library of Congress was the Thomas Jefferson building in Washington DC. It opened in 1897.

The current floor space is approximately 600,000 square feet or 55741.8 square meters or .021522039 square mile. The state of Delaware is approximately 2026 square miles. Therefore, the size of the methane hot spot is around 94136.23 times the size of the Library of Congress.

Note that this leaves out the sizes of the Annex, built in 1930, and the Madison building, built in 1981. The Madison building is over 2 million square feet.

about two weeks ago
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NASA Finds a Delaware-Sized Methane "Hot Spot" In the Southwest

Required Snark Re:yes, let's "zoom out" (213 comments)

Any references? And by references I mean something that was not funded my the energy industry. Preferably in a peer reviewed journal that is not funded by the energy industry. You know, some organization that is actually credible, rather then being a bunch of paid shills.

Lacking that, I'm just going to assume that your are making stuff up. The "logic" of "Fracking has been responsible for a big decline in US greenhouse gas emissions" seems to be lacking. How could the conclusion follow from the premise? How about "An increase in the consumption of Nutella has been responsible for a big decline in US greenhouse gas emissions"? Makes about as much sense.

about two weeks ago
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Ross Ulbricht's Lawyer Says FBI's Hack of Silk Road Was "Criminal"

Required Snark Re:Go Ross, Go! (208 comments)

Ohio Judge Sentenced to 28 years in 'Kids for Cash' Scheme

Ciavarella pleaded guilty on February 13, 2009, pursuant to a plea agreement, to federal charges of honest services fraud, wire fraud and tax evasion in connection with receiving $2.6 million in kickbacks from Robert Powell and Robert Mericle, the co-owner and builder respectively, of two private, for-profit juvenile facilities. In exchange for these kickbacks, Ciavarella sentenced children to extended stays in juvenile detention for offenses as minimal as mocking a principal on Myspace, trespassing in a vacant building, and shoplifting DVDs from Wal-mart.

There was originally a plea agreement, but Ciaverella refused to admit that he had accepted bribes for funneling juvenile offenders to a private jail. The agreement was dropped and he and his co-defendants went to trial.

On February 18, 2011, a jury in federal court found Ciavarella guilty of racketeering. This charge stemmed from Ciavarella accepting $997,000 in illegal payments from Robert Mericle, the real estate developer of PA Child Care, and attorney Robert Powell, a co-owner of the facility. Ciavarella was also on trial for 38 other counts including accepting numerous payments from Mericle and Powell as well as tax evasion.

On August 11, 2011, Ciavarella was sentenced to 28 years in federal prison. On May 24, 2013, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals vacated one count of the indictment against Ciavarella, but upheld all other charges, as well as his sentence. The Third Circuit refused to reconsider on July 24, 2013. The Supreme Court, which rarely accepts such cases, declined to hear the appeal in 2014, although Ciavarella could file a post-conviction relief motion before U.S. District Court within one year. With good behavior, he could be released in less than 24 years, when he would be 85. Ciavarella, inmate number 15008-067, is serving his sentence at Federal Correctional Institution, Pekin in Pekin, Illinois. His earliest projected release date is December 30, 2035.

So children have already been thrown in jail because of a corrupt judge accepting bribes from the people who built the prison. How can you doubt that in our current "campaign contribution" aka "bribe" driven political system that people aren't being sent to jail for corporate profit. It's just that the bribes have been made legal, and every one, including the so called prosecutors, are in on the scheme. We have accepted a society where corruption is the norm, and you refuse to acknowledge it.

about two weeks ago
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Ross Ulbricht's Lawyer Says FBI's Hack of Silk Road Was "Criminal"

Required Snark Re:Go Ross, Go! (208 comments)

People were soliciting for hit men on Silk Road. You good with that?

Even if no one had been killed by the time they were shut down, when you have an marketplace that enables payments for illegal acts what kind of behavior do you expect? Do you think that it would stop at drugs? Murder and sex trafficking are just as illegal. Even if Silk Road had prohibited payments for that kind of activity, don't you realize that another market allowing these transactions would exist?

