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Researchers Forecast the Spread of Diseases Using Wikipedia

ctrl-alt-canc Re:How? (61 comments)

They made the assumption that if a disease is spreading somewhere, there people start looking for information about the disease on wikipedia.
This implicitly makes some big assumptions, among which the facts that people are aware of the disease and that they have internet access.

You can easily understand why their approach is of very limited usefulness, and scientifically questionable. I think that it is not by chance that their method fails to work when analyzing data for Uganda (where internet usage probably isn't widespread) and does not score well for China (where censorships both limits information about disease outbreaks and internet access).

They also state in their paper: "With these constraints in mind, we used our professional judgement to select diseases and countries.", and this raised my eyebrows a lot...

I would like to put at chance their approach by sifting wikipedia access data looking for Ebola keyword in slovenian language, and then forecast the diffusion of Ebola in Slovenia (equal to nil up to now...), but I try to use my time for testing methods that are better-posed.

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."

about two weeks ago
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I'm most interested in robots that will...

ctrl-alt-canc ...post on Slashdot for me. (307 comments)

But I wonder if this classifies as "Automate basic jobs so I don't have to talk to humans" or as "Fight other people for my amusement"

about two weeks ago
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Big Data Knows When You Are About To Quit Your Job

ctrl-alt-canc Rather than complaining... (185 comments)

...I think that we should study the algorithm, and adopt behaviours that can deliver us more money from our employer :-)

about three weeks ago
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Do Specs Matter Anymore For the Average Smartphone User?

ctrl-alt-canc Re:ObBillGates (253 comments)

Actually, when talking about telephones, he said: "ten keys ought to be enough for anybody".

about 2 months ago
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Microsoft Paid NFL $400 Million To Use Surface, But Announcers Call Them iPads

ctrl-alt-canc In a related news... (405 comments)

..Apple sued NFL for having called "Ipad" a Microsoft Surface tablet.

about 2 months ago
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AMD Releases New Tonga GPU, Lowers 8-core CPU To $229

ctrl-alt-canc Re:Time to cut prices (98 comments)

They do. AMD will sell you just a core for only $28.625. Isn't it a ripoff ?!?

about 3 months ago
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What's After Big Data?

ctrl-alt-canc Big Mac (87 comments)

How do you want it ? Rare, medium or well done ?

about 3 months ago
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German Intelligence Spying On Allies, Recorded Kerry, Clinton, and Kofi Annan

ctrl-alt-canc Don't know why, but... (170 comments)

...I find the concept of "German intelligence" an oxymoron.

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Would You Do With Half a Rack of Server Space?

ctrl-alt-canc Beer! (208 comments)

Remove the unused CPUs and disks, fill the free space with beer bottles, and take advantage of the cooling capabilities of the rack!

about 4 months ago
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China Plans Particle Colliders That Would Dwarf CERN's LHC

ctrl-alt-canc We should act quickly! (219 comments)

Or the markets will soon be invaded by cheap made-in-China Higgs bosons. Although swiss-made Higgs are known to be by far more precise and accurate, the cheap chinese bosons will send CERN factory into bankrupt, unless some kind of duty is introduced to slow down foreign particles.

about 4 months ago
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Fossils of Cambrian Predator Preserved With Brain Impressions

ctrl-alt-canc In a related news.... (45 comments)

...poorly preserved traces of cambrian little animals were found in the predator's stomach!

about 4 months ago
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How Japan Lost Track of 640kg of Plutonium

ctrl-alt-canc It decayed (104 comments)

They stored their plutonium stockpile carefully (also because packing it too tight is a very bad idea), but they were not aware that it was made of Pu-233. This explains why the stockpile they bought was sold at such a bargain price on the market...

about 5 months ago
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Site of 1976 "Atomic Man" Accident To Be Cleaned

ctrl-alt-canc I wonder if... (299 comments)

they will use this method to clean up the site.

about 5 months ago
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The Internet of Things Comes To Your Garden

ctrl-alt-canc I love gardening but I am very short of time... (66 comments)

...I think I will continue mowing the grass by myself, rather than wasting twice the time fixing network interfaces, rebooting controllers, changing batteries, etc.

about 5 months ago

Submissions

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Yahoo mail users are experiencing password recovery problem.

ctrl-alt-canc ctrl-alt-canc writes  |  about two weeks ago

ctrl-alt-canc (977108) writes "If you cannot login to your yahoo mail because either you forgot the password or your account has been hacked you are in troubles. Password recovery system at yahoo is behaving strangely, and the result is that many people are getting angry. This seems to be the result of a security update on yahoo servers.
Yahoo claim that the problem has been fixed, but users do not agree."
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Android 4.0 upgrade for Sony Xperia smarphones opens a Pandora box

ctrl-alt-canc ctrl-alt-canc writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ctrl-alt-canc (977108) writes "The udpdate to Android ICS offered for free by Sony to the Xperia smarphone users has caused plenty of troubles. Not only the decision by Sony of not updating Xperia Play phones to ICS caused rage among customers, but those who were lucky to get an upgrade for their smartphones discovered that WiFi connection did not work anymore. Up to now, the only suggestion proposed by Sony to fix the problem is to turn off the encryption, and reboot the smartphone and the access point."
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Latest XKCD strip stirs up debate at Wikipedia

ctrl-alt-canc ctrl-alt-canc writes  |  more than 4 years ago

ctrl-alt-canc (977108) writes "Yesterday the popular XKCD comic strip showed a comic strip about a not so well known neologism, and its corresponding description on Wikipedia. The strip apparently upset several Wikipedia editors, so that the description was promptly dropped from Wikipedia, and there is now a strong debate if to reinstate the entry, or to permanently delete it. Maybe it is time to file a petition for having the definition of malamanteau back on Wikipedia."
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Equation for perfectly parking your car found!

ctrl-alt-canc ctrl-alt-canc writes  |  more than 4 years ago

ctrl-alt-canc (977108) writes "An english mathematician, Simon R. Blackburn was asked from Vauxhall Motors to study the math beyond car parking. The problem is not new, since some cars appeared on the market years ago with a self-parking option.. Dr. Blackburn recently published a paper that gives a complete solution to the problem of perfect parking. I wonder if his research will bring to more room for cars in our crowded parking lots. Who will write the first Iphone application for perfect parking ?!?"
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