By Soulskill from Slashdot's i-blame-the-schools department
Dan Milstein from Hut 8 Labs has written a lengthy post about why software developers often struggle to estimate the time required to implement their projects
. Drawing on lessons from a book called Thinking Fast and Slow
by Dan Kahneman, he explains how overconfidence frequently leads to underestimations of a project's complexity. Unfortunately, the nature of overconfidence makes it tough to compensate. Quoting:"Specifically, in many, many situations, the following three things hold true: 1- 'Expert' predictions about some future event are so completely unreliable as to be basically meaningless 2- Nonetheless, the experts in question are extremely confident about the accuracy of their predictions. 3- And, best of all: absolutely nothing seems to be able to diminish the confidence that experts feel. The last one is truly remarkable: even if experts try to honestly face evidence of their own past failures, even if they deeply understand this flaw in human cognition they will still feel a deep sense of confidence in the accuracy of their predictions. As Kahneman explains it, after telling an amazing story about his own failing on this front: 'The confidence you will experience in your future judgments will not be diminished by what you just read, even if you believe every word.'"Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's powered-by-the-tears-of-oil-execs department
thecarchik writes "Most advocates and industry analysts expect lithium-ion batteries to dominate electric-car energy storage for the rest of this decade. But is Tesla Motors planning to add a new type of battery to increase the range of its electric cars? Tesla has filed for eight separate patents on uses of metal-air battery technology (for example, #20120041625). The metals covered for use in the metal-air battery are aluminum, iron, lithium, magnesium, vanadium, and zinc. Metal-air batteries, which slowly consume their anodes to give off energy, hit the news last month when Israeli startup Phinergy demonstrated its prototype battery and let reporters drive a test vehicle fitted with the energy-storage device. Mounted in a subcompact demonstration car, Phinergy's aluminum-air battery provides 1,000 miles of range, it said, and requires refills of distilled water (which acts as electrolyte in the cells) about every 200 miles."Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's go-big-or-go-home department
colinneagle writes "Verizon's 2013 Data Breach Investigation Report is out and includes data gathered by its own forensics team and data breach info from 19 partner organizations worldwide. China was involved in 96% of all espionage data-breach incidents, most often targeting manufacturing, professional and transportation industries, the report claims. The assets China targeted within those industries included laptop/desktop, file server, mail server and directory server, in order to steal credentials, internal organization data, trade secrets and system info. A whopping 95% of the attacks started with phishing to get a toehold into their victim's systems. The report states, 'Phishing techniques have become much more sophisticated, often targeting specific individuals (spear phishing) and using tactics that are harder for IT to control. For example, now that people are suspicious of email, phishers are using phone calls and social networking.' It is unknown who the nation-state actors were in the other 4% of breaches, which the report says 'may mean that other threat groups perform their activities with greater stealth and subterfuge. But it could also mean that China is, in fact, the most active source of national and industrial espionage in the world today.'"
The report also notes that financially-motivated incidents primarily came from the U.S. and various Eastern European countries.Read Replies (0)
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's none-for-you department
I've been really, really
excited about digital video
distribution lately: first Netflix greenlights jms's return to science
fiction TV, and then Amazon announces their new pilots. Perhaps the
decade long dearth of any good television is nearing its end! So, with
that in mind, I finished up editing Slashdot for the day and sat down
to watch some of these new pilots. Only to discover that Amazon has
taken away my ability to watch entirely in the name of Digital
Restrictions Management.Read Replies (0)
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's waiting-for-eoma-68 department
DeviceGuru tipped us to the release of the latest single board computer from Beagle Board
. It's been two years since the previous BeagleBone was released, and today they've released the BeagleBone Black
(including full hardware schematics) at a price competitive with the Raspberry Pi ($10 more, but it comes with a power brick). Powered by a Cortex-A8
, it has 512M of DDR3 RAM, 2G of onboard eMMC, two blocks of 46 I/O pins, a pair of 32-bit DSPs
, the usual USB host/client ports, Ethernet, and micro-HDMI (a much requested feature). Support is provided for Ångstrom GNU/Linux, Ubuntu, and Android out of the box. Linux Gizmos reports where some of the cost savings came from: "According to BeagleBoard.org cofounder Jason Kridner, interviewed in a Linux.com report today
, cost savings also came from removing the default serial port as well as USB-to-serial and USB-to-JTAG interfaces, and including a cheaper single-purpose USB cable. (Three serial interfaces are available via the expansion headers.) In addition, the power expansion header for battery and backlight has been removed."Read Replies (0)
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's tea-time-on-the-moon department
littlesparkvt writes in with a bit from Space Industry News about Bigelow Aerospace's plans for the moon: "NASA and Bigelow Aerospace are in the initial planning phases for a moon base. 'As part of our broader commercial space strategy, NASA signed a Space Act Agreement with Bigelow Aerospace to foster ideas about how the private sector can contribute to future human missions,' Said David Weaver NASA Associate Administrator for the Office of Communications."
Bigelow will be performing the study for free
too. Robert Bigelow chatted with a radio host a few weeks ago
about Bigelow's long-term space plans. They include refueling depots and a commercial moon base, since NASA isn't planning to go there.Read Replies (0)
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's for-some-definitions department
derekmead writes "According to a new study (PDF) from Pew Charitable Trusts, China was the world leader in clean energy investment in 2012. The U.S., meanwhile, saw its grip loosen on many of the clean energy technologies it developed.
According to the research, total clean energy investment totaled $269 billion worldwide last year, a decline from 2011's record high of $302 billion. However, clean energy investment in the Asia and Oceania markets grew by 16 percent to $101 billion. In terms of investment — which is an indicator that a country or region has offered compelling projects, struck a good regulatory balance, and has a strong economy — that makes Asia the epicenter of the global clean energy market.
The Pew researchers thus labeled the U.S. clean energy sector as 'underperforming,' largely for a trio of reasons. First, China's boom and manufacturing prowess has taken investment away from the U.S.. Second, the U.S. regulatory environment for clean energy is horrifically unstable (as is the regulatory environment as a whole) as politicians battle over budget rhetoric. Finally, the U.S. has failed to capitalize on its innovation prowess and develop its clean energy manufacturing sector to its full potential."
They do not count nuclear as clean, but including nuclear would only widen China's lead over everyone else (they almost have their first new AP1000 ready
and are building lots more).Read Replies (0)