I wonder if Kickstarter would let me set up a project so I could pay for someone to kick the shit out of you. Nothing personal, just to make a point. How does it feel when you are the target?

about two weeks ago
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Fusion Reactor Concept Could Be Cheaper Than Coal

Required Snark Re:Here's the project poster (315 comments)

It is not a torus. You are not talking about the UW design. You are standing on your soap box criticizing a fictional design that you made up.

"It attaches current-carrying handles to either end of the central plasma"

“Here we imposed the asymmetric field, so the plasma doesn’t have to go unstable in order for us to drive the current. We’ve shown that we can sustain a stable equilibrium and we can control the plasma, which means the bottle will be able to hold more plasma,” Jarboe said.

The UW apparatus uses two handle-shaped coils to alternately generate currents on either side of the central core, a method the authors call imposed dynamo current drive. Results show the plasma is stable and the method is energy-efficient, but the UW research reactor is too small to fully contain the plasma without some escaping as a gas. Next, the team hopes to attach the device to a larger reactor to see if it can maintain a sufficiently tight magnetic bottle.

It is a Spheromak that makes use of technology developed for the ITER fusion reactor.

A high- spheromak reactor concept has been formulated with an estimated overnight capital cost that is competitive with conventional power sources. This reactor concept utilizes recently discovered imposed-dynamo current drive (IDCD) and a molten salt (FLiBe) blanket system for first wall cooling, neutron moderation and tritium breeding. Currently available materials and ITER-developed cryogenic pumping systems were implemented in this concept from the basis of technological feasibility. A tritium breeding ratio (TBR) of greater than 1.1 has been calculated using a Monte Carlo N-Particle (MCNP5) neutron transport simulation. High temperature superconducting tapes (YBCO) were used for the equilibrium coil set, substantially reducing the recirculating power fraction when compared to previous spheromak reactor studies. Using zirconium hydride for neutron shielding, a limiting equilibrium coil lifetime of at least thirty full-power years has been achieved. The primary FLiBe loop was coupled to a supercritical carbon dioxide Brayton cycle due to attractive economics and high thermal efficiencies. With these advancements, an electrical output of 1000 MW from a thermal output of 2486 MW was achieved, yielding an overall plant efficiency of approximately 40%.

I have no idea if this is a breakthrough or not. I don't know if it will scale up. It's not my field.

I do know that you are a Slashdot Pundit who lives in a fact free void and you are spewing meaningless nonsense. Although you quote some of the UW press information, you obviously did not bother to read or comprehend what they were saying. You didn't even bother to get the facts right about what kind of magnetic confinement topology they use. You went off on a rant about a completely different system.

Do Slashdot and the world a favor: STFU. You have no idea what you are talking about. Go away and leave us alone. You are wasting every one's time.

about two weeks ago
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DoJ: Law Enforcement Can Impersonate People On Facebook

Required Snark And her child? (191 comments)

So the DOJ also involved her child by posting his picture? As part of a drug investigation?

She should also be suing them on behalf of her child for endangerment. In drug transactions family members can be targets of violence. The DOJ was putting a minor in harms way.

That would go really well for the DOJ in court. I would love to be in the courtroom and watch some lawyer from the DOJ defend a practice that puts a child at risk. I'm sure that the jury would hear that testimony and decide there and then that the DOJ should loose the case very painfully.

Also, aren't their laws pertaining to the use of images of minors without parental consent? Even if the image was obtained legally (not likely in this case). Sounds like a potential criminal case to me. Of course, considering it's the DOJ, they could have used the image in a pedophilia sting and nothing would happen.

about two weeks ago
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Former Department of Defense Chief Expects "30 Year War"

Required Snark Re:Incompetent Administration (Thanks GWB) (425 comments)

Oh, it's the racist slug again. Making up more shit as well.

Sorry to interrupt your masturbatory political fantasy, but Iraq stabilization and reconstruction was so incredibly screwed up by Bush and his incompetent neo-con thugs that the current Middle East clusterfuck, or is equivalent, was inevitable. It's like the python infestation in Florida. Once those suckers get out and start breeding, there's no way in hell to clean up the mess.

After the collapse of the Hussein regime, the Bush administration had no effective plan to deal with the aftermath. That's why we're screwed right now. Some examples, with references.

