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### Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

well, nuclear power is one option, but there are ... less dangerous ones. Take a mix of solar, wind, water power (not just dammed rivers and such, also tidal).

That does not work yet, take Germany as counterexample. With its green energy policy it in 2013 managed in to increase its CO2 emissions while most of europe decreased its emissions, only Denmark, Estonia, Portugal have bigger increase.
http://phys.org/news/2014-05-g...
Also electricity become 60% more expensive, GDP fallen and industries are migrating from Germany and will become worse as it will add more renewables.
Why do you think it will work elsewhere?

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### Google Proposes To Warn People About Non-SSL Web Sites

Basically any time you are using public wifi, you are vulnerable to a MITM attack. Properly secured HTTPS is safe, but an HTTP website can be modified in any way the attacker desires.

When MITM is possible worrying about self-signed certificates is last of your concerns. Unless you go beyond google proposal and completely disallow http attacker would use zero-day exploit on first http page you load or modify first .exe you download(of course signed by sony.)
As now you have keylogger on you computer you do not have to worry how much https protects you.

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### Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

Assuming the economic system supports this.

That is not economic problem its political one. You could add basic income without changing govement wealth redistribution much. You create basic of income equal to subsidies to poor which you cancel. Then you revise tax code and cancel tax deducible items equal to workers basic income.
You will get simpler tax system without changing much of citizens taxes/gains.
Of course no sane politican will propose it, then he could not promise say increasing dotations to families with children to win three districts.
Also with several advancements of robotic and some goverment can create basic income, cancel all taxes and substain stable population indefinitely.
He just buys self-repairing factories that makes solar-powered farmerbots, deliverybots and chefbots. Then every citizen could decide to sell what his bot produced or get delivered free food.

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### Google Proposes To Warn People About Non-SSL Web Sites

Unless you can verify the authenticity of the self-signed cert your connection is prone to an active MITM attack. Active attacker Charlie can literally just intercept the certificate you're being sent, substitute it for their own self-signed cert, and neither party is any the wiser. Yeah, your connection will be encrypted, but it'll be decrypted and re-encrypted by the attacker.
The scenario is unlikely unless you're a "person of interest", but unless you have some Out-Of-Band verification of authenticity you're essentially just wasting CPU cycles encrypting the packets.

Repeating misinformation does it make true. With self-signed certificate you are probably safe from NSA snooping unless it intercepts all connections.
When MITM is involved certificates wont save you. Say you typed google.com to address bar. Then determined phiser would modify DNS to say that google.com is http only.
A loaded fake http://google.com/ page would contain redirection to https://goog1e.com/
As attacker registered goog1e.com domain and got certificate from startssl.com or other CA that does not bother checking anything besides that you own domain you are owned anyway.

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### Can Wolfram Alpha Tell Which Team Will Win the Super Bowl?

Of course not. This is just as stupid as asking if you could calculate somebody's phone number.

Actually calculating phone numbers is simple, you just need to start from contradiction. You can derive anything from that including your mom's phone number. Its called principle of explosion.

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### Why Standard Deviation Should Be Retired From Scientific Use

O(log(n)) for each and every insertion, yes... when you are doing n insertions, that becomes O(n log n). If you are trying to compute the mean deviation at every step as well, you are looking at O(n^2 log n),

No, you just failed data structure class. Insertion takes O(log(n)) with bookkeeping needed to find mean standard deviation in O(log(n)) time which gives a O(n log n) total time. All you need to know to calculate deviation is sum and number of elements above mean and sum of elements below mean. I explained it in more detail in parent post, there is standard data structure that can calculate sum of elements in of elements in given range in O(log(n)) time and supports insertion in O(log (n)) time.

A quick google query found following implementation:
http://kaba.hilvi.org/pastel/pastel/sys/redblacktree.htm

because you cannot compute the mean deviation without revisiting *every* element you've collected so far, regardless of how they are stored or sorted.

Repeating a lie does not make it true.

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### Why Standard Deviation Should Be Retired From Scientific Use

Collecting the data alone is a log(n) step... and can be worse if you are trying to keep the data sorted while you collect it.

Use red-black trees these keep data sorted with O(log(n)) worst case bound for insertion.

How can you calculate the mean deviation at any time without revisiting all of the data points that you have collected so far? How can you calculate do it in any time better than O(n)? Calculating standard deviation takes O(1) and does not require reexamining the data at all if you've been keeping track of right things during data collection (which still takes O(n)).

That is typical exam question for data structures class. You maintain a red-black tree and for node you keep a sum and count of elements of its subtree (you need to update these in rotation and thats it). As red-black tree has logarithmic height you easily find sum of elements greater than given number in logarithmic time. Just do binary search and sum values for subtrees whose smallest element is greater than searched element.

Once you have that a mean absolute difference by following expression

*(sum_greater(mean) - count_greater(mean) * mean) + (count_less(mean) * mean - sum_less(mean))*

and you can get each term in O(log (n)) time.

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### Why Standard Deviation Should Be Retired From Scientific Use

Bzzt. Mathematically correct but practically wrong. Any real or simulated dataset from which you would want to compute a standard deviation will have the property that it will be a list of (most likely) double precision floating that is finite in size. This data defines a distribution that always has a finite first and second moment, so you will get a number that you can confidently call the standard deviation of the data. Even if it comes from physical process with a nonsense distribution like a Cauchy distribution, the standard deviation you compute will give you a bound on the spread of your data. If it's Gaussian, you can go back to your statistics class and say that 95% of the data will be within two SD's, etc. If it's not, you can use the Chebyshev rule (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chebyshev_inequality) to say that at least 75 percent of the data will be in two SD's, 89% will be within 3 SD's, etc, which is much coarser information, but is still reasonable to look at for worst-case analysis.

