g01d4 (888748) writes "National Geographic is (re)posting her account of the flight. It's a very good read from an era that seems technologically ancient though within the lifetime of many of our parents." Link to Original Source top
"Telescopes saw the giant ball of ice and dust disappear behind the star, but only a dull streamer emerge." It's too bad but the incoming, and especially the Stereo A & B images, were way cool." Link to Original Source top
g01d4 (888748) writes "From the NYT: "Last week, the nation’s leading heart organizations released a sweeping new set of guidelines for lowering cholesterol, along with an online calculator meant to help doctors assess risks and treatment options. But, in a major embarrassment to the health groups, the calculator appears to greatly overestimate risk, so much so that it could mistakenly suggest that millions more people are candidates for statin drugs. [It seems] the problem might have stemmed from the fact that the calculator uses as reference points data collected more than a decade ago, when more people smoked and had strokes and heart attacks earlier in life. For example, the guideline makers used data from studies in the 1990s to determine how various risk factors like cholesterol levels and blood pressure led to actual heart attacks and strokes over a decade of observation."" Link to Original Source top
g01d4 (888748) writes "I volunteer at a used bookstore that supports the local library. One of my tasks is to sort book donations. For > 5 yr old computer books the choices typically are to save it for sale (fifty cents soft cover, one dollar hardback), pack it, e.g. for another library's bookstore, put it on the free cart, or toss it in the recycle bin. I occasionally dumpster dive the recycle bin to 'rescue' books that I don't think should be pulped. Recently I found a copy of PostgresSQL Essential Reference (2002) and Programming Perl (1996). Would you have left them to RIP? Obviously we have very limited space, 20 shelf feet (storage + sale) for STEM. What criteria would you use when sorting these types of books?" top
g01d4 (888748) writes "Forbes has a short story on why customers are often asked for their ZIP code after a credit card purchase. In one case:
“Users simply capture name from the credit card swipe and request a customer’s ZIP code during the transaction. GeoCapture matches the collected information to a comprehensive consumer database to return an address.” In a promotional brochure, they claim accuracy rates as high as 100%.
g01d4 (888748) writes "On March 29, 2012, NASA scientists learned that the space agency’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope was headed for a potential conjunction (close approach) with Cosmos 1805, a defunct Russian satellite from the Cold War era.The team knew that the only way to move Fermi would be to fire thrusters designed to move the spacecraft out of orbit at the end of its operating life. On April 3rd shortly after noon EDT, the space agency fired all thrusters for one second. When it was over, everyone involved 'just sighed with relief that it all went well.' By 1 p.m., the spacecraft had returned to its mission." Link to Original Source top
Yet another costly government software upgrade failure
g01d4 (888748) writes ""California's computer problems, which have already cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, have mounted as state officials cut short work on a $208-million DMV technology overhaul that is only half done. Last week, the controller's office fired the contractor responsible for a $371-million upgrade to the state's payroll system, citing a trial run filled with mishaps. More than $254 million has already been spent." It's hard not to feel like the Tokyo man in the street watching the latest round of Godzilla the state vs. Rodan the big contractor." Link to Original Source top
John E. Karlin, Who Led the Way to All-Digit Dialing, Dies at 94
g01d4 (888748) writes "Who was John E. Karlin? “He was the one who introduced the notion that behavioral sciences could answer some questions about telephone design,” according to Ed Israelski, an engineer who worked under Mr. Karlin at Bell Labs in the 1970s. And you thought Steve Jobs was cool. An interesting obituary in the NYT." Link to Original Source top
g01d4 writes "Dr. Oliver Sacks, a professor of neurology at NYU School of Medicine, discusses using neuroscience to explain how the brain creates out-of-body experiences and religious epiphanies." Link to Original Source top
g01d4 (888748) writes "An article by Daniel Engber on Slate complains it's the "internet blowhard's favorite phrase" with a nice frequency of use vs. time plot for illustration. He doesn't bother to investigate whether it's correlated with the number of weak studies being published." Link to Original Source top
g01d4 (888748) writes "According to Scientific Computing http://www.scientificcomputing.com/news-DA-Handwriting-based-Tool-an-Alternate-Lie-Detection-Method-090209.aspx a study published in the November 2009 issue of Applied Cognitive Psychology states that 'handwriting characteristics differ when an individual is in the process of writing deceptive sentences as opposed to truthful sentences.' It seems the investigators used a 'computerized tablet that measured the physical properties of the subject's handwriting, which are difficult to consciously control. These properties included, for example, the duration of time that the pen is on paper versus in the air; the length, height and width of each writing stroke; and the pressure implemented on the writing surface.' Seems like there'd be few readers under 50 who could handwrite anything that'd look honest beyond a signature and maybe a few short phrases."