The 12 Billion in cash that was airlifted into Iraq and pretty much disappeared into thin air

The memorandum concludes: "Many of the funds appear to have been lost to corruption and waste ... thousands of 'ghost employees' were receiving pay cheques from Iraqi ministries under the CPA's control. Some of the funds could have enriched both criminals and insurgents fighting the United States."

The team that the Bush administration sent for Iraq reconstrction was riddled with incompetence and cronyism.

To pass muster with O'Beirne, a political appointee who screens prospective political appointees for Defense Department posts, applicants didn't need to be experts in the Middle East or in post-conflict reconstruction. What seemed most important was loyalty to the Bush administration.

O'Beirne's staff posed blunt questions to some candidates about domestic politics: Did you vote for George W. Bush in 2000? Do you support the way the president is fighting the war on terror? Two people who sought jobs with the U.S. occupation authority said they were even asked their views on Roe v. Wade .

The daughter of a prominent neoconservative commentator and a recent graduate from an evangelical university for home-schooled children were tapped to manage Iraq's $13 billion budget, even though they didn't have a background in accounting.

Then there was the case of General Shinseki who was right about the troop levels needed to occupy Iraq, and was publicly shot down for expressing his correct opinion.

Shinseki publicly clashed with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld during the planning of the war in Iraq over how many troops the United States would need to keep in Iraq for the postwar occupation of that country. As Army Chief of Staff, General Shinseki testified to the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee that "something in the order of several hundred thousand soldiers" would probably be required for postwar Iraq. This was an estimate far higher than the figure being proposed by Secretary Rumsfeld in his invasion plan, and it was rejected in strong language by both Rumsfeld and his Deputy Secretary of Defense, Paul Wolfowitz, who was another chief planner of the invasion and occupation. From then on, Shinseki's influence on the Joint Chiefs of Staff reportedly waned. Critics of the Bush Administration alleged that Shinseki was forced into early retirement as Army Chief of Staff because of his comments on troop levels; however, his retirement was announced nearly a year before those comments.

When the insurgency took hold in postwar Iraq, Shinseki's comments and their public rejection by the civilian leadership were often cited by those who felt the Bush administration deployed too few troops to Iraq. On November 15, 2006, in testimony before Congress, CENTCOM Commander Gen. John Abizaid said that General Shinseki had been correct that more troops were needed.

Over here in the real world, we are still living with the horrible consequences of invading the wrong country and then botching the post invasion reconstruction. Your ugly racist sig and attempting to put all the blame on the current administration shows that you are of the same ignorant, incompetent and corrupt stripe as Bush, Chaney, and the rest of the future war criminals that screwed thing up in the first place.

Go back to your parent's basement, put on your Klan robes, jerk off to a picture of George Wallace, and STFU.

about two weeks ago
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Brits Must Trade Digital Freedoms For Safety, Says Crime Agency Boss

Required Snark Welcome to Airstrip One (264 comments)

Welcome to Airstrip One, a province of Oceania.

War is peace

Freedom is slavery

Ignorance is strength

about two weeks ago
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Nearly 700 Genetic Factors Found To Influence Human Adult Height

Required Snark Re:Not news: GWAS Often Fail (68 comments)

Nice to know your professional opinion about how useless this study is.

Here's the list of authors:

