Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

Estimate: Academic Labs 11 Times More Dangerous Than Industrial Counterparts

as.kdjrfh sxcjvs Re:Really? (153 comments)

Except in a case a student does get injured, it is a massive mess of bad PR and all sorts of inquiries and often heads roll .

I find that's true for undergraduates, but not for graduate students. Granted, grad students are older and smarter, but grad students are also much more likely to be doing something they've never done before that no-one else in the lab has done or is doing. (YMMV. In my department, a constant.)

about 6 months ago
top

Do We Really Have a Shortage of STEM Workers?

as.kdjrfh sxcjvs Re:Too many "critical thinkers" (491 comments)

H_0: these people who annoy you would have been equally critical with a different education, but they'd have used a different justification.

about 7 months ago
top

Naming All Lifeforms On Earth With Hash Functions

as.kdjrfh sxcjvs Re:The most obvious problem with this approach (97 comments)

There are problems with the current system, though. The one I'm most familiar with runs like this:

1. Species was named a while ago, with the type specimen kept. Name, say, Foozy yanner. Specimens are collected from several places over time.
2. Then we realize that those specimens represent more than one species (very possible just with old-fashioned naturalist observation, and happens also with genetic analysis).
3. So some of the specimens now are officially Foozy tanner -- but we aren't allowed to rename Foozy yanner itself (rules of system).
4. When you run across a reference to Foozy yanner it's _very_ difficult to know whether it's referring to the old unknowingly inclusive set of species, or the single (?) species that `Foozy yanner' now indicates. We'd be more precise if, e.g., we called the single species Foozy yanner_1, which might later get split to Foozy yanner_2 and Foozy tethera, with Foozy yanner_2 the name that includes the original Foozy yanner type specimen.

And this can happen with vertebrates! Archaea, hellifino.

about 7 months ago
top

Iconic Predator-Prey Study In Peril

as.kdjrfh sxcjvs Space-time effects of wolves (84 comments)

You're missing one of the only-obvious-in-hindsight things we learned from Isle Royale in the first place. Wolves keep the forests alive not principally by controlling how many moose there are, but by controlling where the moose are willing to linger (and browse out young tree seedlings). As the forests grow, exactly where those spaces are change, but that's fine; excellent, even; keeps species and nutrients circulating through the system at a very long period.

It only takes an occasional wolf lurking in a copse to make the moose cautious, and it only takes a few mature trees in any decade to drop a lot of seeds. So a very few wolves can make the forest, and therefore the whole system, resilient to moose boom-bust cycles.

Pretty neat, I think!

about 7 months ago
top

UK Council To Send Obese People 'Motivational' Texts Telling Them To Use Stairs

as.kdjrfh sxcjvs There are similar commercial apps (225 comments)

There are similar commercial apps in a bunch of styles -- some friendly and upbeat, some with foul language, some with scary imagery. Some of them seem to work well for some people, and it seems cheap to run, so a plausible worthwhile opt-in experiment.

Seems like it could be more adaptive; let people choose the style they prefer, and maybe have an 'Okay I did!' or 'Not this time!' response to see which messages when are most useful.

about 7 months ago
top

Ask Slashdot: How To Reimagine a Library?

as.kdjrfh sxcjvs Re:more than books (231 comments)

If the kids get comfortable reading, their chances at innovation and invention go up. If they hang out in a library, the chances of good reading in front of them go up. Nice plan.

about 8 months ago
top

Ask Slashdot: How To Reimagine a Library?

as.kdjrfh sxcjvs Re:more than books (231 comments)

Google is only useful after you have learned something about how to search. School librarians are good at teaching people how to search. Helping students learn how to use any index, including Google -- and judge the results they get -- is a superb goal for a school library.

about 8 months ago
top

Why Transitivity Violations Can Be Rational

as.kdjrfh sxcjvs Re:Ranking choices consistently (169 comments)

Animals have to choose what to eat first, so a comparison operator is definitely applied to a collection of foods. The simple mathematical representation, which you are sticking to, is therefore the part we have to give up.

It's ineffective to abstract too early, and it's really ineffective to abstract into an inadequate framework.

about 8 months ago
top

Lawsuit: Oracle Called $50K 'Good Money For an Indian'

as.kdjrfh sxcjvs Re:The cruelest part (409 comments)

Most employees are very sensibly reluctant to be relocated, because going to a one-employer town is really risky. It was a standard in the... 1980s? to move a division to a small town, fire everyone within five years, and re-hire them at half the wages -- which they had to take because they had underwater mortgages. And the mortgages were underwater *because* the company was dropping wages.

That's before worrying about whether one's spouse can find good work, whether the schools are connected to good work, etc etc.