Yes but also useless when you have enough data to get reasonable mean estimate. You do not need Chebyshev inequality for getting confidence intervals, just compute appropriate 2.5percentile and 97.5percentile for 95% interval. By Glivenkoâ"Cantelli theorem these for measurable function converge regardless to distribution and are not sensitive to outliers.

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### Why Standard Deviation Should Be Retired From Scientific Use

ncorrect... you need one pass to collect the data, and a second pass to compute the mean deviation. Both passes are O(n). You do not need to do a second pass to compute the standard deviation, it can be calculated in O(1) time based on data collected in the first pass.
If you are only computing this once, doing two O(n)'s is just O(n), but if you are wanting to continually recalculate the mean as you add more elements to your data set, then the difference between them becomes much larger... mean deviation with data collection ends up being quadratic with the amount of data collected, while standard deviation with data collection remains linear with the amount of data collected.

Still incorrect, you need to know data structures for that. When you use a red-black tree where you in node maintain sum of element below node then you can compute sum of elements in arbitrary interval in O(log(n)) time. That cuts complexity from quadratic to O(n log n)

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### New Superconductor Theory May Revolutionize Electrical Engineering

Well, superconductors killed my dad, so I'm looking for an immediate ban. If you don't like that, you can just say that directly to distraught face of my poor widowed mother. Superconductors also stole all of the insurance money and repeatedly raped my sister. Well, she called it rape, but really there was no resistance.

Sorry, we are superconductors. Resistance is futile.

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### Ask Slashdot: Can You Trust Online Tax Software?

1. Buy a stock that you expect to decrease in value in the short term, but to make money in the long term. You pay, say, $10,000.

2. It drops to $5,000. Sell, you can mark off the $5,000 loss on your taxes.

3. Wait 30 days, then take that $5,000 and buy the same stock again. You can still take the $5,000 loss, but if (when) the stock finally appreciates, you make money there, too. :)

What about following plan.

1. Put $10000 in bank.

2. Wait 30 days, buy $7500 of stock and $2500 for taxes.

3. ???

4. Profit

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### GCC 4.9 Coming With Big New Features

P.S.: While I understand that much C/C++ syntax is driven by prior choices, much of this new syntax is UGLY. That's been a problem ever since templates started appearing, but it's gotten worse with every addition. At some point they need to do a de novo redefinition of syntax, and define an isomorphism between the two syntaxes. Then a compiler switch can alternate between syntaxes until the current version can be deprecated. I'm starting to think that APL had a better design than modern C++, and that was BAD. Now, in addition to > they've got [[ ]], and I guess next will be (( )) (unless that's already in use somewhere).

Yes, (( )) is used in attributes. Also ({ }) is used to convert compound statement into expression. You are left with {{ and {( and when these will be taken we start to use {) (}.

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### Linux 3.13 Kernel To Bring Major Feature Improvements

You're obviously new to Slashdot. Slashdot may, at first glance, appear to be the intelligent and knowledgeable 0.01%, but it is really the idiotic 99.999999999999%

Note as there are 7 bilion people this means that everybody is on slashdot now.

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### Red Hat Releases Ceylon Language 1.0.0

There are to many programming languages.

We should write new one that to unite them all.

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### Crossing the Divide From Software Dev To Hardware Dev

Engineering isn't about proof, that's math. Engineering is about tolerances.

No engineering is about responsibility.

If you call yourself a engineer be prepared when somebody asks:

Who is responsible for this crap?

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### The Hail Mary Cloud and the Lessons Learned

This is one reason why people recommend sudo instead of su. The admin logs in as himself and gains root privilege using his personal password. There is no shared root password, so you only have to disable the old admin's account and sudo access.

They recommend it as safer in theory.

In practice sudo is source of jokes like:

`
Q: H0w d0 I h4ck ubuntu? `

A:

user

user

sudo

user

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### Utility Sets IT Department On Path To Self-destruction

Not necessarily: If it is domestic high-quality outsourcing, you know the people personally and there is a long-standing connection, it can work. But off-shoring basically never works and a cultural gap ensures that. Same wit off-shoring to China.

Quite the contrary, Chineese contractors are very intelligent. You can get a top talent from Chineese intelligence agency for cheap.

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### Ask Slashdot: Are 'Rock Star' Developers a Necessity?

Heh, I spent a year cleaning up after the last "10x" developer. 10x the productivity, 10x the bugs.

Of course, his defect densitity is 10/10=1 which is a defect density of average programmer. So I hired him and you which saves us salary of 8 developers. Now get back to work.

-- your boss

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### Ballmer To Retire

He can't even retire properly, should have done so years ago.

Newsflash. Hour ago boards of directors announced that he will be replaced by much more energetic person Stephen Elop.

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### Ask Slashdot: Is Tech Talent More Important Than Skill?

I'm going with Coolidge on this one.
"Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence...

This is not true, to quote Kurt von Hammerstein:

I divide my officers into four groups. There are clever, diligent, stupid, and lazy officers. Usually two characteristics are combined. Some are clever and diligent -- their place is the General Staff. The next lot are stupid and lazy -- they make up 90 percent of every army and are suited to routine duties. Anyone who is both clever and lazy is qualified for the highest leadership duties, because he possesses the intellectual clarity and the composure necessary for difficult decisions. One must beware of anyone who is stupid and diligent -- he must not be entrusted with any responsibility because he will always cause only mischief.

I seen plenty of programmers that are persistent but their code is flawed on so many levels that if I wrote that code myself it would save me time over convincing managers that their code needs fixing and fixing it.

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