Andrew R Wood, Tonu Esko, Jian Yang, Sailaja Vedantam, Tune H Pers, Stefan Gustafsson, Audrey Y Chu, Karol Estrada, Jian'an Luan, Zoltán Kutalik, Najaf Amin, Martin L Buchkovich, Damien C Croteau-Chonka, Felix R Day, Yanan Duan, Tove Fall, Rudolf Fehrmann, Teresa Ferreira, Anne U Jackson, Juha Karjalainen, Ken Sin Lo, Adam E Locke, Reedik Mägi, Evelin Mihailov, Eleonora Porcu, Joshua C Randall, André Scherag, Anna A E Vinkhuyzen, Harm-Jan Westra, Thomas W Winkler, Tsegaselassie Workalemahu, Jing Hua Zhao, Devin Absher, Eva Albrecht, Denise Anderson, Jeffrey Baron, Marian Beekman, Ayse Demirkan, Georg B Ehret, Bjarke Feenstra, Mary F Feitosa, Krista Fischer, Ross M Fraser, Anuj Goel, Jian Gong, Anne E Justice, Stavroula Kanoni, Marcus E Kleber, Kati Kristiansson, Unhee Lim, Vaneet Lotay, Julian C Lui, Massimo Mangino, Irene Mateo Leach, Carolina Medina-Gomez, Michael A Nalls, Dale R Nyholt, Cameron D Palmer, Dorota Pasko, Sonali Pechlivanis, Inga Prokopenko, Janina S Ried, Stephan Ripke, Dmitry Shungin, Alena Stancáková, Rona J Strawbridge, Yun Ju Sung, Toshiko Tanaka, Alexander Teumer, Stella Trompet, Sander W van der Laan, Jessica van Setten, Jana V Van Vliet-Ostaptchouk, Zhaoming Wang, Loïc Yengo, Weihua Zhang, Uzma Afzal, Johan Ärnlöv, Gillian M Arscott, Stefania Bandinelli, Amy Barrett, Claire Bellis, Amanda J Bennett, Christian Berne, Matthias Blüher, Jennifer L Bolton, Yvonne Böttcher, Heather A Boyd, Marcel Bruinenberg, Brendan M Buckley, Steven Buyske, Ida H Caspersen, Peter S Chines, Robert Clarke, Simone Claudi-Boehm, Matthew Cooper, E Warwick Daw, Pim A De Jong, Joris Deelen, Graciela Delgado, Josh C Denny, Rosalie Dhonukshe-Rutten, Maria Dimitriou, Alex S F Doney, Marcus Dörr, Niina Eklund, Elodie Eury, Lasse Folkersen, Melissa E Garcia, Frank Geller, Vilmantas Giedraitis, Alan S Go, Harald Grallert, Tanja B Grammer, Jürgen Gräßler, Henrik Grönberg, Lisette C P G M de Groot, Christopher J Groves, Jeffrey Haessler, Per Hall, Toomas Haller, Goran Hallmans, Anke Hannemann, Catharina A Hartman, Maija Hassinen, Caroline Hayward, Nancy L Heard-Costa, Quinta Helmer, Gibran Hemani, Anjali K Henders, Hans L Hillege, Mark A Hlatky, Wolfgang Hoffmann, Per Hoffmann, Oddgeir Holmen, Jeanine J Houwing-Duistermaat, Thomas Illig, Aaron Isaacs, Alan L James, Janina Jeff, Berit Johansen, Åsa Johansson, Jennifer Jolley, Thorhildur Juliusdottir, Juhani Junttila, Abel N Kho, Leena Kinnunen, Norman Klopp, Thomas Kocher, Wolfgang Kratzer, Peter Lichtner, Lars Lind, Jaana Lindström, Stéphane Lobbens, Mattias Lorentzon, Yingchang Lu, Valeriya Lyssenko, Patrik K E Magnusson, Anubha Mahajan, Marc Maillard, Wendy L McArdle, Colin A McKenzie, Stela McLachlan, Paul J McLaren, Cristina Menni, Sigrun Merger, Lili Milani, Alireza Moayyeri, Keri L Monda, Mario A Morken, Gabriele Müller, Martina Müller-Nurasyid, Arthur W Musk, Narisu Narisu, Matthias Nauck, Ilja M Nolte, Markus M Nöthen, Laticia Oozageer, Stefan Pilz, Nigel W Rayner, Frida Renstrom, Neil R Robertson, Lynda M Rose, Ronan Roussel, Serena Sanna, Hubert Scharnagl, Salome Scholtens, Fredrick R Schumacher, Heribert Schunkert, Robert A Scott, Joban Sehmi, Thomas Seufferlein, Jianxin Shi, Karri Silventoinen, Johannes H Smit, Albert Vernon Smith, Joanna Smolonska, Alice V Stanton, Kathleen Stirrups, David J Stott, Heather M Stringham, Johan Sundström, Morris A Swertz, Ann-Christine Syvänen, Bamidele O Tayo, Gudmar Thorleifsson, Jonathan P Tyrer, Suzanne van Dijk, Natasja M van Schoor, Nathalie van der Velde, Diana van Heemst, Floor V A van Oort, Sita H Vermeulen, Niek Verweij, Judith M Vonk, Lindsay L Waite, Melanie Waldenberger, Roman Wennauer, Lynne R Wilkens, Christina Willenborg, Tom Wilsgaard, Mary K Wojczynski, Andrew Wong, Alan F Wright, Qunyuan Zhang, Dominique Arveiler, Stephan J L Bakker, John