Multi-employer, multi-industry towns are never as cheap to live in, even when they're unfashionable and have weather that's more... challenging... than the Bay Area's.

about 8 months ago
top

Algorithm Aims To Predict Fiction Bestsellers

as.kdjrfh sxcjvs How does Project Gutenberg select its texts? (146 comments)

http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Gutenberg:General_FAQ#G.13._How_does_Project_Gutenberg_choose_books_to_publish.3F

All-volunteer; what people scan and proofread is what's there, after a copyright check. Some things that were popular and are therefore common; some things that were always rare and therefore an enthusiast scanned a copy; some things people sought out to fill out a subject heading. There's *lots* of old light fiction, adventure stories and social comedies, that no-one's cared about for a century. (I find it fascinating what changed, and what didn't, and what changed *first*. I love old B-side books.)

about 8 months ago
top

Algorithm Aims To Predict Fiction Bestsellers

as.kdjrfh sxcjvs Re:If I had a penny (146 comments)

Lamia story -- I think Tim Powers wrote one. Set in Venice, maybe? and excellent.

about 8 months ago
top

Neglect Causes Massive Loss of 'Irreplaceable' Research Data

as.kdjrfh sxcjvs Re:Drinking from the firehose. (108 comments)

There are groups working on this -- the University of California is trying to do it in a consistent way, with its wealth of historical data -- but it's harder than you'd think. It's not very useful if you don't get the metadata reasonable, and that's skilled work and not something we reward. Institutional support (libraries, machine shops, etc) gets pinched because it's constant overhead and hard to point to single high-status payoffs. It takes one year to kill a library (Canada's superb fisheries and lake science just lost one).

Even worse, a lot of scientific data is realia -- *stuff* -- and that's a worse metadata problem, and expensive and fragile.

about 9 months ago
top

Goodbye, California? Tim Draper Proposes a 6-Way Split

as.kdjrfh sxcjvs Watershed states are more reasonable (489 comments)

One of the reasons California does as well as it does (you laugh, but there's some amazing literal and social engineering to keep the whole mess running) is that the state boundaries are close to the watershed boundaries. Water is *the* currency of the West, for energy and agriculture and domestic use, and having the water-governing bodies under one government is... well, it's bad enough, but it's easier than separate states grandstanding against each other. (GA/TN, recently.)

So the 6 Californias is badly designed and not ambitious enough -- let's reorganize the whole country --

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2013/11/19/map-the-united-states-of-watersheds/

Tends to keep metro areas together; also biomes often fall within a watershed, and then determine what the most productive land uses are.

about 9 months ago
top

Gov't Puts Witness On No Fly List, Then Denies Having Done So

as.kdjrfh sxcjvs Re:Southwest.. (462 comments)

(Did Saddam's personal cook write a memoir?) Either we've read/talked to different people, or we get different things out of the same stories. `You can avoid risk' sounds like the Just World fallacy at best, to me. F'rex, in tyrannies, it's always easy to be accused of something you don't get a fair trial for, so `avoiding risk' includes `never pissing anyone off'.

I am grateful that I don't have a personal opinion on this in most of my life, since I would probably get a decent legal hearing for most things in the US. But I sure think about the ways the TSA and now the NSA could wreck me, if they wanted to. It does change my behavior, and not to be more moral or productive or braver.

about 9 months ago
top

Gov't Puts Witness On No Fly List, Then Denies Having Done So

as.kdjrfh sxcjvs Re:Southwest.. (462 comments)

From reading what people write about living in Egypt, or Burma, or under Stalin, everybody has or had to do some things that might or might not attract punishment to survive; guilty and frightened all the time. Also, the rules change without advance notice.

about 9 months ago
top

First Lab Demonstration That the Ability To Evolve Can Itself Evolve

as.kdjrfh sxcjvs Re:All I know is... (72 comments)

Its from bits - - we already are beings of pure information. It's information all the way down and all the way up, even us lumpy bags of dirty water.

about 10 months ago
top

Desert Farming Experiment Yields Good Initial Results

as.kdjrfh sxcjvs Re:That yield seems very high. (178 comments)

Could be an input of locally-sourced humanure instead of Haber-Bosch N. I should think a hot dry place would be a good place for controlled composting.

about 10 months ago
top

Most precise measuring tool I've used ...

as.kdjrfh sxcjvs d^15N from a trace gas (328 comments)

I wasn't as hardcore as the friend measuring isotopes in sulfur gases; all their equipment was custom because sulfur reacts with so many materials, and their raw material was 'parts per trillion, baby!'. I had parts per million.

about a year ago
top

Ask Slashdot: How Important Is Advanced Math In a CS Degree?

as.kdjrfh sxcjvs Learn it because it's glorious, grasshopper (656 comments)

Conveniently, you are unlikely to learn so much that you become less employable, so you won't even suffer in the long run.

about a year ago
top

Trade Group: US Software Developer Wages Fell 2% Last Year

as.kdjrfh sxcjvs Re:Even WWII wasn't enough without a fight (237 comments)

Easier, and the labor market was tight which should have made it easier still, but it still took *years*.

There's a great series of posters -- WPA? American Legion? -- hammering on the theme that the USA is fighting to be unlike the racist Axis and we'll win when everyone is working. This is the only one I can find offhand:

http://about.usps.com/who-we-are/postal-history/images/government-poster-1942.jpg

about a year ago

Submissions

as.kdjrfh sxcjvs hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

as.kdjrfh sxcjvs has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>