Beilby, Richard N Bergman, Sven Bergmann, Reiner Biffar, John Blangero, Dorret I Boomsma, Stefan R Bornstein, Pascal Bovet, Paolo Brambilla, Morris J Brown, Harry Campbell, Mark J Caulfield, Aravinda Chakravarti, Rory Collins, Francis S Collins, Dana C Crawford, L Adrienne Cupples, John Danesh, Ulf de Faire, Hester M den Ruijter, Raimund Erbel, Jeanette Erdmann, Johan G Eriksson, Martin Farrall, Ele Ferrannini, Jean Ferrières, Ian Ford, Nita G Forouhi, Terrence Forrester, Ron T Gansevoort, Pablo V Gejman, Christian Gieger, Alain Golay, Omri Gottesman, Vilmundur Gudnason, Ulf Gyllensten, David W Haas, Alistair S Hall, Tamara B Harris, Andrew T Hattersley, Andrew C Heath, Christian Hengstenberg, Andrew A Hicks, Lucia A Hindorff, Aroon D Hingorani, Albert Hofman, G Kees Hovingh, Steve E Humphries, Steven C Hunt, Elina Hypponen, Kevin B Jacobs, Marjo-Riitta Jarvelin, Pekka Jousilahti, Antti M Jula, Jaakko Kaprio, John J P Kastelein, Manfred Kayser, Frank Kee, Sirkka M Keinanen-Kiukaanniemi, Lambertus A Kiemeney, Jaspal S Kooner, Charles Kooperberg, Seppo Koskinen, Peter Kovacs, Aldi T Kraja, Meena Kumari, Johanna Kuusisto, Timo A Lakka, Claudia Langenberg, Loic Le Marchand, Terho Lehtimäki, Sara Lupoli, Pamela A F Madden, Satu Männistö, Paolo Manunta, André Marette, Tara C Matise, Barbara McKnight, Thomas Meitinger, Frans L Moll, Grant W Montgomery, Andrew D Morris, Andrew P Morris, Jeffrey C Murray, Mari Nelis, Claes Ohlsson, Albertine J Oldehinkel, Ken K Ong, Willem H Ouwehand, Gerard Pasterkamp, Annette Peters, Peter P Pramstaller, Jackie F Price, Lu Qi, Olli T Raitakari, Tuomo Rankinen, D C Rao, Treva K Rice, Marylyn Ritchie, Igor Rudan, Veikko Salomaa, Nilesh J Samani, Jouko Saramies, Mark A Sarzynski, Peter E H Schwarz, Sylvain Sebert, Peter Sever, Alan R Shuldiner, Juha Sinisalo, Valgerdur Steinthorsdottir, Ronald P Stolk, Jean-Claude Tardif, Anke Tönjes, Angelo Tremblay, Elena Tremoli, Jarmo Virtamo, Marie-Claude Vohl, The Electronic Medical Records and Genomics (eMERGE) Consortium, The MIGen Consortium, The PAGE Consortium, The LifeLines Cohort Study, Philippe Amouyel, Folkert W Asselbergs, Themistocles L Assimes, Murielle Bochud, Bernhard O Boehm, Eric Boerwinkle, Erwin P Bottinger, Claude Bouchard, Stéphane Cauchi, John C Chambers, Stephen J Chanock, Richard S Cooper, Paul I W de Bakker, George Dedoussis, Luigi Ferrucci, Paul W Franks, Philippe Froguel, Leif C Groop, Christopher A Haiman, Anders Hamsten, M Geoffrey Hayes, Jennie Hui, David J Hunter, Kristian Hveem, J Wouter Jukema, Robert C Kaplan, Mika Kivimaki, Diana Kuh, Markku Laakso, Yongmei Liu, Nicholas G Martin, Winfried März, Mads Melbye, Susanne Moebus, Patricia B Munroe, Inger Njølstad, Ben A Oostra, Colin N A Palmer, Nancy L Pedersen, Markus Perola, Louis Pérusse, Ulrike Peters, Joseph E Powell, Chris Power, Thomas Quertermous, Rainer Rauramaa, Eva Reinmaa, Paul M Ridker, Fernando Rivadeneira, Jerome I Rotter, Timo E Saaristo, Danish Saleheen, David Schlessinger, P Eline Slagboom, Harold Snieder, Tim D Spector, Konstantin Strauch, Michael Stumvoll, Jaakko Tuomilehto, Matti Uusitupa, Pim van der Harst, Henry Völzke, Mark Walker, Nicholas J Wareham, Hugh Watkins, H-Erich Wichmann, James F Wilson, Pieter Zanen, Panos Deloukas, Iris M Heid, Cecilia M Lindgren, Karen L Mohlke, Elizabeth K Speliotes, Unnur Thorsteinsdottir, Inês Barroso, Caroline S Fox, Kari E North, David P Strachan, Jacques S Beckmann, Sonja I Berndt, Michael Boehnke, Ingrid B Borecki, Mark I McCarthy, Andres Metspalu, Kari Stefansson, André G Uitterlinden, Cornelia M van Duijn, Lude Franke, Cristen J Willer, Alkes L Price, Guillaume Lettre, Ruth J F Loos, Michael N Weedon, Erik Ingelsson, Jeffrey R O'Connell, Goncalo R Abecasis, Daniel I Chasman, Michael E Goddard, Peter M Visscher, Joel N Hirschhorn & Timothy M Frayling

And your are smarter and know more then all of them put together.

Today is October 6th, depending on your time zone. So it shouldn't take you more then a week or so, say around October 13th or 14th, to figure out how all these genetic factors are related, which are the most important, which are not very interesting, and submit the definitive paper in reply to "Defining the role of common variation in the genomic and biological architecture of adult human height" to a refereed genetics journal.

I really look forward to your next Slashdot post where you explain how it all works. Will you put the cow in as a co-author?

about three weeks ago
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Google's Security Guards Are Now Officially Google Employees

Required Snark So when will the Google execs get food tasters? (134 comments)

They must be protected against the rabble, and few official food tasters will be cheaper then paying a decent wage to all the people who could possibly poison them. And if a food taster does get poisoned, there will be plenty of people standing in line for the job, because working at Google means you're not one of the peasants. You might even be able to afford to retire and not eat dog food!

about three weeks ago
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Nearly 700 Genetic Factors Found To Influence Human Adult Height

Required Snark Invader Zim (68 comments)

Irken Almighty Tallest

The Irken Empire has a hierarchical class structure in which shorter individuals are both figuratively and literally looked down upon. The tallest Irken born in a specific generation takes command of the entirety of the Empire.

I look forward to the day when humankind are ruled by our own Almighty Tallest.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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Boing Using Accounting Tricks to Throttle SpaceX

Required Snark Required Snark writes  |  about 4 months ago

Required Snark (1702878) writes "Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) has put forth a proposal that all US launch providers must "be required to submit financial reports before transporting astronauts to the ISS." This would keep all the launch providers except Boeing /United Lauch Alliance from making manned ISI flights.

The reasoning:

At a hearing on May 1, Shelby said that “NASA is spending billions to help private companies develop a launch vehicle, but has little to no access to the books and records associated with its investment.”

The White House responded stating

their concern “about language that would seek to apply accounting requirements unsuitable for a firm, fixed-price acquisition.” The House said that changes made would “likely increasing the program’s cost and potentially delaying its schedule.”

As previously posted on Slashdot, loosing access to these motors could impact up to 31 scheduled missions.

So why is Senator Shelby siding with Boeing and the Russians?

U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby today discussed important issues facing Alabama and the nation, including job growth, during his visit to the United Launch Alliance (ULA) production facility in Decatur, Ala., where ULA manufactures both Atlas and Delta launch vehicles.

...

“In light of sustained high unemployment rates, I am pleased that ULA employs hundreds of Alabamians and plans to hire dozens more producing the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle here in Decatur,” said Sen. Shelby. “These high-skilled workers assemble a unique national asset whose success currently underpins the very existence of our national security space program. ULA’s presence is welcome in Alabama. I appreciate the opportunity to have a conversation with the company’s workers and the citizens of Decatur to discuss our country’s deepest challenges and lay out a positive vision for the future.”

So Red White and Blue Senator Shelby has decided that jobs in his state and campaign contributions (a.k.a bribes) from Boeing are more important then access to space. He also seems to have forgotten the American values of free enterprise and technical innovation in favor of state sponsored entrenched interests in both the US (Boeing) and Russia (NPO Energomash).

I wonder what Shelby is doing on the Fourth of July?"

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Thick Chinese Smog is Harming Agriculture

Required Snark Required Snark writes  |  about 8 months ago

Required Snark (1702878) writes "The smog in China is so thick and pervasive that it is having a large scale negative impact on agricultural production.

Scientists say China's smog blocks natural light, thus slowing down the photosynthesis process necessary for plants to thrive.

...

He Dongxian, an associate professor with China Agricultural University's College of Water Resources and Civil Engineering, conducted experiments in Beijing over recent months which she says showed a drastic slowdown in the photosynthesis process.

As part of He's experiments, chili and tomato seeds, for example, took more than two months to sprout at a greenhouse farm in Beijing's Changping district, while the same outcome is typically achieved in 20 days under artificial light in a laboratory. Air pollutants adhere to greenhouse surfaces, reducing by half the amount of light available to the plants, she said.

Most seedlings at the farm were weak or sick, He told the Post. "They will be lucky to live at all."

If China's smog persists or intensifies, He warns, the country's food supply faces devastating consequences. "Now almost every farm is caught in a smog panic."

According to the story "much of north and central China — about one-seventh of the country — was also covered in smog last weekend", so the problem extends far beyond Beijing."
Link to Original Source

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San Francisco Rail Commuters Ignore Man Flashing Gun: One Killed

Required Snark Required Snark writes  |  1 year,15 days

Required Snark (1702878) writes "

The man drew the gun several times on the crowded San Francisco commuter train, with surveillance video showing him pointing it across the aisle without anyone noticing and then putting it back against his side, according to authorities.

The other passengers were so absorbed in their phones and tablets they didn't notice the gunman until he randomly shot and killed a university student, authorities said.

"These weren't concealed movements — the gun is very clear," District Attorney George Gascon said. "These people are in very close proximity with him, and nobody sees this. They're just so engrossed, texting and reading and whatnot. They're completely oblivious of their surroundings."'

The next time you are out in public, put in your ear buds, and zone out while connected online, just remember even though your mind has "left the building", you are still actually physically present..

Sometimes ignoring your surroundings is the wrong thing to do. In this case, everyone was so spaced out they were all sitting ducks.

So ask yourself: when was the last time I was so plugged in that I missed something big? Has anyone had a life threatening experience due to being on line at the wrong time?"

Link to Original Source

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Lockeed "Skunk Works" Announces Fusion Power Demo in Five Years

Required Snark Required Snark writes  |  about a year ago

Required Snark (1702878) writes "

At the recent Google “Solve for X” conference on February 7, Lockheed Martin's long-term R&D department (“Skunk Works”) announced they are working on a compact fusion reactor. With what seems a 4th generation prototype called "T4", the aerospace giant says to have developed a high beta configuration, which allows a compact reactor design and faster development timeline.

Public reactions describe the announcement of their activities on nuclear fusion remarkable, because Lockheed Martin doesn't usually make public announcements about Skunkwork projects unless they have a high degree of confidence in their chances of success. The developement timeline indicates plans to have a prototype 100-megawatt nuclear fusion machine of Lockheed Martin tested in 2017, and that a fully operational machine should be grid-ready ten years from now.

Some of the properties reported from the presentation:

  • A self-tuning feedback mechanism whereby the magnetic field increases the farther out that the plasma goes
  • Novel magnetic field configuration that has very few open field lines compared to tokamak design
  • Very "good arch curvature" of the field lines The system has a beta of about 1
  • System is working with D-T fuel

Although the presentation is short on details, Lockheed Skunk Words has a phenomenal track record, and they are putting their reputation of the line when they make this kind of announcement at a high profile Google event. A video of the presentation is here."
Link to Original Source

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The Unreasonable Effectiveness of C

Required Snark Required Snark writes  |  about 2 years ago

Required Snark (1702878) writes "Let the Language Wars Begin (Again). Damian Katz of CouchDB published a blog post entitled "The Unreasonable Effectiveness of C".

"For years I've tried my damnedest to get away from C. Too simple, too many details to manage, too old and crufty, too low level. I've had intense and torrid love affairs with Java, C++, and Erlang. I've built things I'm proud of with all of them, and yet each has broken my heart. They've made promises they couldn't keep, created cultures that focus on the wrong things, and made devastating tradeoffs that eventually make you suffer painfully. And I keep crawling back to C."

Among it's other virtues, he points out that it is a fantastic high level language that "makes it easy to reason about high level algorithms and low level hardware at the same time." It offers the best speed, debugging environment, consistency of execution, a uniform ABI, compatibility with other languages, and a fast build-test-debug cycle. It has many flaws, but as Katz says "Its flaws are very very well known, and this is a virtue. All languages and implementations have gotchas and hangups. C is just far more upfront about it."

So, Slashdot, is everything old new again?"

Link to Original Source
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High Frequency Trading: Far Worse then you Thought

Required Snark Required Snark writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Required Snark (1702878) writes "High Frequency Trading is a software engineering disaster, according to a study by the Chicago Federal Reserve. As reported at The Economic Populist, problems include:

Industry and regulatory groups have articulated best practices related to risk controls, but many firms fail to implement all the recommendations or rely on other firms in the trade cycle to catch an out-of-control algorithm or erroneous trade. In part, this is because applying risk controls before the start of a trade can slow down an order, and high-speed trading firms are often under enormous pressure to route their orders to the exchange quickly so as to capture a trade at the desired price.

Another area of concern is that some firms do not have stringent processes for the development, testing, and deployment of code used in their trading algorithms. For example, a few trading firms interviewed said they deploy new trading strategies quickly by tweaking old code and placing it into production in a matter of minutes.

Chicago Fed staff also found that out-of-control algorithms were more common than anticipated prior to the study and that there were no clear patterns as to their cause. Two of the four clearing BDs/FCMs, two-thirds of proprietary trading firms, and every exchange interviewed had experienced one or more errant algorithms.

To sum things up, the well being of the entire world economy is now in the hands of greedy, incompetent corrupt insiders who will do anything to achieve a profit. The regulators are all off on a permanent vacation. (The Federal Reserve does not regulate HFT.) What could possibly go wrong?"
Link to Original Source

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Former IBM Japan President Otoshi charged for taking up-skirt pictures

Required Snark Required Snark writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Required Snark (1702878) writes "Takuma Otoshi was the President of IBM Japan from 1999 to 2008, and had an ongoing senior adviser position until his recent arrest. According to Toyko police reports:

Police records say that around 8:00 AM on August 22nd, Ototshi was cited for violating Tokyo’s public nuisance ordinance by using his Apple iPod’s recording function to film up the skirt of a woman as she rode an escalator at the JR Yotsuya Station. A nearby male commuter is said to have witnessed what happened and told the station’s authorities. Investigators say once Otoshi’s iPod was checked, they found a number of incriminating pictures.

Does this mean that IBM endorses the IPod?"
Link to Original Source

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Hunters Shoot Down Drone of Animal Rights Group

Required Snark Required Snark writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Required Snark (1702878) writes "A remote control drone operated by an animal rights group was shot down in South Carolina by a group of thwarted hunters.
Steve Hindi, the group president said "his group was preparing to launch its Mikrokopter drone to video what he called a live pigeon shoot on Sunday when law enforcement officers and an attorney claiming to represent the privately-owned plantation near Ehrhardt tried to stop the aircraft from flying." After the shoot was halted, the drone was launched anyway, and at this point it was shot down. "Seconds after it hit the air, numerous shots rang out," Hindi said in the release. "As an act of revenge for us shutting down the pigeon slaughter, they had shot down our copter." "It is important to note how dangerous this was, as they were shooting toward and into a well-travelled highway," Hindi stated in the release."

Link to Original Source
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Sea water can cause uranium polution from fuel rod

Required Snark Required Snark writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Required Snark (1702878) writes "UC Davis researchers have found a mechanism where the sodium in sea water can cause uranium nano-particles to be released from nuclear reactor fuel rods. Normally the uranium oxide compounds composing the rods are very resistant to leaching into water. This could have serious consequences for the Fukushima disaster, since sea water was used for emergency cooling."
Link to Original Source

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